Common Gym Frauds and Rip-Offs and How to Avoid Them
Going to a gym is considered to be one of the best ways to get back to shape and also to keep your figure fit and toned. You can try exercising at home, but the reality is that you do not get the kind of environment that you really need and you do not gain the rigorous workouts that you can do, using specialized gym equipment. Gyms offer many ways by which you can increase body fitness and health by doing workouts or exercise routines that are specifically targeted at various body parts.
Working out at the gym has become really popular now-a-days, but as someone considering to opt for a gym membership, it is vital that you enroll yourself into a reputed gym, so that you do not get taken advantage of by gym scams. Here is a look into some gym scams and pointers on how best to tackle them or avoid them.
Scams that you should be aware of:
One of the biggest scams is the one where you can't cancel your club membership. In fact, the problem of membership cancellation is one of the top complaints that have been lodged against fitness clubs with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) recently. Most often membership cancellation happens when a person decides to move to another location. The member assumes that by just informing the club about the move is enough, but the reality is that documented proof is required. The membership cancellation does not happen as a result and the resultant is often the loss of refund. In case of those who pay membership fees on a monthly basis this can translate into something bad like a low credit score or reminders for payments that are due for their period of membership.
Gyms have high-tech equipments, which if well-maintained do not pose any problem to users. However, what is noted in certain gyms is that regular maintenance is not done on time. It is not unusual to note people getting injured as a result of using equipment that is not working smoothly or accidentally because it was not checked or simply there was a design problem. Check the gyms maintenance and cleaning logs, so that you know for sure that the gym area is clean and that all equipments are working normally. Inspect a gym, its environment and equipment condition before signing up the gym contract. A gym that is overcrowded will never offer a hygienic environment and you might have to wait to use the gym equipments of your choice.
Always read the fine print on the contract. Often, the enthusiasm of joining a gym results in a person not looking into what they are in for and sales agents can be quite convincing in getting people to join. It is not uncommon for people to feel that they signed up for something that they did not opt for, like for example, they might find certain charges being made for usage of equipment, that should have come as a free feature of the gym membership. Though most gym specify everything in details in the membership contract itself, but there are times when they do not do this and this can result in you spending more. If the extra fee is a part of the contact and you did not notice, there is nothing that you can do. However, when the fees are levied suddenly, you can argue with the staff for a refund.
There can also be gyms that actually gloss over some details. For example, they may require members to attend gym sessions for a specific period of time, and not doing this can result in a penalty or an extensive membership period, which might not be in the best interests of the person who is joining. Such issues can be avoided by reading the contract terms carefully and also asking those who are also enrolled about how certain terms and condition apply, once you have joined.
There have been times when gyms have collected money from people for membership, but they never opened. Usually the offer is that of a discount or a lower rate for an early joining, but in the course of a couple of weeks, what happens is that money is collected from a lot of people but the gym never opens. Always go to a reputed gym, that offers a decent membership policy and which can show proof of a hygienically maintained environment.
It's not unusual to see gyms sporting certificate that authenticate their functioning. However, it is vital to check the accreditations to find out that they are from a really prestigious and note-worthy organization. Instructors in such gyms are trained and certified, but it is vital to check such certification as well. Often people with certain health problems visit a gym to get the pain caused by a particular problem treated by suggesting appropriate exercising routines. However, this does not work as well even if the instructor is a certified professional, because they do not understand the complete medical dimension of relating exercise to a health problem.
If you are someone with health problem, it is vital that you be realistic about the kind of exercises that you can do in a gym. Gyms always promise that you will get the kind of results that you really want from exercising, but they are not medical professionals, who define exercises and workout routines based on a personal health status. There have been many stories of people getting a sudden cardiac arrest, while working out at the gym. Practically, staff in most gyms is not equipped to handle such situation and so it is advisable not to take up workouts that can be tough on them physically.
You can avoid gym scams by researching about the gym that you are considering to enroll. If you check out the gym facilities thoroughly, you can find out whether the gym environment is well-maintained or not and this will help you determine if enrolling is worth it. These days there are many discussion boards and forums where people discuss gym facilities and the general environment of a particular gym, so you can gather useful information about different people and their personal experience.
Last but not least, always be cautious and pay your utmost attention because your time, money and health are on stake. All the best!