Pre-Sale of Memberships
A health spa shall not enter or offer to enter into a health spa agreement with a consumer unless the health spa is fully operational and available for use.
"Fully operational and available for use" means that all of the facilities, equipment, or services which are promised at the time of entering into the membership contract are operational and available for use at that time.
Georgia law permits health spas to sell contracts prior to opening. In order to do so, the health spa must comply with several statutory requirements. They are required to submit information on the trust account, an information form and a membership agreement to the Attorney General for approval. Upon receipt of written approval from the Attorney General, a health spa may begin the pre-sale of memberships.
During the pre-sale of memberships, health spas are required to deposit all funds into a single account in a bank or trust company domiciled in the State of Georgia. Such deposits are to be held in safekeeping for release only upon authorization of the Attorney General. The bank or trust company must be approved by the Attorney General.
Each deposit shall be identified by the name and address of the individual who purchased the membership. The bank or trust company and the health spa shall maintain a list of the deposits, their amount, and the name and address of the membership purchaser, which list shall be available to the Attorney General or for inspection or copying by the Attorney General's employees upon request.
There may be no withdrawals from the pre-sale trust account at anytime prior to the Attorney General’s approval. However, banking and credit card merchant fees may be deducted. No funds shall be released from the account to any person unless the Attorney General has certified in writing to the bank or trust company that the health spa is fully operational and available for use.
If a credit card number or imprint is taken for the purchase of a membership, the credit will be processed for the specific amount authorized by the consumer and the cash equivalent of the charge should be placed in the pre-sale trust account. Any checks received during the pre-sale should be immediately deposited into the account.
Once the health spa has concluded all pre-sales of memberships, has obtained a permanent Certificate of Occupancy, is fully operational and is available for use, the health spa should notify this office. Until the Attorney General’s designee has had an opportunity to inspect the health spa, examine the pre-sale contracts and the records of the bank concerning the pre-sale trust account and, has issued a letter to the bank certifying that the health spa is fully operational and available for use, all membership funds obtained are to be held in the pre-sale trust account. The funds in the pre-sale trust account will be released to the health spa once the Attorney General certifies to the bank or trust company that the health spa is fully operational and is available for use.
For health spa memberships sold during the pre-sales, consumers shall have until seven business days following the date upon which the health spa becomes fully operational and available for use, to cancel the contract and receive a full refund of any payments.