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BBB Tip: Joining a gym or buying equipment from home? Avoid New Years Fraud in 2022 | Business


The start of a new year is often associated with increased interest in gym memberships, home workout equipment, and programs designed to lead a healthier lifestyle. As consumers recover from the holiday celebrations, including holiday dinners typically more robust than the standard fare, the New Year offers plenty of opportunities to help get rid of those extra portions of stuffing. However, it is important to keep in mind the scammers who take advantage of buyer trends for their own benefit and keep realistic fitness goals that consumers can follow throughout the year.

The pandemic may also influence typical New Year’s shopping this year. Rather than signing up for fitness classes at a local gym, many consumers may decide to purchase equipment at home to work out away from the risks associated with COVID-19. Over the past five years, Internet searches for “training equipment” peaked in January, with the exception of March 2020, when the World Health Organization designated COVID-19 as a pandemic. As is generally the case in the New Year, the Better Business Bureau expects an increase in reports of fraudulent companies promoting the sale of workout equipment that is never received or of poor quality. quality.

In January 2021, a Texas resident reported a loss of $ 2,100 when purchasing an elliptical trainer online. After paying for the equipment through Amazon Pay, the consumer stated that they “have not received any confirmation or contact of any kind. I am not receiving any response when emailing the company. In the same month, another Texas resident lost $ 500 after purchasing workout equipment online and said the company “will not ship the products you buy and will not allow you to cancel any. purchases After many attempts to get an update, they can’t tell me anything about my order.

In addition to the challenges presented by unethical and fraudulent businesses, consumers interested in improving their physical health in the New Year should also assess their fitness goals and determine their priorities when choosing a subscription. at a gym or home system.

Better Business Bureau provides the following tips for getting the most out of your fitness goals for the New Year:

Ask about the limited free trials. Gyms often offer a free one-week pass to potential members, and in-home programs offer a trial period to allow consumers to determine if it is suitable for their fitness goals. If you are interested in a gym membership, take the time to realistically determine what time of day you would be available for exercise and visit the gym during those hours to see how crowded it is or how crowded it is. if there is a wait for the equipment you would generally like to use in your workout routine. Check to see if limited essays are available for specialty courses or programs.

Don’t feel pressured. Don’t give in to pressured sales tactics to immediately join a workout program or make an online purchase without first researching the seller or the company. A reputable gym or program will give you enough time to carefully read the contract, tour the facilities, and make an informed decision. Be especially wary of claims that sound too good to be true, such as being guaranteed to lose a lot of weight extremely quickly.

Calculate the costs of the trust. Gyms and home workout programs often use introductory offers to encourage new members, especially in the New Year. However, the price might rise more than you anticipated after the initial period ends. Make sure you read the contract and expenses carefully and understand the regular monthly fees and what they include.

Take a walk. If you choose a gym membership, take the time to tour the facility and make sure the gym has the equipment, classes, and trainers you need or expect. Pay attention to the things you care about, whether it’s the cleanliness of the showers or the availability of Wi-Fi. Ask questions and make sure you understand the gym’s policies, including COVID-19 procedures and how which they maintain equipment sanitation.

Determine your fitness goals. Setting realistic fitness goals allows you to choose a facility or workout program that works best for you and will prevent you from missing out on your workout resolution for the rest of the year. Be sure to consult the doctor before embarking on any new fitness program, especially if there are any medical conditions that could be of concern.

Determine your priorities. What exactly are you looking for in a gym or home membership program? Is this a convenient location near you or a chain with plenty of places across the country you can go to on a trip? Answering these questions will help you determine the best fit for your lifestyle and fitness goals.

Understand the terms. Read the contract carefully before signing it, and make sure that any verbal promises made by a seller are in writing. Pay close attention to cancellation and renewal policies. Some gyms may charge a cancellation fee for moving, or will automatically renew your contract at the end of its term.

Use a credit card when shopping online. BBB strongly recommends that you use a credit card for all online purchases rather than a debit card, wire transfer, or transaction through a mobile banking app. In the event of a fraudulent seller or commercial purchase, credit cards offer additional protection and the ability to waive charges compared to other payment methods.

Visit BBB.org for more tips on how to have a fraud-free New Year.

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