A 27-year-old office worker A purchased one year membership following a progressive return to “normalcy” last month. Though on the pricier side amongst other fitness centers in the area, A chose the one that is open 24/7 where she would be able to go after work. However, with the new social distancing policy starting on Saturday that prohibits all business activities after 9 p.m., A inquired about the refund for the membership only to hear that the client would have to not only forfeit 12,000 won every day, but also pay a 10% cancellation fee, which she thinks it is unfair.
Many are expressing their frustration of having to cancel their membership following the recently enforced social distancing policy that now limits businesses such as fitness centers and study cafes to open only until 9 p.m. Most of these office workers and students use these facilities at night and now find it hard to do so and are experiencing a loss.
During a phone call with The Dong-A Ilbo, an employee at a fitness center located in Nonhyeon-dong, Seoul stated that an annual membership subscription could not be refunded even after a one-month use. This fitness center that offers a 12-month membership that costs 300,000 won would deduct in 12% of the membership fee and 10,000 won every day of the subscription time frame.
Fitness centers are likewise experiencing issues. An employee at a fitness center in Yeoksam-dong, Seoul stated that it would be hard to operate a business if they were to refund just a few clients as membership fees are their main source of income, let alone the existing financial crisis following COVID-19.