Hon Bill Johnston MLA

Hon Bill Johnston MLA

Minister for Mines and Petroleum; Energy; Industrial Relations

    Running towards fair fitness industry deals for WA consumers

    2/07/2018 7:00 AM
     
    • Permanent Fitness Industry Code of Practice is being considered
    • Consumers and industry participants in WA urged to share their views
    • Online survey available or written submissions invited 

    Consumers and the fitness industry are invited to share their opinions as part of Consumer Protection's review into the Fitness Industry Code of Practice.

     

    The code, introduced in response to misconduct by some operators in 2004, governs how the industry deals with consumers and their membership contracts in Western Australia.

     

    Under the Fair Trading Act, the current code provides protections including:

     

    • A requirement for honesty and full disclosure when selling fitness services;
    • A requirement for membership agreements to be in writing;
    • A 48-hour cooling off period for membership agreements;
    • A 12-month limit on prepayments for membership agreements;
    • How to handle requests to terminate membership agreements; and
    • How to handle complaints from clients. 

    Since the last review in 2010, the Australian Consumer Law has come into effect, which provides wider protections for consumers, except for the 48-hour cooling off period and 12-month limit on prepayments for memberships.

     

    Between July 2012 and June 2017, Consumer Protection received 466 complaints about the fitness industry.

     

    Most of these complaints related to membership cancellations, specifically: unfair cancellation terms and conditions, ongoing fees and charges after cancellation, and extending membership agreements past their expiry date.

     

    For more on the public consultation paper, visit http://www.dmirs.wa.gov.au/cp-consultations

     

    Comments attributed to Commerce and Industrial Relations Minister Bill Johnston:

     

    "The fitness industry in Australia is growing and generated an estimated $229.2 million in profits in 2017-2018 alone, with about 450 gyms and fitness centres involved in WA.

     

    "Consumer Protection's review of the Fitness Industry Code of Practice gives consumers, and those working in the industry, a chance to have their say and I urge everyone to take part.

     

    "We need to know if there continues to be a need for a separate Code of Practice and, if so, what should the new code include to address issues that are unique to the fitness industry."


    Minister's office: 6552 6700