Gym Memberships, Complaints, and now COVID-19

Gyms continue to attract a high number of consumer complaints, so if you’re thinking of joining, make sure you check out our advice for gym memberships.

Let us know your experience with gyms in the comments below.


An article regarding the unscrupulous behaviour of some gym chains.


The word on gym memberships now that they are closed for an indefinite period.


Here’s what happens when your gym shuts down due to COVID:


I am a member of Surge fitness, due to my contract that I signed it is up now, however they are saying due to co-vid and membership was on hold I still have to pay till January now is this correct?


Hi @Cathy1, welcome to the community. I have moved your post here as Choice has written an article on COVID-19 and gym memberships. (see the post above yours with the linked article).

A couple of questions,

  1. Did your gym notify you of any changes in membership as a result of forced closure through COVID-19 controls?
  2. Have you been paying for membership while the gym was closed?
  3. Do you have your original contract when you joined and what did it say in relation to periods where service can’t be provided?

Cathy1 Yes I have the same problem. I signed a 12 month gym memberships and have given The Required one months notice butThey are trying to tell me that due to the government closure this time is now added to my contract I have scoured my contact and no where is there a provision for the gym closing and extendding my membership and they also did not n offer this option. I have also contacted the bank to ensure that no direct debits come out but they cannot guarantee this will prevent a debit being processed but they will raise a dispute if need be. The only other alternative is to cancel the credit card altogether So basically a pain in the bum.

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I joined Fernwood just before lockdown and got to attend only two classes. Due to a health issue, I’m unable to be vaccinated so I’m still unable to attend classes due to state mandates. From July to November, I only got to attend two classes not through any fault of mine. I want to cancel my membership because I’m unable to attend but they want me to pay $400 in cancellation and sign up fees, when I only attended two classes. They are such an unreasonable company to deal with. I looked at online reviews (buyer beware and I wish I’d done that first before signing up) and lots of people report similar Covid (and pre-Covid) related cancellation issues where Fernwood is just completely unreasonable, they overcharge extortionate fees and their contract is completely deceptive. Given the number of similar complaints online about their contracts, they should take the time to explain all the cancellation fees in their sales speel; instead, they gloss over this information and are completely deceptive when signing up new members. A lot of older women are members at Fernwood and I am sure they are also being scammed and deceived as I was. My recommendation would be to never do business with this organisation and to definitely read the online reviews first.

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Hi @amazcin, welcome to the community.

I have moved your post to and existing thread about gym memberships and Covid. It is worth reading the Choice article linked in an above post about your rights and things you may be able to do to get a resolution.


Thanks so much. Had already read that article and tried everything suggested. Now trying to make other buyers aware (buyer beware).