Is it against the law for a gym in Greater Manchester, England to change their rules so that people under 18 are not allowed to use the gym at certain times if they have already paid for a membership? | LawHive - Solicitors & Lawyers Online
Is it against the law for a gym in Greater Manchester, England to change their rules so that people under 18 are not allowed to use the gym at certain times if they have already paid for a membership?
The rule was introduced with no warning. Me and the 7 of my friends i go with cannot now go as we can only get there by 5. I renewed my membership when they did not have the rule, as did all my friends. We renewed them under the impression we can continue to use the gym. The lady that owns the gym said it is effective to all people, even the people like me who have been going for nearly a year. We have never caused issue in the gym, nor have any under 18s. We asked multiple of the people who also expressed distaste of the rule and they all commented on how respectful we all are to the equipment and other members. Is this against the law? Are we at least entitled to refunds? What can we do and how would we go about it? EDIT: I am in Greater Manchester, England.

Cameron Ashley

14th October 2021

+1199

1202 upvotes

Top Answer
They've materially changed the terms of the contract, with no notice. If they won't give you a refund, and let you cancel any contract you're bound by, send them a letter before action and then take them to small claims. https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/law-and-courts/legal-system/small-claims/making-a-small-claim/

Eric Zimmerman

7th February 2022

+445

448 upvotes

Did you renew online? Or in person. If online the 14 day cooling off period may apply

Derrick Battle

7th February 2022

+72

75 upvotes

It falls under "unfair terms" in the consumer rights acts (2015) (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/450410/Unfair_Terms_Explained.pdf) *The business arbitrarily varying terms after they have been agreed, for instance so as to supply a different product, raise the price or reduce consumer rights.* The best thing you can do it **put in writing** that you want to cancel with a full refund" with the key points * renewed on date X * This was not in the terms and conditions at the time of renewing/ signing the membership * this change fundamentally affects your ability to use the service and was arbitrary introduced without notice * is unfair as covered by the CRA 2015 * you have 14 days to respond and repay any outstanding membership

Gilbert Porter

7th February 2022

+1346

1349 upvotes

As you are under 18 you are a minor and the gym is not classed as a necessity, you are actually free to tell them the contract holds no weight in law. Even works if you signed the contract before turning 18 and are now 18 years old. I had a contract annulled when I moved to university under the same principal. Some people might not like my answer since you signed up for the service but you are absolutely free to up and leave.

David Dalton

7th February 2022

+192

195 upvotes

If you can't use the gym then cancel your direct debit through your bank. Might not get you a full refund but at least you won't lose any more money. It would cost the gym too much to come after you for breach of contract

Guadalupe Iorio

7th February 2022

+34

37 upvotes

Can you explain in writing that the unannounced rule change doesn't work for you and can they make it 6 or 6:30, or offer a grace period for the change. Maybe they will negotiate, other options are still available, but you may still want to use gym on weekends and threats of legal action may result in refund but no gym. Saying that, Manchester must have loads of gyms

Helen Vien

7th February 2022

3 upvotes

You're under 18, that makes you a minor. >Since 1969 the age of contractual capacity for individuals has been set at 18 and reaching the age of 18 is known as attaining 'majority'. >Contracts for necessaries are for such things as the supply of food, medicines, accommodation and clothing, but generally speaking conveniences and products and services for comfort or pleasure are excluded, as are commercial or 'trading' contracts. **These latter contracts are therefore voidable at the option of the minor.** (https://www.gillhams.com/site/library/legal_articles/minors_and_contractual_agreements.html)

Jonathon Macfarlane

8th February 2022

+6

9 upvotes

If your paying monthly cancel your DD and say as it's under 14 days you are entitled to a full refund (not last bit is true for renewal or memberships)

Mary Pratt

8th February 2022

+1

4 upvotes

Have you just asked them for a refund? If not, start there?

Joseph Waldal

8th February 2022

Name and shame, lots of gyms seem to be run by con men. We had a fitness by design here that tried getting £700 out of me. Apparently my subscription was actually a loan they took on my behalf. They are closed down now so can't get a form to verify.

Leon Parks

8th February 2022