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Gym Memberships and the Cooling-off Period

All personal development contracts include a 10 Day Cancellation Rule

What are personal development services? Within the province of Ontario, personal development services include services provided for health, fitness, or diet.  They also include things such asparalegalgym modelling and talent, photo shoots, and even services like martial arts memberships, sports and dance activities.

Consumers have a legal right to cancel a personal development contract within 10 days regardless of their reason.  This is known as the “Cancellation Cooling-off Period” provision as per the Consumer Protection Act (2002 S.O. 2002, C 30 Schedule A).

For example if Jill purchases a gym membership and signs a membership agreement, within 10 days she can request that contract be ended, and she can be reimbursed for any monies paid as a result of the contract.

What if the gym refuses to cancel Jill’s contract and return her money?  Jill’s options include, but are not limited to:

Jill may write a letter to the gym explaining the law grants her the right to cancel within the 10 period, again stating she is requesting the contract be canceled and her money refunded.

Jill can write to the Minister of Consumer and Business Services explaining her situation. The Ministry has the power to help resolve the situation and in some cases issue a fine to a corporation not exceeding $250,000.

If Jill paid by credit card she may contact her credit card company in writing, explaining that she has cancelled the personal development contract and request that all charges associated with the contract be reversed.

Finally, the Consumer Protection Act grants Jill the right to take legal action in the courts against the gym  in order to recover  her money and any general damages.

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