Health and Fitness Clubs
As more companies have become involved in the lucrative fitness industry, problems with health spas have grown. Some health and fitness centers have closed their doors without warning their members while others never opened for business after taking consumers’ money for memberships.
Many states are enacting legislation to regulate the operation of heath clubs. These laws include provisions such as these:
- Health clubs must register with the state and pay an annual filing fee.
- Consumers have three days after signing a contract with a health spa to cancel the agreement. Health clubs are required to refund consumers’ money within 30 days if the contract is canceled within three days.
- Health clubs must provide for an extension (freeze period) of the consumer’s membership for time lost due to a temporary disability. Contracts can be canceled if the consumer becomes permanently disabled or dies.
- All health spa contracts must be in writing; contracts cannot exceed 36 months.
- Consumers may cancel if their contracts don’t contain provisions informing them of their right to a three-day cancellation period, cancellation due to death or permanent disability, and a freeze period.
- All money collected before a club opening must be held in escrow, until the health club opens. Clubs that post a bond are exempt from this provision.
- Consumers are not responsible for the balance due on a health club contract if the club has closed and failed to provide alternative services within 10 miles of the spa’s original location.
If you are a victim of health related consumer fraud, contact Consumer Fraud Online to discuss your options.