Mind your step
I love going to the gym, not just for the exercise itself but for the fab feeling I have when I leave and walk out into the sunshine feeling energised and knowing I have the whole day in from of me. It's a feeling that can last all day or at least until I get home and find out what the boys are fighting over now. Even the classes themselves can be very satisfying if it's one I know and the music and moves are familiar so that I don't have to concentrate too hard on not falling over. My favourite is a weights class but I also love step. Sadly they rarely run one at a good time for me so Good Friday was a bonus as there was one at 9.30! Sadly I turned up to find it had been changed to a pulse class. This is a cross between a dance class and being in a dodgy 1970s disco (complete with strobe lighting and old music). You can't see the teacher as the room is largely in darkened and I can barely hear her over the stereo. I know she kept saying "squeeze" (it could have been sneeze but I doubt it) but I don't know what I was supposed to be squeezing. My arms. My bum. The tears out of my eyes as I catch sight of myself in the mirror and realise how utterly ridiculous I look!!!!
Needless to say I wasn't impressed. It said step on their website and on the tv screen when I walked in. I have an e mail confirmation. The manager pointed to a small sign to one side saying the step class was being covered (not replaced) by someone who does the pulse class. They also called me the day before (which is true) but they didn't leave a message and later sent a text about something else so I assumed that's what the call was about.
In contract terms I think I've got a good case for saying there has been a breach. I booked a high aerobic step class and got a low level activity that would have made Peter Stringfellow cry. They didn't take any or any sufficient steps to notify me of the change. Should I have gone home and not done the class? No because I have a duty to mitigate my losses. Am I entitled to treat the contract as terminated for repudiation beach? Probably not. Irritating though it was, it probably wasn't a serious enough breach to bring the contract to an end. So what am I entitled to? Perhaps some compensation? A free hot chocolate and a muffin sound good but possibly defeats the object of the visit. I will certainly put them on notice that I expect them to make more effort to notify me of any changes in advance going forward so if this happens again I'm in a stronger position to argue with them.
If you need help understand your rights and obligations when a contract has gone wrong drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. The terms of my contact for an initial meeting are very simple. You buy the tea, I'll give you an hour of my time.
Kleyman & Co Solicitors. The full service law firm. We are a step up.