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Gym Fees

(28 Posts)
ChrissieS79 Wed 10-Aug-16 07:26:06

I joined my local big chain gym 4 years ago paying monthly by direct debit (£21/mo) and have been using it 3 or so times ever since. Me and Dh have a separate bills account out of which all our direct debit and standing orders come from and monthly we must make 15-20 regular payments for all sorts of stuff.

I came home yesterday to a very snooty/aggressive letter from the gym threatening debt collectors because somehow the direct debit had been cancelled nearly 2 yrs ago (not by me though) and saying I was owe them £462 to be paid within the next 28 days.

I have an members card which is swiped to get in so don't really understand how it was still active if I wasn't paying. I've checked the bank and they're right though and payments haven't come out since summer 2014 but i just didn't notice it since the account ticks along.with no real effort on our part.

What to do? I'm obviously not happy about shelling out nearly £500 in one go. Should I take a stand and tell them that I'm not paying?

mamapants Wed 10-Aug-16 07:30:18

You've used it 3 times in total since 2014 or 3 times a month, three times a week?
If you've been using the gym of course you should pay, why wouldn't you?
Of course they should have spotted it sooner but you've been benefitting from their facilities.
You could ask for a payment plan.

Toffeelatteplease Wed 10-Aug-16 07:39:21

pay it. you have used a service you haven't paid for for nearly 2 years. ffs

then seriously tighten up on budgeting skills. I'm not the most anal budgeter but I do know to check whether all the DD have gone so I don't spend extra that actually should be taken up by bills.

Then I'd take up the card not working

TheNaze73 Wed 10-Aug-16 07:41:27

Pay it, you've royally been taking the piss

Amelie10 Wed 10-Aug-16 07:43:02

It's not a snooty/aggressive letter hmm it's just asking you to pay up what you owe. The cheek of you getting upset when it's you who owes someone else money!
Contact them and ask if you can work out a payment plan and explain the problem, but you don't get to be an arse about it because it's your problem really.

cantthinkofanythingwitty Wed 10-Aug-16 07:45:07

If the payments haven't been coming out of the bank account which you have been paying the money into, do you not still have that money available?

Thefitfatty Wed 10-Aug-16 07:45:58

Pay it. But YNABU to wonder why this wasn't noticed a long time ago?

If 500 is too much to shell out at once, go on talk to their manager and see if you can pay it off over the next few months. Explain that you don't know why it was stopped. Also, follow up with your bank.

Becky546 Wed 10-Aug-16 07:47:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LunaLoveg00d Wed 10-Aug-16 07:50:15

Agree that it seems weird that the swipe has been letting you in all of this time, but if it's not been paid, you have to pay it. Perhaps ask to pay it in three chunks or something.

cexuwaleozbu Wed 10-Aug-16 07:52:52

It sounds like the debt is legitimate but they should have done something sooner.

Letter along the lines of.

Thank you for your recent communications. I have been dismayed to discover that the direct debit which I believed was paying my fees was indeed cancelled in the summer of 2014. I had no idea that it wasn't functioning.

Whilst I acknowledge the debt I must point out that you share responsibility for this situation as you have waited for nearly two years, during which I have used the facilities regularly and you had every opportunity to alert me, to mention anything about this.

The debt is only so large because it has taken you so long to alert me to the situation so it is only fair that you acknowledge this responsibility by agreeing to a flexible payment plan to allow me to spread the repayment ad I do not have £462 available immediately. Furthermore it would not be reasonable for any interest to be charged on this debt as you share the responsibility for its accrual. I am able to pay £14 per month towards this debt, I will reinstate my direct debit for membership and increase the monthly fees collected by this amount.

Yours sincerely etc

AgentProvocateur Wed 10-Aug-16 07:54:13

FFS, "Should I take a stand and tell them I'm not paying?" hmm Do you "take a stand" at the supermarket and "tell them you're not paying" or when you're given the bill at a restaurant? Thought not. Keep a closer eye on your accounts and pay what you owe.

ihatethecold Wed 10-Aug-16 07:59:07

I'm with you op.
It's their mistake not yours.
We have lots of dd that go out every month.
If it was all in a different account I can see how you might miss it.

If your card still works I can see why you would assume everything was OK.

It's the gyms responsibility to claim the dd every month.

I wouldn't be wanting to shell out all the money they've asked for.

londonrach Wed 10-Aug-16 08:00:11

Nothing wrong with letter asking you for what you owe. Both at fault here (gym and you for letting it go so long). Contact the gym and arrange a payment plan if £500 is too much in one go. If necessary arrange to meet manager or financial officer, whoever deals with money face to face and find a solution. End result is you need to pay but as its been over such a long time im sure you can negotiate a payment plan.

Amelie10 Wed 10-Aug-16 08:03:39

ihatethecold what a shit attitude you have. So you think the op shouldn't pay for something she made good use of? You don't think she should even attempt to make a payment plan arrangement? hmm

OliviaStabler Wed 10-Aug-16 08:09:19

Should I take a stand and tell them that I'm not paying?

Of course not. You have been using the service so you must pay for it. Granted it is very annoying no one picked up on this for an extended period of time but you are aware now and must settle the dent. If you cannot afford the repayment in one go, negotiate some smaller payments.

Champagneformyrealfriends Wed 10-Aug-16 08:12:49

You should pay it but I'd be pretty pissed off-£462 is a lot of money and I certainly couldn't afford to pay it all at once. I'd go in and speak to the gym manager-explain you hadn't noticed the payments weren't being taken because you'd trusted that the DD had been set up properly and see what they can do in terms of a payment plan.

Is the letter from a company called Debit Finance Collections? Or from the gym?

cherryplumbanana Wed 10-Aug-16 08:22:08

If you mean you have only been at the gym 3 times since you joined and haven't used it really, what I wouldn't advise is to tell them that the DD was cancelled when you cancelled your membership and they should find your cancellation letter. I wouldn't say that you haven't got copy of the cancellation as it has been more than 2 years. Totally wrong, really what you should not do.

(run for cover)

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Wed 10-Aug-16 08:37:58

Well they should have noticed earlier, but so should you. It was your responsibility to ensure that it was paid.

Is there any chance that your joint account for bills didn't have enough money in it for the DD debit to be taken? This happened to me once and my bank cancelled the DD. I had to arrange for it to be set up again.

YelloDraw Wed 10-Aug-16 08:44:58

You should pay it off but not all at once.

Ask them WTF the card wasn't canceled and they didn't contact you sooner! Shit controls on their part.

Say you can't afford £500 in one go, and you will pay off at £100/month+monthly gym fee.

NerrSnerr Wed 10-Aug-16 08:47:23

You're both at fault but you need to pay. You been using a service you've been getting for free.

sirfredfredgeorge Wed 10-Aug-16 08:57:03

I disagree that it was your responsibility to ensure that it was paid by monitoring the account for the money leaving. You're buying a service, paid for in advance, so while they continue providing the service it's not unreasonable to assume that you're paid up.

Still think it's reasonable to pay though, but the gym should've been friendlier with the letter, and more pro-active in dealing with it before. What happened with the letters saying they were going to take stuff out by Direct Debit?

MackerelOfFact Wed 10-Aug-16 09:10:36

Direct debit instructions come from the customer though surely? So although they collect the money via direct debit, it's your responsibility to make sure it's all set up and running. Otherwise people would just cancel the DD themselves, deny all knowledge, and end up getting stuff for free (which I do appreciate isn't what happened here).

I'd try and appeal to their better nature and see if you can set up a payment plan with them as a best case scenario.

Sonders Wed 10-Aug-16 09:24:27

I think it's just one of those things, at some point there was an error but at the end of the day, you have been receiving a service and not paying for it.

I agree with PP that you should agree a payment plan. If it's gone to a debt collector you might have to deal with them now - it's not all bad - you might be able to settle for less than what is owed.

KidLorneRoll Wed 10-Aug-16 09:31:46

You've made use of a service, of course you have to pay. I'm sure if the gym had been charging you too much every month you would be demanding to get the money back.

Once you've paid, learn how to monitor your finances better. It's not hard, just set up a spreadsheet that you can use to check your payments against.

Scarydinosaurs Wed 10-Aug-16 09:37:55

Surely the first step is to contact your bank and ascertain how the DD was cancelled in the first place?

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