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Direct debit flexibility at Canberra gyms?

By T1G3R - 16 July 2012 25

Hey guys,

I’m having a few issues with my gym as they won’t process my direct debits on pay week and as a disablity pensioner i’m usually empty on the week they want to deduct the cash. I always pay though with a late processing fee which i was ok with. Unfortunately now they’ve decided to deny me access to the gym unless  I pay on the dot on the off-week which most of the time i can’t.

Also one thing to mention is that their other gyms deduct payments on public servant pay week, which i originally signed up with them so i never had an issue with payment. Since i moved house I had to attend their other gyms in civic and woden and they have a different week compared to belconnen and gungahlin. They suggested I go back and make belconnen or gungahlin my home gyms but if i were to attend woden or civic i’d need like a voucher, i get a few of those free with my membership but once they are used up i’d have to purchase them which still leaves me out of pocket.

I was once told by someone that they cannot “bully” me like that and are perfectly capable of changing my direct debit days. My brother also agrees. So i was wondering if anyone knew a little more detail regarding direct debits and the laws regarding them.

I know most people say “put the money a side and pay when it comes”. I find this a little hard to do with my financial circumstances and i cannot guarantee that I’ll always have that money put away especially if an emergency pops up. Hence why I’m happy they deduct it on the week i get paid and once that cash its gone its gone.

Anyway if anyone has some helpful advise or tips, i’d greatly appreciate it.

Kind regards, Steph

What’s Your opinion?


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25 Responses to
Direct debit flexibility at Canberra gyms?
Genie 2:55 pm 16 Jul 12

Disability pension + gym membership ???

These don’t normally go hand in hand…

You can’t be too disabled if you can manage to train at a gym on a regular basis.

54-11 2:24 pm 16 Jul 12

That’s why I would never sign up for a gym. They become parasites on your bank account.

devils_advocate 2:14 pm 16 Jul 12

Gyms are notoriously bad as far as unfair contracts go.

Before you sign up, they are nice, flexible, reasonable, and will promise you everything in the world. Once they have you locked into a contract and payment obligations, that all changes.

See if they are signed up to some kind of voluntary consumer code that allows you to cancel the contract on the grounds of hardship. Otherwise, try to get one week ahead in your payments. Just take out the extra money on your preceding payweek and pay it in.

Mysteryman 1:13 pm 16 Jul 12

troll-sniffer said :

Always surprises me how many gyms there are in Canberra considering the wealth of perfectly good outdoor areas we have in this city. “oh but it’s cold” is a common complaint. here’s a tip… exercise warms you up. “I don’t feel safe” is another. Get over your paranoia, there’s nothing unsafe about being outdoors in daylight. I could go on but I’m wasting pixels trying to convert the unconvertible I fear.

Do you know of outdoor areas that have free weights/weight machines available for use? Or change rooms after hours? If not, pipe down.

T1G3R 1:03 pm 16 Jul 12

troll-sniffer said :

Always surprises me how many gyms there are in Canberra considering the wealth of perfectly good outdoor areas we have in this city. “oh but it’s cold” is a common complaint. here’s a tip… exercise warms you up. “I don’t feel safe” is another. Get over your paranoia, there’s nothing unsafe about being outdoors in daylight. I could go on but I’m wasting pixels trying to convert the unconvertible I fear.

Hah that is true but I suffer from agoraphobia and don’t do well in open spaces, hence why i like the gym as its a nice closed ecosystem.

Katietonia said :

If you’ve become incapacitated to the point that you can’t work you could probably get the doctor to write you a letter so you can cancel your gym membership without the fees? Is the issue that you are stuck on the payment plan or that you really want to use it and can’t afford it? If it’s the payment plan one I’d try that. The gym at the CIT is rather cheap.

I’m happy to pay, the thing is they’ve blocked my access because I always pay a week late due to that they don’t deduct on public servant week. I originally signed up at their Gungahlin premise which did take it out on public servant week. Since I had to move to the inner north it was no longer viable for me to attend Gungahlin. The problem is Civic and Woden deduct the amount on the off week from public servant week and I havent been able to negotiate a middle ground with head office unfortunately.

Katietonia 12:14 pm 16 Jul 12

If you’ve become incapacitated to the point that you can’t work you could probably get the doctor to write you a letter so you can cancel your gym membership without the fees? Is the issue that you are stuck on the payment plan or that you really want to use it and can’t afford it? If it’s the payment plan one I’d try that. The gym at the CIT is rather cheap.

troll-sniffer 12:13 pm 16 Jul 12

Always surprises me how many gyms there are in Canberra considering the wealth of perfectly good outdoor areas we have in this city. “oh but it’s cold” is a common complaint. here’s a tip… exercise warms you up. “I don’t feel safe” is another. Get over your paranoia, there’s nothing unsafe about being outdoors in daylight. I could go on but I’m wasting pixels trying to convert the unconvertible I fear.

Rawhide Kid Part3 11:36 am 16 Jul 12

As your on a Disability Support Pension there are other options where you can obtain gym access like the YMCA at a very small cost for Pensioners or even through the ACT health system (Free for DSP) with a medical certificate from your GP ( although there is a waiting list for this one). Even some community centers have gym facilities for a small fee. And no contracts.

Yogie 11:10 am 16 Jul 12

Keeping in mind gyms will do anything to lock you into a contract….

Change gyms. My gym in Mawson debits on public service pay week and, as you say, many others do.

Or, can you change from direct debit to paying via BPay? My experience is direct debit dates are set by the organisation (phone company, NRMA etc) whereas you can control when you pay via another system. Maybe then you could pay weekly?

T1G3R 11:02 am 16 Jul 12

Cheers deejay and hayvik1. That is a great suggestion. By the way, I opened the membership when I was in much better financial circumstances and I’d course it’s a 12 month membership then exit fee of 200 plus two fortnightly payments totally 288.

My main question though was if the gym was really tied up regarding direct debit/credit or if they could have moved my direct debit day and didn’t listen to reason.
Cheers

deejay 10:53 am 16 Jul 12

Ignore the critics. They’ve probably never lived with a disability, nor on a pension, and don’t understand how important structured, supervised exercise is to the well-being of someone with health problems. Nor, most likely, do they have any experience of the pensioner’s ongoing juggling act of wellbeing-via-food versus wellbeing-via-heating versus wellbeing-via-medicine via wellbeing-via-preventative-exercise versus etc etc etc.

I like harvyk1’s suggestion of a separate account for your gym membership deductions. Shop around, though, as you will cop bank fees if you aren’t careful about how you do it. I believe ANZ offer one free bank account for disability pensioners.

johnboy 10:45 am 16 Jul 12

devils_advocate said :

If you are actually surviving from week to week on your income, it may be worthwhile considering whether a gym membership is actually a necessity in the context of your overal budget constraint.

I was just thinking that

devils_advocate 10:44 am 16 Jul 12

If you are actually surviving from week to week on your income, it may be worthwhile considering whether a gym membership is actually a necessity in the context of your overal budget constraint.

harvyk1 10:15 am 16 Jul 12

Suggestion, open a second bank account that is not linked to your eftpos \ credit cards (potentially don’t even link it to your internet banking either), and tell the Gym (and any other direct debits you have) to withdraw from that account instead.

On pay day simply move the amount you need to cover the direct debts coming out that fortnight to this other account, then it doesn’t matter when they take the money out, as far as you are concerned (and from what you can see via ATM’s \ internet banking), the money has already left your account. Set it up as an automatic transfer so you never forget, and the gym membership \ other expenses are automatically covered and thus you know the amount left in your account is your to do with as you please.

Solidarity 10:08 am 16 Jul 12

Don’t spend your gym money the week before it’s due?

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