Choosing a gym

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Consumer

Information about the Fitness Industry Code of Practice

The Fitness Industry Code of Practice has been operating in Western Australia since 1 January 2005

The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety enforces the Code, which protects consumers when dealing with fitness centres and other fitness suppliers.

The Code includes:

  • a 48 hour cooling-off period for all membership agreements;
  • requirements for truth in advertising and the selling of membership agreements;
  • full disclosure of fees and services; and
  • a limit of 12 months payments in advance.

Choosing a fitness centre - questions to ask to help you choose the right fitness centre for you

The code requires that fitness centre promotional material must be truthful and accurate and there must be no high-pressure sales tactics to get you to join.

A centre cannot tell you a membership is 'free' or 'discounted' if the services or facilities are restricted or of lesser quality than usual.

The code says you must be given the opportunity to inspect a fitness centre before you join up. We recommend this, as you may want to:

  • check how busy it is at the times you will attend;
  • check out equipment and cleanliness; and
  • talk with a couple of members to find out what their experience has been.

Not all fitness centres offer the same terms and conditions, so shop around for the agreement that best suits your needs. For example, if you are prone to illness or injury, try to find a fitness centre that allows you to suspend your membership if you are sick or injured.

Key questions to ask

Services and facilities

  • What types of classes are provided?
  • What are the opening hours?
  • What is the experience and qualifications of the staff?
  • Are the trainers and instructors registered with Fitness Australia, or are they accredited by Exercise and Sports Science Australia, or an equivalent industry association?

Prices

  • How much does membership cost?
  • What services are included in the membership fee?
  • What services or facilities require extra fees? e.g. extra costs may apply for a crèche or personal training.
  • What payment options are available? e.g. casual fees, pre-payment, or automatic debits.

Length and kind of agreement

  • Is the membership agreement a fixed-term agreement or an ongoing agreement that will continue until you take action to cancel it?

Ending the agreement

  • Are there any penalties if you want to end the membership agreement early?
  • In what circumstances can you terminate or suspend the membership agreement, e.g. can you end the agreement if you get sick, move house or go on holiday?
  • What procedure do you need to follow to end the agreement?

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