Jackie Skelly Fitness: Club Membership Rip-off: Popular Complaints
If you are thinking of joining a Jackie Skelly Heath Club in Ireland you should read this page first. If you are already a member and are thinking of leaving, or have already tried to leave, then you will find it of interest as well.
Jackie Skelly uses a range of established and disreputable modern sales techniques to extract as much money from punters as possible. Some of these techniques will be familiar to you from shady second-hand car dealers and unscrupulous insurance salesmen. One indicator is that prices will vary wildly – the sales team will try to get you to commit to as much as possible – but if a “special offer” is necessary to get you to sign then one will be available.
One objective is to get you to commit in writing to pay for a year’s
You may not think of joining a club as creating a legally binding contract,
If you want to leave the club and stop paying you will find that there
Their first reaction will be to reach for a copy of the contract and
You can see some the more outrageous terms in this extract from one of their supposed contracts.
Is this Reasonable?
There are several reasons to believe that this is sharp
Abuse is common in pretty much all industries where the sales force
What’s the evidence for this being bad practice? Answer: the large
Jackie Skelly also has a very bad reputation for mysteriously losing any notification that you want to terminate your contract even after 12 months. If you call in person, telephone, e-mail, fax or write then all record of your communication is likely to be lost and they will claim never to have received it. Any verbal assurances they give are utterly worthless – we have dozens of examples of blatant lies. Any communication should therefore be made by recorded delivery letter – that way they cannot argue that they did not receive it.
According to the small print in the “membership contract form”
If you do not cancel your “annual contract” after 10 months
Am I Bound by my One-Year Contract ?
No liability accepted for following this
Obviously, your best option is to read any contract carefully before signing – resist the sales person’s blandishments that you can read them later at leisure after you sign. If you want to vary the conditions in any way – eg to be able to cancel on request – then add that new condition to the document in writing and get a copy.
if you have already signed, then the following is the best
You have every right to terminate the contract if Skellyweg’s fail to fulfill their part of the agreement. Failing to provide a safe or clean environment will do – and many customers say that Skellyweg premises fail on both counts. If you want to terminate do not use the club. Write a letter to Jackie Skelly Fitness at the
The legal position in Ireland is a little bit hazy, but basically the
If you have never used the Club then you can argue that no consideration
In principal, the legal remedies for breach of contract are
If you were
As far as we can tell, Jackie Skelly have never sued for breach of
As far as we can tell, Jackie Skelly have never sued for breach of contract, which suggests that they are well aware of the weakness of their legal position.
In fact they are seem to very keen to avoid the courts, presumably because they do not want their business practices – ranging from the dubious to the scandallous – to be exposed in open court.
Apparently no amount of goading will push them into having their unethical business practices discussed in open court.
What Else can I do?
Write to the Directors of Jackie Skelly telling them what you think
Write to your local newspaper – taking care to stay factual and avoiding
Complain about unlawful activities. It is important that you do this, because the only way to stop the Skellywegs in their clever scam is to establish such a body of evidence that when they eventually find themselves in court, as they surely will, the directors cannot plausibly claim that they did not know what was going on. Complain to as many of these bodies as appropriate:
Let us know of your experiences by e-mail:
If you are a victim and especially if you want to do something to publicise how monstrous Skellyweg’s treatment of their customers is, then again e-mail us.
Let other people know about this website – if you have your own website
Print off this
More about other victims of Jackie Skelly
Irish Times Pricewatch, 23 October 2008 – Taking Issue with Jackie Skelly, by Conor Pope. or our highlighted copy here .
Latest News on Jackie Skelly
October 2009. The Sunday Mail has run yet another exposé of the Skelly criminals – but their conservative legal department advised against anything hard hitting. Still, getting the usual response from the Skellywegs “we didn’t know this was happening. Thanks for drawing to our attention to it” is worthwhile because when they finally end up in court they will not be able to use this a defense or in mitigation – having publicly acknowledged their illegal and immoral activities over 20 times now.
7 June 2009 . The Skellywegs have huge mortgages and an ever diminishing customer base. How much longer can they continue in business? It is a criminal offence for Directors to trade while technically insolvent (ie unable to meet their debts as they fall due). Anyone know whether it’s weeks or months? Or are they already committing a criminal offence?
18 December 2008. Jonathan Guthrie in the Financial Times (p13) predicts a grim time for health clubs in 2009: “With disposable incomes shrinking, far fewer would-be gym bunnies will sign those vital direct debit mandates”. Can Jackie Skelly’s with its overvalued properties, huge debt and shrinking membership survive 2009?
14 December 2008. 9:35 pm. “Prime Time Investigates” on RTE television reports on the cynical abuses by Jackie Skelly Fitness, including how their training manual encourages sales staff to manipulate their potential customers’ weakness – or as the manual puts it “push their fat button”.
8 December 2008. More interesting revelations from the inside of Jackie Skelly about the way the scam works. See e-mail.
1 December 2008. If you are prepared to talk publicly about your experiences with Jackie Skelly please e-mail the webmaster immediately.
October 2008. A victory for JackieSkellyMembership.com. The National Consumer Agency has found that Jackie Skelly to be breaching multiple requirements of the European Communities (Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts), Regulations, 1995. Specifically
The Skellywegs have now revised their so called contract to make it less of a joke if it ever got cited in court. Some of the unenforceable terms have been rewritten. See this page for details of the NCA findings
September 2008. Insider Information exclusive to JackieSkellyMembership Confirmation of yet more shady dealings by Jackie Skelly
Jackie Skelly have become even more devious in removing money from unwilling customers. We already knew that they will continuing taking money from customers by direct debit and by using customers’ credit card details even after being informed them that no contract exists. It now seems that they have some way of extracting money from customers’ Laser Card even without customers’ permission. Several customers have complained that money has been extracted through their Laser Cards even though they have not authorised these payments or disclosed their PIN numbers.
Our advice is never give them your Laser card details in any circumstances. Cancel any credit cards of which they have details. Likewise Direct Debits. They really are a bunch of disgusting leeches and will suck your blood in any way they can.
Does anyone know how it is possible to extract money from a Laser card without the PIN number? And whatever the answer, is it legal?
A number of people have started proceedings against Jackie Skelly in the Small Claims Court. Great idea. More people should do this. Please let us know if you initiate proceedings.
A correspondent has suggested a coordinated effort at ringing the Joe Duffy/Gerry Ryan shows with horror stories about Skellywegs. Please let us know if you would be willing to call in and we’ll organise a date poker online.
You can apply for a job as Jackie Skelly’s Debt Collector & Club Administrator.
No kidding – slick on the link links below to the adds. Interesting that Debt Collection is the first and most important qualification to be a Club Administrator.
If these jobs have already gone, just do a Google Search with the four words Jackie Skelly Debt Collector for a whole lot more!
Note this interesting line on Jackie Skelly’s own recruitment page for sales consultants with commissions based on sales (see http://www.jackieskellyfitness.com/recruitment.asp)