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Gyms have a bad reputation for not actually canceling your gym membership. So what do you do if they ignore your cancellation emails and continue charging your card long after the cancellation? Here are some tips to make sure you don’t get bitched by an unscrupulous gym.
Check your gym membership contract
Before you dispute a charge to your credit or debit card after the cancellation, check your contract first. While many gyms charge a monthly recurring fee, some may have a minimum term of three or six months, especially if they were part of a discounted membership offer. The gym might also have a clause that says they must stand in for one final payment 30 days in advance. If so, you’d be hooked for this month.
What you don’t want to do is stop payments while you’re still on the contract, as these fees are legitimate and can be sent to a debt collection agency (so don’t assume that an expiring credit card will simply “cancel” the service – these monthly fees will still be charged).
How to contact the gym to cancel your membership
Lifehacker has an in-depth post on how to submit a cancellation request to any major fitness chain, along with a template of how your email or letter should be written. here. For most gyms, that’s all you have to do. However, if that doesn’t work, you should personally cancel your membership at the gym. And if that is not possible, please try again by sending a registered cancellation notice, which will require a signature from a gym employee upon receipt.
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Contact your bank or credit card company
If all of the previous options have failed, dispute the charge with your card issuer, either as an online form on their website (if they provide it) or by mail (they should have a specific mailing address to dispute the charge). with this template provided by the Federal Trade Commission.
Make sure you do it right away as you need to send the letter within 60 calendar days the date the disputed fee was sent to you. After receipt, the exhibitor has 30 days to respond in writing and must process your complaint within two billing cycles.
If you paid by credit card, the issuer will suspend the charge until the investigation is complete. However, debit cards have weaker protection, so you won’t see the money until after the investigation is complete.
Extra steps to save others from the same problem
Consider passing it on to other consumers by filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau hereas enough complaints can alert authorities to gyms that have fraudulent billing practices. Another option is to file a complaint with your Public prosecutoras they can mediate disputes between businesses and consumers.