Why fitness centre does not accept cash for memberships?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by hajime, Sep 8, 2016.

  1. hajime, Sep 8, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2016

    hajime macrumors 601

    Jul 23, 2007
    Hello, due to the stress caused by the long wait of the new MBP, I decided to take fitness classes to release stress and take my mind off the waiting. In my city, there are accredited fitness centres in community centers. They might be run by the city. Not sure exactly. Anyway, I asked them about the starting day, whether or not I could pay the fees by cash and cancellation policies (will penalty apply) of the monthly membership fee. They replied:

    "When you register we ask you to book a fitness assessment. The assessment date is typically the start date of your membership, so it depends on when we book the assessment. The memberships are paid from automatic withdrawals from a bank account (via void cheque) or from a credit card and payments are withdrawn on the 15th of each month. When you first start you will be required to make a prorated payment of your first month based on the date of your assessment."

    "You can cancel any time after 1 month, no fee. You can only pay cash for the first or bridging payment. Any scheduled or postdated payments have to be credit card or EFT out of bank account."

    How come they require payment from bank account or credit card rather than cash? Do I have to be careful even if it might be run by the city?
  2. Alexander.Of.Oz macrumors 68030


    Oct 29, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    My gym does this too, with direct debits coming from my credit card every fortnight. I think you may find it is just an industry standard to do this form of recurring payment.
  3. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    If you pay cash you can simply stop paying. As I'm sure many people would do when they realize they aren't really going to the gym and question if it is worth it. Many people would frequently be late especially if strapped for cash. Since paying for a gym membership is very low priority compared to rent, car payments, utilities, food, medical, clothes and insurance.

    The hope is by automatic withdrawal you simply don't think about it or forget about it as they keep pulling money out of your account every month. Even after the year is up and you have stopped going. They know most people will forget to cancel the membership. So they can keep getting money for several more months until you take action and cancel it.

    Go to a local walking trail for a walk or jog. It'll relieve the stress just as well and it is free. Perhaps it will also have some calisthenics stations.
  4. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    Likely they dont want to have too much cash laying around at the gym.
  5. hajime thread starter macrumors 601

    Jul 23, 2007
    A quick search on the internet turned out some horrible stories about gyms continuing to charge money even the customers had withdrew from the gyms.

    The fitness centres I mentioned seem to be owned by the local city rather than private companies, do I have to worry about such issue?
  6. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
  7. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Typically you sign a contract to be a member of the gym for 12 months, and in order to be sure you honor that contract, they require a credit card to charge the reoccurring membership fees.

    Fact of life, many people who sign up for gym members quit after a month, so the credit card approach allows gyms to keep their revenue stream and force consumers to honor their commitments
    --- Post Merged, Sep 9, 2016 ---
    Life lesson, MBPs are just a tool, they perform a function. There's way more to life then using an apple laptop. Get outside, pick up a hobby, do something that you can look back and say it was worth your time and effort.

    Life is too short to obsess over a computer from a company that has more money then many nations in the world.
  8. Huntn macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    Check the YMCA, at least where I live, they will accept drafts from your bank, like bill payer, but the memberships like many such memberships are based on automated rolling payments of some kind. They don't want to mess with the antiquated idea of cash, which requires extra manpower and effort for a business to manage.
  9. C DM macrumors Sandy Bridge

    Oct 17, 2011
    Realistically a quick search on the internet will find all kinds of issues with all kinds of products, services, companies, etc. On it's own (short of it being clearly something extremely rampant or something like that) it doesn't necessarily mean that most people will encounter that.
  10. hajime thread starter macrumors 601

    Jul 23, 2007
    According to the website of YMCA, there is no contract but members need to inform them at least 10 days in advance to stop the auto payment. In general, is YMCA more reliable than those fitness centers?
  11. Huntn macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    The YMCA I go to has an excellent workout center, pool, and is reliable. Check where you live.
  12. hajime thread starter macrumors 601

    Jul 23, 2007
  13. samiwas macrumors 68000

    Aug 26, 2006
    Atlanta, GA

    Tell me this is not real, and was just to be funny.

    Easy: fitness centers want your money. Many of them are designed around extracting as much money as they can from you and making it as difficult as possible to leave.

    Find one that has easy terms, no requirements, and go with that. Here's the thing: unless you want special classes or a personal trainer, a treadmill is a treadmill. A stationary bike is a stationary bike. Weights are heavy. Those things being in a state-of-the-art modern building filled with LED lights and a DJ doesn't make your workout any more meaningful.

    And for god's sake, don't join CrossFit, because then you won't be able to talk about anything else ever again in your life.

    My wife signed up at a fitness center many years ago, and they required a three-year contract. Yes...you were required to pay for three full years whether you went or not. I was pissed at her when she told me she had signed up, knowing exactly how it was going to turn out. She went literally three times in the first week, decided she
    didn't like it, and never went again.
  14. hajime, Sep 10, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2016

    hajime thread starter macrumors 601

    Jul 23, 2007
    One of the reasons for joining is indeed to release stress caused by a lack of new MBP. The new Apple is driving me crazy. All my major work are on hold since my 2010 MBP is too slow.

    YMCA also requires credit card.
  15. Zenithal macrumors 603

    Sep 10, 2009
    Security, insuring payments are on time and it's far better for bookkeeping come tax time. I use cash 2-3x a month at most.
  16. BorderingOn macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2016
    BaseCamp Pro
    Get the tool available now that allows you to get your work done. Get your work done. Go outside. If the computer situation is stressful, why add a gym membership to the mix?
  17. hajime thread starter macrumors 601

    Jul 23, 2007
    Thanks. I have been warned by family member that adding a gym membership could add more trouble.
  18. bunnspecial macrumors 603


    May 3, 2014
    I've found that a lot of places that want a contract MIGHT accept cash if you pay the entire contract upfront. Aside from that, a lot of businesses just aren't efficiently set up to handle cash anymore. Have you ever paid cash at an Apple store? It takes twice as long because they have to make their way back to the genius bar for the one place that holds petty cash.

    My workplace(a large university) has done everything they can to cut down on petty cash transactions. Yes, the bookstore, IT store, and restaurants still handle cash, but they're it. In the Chemistry department, we use to make students buy replacements for broken glassware, but stopped that 7 years ago(granted our then Unit Business Manager embezzeled the money, which was a lot of the reason why the administration really clamped down on petty cash). They finally permitted us to have a coffee fund, but that's the extent of petty cash our office handles.

    Do you pay cash for everything? At least here in the US, I've paid cash(as in $100 bills) for some decent sized transactions like cars and watches, but WILL NOT do cash over $10K. Even though I'm meticulous in my book-keeping, $10K and above cash transactions trigger additional book keeping at every stage of the process. The bank has to report both the withdrawal and deposit to the IRS, and the seller has to report the receipt of cash in excess of $10K for a single transaction or multiple related transactions amounting to over $10K. A friend of mine(on his way to a watch show) was once hassled by the TSA because he had over $10K. Payment even by personal check relieves all these reporting requirements, although understandably many private sellers are reluctant to accept personal checks that large

    I guess I say all of that to say that I'm trying to figure out the hang-up on using a CC or bank transfer for something like this. My employer won't even issue paper checks anymore(unless they screw something up and cut a special check, which is always paper). I mail a paper check for my rent(private owner), but aside from that I pay all my other bills by bank transfer. It's the standard way that things work these days.

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