Many people enter into agreements and contracts without knowing exactly what they are getting themselves into. Clicking “I Agree” on the registration forms of different online services or signing waiver forms are examples of such contracts. We have all been there.
It is important for consumers of goods and services to know that, while they are engaging in a transaction with suppliers by signing contracts, they have rights and those rights are protected under Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act in BC.
Imagine it is January 1st. You are thinking of joining a gym to fulfill at least one of your new year resolutions and/or to shake off that extra 5 pounds you put on during the Christmas. Now, some people really do get into the whole going-to-the-gym thing, good for them. Some people don’t. Or maybe you realize the gym you chose is not the best fit for you. This is when you start thinking about cancellation. You’ll be happy to know that no matter what the gym contract you signed says, in BC, you have 10 days, from the date you receive a copy of the contract, to give a notice of cancellation.
What if the 10-day cooling-off period is over? Then you will have to do a little more than just giving the gym a notice of cancellation. You will have to provide the gym with a statement that sets out your reasons to want to leave the gym. Other than making sure that your reasons are legitimate, there is nothing else that you need to do. All those stories about how much of a nightmare it is to get out of a gym contract, are urban myths… Well not fully but to some point. Just remember that you CAN cancel your membership.
Not many people know their rights with respect to gym contract cancellations. According to the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services in Ontario, between 2015 and 2016, most common topics of gym-related complaints and disputes were contract cancellations and the 10-day cooling-off period.