November 27, 2014

Read the fine print on gym contracts

If you’re thinking of joining a gym as part of your New Year’s resolution, consumer protection experts emphasize the importance of reading the membership contract.

“You want make sure what you understand what you’re going to be charged every single month,” says Kimberly Hazen with the Wisconsin Better Business Bureau, including any initiation and membership fees, or automatic renewals. She says make sure you understand what, if any, classes or services are included in the membership price or if those cost extra.

Hazen emphasizes signing the contract is legally binding, a message echoed by Sandy Chalmers, administrator of Wisconsin’s Division of Trade and Consumer Protection. Chalmers says be wary some gyms may have lower fees up front but escalate to higher prices down the road for long-term members.

Hazen says when looking into fitness clubs: consider your own goals, budget, and schedule to determine the right fit.