AG: Read the fine print when signing up for gym membership

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — With the New Year just days away, many people are getting ready to hit the gym.

If getting fit is your New Year’s resolution, Attorney General Peter Kilmartin issued a reminder Tuesday to be alert when choosing a fitness club.

“In a rush to follow through on resolutions to get fit and healthy, many consumers don’t take the time to ask the right questions or know their rights when choosing a gym, often finding themselves in contracts they can’t get out of or paying extra fees for various services,” he explained.

Kilmartin offered some tips on how to make sure you are losing weight, and not money:

First, research the facility. In Rhode Island, health clubs are required to register with the Attorney General’s office. The law also regulates proper rates, cancellation policies and consumer rights.

Ask for recommendations from friends and family.

Make sure to read your contract thoroughly. Be aware of all posted fees and policies and make sure that any promises that were made by the salesperson are included.

Also, get the total cost in writing, including enrollment fees and charges.

Check to see that all of your membership details are clearly outlined. Read the cancellation policy and know how long the membership lasts and whether or not it is automatically renewed.

Finally, visit the gym. Take the opportunity to see the equipment and to gauge which time of day will best suit your needs. If the gym is empty all the time, that could be a red flag.

If something seems wrong and you need to file a complaint against a gym in Rhode Island, you can do so online at www.riag.ri.gov.

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