A new law is making it easier for Central New Yorkers to get out of their gym memberships, especially in light of the COVID pandemic.

The new law requires that gyms and other businesses with automatic renewal memberships provide an easy way to cancel those memberships, such as online rather than in-person or other inconvenient ways. Some local gyms require you either show up in person or send a certified letter to cancel your membership.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app

"Exercising during this pandemic is hard enough—New Yorkers shouldn’t have to jump through hoops or visit a gym in person simply to quit their membership," says State Senator Brad Hoylman, who sponsored the bill. "Too many gyms, subscription boxes and other companies use misleading offers and promotions to lock unwitting customers into long-term contracts that are ridiculously difficult to get out of."

The new law also says that free gifts that come with memberships are just that: gifts. They don't need to be returned if a customer cancels theirs membership. Any other services that are advertised as "free' can't be part of the membership fees. Businesses are also required to spell out their terms more clearly, and provide alternative ways for customers to cancel.

Have you had trouble getting out of your gym membership? Tell us about your experience.