DECO informs…

In this new column, Portuguese consumer watchdog DECO will be informing readers of various interesting issues and laws affecting consumer decisions.

“I want to sign up for a gym. What precautions should I take?”

The relationship between a gym and its users is based around an adhesion contract, which presents a group of rules and regulations that clients must accept.

Potential gym-goers do not have a say in the terms of the agreement except for a few details, such as choosing a schedule that suits them or method of payment. When it comes to everything else, either they accept the rules or search for an alternative.

Most of the time, clients do not even fully understand what is presented in these contracts. The normal procedure would be to present a copy of the document before anything is signed, but unfortunately many users report difficulties in obtaining one.

Those thinking about joining a gym should always insist on receiving a duplicate of the contract and regulations to read at home and make a conscientious decision.

Before signing the deal, clients should check:

-The equipment and infrastructures in order to verify if the gym offers good conditions.

-If the gym has an operating licence.

-If the regulations, including safety and usage rules, are displayed in visible areas.

-The insurance policy and ask for a copy of it.  

We also advise prospective gym-goers to watch out for special deals and other kind of offers. One must check if these truly present any advantages or if they hide any ‘traps’.