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Your Gym & Harlands advice

braytown asked:

Hi all,

Firstly, I’m not in the least bit concerned but I would like a resolution.

I am a member of pure gym (cheap, cancel DD and its done with, no chasing etc). I love the convenience of Pure but I recently moved to Eccles and thought I’d check out Your Gym in the AJ Bell stadium as it seemed like a similar premise for a similar price and was closer than the nearest Pure.

They were doing 7 days free trial so I did that, wasn’t too sure, all the while I was still using pure as well as that Your Gym (just to confuse you). Then I got a call (december 2014) from a your gym employee saying that they’d let me have 3 months for £30 and if I didn’t want it after, that was it.

I went online and filled in the membership form and paid the £30 and thought I’ll run the two gyms as they’re both so cheap and see which one I use more/prefer. They recently opened a pure in Salford and it’s much better so I ended up going there more and decided to get rid of Your Gym as I wasn’t using it even though I’d pair the £30 up front for 3 months, i probably went for a few weeks of it.

I cancelled the direct debit and then our friends at Harlands sent me a letter a few weeks later.

So far I’ve made sure I’ve responded via email and saved everything, I explained to them that the rep at Your Gym advised I could pay up front for £30 and let the DD run if I decided to stay, I no longer used the gym so cancelled and that I wouldn’t be paying a membership and £25 admin fee.

They responded with some nonsense so I told them I wanted a copy of the agreement that shows my signature agreeing to their terms. They responded with a copy of an email that was supposedly sent to me saying that the agreement was for a further 3 months following the initial 3 months I’d paid up front.

I replied and asked again for a document with my signature agreeing to those terms which they ignored.

Today I got another letter in the post with another charge (2x admin fee now) so I’ve emailed using the reference on the letter, explained that they’d ignored my last request (copied it in below), and advised I’d be seeking further action against them for harassment and failure to provide correct documentation.

I’ve also reported them to the OFT.

Is there anything more I should be doing, ideally I want them off my back altogether. I’m not a fan of dragging things out, I’d rather have it done with.


Tiggy replied:

Have they threatened legal action? The OFT doesn’t exist any more btw

braytown replied:


It was the FCA i reported them to sorry!

No threat of legal action, I’ve repeatedly asked them to show me a signed document where I have agreed to their terms and they have sent me a confirmation email that was sent to me after I’d gone through the gym’s website. (they’ve sent it twice now) so that’s all they have!

That’s the latest, resending the same confirmation email and insisting I pay.

I’ve now sent a letter to the gym (on their insistence) but obviously I should have done that anyway.


Tiggy replied:

Tell them you believe they are acting Unlawfully under Section 5 of the Unfair Consumer Contract Terms Regulations 1999 as they are attempting to impose conditions of Contact you never agreed to. Also, their attempt to impose Penalty Charges is again Unlawful under the same Regulations as only a Judge in a Court of Law can order payment of a Penalty NOT a Contract a Term xx

braytown replied:

Thanks for the response Tiggy,

It all went quiet after my last email requesting a copy of the signed contract (which doesn’t exist as it was online) and all they’ve ever sent is a copy of a confirmation email!

Now I’ve just had a letter through the door from CRS – we seem have gone from £15.99 (membership fee) to me owing £164.47

It’s a joke that they do this.

I’ve sent a letter to the gym, I’ve only corresponded with harlands via email, the gym haven’t responded so I’ve just got this to deal with now.

braytown replied:

I’ve now received this:

Further to your email of 18th May 2015 please be advised initially that Harlands is no longer regulated by the FCA as they no longer deal in regulated Credit Agreements and have allowed their Consumer Credit License to expire on 31st May 2015.

In regards to your request for a signed document we apologise that Harlands have incorrectly used the term “signed” to describe how you entered into this agreement. We are unable to enclose a signed copy of your minimum term membership agreement, as this was entered into via an online sign up process and as such, no signed physical document exists.

An online agreement is no more or less binding than a signed contract. A party must agree to the terms of a contract in order for it to become legally binding. Although this is usually done by the signature of those with authority to enter into the agreement, it is commonly recognised that parties can enter into a contract by any course of dealing, signifying their acceptance of the terms of the contract.

In January 2009, the High Court in Grant v Bragg considered whether a contract was formed by two parties agreeing to the terms of the draft contract via e-mail. The Court considered it was enough for Mr Grant to have e-mailed Mr Bragg, accepting the contract’s terms previously e-mailed to him by Mr Bragg’s lawyer, and that it did not matter that neither party had actually signed the contract. The Court acknowledged it may have been the parties’ original intention to be bound only on execution of the final contract, but maintained it was evident that their intentions had changed during the course of their e-mail correspondence.

In the case above, the court believed it was clear the parties had intended to enter into the contract via e-mail, and that to hold otherwise would just serve to defy the commercial reality of the situation

In the instance of the Your Gym online sign up portal you have been told that “You are committing to £15.99 per month for a minimum of 3 months. After this minimum term your membership payments will continue on a monthly basis.” You have also been informed that by ticking the “I agree” button and then clicking the next step button you are indicating that you have read and agreed to be bound by the terms. You have completed this process and so are bound by the agreement.

It is correct that only a judge may enforce a “penalty charge” however it is our position that all charges applied to this balance are to cover actual and necessary costs and thus are not penalties. Lord Dunedin set out in Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Co Ltd v New Garage & Motor Co Ltd (1914) that:

“It is no obstacle to the sum stipulated being a genuine pre-estimate of damage, that the consequences of the breach are such as to make precise pre-estimation almost an impossibility. On the contrary, that is just the situation when it is probable that pre-estimated damage was the true bargain between the parties ( Clydebank Case, Lord Halsbury; Webster v. Bosanquet, Lord Mersey).”

The above applies to the cost of £25.00 applied twice by Harlands and also in regards to our own collection fees of £66.50. We believe, therefore; that these charges do not constitute a penalty and are thus fully enforceable.

If you still doubt any of the above we would recommend that you seek legal advice but it is our intention to continue with recovery action against you for the sum of £164.47.

Yours sincerely,
David Castle

Collections Department

Credit Resolution Services and CRS are trading styles of Harlands Services Ltd. Registered Office: : 2nd Floor, Rockwood House, 9 – 17 Perrymount Road, Haywards Heath RH16 3TW. Company Registration No. 2982925. VAT Registration No. 799 7113 70.