Top Shows

Fair Go: Wednesday July 11

Published: 7:10PM Wednesday July 11, 2012 Source: Fair Go

Gyms Closed 
Reporter: Hannah Wallis
Contours The Palms is a Christchurch gym shut down by damage after last February's earthquake for about six months. Niki Franklin and Rebecca Tucker both wanted out of their contracts so they could go to other gyms. Contours said no, they could either put their memberships on hold or go to other Contours gyms.
Another group of Christchurch women also wanted out of their contracts when Configure Express Northlands closed. They were also told they could either go to the Configure gyms in Riccarton or Eastgate. If they wanted out of their contracts, some were looking at paying hundreds of dollars in break fees.
The gyms said the clients either had a no-refunds clause in their gym contracts, or they said they were covered by the  "location" clause in their agreement with automatic payment company Debit Success. This clause says a gym can move location and the contract remains in force. Fair Go's legal advice is no, significantly moving location or shutting down a gym means the contract is frustrated, therefore it is at an end. Any monies paid to the gym in advance, but covering the period after the gym shut down, should be reimbursed.
Fair Go Gym Tips:
1: You have the right to take the contract away to look at before you sign. Don't feel pressured - gyms compete hard for clients and staff may be on commission to sign you up. 
2: As well as your gym contract, check your automatic payment agreement - you may find unexpected clauses,  like that change of location clause.
3: Paying a lumps sum in advance can be cheaper than monthly payments. But if you cancel early you might lose a big chunk of that payment or get no refund at all.
4: Great if your gym allows you to on-sell membership - but if you are the buyer - is there a  changeover fee and who has to pay it?

UPDATE: BSA decision on Gyms Closed story

How would you feel if the bloke you paid to fix up your boat gave you the runabout?
Libby Middlebrook
Boating, it's one of the great kiwi pastimes. But it's not cheap.
The boaties in our story say they're even further out of pocket, after employing Dan Newnham from Mobile Marine in Whangarei.
He was paid to work on their outboard motors, but after lengthy delays, the tasks were never completed.
In one case, he took $3500 from a client, but never provided any parts or labour.
Dan says he's taken full responsibility, and apologised to the people in our story. He says he intends to pay them back as soon as possible, and is trying to find the money.
But he also said some of this customers were partly to blame, including Barry Povey, the man who paid him $3500 to rig up an outboard. Dan accused Barry of attacking him, something Barry denies.

Wedding woes
Ali Mau
One story earlier this year provoked some intense responses from you. It was about Michyla Corban, the bride who lavished tens of thousands of dollars on her wedding last November - but then didn't pay some of her bills. The florist, the band, and others were left out of pocket. Michyla said bank statements showed the band, Halo, had been paid.
Halo took their case to the Disputes Tribunal, and won. Michyla didn't show - her husband said they didn't know about the hearing. She was given 10 days to pay them more than $4000 - that deadline has passed and the musicians are still waiting. If the money doesn't arrive, they can apply for a distress warrant, which means ultimately a bailiff could go and seize property. We've heard many stories over the years about people who don't get their money, even when the Ministry of Justice chases it for them. Another option is paying a debt collection agency.

Ali Mau
We had a huge response to our web safe special last week - and we have some good news for two complainants. 
Jill Derrington couldn't get hold of DTN Auto to redeem a Groupon voucher to get her cambelt done. The Skills Update Training Institute in Papakura wrote to us to say they'd be glad to fit Jill's cambelt - for free.
Donel wrote in to say she couldn't get hold of a cleaning company to redeem a Treat Me voucher. Jon Duffy from Trade Me, which runs Treat Me, said she'd been waiting far too long - Treat Me refunded her in full and they're no longer dealing with the cleaning company.

Ad awards
Reporter :
Gordon Harcourt
Get your picks in for the year's best and worst ads!
The annual Fair Go Ad Awards are not far away - start sending us your picks for best and worst ad.
We'd also like your suggestions for topics for the School Ad Awards - primary/junior or secondary/senior. We'll announce them next week, when schools are back.
And of course we won't spare you our own dreadful attempts at the ad-man's game - the Fair Go spoof machine is warming up!

There's a special address to send your ideas and nominations to

Most Popular