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September , 2018
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CHICAGO, ILPlanning to lose weight is often a part of ringing in the New Year when the holiday season comes to an end. However, consumers who want to diet or shape up should be very cautious when signing up for exercise programs and gym memberships, advises the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois (BBB).

In the last 12 months, consumers have filed 7,823 complaints with the BBB about health clubs. Many of these showed that consumers had difficulty cancelling memberships or with billing disputes.

“Joining and obtaining the full benefit from a health club is commitment.  You want to spend your time focused on your weight loss and exercise goals, not complaining,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “Before signing up, it is important to make sure the gym is a good fit for you and your budget.”

Before you sign a contract at a health club, the BBB advises you to consider your needs and your budget:

  • Determine your fitness goals. It’s hard work to lose weight, and you need to find a program you can stick with and preferably one that you enjoy. Find a health club or exercise facility that is convenient and that offers times that fit your schedule.
  • Visit the facility before joining. Check on cleanliness, adequacy of space, machines and instructors and any other factors important to you. Ask if you can try the facility out before you join.
  • Consider your budget. Ask the health club about “joining” or enrollment fees and ongoing monthly costs. Does a weight loss plan require you to buy special foods? Can you cancel if you move or find that the program doesn’t meet your needs? If the facility closes, can you transfer your membership to another facility?
  • Read the entire contract. Does it list all services and facilities and hours of operation? Is everything the salesperson promised included in the contract? What’s included in the monthly fee and what will cost you extra? What is the total cost, including enrollment fees and finance charges?
  • Check with the BBB first. Check a company’s Business Review at www.bbb.org

For more consumer tips, visit www.bbb.org

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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