The corporate chain of gyms closed its call centers in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, making it much more difficult for people to contact the company.
The members denied cancellation rights may have a claim against 24 Hour Fitness for breach of contract due to the company not providing an adequate way to freeze or cancel memberships.
Customers options for a claim depend on the type of membership. 24-hour fitness currently offers 3 membership options:
The chain’s standard contract for month-to-month membership allows customers to cancel their memberships by writing an email, calling the company, or verbally in person. Given that 24 Hour Fitness closed its call centers, and that going in person is not an option during the COVID-19 pandemic, the company has made it more difficult, if not impossible, for customers to cancel memberships.
Additionally, 24 Hour Fitness’s contract offers month-to-month members the ability to freeze memberships due to medical situations. COVID-19 would almost certainly meet this requirement, but, because of the closure of gyms and call centers, members are unable to take advantage of this option.
Commitment and prepaid members may also have claims against 24 Hour Fitness based on their contracts; if not for the inability to cancel their memberships, then for the inability to freeze their memberships for a medical situation.
Also, many contracts include a “force majeure” clause that may release customers from their contracts due to unforeseeable circumstances that prevent them from fulfilling their side of the contract. If 24 Hour Fitness contracts include this clause, customers should be released from their legal obligations.