New year, new gym membership? What you should know before you sign up

Many of you may have made resolutions for the new year.

If topping the list is losing weight, you need to know what you’re getting into if you join a gym or sign up for a membership or subscription.

Now that the holidays are over, you may be looking to shed a few extra pounds to get rid of that holiday weight gain, but the Better Business Bureau says beware of weight loss scams.

“One is in the form of a free trial where you may get an email appearing to come from a reputable gym or a national brand that says that we’re going to give you a free trial sign up now, click this link, give us your credit card number to reserve your spot,” said Hawaii Better Business Bureau CEO Greg Dunn.

Dunn says you should be suspicious of anyone asking for credit card information in exchange for a free service. Free trials can also be confusing, since you may be asked to pay a processing fee or forced into a subscription.

Dunn says if you’re looking to join a gym or spa, beware of high-pressure sales tactics.

“You want to be in the right state of mind, evaluate all of the benefits that are being offered to you, and see if it matches with what your goals are,” he said. “We’ve also seen instances where third-party coupon providers send out group deals that you will get via email that may appear to be a two-for-one special or a buy-one-get-one-free.”

Dunn says that highlights the importance of reading the terms and conditions of any contract you agree to, and always ask questions.

If you want to avoid signing a contract and paying fees altogether, just take advantage of the outdoors. You can take a walk or swim, and it’s all free.

If you have a consumer concern or are interested in becoming an Action Line volunteer, give us a call at 591-0222 weekdays between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. or send an email to

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