Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

So my New Year’s resolutions for 2010 include getting fit. I’m in ample company (*high hat - ba dump bump*). Every January, consumers and consumer protection bloggers (tip of the hat to Colleen at the National Consumer Protection Week blog) vow to shape up. Here at the AGO, we have a friendly competition underway akin to the “Biggest Loser” reality show. So far, I’ve dropped four pounds by tracking calories and workouts using a free iPhone app.

It might sound like a no-brainer, but you shouldn’t rely on health information spread by e-mail. Spam e-mail messages touting weight loss products appeal to many scalestudents, who then buy the items they are selling, according to a new report in Southern Medical Journal.

The Federal Trade Commission’s free publication, Weight Loss: Finding a Weight Loss Program that Works for You, has information to help you evaluate weight loss products and services, including the right questions to help you choose a safe and effective weight loss method.

Maybe you intend to hit the gym. Washington's health club law covers most fitness facilities and offers consumers specific protections when purchasing a membership. When picking a health club:

  • Visit the club during the hours you expect to use the facility. 
  • Ask for a free trial period to try out the equipment and/or programs. 
  • Talk to other club users about their opinions of the facility. 
  • Take your time to consider offers. Don’t be afraid to negotiate prices and services.
  • Get all promises in writing. Read your contract carefully before you sign. You have three business days after signing a membership contract to cancel and receive a refund. Saturday may count as a business day, so check your contract.

Related Blog Posts: My gym closed. Can I get a refund?

Disclaimer: References to any specific commercial product or service is for the convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the state, the Attorney General's Office or its employees.

 

 

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