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January 16, 2024

How to cancel your gym membership without incurring huge costs

Filed under: Fitness — Tags: — admin @ 9:01 pm

Of all the memberships and subscriptions we sign up for, cancelling your gym membership is perhaps the worst.

It’s not just as easy as unchecking a box on a website – often it involves speaking to someone in person and signing a form.

In fact, it’s almost enough to make you just keep putting the act off for months, continuing to pay for a service you’re not actually using.

If you need a little push to help get you over the line, here’s what you need to know.

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What is the easiest way to cancel a gym membership?

Check your contract.

If you signed on to a 12- or 24-month contract, you may need to pay a fee to cancel ongoing payments. 

But if your membership is a month-to-month agreement, you’ll probably only have to pay for the remainder of the month.

If you have a contract from when you first signed up, give it a read-through, or give them a call to see if you’ll need to fork over cash.

For example, Anytime Fitness can charge 50 per cent of the fees remaining on the term you committed to. So, if you signed up for 12 months, and cancel after eight, you can be asked to pay two months’ worth of fees.

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Cancel your gym membership by email

Even if your gym requires you to cancel your membership in person or on the phone, it’s a good idea to send an email with your request too.

According to NSW Fair Trade, this means you can prove the date you requested your membership to end, and can save you from paying for any extra weeks.

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How much notice is required?

The law states that to cancel your gym membership in Australia, you need to five 30 days’ notice, or 14 days if you’re in South Australia or Queensland.

Check your direct debits

You often need to provide the gym with 30 days written notice to stop direct debit deductions, but just because they say they’ll stop, doesn’t guarantee anything.

Check your bank statements in the weeks and months after you cancel just to make sure. 

What if the gym keeps deducting fees?

Under the Fitness Industry Code of Conduct, gyms are required to respond quickly to cancellation requests.

Fair Trading NSW advises talking to your financial institution if the fees continue coming out of your account. Otherwise, get in touch with industry body AUSactive for advice.

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What is a good excuse to cancel a gym membership?

Some gyms will waive your fee with good reason.

If you’re cancelling because of an injury or health reason, get as much proof as possible.

Fernwood Fitness, for example, requires a doctor to complete a permanent capacity declaration and a medical certificate proving your “permanent sickness or physical incapacity”.

If you’re moving house, Anytime Fitness will waive a cancellation fee if you’re moving a set distance away from any of their gyms, once you provide proof of address.

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