My mother recently posted this on Facebook, but I'm interested in terms of the legalities regarding communication and observation.

Earlier this year I joined a gym. Small one, based in local town, training in groups of four or fewer. Paid in advance for six months, because that is how their membership works. I stopped going in July because of an injury, and started back in October. Round about the same time I returned, I started going to another gym as well to see a personal trainer. This second gym is closer, has no stairs, has a car park and the trainer is cheaper. Also, the work I do is different and I find it more enjoyable, and it is pay as you go. But because I had paid in advance I arranged to go to gym 1 once a week, and to see the new trainer in gym 2 once a week as well. Just had a call from gym 1 to say someone had seen me in gym 2(!) and had gym 1 done something to upset me. Is this normal gym protocol? It has seriously pissed me off. Surely you can go to as many gyms as you want?

I'm not intending to take any action legal or otherwise, I'm just curious on the potential legalities/ethics of the observations etc.

Please feel free to edit the question title or content as I'm finding it hard to word. We are in the UK.


  • Might be worth adding, she had apparently been trying to contact the gym unsuccessfully for a while with no success before being contacted by them after they/someone saw her in another gym. – Lyall Nov 11 '19 at 19:40
  • What did gym 1 did that upset your mom? But generally speaking, yes, a person may go to as many gyms as he or she wants unless the contract with one of the gyms requires exclusivity. That being said, I would find it quite odd for a gym to have an exclusivity clause. – Iñaki Viggers Nov 11 '19 at 19:43
  • @IñakiViggers To my knowledge gym 1 didn't do anything to upset my mum, it was just a change in circumstances regarding injuries and accessibility. – Lyall Nov 11 '19 at 19:46
  • Could you be more specific what those changes were? who made the changes? It is unclear whether your mom wanted changes that did not happen or that the gym made changes that inconvenienced your mom. – Iñaki Viggers Nov 11 '19 at 19:49

Is the question just whether a company can contact its customers to ensure that they're happy with the company's services? If so, the answer is generally yes.

I can think of no reason why this would change based on the fact that someone saw her using the services of a competitor. Your mother seems to be treating the phone call as an accusation, but it appears to be standard customer-relationship maintenance. If she chooses to approach it differently, she can use it to improve her bargaining power with Gym 1.

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