OLYMPIA, Wash. — After receiving dozens of complaints, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson sent an open letter to fitness centers and gyms across the state warning that the businesses must let customers cancel their memberships for any reason.
The letter included this guidance:
- Gyms and fitness centers must allow customers to cancel their memberships at any time, for any reason, including the inability to access their gym or fitness due to the global pandemic, provided those requests are issued in writing.
- Members who cancel their gym and fitness center membership are legally entitled to a refund – not credits – of the unused portion of any prepaid fees or dues.
- Fitness centers must pay the refund within 30 days of receipt of a written notice of cancellation.
- Gyms and fitness centers cannot misrepresent these rights or prevent members from cancelling.
His letter warns that any gym that doesn’t comply is violating the Washington State Consumer Protection Act, and will face legal action from his office.
“The law is clear: Washingtonians are allowed to cancel their gym memberships any time, for any reason,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson’s office said nothing in the law stops a fitness center or gym from waiving the written requirement and accepting cancellations by phone. The businesses can also comply with the law by not charging membership fees until gyms can safely reopen.
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