Are gyms closed? Stop paying! | Corona Virus

Viewers of the show invoice Are people in good shape? Just look at the dozens and dozens of emails and phone messages we’ve received about gym closings. They are also aware consumers.

They are wondering if they should continue to pay their subscription to their training center. The simple answer is no. The general principle, as Alexander Blurd, an attorney at Option consommateurs has shown us, is that you do not have to pay for a service that has not been rendered. This is what must be remembered first of all.

Here are some ways to do this that can help you in your process:

1. Some gym chains have simply stopped taking payments. A good practice that pleases subscribers of their channel, who are no longer discounted.

2. Other training centers have the option to stop paying on their website. So you need to start by researching if your gym offers it. If this is the case, you are submitting a stop payment request online. This is the simplest case here.

3. Most people told us that they make pre-authorized payments (every two weeks, every month or even once every six months) and that their gym hasn’t stopped making these payments. What do you do in these cases? You stop paying. Consumer Protection Bureau clear. You no longer have to pay for your subscription.

If your subscription was paid by direct debit on your credit card, you have the right to hold it until the government-ordered closing timeCharles Tangway, a spokesman for the Consumer Protection Bureau explains.

In principle, the way to do this is simple. The customer begins by notifying the merchant, by email or letter, as well as the financial institution that issued the credit card, to stop receiving payments. Several people told us they couldn’t get to their gym, and above all, some credit card issuers were told to stop debiting. Sometimes you have to insist and remind them of the law.

You have to see that in ‘permission’ there is the word ‘ear’. The financial institution is obligated to stop any payment that is no longer authorized and, if applicable, to compensate you for any payment that you would have missed after you have duly notified it of the end of the payment. »

Quote from Charles Tanguyi, a spokesman for the Consumer Protection Bureau

For previously authorized payments on a bank account, start by notifying the merchant that they are no longer authorized to collect payments from your bank account. He has 30 days to stop taking your money.

If it continues after this date, you have 90 days from the date the payment was debited from your account to request a refund from your financial institution. »

Quote from Charles Tanguyi, a spokesman for the Consumer Protection Bureau

4. Some training centers offer their members to continue to pay, while limiting the extension of their subscription to the equivalent of the closed period. Some gyms also offer their members several free weeks as a bonus.

It is not illegal to offer a discount, deferment, or credit and the bonus option can be attractive. »

Quote from Alexander Blurd, Counsellor’s Choice Counsel

On the other hand, you should know that the maximum term of the subscription contract for the training center is one year.

So the trader must not extend a contract in progress if this has the effect of extending the term of the contract beyond one year, but nothing prevents him from offering you, at the end of the contract, to renew this for a period equal to that term. of closing the position at no cost. »

Quote from Charles Tangway, a spokesman for the Consumer Protection Bureau

Amounts already paid

Weights and dumbbells are at rest in these months.

Photo: Radio Canada / Marie-Yves Lapointe

For the amounts already paid that you want to get back, you will first have to try to reach an agreement with your gym. If this is not possible, you can send a letter of request to the merchant before going to small claims court.

You may be tempted to request a refund on your credit card. It should be noted that in the case of subscriptions to a training center, which is the so-called sequential performance service contract, the chargeback request is not applicable. So it is not an option.

On the other hand, the consumer always has the right to object to the payment made using his credit card with the issuer by invoking the fact that he did not have the service for which he paid. Credit card issuers often argue in their terms of use or the advertisements they make regarding the protection offered to the cardholder, that the customer is protected in this type of situation. It is worth asking and, if necessary, insisting. However, there is no guarantee of success.

If you have previously paid your subscription in full, it is recommended that you terminate your contract to avoid losing everything. You should be compensated for everything you have already paid, and for where the gym is closed. On the other hand, the merchant may hypothetically ask you to pay compensation for the remaining months in your contract, as required by law. It would be amazing in the current context. But if that’s the case, try to see if it makes sense for you. If this penalty appears to you to be excessive, you can notify the training center of it and notify the Consumer Protection Bureau and object to it.

In any case, we advise you to send the document by registered mail. The contract is canceled as soon as the form or notice is submitted. From the date it was sent, the merchant has 10 days to give you the money they owe you, if any, and cancel your contract. »

Quote from Charles Tanguyi, a spokesman for the Consumer Protection Bureau

Remember that you have rights and that you do not have to pay a subscription to a training center that you can no longer access.

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