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Matt Kean
Minister for Better Regulation

Get ripped, not ripped off in the New Year

Festive feasting can snatch even the fittest person off guard, but NSW consumers are being warned against rushing into gym contracts in the New Year.

Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said getting ripped after Christmas can be more painful than pulling a hammy if consumers get locked into unfair deals.

“Getting in shape is a popular New Years’ resolution, but some gyms will treat you like a dumbbell and pressure you into a deal that’s simply no good,” Mr Kean said.

“I’ve heard horror stories of consumers being locked into expensive 12 or 18 month contracts – stuck paying for a membership that doesn’t do squat for them.”

Fair Trading’s tips for getting ripped, not ripped off include:

  • Don’t feel pressured by salespeople into signing up on the spot;
  • Take time to read the terms and conditions. Take the contract home and read through the fine print;
  • Don’t just choose the cheapest option. Consider a no-lock-in contract, or a six month contract, as the cheapest may turn out to be more expensive in the long run; and
  • Check if there’s a cooling off period. If there isn’t, ask for one.

“Don’t box jump to conclusions, always read the fine print and ask plenty of questions before you sign the dotted line. There are hundreds of complaints every year, but we want to ensure consumers are happy and healthy in 2019,” Mr Kean said.

Number of complaints to NSW Fair Trading about health clubs and gyms:

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

435 complaints

587 complaints

547 complaints

547 complaints

416 complaints

The reminder comes after the NSW Government’s nation-leading Better Business Reforms, which improve transparency in terms and conditions, passed Parliament in October.

Consumers who can’t resolve disputes directly with a gym can contact Fitness Australia on 1300 211 311, or NSW Fair Trading at fairtrading.nsw.gov.au