Ruth Peterson has had a lifetime membership at Spa Llady since 1983, but recently that membership was cancelled when International Fitness Holdings which also owns World Health Club and Club Fit bought Spa Lady.

She says she was told if she wanted to keep coming to Spa Lady, she'd have to buy a new membership.

Ed Forrest, who is still working with the company confirms that the sale was structured as a sale of company assets, not a sale of the company itself. In an asset sale, the buyer can pick and choose which assets and liabilities it wants to acquire from the old company and whatever the buyer doesn't want is left behind.

In this case, Spa Lady's new owner chose not to acquire lifetime members in the sale, so it could, legally, refuse to honor those agreements.

The lesson everyone can take from this is that a lifetime contract, warranty or guarantee is only good for as long as that particular company that you contracted with continues doing business, unless otherwise stated in the contract.