Rip voucher solution? Karlsruhers should keep this in mind after completing the lockdown on gyms and the like

Not half a year ago, the service and event industry struggled to survive – fitness studios were also extremely affected by the shutdown, and although no service was allowed to be offered, membership fees continued to be charged. Compensation was later paid in the form of vouchers, but it was met with resentment. A reader who was affected by such a case approached with the question of how a customer could intervene against it.

The corresponding ka-reporter was a member of a fitness studio in Karlsruhe for five years – until the closure it was also to his satisfaction in general. However, there were inconsistencies with the statutory closures from November to June.

Photo: Christin Klose / dpa-tmn

“Even though the studio was no longer allowed to operate from November – and even though it received financial support from the state – the memberships were automatically extended and the membership fees increased,” the reader writes to the editorial staff.

So the studio provided no services and still asked for money. “I even stopped paying in November 2020 and canceled it in April 2021,” the ka reporter said. “You do not pay for a restaurant if you do not get something to eat.”

The “coupon solution” does not only apply to gyms

The study finally sent him a payment reminder in August 2021 for the unpaid contributions. In addition, he and other customers were offered a voucher to compensate for the contributions during the lockdown, which corresponds to the contributions paid, and which extends the membership by additional months. “No one asked if they would extend their membership at all,” the ka-reporter continued.

To find out if it is at all legal to withdraw the membership fee without counter-offers – or if payments can simply be stopped – contacts the Baden-Württemberg Consumer Center.

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