CHICAGO, IL- December
28, 2012 – Losing
weight is among the most common New Year’s resolutions. The Better Business
Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois (BBB) advises consumers who want
to lose weight to be cautious when signing up for gym memberships.
In the last 12 month period, the BBB has received 7,152 inquiries
compared to 5,199 for the previous 12 months or an increase of 37% in inquiries about health clubs.
a health club is a big decision,” said Steve J. Bernas,
president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago
and Northern Illinois. “It is important that
you visit the club and feel that it is a good fit for both your budget and your
Before you sign a contract at a new health club, the BBB advises you to
consider your needs and your budget.
- Determine your fitness goals. It’s hard work to lose
weight, and you need to find a program you can stick with, and preferably
one that you enjoy. Find a health club or exercise facility that is
convenient and that offers times that fit your schedule.
- Visit the facility before
Check on cleanliness, adequacy of space, machines and instructors, and any
other factors important to you. Ask if you can try the facility out before
- Consider your budget. Ask the health club about
“joining” or enrollment fees and ongoing monthly costs. Does a weight loss
plan require you to buy special foods? Can you cancel if you move or find
that the program doesn’t meet your needs? If the facility closes, can you
transfer your membership to another facility?
- Read the entire contract. Does it list all services
and facilities and hours of operation? Is everything the salesperson
promised included in the contract? What’s included in the monthly fee and
what will cost you extra? What is the total cost, including enrollment
fees and finance charges?
- Check with the BBB first. Check a company’s Business Review
Before beginning an exercise program or diet, the BBB
advises consumers to consult a doctor for an assessment of over-all health
risks. Get the doctor’s recommendations on exercise regimens that fit your
health status and ability to stick with it.
For more consumer tips, visit www.bbb.org
private, non-profit organization, the purpose of the Better Business Bureau is
to promote an ethical marketplace. BBBs help resolve buyer/seller complaints by
means of conciliation, mediation and arbitration. BBBs also review advertising
claims, online business practices and charitable organizations. BBBs develop
and issue reviews on businesses and nonprofit organizations and encourage
people to check out a company or charity before making a purchase or donation.