Charlotte BBB cautions public from committing to New Years resolution contracts right away

Updated: Dec. 24, 2019 at 9:18 AM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - As 2020 approaches, many people will sign up for a gym membership to achieve their New Year resolutions. The Better Business Bureau of Charlotte recommends doing these things before signing a contract.

According to President of the BBB, Tom Bartholomy, don’t rush into a contract even if the gym says the deal will be gone tomorrow.

“Don’t get so wrapped up into okay I have to sign today,” Bartholomy said. “If they’re telling you that you have to sign today, the deal is going to be gone tomorrow then maybe you should take a step back.”

He recommends first touring the gym in person.

“Tour it when you would normally be working out,” Bartholomy said. “Don’t go at 3 in the afternoon when you’re going to be working out at 6 in the morning.”

During the tour, he says to pay attention to the condition of the facility like proper lighting, cleanliness, and functional machinery. He says poor maintenance could be an indication of a business in financial trouble.

“In a normal year, at least one to two large fitness centers in our market will close and will leave people with a membership for a full year or a number of classes that they paid for in advance… what happens to those? Nothing basically, you are out of luck.”

He recommends doing the math on whatever promotion is offered to you to ensure that the low monthly fee isn’t outweighed by high joining or annual fees down the line.

He also says to understand and read the gym’s cancellation policy thoroughly.

“The biggest complaint we get is when you go to cancel and the hoops, they make you jump through,” Bartholomy said.

If you sign a contract and have buyer’s remorse, there is a three-day right-to-cancel law in North Carolina.

“If they don’t offer that option then they are breaking the law and a complaint to the BBB or the Attorney General will take care of that.”

South Carolina does not offer the same out.

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