Matt Kean has issued a warning on gym memberships.
Matt Kean has issued a warning on gym memberships.

Gym ‘horror stories’ spark membership warning

DESPITE the Christmas guilt you're feeling after stuffing yourself with too much turkey, you might want to pause for thought before rushing to sign up to a gym.

As New Year's resolution decision time approaches, NSW Innovation and Better Regulation Minister Matt Kean has warned festive revellers they should look closely at the fine print on their contracts - saying he has heard of hundreds of complaints from disappointed gym-junkies.

"Getting in shape is a popular New Year's resolution, but some gyms will treat you like a dumbbell and pressure you into a deal that's simply no good," Mr Kean said.

More than 416 NSW residents complained about gyms and health clubs in 2018. Picture: iStock
More than 416 NSW residents complained about gyms and health clubs in 2018. Picture: iStock

 

"I've heard horror stories of consumers being locked into expensive 12 or 18-month contracts - stuck paying for a membership that doesn't do squat for them."

His warning comes after 416 NSW residents complained about gyms and health clubs in 2018 - slightly down on 547 complaints in 2017 and 2016, 587 complaints in 2015 and 435 complaints in 2014.

Fair Trading said fitness fanatics shouldn't feel pressured to sign up for membership on the spot.

Instead, it advises you to take the contract home so you can read the terms and conditions properly.

"Don't just choose the cheapest option," the department warned.

Matt Kean said you need to read the small print on your contract very carefully. Picture: Fair Trading
Matt Kean said you need to read the small print on your contract very carefully. Picture: Fair Trading

"Consider a no-lock-in contract, or a six-month contract, as the cheapest may turn out to be more expensive in the long run.

"Check if there's a cooling-off period. If there isn't, ask for one."

Mr Kean added: "Don't jump to conclusions. Always read the fine print and ask plenty of questions before you sign the dotted line.

"There are hundreds of complaints every year, but we want to ensure consumers are happy and healthy in 2019."