The swings and roundabouts of gym contracts

gymWouldn’t it have been great if the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) was around back in the early 2000s when the LeisureNet and Health and Racquet Club debacle came to fruition? Rodney Mitchell and Peter Gardner, former LeisureNet bosses, were finally convicted of fraud to the total of R12 million in 2007. This crime of fraud has been listed as one of the top financial crimes of our time.

Since then, fixed term contracts have come under scrutiny and the CPA has been developed to do exactly what it says. Protect the consumer. However, gyms and fitness centres have remained suspicious entities and when signing a contract with them you need to read the fine print carefully. It’s unfortunate as maintaining your health through a fit lifestyle is popular and trending among many people.

Gym contract complaints and concerns are a common problem highlighted with the National Consumer Commission (NCC)

Specifically, it’s suggested that around 75% of complaints to the NCC regarding gym contracts have to do with cancellation concerns. Exiting a gym contract seems to be a notoriously difficult thing to do. In reality, with the new act in place, it’s possible to cancel your gym contract if the requirements of the CPA are met. If you find yourself stuck in this predicament you can find out more about the act by obtaining legal advice.

People are turning to the alternatives to gym to maintain their active healthy lifestyles

Because gyms have this somewhat uncomfortable reputation and their contracts appear difficult get out of lots of fitness fanatics have turned to alternative environments in which to exercise. There are exciting ways of keeping fit that don’t require a gym environment.

Outdoor sports such as hiking, mountain biking or trail running are very popular activities that will wear out your muscles better than any gym training session. Also, you can join groups of people who partake in parkour. Parkour is military-based obstacle-course type training in public parks and city centres. It’s a daring sport that challenges you to make your way through an obstacle ridden environment in the most efficient way possible without the help of equipment or team members.

There are also communities that host free yoga sessions in local community halls or parks. This is usually to market a studio nearby but also to introduce people to this type of exercising and create a sense of community amongst the folk in the neighbourhood. Similarly, you may find dance classes or karate classes taking place in your nearby community hall that are taught by a private teacher who won’t make you sign any contracts but will expect a monthly or termly fee for your attendance.