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To think th gymnastics club are taking the mick?

(57 Posts)
DonutCone Mon 13-Jul-20 23:14:57

DD and DS go to a gymnastics club. A family owned club, very much a for-profit business. You have to pay a term in advance, and often much earlier, so by October you need to pay for January - April.

Obviously term ended 2 weeks earlier than it was meant to in March, so we essentially paid for 10 hours of lessons we didn't get (8 hours a week for DD and 2 for DS). Now we've had an email saying they will be running lessons once a week for the next 3 weeks at £12 for 55 minutes. It has been asked if all the missed lessons can be used towards the cost of the new lessons, but they cannot.

AIBU to think we are now paying for the same thing twice. The 10 hours we missed equates to £65 of lessons and now for 2 children they want an additional £72 for 6 hours. I am so fed up of paying for things we aren't getting. One sports club made us pay for the entire summer term as we had signed a contract saying we were committed for a year, despite the leisure center being closed and saying they were not changing any clubs a penny.

OP’s posts: |
Timeforanotherusername Mon 13-Jul-20 23:18:50

They are most likely fighting for survival.

NoSquirrels Mon 13-Jul-20 23:30:39

There's such a huge variation in extra-curricular clubs and the provision they've offered during lockdown. Most of my DC clubs have had some sort of digital video-based offering, which has meant the fees have been going towards offering value, even if it's not exactly what we would usually expect. For instance one of my DC's clubs is offering free summer workshops to make up for lost 'in person' hours, and has kept up a full programme of virtual classes, but charged full fees throughout; another has dropped fees by 50% as a "retainer" for the place but offered nothing otherwise.

I'd feel aggrieved about your situation. They need to be careful - people will be looking carefully at value for money and which businesses to keep supporting.

user1487194234 Mon 13-Jul-20 23:34:25

A lot of these clubs will go under ,they can't get by on fresh air
I paid all clubs etc in full

DonutCone Mon 13-Jul-20 23:34:31

Timeforanotherusername

They are most likely fighting for survival.

But does that give them the right to charge the parents twice? if you ordered something from a shop but they didn't deliver it would you write off the money you'd spent to keep the shop afloat?

I just don't have a lot of goodwill towards them as they have always been totally money focused. If you join part way through the term you still have to pay for the entire term etc. I think if they had shown some flexibility before this I would have felt better about it.

OP’s posts: |
DonutCone Mon 13-Jul-20 23:37:23

NoSquirrels

There's such a huge variation in extra-curricular clubs and the provision they've offered during lockdown. Most of my DC clubs have had some sort of digital video-based offering, which has meant the fees have been going towards offering value, even if it's not exactly what we would usually expect. For instance one of my DC's clubs is offering free summer workshops to make up for lost 'in person' hours, and has kept up a full programme of virtual classes, but charged full fees throughout; another has dropped fees by 50% as a "retainer" for the place but offered nothing otherwise.

I'd feel aggrieved about your situation. They need to be careful - people will be looking carefully at value for money and which businesses to keep supporting.

So one of DD's clubs has asked us to pay 50% but has offered a zoom lesson once a week (normally 4 lessons a week). I can live with this.

Gymnastics has made no effort to run anything when a lot of other gym clubs have, but want us to write off £65 - which I think is a lot of money.

OP’s posts: |
nonicknameseemsavailable Mon 13-Jul-20 23:43:26

hmm I think it really comes down to whether you want them to stay in business or not.

it isn't fair you lost the classes for 2 weeks. it isn't fair you are having to pay more now per lesson either but I assume that is to be in smaller groups?

We just accepted and wrote off the stuff the kids missed the last 2 weeks of last term as 2 weeks was a bit like if they had been ill or we had been doign other things and not able to go and it was noone's fault etc. I wouldn't have been happy to have had to pay for a whole term that wasn't offered like you did. Paying more to be in smaller groups? if it is just for a few weeks and you can afford it then I would say do it as the kids will have no doubt really missed it. The question would be though what is the price going to be in the new term and is that sustainable for families.

AllsortsofAwkward Mon 13-Jul-20 23:44:35

I work for a private swim school all blocks paid for are transferable. We wouldn't run a business like that and charge for something the kids didn't get. The same for the leisure centre I work for aswell.

NoSquirrels Mon 13-Jul-20 23:45:07

In this situation, I would decline their offer of 3 weeks' worth of lessons, and say you'll see them for the next term.

bicky Mon 13-Jul-20 23:46:20

I’d start looking for a new gym club, they sound greedy

BravoSalut Mon 13-Jul-20 23:47:03

That is crazy 😳. Our gymnastics club has said we will receive all sessions that were paid for as soon as the club reopens - I think we will get them in addition to the usual session they attend.

DonutCone Mon 13-Jul-20 23:49:31

Groups seem to be the same size! The gym is huge so they can easily space the kids out.

I guess I'm not invested in making sure they survive. They are very much the type of club that makes you pay to watch your child in the Xmas show, which if your child doesn't do, they have to miss the last week of lessons as they are rehearsals only.

OP’s posts: |
AllsortsofAwkward Mon 13-Jul-20 23:54:01

There's plenty of other clubs op.

NoSquirrels Mon 13-Jul-20 23:54:18

Unless the opportunities/coaching your children receive is outstanding, i would vote with my feet, in that case. There's a sweet spot in running a business like this that is making profit and not having people take the piss and treating your clients as valued members of a community, and it seems they don't realise it.

Charleyhorses Tue 14-Jul-20 05:16:27

Mmm. It's tricky.
Dd did a musical theatre class that has just emailed to say they are packing it in. She does trampoline and gym at the local community college (rural area). They won't go ahead as it's in a local school. Guides prob not happening because the leader is shielding etc etc.

Bmidreams Tue 14-Jul-20 05:29:40

I wouldn't stand for it. I'd tell them they still owe me £65 so take it from that. It's a business as you say.

Bluetrews25 Tue 14-Jul-20 06:00:56

So stop going, then?
They've managed without for 12 weeks.

DuineArBith Tue 14-Jul-20 06:30:43

I'd question what value there is in a "running lesson" anyway. If you're paying for a coach to stand there watching your child run, you can do that yourself in the local park.

123th Tue 14-Jul-20 06:48:17

Ours are letting us carry the classes, but asked for a £10 voluntary contribution each month which we've (and I think most) have been doing.

oblada Tue 14-Jul-20 06:57:03

"One sports club made us pay for the entire summer term as we had signed a contract saying we were committed for a year, despite the leisure center being closed and saying they were not changing any clubs a penny." - I wouldn't have paid in this case. The contract doesn't stand when the situation is radically changed by the pandemic situation. It's a clear example of frustration of contract and nothing was owed.
In the case of your other club - similarly they are taking the piss but for only 2 weeks worth of classes it wouldn't bother me. I've not tried to recoup 2 weeks' worth of nursery fees or other clubs I had paid in advance but in your shoes I wouldn't be impressed either.
One club will reimburse whatever hasn't been used (they did some zoom sessions but shorter, cheaper and voluntary), the drama club has been running half sessions online (also cheaper). Other clubs haven't been able to run and haven't charged. We were lucky we had just stopped the swimming club. I imagine (knowing them) that they would have kept our money even though we would have paid for 10 weeks worth (about 10pounds per week per child) just before lockdown.

Newchapter2020 Tue 14-Jul-20 07:14:07

I wouldn't be happy about that. We have to pay a term in advance but when they had to close, we got the money refunded. It is a big gymnastics club though

underneaththeash Tue 14-Jul-20 07:25:22

The Consumer Act is very clear, if they haven't offered a service you've paid for, you are entitled to get your money back. It's irrelevant what the contract says - it's not possible to contract out of UK law.

But, as PP poster said, their costs at the end of that missed term would have been fixed and probably non-recoverable. No-one makes a huge amount of money out of an out-of-school gymnastics club.

If you're struggling for money at the moment, I'd quote consumer law and ask again. Otherwise, just let it go.

rwalker Tue 14-Jul-20 07:34:30

On the face of it I,d say they are being grabby and trying taking no finical hit .
If it's been run properly with honest accounting and leisure centre not charging them (all council facilities round by us have done that) between furlough, self employed or business grants they should be fine.

lilgreen Tue 14-Jul-20 07:44:40

I get they’re struggling but they could try other ways to recoup. My local scouts group has set the scouts a sponsored challenge to recoup fees. The zoom classes would have been good at 50% as a op said. Yanbu

monkeyonthetable Tue 14-Jul-20 07:46:58

They may be a business trying to stay afloat, but everyone has been hit financially by Covid. They can't just fleece their clients. I would tell them that they can either offset what they owe you or pay you back. Their lack of flexibility (ironic for a gym club wink) and their greed is very poor customer service. They don't deserve to stay afloat with this attitude.

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