“New year, new you!” That is the phrase often uttered as people make their New Year’s resolutions. Along with budgeting finances, getting in shape is typically the top priority for many with newfound ambition to make this year better than the last.
There were over 1,100 complaints filed with Better Business Bureau in 2017 regarding gym memberships. If you’re looking to join a gym, BBB wants you to consider these tips before you sign on the dotted line:
Determine your fitness goals. Determining your goals in advance will help you select a facility that is most appropriate for you. It’s also a good idea to check with your physician before embarking on a new fitness regiment, especially if you have a medical condition.
Figure out your priorities. What is most important to you? Will a convenient location and extended hours help you stick to your fitness plan? Will a variety of equipment or classes keep you motivated? Do you work out while traveling and prefer a chain with numerous outlets? Determine your top priorities before you start shopping around.
Check bbb.org. BBB has Business Profiles on more than 15,000 health clubs, fitness centers and gyms. Read what previous customers have to say, and see how the businesses respond to complaints. This information may help you narrow down the list of gyms you want to tour in person.
Don’t feel coerced. Do not give in to high-pressure sales tactics to join right away. A reputable gym will give you enough time to read the contract thoroughly, tour the facilities, do some research and make an informed decision.
Calculate the true costs. Gyms often use special introductory offers to encourage new members, but the price could go up more than you budgeted once the initial period is over. Make sure you understand what the regular monthly fees will be and what they include.
Understand the terms. Read the contract carefully before signing. Make sure that all verbal promises made by the salesperson are in writing. What matters is the document you sign, so don’t just take a salesperson’s word for it. What happens if you move or the gym goes out of business? Will your membership renew automatically at the end of the term? Can you get out of the contract altogether and under what circumstances?
For more advice on getting a gym membership, or other related topics, head to BBB.org.