Don’t make my mistake, learn from my foolishness. Don’t under any circumstances sign up for LA Fitness membership. It’s what I’m calling “a scam”, although it may not be a scam, in the legal sense of the word. But I think it might be on the edge.
Here’s my problem – and it’s not unique to me – I was offered a three day trial membership. This part is almost certainly a scam. There is no trial membership. You call up to arrange an “appointment” with one of the trainers. What happens here is, you’re given a sell. A hard sell.It is at this point that the promises, the encouragement and the dealing starts. During this process, you will be bullied in to joining. Can you get the three day pass during this time? I don’t know. I never found out, because I was bullied in to signing up. The bullying is quite subtle, I suppose, you’re basically told, if you don’t sign up there and then, the price will go up. From what I can tell, this is a lie anyway, and the price of your membership is based on what the salesperson wants to give you as a deal.
If you got a three day pass, enjoyed the thee days, and walked out without the above sell. Let me know in the comments below.
But, the bit of this I have a massive problem with, is what you are agreeing to. This won’t be explained to you when you’re signing up, and you’d need to read ALL the terms and conditions to see it, but you are taking a credit agreement. This is why I think LA Fitness membership is a scam. Rather than subscribing to the service of their gym, what you are actually doing, is taking out a loan. Yes, that’s right. A LOAN.
You are borrowing a sum of money from LA Fitness. This amount is repayable over the course of your membership. That might be 12 months, or 24 months. This is the same as borrowing money from a shop for a large purchase, like a TV or cooker. I don’t know if LA Fitness credit scores, I suspect it doesn’t.
I bet 99 per cent of the people who sign up to LA Fitness have no idea about this. If you’re an LA Fitness member, check the stuff that was emailed to you when you subscribed. Again, please let me know in the comments if you WERE aware what you were signing. It’s also important to point out, when you sign this credit agreement, it’s done on a computer terminal that’s connected to the LA Fitness website. When I looked at it, it wasn’t clear that it was a credit agreement. I am literally JUST finding this out.
Aside from all that, the promises that LA Fitness are a different kind of gym are all lies too. When you go in – no wonder they don’t give you a three day pass, if they did, I doubt anyone would join – you’ll see the same old thing. The meatheads that pump iron day-in, day-out. The rude staff. The ageing facilities. You’ll be promised help from the staff, and an exercise plan, but unless you badger them, it will never appear.
So now, I have a gym I don’t go to, and no way to get out of the contract. I can’t claim to be pregnant, and have a husband who has lost their job, but then that wouldn’t make any difference anyway…
In the morning, I’m going to ask the LA Fitness press department for a comment on this. I’ll also be talking to my bank about the legality of such credit agreements. If you are a lawyer, I’d love to know what you think. Get in touch via the comments, or send me a tweet @IanMorris78.