Gym must refund dues during months in lockdown
No training, no payment? A man from Lower Saxony recovered the contributions paid during confinement from his gym. But the gymnasium refused. The Federal Court of Justice has now ruled that customers are entitled to a refund.
OIf he was unable to use his gym during the Corona lockdown, he is entitled to the membership fees paid during this period. The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) ruled in a model case from Lower Saxony on Wednesday that a studio must reimburse contributions collected by direct debit to a customer.
“The purpose of a gym contract is regular physical activity,” said Karlsruhe’s top civil judge. With a closure of several weeks, it was impossible to provide this service.
The plaintiff had entered into a two-year contract which began to run in December 2019. After the outbreak of the corona pandemic, the studio had to close from March 16 to June 4, 2020.
The operator nevertheless continued to collect the monthly contributions of 29.90 euros. The client had initially unsuccessfully asked his studio for a refund and eventually requested a voucher for the amount. However, the studio only offered him a “training time credit” – which the client declined.
Studios are not allowed to join closing time
Before the BGH, the man was right in the last instance. In the case of a fixed-term gym contract of several months, “the regular and year-round openness and friendliness of the studio is of crucial importance”, decided the judges. During the confinement, this contractual objective could not be achieved.
According to the verdict, the studio also does not have the right to add the closing weeks to the duration of the contract, as some trial courts had believed possible. The BGH judges also justify this with the voucher solution that the legislator introduced in the spring of 2020 to prevent mass insolvencies through claims.
The regulations stipulated that organizers and institutions could also reimburse entrance tickets and “user fees” with a voucher. The BGH ruled that a definitive settlement had thus been made. A contract adjustment does not take place additionally.
“Kick-off Politics” is WELT’s daily news podcast. The most important subject analyzed by the editors of WELT and the dates of the day. Subscribe to the podcast at Spotify, Apple podcast, Amazon Music or directly via the RSS feed.