Attorney General Jack Conway and his Office of Consumer Protection on Monday announced the recovery of lost membership fees for hundreds of former customers of Shapes New Dimensions, Inc., a Lexington, Ky. health club that closed its doors on April 25, 2012.
General Conway’s Office is sending refunds totaling $36,296 to 583 consumers for the unused portion of membership fees paid to Shapes, previously located at 3120 Pimlico Parkway.
As required by Kentucky law, the facility had in place a $50,000 bond for compensation of any member who suffers loss of money due to closure of the health spa.
The Attorney General’s office worked with the previous owner to obtain documentation for membership information, sent letters to affected members and placed legal notices in the newspaper. As a result, 583 consumers will receive refunds.
“I am pleased that we are able to recover unused membership fees for former Shapes members,” General Conway said. “I appreciate the cooperation of the owner and the bond company in working with my Office for the benefit of consumers. Protecting health club members from unexpected closures was what the health spa bonding law was designed to do and it worked as envisioned by the General Assembly when they passed the law back in 1988. My office will continue to vigilantly enforce this and other consumer protection laws.”
General Conway encourages consumers to consider these helpful reminders prior to joining a health club:
· Make sure the health club is registered with the Office of the Attorney General. Each health spa is required to register with the Office of the Attorney General. Health spas which receive payment for more than 31 days in advance are also required to post a bond.
· Be sure to tour the facility to make sure the club offers the type of equipment and programs you want.
· Ask the club owner to show you that the club is bonded, or if not, why it is exempt from bonding.
· Be sure to review the contract before signing. Never sign a blank contract. All health spa contracts must be in writing and be delivered to the member at the time the contract is signed.
· No health spa contract may be sold for a period of longer than 36 months.
· Know your rights as a health spa member. Kentucky’s Health Spas laws are located in KRS 367.900 – 367.930.
· Understand your rights to cancel.
a. Consumers may cancel their contract within three business days of purchase by notifying the health spa in writing.
b. You may cancel if, because of death or medical disability, you become unable to use a substantial portion of the spa's facilities or services for 30 or more days.
c. You may cancel if the spa relocates more than five miles from the location stated in the contract.
d. You may cancel if you relocate more than 25 miles from your residence as stated in the contract, and the health spa cannot provide comparable facilities and services within five miles of your new residence.
If you are a former customer of Shapes New Dimensions in Lexington, Ky., and believe that you are entitled to a refund, but have not been contacted yet, please call the Attorney General’s Office at 502-696-5300.
For additional information, you may also visit the Attorney General’s website at http://ag.ky.gov/civil/consumerprotection/business/Pages/forms.aspx#spas .