Reporting Karen Anderson
BOSTON (CBS) – The state’s top consumer watch dog wants local health clubs to “shape up.”
Undersecretary of Consumer Affairs Barbara Anthony says many local fitness clubs are not complying with state’s disclosure laws, and she wants customers to know their rights.
Anthony shared the results of her month-long investigation with the I-Team.
She dispatched her investigators out to 15 local health clubs, and she says none of them were displaying membership prices and fees as mandated by state law.
The investigation also found none of the 15 locations displayed a consumers three-day right to cancel health contracts, as required by law.
Anthony says in many cases, when her investigators asked for this information, they were only given sheets of paper with incomplete prices lists or were told the information verbally.
Anthony says, “Signing a contract for a health club should not resemble the old stereotype of purchasing a used car. The law requires complete up front disclosure of all prices and material terms and conditions.”
Anthony tells the I-Team , “I do not understand the secrecy here. This stuff should all be out front, it should all be on the table. With the emphasis we have on wellness and staying healthy and exercise, health clubs should be promoting their prices, they should be promoting the services they are offering. It should not be the task of the consumer to pull it out of the sales representative.”
We reached out to gyms for comment. The owner of Evolve Fitness in Cambridge says he wasn’t aware of the law, and will correct their policy to properly post pricing.
The Office of Consumer Affairs is now referring the results of its investigation to the Attorney General’s office.