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Breaking gym contract
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Ryre Offline
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Post: #1
Breaking gym contract
I want to get out of a gym membership contract. The gym is unpleasant (low ceilings, no windows, shitty music that is often too loud to comfortably drown out with headphones) and lacks important equipment (bumper plates).

The contract is pretty standard, the only ways out are to wait until a year is up, become totally disabled, or provide proof of change of residence. There's a list of acceptable documentation.

The way I see it I have two choices:

1. Go to them, explain why I am dissatisfied, and ask them to let me out of the contract. (I have already made a couple of complaints about the music, but the music is standard for this chain of gyms, dictated by the corporate hq, and can't be changed). Perhaps threaten them with bad reviews (they keep emailing me for comments/endorsements, I have already left a couple negative ones, maybe offer to remove those as well).

2. Fake a residence change. Pick a document from their list, e.g. lease, and draw one up from a fake company showing that I have taken new housing. Maybe use a real address (friend or family member) in case they mail something there.

Problem with #1 is that if I try it and it doesn't work I am stuck, I can't then do #2. Problem with #2 is that it is crime. On the off chance I were somehow caught that'd be a big deal, especially for someone in my profession. Also I generally try to avoid dishonesty; I have fewer qualms when it comes to a corporation in a fairly unscrupulous business, but the fact that I am generally honest almost makes me worry that I'd screw up from lack of experience.

Thoughts/advice, especially from people who have worked in the industry of who have successfully done this themselves?
10-24-2015 02:03 PM
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wi30 Offline
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Post: #2
RE: breaking gym contract
Without reading the contract, we can only make assumptions. You signed the contract so you have a duty to uphold your end and pay for the membership until it expires.

With that said, how picky are they about documents? For example, could you get away with say "moving back in with your parents"? I mean, you can't provide documentation if there is no new lease. Or maybe say you are moving in with a buddy out of state who owns his home?

You'll never win with your first option so don't even bother with that. While number two is both dishonest and illegal, there is a good chance no one would be able to prove you did anything wrong. I view this type of thing in the same gray area as not reporting tips or taking cash only if providing a service. It's both morally wrong and illegal, but the odds of getting caught are astronomically low. And with how the gov't treats its citizens, is it really that bad? Most people, including myself, can see the justifications of those who make these types of choices. In other words, if they gym is treating you shitty, do you have a moral obligation to uphold your end of the contract?

It's ultimately your path and life choice, so if you can shake off the guilt and bullshit your way out of it, all the power to you.
10-24-2015 02:43 PM
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Ryre Offline
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Post: #3
RE: breaking gym contract
(10-24-2015 02:43 PM)wi30 Wrote:  With that said, how picky are they about documents? For example, could you get away with say "moving back in with your parents"? I mean, you can't provide documentation if there is no new lease. Or maybe say you are moving in with a buddy out of state who owns his home?

Moderately picky. A business card with a new address won't work, nor a piece of junk mail. But a utility bill or bank statement will. So I suppose there' s an option 3, or 2.5: change my address with my bank to a friend or family member's, get a bank statement at the new address, submit. At least then I am not actually drafting a fraudulent document. On the other hand I have to involve someone else and wait.
10-24-2015 03:50 PM
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WanderingSoul Offline
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Post: #4
RE: breaking gym contract
You signed the contract knowing all of these things. Honor it.

Or offer to buy the contract out at .33 on the dollar.
10-24-2015 04:20 PM
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Saweeep
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Post: #5
RE: breaking gym contract
If you're scared of your second option being a crime you should come hang out in Florida for a couple of months

(11-15-2014 09:06 AM)Little Dark Wrote:  This thread is not going in the direction I was hoping for.
10-24-2015 04:35 PM
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Ryre Offline
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Post: #6
RE: breaking gym contract
(10-24-2015 04:20 PM)RioNomad Wrote:  You signed the contract knowing all of these things. Honor it.

Or offer to buy the contract out at .33 on the dollar.

I don't want this thread to become about the ethics of the situation, but since both responses so far have brought it up I'll speak briefly to my thinking. My views were formed in part during the financial/housing crisis of 2008. It was common then to hear moralistic statements about how homeowners should not walk away from underwater mortgages, even if it was to their financial advantage. They signed the papers and had a moral duty to pay the debt.

At the same time we were treated to a closeup look at the financial industry in all its coldblooded glory. Do you think that big business hesitates for one second over moral concerns about whether to declare bankruptcy, break a contract, etc.? I do not. They do what's best for them, and penalties, litigation, etc. are just a cost of doing business.

So in dealing with big business, you are unilaterally disarming if you adhere to some old-school salt-of-the-earth morality. Your boss might give you a big song and dance about how is you take this promotion the company is investing in you and he needs your assurance you'll be with them long term. But if circumstances change, it's "clean out your desk."

So I have a different moral standard for promises, etc. made in the world of business than between people. I actually consider this a bit of a Red Pill truth. Big business gives lip service to morality while playing hardball, just like some Hollywood type gives lip service to feminism while banging models and hot chicks talk about wanting nice guys while banging rock stars.

I'd like to resolve this without outright lying, falsifying documents, or committing any crime. If that is the only way, I'll have to think about it.
10-24-2015 04:49 PM
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wi30 Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Breaking gym contract
Unfortunately, life doesn't have a reset. Don't take my post as an attempt at moral authority. For example, a few weeks ago I called my employer and said, "Fuck you, I'm not getting paid enough for this bullshit. I made more at my other job. Have a good day"

Am I an asshole for not giving them two weeks? You betcha. Am I an asshole for doing what was best for my situation? Absolutely not. I am obliged to take care of myself.
10-24-2015 07:11 PM
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Goldin Boy Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Breaking gym contract
I don't want this thread to become about the ethics of the situation, but since both responses so far have brought it up I'll speak briefly to my thinking. My views were formed in part during the financial/housing crisis of 2008. It was common then to hear moralistic statements about how homeowners should not walk away from underwater mortgages, even if it was to their financial advantage. They signed the papers and had a moral duty to pay the debt....{snip}


I'd like to resolve this without outright lying, falsifying documents, or committing any crime. If that is the only way, I'll have to think about it.
[/quote]

I was just about to make the same point you did.

Corporations are legally people. Faceless, soulless people, who do nothing but try to make as much money possible at the expense of everyone around them. They have no honor, no morals and will stop at nothing to protect their profits, even if that's mean hurting people(physically, financially, etc) in the process.

It's naive to talk about honor in this scenario. Don't bring a knife to a gun fight. Just do number 2. If you get caught, unless this gym is a $500 a month, siccing a laywer on you is going to be way too costly. And two questions:

1) You live in the US? Where do you live where gym memberships are sacrosanct under the law?

What's the worst they can do if you say "Fuck you", cancel the source of the recurring charge(card?) and go on on your merry way?

2) You said the gym is in bad shape and lack equipment. Why didn't you do a tour before you signed up?

(08-18-2016 12:05 PM)dicknixon72 Wrote:  ...and nothing quite surprises me anymore. If I looked out my showroom window and saw a fully-nude woman force-fucking an alligator with a strap-on while snorting xanex on the roof of her rental car with her three children locked inside with the windows rolled up, I wouldn't be entirely amazed.
10-24-2015 07:13 PM
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Brodiaga Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Breaking gym contract
So, gyms these days make you sign up long term contracts, just like landlords and internet providers do? I say fuck'em. They make people's lives more difficult on purpose. At least a landlord can argue that it takes time and money to prepare the apartment and find a tenant which is why the lease is long term. No the case with gyms. IMO, op should lie to them and do whatever it takes to cancel the contract. I don't see any ethical issues with that at all.
(This post was last modified: 10-24-2015 07:35 PM by Brodiaga.)
10-24-2015 07:33 PM
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Rush87 Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Breaking gym contract
(10-24-2015 02:03 PM)Ryre Wrote:  I want to get out of a gym membership contract. The gym is unpleasant (low ceilings, no windows, shitty music that is often too loud to comfortably drown out with headphones) and lacks important equipment (bumper plates).

The contract is pretty standard, the only ways out are to wait until a year is up, become totally disabled, or provide proof of change of residence. There's a list of acceptable documentation.

The way I see it I have two choices:

1. Go to them, explain why I am dissatisfied, and ask them to let me out of the contract. (I have already made a couple of complaints about the music, but the music is standard for this chain of gyms, dictated by the corporate hq, and can't be changed). Perhaps threaten them with bad reviews (they keep emailing me for comments/endorsements, I have already left a couple negative ones, maybe offer to remove those as well).

2. Fake a residence change. Pick a document from their list, e.g. lease, and draw one up from a fake company showing that I have taken new housing. Maybe use a real address (friend or family member) in case they mail something there.

Problem with #1 is that if I try it and it doesn't work I am stuck, I can't then do #2. Problem with #2 is that it is crime. On the off chance I were somehow caught that'd be a big deal, especially for someone in my profession. Also I generally try to avoid dishonesty; I have fewer qualms when it comes to a corporation in a fairly unscrupulous business, but the fact that I am generally honest almost makes me worry that I'd screw up from lack of experience.

Thoughts/advice, especially from people who have worked in the industry of who have successfully done this themselves?

Not sure if the states operate in a similar manner to Australia but I owned a franchise gym. There are 'strict' rules but virtually any doctors certificate can get you out of contract. A fake relocation letter. Fake air tickets. It's really very very easy here.

Just like anything though at least a cordial relationship with the gyms manager will help.
10-25-2015 08:09 AM
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Saweeep Offline
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Post: #11
RE: Breaking gym contract
(10-24-2015 07:33 PM)Brodiaga Wrote:  I don't see any ethical issues with that at all.

Really?

You don't believe in contract law?

I wonder if you'd be so inclined if the shoe was on the other foot...
10-25-2015 06:54 PM
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Krivo Offline
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Post: #12
RE: Breaking gym contract
Do you really need to show "total disability" to void the contract? Perhaps you could fake an injury during a workout due to the gym's negligence (equipment was wet, poorly maintained, etc.) Easier said than done, and shady as hell, but might be the best option. They might be grateful just to not get sued.
10-25-2015 07:18 PM
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Post: #13
RE: Breaking gym contract
(10-25-2015 06:54 PM)CrashBangWallop Wrote:  
(10-24-2015 07:33 PM)Brodiaga Wrote:  I don't see any ethical issues with that at all.

Really?

You don't believe in contract law?

I wonder if you'd be so inclined if the shoe was on the other foot...

I believe the issue is not that the law should be thrown out the window, but that many of these types of contracts - gym, cell phone, insurance, etc - are so one-sided so that I don't know how they're valid. Most of them give the business the right to break the contract at any time (ie tell him he's not unwanted at the gym anymore, tell him they're cancelling his homeowners insurance, etc) but they don't afford us any recourse or remedy at all even if we have legitimate reasons for wanting to break the contract. And there's nothing we can do about it because we can't negotiate our own terms for these types of McContracts except to accept them.
10-25-2015 07:23 PM
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el mechanico Offline
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Post: #14
RE: Breaking gym contract
Tell them you are transgender and getting ready for a series of procedures and you feel creeped out buy some of the members.

They'll drop you like a hot potato.
10-25-2015 07:24 PM
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Ryre Offline
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RE: Breaking gym contract
(10-25-2015 07:23 PM)monster Wrote:  
(10-25-2015 06:54 PM)CrashBangWallop Wrote:  
(10-24-2015 07:33 PM)Brodiaga Wrote:  I don't see any ethical issues with that at all.

Really?

You don't believe in contract law?

I wonder if you'd be so inclined if the shoe was on the other foot...

I believe the issue is not that the law should be thrown out the window, but that many of these types of contracts - gym, cell phone, insurance, etc - are so one-sided so that I don't know how they're valid. Most of them give the business the right to break the contract at any time (ie tell him he's not unwanted at the gym anymore, tell him they're cancelling his homeowners insurance, etc) but they don't afford us any recourse or remedy at all even if we have legitimate reasons for wanting to break the contract. And there's nothing we can do about it because we can't negotiate our own terms for these types of McContracts except to accept them.

Yeah. For instance, it occurred to me today, if I just stop paying, they'll give the debt to a collection agency and it'll hurt my credit. How come there are no circumstances under which I get to hurt their credit?

This isn't to say that I think contracts are meaningless and it is ok to lie, cheat, and steal to get out of them. But it is foolish to regard a contract with a corporation the same way you would a promise to a friend. This is a business deal. Businesses play hardball when it comes to contracts, debts, etc. So should I.
10-25-2015 08:06 PM
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the Thing Offline
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Post: #16
RE: Breaking gym contract
Does your contract state anything about in what condition the premises or the equipment should be in?

Go to a doctor (a sketchy one like the ones that basically hand out weed prescriptions for $100 a pop in San Francisco) get a doctor's note stating that you need some equipment in some condition for physical therapy, or that you need windows because you're claustrophobic, or something else, done.

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10-26-2015 05:53 AM
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Rawmeo Offline
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Post: #17
RE: Breaking gym contract
Brodiaga nailed it. An apartment has a 1-year lease because it takes a lot of work to clean everything, make the paperwork, fix things, hire workers if needed, prepare the apartment, deal with the new tenants moving, plus having no guarantee of finding a new tenant should the current one dieappear.

A gym has nothing of that. You just walk in or walk out. Should you decide to disappear, they wouldn't even notice. Only their accounting department would notice, since they had the "brillant" (not) idea to make you sign for 1 year, and they would even dare sending a collection agency to force you to pay the gym.

Which makes me think in the first place, why did you sign a 1 year contract with such an unethical company? Anyway, the damage is done, so I'll give advice on what you should do: You are in USA, a country where people sue McDonald's for getting a coffee burn from dropping the coffee. People sue for everything. I'd suggest you do this:
- Don't talk about breaking the contract
- Get "an injury" at the gym, because of something "their fault"
- Say that you will take a few days to rest
- After that, inform them of your invalidity. Get a paper if needed, it's extremely easy to get at a doctor
- They will count themselves lucky to not get sued, and won't bother you.

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10-26-2015 06:32 AM
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The Beast1 Offline
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Post: #18
RE: Breaking gym contract
Did you give the gym your social security number or any bank details?

If no and they only have your credit card, I'd simply cancel the credit card and just stop showing up. Let the account go past due.

Take an extra step and change your address and phone number on file so they really can't find you.

Gym contracts are retarded. Doesn't make any sense.
10-26-2015 09:02 AM
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joost Offline
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Post: #19
RE: Breaking gym contract
This is a good example of how you should avoid those long term commitment discounts.
Sometimes you're not happy with the service and you want to leave.

It's like finding a nice girl. You're not sure if she's really loyal and you buy her an apartment!
10-26-2015 09:14 AM
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Phoenix Offline
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Post: #20
RE: Breaking gym contract
(10-25-2015 07:24 PM)el mechanico Wrote:  Tell them you are transgender and getting ready for a series of procedures and you feel creeped out buy some of the members.

They'll drop you like a hot potato.

This. Or just show up in the girls changing room one day in a dress. I'm sure you'll get a "so about that previous contract cancellation request... we've talked it over again with head office and..." speech soon enough.

Western gyms are pretty much all contract based now simply because of all the fat lazy fucks who sign up at new years and never visit beyond January. Its a bullshit thing that you can't get 'pay-per-go' gyms anymore, but technically you're still getting a free ride off the fat lazy fucks, because they factor them into the contract prices.
https://www.creditdonkey.com/gym-members...stics.html

In Asia though, plenty of pay-per-go gyms still available. Banana
10-26-2015 09:33 AM
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NO_LIMIT_CRACKA Offline
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Post: #21
RE: Breaking gym contract
Just wanted to chime in to lol at all the holier than thou people going on about UPHOLD THE CONTRACT LAW it's just a shitty gym that locked you into a 1-2 year contract, why would you care about them, they got enough money out of you
10-26-2015 04:18 PM
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Saweeep Offline
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Post: #22
RE: Breaking gym contract
(10-26-2015 04:18 PM)NO_LIMIT_CRACKA Wrote:  Just wanted to chime in to lol at all the holier than thou people going on about UPHOLD THE CONTRACT LAW it's just a shitty gym that locked you into a 1-2 year contract, why would you care about them, they got enough money out of you

Yeah but where does that attitude end?

When your car insurers don't fancy covering you? When your employer doesn't fancy paying you?

One can't really pick and choose if you ask me.
10-26-2015 09:35 PM
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Phoenix Offline
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Post: #23
RE: Breaking gym contract
(10-26-2015 04:18 PM)NO_LIMIT_CRACKA Wrote:  Just wanted to chime in to lol at all the holier than thou people going on about UPHOLD THE CONTRACT LAW it's just a shitty gym that locked you into a 1-2 year contract, why would you care about them, they got enough money out of you

Hilarious. Woman's hamster:
"I came home with him, I went to his bedroom, I took off my clothes, I let him get on top of me, and then had sex. The next day I felt very bad, I never really agreed to the sex. I had no control over the situation. I was raped".

Man's hamster:
"I got in my car and drove to the gym, I walked into the gym, I talked to the rep about a gym membership, he told me the prices and contract length, I checked out the gym, I thought it was OK, I signed the contract. The next day I felt like I didn't really like the gym. They "locked" me into a contract. I had no control over the situation. I was contract raped."

tard
10-26-2015 09:57 PM
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Ryre Offline
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Post: #24
RE: Breaking gym contract
(10-26-2015 09:57 PM)Phoenix Wrote:  Hilarious. Woman's hamster:
"I came home with him, I went to his bedroom, I took off my clothes, I let him get on top of me, and then had sex. The next day I felt very bad, I never really agreed to the sex. I had no control over the situation. I was raped".

Man's hamster:
"I got in my car and drove to the gym, I walked into the gym, I talked to the rep about a gym membership, he told me the prices and contract length, I checked out the gym, I thought it was OK, I signed the contract. The next day I felt like I didn't really like the gym. They "locked" me into a contract. I had no control over the situation. I was contract raped."

tard

Businessman's hamster:
"Let's get people to sign long-term contracts for our services and then provide the absolute least, worst service we can get away with. Let's hope they just stop using our service but keep paying. We'll make it as hard to cancel as we can and might just 'lose' their paperwork a few times if they do try to cancel. If they object we'll tell them 'hey, you signed the contract, you are morally bound to pay.' Meanwhile let's play hardball with our employees, suppliers, landlord, the government, etc. If it is cheaper to renegotiate, default, go bankrupt, sue, pay a penalty, etc. than to do the right thing, then fuck morality."

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10-27-2015 09:04 AM
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heavy Offline
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Post: #25
RE: Breaking gym contract
^^ which is why I don't blame the women for their behavior these days, I blame society that let's them get away with it.

I don't condone breaking the contract, but I don't judge it much either. Shameful society that allows people to break contracts so easily, but that's the our society.

I am against government handouts, I vote against them and take a stance against them, but if the government is going to give me a handout, it makes no sense not to take it.

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10-27-2015 09:15 AM
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