Exercise in peace: learn how to escape the gym’s plan traps
With the beginning of the year, new goals are set. One of the most common is to start physical activities . In this process, gyms are usually the main choice, but in some cases, the client’s effort may be to undo disorders and not to exercise.
Businesswoman Suenia Queiroz, 36, saw a paid ad on a social network about a gym in Asa Norte. The price was far below average, and she decided to enroll. If you paid the full amount of the annual plan, the establishment offered two training modalities for the price of one. “I had never heard of the place, but as it was paying off, I went,” he says.
The offer seemed to be very advantageous for Suenia, who paid in cash the R $ 1,524 charged at the time of registration. Each monthly fee was R $ 127 in the promotion published by the academy. In May last year, she started classes and, for two months, worked out normally, practicing the two modalities offered. The problem started in August, when she arrived to exercise and found the doors closed.
The academy had ended its activities, without giving explanations. Suenia sought out the owners to recover the money for the months she had already paid, but received no response. The case ended up in court, and the process is still going on. After cases like that of the businesswoman, the question remains: what are the rights of those who enroll in a gym to work out?
According to the expert in civil law, the lawyer Mike Barros de Carvalho, all the client’s rights are those that are agreed in the contract of adhesion to the plan. Attention must be redoubled when checking a service – or the absence of it in the contract, as well as the amounts and payment terms. The documents can hide small “pitfalls” for those who are signing the agreement. He warns that, in case of any doubt, a lawyer should be consulted.
Mike also highlights cases of misleading advertising and omission of services. He explains that the smaller letters of the ads should be read carefully, to avoid surprises when paying. A common attitude in the industry is to offer the first monthly fees for a lower price than the others. The offer is not irregular, but if the contractor is not aware of the change, he may feel injured. In such cases, he reiterates the importance of seeking a lawyer for guidance on how to act.
Another right of the gym plan contractor is to be reimbursed for any loss of property in the lockers or parking lots of the place. According to article 14 of the Consumer Protection Code, “the service provider is responsible, regardless of the existence of fault, for repairing the damage caused to consumers by defects related to the provision of services, as well as for insufficient or inadequate information about their enjoyment and scratchs”.
It was taking all these precautions that Daniel de Oliveira, 21, had a peaceful termination of contract with the academy where he trained. “The contract was very clear about what I would have to do to get out of the gym. From the moment I looked for the administration to leave, I had to pay only one monthly fee and continued training until the end of the paid month. Everything as planned ”, reports the student.
* Intern under the supervision of Marina Mercante
Tips for working out without problems
Civil law expert Mike Barros lists five precautions to take before joining a contract
Attention to the details
• Like any other document, the membership contract must be read thoroughly and carefully. Only sign if all clauses are clear to you.
• The contract must make clear all the services and modalities that you are hiring and you will have the right to enjoy
• When registering, keep all the hiring documents, from promotion folders to offers prints and, obviously, the adhesion contract.
Clarification of doubts
• Be sure to obtain any information in case of doubt. Always ask the gym staff.
Intransigence for product exchange
Lawyer Ricardo Nogueira went to Grita do Consumidor to complain about the Youcom store at Brasília Shopping. The reader had to change a part, but the value of the new product was less than that of the part that would be exchanged. Ricardo could not take the difference in cash or leave the credit for later use. The establishment demanded that any product be chosen to make up the difference. The lawyer then chose a more expensive product and paid the difference. “What bothered me was the store’s uncompromising stance,” said Ricardo.
Youcom informed by phone that, in these cases, customers are entitled to an exchange voucher, with no expiration date, with the difference amount.
“Nobody at the store informed me of any exchange vouchers. What they did was force me to choose a product of the same price, or less, and lose the value, or greater and pay the difference. ”