AP NEWS

Fit in the New Year? Commissioner says read the fine print

January 1, 2020 GMT

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut’s Department of Consumer Protection is urging the state’s consumers to do their homework before signing a contract with a gym or health club.

Commissioner Michelle Seagull said better health is often a New Year’s resolution and there tends to be a spike in new gym and health club memberships in January.

“But, sometimes the excitement of working out wears off after a few months and consumers are stuck in health club contracts that they just don’t use,” she said. “That’s why we’re encouraging consumers to do their homework and to be smart before making a commitment.”

Connecticut law requires health clubs to have contracts in writing. The consumer protection department urges consumers to read them closely, know how much they will pay, when the bill will come in and what the cancellation policy will be. The department also recommends reading online reviews, talking to current customers and visiting the club in person.

Health club contracts can only be offered for up to two years and cannot be automatically renewed, with limited exceptions, according to the department. Consumers have a three-day right to cancel a health club contract.