Marlborough, MA - If you’ve resolved to get in shape this year, Better Business Bureau of Eastern MA, ME, RI & VT (BBB) has advice that can help you evaluate fitness clubs, gyms or weight loss programs.
In the last year, consumers filed more than 6,500 complaints against fitness centers and health clubs. Many of the complaints were about centers that closed abruptly or that refused to provide refunds to consumers who moved or were dissatisfied with the club’s programs or hours.
BBB also received more than 4,600 complaints about weight control services, health and diet products. Common complaints included never receiving products ordered, results that were not as advertised or products that caused an adverse reaction.
Misunderstandings about contract terms or cancellations are common with fitness and weight loss programs. Consumers need to ask questions and read contracts carefully to be sure they know how to cancel, what kind of notice is required and whether the gym will refund the unused portion of a contract. Some contracts automatically renew unless you cancel.
First and foremost, you need to find a club or plan that fits your needs. Before starting a program, BBB advises consumers to consult a doctor for an assessment of over-all health risks. The doctor may recommend options for losing weight or exercise programs that fit your health status and your ability to stick with a program.
Before you invest in diet or fitness plans or products, BBB advises consumers to follow these eight tips:
If you are working with a doctor who prescribes a medication to assist in weight loss, ask about complications or side effects. Tell the doctor about other medications or over-the-counter drugs and dietary supplements you may be taking. Report any changes you experience after taking the medication to the doctor.
For more information you can trust, visit bbb.org.
ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses and brands they can trust. In 2014, consumers turned to BBB more than 165 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 4.7 million businesses, all available for free at bbb.org. BBB Serving Eastern Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont, founded in 1912, is one of 112 local, independent BBBs across North America.
Paula Fleming is VP of Communications & Marketing for Better Business Bureau Serving Eastern MA, ME, RI & VT. Find Paula on Google+.