Before you sign a gym contract

Posted: April 29, 2013

Star staff report

Ed Johnson of the Better Business Bureau of Washington, D.C., and Eastern Pennsylvania advises anyone considering joining a gym consider these questions before signing a contract:

Is it an introductory offer? Clubs like to entice new members by discounting rates or offering additional services. Find out how long the special rate lasts and how much the club will cost. “You might find a surprise later,” Johnson said.

Does the membership renew automatically? If the fee is coming out of your checking account or charged to your credit card, you will still be charged even after you decide to stop going.

How do I get out of the contract?

Is the location convenient? Is there someone to help you use the equipment?

What happens if the gym moves or shuts down?

Can you afford it? “It’s important for consumers to understand if they can afford the monthly payment,” Johnson said.