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Utah lawmakers working to make it easier to cancel your gym membership

Feb 19, 2021, 12:37 PM | Updated: 5:12 pm

FILE: Former Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clearfield. (PHOTO: KSL TV)

(PHOTO: KSL TV)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah state Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clearfield, wants to make it easier for Utahns to cancel their gym membership.

Ray’s HB376 came about because of his wife’s own experience with VASA Fitness, he told KSL.com.

“My wife has been trying to cancel for nine months now,” he said. “She’ll send an email in to cancel, and they’ll say, ‘OK, we’ve got your thing. So if you really want to cancel, email us back.’ So she emails back. ‘OK, we’ve got that. So, you need to email us back again, just to make sure.’ And you know what? She still hasn’t been able to cancel the damn membership.”

Ray laughed. “How blunt do you have to be?”

He estimates his family has paid nearly $130 since then for a membership it no longer wants or uses.

HB376 requires a “health spa,” which in Utah is defined as any entity that aspires to “assist patrons to improve their physical condition or appearance,” to permit its customers to cancel services or receive refunds “in person at a health spa facility where the customer receives a health spa service.”

The bill does not require gyms to offer online or over-the-phone cancellation options, though some do. In a statement provided to KSL.com, VASA listed a number of ways members can cancel but said in-person requests aren’t one of them.

“If one of our members wishes to cancel, he/she can do so online, through the VASA app for iOS and Android, by emailing our member support team, by chatting with our team through our website, by sending a letter in the mail or by calling 801-426-8644,” it said. “Our membership agreements require a written request of cancellation. We don’t accept verbal requests to cancel as written requests are much easier to track in our system.”

The bill awaits a fiscal note before it can be scheduled to go before a committee. It would need to pass through committee and both chambers of the Legislature, then be signed by Gov. Spencer Cox to become law.

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Utah lawmakers working to make it easier to cancel your gym membership