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CONTACT 13: What to know before signing gym contract

Posted at 11:00 PM, Jan 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-11 02:39:56-05

Did you make any New Year's resolutions? Many of us promise to eat better and get to the gym when January comes around. But as one valley man recently learned, a gym contract can sometimes be tricky. So he reached out to Contact 13, which delivered the help he was looking for.

"It's the principle of the thing. They shouldn't have done this," says Mike Hudanish.
He isn't happy with his gym. It all started last February, when he blew out his knee, requiring surgery.
"I called them up and told them what happened and then I asked them, told them, as of today I'm canceling my contract," Hudanish says.
The contract clearly shows all Hudanish needs to do is call the Member Service Department.
"I did that," Hudanish says.
But 6 months later, he found a problem. While looking at a bank statement, he realized the gym was still charging him $20 a month.
"I notified my bank first. They did an investigation, and they refunded me my money," Hudanish says.
He got back $120. But when he called to speak with a manager at the gym, he was told he still owed the money. They sent Hudanish this copy of his contract. And this time, it told him he was required to cancel in writing.
"The next thing I knew, I started getting calls from a collection company. ... It was pretty frustrating, because it affected my credit," Hudanish says.
That's when he turned to Call For Action. Our volunteers contacted the gym and pointed out Hudanish's original contract only states that he should call to cancel. Hudanish says that's when the gym finally decided to drop the charges.
"You guys helped me, and I want to thank you," Hudanish says.
"As with any contract, you need to read the fine print and be completely aware of what you're agreeing to," says Rhonda Mettler with the Southern Nevada Better Business Bureau.
She says gym membership complaints are common. So before you sign up, figure out your priorities: consider the gym's location, hours, equipment and classes offered. 
"You can also see if they have a free week trial. To see if that's going to be the place for you," Mettler says.
At the very least, take a tour of the facility. And then calculate the true costs. Make sure you understand what the regular monthly fees include.
Click here for the BBB's complete rundown on what to know before joining the gym.