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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 70209
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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I'm trying to get out of a gym contract and need some advice

Customer Question

I'm trying to get out of a gym contract and need some advice
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My membership at Gymbox started 12 september but this week I asked them to cancel it as the gym is far too busy and small at the time I use it in the morning.
They've said i can't cancel as there's no cooling off period and that I am obliged to stay for the full 18 months.
I did see an 18 month gym contract is not legally binding as considered "unfair". i said this to them but they said I had options for a lower time frame so it is valid.
They've said i can buy my way out by paying 50% of the full fee at GBP350 but I don't think I should as I've been three times and I've only been there two weeks.
If I cancel my direct debit could I end up in legal trouble and will it affect my credit rating?
I know now I shouldn't have signed up so quickly but they had an offer on where i saved money on a joining fee and I was travelling with work so panicked about losing out on offer
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Do you accept there is no cooing off period?

Im afraid 18 months contracts are not unfair within the meaning of UCTA.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have no get out clause?
I have not said anything in response to their saying there is no colling off period. i was hoping legally as I'm so early in to my contract that some sort of legal colling off period could be exercised?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Not unless you agreed one. There is no automatic cooling off period save for distance sales and anyway that would be void because you have used the service.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

If you agreed a contract for 18 months then that is not void under UCTA. There was some caselaw that challenged rolling contracts of much longer but it hasn't been extended to this.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Usually with gyms they receive payment up front for the full membership from a finance company and then the contract is for the repayment of that sum with their financer. Therefore, it is not void under UCTA as the money has been paid.

If you cancel your credit card they probably will add a default to your credit rating. Whether they will sue is another matter. That doesn't happen often.

You could always offer a lesser sum in full and final settlement although you do bear the risk of a default anyway. If you are going to do that make sure you agree it on the basis of no default.

Can I clarify anything for you?