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Dear Phil Geld: Can I cancel my fitness subscription early?

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Sandra (24) has taken out a fitness subscription. Can she withdraw from the contract early for health reasons?

I took out a one-year fitness subscription with monthly installments in June last year. I have suffered from an inflamed sciatic nerve for a month. After consulting my family doctor, I will now regularly attend physiotherapy and special medical training therapy. Shortly afterwards I went to the fitness center with the doctor's certificate and described my situation. Unfortunately, I did not find any understanding. I was informed that despite a doctor's certificate I could not withdraw from the contract early. Is that correct?

With a fitness contract, there is no mandatory, unconditional and unconditional right of termination. Art. 404 OR is not applicable: In principle, the customer bears the cost risk. If he cannot claim a benefit due to illness, there is basically no right to a refund of the money. For example, someone who has bought a cinema ticket and is bedridden with the flu cannot claim a refund.

However, termination for an important reason is not excluded from the outset in the case of long-term debt contracts. According to the prevailing doctrine and practice, long-term obligations - including the fitness contract - are extraordinarily terminable in the event of unreasonable and unpredictable circumstances. In principle, the right to terminate for an important reason cannot be restricted, not even through an individually concluded contract. A termination must not be made more difficult by excessive fees or obstacles regulated in the terms and conditions. An important reason therefore always entitles you as a customer to extraordinary and immediate termination of the fitness contract, unless the reason was self-inflicted or foreseeable.

The most important reasons in practice for an extraordinary termination are prolonged illness, moving out of the catchment area of ​​the fitness center or pregnancy. If you, as a customer, can no longer use the fitness studio's offer due to illness or injury, this entitles you to terminate for an important reason.

For the termination it is not necessary that the illness or the injury makes it completely impossible to use the fitness studio. If a substantial part of the range of services can no longer be used, you are entitled to cancel.

In your case, early termination should be possible, as you have only been plagued by pain for a month and the important reason that entitles you to extraordinary termination only occurred after the fitness subscription was concluded.

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Phil money

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