NEWARK, New Jersey (Legal Newsline) — The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs has announced administrative actions against 20 health clubs for allegedly breaking consumer protection laws.
“Consumers who pay for health club memberships deserve the assurance that they’re signing contracts with clubs that are properly registered and operating in accordance with the law,” said acting Attorney General Robert Lougy. “The clubs we cited have allegedly failed to comply with the laws designed to protect consumers. We’re sending a message to them that we won’t tolerate such non-compliance.”
These 20 clubs allegedly failed to register their businesses, a requirement under state law. Nine of the 20 clubs also purportedly sold longer-term contracts to consumers without maintaining some form of security, like a bond or letter of credit. This is another violation of state law.
“When it comes to joining a health club, consumers shouldn’t have to worry that getting healthy will hurt them financially,” said Steve Lee, acting director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. “They have a right to expect their club is properly registered and properly bonded so they won’t lose money on a long-term contract should the club go out of business or violate contracts with the consumer.”
The Division of Consumer Affairs has assessed $158,000 in civil penalties against these clubs.