Sudbury

Know your rights when it comes to joining a fitness club

As people continue to flock to gyms and fitness clubs as 2017 gets underway, the province is reminding residents they have consumer rights under Ontario's Consumer Protection Act.

If you sign a membership contract that requires you pay $50 or more in advance, you are protected

Ontario's Ministry of Government and Consumer Services says you can choose to pay month-to-month at a gym or fitness club instead of paying up-front for the whole year. The business can charge up to 25 per cent more for monthly payments than the total cost of the annual, up-front fee.

As people continue to flock to gyms and fitness clubs as 2017 gets underway, the province is reminding residents they have consumer rights under Ontario's Consumer Protection Act.

The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services says this is the time when gyms and fitness clubs offer tempting financial incentives like free passes and time-sensitive promotions for classes and memberships.

And for those who do decide to make a commitment to a gym or club, it's important to remember they are entitled to a 10-day cooling-off period

"You have the right to cancel a gym membership within 10 days of receiving a written copy of your contract, without providing a reason," the ministry states in a news release.

"All you need to do is give notice to the business, preferably in writing. Use this 10-day cooling-off period to test out the facility to see if it's right for you."

The ministry says it has dealt with more than 1,110 gym- and fitness club-related complaints and inquiries between 2015 and 2016. The most common topics included contract cancellations, billing disputes and the 10-day cooling-off period.

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