A Message for Ezidebit Health and Fitness Customers
A Message for New Zealand Ezidebit Health & Fitness Customers
On 22 March 2020, the Australian Federal Government announced Stage 1 Restrictions on non-essential activity (which included the mandatory closure of gyms, health studios and related fitness activities) across the country (and similar restrictions were enforced in New Zealand).
The New Zealand consumer law provides that a business must not accept payment for services if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they will not be able to supply the services. Ezidebit was concerned that, by continuing to collect payments for access to health and fitness services at a time when the government had ordered a closure of those services, our clients may be at risk of breaching the New Zealand consumer law and Ezidebit may be involved in that potential breach.
Our response was to immediately address this risk for both Ezidebit and our clients by suspending direct debits and/or placing accounts on settlement hold for 3,300 of our health and fitness clients who had processed a debit on or after Monday 23 March and Tuesday 24 March, 2020. Our number one priority when making this decision, unlike other providers, was to ensure our customers had a quick and easy way to respond and get reactivated.
We understand many of you have adjusted your business models to continue providing services by other means, including operating virtual training sessions. It was essential for Ezidebit to understand the details of these arrangements, so we could work towards removing suspensions and settlement holds as quickly as possible.
Within a few hours of suspension on Wednesday 25 March, 600 clients were reactivated with no impact on their accounts. Our team worked through the night to ensure we were limiting the impact on our clients. Within 18 hours of suspension, another 1,000 clients were reactivated, the majority still receiving their settlements yesterday. By close of business, 24 hours after suspension, we had over 2,000 clients reactivated and payments resumed. Whilst the number of returned responses is slowly increasing each hour, we aim to have all remaining responses reviewed by close of business today, with the majority of clients already reactivated.
A number of customers have not adapted their business models and are using this process to close operations during this time of uncertainty. There are a small number of customers yet to respond.
If you are impacted, you have received communications containing a link to a simple form that takes less than three minutes to complete - this is the fastest way for your business to be reviewed and reactivated.
At this stage, no other businesses across our customer base are impacted however, we will be in contact with all of our customers in the coming days to provide more information around this.
We want to thank all of our health and fitness customers who provided significant feedback on our process over the past couple days. We have collated all of these responses which will be reviewed by our leaders to ensure that we are continuously improving on the service we provide and our ongoing communication practices.
Has your account been placed on hold? Here are your next steps...
If your account has been placed on hold you will need to complete the following steps.
Advise Ezidebit how you have adapted your business model in line with the government restrictions. For example, are you offering virtual training sessions? The best way to do this is via the link sent in the email. It should take you less than 3 minutes to complete.
The form asks the following questions:
Are you aware that you are still processing direct debits, following the mandatory closure of Gyms and Fitness centres?
What services are you now providing your members during this period for the fees charged?
How are these services being delivered to your members? (For example, virtually, outdoor training, etc.)
Have you changed the fees that you are charging in this period?
Have you sent out communications to your members as a result of this change?
Our team will review your responses.
If sufficient information has been provided and you are able to show the change in business model, once reviewed, you will be notified via email that your account has been reinstated (typically happening within 4 business hours).
If sufficient information has not been provided, our team will reach out to you to request more information.
If your query is not covered above or in the FAQ guide, please reach out to our team.