Conventional wisdom says that cancelling a gym membership is a huge headache.
A number of years ago, I wanted to cancel an L.A. Fitness membership and it involved the whole rigamarole of typing up a formal letter, trudging to the Post Office and paying to send it certified mail.
You hear so many horror stories of how easy it is to sign up at a gym, yet so difficult to cancel.
And because of my past experiences, I was gearing up for another long process to cancel my gym membership at Workout Anytime.
But to my surprise, the process was easier than I could have imagined!
How I added $19/month back to my budget with one call and one email
With the kids back in school, my time is very limited for exercise. I’ll try to hit the treadmill at home and do some pushups, but I can’t dedicate time to go a gym during the school year.
Over the summer, though, I made the effort and joined Workout Anytime on a month-to-month contract. It was the one of the only gyms near me and it turned out to be a great facility that was really quiet.
I was paying $19 a month, in addition to some miscellaneous one-time fees:
I knew I’d likely only be a member for a few months, so I remembered the friendly guy at the desk who signed me up mentioned there was an 800 number to call if I ever wanted to cancel.
Just a few days ago, I went back to the gym to get that number.
Turns out Workout Anytime is one of several gyms where the back office billing in handled by a company called ABC Financial out of Sherwood, Arkansas. They offer gym management software to a number of clients in the industry.
I was told to call ABC Financial Customer Care at 888-827-9262 to start the cancellation process. My interaction with the phone rep was pleasant and I got almost no push back on cancelling — other than the standard line of “Do you mind if I ask why you’re cancelling?”
The phone rep then gave me my contract number and told me to send an email to ABC Financial with that number and other identifying info on the account.
Sounds easy, right??? Still, I was doubtful things would go so smoothly based on prior experience with cancelling gym contracts.
But I did what I was told and sent this email:
This is what I got as an auto-response:
The auto-response didn’t really put me at ease despite the promise to get back to me within 48 hours. So I was still prepared to have to fight in order to cancel.
That’s when I got this email within the two-day time frame, as promised:
Now, I could choose to gripe about the one last payment that’s set to be charged to my credit card on August 4. But those are the terms I agreed to when I signed up.
I prefer to see the glass half-full and marvel at how easy it was to cancel with Workout Anytime and ABC Financial.
No having to type up a formal letter, no having to get to the post office and no having to pay for my letter to be sent certified mail!
I sent this message back to the company:
Maybe the gym membership cancellation process was so easy for me because I followed the advice of money expert Clark Howard and joined a month-to-month gym that didn't cram a long-term contract down my throat.
Or maybe it was so easy because that’s how ABC Financial makes it.
Either way, it was a win for the consumer! Now if only everything in life were this simple…
Of course, your results may vary when you try to cancel a gym contract. But this was my experience.
And in case you want to do business with a gym that you know will make it easy for you to cancel when you want, ABC Financial lists the following as clients on its website:
- Gold's Gym
- Powerhouse Gym
- World Gym
- 10 Fitness
- The Claremont Club
- Merritt Clubs
- Retro Fitness
- Fitness CF
- Chuze Fitness
- EOS Fitness
- ATC Fitness