Withdraw from gym membership within the first 7 or 14 days

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Hello, 

I have started a new gym membership 5 days ago (for 1 year), but forgot to exclude one option (called eGym), that I don't use and that costs me an additional 4 Eur/week

Now, I went there and asked them to exclude this option and to re-calculate the weekly fees. They naturally avoided to do this, by saying that in this case, the admission fees (paid only once) will be full-price (as opposed to discounted, that I had). This is not ok for me, because in this case I will only gain 40 eur for the whole year. 

My question is: Do I have the right of withdrawal from this contract within the first 14 days ? There is an european law that states this for goods bought over the internet (14 day return policy). However, I'm not sure if I have this right in my case. 

 

Thanks in advance,

Alex

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40 minutes ago, Alex Nastas said:

My question is: Do I have the right of withdrawal from this contract within the first 14 days ? There is an european law that states this for goods bought over the internet (14 day return policy). However, I'm not sure if I have this right in my case. 

 

The 14 day right of withdrawal only applies to distance and off-premise sales. So, how did you apply for your gym membership? If you went to the gym and signed a contract (not online and not through a per-post offer) it doesn't apply and you have to check what your contract says about cancelling

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Thanks guys, 

Yeah, I went directly to the gym and signed the contract there. 

The contract has 1 page and doesn't say anything about the early cancellation. 

 

I moved to Germany from France and can say that I'm really disappointed by this "signed in by default, unless expressly opt out" policy. Signing every small contract here is like buying a house. You need to think twice. 

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3 minutes ago, Alex Nastas said:

The contract has 1 page and doesn't say anything about the early cancellation. 

 

What does it say about egym, the reduced admission price and cancellation? You might have to look at the AGB of the gym as well.

 

€4/week is €208 per year...if you only save €40 when you pay the full admission fee, the admission fee is at least €168??

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Well, I guess that's to cover the extra hard treatment of their equipment or extra long hot showers, right? ;) I mean, sabotage is juvenile, but if something should break or need repair costs, I mean, who's to really say how rough one person can be versus another?

 

But yea, welcome to German "customer service". The honourable thing to do would be to simply take that off your contract, no big deal, thanks for doing continuing to do business with us. You can tell them you will not do business with them any more and promptly leave after the contract is over. But Germans don't really think that way about long-term customer retention. It just doesn't compute.

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On 11/6/2018, 10:19:34, Alex Nastas said:

Thanks guys, 

Yeah, I went directly to the gym and signed the contract there. 

The contract has 1 page and doesn't say anything about the early cancellation. 

 

I moved to Germany from France and can say that I'm really disappointed by this "signed in by default, unless expressly opt out" policy. Signing every small contract here is like buying a house. You need to think twice. 

 

Тhat really depends on the gym. The one I use has only one plan at €20/month plus the initial something like €30. Other than that the contract automatically extends every year, it was as simple or simpler as any gym contract in any other country.

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On 11/6/2018, 10:38:35, alderhill said:

Well, I guess that's to cover the extra hard treatment of their equipment or extra long hot showers, right? ;) I mean, sabotage is juvenile, but if something should break or need repair costs, I mean, who's to really say how rough one person can be versus another?

 

But yea, welcome to German "customer service". The honourable thing to do would be to simply take that off your contract, no big deal, thanks for doing continuing to do business with us. You can tell them you will not do business with them any more and promptly leave after the contract is over. But Germans don't really think that way about long-term customer retention. It just doesn't compute.

 

While I don't want to defend it too much, the "the ideal customer signs up in January and disappears until next year" is really the business model of gyms throughout the world.

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"Man, it's so unfair for them to insist on enforcing the contract I didn't read (or understand) before I signed it."

 

- Popular Toytown lament since ca. 2002

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Maybe you could try to negotiate that they will waive the extra fee in exchange for you extending the contract beyond the first year?

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3 hours ago, ilyann said:

While I don't want to defend it too much, the "the ideal customer signs up in January and disappears until next year" is really the business model of gyms throughout the world.

 

Aye, true enough I guess. A euro in the bank is worth two in the customer's pocket. They'd still more for their brand (a novel and alien concept here) if they simply rectified a dumb naive customer's mistake by taking off a service they didn't actually want. Can't adjust a gym contract? Pffffft, poppycock. For obvious reasons they don't want to, but it would be nice if businesses didn't follow the GOTCHA style of subscriptions.

 

At my last gym, I normally paid the yearly fee in October. We moved to a new town in July and as the gym had no branch here (which makes little difference anyway, as they are a franchise), I cancelled the contract. Then I asked for a refund of the unused coming months from August to October, and they did it! These madmen gave me back about 150€! I didn't think they actually would. (Kieser Training, if anyone's curious).

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2 hours ago, alderhill said:

 

At my last gym, I normally paid the yearly fee in October. We moved to a new town in July and as the gym had no branch here (which makes little difference anyway, as they are a franchise), I cancelled the contract. Then I asked for a refund of the unused coming months from August to October, and they did it! These madmen gave me back about 150€! I didn't think they actually would. (Kieser Training, if anyone's curious).

 

How long ago was this? Moving was accepted as a good reason to cancel gym contracts until a court said otherwise a couple of years ago.

 

Some will still accomodate you but they don't have to. Cancelling because of "Umzug" (to a location more than Xkm from the next branch) was explicitly allowed in my Gym's AGB when I signed up. Nowadays that clause is gone. (since they never informed me of the change the old one should still apply but I wouldn't bet on that)

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38 minutes ago, msam said:

 

How long ago was this? Moving was accepted as a good reason to cancel gym contracts until a court said otherwise a couple of years ago.

 

Shit.

I was thinking the only way I could get out of my gym contract was to move to another city.

Now I find that even that may not work.

 

Plan B: How long after you're declared legally dead can you stop paying the gym?

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On 06/11/2018, 10:19:34, Alex Nastas said:

Thanks guys, 

Yeah, I went directly to the gym and signed the contract there. 

The contract has 1 page and doesn't say anything about the early cancellation. 

 

I moved to Germany from France and can say that I'm really disappointed by this "signed in by default, unless expressly opt out" policy. Signing every small contract here is like buying a house. You need to think twice. 

yes, consumer law here is prehistoric. :(

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4 minutes ago, peterLP said:

yes, consumer law here is prehistoric. :(

Yeah, but aside from the 14-day no-questions-asked returns policy on Internet purchases, a 2-year manufacturing warranty on all products, a blanket ban on cold-calling consumers, and the Robinson List to get you off junk mailing lists, what has German consumer law ever done for us?

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22 minutes ago, El Jeffo said:

Yeah, but aside from the 14-day no-questions-asked returns policy on Internet purchases, a 2-year manufacturing warranty on all products, a blanket ban on cold-calling consumers, and the Robinson List to get you off junk mailing lists, what has German consumer law ever done for us?

Yes, it has some fundamentals that accord with other advanced nations - not denying that...it has to, otherwise the system would fail miserably. Predictability and security of basic rights is the foundation of a functioning capitalist democracy....

 

but it is still prehistoric in terms of where it falls behind other advanced nations...such as, most importantly, acknowledging the imbalance of bargaining power between the consumer and most businesses; and the fact that circumstances change between the time of signing the contract and the time that it is ostensibly to end.

 

In other words, consumer law here fails to provide a reasonable semblence of standard contract law principles...which other wealthy capitalist democratic nations do...

all things being equal..."all parties being equal"...one would only sign a contract where one agrees to all the terms of the contract...having thought through what is important, necessary and beneficial. When time or convenience do not allow for that, the law can provide for a "parting of the ways" on terms that can be considered fair to both parties...this more advanced form of consumer law exists, for example, in Australia...and in other countries.

 

so my comments stand true from my perspective...the consumer law protections you mention can be considered consumer law basics in the 21st Century...there are higher levels to be attained, no doubt about it.

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19 minutes ago, RedMidge said:

Common factor in all countries- Read the contract, Read the T&C, Read the cancellation policy.

 

Difficulty factor in Germany: BUT IT'S ALL IN GERRRRMANNNNN *sob*

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23 minutes ago, peterLP said:

Yes, it has some fundamentals that accord with other advanced nations - not denying that...it has to, otherwise the system would fail miserably. Predictability and security of basic rights is the foundation of a functioning capitalist democracy...

 

but it is still prehistoric in terms of where it falls behind other advanced nations...such as, most importantly, acknowledging the imbalance of bargaining power between the consumer and most businesses; and the fact that circumstances change between the time of signing the contract and the time that it is ostensibly to end.

 

In other words, consumer law here fails to provide a reasonable semblence of standard contract law principles...which other wealthy capitalist democratic nations do...

all things being equal..."all parties being equal"...one would only sign a contract where one agrees to all the terms of the contract...having thought through what is important, necessary and beneficial. When time or convenience do not allow for that, the law can provide for a "parting of the ways" on terms that can be considered fair to both parties...this more advanced form of consumer law exists, for example, in Australia...and in other countries.

 

so my comments stand true from my perspective...the consumer law protections you mention can be considered consumer law basics in the 21st Century...there are higher levels to be attained, no doubt about it.

Tell that to the iTunes user agreement. Or an insurance policy. Or, since we're on the subject, any gym contract around the world.

 

Just because you think something a certain way doesn't mean it is. It just means you're unaware. Having your moment of awareness in a foreign country where you don't speak the language is unfortunate, but a frequent occurrence for expats/migrants.

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