Signing a gym membership contract? Read it and ask questions.

Getting in shape is a popular New Year’s resolution, and many people sign up for gym memberships this time of year. To avoid future problems, it’s important to find out about what you’re committing to before you sign a gym contract.

Here are some things you should do when joining a gym or signing up for a membership:

  • Get a copy of the contract or membership agreement. You have a legal right to receive a copy of a sales contract or service agreement.
  • Carefully review the contract before you sign it. Ask questions about anything that isn’t clear or that doesn’t make sense.
  • Find out exactly what you will be charged for. Gyms may charge additional fees beyond monthly or annual membership fees. Ask what types of fees they charge, including sign-up and cancellation fees.
  • Find out if your membership expires or if it automatically renews. How long is the membership you are signing up for? Will you be charged automatically if you do not take steps to cancel?
  • Find out exactly what you need to do to cancel your membership. Are there fees to cancel? Is there a waiting period? If so, how much advance notice do you have to give?
  • Get any special deals in writing. Make sure you get any special discounts or promotional prices included in the contract. Do not rely on verbal promises from employees or even managers about prices, sign-up fees, or annual fees. If you are getting a special deal, ask how long the deal lasts, and what you will be charged when it ends.

If you have a problem with your gym, or with any other business in the District, the Office of the Attorney General can help. We have the authority to investigate businesses who mislead or harm consumers, and we can take legal action against them if necessary.

You can submit a consumer complaint by calling our Consumer Protection Hotline at 202-442-9828, emailing , or submitting a complaint online. You can also learn more about your rights as a consumer and find resources at