If your New Year’s resolution is to join a gym, be aware of new rules regarding fitness industry
“Exercising more” is a popular New Year’s resolution, so if you’re thinking about signing-up to a gym or fitness class in 2022, it’s worth knowing that things might be a little different to the last time you joined.
This is because six months ago, on July 1, 2021, the rules governing WA’s fitness industry changed to provide better protection for consumers and to capture a wider range of providers that now include personal trainers, group exercise organisers and yoga classes.
After signing-up, you now have up to seven days to cancel a contract without penalty, plus transparent pricing requirements make it easier to compare the value of different fitness services.
Your membership agreement must now include a summary statement to help you understand your responsibilities and it should also state whether it involves an ongoing month-to-month renewal or is a fixed term contract of no longer than 12 months.
Should you decide that the fitness service is no longer for you, you won’t need to arrive in-person to cancel your membership. Cancellations can now be made online, with direct debits required to stop immediately.
The fitness provider is required to notify you before automatically renewing your membership, thus giving you the opportunity to cancel without penalty.
The Fitness Industry Code of Practice can be viewed on our website and if you believe a provider has breached the rules you can lodge a complaint with us.
Some consumers prefer exercising at home, so if you’re considering buying gym equipment, watch out for fake websites and adverts claiming to sell fitness gear at bargain prices.
Our WA ScamNet team recently heard from two victims who lost $1309 to a scam site calling itself “AXM Fitness Group” after responding to adverts on social media and classified sites.
There are a number of ways to protect yourself from online shopping scams like this one, with the best warning sign being the method of payment.
If the only way to pay is via bank transfer, using a money order, pre-loaded money card or a crypto-currency such as Bitcoin, it’s probably a scam.
Candice Evans is senior regional officer for Consumer Protection in the Mid West and Murchison.
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