Jackie Skelly Fitness: Club Membership Complaints

Interesting blogs, newspaper reports and other relevant sources.



The Post, February 2007. (Read the Full Text )

“Earlier this month, it was reported that the firm brought in debt collectors to chase members who had broken 12-month contracts and not paid their monthly direct debits.

Tooke [A Director] said that the firm had lost a significant amount of money from broken contracts and said that debt collection was standard practice in Britain.”


Blog (Gan). (link to message board )

“In the terms and conditions, they say: “the members direct debit will automatically increase and annual fees will be subject to an increase on membership renewal”. Like I said it’s my own fault for not reading the contract closely enough, but it’s sharp practice. I’ve never had this happen to me with any direct debit or standing order I’ve taken out before.

I think this along with the debt collectors story shows that Jackie Skelly is not interested in providing a decent service, they are just interested in screwing as much money as possible out of people.”


The Sunday Independent, 14 January 2007). (Read the Full Text )

A TOP Dublin gym is employing debt collectors to chase lapsed members for their monthly fees.

Jackie Skelly Fitness say they have outsourced the work to a debt collection company for “extreme” cases of members who do not pay up after signing a year-long contract with the gym.

…… and and interesting comment from someone else in the industry:

Gar Holohan, Chairman of the Aura Holohan Leisure Group says he does not agree with legal contracts when it comes to gym membership.

“The prospect of a member of any one of the eight leisure centres that we operate being hunted down by a debt collector will never arise because we are the only chain of leisure centres in the country operating a ‘pay-as-you go’ system.

“We don’t believe in locking people into contracts and then calling in the debt collectors to recover every cent owed to us, simply because those who signed up as members have decided to stop using our facilities,” he said.

“The industry standard is that almost half of those who sign up as gym members quit within three months.

“I have heard stories about debt collectors knocking on doors and the existence of contracts that don’t offer escape clauses. We don’t subscribe to these practices that do nothing for our industry.”


Many comments on message boards about Jackie skelly are deleted by moderators – so what is left is just the less incriminating vicim accounts:

Shana – Ask About Money

My advice is STAY AWAY. They have enough TERMS and CONDITIONS to keep you a member for longer than expected. It’s a very deceiving practice. My experience is ongoing I am in my 3rd month trying to cancel my subscription. Also, Don’t give them your credit card details because if you cancel you direct debit from your current account they automatically transfer it to your credit card.


Derek02 – Ask About Money

We checked out at the Gym whether renewal notices would be sent out, yes was the reply, no such thing. We cancelled the Direct Debit after the 12th payment. Lo and behold we got the letter outlined above. You must give 60 days notice at the end of your 12 months and you must sign a 2 month DD. Failure to pay would see the issue being referred to Debt Collectors.

We rang them, and to say that their attitude was aggressive would be an understatement. We had broken our contract and as far as they were concerned they wanted their money. We outlined the issues we had with the Gym, not her problem and we had nothing in writing. “Who could we write to, you have no head-office”. ” I Know”, she said…..

We had suspended our membership for two months last summer so we are still members till end of May, so we offered to terminate now in lieu of two months extra payment (remember we have paid the full 12 months already). This was not the way it worked said the credit controller. BUT she said we could settle it all now for one months additional payment ( but she could get fired for offering this)… we said we would think about it and let them know.

I doubt whether this contract would stand up legally as you cannot have an open ended agreement but who would be bothered challenging it.

You need to be aware that the contract is really a minimum of 14 months. If you join, dont expect any satisfaction when you complain to local staff.

Staff turnover is high and they have little knowledge of the company. Nor can you complain to Head Ofice because there isnt one.


Andymad – Boards.ie

I got ripped off by JS (like veryone else?)

My advice would be to find a reputable gym and stay away from those cowboys.


Zantoro – Ask About Money

My boyfriend and I, who have been members of that gym since January (worst new year’s resolution ever), filled in a cancellation request last month in the gym as we’re moving from Ireland to go travelling. As we weren’t hearing back from them one month later, we went to the gym to check that everything was ok.

They basically had ignored outr request and the solution they offered was to pay until the end of the year, which did not make much sense to us since we’re leaving…After the discussion, an employee of the gym (who in her own words has a “masters in economics”, did I forget to mention that they’re absolutely terrible at human relations?) was offering us a “discount” on the cancellation… So they don’t just have discounts for joining members (what’s up with the fee varying per customer???) thay apparently also do for cancellation.

Anyway, the next day, I called the gym and asked again, if there’s any other solution, for instance passing on the membership to a friend. The person advised me that it wasn’t possible for 2 months but that in our case everything has been sorted… So I hang up happy thinking, “yes I think i remember paying for a month in advance as I joined so that makes sense”.

Today, I checked my bank account and dear god, the equivalent of 4 times the monthly fee has been taken from my account (in addition to this month’s monthly fee debited last week), by… Jacky Skellie, not as a direct debit but using apparently my laser card details to help themselves to 2 full months of membership for me and my boyfriend (needless to say, not only rather shocking as I never allowed them to do anything like that plus not a nice surprise when you’ve been saving up to go away…)

As for more general comments on sanitary issues, no member of staff is ever watching after the pool, so people go happily from sauna to jacuzzi to steam room to pool without passing by the shower, plus swim hats seem optional… yuk.


TreasaS – Ask About Money

They are low down, & should be exposed on Primetime or the like.

Do not tell you about min 1 year so called “contract” …I mean what do we pay an joining fee for if that is the case? Was member of another gym until house move, then to my regret joined this crowd, like an idot, did not think it was t&c..just usual club rules about towels & property etc.. That one about the 60 days after the 1st year is really low down. I just discovered a bill from visa for another months fee, visa were no good…after three calls, finally go to speak to JS accounts & told that they continue to bill monthly until they receive a “buyout” from me. Was told buyout was 50% of rest of contract when I cancelled. Now she’s trying to tell me it’s 60%..eventually agreed to 50% and have to take the hit for the extra months fee too…. It’s a scandal !! Beware before you join


Mcgivo – Ask About Money

My wife joined for us in JS Applewood Swords last year after moving to the area. It is a complete shambles .I have been a member of numerous gyms over the past 10 yars and this definitely is the worst .It is filthy , the trainers are never around and the reception staff are really poor. I decided to terminate after 12 months to be told of the so called 2 month termination notice. My wife argued that the sales person never informed her when she signed up that this was required. She was distinctly told it was a 12 month contract by the salesperson because the SP actually told her she couldn’t terminate it within 12 months and was she OK to proceed. They said it was in the terms and conditions so my wife told them to send her a copy of her signed contract to verify. This was never done and we have cancelled the DD. This week we actually received a letter notifying us that we were entitled to a discounted fee if we joined again. I almost laughed until I remember how inept the place was.


I wouldn’t darken their door. My wife joined and subsequently quit. Then she got a very aggressive phone call quoting a contract she had never seen or known about. Now they are demanding to be paid for a full year, whether she uses the place or not.



Libraman – Ask About Money See also Boards.ie

It goes on! When my wife joined Jackie Skellys there was no mention of any 12-month minimum contract, only the two-month notice requirement. Since she wasn’t using her membership she cancelled her direct debit, without giving notice.

Then she got a very aggressive phone call from the club administrator, quoting the contract. This was followed by a letter with a ‘contract’ stapled to it – the first time my wife ever saw it. I phoned the administrator and pointed out that my wife had initially entered a verbal contract with the sales person which did not include any 12-month minimum term. She then signed the form that was pushed in front of her in good faith, without reading the small print! I pointed out to the administrator that since my wife had never seen or been told about this ‘contract’ before – much less been given an opportunity to read it – the ‘contract’ is null and void as far as we are concerned and that any court would most likely agree.

But it was like talking to a stone wall and the administrator is referring it to her regional manager for ‘debt collection’. I told her that whatever chance she had of getting two months payments in lieu of notice, there is none whatsoever of our paying for 12 months membership that will not be used, especially after her aggressive phone call to my wife!


Shingaling – Ask About Money

Jackie Skelly is a joke and an absolute ripoff.



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