Saturday, January 5

A Thinner Wallet

After a morning spent dodging overweight joggers kitted out in their brand new tracksuits and trainers strutting their stuff on the streets of Barrow. I realised that it's that time of year again; our local gyms will be rubbing their hands together and counting the cash again, just as they do every year. But from what I have been told some of the more unscrupulous gym's have found a way of extracting cash from folk during the leaner times of the year. This takes the form of either a phone call or a letter telling you that you have won either a year’s membership or a voucher for several hundred pounds. The punter then dashes to the gym eager to collect this wonderful prize but is told that first they must sign some paperwork and pay a £10 fee. Only later do they realise that they have actually signed a legally binding direct debit agreement for two years membership fees. Yes they are getting a year’s free membership or a big discount, but first they have to pay full price for the first year. Several of my fares have been stung by this scam and after taking legal advice have found that it's perfectly legal. Because you have entered their premises, paid a deposit and signed the agreement. That’s it! you’re trapped into paying up. So be warned, if the offer sounds too good to be true it usually is, always read the small print first.

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