The actions in question regarding Premier Fitness Clubs were proven to be misleading and in violation of the competition act as well as the basic consumerism trend that has aimed to empower consumers and increase their rights.
In their quest to meet the firm’s profit oriented objectives, objectives of being economically usefull, and to earn enough profit to survive, Premier Fitness seemingly decided that they could forgo the objective of being socially useful. Misleading/false advertising and marketing was employed that drastically reduced or eliminated social usefulness by underhandedly convincing customers to enter contracts with the fitness club that resulted in materially higher fees, undisclosed costs, and high total net costs than the advertising would lead their customers to believe. Information was not adequately disclosed to portray the true costs associated with gym membership and cancellation of membership was found to be excessively difficult. Premier Fitness also was found to be withdrawing money from cancelled customer accounts which is also unethical behavior on their part. It is ironic that focusing on profit oriented objectives and the resulting unethical activity lead to the payment of a $200,000 fine by Premier Fitness for their unethical actions.
Social usefulness was sacrificed by producing misleading advertisements that would lead customers to come to incorrect conclusions regarding total fees. This action violates the competition act and gave Premier Fitness and unethical advantage over their direct competition in the competitive business of fitness establishments. The competition act is structured to limit monopolistic behavior that could be damaging to smaller competitors and protect consumers, and by violating it, Premier Fitness could have negatively affected the competition in an unethical fashion as well as harmed consumers who ended up suffering greater financial losses than they...