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Burning Up In A Gym Membership?

Burned By A Gym Membership


7 Ways To Cancel Your Gym Membership

1. Most people cancel cleanly under the terms of their contract (although the gyms have made even this process difficult, intimidating and confusing because they want you to make a mistake or just give up).

What no gym on the planet will ever tell you is that there are 6 more ways to cancel a gym membership, get out of a gym membership, or break a gym membership contract:

2. You can cancel under the terms of your local law. (Your local law may give you extra ways to cancel that the gym "accidentally" forgot to include in your contract).

3. You can void your contract by showing that it's illegal or unfair under your local law. (Voiding a contract means it's as if your contract never existed, which means you don't have to continue complying with anything in it, like paying gym fees). This is surprisingly easy to do because, believe it or not, many gym contracts are illegal as written! This effectively turns the tables and intimidates the gym.

4. You can void your contract by showing, under your local law, that you were misled when you joined.

5. You can rescind your contract because you didn't receive the services you signed up for.

6. You can make a very particular kind of fuss that forces the gym to cancel your contract.


7. You can play dirty. If it's good for the goose, it's good for the gander.


Announcing: Cancelman's Gym Contract Killing Guide

Gym Membership Contract Cooling Off

Learn the fastest, least annoying way:

  • how to cancel the right way, quickly and cleanly
  • how to get cancelled the first time you try
  • how to cancel without talking to the gym at all (no phone calls to the gym, no visits to the gym)
  • how to cancel when your minimum term is up or about to be up
  • how to correctly write the cancellation letter to the gym
  • how to send the cancellation letter to the gym
  • how to write the second cancellation letter to your bank/credit card company
  • how to cancel if you just joined and want to get out
    best ways to get out of a gym membership contract early, without paying
    Stuck in a 1-year contract? 2-year contract? 3-year contract? Some people have pretended they've moved. Some people have pretended they're disabled. You still have to cancel the right way or you'll make things worse. 
  • exactly which type of unholy fuss to make so the gym does what you want
  • which institutions you can enlist to be on your side, and which you can't
  • how to quickly find out your consumer rights 
  • how to quickly find out your local law
  • 2 danger signs to watch out for after you've cancelled to make sure your money stays in your bank account
  • how to know when you're cancelled even if the gym says you're not
  • how to find out if the gym touched your credit file 
  • how to find out if your gym contract is illegal as written because it hides extra contractual protection you already have under your local law
  • how to take back control of a contract you've already signed

If your gym membership is in the USA, Canada, the UK, or Australia, everything you need to know is compiled in one place:

Cancelman's Gym Contract Killing Guide
('How To Absolutely, Positively
Cancel Your Gym Membership
The Right Way
For The Least Amount Of Money')


WARNING: Because the gyms have made the cancellation process so confusing and difficult, you can understand why there's a ton of incomplete and bad advice out there. Advice that, if you followed it, will cost you MORE money and will certainly NOT get you cancelled.


You Pay A High Price If You Cancel The Wrong Way

No matter why you're cancelling ...

  • you don't go
  • you have different priorities for your money
  • you just joined and want to get out
  • you found a better gym
  • you moved
  • you got sick or injured
  • the gym is terrible

... most gyms will actively prevent you from cancelling. (Or try to make you feel guilty, trapped, embarrassed and/or scared, because then you'll probably stop trying to cancel for a while and/or pay the gym what they say you owe them.)

Your gym does not care one bit if there's a problem billing you because then they can charge you more money in "failed debit" fees. To catch everyone in one big net, they use companies who specialise in billing (asf international, abc international, debitsuccess).

They do not care if you get angry. They want you to get outraged and hot and bothered so you waste your energy spinning your wheels in the mud.

If you cancel the wrong way, you pay two prices:

  • First, you're still a member and the gym can still bill you. If you make the usual mistakes, they can usually spin this out for a good 3 months or so. So you pay an extra 3 months' fees.
  • Second, the whole process consumes endless amounts of your time and energy and makes you absolutely crazy.

Until you cancel the right way, it will never end.


5 Gym Membership Cancellation Mistakes You Don't Want To Make

MISTAKE: You send your cancellation letter by ordinary mail.

Gym Shreds Cancellation Letter

The gym will shred it and pretend "it was lost in the mail".

It's a dead giveaway if your contract contains a clause like "We will not be responsible for lost or stolen correspondence that was not sent by certified mail". This clause means "If you send us anything by ordinary mail we don't like, we'll shred it and lie to your face that we never got it because you can't prove you sent it".

MISTAKE: You don't send the second cancellation letter to your bank/credit card company.

Bank Statement Surprise

The gym will charge random amounts at random times "by mistake", long into the future, hoping you won't notice the mysterious debits on your bank statement. You'll never get them refunded.

MISTAKE: You were tricked into joining and you talk to the gym about getting out and now you're trapped.

Gym Membership Fraud

The gym wants you to feel trapped. They want you to believe you have no options.

They will try to stall you until the cooling-off window slams shut. You need to act very fast.

MISTAKE: You talk to the gym about cancelling. You call. You email. You make an appointment. You finally talk to the THE ONLY PERSON ON THE PLANET WHO CAN TALK TO YOU ABOUT CANCELLING. And, let me guess, somehow it's absolutely impossible for you to cancel.

Man On Hold Trying To Cancel

You're already deep down the rabbit-hole.

You've started the "Dance of the Impossible Cancel" - every time you try to cancel, you end up where you started.

MISTAKE: You get so frustrated and fed up (like many, many others before you) that you cancel your direct debit or credit card or you close your bank account.

The gym doesn't care!

If you stop paying them, the gym realises they won't get any more money from you.

But that's okay! Because they can now legally sell your account to a collection agency. The gym just got paid anyway and, incidentally, they are now free of you.

But you're still on the hook because you've stopped paying, but you haven't cancelled.

Trapped By Gym Membership Contract

You've signed yourself up for a whole new world of hurt:

  • extra collection fees being added to your outstanding debt
  • your credit file, credit rating and credit score being negatively affected
  • getting harassed for years to come
  • endless phone calls and letters spent getting it all straightened out


You're Fighting A War And You Don't Know It

The moment you decide to cancel, you're in an information war with the gym.

Information War Gym


Because the gym is getting free money!

Most gyms massively over-sell their membership base because 88% of gym members hardly go.

And that's exactly how the gyms want it.

They don't want you there, cluttering up the place and wearing out the equipment. For a typical gym, if all their members turned up at the same time, each machine would have a queue of 100 people!

An average gym can easily have 1,000 members who don't go any more. A monthly direct debit of $50 means a cash windfall of $50,000 to the gym for doing nothing.

Free money every month!

They're not stupid! Why would they do anything to make that stop?

If they can just delay your cancellation for 3 months by giving you the runaround, you pay them 3 months' extra fees in return for them doing nothing except make you crazy.

Most gyms are not terribly interested in your health and fitness.

They are mainly interested in one, purposeful, continuous activity - sucking cash out of your bank account with their industrial-strength, direct debit financial vacuum cleaners.

Gyms will routinely break the law when you try to cancel. They DO NOT CARE. You CANNOT HURT THEM the usual way.

They want to prevent you from finding out how to cancel the right way.

Gyms treat a cancellation (you) with the same intensity as NEW BUSINESS, because the financial difference between you cancelling and not cancelling is generally the same as signing up a NEW MEMBER.

And think about the hard sell to sign up a new member!

If you NEVER FIND OUT HOW TO CANCEL THE RIGHT WAY, they can legally bill you, month after month, FOREVER.

Most gyms will say anything and do anything to drop you down rabbit-hole after rabbit-hole, so that you never find out how to cancel the right way.

It gets worse:

Just recently here in Australia, Fitness First ("Finance First"!) took a sick woman to a State Supreme Court to recover a cancellation fee of $200.

Mountains of bad publicity.

They're crazy, right?

They're not crazy.

They didn't go to court for a measly $200.

They were going to court for their ENTIRE BUSINESS MODEL - close to a BILLION DOLLARS WORTH.

They won.

See what you're up against? 

From: Cancelman
Where: Brisbane, Australia
When: June 2012

Re: Quitting the gym
(or 'How and why I turned a burning rage into the white fire of justice')

Dear Friend,

Some time ago, someone very close to me joined a worldwide gym chain and became a CLASSIC VICTIM.


She unknowingly signed a contract which ended up costing her a TON of cash and ALMOST her sanity.

Although it was a giant "misunderstanding", her CREDIT SCORE dropped more than 100 points which meant her new mortgage wouldn't close until she got it all cleared up, which took 5 letters and countless phone calls. Talk about STRESS. For a GYM MEMBERSHIP!

When I saw, first-hand, how TRAUMATISED she was by the whole JUST-PLAIN-WRONG experience, I swore NO ONE should have to trawl through the same CRAP she did, to free herself from those MONEY-SUCKING SCAMMERS.

Sadly, she's not alone.

She's just one of MILLIONS of folks who have been misled, deceived, strung along and scammed by unscrupulous gym chains, health clubs and fitness centres.

I decided no one should have to go through the same just-plain-wrong experience.

In a rage-fuelled frenzy, I spent COUNTLESS HOURS scouring the interwebs, looking for answers.

And I found them. Scattered all over the place. In some very dark corners.

And I feel dirty.

Because this industry is filthy.

But never fear.

Because I learned all their tricks.

And I learned all the counter-tricks!

So today is your lucky day.

Because I'm a contract killer.

Cancelman Signature 

Know The Ugly Truth

It would be nice if all gyms were run by folks who are pillars of honesty and fair dealing.

It would be nice if there were no problems whatsoever when folks tried to cancel their gym memberships.

It would be nice if many, many folks weren't misled when they joined.

It would be nice if these lowlifes didn't SAY ANYTHING and DO ANYTHING to sign you up:

Gym Membership Contract Salesman

`You can cancel at any time.'

`Yes, you can cancel at any time.' `Absolutely, you can cancel on 30 days notice.' `Yes, this is a month-to-month membership.' `This paperwork is for the free trial.'
`This paperwork is for insurance and security purposes.' `This paperwork is for the pay-as-you-go plan.' `Autograph this simple application form and you're good to go.' `Free bag? Free personal trainer? Free puppy? Sign here.'

But the ugly truth is that gym membership worldwide is a consumer nightmare.

Across the USA, the UK, Canada and Australia, 55 million people are members of a gym, health club, health spa, health studio, fitness centre or sports club: like Bally Total Fitness, Gold's Gym, 24 Hour Fitness, Extreme Fitness, Curves, David Lloyd, Esporta, Fitness First, LA Fitness.

One in three people will experience a billing or contract problem that will make them crazy and cost them an extra 3 month's fees.

Let's see, a third of 55 million is ... 18 million billing or contract problems waiting to happen!

Many people get a giant hit on their credit report. Which they don't find out about for YEARS!

But that's nothing.

Trapped By Gym Membership Contract

Many people get stuck for a whole year's fees, or even two or three year's fees.

I routinely assist people who, at first glance, are stuck for thousands of dollars. The record so far? A guy got stuck for almost $10,000.

That's right.





"What Do You Mean You Want To Cancel?"

Sooner or later, everyone cancels or switches gyms, and the gyms have made this process difficult on purpose.

Woman Furious At Gym

The moment you decide to cancel, the gym will become terribly interested in preventing you from finding out how to cancel, preventing you from finding out your rights and preventing you from finding the right advice to help you in a dispute.

The gym will become terribly interested in making you feel like you're the ONLY PERSON WHO'S EVER HAD THIS PROBLEM. HAH!

"There's been a misunderstanding."

A phone call here, a phone call there. More phone calls.

You explain the situation for the tenth time.

Appointments with people.

Staff come and go.

(Is it any wonder that some folks despair of EVER getting through to these people?)

"There's been a misunderstanding. I can't go against company policy. Sorry, there's nothing I can do."

Gee, there's no mis-understanding that slurping sound of your money leaving your bank account. Again. 

It'd be a comedy if it wasn't so tragic:

`You have to make an appointment. The next available one is in a year.'

`You have to talk to Jay.'

`We don't handle cancels here. Call head office.'

`There's no one called Jay here.'

`You have to complete an exit form. We're getting some more printed. In a year.'

`Jay called you but your phone was broken.'

`We're busy right now. Can you come back later? In a year?'

`Jay was eaten by a whale.'

`This is a bad line. Can you call back later? In a year?'

`No one by the name of Jay has ever worked here, or, incidentally, has ever been born.'

`Even though we may have made a teensy-weensy misrepresentation to induce you to sign the contract, it's company policy to not cancel your membership. Because lying to your face was also company policy.'

`Yes, we know Jay lied to you. We told him to.'

`How about we freeze your membership for a couple of months so you forget about all this for a while? Then we can remind you by resuming your direct debit.'

`Yes, Jay made a mistake. So we're going to ask Jay to cover your payments for you. Oh, he said no.'

`Yes, we told you it was a month-to-month membership but actually it's a 2 year membership. Oops. Sorry about that. No, you still can't cancel now. Oh, just because.'

`Yes, we received your cancellation paperwork. Unfortunately, in a freak accident, Jay lost it in the shredder. Jay feels really bad about it. Can you send it through again? In a year?'

`For billing, press 1.
To add a member, press 2.
To enquire about our new range of gym equipment, press 3.
To cancel, press 67338491# to go on hold for 45 minutes.
To give up, press 9 or just hang up.'

`Jay thinks you're lazy and he says you don't care about your body and he hates you.'

`Yeah, we told you that you were signing a simple application form but actually it was a legally binding finance agreement. Great news, hey?'

`We're not going to tell you how to cancel. You have to find out for yourself. It's a maze!'

Difficult To Cancel

`You can cancel if you're dead. Are you dead? No? Well, as soon as you die, let us know and we'll cancel you straight away no problem at all.'

`Yes, you cancelled YOUR membership, but you didn't cancel your daughter's membership. Yes, we didn't tell you that 2 months ago. Sorry about that. $1000 please.'

`No, you can't cancel. Why? Oh, just because we feel like it.'

`What, our contract doesn't comply with the California Civil Code? You mean it's illegal? And void and unenforceable? Oops. No, you still can't cancel. Get a lawyer.'

`You never got those personal training services and advice you signed up for? That's terrible. No, you can't have a refund.'

Gym Dispute

`We KNOW the sales guy said that the contract you signed has a clause which lets you cancel at any time but actually he lied. We know it, he knows it, and now you know it! Good for you, hey?'

`We've never seen you before even though we've been taking money from your bank account just fine for the last 6 months. Are you sure you're a member of this gym? Can you prove it? We can't cancel someone who's not a member. That would be absurd.'

`Customer service? We get all our new business from advertising, not referrals, so we don't give a crap about customer service.'

8 Other Common Gym Membership Problems


Free Gym Membership

  • `Free 7 day pass? Oops, you're signed up for 2 years!'
  • `FREE MEMBERSHIP. You get a free pass or something which you sign for, and there are 13 hoops you have to jump through if you don't want the free membership to turn into a real one.'
  • `Yeah, we told you your membership ended in April. Hey, you know what? It didn't.'
  • `Hey, great news! We automatically renewed your contract for a year! KA-CHING!'
  • `Oh sorry, there was a billing error. We accidentally billed a few of our old members. It'll be reversed. In a year. Oh sorry, we did it again. Silly us.'
  • `Oh, you stopped your direct debit? And closed your bank account? Well, we got paid anyway because we sold your account to a debt collection agency. Oh, we had to report you to the credit bureaus first. Too bad about your credit rating. Hope it works out. It's nothing personal. We just want to hurt you as an example to others. Like Vlad The Impaler.'
  • `Oh, that address we told you to send your cancellation letter to? There's a small problem with it. It doesn't exist.'
  • `Nope, we're not going to accept delivery of your cancellation letter.'



They make it so easy to join, don't they?

And so, so hard to cancel.

Well, take heart, because there's NO SUCH THING as a gym contract that can't be cancelled.

Ways To Cancel A Gym Membership   

My Unconditional Guarantee To You

I promise:

  • you'll avoid the runaround
  • you'll avoid being scammed
  • you'll avoid feeling trapped, like you have no options
  • you'll avoid being uncertain about what to do
  • you'll avoid going crazy boiling mad
  • you'll get cancelled, one way or another

You can ask me questions as you go along (if you get stuck or if something's not clear or something comes up that you don't know how to handle).

I PROMISE, if you get my guide and follow my instructions:

  1. EITHER you will get your membership cancelled (yay!)
  2. OR you won't get your membership cancelled (boo), in which case I will refund 100% of the price you paid for my guide so you're not out any money (yay!).

There is no time limit on this guarantee.

Unlike the gyms, this is no scam. You can use this guarantee to put this information to work immediately and see how things go.

So you see you have nothing to lose by ordering now.

To have someone on your side the whole way, get the guide.


6 Reasons To Act Right Now And Not Put It Off Any Longer

1. It takes at least 30 days to cancel the average gym membership. If you're surprised by that, you're in for a lot more surprises. If you cancel the wrong way, it takes at least 3 months.

2. If your minimum term is about to expire, you need to start the cancellation process about 5 weeks prior or get slugged with more fees.

3. If you were tricked into joining and you want to get out, you need to act very fast and not make a single mistake, because once the cooling-off window slams shut, it's MUCH HARDER and MORE COSTLY to cancel.

4. Because your money should stay in your bank account, right? Not to mention you'll save lots of time and heartache.

5. Following my instructions is your best starting point because I tell you exactly what you have to do step-by-step, how to do it, and what you can expect the gym to do.

6. If you're already not going to the gym, you might as well not go to the gym and have an extra fistful of cash to spend every month, right?

7. No gym anywhere wants you to know any of this.

 Cancelman's Gym Contract Killing Guide

Thanks for reading,

Cancelman Signature

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