BGH verdict money back for closed gym in corona lockdown

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Of: Sarah Hanke


In good contact with its customers: Kirsten Brünnich, “Ladies First Hamm” fitness center. © © Andreas Rother

Anyone who has not been able to visit the gym during lockdown is entitled to a refund of membership fee. This was decided by the Federal Court of Justice (BGH). Meanwhile, some Hammer gym operators have found compromise solutions with their customers.

Hamm – Kirsten Brünnich, operator of “Ladies First HammGave her customers the choice. She had announced via email that she would continue to collect contributions during the lockdown. If you do not agree, you can report it. “But the majority of the customers supported us. We are a studio with a family atmosphere,” says Brünnich. Open communication with the customers was important. So far, only one lady has recovered her contributions paid during the closure. But she is no longer a member of Hammer fitness center for women. “I hope it continues,” says the operator, although she can well understand the customers’ dissatisfaction. All fitness centers would have suffered during the closure and lost a lot. From a business point of view, the decision of BGH can certainly put some studies in financial difficulties.

“It’s a disaster,” said Christian Dürwald, CEO of “Vita Health and Hamm GmbH“on Alter Uentroper Weg 53. Although Vita Gesundheit is not himself affected by the verdict and he does not have to fear any consequences:” I was not happy with the verdict. “Most of the 700 members had shown solidarity – only a few had In the event of compensation for the canceled training weeks, members would have received vouchers for non-contributory periods or consumption.

Fitness industry without lobby

only in January 2020 had opened the gym in Uentrop. “Corona has already thrown us back massively,” Dürwald says. To this day, he is annoyed with the then Corona policy. “It’s reprehensible to name brothels and gyms in the same breath and close both,” Dürwald said. “The fitness industry has no lobby.”

At practice “Activita” on Hafenstrasse, customers can not claim any contribution back. “We did not demand anything during the closure,” says owner Thomas Johannpeter. Anyone who did it differently must now bear the consequences.

Lockdown has not gone unnoticed

There were only a few firings during the shutdown. To retain regular customers, customers were offered free online sports courses.

Of course, the lack of income did not leave the Activity without a trace. Even if the full cost did not have to be paid during the closure: the employees were on short-term work – forced. But: “We must first return to where we were before Corona,” says Johannpeter.

Doing the same thing as the big fitness chain and increasing the contributions without talking to the members beforehand does not correspond to his sense of justice: “He who walks through the revolving door has in no way accepted the terms.”

The model box from Lower Saxony

A fitness center in Lower Saxony should give it to a customer during Corona lockdowns refund contributions charged by direct debit. BGH handed down this judgment in a model case. The plaintiff had entered into a two-year contract that began to run in December 2019. Following the outbreak of the pandemic, the study had from March 16 to June 4, 2020 must close. The operator nevertheless continued to deduct the monthly contributions 29.90 euros one. The customer had initially unsuccessfully asked his studio to pay back and eventually asked for a voucher on the amount. But the studio offered him only one “Credit for training time” on. The customer refused. In the latter case, the man was just before BGH.

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