Fitness clubs are a great way to find community and motivation. Often, people will join a gym as a way to stay in shape. However, many hidden gym membership fees occur after patrons sign on the dotted line. Below are six of the most common charges that surprise gym members.
1. The unmentioned annual fee
Sure, the radio ad says that you can join for only $10 a month. What it failed to mention was that you also had to pay an annual fee. Yearly renewals are costly, most being over $75. It’s how the gym ensures it recoups its money. Before signing any contract, look for terms specifically about the annual surcharge. Additionally, ask the gym owner about the policy.
2. The obligatory registration fee
Hidden gym membership fees also come in the form of registration. These fees tend to be on the lower side, however, you should still be aware of them. They are non-refundable, so make sure you like the gym before paying.
3. Locker service and charges
Lockers are convenient and often more secure than leaving your belongings in the car. Take note, though, that not all gyms offer free locker service. Some require you to purchase padlocks or locker assignments. Ask ahead to plan where you’re going to keep your stuff.
4. Termination fees
No one signs up for a gym membership to quit right after, but it does happen. When comparing different places to workout, you should understand their termination policies. There’s nothing like canceling a membership, and still having to pay an additional month thereafter.
5. The personal training funnel
When you join a gym, most provide one free personal training workout. If the session goes well, the trainer will offer to make you another appointment. Understand that the sessions afterward are not free, and most trainers will put the workouts on your tab. You don’t want to get an invoice a few weeks down the line that you can’t afford.
Before working with a personal trainer, ask about their hourly rate. Staying in the know will keep you from accidental charges.
6. Classroom extras
Before attending gym classes, make sure you know the equipment requirements. Yoga mats, steps, and stretch bands often have a rental fee, if you can’t bring your own. Sometimes, an instructor may let you borrow without making it a deal, but not all.
Stop hidden gym membership fees from surprising you
We don’t blame gyms for their fees. They are businesses that need to make money. Additionally, putting all of the details into a radio or newspaper ad would be cumbersome.
Regardless, knowing about hidden gym membership fees will help you be an informed consumer. Never pay more than you should for a product or service. Shop around, ask questions, and make a plan. The right gym, at the right price, is out there.