AG Brnovich and Representative Wilmeth Push for Strong Consumer Protections in the Health Club Industry

Attorney General Mark Brnovich and Representative Justin Wilmeth are working together on de-regulation legislation that would allow Arizonans to more easily and safely cancel their gym memberships, correcting a major issue that surfaced during the COVID-19 public health crisis.

Last spring, the Governor forced gyms to close in Arizona because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) received a high number of complaints from consumers who could not cancel their membership despite the mandatory closures but were still charged their full dues. Additionally, countless consumers were not allowed to stop their membership because of unfair, outdated and onerous cancellation policies. When confronted by the AGO, gyms relied on the existing “Health Spa” statutes (ARS 44-1793) to support their unfair cancellation policies.

“I am proud to work with Representative Wilmeth to address this loophole in Arizona law,” said General Brnovich. “I understand that health clubs and gyms are going through difficult times, but outdated cancellation policies that are unfriendly to consumers and may endanger the public are unacceptable.”

“This legislation provides a reasonable protection for Arizona consumers who may need another option to cancel their membership – a problem highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Representative Wilmeth. “General Brnovich has always been a strong advocate for the protection of consumers and I’m proud to partner with him on this issue.”

Representative Wilmeth is working to implement General Brnovich’s proposed legislation to address this issue and protect health club consumers.

Under current Arizona law, gyms are only required to allow for cancellation of a membership if it is done in person or via certified mail. HB 2697 would update the law to allow for cancellation by regular U.S. mail, email or on a gym’s website.

Representative Wilmeth introduced HB 2697 this legislative session. On Tuesday afternoon, the bill passed out of committee and will soon head to the House floor.

Background:
In April 2020, the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) sent letters to three gyms with locations in Arizona – Life Time Fitness, Mountainside Fitness, and Planet Fitness urging them to allow consumers to cancel their memberships remotely during the pandemic.  At the time, each gym required consumers to cancel in-person even though gyms in Arizona were closed under the Governor’s Executive Order.

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