Individuals can cancel a membership to a fitness or weight-management centre if they do so in writing, within the provided deadlines. Whether they have concluded your contract in person, by phone or online, the same rules apply.
Cancellation deadline: short-term
Under the Consumer Protection Act, individuals can cancel their contract at two different times:
- before the beginning of the delivery of services included in the contract. In this case, no fees can be charged;
- within a deadline that is less than or equal to 1/10 of the contract’s duration, from the moment the centre started delivering the services. In this case, the merchant can claim a fee that corresponds to 1/10 of the total cost specified in the contract.
For example: If a member signed a 10-month contract with a fitness centre for a total cost of $400. Individuals can end the contract within the first four weeks. If so, the centre can charge $40, that is, 1/10 of $400.
Cancellation deadline: longer term
If an individual wants to cancel their contract after the deadline set by the Consumer Protection Act, they can do so under the Civil Code of Québec.
The merchant may charge a compensation fee. In particular, the merchant has the right to claim payment for services rendered. For example: If cancelling a one-year contract that cost $420 after four months. The merchant could lawfully claim:
- $140 for the period during which services were received;
- an additional amount, if the merchant can prove that damages were suffered as a result of the contract cancellation.
The merchant will be required to refund any amounts paid in advance for services that were not rendered.
If individuals have the opinion that the compensation claimed is excessive, they can dispute them in court.
How to cancel a membership
To cancel a membership, individuals must fill out and send the cancellation form enclosed with the contract or another written notice to the merchant.
From the postmark date, the merchant has 10 days to provide a refund, if applicable.
Cancelling a purchase made from a group purchasing website
If an individual has purchased a prepaid card or voucher to be redeemed for a membership in a fitness or weight-management centre on a group purchasing website, and if the merchant who manages the website does not respect its obligations when it is paid with a credit card, the purchase can be cancelled.
Cancellation terms for the purchase of material or equipment
If an individual purchased material or equipment from the merchant for a total value of more than $100, they can cancel the purchase contract (without cancelling their membership to the centre). Changes can be made based on the option that provides the most time, within 10 days of either of the following dates:
- delivery of the material or equipment;
- the day on which the merchant gives access to the fitness centre or began providing weight management services.
To cancel purchases, individuals have two options:
- return the items to the merchant;
- send the cancellation form enclosed with the purchase contract or another written notice to the merchant. In such a case, items must be returned to the merchant within 10 days after sending the form or notice.
If the items are damaged, the merchant may refuse to cancel the contract.
From the moment the contract is cancelled, the merchant has 10 days for reimbursement. The merchant is also responsible for any fees incurred to return the material or equipment.