7 Important Things You Should Know Before Joining Any Fitness Centre in Malaysia
So you made a New Year resolution to have a six-pack by end of the year and it’s already August now, the next logical step to do is to sign up for a gym center, hire a personal fitness trainer, hit the gym weekly and then you can show off your body build by the year end.
The truth is fitness center doesn’t have the best reputation in Malaysia, such as misinterpretation of contract clause, broken equipment, hours of waiting, you name it. But still, you need your six pack abs, so how? Don’t worry, here are the 7 important things that you should know, before signing up for a fitness center in Malaysia. You don’t want to end up receiving love letters from lawyer firm like this, or this, or that.
1. Auto-renewal of membership contract
One of the most common complaints against fitness center is their auto-renewal clause in the contract, whereby they can renew your membership without your approval for another 24 months (actually they already have your approval in the original contract) even if you didn’t visit the gym in the past 6 months.
Another point to note is that even if you had told them you decided NOT to renew verbally, always ensure you notify them again with email or letter that can be traced. Or else, they auto-renewal clause may come into effect when the date come yet you don’t have anything to prove that you requested to stop your membership. So you have to continue paying them for the rest of your life… OK not for the rest of your life, but you know what I mean.
2. Put everything in black and white, don’t accept verbal offer
It doesn’t matter what the hot membership consultant tell you, make sure it is stated somewhere in the contract. If it is not in the contract, then it is NOT in your offer. Do NOT sign the contract based on verbal promises, here is why, and also this.
Anyway, if you are old enough to go to a gym you should be mature enough to understand that what really counts is getting a copy of the contract that you sign. Even if they told you otherwise, it will be very difficult for you to prove it in court, and to make it worse, the staff turnover rate is very high for most fitness center and you may not be able to locate the person that gave you the verbal promise.
3. Termination Policy
Find the termination clause in contract, and what it takes if you decided to change your mind later. Will there be a penalty charge, if yes, how much? More importantly, how do you go about to cancel it later? Do they need a verified medical report or proof of migration before you can terminate your membership?
4. Authority to increase membership fee
This may not be common but the contract may give fitness center absolute power to increase the membership fee anytime they like, even if they told you they won’t do that. If you find such clause in the contract, ask yourself do you really want to join this center. There is no point complaining or making a fuss over the internet after that, some of them just don’t care.
5. You can negotiate for a better deal
There are two types of passes, season (monthly, quarter or yearly, depending on the package) and per entry. Depending on how frequent you hit the gym, one pass might be more valuable than the other. Usually a neighborhood fitness center offers lower rate and per-entry pass, try these first if the location and time fits you.
Most gym center don’t publicly display their membership fee and their membership consultant will always tell you that you are getting the best deal of the century. However, it is possible to negotiate a better deal if you have what it takes, many managed to get a much better deal simply by asking for more. This article includes some very good tips on how to get more from your gym membership (with lower fee!).
6. Join during their peak season
Other than haggling hard with fitness center, you may also get a better deal by choosing carefully when to join them. Most gym center offer huge discount to attract customers during their peak season, which are early of the year and September.
These are the peak seasons for their industry because people hit the gym more frequent after making their New Year resolution, and September is the ‘Back-to-school’ season for most of the colleges and universities. Chances are you may shop for a better deal during January and September compare to other months.
7. Check out the actual crowd and equipment
Try to visit the gym center a few times during your normal workout hour, so that you get to feel how crowded the place can be after you sign up. Or casually ask the membership consultant how many active members are there and what their target number for members is.
Check out the number of equipment that is actually working, not the total number of equipment there. If you see any facilities are out of order, even if they tell you that the technician is on the way to fix it, don’t believe it!
So, these are most of the important things that you should know before signing up at any gym centre, what else did I miss? Tell me in the comment section! Or check out the link here for what others has said about the fitness centres in Malaysia.
P/S If you are looking for personal trainer, check out this link. If you are looking for personal trainers in KL or Selangor, check out this link! If you want to be included in the list, write to firstname.lastname@example.org。