My son wished to cancel his membership in June last year and went to Virgin Active with this express intention. He was persuaded to withdraw this option and accept their 4 month freeze option. Due to work and studies he never set foot in the gym again and was never contacted by Virgin Active again. After the 4 months the membership reverted to a different status with a premium more than double being deducted from my account without approval or authorisation, and cleverly no communication from Virgin Active. They knew full well that he was likely to forget as his focus was elsewhere.
If there had been an automatic cancellation (ethical with regard to his intent) I and my son would have been contacted on numerous occasions to reinstate his membership.
Contrary to this Virgin Active displayed a double standard when my other son turned 18. They barred him from the gym until I had authorised in writing a higher premium. Different rules depending on the flow of money.
I have claimed a refund. Their response has been to revert to the fine print, deliberately ignoring the blatant ethical and fair dealing issues. I am aware of a number of people who have been caught in a similar way.