Code Section Group

Civil Code - CIV

DIVISION 3. OBLIGATIONS [1427 - 3272.9]

  ( Heading of Division 3 amended by Stats. 1988, Ch. 160, Sec. 14. )

PART 2. CONTRACTS [1549 - 1701]

  ( Part 2 enacted 1872. )

TITLE 5. EXTINCTION OF CONTRACTS [1682 - 1701]

  ( Title 5 enacted 1872. )

CHAPTER 2.2. Weight Loss Contracts [1694.5 - 1694.9]
  ( Chapter 2.2 added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 138, Sec. 2. )

1694.5.
  

(a) As used in this chapter, a weight loss contract is a contract with any weight loss program or center that offers any of the following:

(1) Instruction, counseling, supervision, or assistance in weight reduction, body shaping, diet, and eating habits, by persons who are not licensed health care professionals.

(2) Use of facilities of a weight loss center for any of the purposes specified in paragraph (1).

(3) Membership in any group, club, association, or organization formed for any of the purposes specified in paragraph (1).

(4) Prepackaged, or premeasured “diet foods” provided by the weight loss program or center.

(b) This chapter does not apply to any contract for health studio services as defined in Section 1812.81.

(Added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 138, Sec. 2.)

1694.6.
  

(a) In addition to any other right to revoke an offer, the buyer has the right to cancel a weight loss contract or offer until midnight of the third business day after the day on which the buyer signs an agreement or offer to purchase those services.

(b) Cancellation occurs when the buyer gives written notice of cancellation by mail, telegram, or delivery to the seller at the address specified in the agreement or offer.

(c) Notice of cancellation, if given by mail, is effective when deposited in the mail properly addressed with postage prepaid.

(d) Notice of cancellation given by the buyer need not take the particular form as provided in the contract or offer to purchase and, however expressed, is effective if it indicates the intention of the buyer not to be bound by the weight loss contract.

(e) All moneys paid pursuant to any weight loss contract shall be refunded within 10 days of receipt of the notice of cancellation.

(f) The buyer may notify the weight loss program of his or her intent to cancel the contract within the three-day period specified in this section and stop the processing of a credit card voucher or check by telephone notification to the weight loss program. However, this does not negate the obligation of the buyer to cancel the contract by mail, telegram, or delivery as required pursuant to this section.

(Amended by Stats. 1993, Ch. 359, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 1994.)

1694.7.
  

(a) A weight loss contract shall be in writing. A copy of the contract shall be provided to the buyer at the time he or she signs the contract.

(b) Every weight loss contract shall contain on its face, and in close proximity to the space reserved for the signature of the buyer, a conspicuous statement in a size equal to at least 10-point boldface type, as follows:

“You, the buyer, may cancel this agreement, without any penalty or obligation, at any time prior to midnight of the original contract seller’s third business day following the date of this contract, excluding Sundays and holidays. To cancel this agreement, mail or deliver a signed and dated notice, or send a telegram which states that you, the buyer, are canceling this agreement, or words of similar effect. This notice shall be sent to:

_____ (Name of the business that sold you the contract) _____

_____ (Address of the business that sold you the contract) _____ .”

(c) The weight loss contract shall contain on the first page, in a type size no smaller than that generally used in the body of the document, the name and address of the weight loss program operator to which the notice of cancellation is to be mailed; and the date the buyer signed the contract.

(d) No weight loss contract shall require payments or financing by the buyer over a period in excess of two years from the date the contract is entered into, nor shall the term of any such contract be measured by the life of the buyer. The services to be rendered to the buyer under the contract shall not extend for more than three years after the date the contract is entered into.

(e) If a weight loss contract is not in compliance with this chapter, the buyer may, at any time, cancel the contract.

(Amended by Stats. 1993, Ch. 359, Sec. 4. Effective January 1, 1994.)

1694.8.
  

Every weight loss contract shall contain language providing that:

(a) If by reason of death or disability the buyer is unable to receive all services for which the buyer has contracted, the buyer and the buyer’s estate may elect to be relieved of the obligation to make payments for services other than those received before death or the onset of disability, except as provided in paragraph (3).

(1) If the buyer has prepaid any amount for services, so much of the amount prepaid that is allocable to services that the buyer has not received shall be promptly refunded to the buyer or his or her representative.

(2) “Disability” means a condition which precludes the buyer from physically using the services specified in the contract during the term of disability and the condition is verified in writing by a physician designated and remunerated by the buyer. The written verification of the physician shall be presented to the seller.

(3) If the physician determines that the duration of the disability will be less than six months, the seller may extend the term of the contract for a period of six months at no additional charge to the buyer in lieu of cancellation.

(b) If the buyer relocates his or her primary residence further than 50 miles from the weight loss center and is unable to transfer the contract to a comparable facility, the buyer may elect to be relieved of the obligation to make payment for services other than those received prior to that relocation, and if the buyer has prepaid any amount for weight loss services, so much of the amount prepaid that is allocable to services that the buyer has not received shall be promptly refunded to the buyer. A buyer who elects to be relieved of further obligation pursuant to this subdivision may be charged a predetermined fee not to exceed one hundred dollars ($100) or, if more than half the life of the contract has expired, a predetermined fee not to exceed fifty dollars ($50).

(Added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 138, Sec. 2.)

1694.9.
  

(a) Any contract for weight loss services which does not comply with this chapter is void and unenforceable.

(b) Any contract for weight loss services entered into under willful and fraudulent or misleading information or advertisements of the seller is void and unenforceable.

(c) Any buyer injured by a violation of this chapter may bring an action for the recovery of damages in a court of competent jurisdiction. Judgment may be entered for three times the amount at which the actual damages are assessed if the violation is willful. Reasonable attorney fees may be awarded to the prevailing party.

(d) Notwithstanding the provisions of any contract to the contrary, whenever the contract price is payable in installments and the buyer is relieved from making further payments or entitled to a refund under this chapter, the buyer shall be entitled to receive a refund or refund credit of that portion of the cash price as is allocable to the services not actually received by the buyer. The refund of any finance charge shall be computed according to the “sum of the balance method,” also known as the “Rule of 78.”

(e) Any waiver by the buyer of this chapter is void and unenforceable.

(Added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 138, Sec. 2.)

CIVCivil Code - CIV