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For Immediate Release
March 22, 2007

Media Contact:
Raquel Guillory, 410-576-6357
rguillory@oag.state.md.us

Attorney General Gansler Advises Consumers to Weigh Their Options Before Joining a Health Club


Spring is just around the corner and for those who have New Year’s resolutions to keep, it is just another reminder to lose weight and get in shape. Health clubs, martial arts schools and weight loss centers are popular places to help take control of your health and your weight - but for a hefty price. In the latest issue of the consumer newsletter, The Consumer’s Edge, Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler advises Marylanders to choose their health club carefully and evaluate all the pros and cons before signing on the dotted line.

Consumers who pay in advance for health club services often find that they do not use the club as much as they had anticipated. As a result, they end up paying for services they do not use. In Maryland, an average of 30 to 40 health clubs close their doors each year, often resulting in lost money for consumers who have paid in advance.

By choosing a health club carefully, consumers can prevent or limit their losses if the club closes, and increase their chances of getting their money’s worth from the club they join. When choosing a health club, consumers should consider the following questions:

  • Is everything you’ve discussed in your contract?
  • Can you sign a short-term contract?
  • Can you make monthly payments?
  • Is the club registered and bonded as required by Maryland law?
  • Can you cancel your contract anytime if you no longer want to be a member of the club?

For more information on choosing a health club carefully and what to do if your health club closes, go to www.oag.state.md.us/Consumer/126.pdf.

The Attorney General’s office distributes The Consumer’s Edge through businesses, schools, and community associations. Groups interested in receiving the newsletter should call 410-576-6500.



   

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