When California Fitness, Singapore’s once-iconic mega gym, closed all its branches last week after almost 20 years here, hundreds of unfortunate customers lost thousands of dollars from costly prepaid packages. The closure was a shock to many, but not completely surprising, seeing as they closed their high profile Somerset branch some years ago.
Before you sign up for a gym package, here are 4 important things you must know to avoid losing money if the gym folds:
1. Try to limit spending on prepaid packages
Several customers of California Fitness paid for training packages. Some purchased as many as 50 to 100 sessions in advance. There’s no real reason to do this.
Consider a more familiar business, such a music lessons (typically S$120 per hour). If you asked to purchase 100 sessions in advance for S$12,000, would you do it? Or how about subscribing to a magazine for five years at a time?
If you wouldn’t do it for other services, don’t do it for gyms or spas either. If you must buy a prepaid package, try to keep it to a reasonable size – perhaps a month or two in advance at most. There is no need to buy sessions to last an entire year.
Note that, as far as services go, we would advise you not to prepay at all if possible. It is always safest to pay for services after they are rendered. But if you trust the service provider, or they give you no alternative, then at least limit how much you buy in advance.