Gold's Gym International, Inc Informative - How they operate....
When joining a health club, always question all the "facts" the salesperson relays to you and review all the paperwork placed in front of you.
It is best to do your homework before you go. Review the company's website completely. Look for membership specials, locations, amenities. Type the company's name plus the words sucks into your search engine and see what comes up. You don't want to be shocked when you get there. Chances are if you do all this before you show up you will know more about the company than the salesperson.
For the most part, health club sales people are poorly trained and know little about what they are selling. You need to do your research. Your benefits from the health club come from your own knowledge of exercise or from working with a personal trainer.
You always have a 3 day right of recision when joining a health club. So if you decide that you made a poor purchasing decision within your 3 day window go back to the club and cancel. The key to this... make sure you leave with a copy of all cancellation paperwork. A common health club occurrence - the rep tells you that he will take care of it and does not (remember, most of the time the sales rep and management team is paid off commission, losing your membership is money out of their pocket. This provides an attractive reason NOT to cancel your membership), or you file the paperwork and it gets lost. If you do not have a copy of it - you will continue to pay for the length of the contract.
Websites have shown to be a great tool in remedying problems with companies. For instance, Comcast is now monitoring Comcastmustdie.com to improve their extremely POOR customer service. It is a shame that the company must do so this way, but consumers found that this was the only way to get through to the company - through bashing the company on a public forum.
The Website Forum method (such as this) and contacting the Better Business Bureau have shown good results.
To place yourself in front of the health club industry join FHRReview.com and let your voice be heard.