Metro Vancouver couple whose gym closed and maintained fees get free membership elsewhere
A Maple Ridge couple were offered a free membership at another local gym after Snap Fitness closed and kept their one-year prepaid membership.
After Daily Hive shared the story, L&L Signature Fitness Group in Surrey offered Sahil Mahajan and his wife Suhani a free four-month membership to help ease their fight.
“Just hoping to help,” L&L COO Carl Ulmer wrote in an email. “Canadians need to get more active, and this pandemic hasn’t made fitness as accessible as it used to be.”
Sahil and Suhani paid just over $1,000 in January 2022 for a 12-month membership at Snap Fitness, a gym just a two-minute walk from their home. But in May, they showed up to find the gymnasium was closed and the unit was for rent – and Mahajan’s calls and emails to get her money back went unanswered.
Daily Hive also contacted Snap Fitness’ media relations team but never received a response. Daily Hive found no bankruptcy filings for Snap Fitness when searching Canadian bankruptcy and insolvency records.
Tatiana Chabeaux-Smith, spokeswoman for Consumer Protection BC, told Daily Hive that consumers have access to different types of remedies depending on whether a business has simply closed or has been declared bankrupt.
If a business provides ongoing, physical services, such as a gym, consumers have rights to cancel and refund their contracts in certain situations. If a fitness studio closes or changes the services offered, customers have the right to cancel and receive a refund as this is considered a “material change” by the supplier.
Consumer Protection BC has instructions on its website to help people through the contract cancellation process.
On the other hand, if a business declares bankruptcy, it may be more difficult for customers to get their money back. In these situations consumers can contact the trustee in bankruptcy and ask to be added to the list of creditors – but even then there is no guarantee of getting the money back.
A real estate agent trying to find a new commercial tenant for the Snap Fitness space said he had no contact information for the gym, only the building owner. But he confirmed he listed the business unit in June.