All-Star Help needed! Contracts

catlady

Cheer Parent
Jun 6, 2012
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I know a gym that reports default on your credit in these situations. The gym might be in the wrong, but they have definitely done that before.
And, I know another gym that won't sign a worlds release unless the complete year is paid for.
I don't necessarily have a problem with either one of those scenarios knowing how far it has usually has gone before it gets to that point. As a retired corp. retail customer service exec. I can tell you there are two types of people when it comes to defaulting. There's the customer that's proactive, calls/answers calls and tells you their situation/experience, and tries to work something out. And then, there's the customer that ignores all calls and pretends the situation will resolve itself without consequence. I can tell you 100% of the time when a person called and tried to work something out, we would go the extra mile to help. That didn't mean I could erase all their debt, or necessarily let them continue racking up debt. What it did mean, I could look at what they bought, the corp's cost, and often reduce their debt. I could delay or extend credit dates/reduce payments/lower interest until their situation resolved, or we could find middle ground to resolve a bad situation. Sometimes we had to agree we wouldn't be able to meet their expectations, but we still had to come up with some type of resolution, even if that meant going to court. I don't know of any business that wouldn't prefer working something out with a reasonable customer versus selling their debt for pennies, ruining their credit and/or spending time and money taking their chances in court.

Me, personally, I would call the gym and calmly tell them I had C-19 safety concerns and my child was miserable from bullying. I would offer them one month pay to serve as my 30 days notice and final contractual payment under the circumstances. If they would accept those terms, I'd let them know I was on my way to get it in writing and give them my final payment. If that wasn't acceptable, I would send a letter via certified mail to let them know I was filing a small claim to end their contractual agreement based on safety concerns. I would, also, call a lawyer to find out if state law requires me to continue making payments or if I can cease payments since a small claim was filed.
 

Cheermomxx23

Original Poster
Nov 21, 2021
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Sorry its taken me this long to reply. A little backstory, I used to work for this gym so when contract signing deadlines came around I hadn't signed cause I was constantly working. They kinda just handed me form said sign while I was in the middle of practice. I never received a copy of the form nor have I read it. All the problems seemed to happen after I resigned, it seemed as though they were taking out their anger and hatred on my daughter since they couldn't on me. I had talked to the owner and stated my concerns about bullying and covid protocol and she basically told me it was all in my head then continued to belittle me and tell me what a nuisance my daughter was. At that point I then stated "I was taking my daughter out for her health and safety and to prevent further harassment." Dealing with the owners from this gym is like handling high school teenagers. I have already paid over $900 in fees alone. (Competition, choreography, practice uniform, music, makeup etc) I haven't asked for any money back or anything I just want my daughter and I to be left alone from this gym.
 
Apr 30, 2019
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Retired From Cheer
Hello all, I recently pulled my daughter out of a gym we’ve been going to since may. I signed the contract unknowing of the “quitting fee.” Basically, if we “quit” we would have to pay a $500 quitters fee as well as the remaining tuition for the next 5-6 months. Competition season hasn’t even started for the gym yet. However, This gym is very sue happy. Also, I pulled her out due to fears of her health and safety due to the gym neglecting covid protocol and harassment/bullying from the coaches. Is there anything I can do or any advice y’all have? Thanks in advance
It might be worth it to speak with an attorney in your state and have them look at your situation. Depending on your state's laws, a cheer gym might be considered to have a specialty contract that does not have to operate according to the policies that a membership gym/health studio must abide by.

Here are a couple of ideas...A creative solution to consider is finding out if there is another child who is taking your child's "spot" and see if you can sublet your spot for the replacement person (i.e. Sally replaces Daughter on team and buys out the rest of her contract - perhaps even at a discount. You pay the gym, but Sally's family pays you). Even if it's at a discount, you might still save a lot of money. If the gym isn't being harmed by your leaving (it doesn't change the division they are competing in or fees have not been assessed for competitions yet, for example).

Another potential consideration is to see if they will allow you to credit the funds you will pay for the duration of a contract toward either open gym training or privates with a coach that your child works well with. Or perhaps see if they would sublet to a coach you want to bring in so your child can still access training at the gym even though she's no longer on a competing team. (i.e. if the gym typically allows a coach to rent 1/2 of a floor for $100 an hour - rather than you getting nothing for the quit fee, perhaps you can negotiate secure the right to access five 1-hour private lessons with a coach at the gym within the duration of your existing contract.)

I am sure that for a lot of gyms they've had to beef up their contracts in order to anticipate income and expenses and avoid going out of business during these uncertain times. Perhaps they will be more willing to negotiate with you than risk having to report you and chase you down for the funds. Best of luck.
 

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