Q&A - What can I do about personal trainer who ripped me off and left?

Q: As a key member of a gym I was approached by one of the resident personal trainers about booking some sessions. I booked and paid for five sessions but before I could have the first session the trainer left the gym. He has not refunded me any money and refuses to do so. I think he now works out of a different gym. What can I do?

A: There is a clear contract between you and the trainer, but before you start threatening to take him to the small claims court you should look at some more practical solutions. Is it for example possible for the personal training sessions to be delivered at the new gym? If that won’t work then you should complain to the first gym, as the personal trainer will have been approved by them. He may even have been employed by them, in which case it is possible that ultimately the contract is with the first gym.

If you complain to the first gym and still have no joy, this is the stage when you should consider taking a small claim to the County Court. You can do this online and it is possible that the gym could be named as a defendant to the claim.

Whilst five personal training sessions would not normally be expensive enough to justify the involvement of a solicitor, you may have legal expenses insurance on your household policy that could help. A solicitor may agree a fixed fee to check over your paperwork before it is submitted to the Court to see if anything could be worded better or at least in a way the Court would prefer to read. As with any claim for money, it is only worth doing if the person you are claiming against has got the money to pay you.

(Published 26.03.2018)

James Denton

James Denton


Solicitor in our Civil Litigation team in the Oswestry and Wrexham offices.