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    Has anyone had a letter from Fitness First announcing a price increase?

    I've been at my branch of Fitness First since May 2009 and have been paying £36.95 monthly. I've been umming and ahhing about leaving recently, as my local swimming pool has a small gym downstairs as well as full-time pool access for £30 per month- but then I got a letter today saying that my Fitness First membership would be increasing (due to VAT and rising costs) by £5.55 a month to £42.50! I'm not prepared to pay that much and so will be leaving now- just wondering if other members have had the same news?

    34 Comments

    Yea I have as on £20 now they want £28 forget that, might join aonther one near it (JJB) as they got pool etc and better facilities!!!

    Banned

    Just go to your local council pool.

    Money saved (_;)

    DLM

    Just go to your local council pool.Money saved (_;)



    and catch syphilis oO

    Banned

    sufchenko

    and catch syphilis oO



    Syphilis oO

    ha! probably.
    Now i know why they were cheap

    Yeap, got my letter yesterday. Only joined in June 39.95 for Platnium membership now they want 49.90 some hike. They are using VAT as the main reason. I called their head office and they basically didn't give a ...... They said they could increase it as much as they like and I had to pay as I'm in a 12 month contract. This is not true. Trading Standards said this was a substantial breach of contract. It's the principal that winds me up. Sure after 12 months when I can walk they can increase as much as they like. They must want to ruin their business overnight? We should all complain.... Call your local gym and their head office. 20% increases given the state of the economy is little more than theft.

    I have been a member at Fitness First in Alperton since 2002 i started with a membership of £25 a month and slowly of the time that i have been there are has been a slow steady increase every year of between 50p to a £1.00. I currently pay £31.50 a month. The direct debit for fitness first is gets debited on the 1st of every month on which they debited £31.50 little to my knowledge i received a letter dated the 30th November (Please see letter attached) on the 1st November advising that due to the Government increasing VAT 20% that my membership will be increase by £9.95 so as from the 1st January £43.20. I called my home club last night advising them that i would like to cancel and was told that i need to come in to arrange a appointment to cancel. I was on unhappy and demanded to speak to the Manager she agreed to cancel my membership and when i am next in to come and sign the forms. I called the membership services line this morning and was told if i cancel my account i will still be debited £43.20 on the 1st January because in my terms and conditions on my contract which i signed back in 2002 it states that we need to give a months notice and because they gave me a months notice and today is the 2nd of November. I was then told in membership services if i cancel my direct debit and they don't receive there payment on the 1st January of £43.20 they would then add on £25 for non payment and then send it to a debt collector for them to get there money. Fitness first cleverly sent out there letters to get to member on the 1st November the direct debit date knowing that it was unlikely for us to get a appointment on that date to cancel.

    I am angry that i have been a member of fitness first for over 8 years and never missing a direct debit and they are forcing me to pay an increase fee of £43.20. Why did they not send us out the letters a week before our December direct debit was due?? If my membership cannot remain at the original cost member should be able to cancel free of charge and not be threaten if they don't want to be paying the fee.

    at the current this is my membership break down technically before VAT my membership is £25.98 + 17.5% = £31.50 in January my membership is increased by £9.95 + at the new VAT rate of 20% so its now £25.98 + £9.95 + VAT 20% = £43.11 (They have rounded up to) + 9p = £43.20. So every month i will be paying an extra £11.70 that is £140.40 a year increase on this year.

    Us as consumers need to be protected so all member's who are currently with fitness first can see how fraudulent this company really is! I am going to be forced to pay £43.20 because how they cleverly sent out the letters to its members. I would like you to try and contact John Gamble the UK Managing director to explain these increases to its loyal members. I am so upset.

    I have emailed watchdog and i would like people to email them if they have any similar experiences!!

    watchdog@bbc.co.uk

    The more emails they receive the more likley they are to air it on TV and for us to get answers!!

    I've e-mailed watchdog. Lets turn the screw!

    Banned

    has anyone asked them how a 2.13% increase in price actually adds about 25%?

    Personally if I were in the same situation as post 8 I would just cancel the DD now, and write to them telling them I was cancelling the contract with immediate effect due to their breach of contract.

    "if i cancel my direct debit and they don't receive there payment on the 1st January of £43.20 they would then add on £25 for non payment and then send it to a debt collector for them to get there money"

    Don't be scared of the Debt Collector threat they are as toothless as Fitness First and without going to court they cannot affect your credit score or do anything. They are unlikely to take that action due to the adverse publicity let em bring it on.

    I got one as well, I'm not too happy about it either. My 12 months don't end till may, I wish there was something I could do something about it...

    Leave, and the the money you would have spent on membership invest in a power rack, Olympic weights, bench and a copy of Starting Strength. Job done

    mine is £28.95 a month ....not heard anything

    I have had the letter stating an increase amounting to 47% effective 1st Jan. I tried for 3 days to reach member services without success, I also left my details on an answerphone but haven't yet been called back. I've given notice of cancellation at my club and been told that I'm liable for the January payment as a calendar month notice is required. It's totally unreasonable of fitness first to announce such a huge price hike and not give sufficient time for the customer to decline continuance.

    Banned

    Matrixblade

    Leave, and the the money you would have spent on membership invest in a … Leave, and the the money you would have spent on membership invest in a power rack, Olympic weights, bench and a copy of Starting Strength. Job done



    thats what people are trying to do.

    Banned

    Guys if the price increase goes higher than the retail price index then you have the right to cancel. So 2.13% + 3.2% (guess) = 5.33%
    Edited by: "lumoruk" 6th Dec 2010

    Hi I got one this morning, price increase from 1st of January. Letter is dated 30th November, but was sent second class, so they are not complaing to the one month written notice really......Then the snow delayed it more, but it looks as they are breeching the contract.

    Does anyone have an alternative number to call? The one given is 0844 122661 and there is a queue, I don't want to waste anymore money.....

    I've been a member for nearly 7 years - the way they are repaying my loyalty is to send me the same letter, price increase from 1st Jan and of course the letter is timed so you can't cancel to make Dec 1st your last payment. I have sent an email to the person who 'signed' the letter - his contact info was easily found : John Gamble Telephone: 01202 845103. Email: JohnGamble@fitnessfirst.com
    I expressed my utter shock at such a huge price increase but no one I spoke to cared if I cancelled or not - I am very angry and upset but refused to give in and accept the increase - it's the principle more than anything.

    How on earth do you guys get £20 to £35 prices, when I was looking to join they wanted £50 out of me a month and were saying they were giving me a once in a life time deal that it usually was around £60.

    Mine increased by £9.95 ! Gutted Ima student going uni, hard tyms for me i have emailed watchdog and johngamble! I rang my local branch they told me John gambles email and told me what to do !

    I've been a member for nearly 7 years - the way they are repaying my loyalty is to send me the same letter, price increase from 1st Jan and of course the letter is timed so you can't cancel to make Dec 1st your last payment. I have sent an email to the person who 'signed' the letter - his contact info was easily found : John Gamble Telephone: 01202 845103. Email: JohnGamble@fitnessfirst.com
    I expressed my utter shock at such a huge price increase but no one I spoke to cared if I cancelled or not - I am very angry and upset but refused to give in and accept the increase - it's the principle more than anything.

    On a random note, I don't understand why people put Fitness First stickers on their car windows. Advertising for them and paying the privilege

    Banned

    Matrixblade

    On a random note, I don't understand why people put Fitness First … On a random note, I don't understand why people put Fitness First stickers on their car windows. Advertising for them and paying the privilege



    Is it so other people can see they go to the gym and think people find that attractive?

    I received the increase letter and had a chat with the staff at my club, they didn't know anything about the increases and gave me phone numbers to ring to complain. But as others have said they dont care (at head office that is, my club seem quite good) and kept quoting the terms and conditions and we were going round in circles. The numbers they gave me were 08445713403 and 08445713402. It isn't the money that is causing me a problem it is the principle of a nearly 20% increase whilst I haven't had a pay rise for 3 years. Me and the wife will seriously be looking to cancel at the end of the 12 month contract but we do like the club, people and conveniance for us so we will have to see if I have cooled down enough in the next few weeks.

    I am annoyed by Fitness First's lazy attempt to extract disproportionate fees from members. I've done some research and found the following. Please follow your own judgement but I hope that the following helps.

    STILL WITHIN THE MINIMUM TERM: I am in a similar position to stephenjames16 as my minimum contract is still running. The OFT's guidance is clear: imposing price increases without the opportunity to cancel is unfair under r. 5 of the the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999
    (see: oft.gov.uk/sha…pdf, paragraphs 12.2-12.3). (The Regulations themselves are here: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1999/2083/regulation/5/made)

    I called Fitness First, who pretend not to know understand why they have an obligation of reasonableness. I am writing to Member Services, 58 Fleet Lane, Poole, Dorset BH15 3BT and my home club letting them know that if they increase my direct debit I will pursue the difference via Money Claim (https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/welcome) as I have not accepted the increase in charges.

    FOR THOSE THAT ARE NOT IN THEIR FIXED TERM: it is unlikely that a court will find the increase unreasonable if you are not in your fixed term as you have the option of cancelling your membership. Still, if your terms are like mine, you can reject the increase for January. My terms and conditions state that I must be given one month's notice of an increase (condition 1.12). I received a letter dated 30 November 2010 sent by second class post. Second class mail is only delivered by the third working day following posting (royalmail.com/por…mp2?catId=400028&mediaId=400030&keyname=2CLASS). Therefore they haven't provided one month's notice before 1 January 2011.

    This is hassle that I and other Fitness First members do not need but I do not like companies trying to take advantage of consumers in this way.

    fitnessworst.co.uk

    we cant let them think that treating their customers so unfairly is ok ... please everyone take a few moments to write a few words and let FF know that we wont take this lying down ...

    I received the very same letter stating that my membership price would go up £9.00 from £36,95 to £45,95. That's almost 25%. Thing that bothers me is that some of my friends who train at the same gym and joined the same month as I did got their price raised only by 90 pence to £40,95. How do they come uo with these prices and why some people got a bigger increase than others?
    I asked the staff and even the manager in the gym, but they knew nothing.

    Mine have gone up £5 a month to 33.95 less than some peoples but only joined in May and was told the price I was given was for first year of joining .They offered me discount rates in Dec for my partner n daughter to join with no payments till end of Jan now I know why they were so keen to sign them up quick,glad I didn't go through with it. Gonna cancel as soon as year up

    Yeah, me too. I've been a member for 13 years, which is longer or should I say older than their computer system, and duly received a letter from Mr. Gamble outlining a 22 per cent increase which is ten times this week's VAT increase. Not only is the loyalty been ignored by the comparatively new computer system, but my membership goes back to before my Holborn Circus gym assumed 'Platinum' status. I can testify that no improvements were made then or since which makes me slightly confused by his letter's reference to 'combined with rising costs means we have have to review our prices'? Anyway I spoke to one of his Member Services team and then a counterpart at the above branch, and needless to say they now have one less member to worry about. However after remiding myself of their well chronicled reluctance to cancel direct debits (just google Fitnes First, I will be keeping asking my bank to keep a close eye on the situation.

    Supermod

    Has anyone actually had a formal reply from Fitness First justifying (whether reasonably or not) the reasons for the increase?

    Anyone been bored enough to look up the Wikipedia Fitness First article? It's amazing, it really is so blatantly edited by Fitness First themselves, and if you look through the article's history, there are huge amounts of totally valid dirt that's been stripped out by them. One snipped that took my interest was this one:

    The company also hit most members in Australia with significant fee … The company also hit most members in Australia with significant fee increases in August 2008, in the range of 20% - 30% increase, depending on membership type. The reasons provided for the increases were the number of new clubs opened and "increased general costs". {{Fact|date=May 2009}}




    And this snippet 'ere also seemed interesting -

    In May 2009, the Australian Consumer magazine Choice found Fitness First … In May 2009, the Australian Consumer magazine Choice found Fitness First to have the most aggressive psychological techniques in getting customers to sign complicated contracts and not explaining what the cancellation policy is, in a test involving "shadow shoppers" visiting two gyms run by Fitness First, Contours, Fernwood, Curves and Virgin Active.http://www.smh.com.au/national/gym-chain-slammed-for-putting-itself-first-20090502-aqsw.html



    Good to know it's not just us Brits they treat this way, isn't it?

    I've moved since signing up with FF around 6 years ago, so they first I heard about the price increase was when the DD came out of my account this month. It went up £10 to £48.95. I just called and cancelled. They tried to offer a better deal, but after reading comments online about similar problems I just can't be bothered with them any more. I hope a lot more people cancel their membships!
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