New York City Council Header
File #: Int 1798-2019    Version: * Name: Online cancellation of automatic renewal and continuous service gym memberships.
Type: Introduction Status: Committee
Committee: Committee on Consumer Affairs and Business Licensing
On agenda: 11/14/2019
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to the online cancellation of automatic renewal and continuous service gym memberships
Sponsors: Keith Powers , Farah N. Louis, Ben Kallos, Kalman Yeger , Justin L. Brannan, Brad S. Lander, Peter A. Koo, Donovan J. Richards, Carlina Rivera
Council Member Sponsors: 9
Summary: This bill would require that gym memberships that provide for an automatic renewal after a definite term or that continue until the consumer cancels the membership must allow the consumer to cancel the membership online. In addition, the party providing the gym membership would be required to provide a plain language notice explaining how it may be cancelled online. The bill also would impose a civil penalty of between $500 and $5,000 for each violation.
Indexes: Agency Rule-making Required
Attachments: 1. Summary of Int. No. 1798, 2. Int. No. 1798, 3. November 14, 2019 - Stated Meeting Agenda with Links to Files, 4. Hearing Transcript - Stated Meeting 11-14-19, 5. Minutes of the Stated Meeting - November 14, 2019

Int. No. 1798

By Council Members Powers, Louis, Kallos, Yeger, Brannan, Lander, Koo, Richards and Rivera

 

A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to the online cancellation of automatic renewal and continuous service gym memberships

 

Be it enacted by the Council as follows:

 

Section 1. Chapter 5 of title 20 of the administrative code of the city of New York is amended by adding a new subchapter 21 to read as follows: 

SUBCHAPTER 21

AUTOMATIC RENEWAL OR CONTINUOUS SERVICE CONTRACTS

§ 20-836 Cancellation of automatic renewal and continuous service gym memberships. a. Definitions. As used in this subchapter, the following terms have the following meanings:

Automatic renewal. The term “automatic renewal” means a plan or arrangement which is automatically renewed at the end of a definite term for a subsequent term.

Continuous service. The term “continuous service” means a plan or arrangement which continues until the consumer cancels the service.

Consumer. The term “consumer” means a consumer who is physically present in the city.

Gym membership. The term “gym membership” means a contract for access to and use of any health or fitness club, gymnasium, or any similar facility or affiliated group of facilities for the preservation, maintenance, encouragement or development of physical fitness.

b. For any gym membership purchased by an individual consumer that provides for an automatic renewal or continuous service, the party providing or offering to provide the gym membership must, except as otherwise provided by law:

1. Provide the consumer an option to terminate such automatic renewal or continuous service using a completely online process; and

2. Provide a notice to the consumer explaining in plain language how such automatic renewal or continuous service may be terminated online. Each business that maintains a website which allows consumers to enter into an automatic renewal or continuous service arrangement gym membership shall also conspicuously display such notice on its website.

§ 20-837 Rules. The department may promulgate such rules as it deems necessary to implement and enforce the provisions of this subchapter.

§ 20-838 Civil penalties. Any person that violates any provision of this subchapter or any rule promulgated pursuant to this subchapter is liable for a civil penalty of not less than $500 nor more than $5,000 for each violation pursuant a penalty schedule promulgated by the department. A proceeding to recover any civil penalty authorized pursuant to this subchapter is returnable to any tribunal established within the office of administrative trials and hearings or within any agency of the city designated to conduct such proceedings.

§ 2. This local law takes effect 120 days after it becomes law, except that the commissioner of consumer affairs shall take all actions necessary for the implementation of this local law, including the promulgation of rules, prior to such effective date.

NAB

LS #10774

11/6/19