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When the only sweat you shed is trying to cancel your health club membership

By Howard Hubler

They say January and February are the biggest weight loss and health club months of the year. I bought that deal in the past and found out that my willpower was good for 60 days.

So you plan on starting out on a weight loss program online or a workout program at a local club. Now is the time to deal with it before the proverbial spring break bathing suit reveals. Fast forward to March or April, and you never lifted anything but the spoon to your hot fudge sundae. Let’s say you bought a two-month program; unless you canceled it, they were going to assign a new monthly price as you had a two-month introductory price only.

I attempted to cancel my membership and was sent 40-50 pages of information to read first; I couldn’t even tell you what they wanted me to do to actually cancel despite a graduate degree from IU. After three attempts to re-initiate a new password to log on, the system was “temporarily down.” No joke.

After finally canceling my workout and weight loss programs, I thought I was on my way to giving myself a $50 a month raise with cutting my monthly living expenses. A month later I’m going through my credit card expenses. I noticed a few other charges, and they have coded names that make no sense. They’ve been billing me every month, and I discovered a little-known part of my electronic online banking system that I could find with charges that had “recurring billings.” Joe’s Health Club Center might be using a credit card billing name of “JHC 123;1.” Eventually you cancel another $20 expense, although the best you can do is cancel the fee to the next billing cycle. You can show the business(es) that for months you never so much as contacted their online service, nor did they contact you with a, “haven’t seen you in a while,” notice. You won’t get a penny back. Businesspeople beware: Do you think you are smarter than this? Perhaps you’ll find out sometime around March or April of this year.

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