Cooling-off periods for fitness memberships
Fitness industry requirements are changing
Effective 1 July 2021, all fitness suppliers must adhere to requirements of the new Fair Trading (Fitness Industry Code of Practice) Regulations 2020 (WA) (Fitness Code), which include changes to membership agreements and fees, cooling-off periods and cancellation processes.
In the meantime, fitness suppliers must continue to follow the current interim code.
Although some fitness suppliers may choose to implement the new Fitness Code requirements sooner, they are not mandatory until 1 July 2021.
This page provides information for both the current interim code and the new Fitness Code to ensure you are informed for either situation.
You have a specified cooling-off period to cancel your membership agreement
The cooling-off period means you can cancel your membership agreement, without needing to give a reason, during a specified period immediately after both you and the fitness service signed the agreement.
The cooling-off period for gym memberships under the current interim code is 48 hours.
The cooling-off period for fitness services memberships under the new Fitness Code is seven days. Examples of a fitness service under the new Fitness Code include a 24/7 gym, an outdoor boot camp, a personal trainer or a yoga class.
The fitness service must give you a copy of the signed agreement, including the time and date that the cooling-off period starts and ends. This copy can be provided electronically or on paper.
If you are sold a membership agreement before a fitness service begins, for example opening a new fitness centre, the cooling-off period ends 48 hours/seven days after the fitness centre opens.
Ending the agreement during the cooling-off period
If you want to end the agreement before the cooling-off period expires, you must do it in writing. There is no set wording for the written notice; however, we have provided a sample letter below as a guide.
Sample letter cancelling a membership agreement within the cooling-off period
Dear XYZ Health Club
I hereby terminate my membership agreement with your fitness service during the (48-hour/seven-day) cooling-off period provided under the contract in accordance with the Fitness Industry Code of Practice.
My membership number is xxxx.
Please refund the fees I have paid minus the amount you are entitled to retain under my membership agreement and in accordance with the Fitness Industry Code of Practice.
You are welcome to contact me on xxxx xxxx.
You should keep some evidence that the fitness centre received the written notice within the cooling-off period. Keep a copy of the notice and:
- send it by email and ask for acknowledgement of receipt; or
- deliver it to the fitness service during opening hours and either ask for a receipt that includes the time, date and name of staff member, or make a note of this information.
The fitness service must refund any money you have paid in advance. They may deduct the costs of any services you have already used, including exercise screenings.
The fitness service may also deduct a reasonable administration fee if it is included in the membership agreement.
Your refund must be provided within 14 days.
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