More than a month after mistakenly taking direct debits from Stevenage customers who had cancelled their memberships, Everyone Active has finally committed to issuing refunds directly to those affected.

At the beginning of April, an administration blunder during Everyone Active's first week managing Stevenage's leisure facilities saw the company take direct debit payments from 195 customers who had cancelled their memberships before the takeover.

Everyone Active began a 10-year leisure contract with Stevenage Borough Council on April 1, to manage Stevenage Swimming Centre, Stevenage Arts and Leisure Centre - including the Gordon Craig Theatre - Fairlands Valley Aqua Park, Southfield Showground, Ridlins Athletics Stadium and Stevenage Golf Conference Centre.


Last week, the Comet revealed how fewer than half the customers who had direct debits erroneously taken by Everyone Active had so far got their money back.

Everyone Active had put the onus on customers to contact their bank or building society and request to claim the April payment under their Direct Debit Guarantee.

Four weeks later, just 92 customers had claimed their money back.

Finally, on Friday Everyone Active committed to refunding customers directly.


In an email to customers, Everyone Active says: "As you may be aware, we mistakenly took a direct debit from your bank account for a previous membership held with Stevenage Leisure Limited.

"We do apologise for this error and have been working to rectify the issue as quickly as possible.

"We advised the quickest way to secure your refund was to claim the money back via your bank.

"We’ve noticed that you are yet to claim the refund via your bank, and we would like to advise and reassure you, that we will now refund the money directly into your bank account. Due to the bank holiday, the refund should be in your account by May 12.

"Your membership has now been cancelled, as previously requested, to avoid any future payments being taken."

Last week, Everyone Active's contract manager, Allan Prescott, said: "We immediately let affected customers know the quickest way to claim an immediate refund.

"We are prioritising this issue to ensure the refunds are made."