South Africa Law

Get Your South African Law Questions Answered by Experts

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

South Africa Law

Today I received an sms from JM Attorneys stating that Planet…

Customer Question
Today I received an sms...
Today I received an sms from JM Attorneys stating that Planet Fitness have handed me over for an amount of R6182. I took out the original 36 month contract on 23 June 2005 for and paid an amount of R8344 for my wife and I. There was only one additional amount that I had to pay and that was a R229 annual levy.

On my copy of the contract there is a section for this R229 annual levy and for debit orders to be filled in. The contract in this section stipulates that after the initial 36 month period is completed they have the right to deduct R229 per month, but the salesman assured me that we had to complete this section so that the R229 annual levy could be taken but would not be for an annual debit order. I was unsure so we left that section empty (I did not put in my account details) and I said I would pay this manually each year and he said that would be fine.

The initial contract ended 1 December 2008. They do not have my bank account details, but in 19months I have not received a single phonecall, letter or email requesting payment, yet they now get me on my cell which is the same as then. The contract states that after 2 payments have been missed they will follow legal processes. I fthis happened the misunderstanding could have been rectified at a low cost, but now after 19 months the figure they want is ridiculous.

Furthermore, we left johannesburg in June 2006. I tried to contact Planet Fitness telephonically to try find out how to get the contract moved to another branch. No luck. i then went into the bracnh with a letter requesting the change. They said they couldn't do it but when in Cape Town I should ask my new branch to organise it. I tried to do this on several occassions and even paid them a fee to have it moved - but it never was (although we completed all their forms etc to do so). The gym was not a Megaclub like in Jhb so we decided to move to a Virgin Active which is closer and nicer. But we gave Planet Fitness a letter (physically) stating that we would be terminating our contracts. They said that they would submit the letter for us. I do not have a copy of this letter or proof of letter as I submitted physically and never thought that I would need a copy - how naive. I do acknowledge that I possibly owe them R229 annual levy for 5 years a sthis was how the "debit order/annual levy section" was explained (misrepresented ) to me by the salesman. What are my options here. Apparently these attorneys are really tough and do not work with people to sort things out. I don't have money for this or for legal fees. Someon eplease help us.
Submitted: 7 years ago.Category: South Africa Law
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own South Africa Law Question
Answered in 1 hour by:
7/3/2010
Lawyer: Mike Otis, Legal Advisor replied 7 years ago
Mike Otis
Mike Otis, Legal Advisor
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 2,161
Experience: B.Comm; LL.B; LL.M.
Verified
Dear Sir,

Thank you for your question. JM Attorneys are in fact debt collectors. As you have experienced, debt collectors tend to take a very aggressive (and uncompromising) approach to debt collecting. In my opinion, there does not seem to be any basis upon which they can claim the annual levy for 5 years if the contract was only for 3 years.

Furthermore, you are fully entitled to a breakdown of any alleged debts owed to Planet Fitness. While it is advisable to instruct a local attorney to act on your behalf, you could also request these details yourself.

Another issue that needs your attention is the choice of clause that is usually contained in a membership contract of this nature. Please read through your contract to establish exactly what you need to do to change your chosen to your present address. Usually, it is required that you advise Planet Fitness in writing (registered post) of your new address. If this is not required, do it anyway, and send a similar notice to JM Attorneys. The importance of this lies in the fact that JM Attorneys would be entitled to serve summons at your (previous) chosen domicilium address. If you are not aware of the summons, they will proceed to take default judgment against you, which would place you at a disadvantage in the further conduct of this matter.

Changing your domicilium address would force them, if they are serious about pursuing this matter, to serve summons on you at your new address (or your place of employment), which will enable you to timeously defend the action.

Once you receive summons, it is advisable to instruct an attorney to represent you. In terms of the magistrates' rules (rules 15 & 16), you will be entitled to request copies of all statements & other particulars of their claim. Bear in mind that there are time limits to all these steps, so urgency is of the essence.

It is important, when dealing with debt collectors, to not allow them to intimidate you. Stand your ground and get legal representation if necessary.

I trust you find the above in order.

Yours faithfully,
Mike Otis
Mike Otis, Legal Advisor
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 2,161
Experience: B.Comm; LL.B; LL.M.
Verified
Mike Otis and 87 other South Africa Law Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Ask Mike Otis Your Own Question
Mike Otis
Mike Otis
Mike Otis, Legal Advisor
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 2,161
2,161 Satisfied Customers
Experience: B.Comm; LL.B; LL.M.

Mike Otis is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem.

TonyApopka, FL

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

PHINEAS MOTAUNG

PHINEAS MOTAUNG

Attorney

113 satisfied customers

BACHELOR OF LAWS

Emil

Emil

Attorney

33 satisfied customers

BCom Law LLB, 3 years post article experience as attorney

LCP

LCP

Attorney

21 satisfied customers

BCom (Stell) LLB LLM

Freddie Lombard

Freddie Lombard

Attorney

2,705 satisfied customers

Practicing attorney and conveyancer with 16 years post article experience.

Shaie Zindel

Shaie Zindel

Attorney

1,248 satisfied customers

All areas of commercial and contract Law - specialist in property advice.

inciteadvisor

inciteadvisor

Commercial Lawyer

814 satisfied customers

B.Com LLB Registered Corporate lawywer

Christiaan K

Christiaan K

169 satisfied customers

Attorney & Director at Lombard Kotze Incorporated

< Previous | Next >

Related South Africa Law Questions
Can you sign a lease with a dormant cc. We are busy renewing
We are busy renewing our lease on a certain property, but I noticed that the lease is in the name of one of our dormant cc's, it has always been that way - the lease is paid through another company and the dormant cc does not even have a bank account … read more
Freddie Lombard
Freddie Lombard
Attorney
Bachelor's Degree
2,705 satisfied customers
My Ex Husband hasn't seen or spoken to our 14 year old
My Ex Husband hasn't seen or spoken to our 14 year old daughter in over a year. He is an abusive narcissist, who has never paid maintenance in the seven years we have been apart. We are both holders o… read more
Freddie Lombard
Freddie Lombard
Attorney
Bachelor's Degree
2,705 satisfied customers
Please advise me whether we have any rights to adverse
Hi Please advise me whether we have any rights to adverse possession...... My husband got divorced in 1996 where he and his ex court order was that he pay her R380000 , he did not have the money and t… read more
Christiaan K
Christiaan K
LLB
169 satisfied customers
What is the legal requirements in setting up a diesel
What is the legal requirements in setting up a diesel storage facility where various users buying it in bulk and dispense diesel into their own vehicles. From Ekuhuleni east Rand. Legal requirements l… read more
Barendb
Barendb
Master's Degree
777 satisfied customers
Thank you. I need to find out at what age can children make
Hi and thank you. I need to find out at what age can children make their own decisions if they don't want to spend weekends at their other parent? … read more
Freddie Lombard
Freddie Lombard
Attorney
Bachelor's Degree
2,705 satisfied customers
Please help..can you sent me the Act and Section number of
Hi, please help..can you sent me the Act and Section number of the Law stated that cousins can get married … read more
Freddie Lombard
Freddie Lombard
Attorney
Bachelor's Degree
2,705 satisfied customers
I wanted to know what a courier company's obligations are in
Hi, I wanted to know what a courier company's obligations are in terms of informing on the fact that duties/taxes may be payable in a foreign country when sent from South Africa. I can understand that… read more
Christiaan K
Christiaan K
LLB
169 satisfied customers
My neighbour has threatened to change the lock on the
hi my neighbour has threatened to change the lock on the communal gate to stop me renting my property out what can I do? … read more
Christiaan K
Christiaan K
LLB
169 satisfied customers
I have been falsely accused of theft by a client of mine - I
Hi, I have been falsely accused of theft by a client of mine - I have proof on whats up that architect instructed me to remove shutters & burglar bars (as well as a site meeting between client, archit… read more
Freddie Lombard
Freddie Lombard
Attorney
Bachelor's Degree
2,705 satisfied customers
If a junior colleague spreads lies that as I said something
Hi, if a junior colleague spreads lies that as I said something degoratory about another colleague who is my subordinate, is that demafation or crimea injuria? Can I sue him for that? … read more
JW Fourie
JW Fourie
Attorney
Bachelor\u0027s Degree
6,698 satisfied customers
I have a friend that just phoned me. The company opened its
I have a friend that just phoned me . The company opened its door in December and said that they will pay weekly wages. Then they changed it to a monthly salary in after the first week. All the employ… read more
Freddie Lombard
Freddie Lombard
Attorney
Bachelor's Degree
2,705 satisfied customers
How can we go about having new lie detection technology
How can we go about having new lie detection technology accepted at the CCMA? Is it possible to make a presentation to the CCMA as a body to have the technology accepted in principle so Commissioners … read more
CaseLaw
CaseLaw
Attorney
Bachelor's Degree
785 satisfied customers
Pls help with this, I was arrested for crossing the border
Hello pls help with this , I was arrested for crossing the border without a passport nd I only paid a bail , with my fingerprint prints taken , the second case was of stealing airtime from some one th… read more
CaseLaw
CaseLaw
Attorney
Bachelor's Degree
785 satisfied customers
In my question I don't want to mention any party at this
In my question I don't want to mention any party at this time. My question will follow hereafter. … read more
Freddie Lombard
Freddie Lombard
Attorney
Bachelor's Degree
2,705 satisfied customers
I WANT TO KNOW IF I PAID MY VEHICLE OFF AND HAD R O
I WANT TO KNOW IF I PAID MY VEHICLE OFF AND HAD R O OUTSTANDING BUT THEY STILL TOOK THE MONEY SO I OVERPAID CAN I CLAIM BACK … read more
Freddie Lombard
Freddie Lombard
Attorney
Bachelor's Degree
2,705 satisfied customers
I'v been farming now 4 11years. The farm is in a family
Hi! I'v been farming now 4 11years. The farm is in a family trust, wich I'm not one of. My wife left me and now I'm stranded. I never claimed any salary 4 that whole period. I did ask 4 compensation, … read more
Freddie Lombard
Freddie Lombard
Attorney
Bachelor's Degree
2,705 satisfied customers
My wife runs a business for another person. She has recently
My wife runs a business for another person. She has recently been accused by the owner of the business of committing fraud, when she in fact has no idea what he is stalking about. He states he has pro… read more
Freddie Lombard
Freddie Lombard
Attorney
Bachelor's Degree
2,705 satisfied customers
Note that I keep getting cut off. My credit card has so far
Please note that I keep getting cut off. My credit card has so far been debited twice with R490.00. Do I get charged without getting through???LEAVE CLASSIFICATION OF LEAVE All leave mentioned herein … read more
Freddie Lombard
Freddie Lombard
Attorney
Bachelor's Degree
2,705 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x