BBB offers tips for joining a gym in the new year

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Fitness centers were one of most complained about businesses in 2017 

It’s a new year filled with hope and promises to be healthier – and the reason why January through March is the busiest time for new gym memberships.

But not everyone who joined a gym in 2017 had a good experience.

The Better Business Bureau Northwest & the Pacific received more than 90 complaints about fitness centers last year. The majority were directed at billing and contract issues. Fitness centers were one of the most complained about businesses in 2017, according to the BBB.

Here are some tips on what to look out for before signing up for a gym membership:

  • Know your needs. Determine exercise goals in advance to select appropriate gym.
  • Free trials. Gyms often give a one-week free pass for potential members to see if it’s a good fit.
  • Find out the true costs. Gyms often use special introductory offers to entice new members, but the price could go up more than a customer has budgeted once the initial period is over. Find out what the regular monthly fees are and what they include.
  • Check reviews. Read what previous customers have to say, and see how the businesses respond to complaints.
  • Ask about cancellation policies. Read contracts carefully before signing. What happens if members move or the gym goes out of business? Will membership renew automatically at the end of the term? Can members get out of a contract altogether and under what circumstances?

Use the BBB app to research gyms in the Tri-City area or visit bbbapp.org to learn more.