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how do I cancel a Personal Training Contract?

by Sarah Adams
(Fallbrook, Ca)

please read about my troubles with the Boxing Club of San Diego, Ca; here is the link:

http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/0/308/RipOff0308248.htm


What is your advise???I recently had another epileptic seizure (grand Mal) and my doctor will not release me for the work outs that I contracted for; they are keeping my $1200 after ONE session and refuse to refund my money; HELP!!!!

Thank you,

Sarah Adams 760-731-9577 phone or e-mail me at

adamsvictor@hotmail.com

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Certified stickler
by: Anonymous

Did they ask you in writing if you have any health conditions? If not then they should be required to, because as a trainer it is part of the screening process to obtain that kind of information. If they did not get that information.. they should have there license revoked! and if they did get that information they should have received A DOCTORS RELEASE IN WRITING signed and dated. If not then they are ignoring their responsibilities and should be taken to small claims. You paid for sessions you cannot attend. The gym should have a policy for an event like this in the contract you signed. you should read that contract and gl..

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California Contracts require Cancellation Clause

by Victor Adams
(Fallbrook, CA)

All Personal Training Contracts issued in California MUST comply with the California Health Studio Services Act and have a cancellation clause. FYI

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Health Studio Services Contract Law
by: Charles Weller - FITNESS LAWYER

In case anyone is wondering what this law is, it's relatively new and codified in CA Civil Code Section 1812.80 et seq. This law requires that these contracts be in writing, do not require payments of $3,000 over the contract term (increases to $4,400 Jan 2010), the contract cannot exceed three years, and the payments under the contract must be done within the contract term. The cancellation clause is only 5 days.

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Refunds on Prepaid Packages

by Tom
(Colorado)

I did not have a client sign a no refund policy and now she wants a refund that would total around $1300. She got a discounted session rate due to her paying for so many sessions up front. What are my requirements in Colorado and what should I do?

Thanks

Tom

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Cancellation Policy Limits and Retainer Fees

Hi I am an Independent Personal Trainer Contractor. I have not been working as a Independent very long and I have a company contract in which I am negotiating a contract service agreement with.

Most of the clientele are geriatric from 65 up to 95 years old, some staff members have mild to severe orthopedic problems and others suffer from severe mental illnesses from depression to schizophrenia.

The company pre-books sessions with me 3 days per week for the month, I require all pre-booked sessions be prepaid for that month. We seem to have a disagreement on the cancellation policy. My policy is the Fitness Industry standard of a 24 hour cancellation policy. Any booked sessions that are not canceled within 24 hours, the clients session will be forfeited, any sessions canceled within the 24 hours the client will be credited towards the next group of session booked. I also have set a maximum limit of the amount of cancellations of 2 session per month, any more than 2 cancellations per month, the client would not be credited.

The client would like a 48 hour cancellation policy for weekday sessions and a 3 day cancellation policy if they cancel a session that was booked on a weekend. They say it would be better for me because I have more time to book another client. I don't agree with this because they will have alot of time to cancel and I can't guarantee I can cover that canceled session with another client. I also would be crediting them for several session hours that I would still have to work but not be compensated for.

Can you offer me any advice on this matter, and what do you think of my maximum cancellation policy?

I also would like to negotiate a Retainer fee and for at least 1 year. I would like to know what would be a fair compensation amount? We discussed having this in the contract because of their age and ongoing health issues. If any of these clients gets injured, sick, falls or has surgery and is unable to physically perform any kind of exercise due to doctors prescription or is laid up for a period of time, I would still be paid for the month or however long they are out sick.

The client would still like to keep me and my services available to them when they need me again or the clients are able to go back to a regular exercise routine. They do not want to lose priority of the schedule or having my services available to them. So to make up for the lost income attaining more outside business would be difficult, if I attained more outside clients, I wouldn't be as available to them as they would like or as flexible with my schedule.

My question is what is a fair Retainer Fee? Should it be the cost of the gym membership?

They were paying for an Executive Club Membership which cost extra than a regular membership, plus they were paying for my services at the club in which they met me. I was an advanced trainer at the club and my rates were a little higher due to my education level and certification and experience working with geriatric clients.

Any advice you can give me would be gratefully appreciated.

Thank You,

Stephen Haggarty

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Reply
by: Mac

Did you have any response to your dilema?

I am interested as looking to put a retainer on clients who holiday a lot.

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Am I legally required to issue a refund to client?


I have a client who decides that she does not want to continue training with me. I am a mobile personal trainer and business owner. The amount in question is $99. Am I legally required in the state of Georgia to issue her a refund. She is not ill and has no medical reason not to fulfill her sessions. At the time, I did not have her sign a refund policy ( I have since instated one). She has asked for a refund, but I don't think it's fair. I would be grateful for your advice. Thank you.Chaunda Walls www.bellafitnessgroup.com

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It would be worth it.... in my opinion
by: Anonymous

Remember..... negative feedback does 10x more damage. Its not that much money and maybe offer her 50% refund seeing how she did utilize some of your training services.

I would ask myself, "Is $99 worth the damage not refunding it could do?" Personally, my answer would be no. If you refund some or all of her monies, at least you have the chance that she won't bad mouth you to her friends. You never know who knows who and how small the world we live in is.


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I agree
by: Anonymous

I agree, with the last comment. You ddid not have a refund policy at the time and it seems that this was not discussed with your client. I would also have a discussion with your client to find out the reason he/she is requesting the refund. You may get some valuable feedback that may make up for your $100 loss. You already learned the value of having a prefund policy in place.

All the best!!!!!!!

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Am I legally required to issue a refund to client?
by: John Belkewitch

Not sure if you're required to issue the refund, but I would afford it to her and chalk it up to a learning experience. Avoid the hassle.

As you've stated, you now have a refund policy in place for future clients. Just make sure they're aware of your policies and sign an agreement of understanding and this will be a non-issue for future clients.

Do find out from her why's she's decided to cancel, however, and see how you can take extra steps to avoid the issue in the future. Could be that she's just a shady character, so maybe you need a better process to qualify prospects down the road. Possibly a free trial week, etc.

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One Unhappy Customer Tells 10 friends
by: Ruby

Claudia,

I agree 100% with the last comment. The potential for the negative impact on your company for not refunding the $99 far outweighs in this situation. I love that the last person suggested some alternatives such as a refund.

Don't foget to have a lawyer look over all of your paperwork and contracts that you prepare for your customers.

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I second that!
by: Jordan H.

Give her the money back, or at least the amount that she did not use. Word of mouth can be good or bad! Give her the refund and maybe she'll see that she does need you on down the road. Hopefully by then you'll be making so much money and too much business that you won't need her anyway. $99 is a drop in a hat.

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legall issues
by: James Kelly

I agree with the other writter. especially since u said u didnt have here sign an agreement form in the beginning. if that was put in place early there would b no question. the terms would spell it out. but we learn from mistakes right? im currently working on starting my business as well so i hope everything works out for u! if u ever have any question or concerns, pls write me i might be able to assist you and if i have any ?'s i would like to be able to contact u. theirs strength in #'s

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Client Reimbursement?

by Bob
(Austin,TX)

A client of mine purchased one of my specials/programs I was running at the time, of which gave the client a large discount on services based on paying up-front for a years worth of services ahead of time. After doing the program for a couple weeks, she took off across state for a week, then left the country for another 2 weeks. Then upon returning, the first day back decided to curse at me in front of other clientele in a group I was working with, because she said it was "hard." The client continued throughout the duration of a 1-hour sessions, steadily making smart comments and raising her voice to me numerous times with vulgar language.

After that she was a no-show, and would not answer calls, emails, texts-nothing. A week after ignoring me totally, I get an e-mail from her stating she wants almost all of her money back because "I wasn't nice to her and she was sore because of me." She stated she wanted a majority of her money back, and would go session by session for a short period and "give me another chance."

When this client purchased the one-year program and received the discounts because she paid one-year in full, she signed my disclaimer stating examples of "justifiable reasons you can receive reimbursement" & "non-valid reasons you will not be reimbursed." Examples of why the client could receive reimbursement include such things as extended hospitalization of longer than 3 months, loss of job/unemployment for longer than 3-months, etc. Nowhere does it state that if you have a bad day and curse your trainer out and cause him to possibly lose clients by damaging his reputation, you can get reimbursed.

She made my clients and those around feel uncomfortable and could have possibly damaged my professional reputation as a business owner.

I responded to her request telling her we needed to schedule a private meeting in order to discuss everything. The meeting days/times never matched up in accordance with her availability or mine.

Am I LEGALLY obligated to reimburse her anything at all?

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No you are not
by: Anonymous

She signed a legally binding agreement and cannot just demand a refund because she is not getting the results. She is not getting the results she wants because she has taken three weeks off.

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Personal Training Contracts


(Los Angeles, CA)

I am a personal trainer and left the corporate gym I worked at over conflicts with my manager. One of my clients was able to get a refund on her sessions claiming that personal training contracts aren't valid in California. Another would like to do the same. This is something I had heard before from another trainer, but I don't want to misdirect my former client. Is this true? and why?

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Is it legal to set an expiration date on personal training sessions?

Is it legal to set an expiration date on personal training sessions?

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Expiration date
by: Ian

This is not a matter of law but a contractual agreement that you as a trainer develop, or the company you work for develops. A contract outlines the details of a purchase and stipulations by which the client must follow to redeem sessions. e.g. calling atleast 12 hours in advance to cancel a session without being charged for the session.

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Is it legal to set an expiration date on personal training sessions?
by: John Belkewitch

As long as your client is aware of it up front, there's no issue here.

One way to avoid this is to charge for a monthly package as opposed to session packages.

So, instead of offering a 5, 10 or 20 session package, you may want to offer a 3, 6 and 12 month package.

Make sure the client is clear on your cancellation/make up policies, everything is in writing, you get a signature, and you're good to go.

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Seek Legal Advice
by: Ruby

This seems like question best for your lawyer. I am not expert on contract law; however, if you have a signed contract between the customer and yourself for a specific expiration I see no reason for this to be illegal.

However, get some legal advice. You can always check with your local SBA (small business association) to get linked with lawyers who offer advice free of charge and/or at a reduced fee for small business owners.

I hope this helps!
Ruby

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Expiration Date for Personal Training Sessions
by: Tania Quinones of Get Fit...Do Life! LLC

Assigning an expiration date for personal training sessions is definitely and highly recommended! You do not want to sell a contract for _# of sessions to see a client vanish (reason does not matter) and then show up a year later expecting you to accommodate their schedule. Most likely, with time, your schedule will change and squeezing in unexpected returns may not be feasible and without protection, you are at a loss. Set yourself up for success by being proactive and serious about your time.

Add an expiration clause in your contract and be sure to point it out upon agreement. Let's say someone signed for 36 sessions with an intended 3x/wk schedule; this would last 3 months and then add and extra 4 months (for a total of 7 months) to complete the 36 sessions. It's more than enough time and if your clients want results, then they should betraining as routinely as possible anyway.

The important part is to always be open and honest with your clients and make sure you are providing a valuable service. Should a situation arise where you feel an extension is warranted, then including a 'suspension of services with written notice of _# of days' and 'at our discretion' clauses will provide the perfect protection for you and pliability for your clients. At then end of the day, be sure your intention to serve and provide are sincere and you will be fine.

Tania Quinones
Get Fit...Do Life! LLC
www.GetFitDoLife.com

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