Direct Debit memberships

 

First Choice Fitness proudly complies with the office of Fair Trading (Code of Practice – Fitness Industry) regulation 2003, and would like to make you aware of some of the important points of information.

A copy of the code is kept on premises and can be viewed at any time.

Object of the Code

  • Ensure appropriate standards of trading are maintained in the fitness industry
  • Promote client confidence in the fitness industry
  • Ensure fitness services are supplied to clients in an ethical and professional way

Minimum term/total minimum cost of membership

The minimum term is the amount of time that the client has agreed to commit to paying the agreed normal weekly or fortnightly rate for. If a member suspends their membership or their regular payments are missed then the minimum term will not be considered complete, until the total cost of the membership during the minimum term has been paid. The remaining balance on the account can be requested at any time.

Cooling Off Period
When a client enters into an agreement there is a 48 hour cooling off period, where the client can terminate the agreement in writing. Please note that in accordance with the code of practice, First Choice Fitness may charge a fee for any fitness service supplied to the client before the agreement was terminated ($25.00 for a program, and $16.00 for each casual visit), as well as an administration fee (the lesser of $75.00 or 10% of the membership fee). After 48 hours, the agreement stands and should you wish to terminate the agreement after this time, an early termination fee of $250.00 (maximum) applies. The $10 administration fee is non refundable, as this is charged by Debit Success and does not form part of the First Choice Fitness contract agreement.

Until Further Notice Agreements
For direct debit members your agreement at First Choice Fitness is ‘Until Further Notice’ (unless otherwise specified at the time of joining) meaning that it is an on-going agreement and at the end of your initial term your membership fees WILL continue to be deducted until you notify us in writing 30 days in advance to cancel your membership.

Transfer
Transfers are for members who are still in contract and do not want to continue their membership. Memberships can be transferred to another person who is willing to take over all aspects of the membership. This includes seeing out the remainder of the minimum term of the membership. It is the existing members’ responsibility to source another person to take over the membership and First Choice Fitness will not provide any assistance for this.  Transfers incur an administration fee of $27.50 + a $10 admin fee to Debit Success to set up a new direct debit agreement.

Suspension
Payments may be suspended for a minimum of 2 weeks at a time so long as the total time suspended within the minimum term does not exceed 6 weeks. In order to suspend payments you should contact Debit Success at least 3 days prior to the date of the first suspended payment. There is a charge of $5.00 per week while the contract is suspended. Any time spent on suspension will be added onto the minimum term of the contract so that the sum of the installments payable for the minimum term or number of payments shall still be payable, regardless of any suspension or suspension charges made.

NB – If notice of cancellation is given while the account is on suspension then the direct debit amount will return to the normal direct debit amount during the 30 day cancellation notice period.

Cancellation procedure

All Direct Debit memberships require 30 days written notice to cancel. The account must have completed its minimum term and/or the total minimum cost of membership must be paid by the end of this 30 day notice period.  When we receive notice of cancellation, we will respond in writing or email confirming the last direct debit date. Customers should not consider their account closed until they have received written confirmation of the cancellation from either First Choice Fitness or Debit Success. During the 30 day notice period, fees will continue to be deducted at the full membership rate, regardless of whether the account is suspended or on limited access. Any overdue fees also have to be settled before the account is considered cancelled.

Cancellation due to sickness or incapacity

A client may terminate a membership agreement with a supplier if the client cannot use a fitness service due to the client’s permanent sickness or permanent physical incapacity. The client must give the supplier written notice of the termination and a medical certificate stating that the client cannot use the fitness service due to the client’s permanent sickness or permanent physical incapacity. The client is entitled to exit their minimum term contract early provided they provide 30 days written notice and:

  • Payment for any unpaid fitness services or outstanding membership fees
  • An administration fee (the lesser of $75 or 10% of the membership fee.)

Disclosure of ALL Fees
First Choice Fitness complies with the demand of the code of practice to provide written agreements signed by both the client and a representative of the company. Members are taken step by step through this information upon joining and copies of membership contracts are available. The fees of our membership varies in relation to the term, however the early termination fee of $250.00 (maximum) applies to all of them. Membership fees are detailed on the membership agreement form (which could be paper or online). First Choice Fitness limits upfront fees payable to a maximum of one year of membership at any one time. Please obtain copies for future reference.

Collection Process
Please be aware that Direct Debit memberships are handled by our billing company, Debit Success. For all of your billing inquiries, please contact Debit Success directly on:

 Debit Success – 1800 148 848

Any overdue or failed debits will be subject to the following collection process

  • First failed payment – overdue letter sent
  • Second consecutive failed payment – 2nd overdue letter sent and phone call
  • Third consecutive failed payment – 3rd overdue letter sent and a phone call to advise that debt collection is the next step and the account needs to be brought up to date ASAP or we to arrange catch up payments
  • Fourth consecutive failed payment – automatically sent to debt collection

It is important to ensure that all payments are kept up to date. Any failed payments will incur a $10.00 penalty fee. Please be aware that your debit dates can be arranged for your convenience.

Debt Recovery Fees

Following is an indication of the costs you will incur if amounts owing are referred on to debt collection.

  • Failed payments = $10 per failed payment
  • Account sent to debt collection = 25% loading

Membership door access cards
Upon joining you will be charged $29 for a membership door access card. This card is for your personal use only and should not be shared or lent to anyone else, even if they are a member. If the card is lost you will have to purchase another one for $29 to continue your membership. When using the card to enter or exit the premises you should not hold the door open for anyone else, regardless of whether they are a member. Our fitness centres are monitored with CCTV and anyone found purposely breaching our membership terms and conditions and/or club etiquette faces having their membership terminated and a cancellation fee of $250 being charged. Door cards are non-refundable.

Injuries/special conditions
All members are encouraged to undertake a complimentary initial consultation with a First Choice Fitness trainer, where all medical conditions/injuries will be discussed to set up an appropriate exercise program. Any client who wishes to opt out of the consultation will agree to assess their own fitness level, ability to exercise and risk to their health by participating in a fitness service at our centre. If you believe that there is a risk to your health by participating in a fitness service at any of our centres, you must inform us in writing about the risk.

Trading/staffed hours
Our trading hours and staffed hours are advertised on our website. First Choice Fitness retains the right to change the hours at anytime and without notice.

Group Fitness Classes
Any advertised group fitness classes are provided free of charge to members of First Choice Fitness. Please check the website for an up to date copy of the group fitness timetable. Group fitness classes are provided subject to instructor availability. We will do our upmost to communicate any changes to the group fitness timetable with as much notice as possible, however we retain the right to change the group fitness timetable at anytime and without notice.

Please refer to the Debit Success contract for full terms and conditions relating to Direct Debit memberships.