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Old 08-04-2014, 10:37 AM   #1
Lauren Borwick
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Contracts & Cancellation Fees

Hi everyone,

I'm a member at an affiliate, locked into a 12 month contract. I'm looking to leave my box but our owner charges a cancellation fee if you are not leaving due to injury/disability or are not moving more than 25 miles away. The fee is 3 months membership or 50% of what's left of your dues - whichever is cheaper for you at the time. I heard from a pretty well-known box owner in the area that it's actually illegal in the CrossFit community to charge a cancellation fee and wanted to make sure I had my facts straight before approaching the owner.

Thanks,
Lauren
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Old 08-04-2014, 01:01 PM   #2
Jan Dahlberg
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Re: Contracts & Cancellation Fees

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauren Borwick View Post
Hi everyone,

I'm a member at an affiliate, locked into a 12 month contract. I'm looking to leave my box but our owner charges a cancellation fee if you are not leaving due to injury/disability or are not moving more than 25 miles away. The fee is 3 months membership or 50% of what's left of your dues - whichever is cheaper for you at the time. I heard from a pretty well-known box owner in the area that it's actually illegal in the CrossFit community to charge a cancellation fee and wanted to make sure I had my facts straight before approaching the owner.

Thanks,
Lauren
Wait, illegal as in CrossFit HQ will do something about it? No, they won't. Illegal in the specific state/country? Perhaps, not sure about that.
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Old 08-04-2014, 01:39 PM   #3
Lauren Borwick
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Re: Contracts & Cancellation Fees

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Originally Posted by Jan Dahlberg View Post
Wait, illegal as in CrossFit HQ will do something about it? No, they won't. Illegal in the specific state/country? Perhaps, not sure about that.
Illegal maybe isn't the right word. I was referring to CrossFit HQ, like if there was something written into the agreement once you become an affiliate.
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Old 08-04-2014, 05:19 PM   #4
Clint Harris
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Re: Contracts & Cancellation Fees

Why are you leaving ? (is it really a valid reason - would any other business in the world allow you to cancel?)
Was this a lump sum payment ?
Why did you sign up for 12 months - Let me guess, for the discount.

You probably will have little sympathy in trying to "legaleeze" your way out of a contract here. Have you talked to the owner as an adult without all the fine print and "I heard from some guy, who wants my new business, that Coach Glassman thinks that it is wrong to have contracts" ? Surely if you have a good rapport with the owner and have valid reasons you can work something out.

I am a consumer and not a box owner, but these are all questions to ask one's self. Forget this legality stuff which probably won't exist. There's probably nothing in crossfit land that will overturn the agreement you have between the owner and yourself.

You have to consider this from an owners perspective too. They aren't charities and often bank on your long term agreement as guaranteed income (which is why reduced). A lump sum is also probably already spent, which is why it's usually such a good deal. So for them to refund it after you agreed to pay it, is really quite an undertaking.
You gladly entered into this 12 month agreement (as lame as it may be) to get the discounts, yet when you want to leave, you're forgetting the fact that you have been saving money over the past X months. Can seem pretty selfish. Yes it sucks, but that's also why there's a million cliched phrases to explain this type of thing.
From my perspective, more fool you for entering such an expensive agreement (time and money). Lesson learned.

However, the 25 mile caveat is pretty ridiculous. I would have never agreed to that anyway - especially with those caveats - no way would I drive 10 miles to a gym let alone 25.

While on the subject, I literally won't join a gym that has those huge penalties for month-month and heavy discount for 3/6/12 months. e.g. $220 month-month or $150 for 12 months - obviously they don't want any new members and don't trust in their ability to keep me loyal. So I don't really respect their approach.
No contracts are the way to go. Price the gym right, provide good service, people will stay. End of story.
If someone wants to leave, let them go. They won't have any animosity and the bridge won't get burnt - like the direction Lauren's case appears to be taking - so may return.
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Old 08-04-2014, 07:25 PM   #5
Christopher Morris
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Re: Contracts & Cancellation Fees

Did you a sign a contract agreeing to those stipulations? If so, I don't think you have a leg to stand on. A one-to-one signed contract is going to carry more weight than a general guideline suggesting no cancellations fees.

On the other hand, three months or 50% cancellation fee is steep. I wouldn't have agreed to that. I think a one month cancellation fee is reasonable.

Is it possible to stay and get your money's worth out of your 12 months? If you're not moving away, keep working out. Enjoy your membership, then cancel at 12 months if needed. Is that an option?
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Old 08-05-2014, 10:10 AM   #6
Jon Campbell
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Re: Contracts & Cancellation Fees

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clint Harris View Post
Why are you leaving ? (is it really a valid reason - would any other business in the world allow you to cancel?)
Was this a lump sum payment ?
Why did you sign up for 12 months - Let me guess, for the discount.

You probably will have little sympathy in trying to "legaleeze" your way out of a contract here. Have you talked to the owner as an adult without all the fine print and "I heard from some guy, who wants my new business, that Coach Glassman thinks that it is wrong to have contracts" ? Surely if you have a good rapport with the owner and have valid reasons you can work something out.

I am a consumer and not a box owner, but these are all questions to ask one's self. Forget this legality stuff which probably won't exist. There's probably nothing in crossfit land that will overturn the agreement you have between the owner and yourself.

You have to consider this from an owners perspective too. They aren't charities and often bank on your long term agreement as guaranteed income (which is why reduced). A lump sum is also probably already spent, which is why it's usually such a good deal. So for them to refund it after you agreed to pay it, is really quite an undertaking.
You gladly entered into this 12 month agreement (as lame as it may be) to get the discounts, yet when you want to leave, you're forgetting the fact that you have been saving money over the past X months. Can seem pretty selfish. Yes it sucks, but that's also why there's a million cliched phrases to explain this type of thing.
From my perspective, more fool you for entering such an expensive agreement (time and money). Lesson learned.

However, the 25 mile caveat is pretty ridiculous. I would have never agreed to that anyway - especially with those caveats - no way would I drive 10 miles to a gym let alone 25.

While on the subject, I literally won't join a gym that has those huge penalties for month-month and heavy discount for 3/6/12 months. e.g. $220 month-month or $150 for 12 months - obviously they don't want any new members and don't trust in their ability to keep me loyal. So I don't really respect their approach.
No contracts are the way to go. Price the gym right, provide good service, people will stay. End of story.
If someone wants to leave, let them go. They won't have any animosity and the bridge won't get burnt - like the direction Lauren's case appears to be taking - so may return.
Pretty good post right here.
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Old 08-06-2014, 11:21 AM   #7
Tommy Alfinito
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Re: Contracts & Cancellation Fees

Just go talk to the owner, be honest and if that person is smart they should figure out some way to let you leave happy.

I think a fair way would be to have you pay back the discount you received - so if you got 10% off each month for signing on for a year you should pay back that discount for the months you were a member.

That's all I got, this is exactly why I don't do contracts.
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Old 08-06-2014, 12:46 PM   #8
Monika Scott
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Re: Contracts & Cancellation Fees

Howdy,

I have a similar verbiage in my agreement, cancellation fee based on xyz. The member agreement, if done properly is a contract and can (always loop holes) stand in a court of law.

Each affiliate is run as a privately owned business, so any owner can put in any language they choose. Right or wrong, that's how it goes right now. HQ's doesn't have any real standardization.

But, if you have a valid reason for leaving (not necessary to jump ship to a competitor) the owner may be a little more lenient on the fees. No one knows - it'll be a matter of approach and discussing the matter.
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Old 08-06-2014, 04:48 PM   #9
Mike Bolton
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Re: Contracts & Cancellation Fees

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauren Borwick View Post
Hi everyone,

I'm a member at an affiliate, locked into a 12 month contract. I'm looking to leave my box but our owner charges a cancellation fee if you are not leaving due to injury/disability or are not moving more than 25 miles away. The fee is 3 months membership or 50% of what's left of your dues - whichever is cheaper for you at the time. I heard from a pretty well-known box owner in the area that it's actually illegal in the CrossFit community to charge a cancellation fee and wanted to make sure I had my facts straight before approaching the owner.

Thanks,
Lauren
If he want's to play that game the solution is easy. Just get a note from your doctor. A pulled hammy or DOMS should qualify as an "injury"...
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Old 08-06-2014, 05:50 PM   #10
Sean Dunston
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Re: Contracts & Cancellation Fees

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Originally Posted by Mike Bolton View Post
If he want's to play that game the solution is easy. Just get a note from your doctor. A pulled hammy or DOMS should qualify as an "injury"...
Since when did a contract become a game?

A contract is a contract. Two people agree on something: Person A has something Person B wants, Person B is willing to provide it to Person A for a certain price. They negotiate and come to terms (or just agree off the bat) on a price that makes both of them happy. It is memorialized in writing when both people think the terms are fair, and they both sign the document promising to perform.

That isn't a game. For some of us, it is a livelihood.
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