Predatory commercialism - gym memberships

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Since I moved to the USA I have found another meaning of Fox Mulder in the X-files "trust no one".
Consumer protection in the USA is almost non-existant and corporations are allowed to prey on consumers with very little risk of being caught.

Just look at the fact that the US is the only country in the industrialized world that allow drug companies to market prescription drugs directly to the consumers. Big pharma then also has made sure to keep the price levels to be the highest in the world by not allowing for imports of cheaper drugs from Canada or Europe.

Anyways the sales methods used here are preying on weak and defenseless consumers that once they have signed murky contracts presented by commission hungry sales people have very little help to get from society. Like in so many other cases the only thing to do is "hire a lawyer" as there are very few ways offered by society for a consumer to fight corporations without hiring an expensive lawyer, guess who is thriving on the weak consumer protection, another big and savvy lobby group in the US, the lawyers, even our President is a lawyer.

Therefore be very careful before you sign any contracts in this country and do not think that products are safe because they are offered for sale. Cosmetics for example, in the US, cosmetic companines does not have to declare the content of their products therefore cosmetics is cheap and the cheapest cosmetics containing led, toxins and other stuff that is not allowed in Europe, is used here to manufacture cheap stuff to unknowing consumers. Cosmetics is not tested by FDA it is sold without control for you to use on your skin, lips and  eyelashes.

Consumer and environmental protection is considered a hinder for development and growtht by the big corporations lobbyists, they claim that US corporarations cannot grow unless they are allowed to prey without limits on our environment and us as consumers.

With that in mind, that you are only the bottom line of the monthly sales for businesses, you need to trust no one and protect yourself. With the mindset of being a prey and businesses are predators you will likely survive longer in the djungle of US commercialism. This does not mean that you should victimize yourself, instead you should empower yourself with knowledge and savvyness.

I was looking for spinning classes for me and the kids as we need to work on our cardio and general energy level now when it is wintertime with dark evenings. There are several gym franchises around us, Golds Gym, Curves, Bally etc.  My first impulse, still working on my to trustful Swedish upbringing, I was thinking about popping into one of the gyms that was closest to us, Golds Gym, talk to them and see if they could offer us spinning classes and how much that would be.

Luckily I did not have time to do so for some days and decided to Google some other locations for Gold Gym. When I Googled Golds Gym I found another interesting link
i found complaint after complaint on the methods used by Golds to get people to sign memberships that later proved to be almost impossible to get out of. Scary reading and when I chekced out the other franchises such as Curves and Bally I found similar complaints.

I talked to some friends that confirmed those complaints by saying that many gyms operate like the insurance industry, they want you to pay a lot for not using any of their services, some gyms lure you into memberships and the count on you using their gyms for some months and then you loose motivation and never show up again, but still pay month after month.

I admit after reading the consumer affairs web site with all horror stories about how gyms operate I lost my mojo for taking on spinning classes, I was prepared to sweat for a leaner body but not to suffer a mental breakdown to avoid a leaner wallet.

Well, after a few weeks of not thinking about it I found some very good and empowering advice on a web site for body builders, advice I now will follow and make some attempts to check out gyms near us.  I will report my progress of course and it would be interesting to hear other stories about Scandinavian gym experiences and if someone in Wesley Chapel, Zephyrhills, Dade City area has some good gyms to recommend, please let me know.

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