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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
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Experience:  34 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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HiI signed up on-line to Configure Express Fitness Gym

Customer Question

Hi I signed up on-line to Configure Express Fitness Gym Queen Street Auckland for 12 months at $25.00 per week. Due to an employment promotion with the company I work for, I have had to relocate to Taupo, where I am not able to transfer my membership between branches as there is not a Configure Express Gym in Taupo. I have gone over the online contract (which is not clear about transfering to another gym facility) and it states that a Cancellation Fee applies if you break the contract, however, it states that you can transfer between Configure Express branches and thats all. I do not want to cancel my contract as this costs approximately $553 for half of unpaid fees + $100.00 for cancellation costs, totals $653.00 I phoned Debit Success who collect the fees on behalf of Configure Express who state that a transfer is possible and the paper work and the transfer needed to occur between the two parties. What would you advise? and what are my rights as a consumer? What part of the Consumers Gaurantee Act applies to my situation? The closest Configure Express is Hamilton which is not practicle. Look forward to your help and advise. Thanks

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

christhelawyer : HiWelcome to JustAnswer. My first response will follow shortly. Please feel free to follow up if anything is not clear
christhelawyer : These gym fees are very difficult to get out of. If there is no alternative to transfer to, then your only options are to pay the rest, or take the cancellation option. If Hamilton is not an option then this will mean you have a useless membership. The gyms are never helpful in situations like yours, and the Consumer Guarantees Act doesn't help either.
christhelawyer : i would never recommend signing up if you think your situation may change like yours, although I assume this was not expected. But the gyms count on the cash flow and will fight to keep the payments even where you get no benefit.
christhelawyer : All I can suggest is to try to persuade them to let you off the contract due to the change in location. Then if they refuse, choose the least costly option. Even perhaps the Hamilton gym would mean you could use it sometimes, as it is a 2 hour drive and could be used in weekends.
Customer :

Is thre anything under the fair trade act that covers this situation? The Gym is not supplying the service to which they are to provide according to their contract and because its not written clearly in their online application that a transfer can not take place does this really not help my situation?

christhelawyer : The Fair Trading Act is used where there has been misleading deceptive conduct in the course of trade. The gym can supply the service, but it your promotion out of Auckland which has caused the contract to be unusable. You would need to find something stronger to be be able to use the Act, such as something misleading when you signed up.
christhelawyer : I don't know if Debit Express is the same as Adfit, as Consumer says that Adfit will allow transfers to other gyms. But Debit Express may be just for the Configure gyms

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