In a High Court case earlier this year, a sports club was taken to court by the OFT (Office of Fair Trading) and the judge held that certain terms were unfair. These included:
• Terms restricting the right of a member to terminate a 12 month or longer period even if there are good reasons for wanting to terminate – e.g. ill health
• Requiring full payment of fees for the minimum membership period if the contract is ended early
• Requiring payment even where the member had a genuine dispute about the quality of the gym.
• Threatening to report a non-paying member to the credit reference agencies in certain circumstances
The OFT has been keeping a close eye on sports clubs over the years and they have even issued a long report entitled ‘Guidance on unfair terms in health and fitness club agreements’, with warnings against using various clauses including those that try to exclude any liability of the club for death or personal injury.
This case is a recent example of the OFT flexing their muscles with a sports organisation that they felt had overstepped the mark. For the full judgment click here.
ContractStore now offers a Sports Club Membership Agreement and, as always, we have been careful to ensure our terms are both user-friendly and fair to both parties.