VANCOUVER: Gyms and fitness centres across British Columbia are now allowed to return to their full capacities after BC announced it is easing health restrictions in place to reduce COVID-19 transmissions. After several rounds of closing and reopening, it finally seems to be a good time for people to consider their gym memberships and start tackling those 2022 health goals. Before you make a decision on which membership you’d like to sign-up for, the BBB is sharing their tips for finding the right gym for you, and what issues to watch out for. Every year, the BBB receives numerous complaints about health clubs or gyms closing abruptly or refusing to cancel a contract or provide refunds. Other common complaints include inadequate equipment maintenance or facilities or difficulty keeping up with the gym’s constantly changing class booking policies. Therefore, before you sign on those dotted lines, BBB encourages you to consider the following tips to help you determine which gym is the best place to keep you on track. Check BBB.org. Business Profiles can help you check on the trustworthiness of fitness clubs and gyms. They show whether a facility has complaints and how the gym resolved them. You also can find out how long the facility has been in business, who owns it, and a rating from A+ to F. Take a tour. Ensure the gym has the equipment, classes and trainers you need or expect. Pay attention to things that are important to you, whether it’s the cleanliness of the showers or the availability of Wi-Fi. Ask questions and make sure you understand all the rules. Ask about busy times, wait times for equipment, whether classes require pre-registration, availability and cost of trainers, etc. Ask how the gym staff is keeping up with COVD-19 restrictions and maintaining the cleanliness of the facilities.Ask questions about limited free trials. Gyms often give a one-week free pass for potential members; this is a great way to see if the gym is a good fit for you. Try the gym at different times to see how crowded it is and whether there is a wait for certain equipment. Check out classes if they are offered.Understand the terms. Read the contract carefully before signing. Make sure that all verbal promises made by the salesperson are in writing. What matters is the contract and the terms within it, so don’t just take a salesperson’s word for it. What happens if you move or the gym goes out of business? Will the membership renew automatically at the end of the term? What are the options if the changes in gym policies contradict your benefits? What is the cancellation policy, and under what circumstances?Calculate the true costs. Gyms often use special introductory offers to encourage new members, but the price could go up more than you budgeted once the initial period is over. Make sure you understand the regular monthly fees and what they include.Figure out your priorities. Think carefully about what is most important to you. Will a convenient location and extended hours help you stick to your fitness plan? Will a variety of equipment or classes keep you motivated? Do you prefer a chain with numerous outlets?Don’t feel coerced. Do not give in to high-pressure sales tactics to join right away. A reputable gym will give you enough time to read the contract thoroughly, tour the facilities, do some research, and make an informed decision. For more information on specific gyms and businesses, visit BBB.org and check out the available Business Profiles for more details.
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