Considering a gym membership? Here’s what ConsumerAffairs reviewers say

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Our top five gyms draw ratings between 3.8 and 2.8 stars

When January rolls around and the calendar flips to a new year, parking lots at fitness centers tend to suddenly be very crowded. There are a lot of New Year’s resolutions for improving health and fitness.

There are also plenty of gyms and fitness centers that can help with that, but which ones are the best? We checked ConsumerAffairs reviews to see how they rate on a 5-star scale and here are our top five. We included only national chains and companies with more than 100 reviews.

Anytime Fitness

Anytime Fitness leads the pack. But like all health clubs, it has its share of detractors. Recent 1-star reviews seem to deal with club policies and complaints about local staff. Favorable reviews praise cleanliness, and on many occasions, local staff members.

The majority of negative reviews have to do with cancelation policies, which seem to be restrictive industry-wide. 

Planet Fitness

Planet Fitness is close behind in second place, and a couple of things stand out in customer reviews. At different locations across the country reviewers comment on maintenance and customer support.

“I just wanted to let someone know that the staff at PF Fredericksburg Costner Corner are amazing,” Angel, of Stafford, Va., wrote in a ConsumerAffairs review. “They always have smiles and are cleaning some type of equipment. It is refreshing to know that the staff truly cares about fitness and customer service.”

Curves International

Curves International is a women-only club – one of the largest fitness franchise chains for women, with over 1,000 locations in the U.S. and internationally. It offers group fitness classes, weight loss support and personal coaching.

“Very good customer service, clean place, great machines,” Blanca, of Reseda, Calif., told us during the early days of the pandemic. “Not so crowded, respectful crew.”

Gold’s Gym

Gold’s Gym, with a 2.9-star rating, is in fourth place. It has its share of gripes about membership and billing policies but gets a thumbs up from some customers for the quality and condition of equipment and the efficiency of the staff.

24 Hour Fitness

24 Hour Fitness, has a 2.8-star rating, dragged down in part by membership and cancelation policies. But even when things go wrong, at least one customer said the company made it right.

“I have had some issue with the billing statement, so I sent an email to 24H (and) within an hour, the location general manager called back and left a void message, explaining the issue and how to fix it. After that, I've received confirmation email that the issue has been resolved,” Don, of Allen, Texas, told us. Impressive!

According to our research, most gym memberships are paid in monthly dues which can range from around $10 to several hundred dollars a month, depending on the gym’s features and its location. 

Consumers considering a gym membership should get all the details in writing in an official contract. If it is difficult to cancel, know that going in.

Gym membership contracts and pricing schedules vary from company to company. Be sure to read the entire contract and ask questions before signing if you’re not sure what something means.

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