AG Rutledge’s warning about new gym memberships

Local News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – One of the top New Year’s Resolutions is to join a gym and get in shape. If that is your goal for 2020, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has a warning.

“Investing in your health is important for your physical and mental well being,” Attorney General Rutledge said in a press release. “But reading the fine print, getting all sales promises in writing and knowing the cancellation and billing policies are crucial in securing your fiscal well being and avoiding any unfortunate surprises.”

Rutledge shared some concerns received by her office on poor practices at health clubs and what to look out for before signing on the dotted line.

  • Visit the spa or gym during the hours you would normally attend. Note the condition and cleanliness of the equipment and if the facilities are overcrowded.
  • Compare several gyms in the area.
  • Ask about trial periods so you can sample the gym without obligation to join.
  • Ask about hours of operation and any limits to certain memberships.
  • Do instructors and trainers have special qualifications or expertise to best serve its members?
  • Ask what the cancellation policy is upfront and the costs of any joining or cancellation fees.
  • Consider the form of payment. Remember which bank card or bank account number are on file to make the cancellation process easier.
  • Ask about automatic renewal policies and any recurring annual fees.
  • If signing a contract for a specific time period, are there extenuating circumstances that would allow breaks in the contract such as injury, illness or moving?

Before joining a fitness center, consider contacting the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office or the Better Business Bureau to find out if complaints have been filed against the gym.

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