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When joining a gym, make a New Year’s resolution to read the fine print: bureau

Stock photo of a gym.
Stock photo of a gym. Getty Images

When 2018 rolls around, several Canadians will have made a New Year’s resolution to drop weight and live a healthy lifestyle.

But the Better Business Bureau (BBB) Serving Mainland B.C. has another idea for a resolution: read the fine print on any contract you sign at a gym.

Coverage of Consumer Matters on Globalnews.ca:

“Going into it with a New Year’s resolution and then sort of getting bored with it after two months doesn’t mean you can cancel your contract and just walk away scot-free,” BBB spokesman Evan Kelly told CKNW.

“There’s going to be penalties.”

WATCH: What you should know before buying a gym membership

What you should know before buying a gym membership
What you should know before buying a gym membership
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The BBB Serving Mainland B.C. fielded 51 complaints about gyms and health clubs in 2017, Kelly said in a news release.

And most of those complaints had to do with contract or billing problems.

Gyms make bank using annual contracts, Kelly said.

READ MORE: Brampton woman stuck with $3,600 bill after joining Life Time Athletic

He said it’s important for people to look at the contract and understand “what cancellation fees are, if there are any other added fees.”

In other words, it’s all about understanding the kind of arrangement that you’re entering.

Kelly had a number of tips for people joining gyms:

  • Watch the introductory offers: make sure you know how much you’ll be paying once those introductory periods are over
  • Tour the facility: know whether a particular gym is the right one for the goals you want to hit
  • Leaving a contract: know when you join what you’ll have to do if you ever want to cancel your membership

In other words, pursue your goals. But be sure to ask lots of questions, too.

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