Legal Question in Consumer Law in New York

My husband signed a gym contract in August 2010 and $30 a month is being charged to our credit card. On the contract it says the contract can be cancelled for medical reasons: "If you become disabled or suffer from a medical condition that prohibits you from physical exercise this must be confirmed in writing by your physician". In November my husband was having medical problems and saw a doctor who advised him against working out. He gave my husband a note on his prescription pad: "Has ongoing problems with hemorrhoids/bleeding and was advised against strenuous activity." My husband went to the gym to cancel his contract and was told he needed to see a manager, but that they didn't know when a manager would be in. I told him I would type a letter up and would contact the gym and fax the letter with the doctor's note to a manager. Long story short, I have faxed this letter 3 different times every time getting a verbal confirmation and speaking with 3 different people, 2 of them managers. One manager denied ever speaking with me but I have a phone log from my phone company showing I called and faxed the gym on those days. After the 3rd fax to the 2nd manager she accused us of lying to get out of the contract and still refuses to cancel it. I'm tempted to cancel our credit card but don't want to screw up our credit. If I would have known this gym was going to screw us over I would have sent the letter certified mail. The 2nd manager told me that a fax confirmation is my only proof. Are my phone records enough to prove I have contacted them to cancel this membership?

Asked on 2/24/11, 7:42 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Jason Stern Law Offices of Jason Stern

Unfortunately, this has become all too common in the fitness industry.

It sounds as though you have done more than enough to legally cancel the contract. I'd suggest a letter to corporate headquarters of the gym, but it sounds as though this is corporate's decision to do anything to retain customers and their monthly dues.

When being ripped off like this in a service industry, it's always a good idea to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. Filing a complaint with the state trade commission is also a smart move.

Let me know which company this is and I will try to advise you what your best next step should be.

Good luck!

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Answered on 2/24/11, 10:06 am

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