Current Status Introducing Body:
HouseBill Number: 3835Ratification Number: 326Act Number: 312Primary Sponsor: FairType of Legislation: GBSubject: Physical fitness service credit contractsCompanion Bill Number: 639Date Bill Passed both Bodies: 19940223Computer Document Number: 436/11181AC.93Governor's Action: SDate of Governor's Action: 19940316Introduced Date: 19930401Date of Last Amendment: 19940201Last History Body: ------Last History Date: 19940316Last History Type: Act No. 312Scope of Legislation: StatewideAll Sponsors: FairType of Legislation: General Bill
Bill Body Date Action Description CMN Leg Involved ---- ------ ------------ ------------------------------ --- ------------ 3835 ------ 19940316 Act No. 312 3835 ------ 19940316 Signed by Governor 3835 ------ 19940310 Ratified R 326 3835 House 19940223 Concurred in Senate amendment, enrolled for ratification 3835 House 19940216 Debate adjourned on Senate amendments until Thursday, February 17, 1994 3835 Senate 19940210 Read third time, returned to House with amendment 3835 Senate 19940201 Amended, read second time, ordered to third reading with notice of general amendments 3835 Senate 19940127 Committee Report: Favorable 13 with amendment 3835 Senate 19930519 Introduced, read first time, 13 referred to Committee 3835 House 19930518 Read third time, sent to Senate 3835 House 19930513 Amended, read second time 3835 House 19930512 Debate adjourned until Thursday, May 13, 1993 3835 House 19930506 Debate adjourned until Tuesday, May 11, 1993 3835 House 19930428 Committee Report: Favorable 26 with amendment 3835 House 19930401 Introduced, read first time, 26 referred to CommitteeView additional legislative information at the LPITS web site.
(A312, R326, H3835)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 44-79-30 AND 44-79-80, BOTH AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO PHYSICAL FITNESS SERVICE CREDIT CONTRACTS, SO AS TO INCREASE THE DURATION OF CONTRACTS FROM ONE TO THREE MONTHS AND THE AMOUNT FROM FIFTY TO TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS FOR THOSE CONTRACTS THAT MUST CONFORM TO STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS AND TO INCREASE THE SURETY BOND AMOUNT FROM TWENTY-FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS TO FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR AN ADMINISTRATOR OF A FITNESS CENTER.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
Credit contract requirements
SECTION 1. Section 44-79-30 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 380 of 1992, is further amended to read:
"Section 44-79-30. (A) Every prepaid or credit contract for physical fitness services of over three months' duration or over two hundred dollars in amount must conform to the following requirements:
(1) the contract must be in writing, and a copy must be given to the customer at the time he signs it;
(2) the contract shall state clearly the street address or location of the center and outlets which the member may use at the time the contract is executed and the major facilities or major services which each offers;
(3) the contract shall reveal the finance charge, if any, which the member agrees to pay;
(4) if the customer executes a promissory note in connection with the contract, the contract shall clearly indicate whether the promissory note is assignable paper and whether it may be discounted and sold to third parties. Assignment of the promissory note does not affect the right of the member to cancel the contract or the method by which the cancellation may be made;
(5) the contract must contain a right to cancel provision in the following language:
(a) You may cancel this contract by sending notice of your wish to cancel to the center before midnight of the third business day after you sign the contract. `Business day' means Monday through Friday excluding state holidays and federal holidays. This notice must be sent certified mail to the following:
Within thirty days of receipt of this notice, the center shall return any payments made and any note or other evidence of indebtedness. If you use the seller's facilities or services, the center may deduct a reasonable fee from the payments being returned based on the actual fee paid divided on a pro rata share by the number of days used by the customer.
(b) In addition, you or your estate may also cancel the contract at any time by written notice to the center at the above address if the following circumstances occur:
(1) the customer's death;
(2) substantial physical disability, certified by a physician, which makes it permanently impossible for the customer to use the center's services;
(3) the customer's permanent relocation to a residence over fifty miles distant from an outlet operated by the center, if the center is unable to arrange for the customer's use of another center with equivalent major facilities and services. The center may require presentation of information to substantiate that one of these circumstances has occurred. If the contract is cancelled because of disability, death, or permanent change of residence, the center shall return any note or other evidence of indebtedness and unearned prepayments as follows: For each month that the contract was in effect, the center is entitled to the rate a month or a treatment which it would have charged if the contract had initially been one for the number of months or the number of treatments for which the contract was actually in effect. The rate is to be determined from a fee schedule in effect on the date of the contract.
(c) The right of cancellation shall affect only the financial obligations under the contract and customer's right to use the center's physical fitness services.
(6) services such as personal training, personal fitness testing, and daily visitor fees that are not subject to being refunded must be clearly stated in the contract;
(7) Any contractual provision allowing more liberal rights of cancellation than set forth in this chapter may be substituted for the notice required in this chapter.
(B) A contract is not required for personal training, private consultations, and fitness testing rendered on an hourly basis unless they are part of a package of over three hundred dollars."
Financial responsibility requirements
SECTION 2. Section 44-79-80(1) of the 1976 Code, is amended to read:
"(1) Every center which enters into prepaid or credit contracts for physical fitness services of over three months' duration or over two hundred dollars in amount shall maintain with the administrator a surety bond in a sum to be determined by the administrator based on the estimated future costs to service contracts sold, but not to exceed fifty thousand dollars."
SECTION 3. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
Approved the 16th day of March, 1994.