One of the most frequent New Year's resolutions that people make is to join a gym. If you resolve to get in shape in 2014, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) has tips to help you get fit, without getting taken.
Each year, the BBB receives complaints about fitness clubs and exercise programs. The most common complaints that consumers have focus on two areas: contract disputes and billing issues.
"After weeks of holiday parties and big meals, many people resolve to join a gym and lose weight," said BBB President Tom Bartholomy. "Given that the New Year is the peak time for gym membership sales, the BBB encourages consumers to read the fine print before signing a fitness club contract."
While some complaints regarding billing are basic billing errors, the majority of billing complaints center on being billed after the member felt their contract had expired. Many consumers either assumed their contract would not be renewed, or filed the appropriate paper work to cancel their membership, but continued to have fees withdrawn from their bank accounts.
Contract disputes vary, but typically involve disagreements over promises made by the salesperson versus what the membership actually included.
"If you are looking to join a gym, you should do your research before you sign a contract," added Bartholomy. "In the last 36 months, the BBB has received thousands of inquiries about gyms and fitness clubs."
The BBB has six tips to help you get fit without getting taken:
For more information, please visit BBB or call 1-877-317-7236 toll-free in N.C. and S.C.