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January 16, 2015

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Gym too speedy in selling cards

GYM giant Kingsport was the subject of hundreds of complaints in the city last year for being too fast out of the starting blocks when it came to selling membership cards.

The chain, which has 66 gyms in Shanghai, was the subject of 885 complaints in 2014, the Shanghai Consumer Rights Protection Commission said yesterday.

This accounted for 56 percent of all complaints about city gyms, added the commission.

Almost two thirds of complaints related to Kingsport selling prepaid membership to fitness fans for gyms that then didn’t open on time.

Some people were sold membership that started while decorating was still taking place.

Refund requests were sometimes rejected, and in some cases staff who sold membership could not be traced, said officials.

Among those who complained was resident Dong Zhiyong, who bought a membership card for 5,200 yuan (US$838) last March from Kingsport on Songbang Road in Baoshan District.

However, the gym did not open, and when in August he learned that staff who sold him his membership could not be traced, Dong contacted the commission.

When refunds were offered for delays, some members complained that they were charged 30 percent of the sum as a “refund fee,” the commission said.

The chain was also found to have unfair terms and irregularities in contracts.

Most complaints have not yet been solved.

The commission called on Kingsport to ensure that it has obtained business licenses and completed all work on premises before it starts selling prepaid cards.

It also told the gym chain to introduce better branch management and improve its customer contracts.

Kingsport has more than 200 branches across China, according to its website.


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