Fairwater leisure centre, Cwmbran, rip me off

In the Summer of 2006 I started going to gym again. Guess I felt a little out of shape and wanted to do something about it, it happens to us all. My nearest gym was in Fairwater Leisure Centre, Cwmbran. It wasn’t much of a gym, but was cheap and had enough equipment for me to use for the first few months.

However, in September they phoned me on day to say they’d closed the gym for refurbishments, and it would remain closed for about 4 weeks. Now, being a council run gym I knew that ‘4 weeks’ meant at least 6 weeks.

Also, I had just renewed my monthly subscription with them, but they said I’d get a month added to my subscription once they re-opened.

Obviously this wasn’t good enough as I was in a training routine and couldn’t just stop for 6 weeks (or 4 as they claimed) so I joined the gym at Cwmbran Stadium. It cost a bit more, was further away but was a much better gym.

Then, on November 1st, Fairwater Leisure Centre phoned me to say they’d re-opened and I could use the gym again… some 6 weeks later 😉

I explained I’d now joined Cwmbran Stadium and didn’t need their subscription, so could they just reimburse me for the amount I’d spent when the gym was shut, without warning. The woman said she’d speak to the manager and he’d phone me back.

Guess what?

That’s right, nothing. I emailed several times throughout the next few months, with false promises of someone dealing with it.

In December I injured my back in Cwmbran Stadium and had to cancel my subscription, then I moved away from the area entirely in March. This was when I contacted Fairwater Leisure Centre again, only to be told by the manager that I somehow owed money to Cwmbran Stadium so he wasn’t going to reimburse me.

I explained that I didn’t owe them anything, and he should check his facts. He said he would and then call me back.

That was March 2007… 2007!

It is now April 2008… and I phoned them back, only this time, I recorded it. Tomorrow I’ll post up the phonecall and a summary of events since last week.

20 months to get back less than £20? Could only happen to me!

Darren Jamieson, aka MrDaz, is the Technical Director and co-founder of Engage Web and has been working online in a career spanning two decades. His first website was built in 1998 and is still live today.

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8 thoughts on “Fairwater leisure centre, Cwmbran, rip me off”

  1. Well spotted Matt, knew you were sharp. That’s the problem when my arguing spans several years!

  2. I currently work for Fairwater leisure centre and the improvements where made on the fitness suite in order to benefit our customers, fair comment if you could not wait for the FOUR weeks it was shut but in those weeks all machienes where upgraded and it was made slightly more pleasing on the eye, (even though its not the best) all customers were warned of the fact it would be closing. If we did not shut it then customers would be moaning of lack of equipment. As I am aware most customers have to join sign a contract with the stadium and therfore can see why you owe them money, if this is not true then why didnt you follow up the comment made by our manager down the stadium and query why you owe them money. I am part of a gym outside of the council and their rules are if I cancel my subscription whenever I still have to pay for it, maybe you should read carefully when you sign up for some gym but Fairwater do hold this policy as we are only a small gym and rely on the committment of our customers without the need for contracts.

  3. Why don’t I read the contract? Dude, I did. I canceled the subscription with Cwmbran Stadium fine, it was all good. For your info, the manager at Fairwater has since called me (albeit over 12 months after he said he would and I had to chase him) and he apologised for the trouble and refunded me the money I paid out.

    Seems it was their error… who’d have guessed it?

    Customers were not warned about your refurbishments by the way, I was called the day it closed, when I was planning to go down after work.

  4. just to add and be very petty, you were informed as they were told to do routine phone calls, so you cant of really been going to the gym that much :P, at least they phoned you, and it can’t of been the manager as shes female. 😛
    Glad you got your money back!

  5. Did you not read the post? I was informed they were shutting the gym, on the day they shut it. That’s not advanced notice. They called me that day when I’d planned to go that evening. For your info, not that it’s relevant, I was attending the gym between 4-5 times a week; hence I couldn’t wait the 4 weeks estimated (6-8 weeks in reality) for the gym to be shut.

    He said he was the manager, was he not?

  6. Has anyone ever pointed out to you the fact that you look incredibly like a potato?

  7. “I am part of a gym outside of the council and their rules are if I cancel my subscription whenever I still have to pay for it, maybe you should read carefully when you sign up for some gym”

    I suggest that the person who commented this, reads up on some good old common law in England and Wales!

    Those “rules” given as an example, aren’t worth the paper they are written on.
    Any “leaving fee, “adminstration charge” or “remainder of contract charges,” etc, etc, that result in a profit for the company trying to enforce them, are deemed, under common law, to be a “penalty charge.”

    Penalty charges, as determined by legal precedent, are unenforceable under common law in England and Wales.

    Be well.

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