WASHINGTON, D.C.—March 23, 2023—IHRSA, the Global Health & Fitness Association, today released the following statement regarding a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) proposal dealing with cancellation methods for certain services and memberships.
Liz Clark, IHRSA president & CEO, criticized the Biden Administration and FTC for applying a “one size must fit all” assumption to a rule dealing with complex and diverse types of contracts between consumers and service providers.
She added, “This proposed rule demonstrates that FTC and Biden Administration officials who support it, fundamentally misunderstand the nature and reality of the brick and mortar gym and studio business model.
“Gyms, studios, and related providers play a vital role in helping improve the physical and mental health of more than 60 million consumers. The majority of these benefits are accrued from exercise, classes, and services delivered at a brick and mortar location, or, in many cases, multiple locations of the same brand or family or locations. Many also offer bundle or short-term packages.
“This rule appears more oriented to deal with online games, services, programs, and products and not physical gym and studio locations where consumers regularly visit.
“IHRSA looks forward to having a dialogue with the FTC and Biden Administration officials on the positive mental and physical health benefits of our industry’s services as well as the pro-consumer platforms, agreements, and interaction arrangements already in place to ensure fair and transparent membership contracts with our millions of customers.
“Online abuses and junk fee situations are rife in some app and online service areas of the digital universe, but not the brick and mortar space of gyms and studios that are Main Street businesses with a physical presence in every corner of the country.”
IHRSA, the Global Health & Fitness Association, is a not-for-profit trade association representing the global fitness industry of over 200,000 health and fitness facilities and their suppliers. Founded in 1981, IHRSA maintains a leadership role in advancing physical activity, which is critical for peak health and to fight the battle against obesity and chronic lifestyle diseases.
As the world's leading authority on the commercial health and fitness club industry, IHRSA’s mission is to grow, promote, and protect the health and fitness industry, while providing its members with benefits and resources. IHRSA is the publisher of Club Business International, the leading monthly magazine for the global fitness industry.