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Unhygienic Bengaluru gym ordered to refund woman’s fee in full
Times of India, February 07, 2019

BENGALURU: A Fraser Town resident has won a legal battle against a fitness centre in Richards Town after the city consumer court ordering the gym owners to give her a full refund and pay her court expenses. In February 2017, Pallavi Rabinathan Dugar, 39, fitness centre near her home and spotted Fitness Time on Pottery Road. She left her number, following which a woman, who identified herself as manu contacted her.

Dugar claims Manu called her repeatedly and persuaded her to enroll for an annual membership at the fitness centre. Dugar visited the gym, but fount it filthy and crowded. She wanted to back out, but Manu promised her that the gym was the best in the area and the existing pathetic condition was because housekeeping staff had failed to report to work.

An uncertain Dugar took a trial session for a week and noticed that conditions had not improved. But manu managed to convince her to sign a cheque for Rs 16, 000 on February 14, 2017 for an annual membership with Fitness Time. Staff later issued a bill only for Rs 15,000

On February 17, 2017, Dugar said, she attended her first session at the gym and found the place jam-packed and stinking of sweat and grime. It did not have proper equipment or yoga mats. She soon raised her concerns with Manu, who again promised that the place would be cleaned within a few hours.

Dugar returned the following day to encounter similar conditions, but this time Manu was allegedly rude to her, stating that she had to make do.

Insulted and feeling cheated, Dugar demanded that she immediately be refunded the money she paid for her annualy membership. Fitness Time staff responded by saying that they did not have a refund policy

On September 12, 2019, Dugar approached the Bangalore Urban 2nd addition district consumer disputes redressal forum with a complaint against the owners of Fitness Time.

She submitted all proof to support her charges, but the gym owner failed to contest the matter when they appeared before the consumer forum.

After hearing the case for nearly 16 months, the judges questioned how a fitness centre could function without proper equipment and offer such an unwelcoming environment.

In their verdict on January 9, the judges ordered the gym owners to refund Rs 16, 000 to the customer and Rs 1, 000 towards her litigation expenses, all within 30 days.

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