Sport: Membership Subscriptions

House of Lords written question – answered at on 7 February 2012.

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Photo of Baroness Jones of Whitchurch Baroness Jones of Whitchurch Shadow Spokesperson (Culture, Media and Sport), Shadow Spokesperson (Education)

To ask Her Majesty's Government what protections will be put in place to protect consumers from being locked into long-term contracts, which cannot be cancelled, with private gyms.

Photo of Baroness Wilcox Baroness Wilcox The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills

Existing law (the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 and the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008) provides protections for consumers in this area. In 2011 the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) secured an order from the High Court against Ashbourne Management Services to stop it using unfair terms, including those that imposed a minimum membership term on consumers with insufficient cancellation rights, and those which imposed minimum terms of more than 12 months. On 31 January 2012 the OFT announced it was investigating all of the major gym companies for similar issues.

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