How to Stop a Gym From Charging Your Card After Canceling Your Membership

Gyms have a terrible reputation for not actually canceling your gym membership, so what do you do if they ignore your cancellation emails and keep charging your card long after you refused? Here are some tips to help you stay out of an unscrupulous gym.

Review your gym membership agreement

Before you dispute a commission after a credit or debit card cancellation, please check your contract first. While many gyms will charge a regular monthly fee, some may have a minimum period, such as three or six months, especially if this was part of a discounted membership offer. The gym may also have a clause that says they need 30 days’ notice for the last payment. In this case, you will be on the hook for this month.

What you don’t want to do is stop payments while you still have a contract, as these charges are legitimate and can be sent to a collection agency (which is why you shouldn’t assume that an expiring credit card is just “canceling” the service – these monthly payments will still apply).

How to contact a gym to cancel your membership

Lifehacker has a detailed post on how to make a cancellation request for each major fitness chain, as well as a template for how your email or letter should be written, here. For most gyms, this is all you need to do. However, if that doesn’t work, you should cancel your gym membership in person. Alternatively, if that is not possible, try sending another cancellation notice by certified mail, which requires the signature of the gym employee upon receipt.

Contact your bank or credit card issuer

If all the previous options did not work, dispute the charge with your card issuer using the online form on their website (if they provide one) or by mail (they must have a specific mailing address to dispute the charge) using this template. provided by the Federal Trade Commission.

Make sure you do this right away, as you must send the letter within 60 calendar days from the date the disputed payment was sent to you. Once received, the issuer has 30 days to respond in writing and must resolve your complaint within two billing cycles.

If you paid by credit card, the issuer will suspend the debit pending investigation. Debit cards have weaker protection, however, so you won’t see the money back until the investigation is complete.

Additional steps to help save others from the same problem

Consider “paying in advance” to other consumers by filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau here , as enough complaints can draw the attention of the authorities to fitness companies that use fraudulent billing methods. Likewise, another option is to file a complaint with your state ‘s attorney general as they can mediate disputes between businesses and consumers.

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