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Gov. Murphy signs legislation increasing transparency in online gym membership cancellations

NEW JERSEY — Governor Phil Murphy Monday signed A3892/S2952, streamlining gym membership cancellation policies and protecting consumers across New Jersey.

Today’s legislation requires gym subscription services that can be entered online to offer an online cancellation option. The location where subscribers can initiate the cancellation must be accessible and prominent on the gym provider’s website, within the individual’s account profile, or it may be completed through a termination email template provided by the service.

This law will ease the process for consumers to willfully terminate automatic gym renewal subscriptions and avoid entrapment by rigid in-person membership cancellation policies.

“By signing this bill into law, New Jerseyans will be protected from confusing, misleading, and inflexible subscription cancellation policies,” Murphy said. “For too long, members have faced difficulties when attempting to cancel a membership they entered into online. With these new requirements, we can ensure a simplified gym membership cancellation process for consumers and hardworking families can evade the financial burden of perpetual automatic renewals.”

Primary sponsors of A3892/S2952 include Senate President Nicholas Scutari, Senator Gordon Johnson, and Assemblymembers Paul Moriarty, Verlina Reynolds-Jackson, and Angela McKnight.

“We thank Governor Murphy and our legislators for once again making consumer protection a priority in New Jersey,” said Cari Fais, Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. “This legislation establishes clear ground rules in an area where unscrupulous health club operators could otherwise take advantage of consumers by making it unnecessarily difficult to terminate memberships. The Division stands ready to enforce these new protections and hold violators accountable.”

“This is a straightforward consumer protection law,” said Senate President Scutari. “It shouldn’t be complicated or difficult for consumers to cancel their health club memberships online if they were purchased online. This will give them that option.”

“It’s simple, if you sign up for a gym membership online, you should be able to cancel your membership online as well,” said Senator Johnson. “This is good policy which will undoubtedly benefit the consumers of New Jersey and save people from undue headaches.”

“I heard so many complaints from consumers who were having trouble canceling their gym memberships, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, that I knew I had to take action,” said Assemblyman Moriarty. “If a gym can accept new members online, those members should also be able to be cancel online. Now that this bill is law, they’ll have an important financial protection.”

“Consumers will now be protected against being billed for subscription services they don’t want but have had difficulties canceling,” said Assemblywoman Reynolds-Jackson. “Now consumers can cancel these services in a way that’s easiest for them – whether that’s online, on the phone, or by mail.  Businesses that violate this new law will face hefty financial penalties.”

“The frustration – and expense – New Jerseyans faced over trying to cancel memberships and subscriptions online during a pandemic was unfair to them,” said Assemblywoman McKnight. “I’m glad to see this consumer protection law is now in place, so that consumers won’t be billed for services they aren’t using and don’t want.”

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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