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How to void a personal training contract with L.A. Fitness?

Customer Question
I signed a personal training...
I signed a personal training contract with L.A. Fitness, but was not given all of the relevant information when I signed. Now I'm told that I can't cancel the contract without paying half of what is still owed: $1,100. For that amount, I receive nothing -- not even the training sessions that amount would normally finance. Is there anything I can do? Because I was misled at the beginning, shouldn't the contract be void?
Submitted: 7 years ago.Category: Consumer Protection Law
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Answered in 7 minutes by:
6/3/2011
Consumer Protection Lawyer: Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law replied 7 years ago
Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 22,714
Experience: B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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Thank you for giving me the opportunity to assist you. I encourage you to ask me for clarification, if you are not clear with my Answer.

 

Could you explain a little more?

 

How were you misled?

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Customer reply replied 7 years ago

The long version: This is my second contract for personal training. With the first one, I eventually ended up with a great trainer, with whom I trained for two years. When my contract expired, I decided that I wanted to continue training with the same trainer. At this point, however, this trainer was only training me (she finished her teaching credential, so personal training was just a supplemental job). Before I signed a new contract, she and I went to the gym's director of personal training to be sure that I could continue training with THIS PARTICULAR TRAINER. The director assured me that this would be fine, even though the trainer was not interested in picking up any additional clients. With this understanding, I signed the standard contract to purchase personal training; the contract does not specify a trainer, but that was the clear understanding of all parties. What the director of training failed to inform me is that there is a company policy requiring all trainers to train 20 clients per week in order to be employed by L.A. Fitness. Apparently, this policy hadn't been enforced in quite some time, and for the first few months of the new contract, my trainer and I went on as before. But when I arrived for my training session today, I was informed that my trainer "is no longer employed with L.A. fitness, because she failed to comply with a company policy." This is not a new policy, and even though it hasn't been consistently enforced, the director of personal training absolutely knew about it and, knowing my trainer's circumstances, he was being disingenuous (at the very least) when he GUARANTEED that I could continue with the same trainer. Of course, this director has left the company for another gym (I know how to reach him, though, if necessary). The current training director has unapologetically informed me that my contract is for training, period, regardless of what I was told. I could train with another trainer or "buy out" my contract for half of the total amount due. Incidentally, this buy out option is stated on the contract, but it doesn't expressly say that the buy out gets me no additional training sessions. But that's not the primary issue. The issue is that I was given incorrect information at the time I signed the contract. Shouldn't that give me grounds for cancelling that contract? I appreciate your assistance!

Consumer Protection Lawyer: Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law replied 7 years ago

Thank you for the additional information.

 

Question: I signed a personal training contract with L.A. Fitness, but was not given all of the relevant information when I signed. Now I'm told that I can't cancel the contract without paying half of what is still owed: $1,100. For that amount, I receive nothing -- not even the training sessions that amount would normally finance. Is there anything I can do? Because I was misled at the beginning, shouldn't the contract be void?

 

Response: You can cancel the contract and refuse to pay the penalty for cancelling the contract (the buyout option) because of material misrepresentation. Your argument would be that they breached the contract first when they misled you about the personal trainer and their breach released you from further obligation under the contract. Let them sue you if they want to and then you can defend the lawsuit by showing that they knowingly lied to you to induce you to sign the contract. That you would not have renewed the contract if you had known about their policy regarding personal trainers.

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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
Thank you. I'm writing a letter with my cancellation. Is "material misrepresentation" the phrase I should use? I'd like to make my case as convincing as possible, since I'd rather not go to court over this -- or worse, have L.A. Fitness ruin my credit if I refuse to pay the cancellation fee.
Consumer Protection Lawyer: Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law replied 7 years ago

 

Thank you. I'm writing a letter with my cancellation. Is "material misrepresentation" the phrase I should use? I'd like to make my case as convincing as possible, since I'd rather not go to court over this -- or worse, have L.A. Fitness ruin my credit if I refuse to pay the cancellation fee.

 

Response: Yes, material misrepresentation is the word that you should use. This is different from a regular misrepresentation. Material misrepresentation means that their misrepresentation caused you to do something that you would not have done without the misrepresentation, while a regular misrepresentation would not have caused you not to renew the contract.

 

Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 22,714
Experience: B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
This helps a lot. Thank you.
Consumer Protection Lawyer: Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law replied 7 years ago
You are quite Welcome!
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