• Report: #390912

Complaint Review: ATA Black Belt Academy

  • Submitted: Thu, November 13, 2008
  • Updated: Thu, July 30, 2009

  • Reported By:Fayetteville North Carolina
ATA Black Belt Academy
3915 Ramsey St., Suite 101 Fayetteville, North Carolina U.S.A.

ATA Martial Arts Home Of Karate For Kids Warning Do not sign ATA Martial Arts Contracts! Fayetteville North Carolina

*Consumer Comment: Similar experience

*Consumer Comment: Typical, so typical

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First of all, ATA Martial Arts does not provide the level of training many go there expecting. Belts are practically given away just for showing up! The ratio of instructor to pupil is inadequate. Most importantly, they operate on a get-them-to-sign-as-quickly-as-possible system. They are taught this and other unethical business practices in their business seminars. They are also told to get people into their leadership program as quickly as possible--the money they get per month doubles. And do not expect that you are chosen for the leadership program for your great potential--they offer it to everyone. They refrain from making it clear to clients that they are signing an unbreakable contract.

I was duped into believing that I was merely giving them permission to charge my debit card monthly and could quit any time I wanted to. That is partially true. A client can quit any time he wants to, however, he will have to continue making the payments regardless of whether or not he continues the classes. Yes, I signed a contract, but the top of the paper specifically reads in bold letters "Membership Agreement." The contract part is written in tiny letter at the bottom. While what they do may be legal, it is grossly unethical and manipulative. Be careful!

My daughter and I simply walked into the ATA establishment in Fayetteville NC for information. She only wanted to try it out to see if she liked it. I put down $600 (unknown to me, unrefundable) and ended up paying $200 per month for two months. When my daughter realized that her "instruction" was taking too much of her time and that she was being given less than adequate instruction, she decided to quit. (There were 15 to 20 students per one "injured" instructor)! Out of the "goodness" of their "Christian" hearts, the owner and instructor offered to replace our 3-year, $7000 (!) contract with a 3-month contract. I and a friend, who also wants to quit, were told that if we said anything against the school, we would be taken to court for tortious interference and that if we didn't pay the 3-month installments, they would ruin our credit! Such nice Christian people!

One must wonder how many people per year quit the school and give it $600 to get out of the contract--that's in addition to the $600 nonrefundable fee upfront). In total, they receive $1200 for nothing! When someone object, they like to use the analogy of a phone contract. But the analogy breaks down--if I cancel a phone contract and pay off the phone, I STILL HAVE THE PHONE! When someone walks away from an ATA contract, he has nothing he can sell or trade in order to recover some of his losses--nothing! I caution anyone NOT to sign this ridiculous 3-year, $7000 contract with this organization especially if you have a young child who might change his/her mind. They intentionally seek to entrap you so that you will feel pressured to force your child to continue instruction. If you are an adult looking for serious martial arts instruction, stay clear of ATA. It's not for you!

Such contracts should be illegal and I will work to accomplish that!

Judy
Fayetteville, North Carolina
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/13/2008 01:32 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/ATA-Black-Belt-Academy/Fayetteville-North-Carolina-28311/ATA-Martial-Arts-Home-Of-Karate-For-Kids-Warning-Do-not-sign-ATA-Martial-Arts-Contracts-390912. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment

Similar experience

AUTHOR: Cheated Consumer - (U.S.A.)

My spouse and I signed up for a one yr contract. 9 months in they offered a discount if we prepaid for all our testing for the next yr. Near the end of the contract, I was uncomfortable with how the sparring classes were run, and my spouse got laid off. We decided not to renew ($2400 for another yr), and respectfully requested a refund of our prepaid testing fees, over $600.
They took two months to respond and produced the initial contract that specifically states "any monies paid to this academy will not be refunded."
I have reported them to the Better Business Bureau and am still getting the runaround. At this time, I don't think I can recoup my losses, but I am trying to get the word out so others don't sign with them. Their contract is ironclad. No refunds, no matter what. While what they do is legal, it is unethical.
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#2 Consumer Comment

Typical, so typical

AUTHOR: Nikkosan - (U.S.A.)

Typical money hungry Tae Kwon Do!
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