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For Immediate Release
December 4, 2003
Media Contact: 410-576-6357

CONSUMERS CAN CHECK REGISTRATION, BOND STATUS OF HEALTH CLUBS ON ATTORNEY GENERAL’S WEB SITE

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that consumers considering joining a health club, self defense school or weight loss center can go online to check whether the facility is properly registered and bonded at www.oag.state.md.us/healthclub. Maryland’s Health Club Services Law requires health clubs, self defense schools, and weight loss centers to register annually with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division and, if the business collects more than three months’ advance payment or charges an initiation fee that exceeds $200, post a security to protect consumers’ payments.

“ The registration and bonding requirements of this law protect consumers against losing money if the facility closes,” said Curran. “With this new tool, consumers will be able to easily tell whether a facility they are considering joining is registered and whether that facility can take advance payments.”

Consumers can use the Web site to look up specific facilities or can see listings of registered clubs by county, and also find tips on what to ask before signing a membership contract. The site also contains information for health club owners about the registration process.

Consumers without Internet access can get the information by calling the Consumer Protection Division’s Health Club Unit at 410-576-6350.

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Attorney General of Maryland 1 (888) 743-0023 toll-free / TDD: (410) 576-6372
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