Gwynn Oak, MD asked in Consumer Law and Contracts for Maryland

Q: Should I pay for a renewal?

I signed for a Bootcamp in Baltimore on September 2022, I didn't realize they had a renewal clause in the agreement which I signed. I signed only for a month and I stopped going to the bootcamp.

Now, on December I received a charge on my credit card for 1.600$ from the bootcamp.

The amount that I paid for the month was 270$, I'm trying to get my payment history from the bootcamp.

Should the bootcamp send me a renewal notice on the second month before charging me?

Why I didn't get charged on the past months and now they charge me for more than the actual price.

What should I do?

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: Without reading the contract terms and reviewing any consumer protection statutes that might apply to your situation, it is difficult to fully evaluate what legal rights you may have to contest the renewal directly. For instance, healthclub memberships are not allowed to contain automatic renewal clauses in Maryland for terms more than three months, "unless the agreement provides for a renewal option for continued membership which must be accepted by the buyer." MD Commercial Law Code, Section 14-12B-06(a). If this bootcamp can be characterized as a form of healthclub then this clause may be successfully challenged under that law. Per the statute, " “Health club services” includes health spa, figure salon, weight reduction center, self defense school, or other physical culture service enterprises offering facilities for the preservation, maintenance, encouragement, or development of physical fitness or physical well-being." MD Comm'l Law Code, Section 14-12B-01(d)(2). There may be other types of consumer contracts that the law prohibits or restricts from containing such renewal clauses, but this section appears to apply to a bootcamp. You should contest the charge with your credit card company, and state the charge is not authorized, violates the law, and that you never agreed to it nor was given the opportunity to reject it as required by the aforementioned statute, and then let the bootcamp try and pursue the matter further, either through your credit card company or by attempting a collection action against you in court. Under Section 14-12B-08 of the aforementioned Code, you may both file a complaint with the Maryland AG's Office, who may pursue civil fines and issue cease and desist orders, and separately you may file a private civil claim under the Maryland Consumer Protection Act for damages plus a separate ward for your attorney's fees in pursuing the action, because an automatic renewal term in a healthclub contract that does not require an affirmative opt-in by the consumer is defined as an "unfair or deceptive trade practice" by law. Jane Santoni, Esquire, in Towson, Marland, handles consumer protection claims, if you would like a referral.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.