Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Topic Author
miamivice
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Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:46 am

Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Post by miamivice » Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:57 pm

The fitness center that I belong to is closed like many businesses right now. Nobody knows for how long.

I just got charged on my credit card April's membership dues, because the gym owner thinks that we should keep paying him/her even though it is closed, because well, they have staff to pay and they are a small local company and this and that.

It makes no sense to pay a gym membership fee in my opinion while they are closed and not providing services. We as a society are in a huge financial crunch because of the situation, and I don't feel now is the time to be handing out cash to local businesses to keep them afloat. I personally have "lost" over $500,000 in net worth due to the stock market decline, so money is tight all around in my opinion.

Any thoughts from rationale Bogleheads?

nascar090210
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Re: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Post by nascar090210 » Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:01 pm

You should not pay for a service not being provided. We plan to bombard our gym with emails, phone calls, social media posts, etc. if they continue to charge us.

Trader Joe
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Re: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Post by Trader Joe » Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:03 pm

miamivice wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:57 pm
The fitness center that I belong to is closed like many businesses right now. Nobody knows for how long.

I just got charged on my credit card April's membership dues, because the gym owner thinks that we should keep paying him/her even though it is closed, because well, they have staff to pay and they are a small local company and this and that.

It makes no sense to pay a gym membership fee in my opinion while they are closed and not providing services. We as a society are in a huge financial crunch because of the situation, and I don't feel now is the time to be handing out cash to local businesses to keep them afloat. I personally have "lost" over $500,000 in net worth due to the stock market decline, so money is tight all around in my opinion.

Any thoughts from rationale Bogleheads?
Why are you still paying for a service that you cannot use?

nalor511
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Re: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Post by nalor511 » Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:04 pm

miamivice wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:57 pm
The fitness center that I belong to is closed like many businesses right now. Nobody knows for how long.

I just got charged on my credit card April's membership dues, because the gym owner thinks that we should keep paying him/her even though it is closed, because well, they have staff to pay and they are a small local company and this and that.

It makes no sense to pay a gym membership fee in my opinion while they are closed and not providing services. We as a society are in a huge financial crunch because of the situation, and I don't feel now is the time to be handing out cash to local businesses to keep them afloat. I personally have "lost" over $500,000 in net worth due to the stock market decline, so money is tight all around in my opinion.

Any thoughts from rationale Bogleheads?
I'm for no. Why would I pay for something I cannot use? The gym owner's problems are lamentable, but if you're paying for something you are not receiving, that's charity. Of course review any contracts you may have signed, you may need to give notice, which by the time you do they may be open again. Best of luck.

CheeseheadCycler
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Re: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Post by CheeseheadCycler » Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:06 pm

miamivice wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:57 pm
The fitness center that I belong to is closed like many businesses right now. Nobody knows for how long.

I just got charged on my credit card April's membership dues, because the gym owner thinks that we should keep paying him/her even though it is closed, because well, they have staff to pay and they are a small local company and this and that.

It makes no sense to pay a gym membership fee in my opinion while they are closed and not providing services.

Any thoughts from rationale Bogleheads?
From a short economic perspective you are correct. You are not using the service so you shouldn't need to pay for it.

From a compassion perspective, helping the small business owner during this hard time is a nice thing to do if you can afford it.

From a long term economic, if enough people don't help support the gym. they will likely close. How attached are you to the gym? What would the economic substitution cost be for you if you had to change gyms?

Assuming you can afford it, this boils down to an ethics question about how to treat other people. Sort of like the tipping threads on this site that become opion based.

Personally, if I could afford the cost and wanted to keep using the gym when life returns to normal, I would keep paying.

GoldenFinch
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Re: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Post by GoldenFinch » Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:06 pm

Our gym “froze” our membership. We have the option to do nothing and keep it frozen, donate our fee to them or cancel our membership. It’s a nice friendly gym and I like the people. I think the more cash strapped gyms are more likely to not cancel fees. I’ll probably donate ours because it’s a community gym and I feel bad for them. If it was a chain or a generally unfriendly place I would feel differently.

nalor511
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Re: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Post by nalor511 » Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:11 pm

CheeseheadCycler wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:06 pm


Assuming you can afford it, this boils down to an ethics question about how to treat other people. Sort of like the tipping threads on this site that become opion based.
A gym is a business, not a charity, I don't see where ethics come into it. What you're suggesting is a slippery slope. For example, the gym fees may be $20/mo. If you can "afford" more, should you pay more? I'm sure the owner would like more. What amount should you pay? Slippery.

They set a fee, and provide services in exchange for that fee. Services are not being rendered. Now the OP needs to read any contract they may have signed to understand their obligations.

Turbo29
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Re: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Post by Turbo29 » Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:13 pm

nascar090210 wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:01 pm
You should not pay for a service not being provided. We plan to bombard our gym with emails, phone calls, social media posts, etc. if they continue to charge us.
Why bombard them. Dispute it on your credit card as a billing error. Billing errors include goods and services charged for but not provided.
It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either of them. --M. Twain

Topic Author
miamivice
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Re: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Post by miamivice » Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:14 pm

CheeseheadCycler wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:06 pm
miamivice wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:57 pm
The fitness center that I belong to is closed like many businesses right now. Nobody knows for how long.

I just got charged on my credit card April's membership dues, because the gym owner thinks that we should keep paying him/her even though it is closed, because well, they have staff to pay and they are a small local company and this and that.

It makes no sense to pay a gym membership fee in my opinion while they are closed and not providing services.

Any thoughts from rationale Bogleheads?
From a short economic perspective you are correct. You are not using the service so you shouldn't need to pay for it.

From a compassion perspective, helping the small business owner during this hard time is a nice thing to do if you can afford it.

From a long term economic, if enough people don't help support the gym. they will likely close. How attached are you to the gym? What would the economic substitution cost be for you if you had to change gyms?

Assuming you can afford it, this boils down to an ethics question about how to treat other people. Sort of like the tipping threads on this site that become opion based.

Personally, if I could afford the cost and wanted to keep using the gym when life returns to normal, I would keep paying.
The fitness center is a for profit business....I understand times are hard, but they are not a community based non-profit. The owner is in it for the purpose of making money.

Assuming that people continue to be willing to pay membership fees for fitness centers, there always will be fitness centers in my community. This one closes, another will pop up. It is true that if there is a shift where folks are less willing to pay fitness center fees, this one will close and may not be replaced. But that is not due to my arguing over one month's membership fees for $10. The long term viability of the fitness center concept will be based on public's collective decision, not based on a one month closure.

inverter
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Re: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Post by inverter » Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:15 pm

I would consider the money a donation and keep paying it.

02nz
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Re: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Post by 02nz » Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:16 pm

miamivice wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:57 pm
The fitness center that I belong to is closed like many businesses right now. Nobody knows for how long.

I just got charged on my credit card April's membership dues, because the gym owner thinks that we should keep paying him/her even though it is closed, because well, they have staff to pay and they are a small local company and this and that.

It makes no sense to pay a gym membership fee in my opinion while they are closed and not providing services. We as a society are in a huge financial crunch because of the situation, and I don't feel now is the time to be handing out cash to local businesses to keep them afloat. I personally have "lost" over $500,000 in net worth due to the stock market decline, so money is tight all around in my opinion.

Any thoughts from rationale Bogleheads?
Your position is entirely reasonable. I sympathize with businesses everywhere, but they can avail themselves of the assistance programs that your and my tax dollars are funding. They are not entitled to charge for services not provided, even though the reason is beyond their control.

HawkeyePierce
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Re: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Post by HawkeyePierce » Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:17 pm

I'm still paying my gym. They're paying out all membership fees to their staff.

OTOH my employer reimburses my gym membership anyways so it makes no difference to me.

02nz
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Re: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Post by 02nz » Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:17 pm

inverter wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:15 pm
I would consider the money a donation and keep paying it.
By all means donate to charity. Keep paying housekeepers and the like even if you're not having them come. But corporations are not people.

02nz
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Re: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Post by 02nz » Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:19 pm

Perhaps the gym owner thinks: hey, 80% of members don't come when we're open and they still pay, so why should they stop paying when we close?

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Watty
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Re: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Post by Watty » Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:22 pm

Turbo29 wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:13 pm
nascar090210 wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:01 pm
You should not pay for a service not being provided. We plan to bombard our gym with emails, phone calls, social media posts, etc. if they continue to charge us.
Why bombard them. Dispute it on your credit card as a billing error. Billing errors include goods and services charged for but not provided.
+1

They are not being reasonable.

DSInvestor
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Re: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Post by DSInvestor » Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:27 pm

How long has the fitness center been closed? There are still many states who have not instituted shelter-in-place rules. If the place has only been closed for a few days, I think it would be reasonable to see how the owners communicate with members. Maybe they'll explain that automatic billing has charged for April but that would apply for future months and to thank all members for their support.
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FelixTheCat
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Re: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Post by FelixTheCat » Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:27 pm

I belong to a CrossFit box. It is a great community. I want this particular one to stay in business and I have no problem paying my dues for a month or two.
Felix is a wonderful, wonderful cat.

stoptothink
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Re: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Post by stoptothink » Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:27 pm

02nz wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:19 pm
Perhaps the gym owner thinks: hey, 80% of members don't come when we're open and they still pay, so why should they stop paying when we close?
Also, at least 80% won't check their accounts to see whether or not they are still being charged. This is charity, period; you should be able to choose where your charity goes. If the local gym isn't it, then just dispute it with the CC and move on. My wife's gym just froze all accounts, no charges until it opens again.

MrCastaway
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Re: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Post by MrCastaway » Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:31 pm

Gyms are slimy when it comes to cancelling. LA Fitness is stopping billing and is offering extensions at the end of your membership which is pretty worthless. I emailed them and got nothing back. I had to cancel the cc that was being charged bc if fraud activity so no way they can charge us going forward. I’m sure they’ll open one gym in a major city so they can say they have open in your market just to charge everyone. I think they also removed the option to freeze accounts online. I worry a lot of small gyms are going to go bankrupt and your membership will be worthless and you’ll have no recourse to collect.

DSInvestor
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Re: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Post by DSInvestor » Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:37 pm

FelixTheCat wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:27 pm
I belong to a CrossFit box. It is a great community. I want this particular one to stay in business and I have no problem paying my dues for a month or two.
IMO, this is precisely the time to support local businesses, particularly those that you care about. I have been very moved by stories of folks walking into businesses, like their local coffee shop/restaurant, and buying large gift cards to support those businesses and their employees. There have been threads here at bogleheads, where posters are continuing to pay their house cleaners even though they are not coming to clean.
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armeliusc
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Re: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Post by armeliusc » Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:38 pm

Our gym membership is at a YMCA close to where we live. I like the place and they people who work there. They close the gym and use the place as an emergency child care, but asking us to stay as members if possible. We want the people who work there to still get some sort of income, so we keep or membership although we haven't been to go for almost a month and at least for another month.

Same thing with the daycare/preschool our youngest goes to. We keep her at home (our decision) for now but we keep paying to both maintain our spot and support the workers who still have to come to work there.

I'm fortunate enough to have a stable job and can work from home full time during this time. Many others are not so fortunate. I may not be doing what is most economically efficient, but I try to do what i feel is right. Sure, my 401k suffers greatly just like everyone else's is, but then again I'm fortunate enough to have been able to save while living relatively comfortably. I just try to use that as a perspective. It's actually more liberating to me to try to be more graceful to others than trying to be as 'frugal' as possible.

Just my two cents.

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JMacDonald
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Re: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Post by JMacDonald » Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:49 pm

The local performing arts centers where I live are being hit hard. They have canceled the season or will be canceling. I will be donating the tickets I bought at the beginning of the season. I am hoping these organizations survive. As it would be a great lost to me not to have live performances to attend in the future.
Best Wishes, | Joe

GibsonL6s
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Re: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Post by GibsonL6s » Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:53 pm

I belong to two gyms. The one near work is a small independent and they asked nicely if those who could pay dues would so they could pay their people so I never asked for a reduction as I feel this is a form of charity and it helps people I actually know.

The other gym is LA Fitness they proactively reached out and reduced dues and also reduced staff and then low and behold sent an email which implied that several members replied they would have happily continued paying if they would have kept staff.

I am honestly not sure what to do in instances like this given the immediate unemployment and $600 per week boost for many, but I will continue to pay at the independent gym for another month or so and see what happens.

muffins14
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Re: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Post by muffins14 » Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:57 pm

I agree it is unreasonable for them to _expect_ you to continue paying, but if you have the funds to have lost $500,000 recently, you have the funds to make a charitable contribution in the amount of your membership fee to help the gym's employees avoid missing rent, missing bills, missing medicine etc. Yes, it is a for-profit business, but that doesn't mean the probably-minimum-wage gym employee is living the sweet life on his yacht while this whole thing blows over. You could also find a way to donate directly to the low-level employees if you felt the urge to share.

Mr. Rumples
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Re: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Post by Mr. Rumples » Thu Apr 02, 2020 8:03 pm

My gym charges a yearly $40 fee and a monthly $10 fee. April is when the $40 is due. That is due to be taken out; the $10 fee will not be taken out until Sept., even if they open up before then. So its sort of a gamble and a tradeoff. A gamble they will reopen and a tradeoff that I might get a month or two free if they open in July or August. I like the gym; its one of the best I have ever used, and think the prices they charge are reasonable so the $40 won't break me.

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tooluser
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Re: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Post by tooluser » Thu Apr 02, 2020 8:12 pm

A local gym near me offers video workouts to their members while they are closed.

Jags4186
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Re: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Post by Jags4186 » Thu Apr 02, 2020 8:14 pm

I’m legitimately confused by the numerous posts about continuing to pay for things that no longer are being utilized. If the gym is closed I would cancel. No different than if I were going on a two month vacation, I’d cancel my gym membership.
Last edited by Jags4186 on Thu Apr 02, 2020 8:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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unclescrooge
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Re: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Post by unclescrooge » Thu Apr 02, 2020 8:16 pm

miamivice wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:57 pm
The fitness center that I belong to is closed like many businesses right now. Nobody knows for how long.

I just got charged on my credit card April's membership dues, because the gym owner thinks that we should keep paying him/her even though it is closed, because well, they have staff to pay and they are a small local company and this and that.

It makes no sense to pay a gym membership fee in my opinion while they are closed and not providing services. We as a society are in a huge financial crunch because of the situation, and I don't feel now is the time to be handing out cash to local businesses to keep them afloat. I personally have "lost" over $500,000 in net worth due to the stock market decline, so money is tight all around in my opinion.

Any thoughts from rationale Bogleheads?
It's simple. It's you want them to stay in business then pay them. If you didn't care either way then don't.

Cycle
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Re: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Post by Cycle » Thu Apr 02, 2020 8:19 pm

nalor511 wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:11 pm
CheeseheadCycler wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:06 pm


Assuming you can afford it, this boils down to an ethics question about how to treat other people. Sort of like the tipping threads on this site that become opion based.
A gym is a business, not a charity, I don't see where ethics come into it. What you're suggesting is a slippery slope. For example, the gym fees may be $20/mo. If you can "afford" more, should you pay more? I'm sure the owner would like more. What amount should you pay? Slippery.

They set a fee, and provide services in exchange for that fee. Services are not being rendered. Now the OP needs to read any contract they may have signed to understand their obligations.
My gym, YWCA, is a non-profit. I pay more so others can pay less. Many local companies also donate money to them.

Dues are currently converted to donations, but u can opt to freeze them.

We froze our account and will just make a donation thru my employer for the match.
Never look back unless you are planning to go that way

learntogrow
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Re: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Post by learntogrow » Thu Apr 02, 2020 8:51 pm

Jags4186 wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 8:14 pm
I’m legitimately confused by the numerous posts about continuing to pay for things that no longer are being utilized. If the gym is closed I would cancel. No different than if I were going on a two month vacation, I’d cancel my gym membership.


I’m confused by this too. I guess I understand if you have the means and don’t mind helping people out. But I don’t love the idea of paying for something I’m not using.


I was mildly upset our child’s school expected us to pay for the rest of the year. I get that they have people to pay, but they gave us some assignments to do and check in with the teacher via Zoom a couple times a day and then had the gall to send a school-wide email saying they were expecting tuition in full, no refunds, and that this “online learning” was just as good as the education provided at school.

I already assumed there was no getting out of paying the school, but I kinda thought I was doing a better job homeschooling on my own.


I wouldn’t pay the gym

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Re: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Post by friar1610 » Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:27 pm

I belong to a local independent gym that I like. I take advantage of their senior discount rate by paying 6 months in advance with the proviso that there are no refunds. I stopped going of my own accord 2 or 3 weeks before they were forced to close. I have about 6 weeks remaining from the time they closed until my current 6 months expires. I would think coronavirus would be a sufficiently extenuating reason to extend the membership by those 6 weeks once they reopen but, per the contract, they're probably not obliged to. I'm not going to make a big issue over it if they decline to extend me but I'll be pleased if they do.
Friar1610

Monsterflockster
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Re: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Post by Monsterflockster » Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:34 pm

miamivice wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:57 pm
The fitness center that I belong to is closed like many businesses right now. Nobody knows for how long.

I just got charged on my credit card April's membership dues, because the gym owner thinks that we should keep paying him/her even though it is closed, because well, they have staff to pay and they are a small local company and this and that.

It makes no sense to pay a gym membership fee in my opinion while they are closed and not providing services. We as a society are in a huge financial crunch because of the situation, and I don't feel now is the time to be handing out cash to local businesses to keep them afloat. I personally have "lost" over $500,000 in net worth due to the stock market decline, so money is tight all around in my opinion.

Any thoughts from rationale Bogleheads?
We are missing some details. Is this an annual contract that is just divided into 12 months? Have you read the contract? Is there an “act of god clause?” If it is month to month and automatically renewing do you have to cancel?

Really this is on you to cancel your membership not on them to not charge. If you have a contract you may not win a dispute.

If you haven’t read the contract start there.

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JonnyDVM
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Re: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Post by JonnyDVM » Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:37 pm

They should be eligible for generous government assistance. Charging you is unreasonable. I’ve said this on many consumer threads but charging you for a service not provided at its basic level is fraud. They cannot charge you for a service they cannot provide. Period. They should be insured for such possibilities. If they are not that is not your fault.
Last edited by JonnyDVM on Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Post by Monsterflockster » Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:38 pm

learntogrow wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 8:51 pm
Jags4186 wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 8:14 pm
I’m legitimately confused by the numerous posts about continuing to pay for things that no longer are being utilized. If the gym is closed I would cancel. No different than if I were going on a two month vacation, I’d cancel my gym membership.


I’m confused by this too. I guess I understand if you have the means and don’t mind helping people out. But I don’t love the idea of paying for something I’m not using.


I was mildly upset our child’s school expected us to pay for the rest of the year. I get that they have people to pay, but they gave us some assignments to do and check in with the teacher via Zoom a couple times a day and then had the gall to send a school-wide email saying they were expecting tuition in full, no refunds, and that this “online learning” was just as good as the education provided at school.

I already assumed there was no getting out of paying the school, but I kinda thought I was doing a better job homeschooling on my own.


I wouldn’t pay the gym
I see no issue with them charging the full school year if you remain enrolled in the school. They are providing grades for record and a service, be it online due to government regulations. If you took your child out of the school to not return to homeschool or place into public school then you should receive a refund.

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Sandtrap
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Re: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Post by Sandtrap » Thu Apr 02, 2020 10:03 pm

Often health club and gym memberships are on contract which states one must pay regardless or attendance or use, however there is a fine print that membership is good for all branches that are accessible to the member. In this case, since it is the gym that’s closed down then the member can discontinue payment or be reimbursed in proportion to the time closed.
I’ve reviewed a number of these contracts.
Suggest OP read his contract in detail.
It is the responsibility of the member to contact the gym and cancel. Otherwise it’s assumed that all is okay.

YMMV
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JonnyB
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Re: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Post by JonnyB » Thu Apr 02, 2020 10:20 pm

Your gym owner, if they are a small business with less than 500 employees, is eligible for a Payroll Protection Program loan that will pay all employee wages, the mortgage interest, rent and utilities for the next 8 weeks. The loan is 100% forgiven if used for these qualifying expenses. It costs the gym owner nothing.

You might want to ask your gym owner if they are participating in this program. They shouldn't have to depend on your charity because they are covered by a government program, at least for 8 weeks.

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miamivice
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Re: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Post by miamivice » Thu Apr 02, 2020 10:23 pm

JonnyB wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 10:20 pm
Your gym owner, if they are a small business with less than 500 employees, is eligible for a Payroll Protection Program loan that will pay all employee wages, the mortgage interest, rent and utilities for the next 8 weeks. The loan is 100% forgiven if used for these qualifying expenses. It costs the gym owner nothing.

You might want to ask your gym owner if they are participating in this program. They shouldn't have to depend on your charity because they are covered by a government program, at least for 8 weeks.
Thank you.

It is my opinion, unsubstantiated, that the fitness center owner his trying to protect his/her profits rather than protecting the wages of his/her employees. I do not believe whether I pay dues or not in the month of April will have any impact on whether the employees are paid.

Your post backs that up.

runner540
Posts: 1234
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2017 5:43 pm

Re: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Post by runner540 » Thu Apr 02, 2020 10:27 pm

Jags4186 wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 8:14 pm
I’m legitimately confused by the numerous posts about continuing to pay for things that no longer are being utilized. If the gym is closed I would cancel. No different than if I were going on a two month vacation, I’d cancel my gym membership.
We’re paying for daycare because we don’t want to lose our spot and want the teachers to be there when this is all over. We’re paying for a specialty fitness club that has limited spots due to facility capacity - I want to keep my spot and not have to pay another initiation fee.
If we lose our jobs of course we would re evaluate.

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wander
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Re: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Post by wander » Thu Apr 02, 2020 10:31 pm

This is an easy call. No service = no pay.

Monsterflockster
Posts: 297
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Re: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Post by Monsterflockster » Thu Apr 02, 2020 10:33 pm

miamivice wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 10:23 pm
JonnyB wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 10:20 pm
Your gym owner, if they are a small business with less than 500 employees, is eligible for a Payroll Protection Program loan that will pay all employee wages, the mortgage interest, rent and utilities for the next 8 weeks. The loan is 100% forgiven if used for these qualifying expenses. It costs the gym owner nothing.

You might want to ask your gym owner if they are participating in this program. They shouldn't have to depend on your charity because they are covered by a government program, at least for 8 weeks.
Thank you.

It is my opinion, unsubstantiated, that the fitness center owner his trying to protect his/her profits rather than protecting the wages of his/her employees. I do not believe whether I pay dues or not in the month of April will have any impact on whether the employees are paid.

Your post backs that up.
You didn’t tell us if you paid for the year or what your contract says but agree with a post that fits your narritive. If you really would like advice please let us know the details.

helloeveryone
Posts: 517
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2016 5:16 pm

Re: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Post by helloeveryone » Thu Apr 02, 2020 10:34 pm

miamivice wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:57 pm
The fitness center that I belong to is closed like many businesses right now. Nobody knows for how long.

I just got charged on my credit card April's membership dues, because the gym owner thinks that we should keep paying him/her even though it is closed, because well, they have staff to pay and they are a small local company and this and that.

It makes no sense to pay a gym membership fee in my opinion while they are closed and not providing services. We as a society are in a huge financial crunch because of the situation, and I don't feel now is the time to be handing out cash to local businesses to keep them afloat. I personally have "lost" over $500,000 in net worth due to the stock market decline, so money is tight all around in my opinion.

Any thoughts from rationale Bogleheads?
YMCA allowed us to put our membership on hold for sixty days.
I would ask them to 1) put your membership on hold or 2) consider cancelling membership (that should save May/June - maybe gyms will reopen in June/July but how knows)

Topic Author
miamivice
Posts: 2224
Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:46 am

Re: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Post by miamivice » Thu Apr 02, 2020 10:36 pm

Monsterflockster wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 10:33 pm
miamivice wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 10:23 pm
JonnyB wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 10:20 pm
Your gym owner, if they are a small business with less than 500 employees, is eligible for a Payroll Protection Program loan that will pay all employee wages, the mortgage interest, rent and utilities for the next 8 weeks. The loan is 100% forgiven if used for these qualifying expenses. It costs the gym owner nothing.

You might want to ask your gym owner if they are participating in this program. They shouldn't have to depend on your charity because they are covered by a government program, at least for 8 weeks.
Thank you.

It is my opinion, unsubstantiated, that the fitness center owner his trying to protect his/her profits rather than protecting the wages of his/her employees. I do not believe whether I pay dues or not in the month of April will have any impact on whether the employees are paid.

Your post backs that up.
You didn’t tell us if you paid for the year or what your contract says but agree with a post that fits your narritive. If you really would like advice please let us know the details.
My CC is charged monthly. I have no idea what the contract says. I signed it several years ago without reading it in detail (I pay $10/month, and wasn't expecting a virus to cause the center to cause a month+ closure). I can e-mail the owner to get a copy of my contract but would prefer not to do that. I don't have one on file anywhere at my location.

Monsterflockster
Posts: 297
Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2019 12:03 am

Re: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Post by Monsterflockster » Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:05 pm

For $10 a month I would let that ride... that’s a great price even if you don’t use it for a couple months you’ll come out ahead going somewhere new.

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whodidntante
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Location: outside the echo chamber

Re: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Post by whodidntante » Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:10 pm

The good ol' capitalist meat grinder shall result in a shiny new gym if the demand is sufficient and the current one goes under. People close gyms for all kinds of reasons, so donating to a for-profit business doesn't make a lot of sense. Now, if you REALLY like the business, AND you know that the owner can stay afloat with your help, go ahead.

Turbo29
Posts: 863
Joined: Tue May 01, 2018 7:12 am

Re: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Post by Turbo29 » Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:12 pm

miamivice wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 10:36 pm
Monsterflockster wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 10:33 pm
miamivice wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 10:23 pm
JonnyB wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 10:20 pm
Your gym owner, if they are a small business with less than 500 employees, is eligible for a Payroll Protection Program loan that will pay all employee wages, the mortgage interest, rent and utilities for the next 8 weeks. The loan is 100% forgiven if used for these qualifying expenses. It costs the gym owner nothing.

You might want to ask your gym owner if they are participating in this program. They shouldn't have to depend on your charity because they are covered by a government program, at least for 8 weeks.
Thank you.

It is my opinion, unsubstantiated, that the fitness center owner his trying to protect his/her profits rather than protecting the wages of his/her employees. I do not believe whether I pay dues or not in the month of April will have any impact on whether the employees are paid.

Your post backs that up.
You didn’t tell us if you paid for the year or what your contract says but agree with a post that fits your narritive. If you really would like advice please let us know the details.
My CC is charged monthly. I have no idea what the contract says. I signed it several years ago without reading it in detail (I pay $10/month, and wasn't expecting a virus to cause the center to cause a month+ closure). I can e-mail the owner to get a copy of my contract but would prefer not to do that. I don't have one on file anywhere at my location.
They may not have a copy either after that long.
It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either of them. --M. Twain

tesuzuki2002
Posts: 1029
Joined: Fri Dec 11, 2015 12:40 pm

Re: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Post by tesuzuki2002 » Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:44 pm

miamivice wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:57 pm
The fitness center that I belong to is closed like many businesses right now. Nobody knows for how long.

I just got charged on my credit card April's membership dues, because the gym owner thinks that we should keep paying him/her even though it is closed, because well, they have staff to pay and they are a small local company and this and that.

It makes no sense to pay a gym membership fee in my opinion while they are closed and not providing services. We as a society are in a huge financial crunch because of the situation, and I don't feel now is the time to be handing out cash to local businesses to keep them afloat. I personally have "lost" over $500,000 in net worth due to the stock market decline, so money is tight all around in my opinion.

Any thoughts from rationale Bogleheads?
Bottom line might be this... if a certain part of the member base can't or won't pay... then it is likely this gym will have to fold up and close because they can't pay their bills and creditors and so forth without any money coming in... So do you like the gym? do you want to go there next year when all is back to normal? or do you want the gym to permanently close up and disappear?

uwbadgers
Posts: 72
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2014 3:36 pm

Re: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Post by uwbadgers » Fri Apr 03, 2020 5:33 am

Thought I'd share my 2 cents as I'm a personal trainer that had my place of work shut down a few weeks back.

Now, I'm in a bit different situation as we are a studio fitness center, not massive globogym. All of our sessions are by appointment, either 1 on 1 or group, there is no "gym fee," just the sessions you use.

While I am not the owner I can see on the 1st of the month the "sessions charged" out to each person as that is the date each month they pull out.

I'd say about 80% of our clients are still paying and many even contacted the owners saying to keep paying because they want to support us.
-
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In addition, and have you checked if your gym is doing this?........is we are offering virtual sessions. In 30 minutes I'll train 3 group sessions back to back to back through zoom.

Just like at the gym, I'll show and explain the workout, take them through a warmup and cool down, and "watch" everyone do the workout and correct form, encourage, etc.

People are loving it! I do this for 1 on 1 and groups. Sure, not everyone is doing this, but I went from my full schedule, to 0, and now have been able to ramp back up some income until the lockdown is over. In my state it's currently listed at through all of April.
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I feel like ALL gyms have created virtual content to use so perhaps you can use that still to "get something" from the gym.

But, hey, it is your money :) People will pay/support what they value the most. I mean the amount of people I see supporting/buying takeout food right now is massive! Why? Because they want those businesses to not collapse as they go from full business to 0 overnight.
-
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All of this might change as well as right now this is being billed as a "1 month" break.....but, who knows! I'm sure if this goes on longer the support might dwindle a bit as most of our clients pay $200-600/month for training :)

Guess we will see!

Time to go train :)

Jags4186
Posts: 4879
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:12 pm

Re: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Post by Jags4186 » Fri Apr 03, 2020 6:16 am

tesuzuki2002 wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:44 pm
miamivice wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:57 pm
The fitness center that I belong to is closed like many businesses right now. Nobody knows for how long.

I just got charged on my credit card April's membership dues, because the gym owner thinks that we should keep paying him/her even though it is closed, because well, they have staff to pay and they are a small local company and this and that.

It makes no sense to pay a gym membership fee in my opinion while they are closed and not providing services. We as a society are in a huge financial crunch because of the situation, and I don't feel now is the time to be handing out cash to local businesses to keep them afloat. I personally have "lost" over $500,000 in net worth due to the stock market decline, so money is tight all around in my opinion.

Any thoughts from rationale Bogleheads?
Bottom line might be this... if a certain part of the member base can't or won't pay... then it is likely this gym will have to fold up and close because they can't pay their bills and creditors and so forth without any money coming in... So do you like the gym? do you want to go there next year when all is back to normal? or do you want the gym to permanently close up and disappear?
Extend that to any business. Are you sending your barber a check for your missed haircut this month? Are you calling up the dentist to charge your credit card for your semi annual cleaning? Are you mailing cash to your dry cleaner?

I understand the paying of tuition or daycare because, because after all, if you lose your spot it may make getting back in difficult and then what are you going to do? Those are much more involved purchases. But your gym? If your gym closes shop another one will pop up if there is demand for one. You can walk in and sign up in 15 minutes. If your barber closes he can just hang another sign.

ARoseByAnyOtherName
Posts: 1000
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:03 am

Re: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Post by ARoseByAnyOtherName » Fri Apr 03, 2020 6:18 am

miamivice wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 10:36 pm
Monsterflockster wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 10:33 pm
miamivice wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 10:23 pm
JonnyB wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 10:20 pm
Your gym owner, if they are a small business with less than 500 employees, is eligible for a Payroll Protection Program loan that will pay all employee wages, the mortgage interest, rent and utilities for the next 8 weeks. The loan is 100% forgiven if used for these qualifying expenses. It costs the gym owner nothing.

You might want to ask your gym owner if they are participating in this program. They shouldn't have to depend on your charity because they are covered by a government program, at least for 8 weeks.
Thank you.

It is my opinion, unsubstantiated, that the fitness center owner his trying to protect his/her profits rather than protecting the wages of his/her employees. I do not believe whether I pay dues or not in the month of April will have any impact on whether the employees are paid.

Your post backs that up.
You didn’t tell us if you paid for the year or what your contract says but agree with a post that fits your narritive. If you really would like advice please let us know the details.
My CC is charged monthly. I have no idea what the contract says. I signed it several years ago without reading it in detail (I pay $10/month, and wasn't expecting a virus to cause the center to cause a month+ closure). I can e-mail the owner to get a copy of my contract but would prefer not to do that. I don't have one on file anywhere at my location.
Only $10 a month? Seriously? The entire world economy is cratering the likes of which has never been seen before, and you’re worried that your gym owner is making off like a filthy rich bandit with your $10 a month?

Honestly, who cares?

If you like the gym and want it to be in business 6 months from now I would keep paying your dues. If not then don’t. Easy.

ARoseByAnyOtherName
Posts: 1000
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:03 am

Re: Should I keep paying fitness center fees while it is closed?

Post by ARoseByAnyOtherName » Fri Apr 03, 2020 6:25 am

Jags4186 wrote:
Fri Apr 03, 2020 6:16 am
tesuzuki2002 wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:44 pm
miamivice wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:57 pm
The fitness center that I belong to is closed like many businesses right now. Nobody knows for how long.

I just got charged on my credit card April's membership dues, because the gym owner thinks that we should keep paying him/her even though it is closed, because well, they have staff to pay and they are a small local company and this and that.

It makes no sense to pay a gym membership fee in my opinion while they are closed and not providing services. We as a society are in a huge financial crunch because of the situation, and I don't feel now is the time to be handing out cash to local businesses to keep them afloat. I personally have "lost" over $500,000 in net worth due to the stock market decline, so money is tight all around in my opinion.

Any thoughts from rationale Bogleheads?
Bottom line might be this... if a certain part of the member base can't or won't pay... then it is likely this gym will have to fold up and close because they can't pay their bills and creditors and so forth without any money coming in... So do you like the gym? do you want to go there next year when all is back to normal? or do you want the gym to permanently close up and disappear?
Extend that to any business. Are you sending your barber a check for your missed haircut this month? Are you calling up the dentist to charge your credit card for your semi annual cleaning? Are you mailing cash to your dry cleaner?

I understand the paying of tuition or daycare because, because after all, if you lose your spot it may make getting back in difficult and then what are you going to do? Those are much more involved purchases. But your gym? If your gym closes shop another one will pop up if there is demand for one. You can walk in and sign up in 15 minutes. If your barber closes he can just hang another sign.
Do you really think it’s that easy for the gym owner or the barber if they end up having to close? That the human cost of all these business failing can just be nonchalantly ignored, like you and so many other posters are doing here?

Let’s think of this another way. Let’s say you, Jags4186, get fired tomorrow. Could you just “hang another sign?” How easy would that be? How much stress would it cause?

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