There are few things in life that are absolutely certain but one of them is this.  If you become a member of a gym you will almost certainly lose several pounds each month for the duration of your membership.  The problem is that the pounds in question will not necessarily be body-weight measurements but money.
  • Many people encounter problems with gym membership which is often expensive and not as rewarding as you might hope at the outset. I would say that you should expect nothing less than all-round first class treatment and that you should not accept anything less.  In my experience, the problems tend to fall into three categories.
  • First comes the small print in the terms and conditions regarding all sorts of things, not least of all termination of your membership agreement.  It is absolutely imperative that you read the small print before becoming contractually bound.  If you fall foul of the small print, complain anyway and pick the gym up on any ambiguity in the wording.  In a legal dispute the onus will fall on the gym to demonstrate that their interpretation of the wording is the accurate one.  I am often surprised at how badly drafted the terms and conditions of such organisations can be.
  • The second category tends to be niggles such as luke-warm showers, overcrowded equipment, a lack of towels or grubby changing rooms.  All of these things matter and if you feel strongly about them record your complaint in writing at the earliest possible opportunity.  If nothing is done you may reach the point at which you are able to say that the gym is in what lawyers called “repudiatory breach of contract” – in other words the whole experience is so bad that you can summarily end your membership without being penalised.
  • The third category is more nebulous.  I think a bad gym is one when you sense that the people running it don’t really give a damn.  In the same way as you pay for ambiance at a restaurant, when you go to a gym you are paying for good quality attentive and friendly service.  A failing on this front is harder to bring into a legal dispute and probably only entitles you to vote with your feet as soon as you are able to do so.
  • Although I am an intolerant soul, I am lucky.  Those running my gym are an absolute pleasure to encounter – they know me by name and reputation(!).  As well as being a gym member I also exercise by running with my bearded collie – I often complained to her about all manner of issues but for some reason I have never had a more coherent response than a growl…..