Can a Doctor's Note Get You Out of a Gym Contract? - NBC Southern California
Randy Responds

Randy Responds

CONSUMER PROBLEM? RANDY MAC HAS YOUR BACK.

Can a Doctor's Note Get You Out of a Gym Contract?

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    A man with health problems wants to end his gym contract because his doctor says he can't workout. Randy Mac explains how a doctor's note affects your gym contract. (Published Monday, Feb. 6, 2017)

    We've all been there. It's a new year and we're making resolutions to shape up.

    Marine Corps veteran Andre Hicks is no different, but the stakes are a little higher.

    "I have degenerative joints, I have extremely bad arthritis," Hicks said.

    His surgically repaired knee doesn't help. Hicks hit the gym to take a little weight off.

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    He put in a $500 deposit for a personal trainer at a Fitness 19. A couple sessions in, his doctor told him to stop.

    The workout was too intense for his body and could actually do more damage. Hicks got a doctor's note to prove it. It said Hicks is "unable to perform gym exercises/training" in his condition.

    Is that note enough reason to get a refund from the gym?

    Attorney Brian Kabateck says you're probably not getting a refund at most gyms. Let's face it, a lot of people quit the gym before ever breaking a sweat, so contracts are very specific.

    "Gym contracts are not consumer friendly contracts," he said. "Gyms are protective. They say, 'Look, we've collected this money, this is our business, we can't just keep giving refunds.'"

    After bringing in his note, Hicks got word Fitness 19 would refund him his full balance as a courtesy, telling us "we always want to do the right thing for all our members, especially someone who fought for our country."

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    Turning his attention to healthy eating, this soldier's won this battle. He's now hoping others can learn from him as well.

    "Maybe I can bring some attention to this issue and someone else won't walk into this wall," he said.

    When can you get out your contract early? There's really only one way and that's if you move more than 25 miles away. That's why it's important to know what you're signing before you put pen to paper.

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