Twenty health clubs in New Jersey have been fined a total of more than $158,000 for failing to comply with consumer protection laws.
The clubs were cited for not registering with the state, failing to maintain a required bond, or not conspicuously posting a notification of consumer rights.
Steve Lee, the acting director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, said many health clubs do abide by the law, but it’s important to take precautions before committing to a long membership contract.
“Be careful what you’re getting into. Make sure that before you sign, before you hand over your hard earned money, ask a lot of questions at the health club,” said Lee. “Find out if they’re bonded, if they maintain a required bond, a letter of credit, or a form of security, just in case they do go out of business or they violate the contract.”
Lee also advised consumers to demand a written contract that clearly indicates the full amount that must be paid.
Complaints can be filed with Consumer Affairs.