• Report: #533884

Complaint Review: Karate America

  • Submitted: Fri, December 04, 2009
  • Updated: Mon, December 03, 2012

  • Reported By: Vasili — Ft. Lauderdale Florida U.S.A.
Karate America
1400 Millcoe Road Jacksonville, Florida United States of America

Karate America ASF International STAY FAR AWAY FROM THIS COMPANY Jacksonville, Florida

*Consumer Comment: End Child Contracts

*Consumer Suggestion: Contracts are Negotiable.

*General Comment: Some general questions needing answers

*Consumer Suggestion: My Experience with ASF International

*UPDATE Employee: Question

*UPDATE Employee: Martial arts training does involve

*Consumer Comment: rip off

*Consumer Comment: It's in the contract

*UPDATE Employee: 2/1/12 In response to Bill Grand Rapids

*Author of original report: contact info for Karate America

*Author of original report: 4 replies within hours... fishy fishy!

*Consumer Comment: What are you teaching your children....

*General Comment: Do nothing which is of no use.?...

*Consumer Comment: Read what you sign....

*UPDATE Employee: In Response To Vasili

*Author of original report: So many complaints... I wonder why

*UPDATE Employee: Confused

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WHAT A SCAM!  It makes you wish there was a little more government regulation in contracts.  In fact, I think I will sue them shortly and likely win due to the following reasons:

Karate America, and their finance company (ASF International), rope you in with a contract that you couldn't cancel under ANY circumstances.  They want you to pay their fees for absolutely NO services rendered if you cannot attend classes due to circumstances outside of your control (i.e. job relocation a week after you sign up, Cancer - apparently these reasons were not good enough for them).

They have zero sympathy and are excellent at manipulating fine print and making it look like you didn't "follow proper protocol" to cancel.  "of course we would have let you cancel if only you had done XYZ" .... right.

Also, on a legal note, regarding their contract:

1) Karate America/ASF International does not have a retail installment seller license. [continued below]....
.....  They are not allowed to engage in these transactions under FL Stat. 520.32
2) They are engaged in an unfair and deceptive trade practice under 16CFR 433.2 by failing to have the required Holder in Due Course disclosure in their contract.
3) They are violating the Retail Installment Sales Act (FL. Stat. 520.34) by failing to have the name of the seller on their contract.

I found out that they reported me to MG Credit in Jacksonville and that this ended up on my credit report.  I called MG Credit and they told me that they do not buy the debt - they only "report to the credit bureaus" for Karate America as part of their contract with each other.  They said I would need to speak with Karate America about getting this resolved so that they could remove the negative report from the credit bureau.  They also told me that they are very familiar with the deceptive practices that Karate America engages in since their offices are down the street from each other and that they have a very large number of complaints.

I then proceeded to call Karate America and spoke with a woman (very heavy asian accent) at their headquarters in Jacksonville (904-724-2100).  I couldn't understand her name, but it sounded like Miss Getnick?

She said there was nothing they could do, and that I would have to deal with the collections agency.  I told her that the collections agency said I need to deal with them.  After a brief pause she said "give me $1,000 right now over the phone and I make this go away).  I refused and she got defensive and said "you have to leave me your number and I will call you back Monday".  I asked "why?" and she had no good reason, I suspect she was trying to get me off the phone.

I told her I'd see them in court...

I will update you all as soon as I get this lawsuit over with.

Bottom Line:  These Karate Masters are only Masters at removing money from your wallet.  And their classes aren't that good anyway.  Save yourselves the trouble.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/04/2009 02:02 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Karate-America/Jacksonville-Florida-32225/Karate-America-ASF-International-STAY-FAR-AWAY-FROM-THIS-COMPANY-Jacksonville-Florida-533884. 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

End Child Contracts

AUTHOR: Will - (USA)

 I charge ASF, and its enforcement of "child contracts" as indifferent, negligent, reckless child endangerment. ASF utilizes bullying tactics, through binding "contracts" that force children to remain connected with programs even when the programs demonstrate a negative impact on the child's well being. Case in point deals with karate "schools". ASF collaborates with such schools to implement such contracts with students, minors, and their parents. While even the smallest bit of research on your part will bring this to light, I can use my own young child as an example. I enrolled my six year old boy into a karate program while he was in kindergarten, at the age of six. I did fill out paperwork dealing with payment for my son's participation. I admit, I was naive, I did not recognize the tenacious money grabbing contractual obligations involved with my son's participation. I had no idea that such binding contracts could, or would, exist in relation to minors...especially small children. Karate schools, and the relationship held with instructors, are an intimate form of education for children. Bad schools and bad instructors may not be obvious at first - but can have a significant detrimental impact on the health and well being of a developing child. Even good schools and instructors, if the program is not a good fit for the child, can have equally negative impact on the child's development.

In the case of my little boy, it took a few months before the negative impact the karate school was having on him. I had enrolled my little boy into a program that I had hoped would build self-esteem, self-confidence, strength, and the ability to defend himself if the need were ever to arise later in life. I hoped these positive impacts would be with my son both in school academics and within his social life as he grew. However, a few months into the program it finally became clear. This program was having the reverse impact on my son. My son demonstrated... -exhaustion with school and academics -anxiety -sadness/depression -bouts of anger -general distress and a decline in self-esteem Once it became clear that these social, academic and emotional issues were connected with karate I wanted to cancel participation. Initially, this would be temporarily, so that we could gage what was going on with my boy, and perhaps (reluctantly) permanently if necessary. I spoke with the karate instructor. He insisted a "freeze" on the account.

In my nativity, I thought this was simply the instructor hoping to keep us connected, so I agreed. Apparently there was a technical glitch (at least that's what I'm told), and the freeze did not go into effect. ASF tried to bill me. Fortunately, I had had a problem with my debit card and had just had it replaced...so the charge didn't go through. I called ASF, thinking it would be a cordial conversation where this charge would be corrected and everyone would be happy. Turns out, the representative was quite condescending. She insisted the instructor would never have done such a thing. I insisted she contact the instructor and she replied "they don't contact the instructors". Further, she insisted that we were bound to this contract for TWO YEARS! From there, I continued communication with ASF arguing that contracts involving minors were unethical and immoral and, should be, illegal. Every step of the way, ASF insisted that this contract was binding and, unless I moved, the contract would not be terminated. Finally, after extensive arguing and standoff, another representative (Chris Peterson), suggested a one month freeze.

Later, the karate instructor contacted me and stated that there had been a technical glitch and that ASF had contacted him, and the two month freeze was now in effect. I still demanded that ASF end this contract on the grounds that contracts involving small children was immoral and ethical. Of course, they refused my demands. Now, a few months later, my standoff with ASF continues. I want to stress, again, my little boy demonstrated... -exhaustion with school and academics -anxiety -sadness/depression -bouts of anger -general distress and a decline in self-esteem I can't believe my little boy is not the only one to demonstrate such things. I know there are others out there like him, some younger - some older. Parental concerns, and the health and well being of the child, are not the first, and foremost concern of ASF and the karate schools...er "businesses" they connect themselves with. In fact, as ASF has proven, there is a total apathy and disregard for the health and well being of children. On another thread, one poster argued that he was upholding a contract that a mom was objecting to, related to her boy (in another state, with another school). This person argued that the contract was for the betterment of the child. That such contracts place motivation (or should we call it bullying and pressure?), prevent a quitter attitude among their participants (that, he states, is prevalent in this day and age). Read that again, please and consider the meaning.

This karate instructor is making it clear that the expensive contracts are meant to essentially pressure the poor kid into continued participation. Essentially, that he is saving the child from the poor parental decisions made by this mom who wants to withdraw her child from the program. Talk about arrogance. I thought that statement was made by Chris Peterson (because the guy did not identify himself as an instructor, but did appear to identify himself by the name of "Chris"). When I brought this up to Mr. Peterson, he made clear he was not the one to make that post, but that the instructor of that school did. However, the point it made - and cannot be denied. These contracts place pressure on families for the continued participation of a child with a karate program, even if the parent has determined that the program hurts the child's well being. And, at least in some cases, are meant to place pressure for the child to continue to participate. I know I feel pressured...forking out $150 per month for two years will influence many parents to continue to have their child participate and receive these damaging services that are being paid for. And, lets face it, not all parents will recognize that they have the option of paying without their child participating.

Forget the parent for just a moment...what about children's rights? These contracts violate the rights of children! Children are left unprotected while ASF squabbles to milk the parents for all they can. Follow me here for a moment. I want to repeat the symptoms my son demonstrated a third time... -exhaustion with school and academics -anxiety -sadness/depression -bouts of anger that had not been seen before (or since, after he stopped attending). This one was quite a surprise. He was always a boy who sought out friendships with others, but now was in frequent conflict with others children...even strangers (i.e. at McDonald's play centers). -general distress Take this little boy (and also apply this to any child - we know there's others out there), and follow these symptoms down the road as the child continues to develop at such an impressionable point in his or her life. What do you imagine? How do you see things turning out for this child? At best, a dysfunctional life - a child who someday never lives up to the potential he could have. But...that's at best.

I stress again, karate schools and instructors are a very intimate form of education for a child. These symptoms my son demonstrated from his experiences are real...and very concerning. Step back and imagine these very real symptoms a second time. Other than dysfunction, how else do you see this turning out for a child as he grows and matures under the intimate influence of a damaging karate program? It's a bit scary. I have a hard time saying the word. Suicide. It's speculation of course. But, you follow those symptoms...those kind of things can lead a child in that direction. All because of an intimate, and very damaging, program the child was pressured to continue. Now, I will stand up for my son. I will watch out for him. That's why this contract dispute is occurring in the process. Let's face it. Not all parents will do that. Many will feel defeated from the very first moment they are told they cannot cancel the contract. And, many parents, especially those who do not connect with their child well, will simply bow to the pressure they feel from the contract and require their child to continue participating...due to the pressure of high payments they are forced to continue for these services.

Now, I will stress, Chris Peterson and ASF do not comment one way or another on whether these contracts are fair for the children. Whether these contracts are good, or immoral and evil...violating children's rights (children, those which are most helpless and need such protection). Chris Peterson, and ASF simply state that the parent is obligated to continue the payments that "they agreed to". (If other parents are like me, they were naive, not realizing that these "contracts" were so binding - especially due to the fact that they involved young children - that one could not cancel). What ASF has essentially demonstrated is indifference. Indifference to the health and well being of children. Indifference to children as a whole - as long as they can siphon money over an extended period. But, is it even simply indifference we are talking about here? Is this blatant negligence? Negligence is likely the better word choice here. I argue that contracts involving children are methods of entrapment, indenture and enslavement of a child and should absolutely never be allowed. They should be illegal in our nation - especially here in the 21st century. I never would have imagined that, here in our country - a nation that protects the rights of children - would see a situation where children's rights are ignored. Are we in the United States, or are we in a third world country here? Binding, long term contracts such as this, are things I would have imagined in a third world nation. A nation that cannot, or will not, protect children's rights.

These contracts should never be. Not with my son, or with anyone's child. Children are unpredictable and their growth and development can go in many directions. Their needs change. Whether a program is recognized to be detrimental to a child within a day, within a few months (as it took my child), or within a year, there should NEVER be a binding contract on a child with such an intimate educational program. Once a parent recognizes that such a program is detrimental to a child's well being, ASF and that karate program should immediately, when requested, cease all relations with that child and that family...that INCLUDES payment. As I have already demonstrated, the continued enforcement of a "contract" keeps the connection alive. All relations should cease for the betterment and rights of children. But, again, I stress. ASF (and Chris Peterson - who's defense of ASF are all over these boards), makes very clear - they are only concerned about the money. Never, ever - when ASF is defended on these boards - do they express concern for the child. In all cases, they seek to enforce the contracts and collect the $$$$ I will state this. After a significant standoff on this issue, Chris Peterson (months later), has finally offered an alternative. He has blessed me with option B: a buyout of the contract. There is no such buyout option stated in the contract. So, this has been created out of "nothing".

So, this buyout has been artificially inserted only after extensive arguing. The buyout is $450. Honestly, I don't have the money for the buyout - I'm still trying to figure out how I will do it while still feeding my children. But, that's beside the point. It should not have taken months as I demanded a cancellation of the contract for this buyout to finally be offered as an option. Further, a buyout option should not even be necessary to begin with - when a parent recognizes that a karate program is having a significant negative impact on his/her child's health and well being and development, ASF should be ready to immediately cease relations with that child and family and simply end the "contract". How many other parents have tried, and felt despair at ASF's obsession to enforce long term payments they felt they had to fold? These aren't cell phone contracts or a direct tv contract we are talking about here. These are living, breathing, impressionable, developing young people...who are at critical points in their lives as they grow and mature. I love my son. My little boy. I'm sure you love your children.

When I send my son to school I feel that his teachers love and care for him. I feel like the school administrators watch out for his well being. When dealing with ASF and my son's karate program I recognize that one thing has been demonstrated here. To them children = $$$$$$. Nothing more. If they cared about children, these contractual agreements they enforce would cease. That's a shame. Business is one thing. But, one should never go into business involving children without also having a love and care for...children, and children first. This is America. This is indifference. This is negligence. This is reckless child endangerment. ASF, end all ties to my child. Now. End all child contracts. This is America. We love our children here. We believe in children's rights here.

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#2 Consumer Suggestion

Contracts are Negotiable.

AUTHOR: Jason - (United States of America)

Karate America in Jax is a business and they are ruthless with their contracts. William G. Clark is a business man first before he is any instructor. 

All contracts are negotiable and can be altered.  Anybody telling you otherwise is a liar.  KA's contract is extremly one sided. KA will try to encourage you to pay a years fee up front.  As nice as the discount is, martial arts is not something you may continue with unless you are very dedicated. Even if you do, what if you hurt yourself.  They won't refund you. They may extend your classes until you are better because they know you may not return and they might not put that in writting.

Ask for the contract to review on your own.  Make changes as they suit you and ask that they are initialed by KA.  You want to cross out anything that autorenews.  You want to cross out or change any termination fee to something more reasonable. You want to cross out any hurdles to cancel such sending a certified mailing 60 days before the end of the contract.  30 day verbal or written notice in addition to the cost of one month is considered fair to all parties.  If KA won't work with you, leave.    

There are several independant instructors in the Jacksonville area including some who are LEO or ex LEO who practice what they teach daily and who are more than willing to work out a contract that benifits you and not just them. 

Anybody who feels unfairly pursued in collections should consider filing a report with the CFPB. consumerfinance.gov/complaint/

J

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#3 General Comment

Some general questions needing answers

AUTHOR: Yubin Lydto - ()

1. Are the instructors certified?

2. Is the school an accredited school (if you ask and they say what does that mean run for the door)

3. Is the school part of a National Organization (a governing body with rules and regulations)

 

 

First of all who are suppose to be the ones doing the accrediting?

If you have a complaint with an owner or employee and both know already whats going on, what good is it gonna do if you go to the other who's either a friend or relative or gets paid the big bucks by the employer?? lol

You have to go outside the "school" to get opinions and business licensing are only going to tell you if theyre licensed and maybe if they have complaints and BBB are just mediators

Are you going to go to China to get the approval?

There is no governing body in the industry of martial arts for ANYONE and there is rampant scamming and thuggery going on for decades and its a small world so the ones making the big stinks are most likely going to be friends with others who are influential and helping them etc etc

SOOOOO whats the alternative??

Master chief Clark just got the lifetime achievement award with an 8th degree black belt which should take at least 3 or 4 years on the average per black belt


Each member certificate has a number and signed by the highest ranking authority at your school or the most senior member (s) of your system. This is how is been done with Kyokushinkai for years. There are many schools that have separated from the parent and still teaches that same system. Separation over political ideals.

It's not that easy. Watch the form. Does it make sense? Will it work? Why does he teach it like this?



Being part of an organization doesnt necessarily mean youre legit
Isiness...people are scrambling to do anything they can to make themselves bigger than they really are

Just ask Al Goldberg and Dan Hect and Eric Kovaleski  and Master Alfredo Torella and Soke Frank Sanchez of the World Head of Sokeship Council 

From a California lawyer and martial arts instructor:
We have this concept that when we deal with martial artists, we should expect elevated levels of honor and respect. In a great many cases, that's true. But I've found over the decades that martial artists are basically just people. Some of them have taken the honor aspects to heart, and others have not. Pretty much like anything else. Same with people of faith, pretty much any faith. Some have taken the standards of their faith to heart, and others have not. In short, people are people. That means there are good ones and bad ones everywhere.



Why does the business license dept say...Inactive since 2008 ?

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#4 Consumer Suggestion

My Experience with ASF International

AUTHOR: Buildscharacter - (United States of America)

I was in a similar situation. I had a membership to a jui-jitsu studio that used ASF. I hurt my back and had a doctor's note saying I could no longer participate and they gave me the whole run around "you didn't file this document", "Your doctors note doesn't say you are permanently disabled", etc. 

I had to cancel my credit card and when I did that, their collection practices ramped up. They "sent me to collections"...which is the collections branch of their business, which they claim is a 100% separate business. I literally laughed at the woman on the phone when she told me that. I had kept all of the documentation that they had sent me and there were horrible discrepencies in the amount they said I owed and how they calculated everything out.

I told her that I was willing to pay if they could show me where I had signed a contract with them. I called them back every week for 5-6 weeks, asking for the contract. They finally said that they didn't have it and couldn't provide it. I explained that the Fair Debt Collections Act required them to provide an explanation of why I owed their company money. Since there was no contract between myself and ASF, there was no option and they finally closed the case. 

I read every line in my contract with the Gym and no where in there did it say anything about ASF International, so that was sufficient. 
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#5 UPDATE Employee

Question

AUTHOR: proudparent - (United States of America)

Sounds like you signed an agreement to bring you or your child to classes and agreed to pay for those classes and Karate America agreed to teach those classes and you didn't hold up your agreement.  And now you're mad because they are holding up theirs.
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#6 UPDATE Employee

Martial arts training does involve

AUTHOR: Karate America Employee - (USA)


Dear Karate Parent,

Martial arts training does involve the need for equipment, just like every sport. The gear is for the safety of
the students, and the brands we use are of good quality, which does mean, unfortunately, its not going to be cheap. We and most of our students feel the price is worth the safety of the students. Also, if you would like to compare
our prices for gear online, you will see that the same gear costs the same or more with other retailers. We cut the prices as low as we can in order to assist our students.

Having a cost associated with testing is a standard in the martial arts industry, and in our association, you get
more for the price. Many schools have no parent association, which means their belts are not accredited. Ours are, which means there is a cost for our parent organization to track those ranks and maintain the system with which to track.
The test fee also goes to pay for any other materials required for the testing and promotion of the students (ie belts, DVDs, certificates, facility to hold the testing, bringing in guest judges, etc).

All of our instructors are certified through our parent organization, which ensures their expertise in the martial
arts as well as in instruction. If, however, any student or parent feels that the instructor is not teaching to the benefit of the students, we ask that they contact the main office (724-2100) immediately so that we may address any
concerns immediately. The requirements to become certified to teach in one of our schools, as well as the constant training our instructors are required to undergo, are strenuous and time-consuming, and its this attention to quality
that has made Karate America the leader in martial arts instruction in Florida.

Sincerely,

Karate America Employee
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#7 Consumer Comment

rip off

AUTHOR: Karate Parent - (United States of America)

Karate America is a total rip off!!

When you first sign up you have to sign a contract which is not a big deal. I will be glad pay the $180 a month but the problem is no one ever said anything about all the added expenses that are beyond ridiculous. You have to pay for every belt, uniforms, weapons, pads (different pads when you go up in rank) ATA membership and I can keep going and going and going.  Parents call ATA...ATM because it never stops.

The best part is you pay all of this to have your kids watch instructors scream, yell, threaten and hit (yes hit) students and/or other instructors depending on the instructors mood. I know they call it discipline but I would say its called abuse.
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#8 Consumer Comment

It's in the contract

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

The reasons you can cancel are spelled out in large bold print in the contract. I had to go double check mine. You can cancel if you move more than 25 miles away from an affiliated school, or if the student becomes disabled. They charge a reasonable $150 fee and prorated amount for services used so far. Most gym memberships are the same. If you don't read contracts, you should not sign them. Karate America - if you are not honoring your cancellation policy, shame on you. Contracts are legally binding and they exist to protect both consumers and businesses. 
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#9 UPDATE Employee

2/1/12 In response to Bill Grand Rapids

AUTHOR: Karate America Employee - (USA)

I am the employee who responded to the post from Vasili (response #3). I am confused about your comment that I dodged the questions about our having to respond to online comments. I believe I addressed that specifically:

From post dated 1/27/12: We do have to respond to posts on sites like this from time to time, just like most companiesclearly evident by simply browsing this site. If our practices were fraudulent, we would not have been able to, not only stay in business, but expand, for more than 30 years. We wish we could make every student happy all of the time, but unfortunately, that is not possible. We do, however, try to help in any way we can.

As for the rebuttals filed by customers, what I have found was that one of our students caught wind of posts on sites such as this, posted a few comments herself, and told a couple of her friends in the school about it. That is likely where at least some of the responses came from. I doubt we can post multiple comments like that ourselves. Surely, this website is advanced enough to tell if the responses are coming from the same computers or email addresses or whatever (all that technical stuff is way over my head), or else I would assume the site would be filled with propaganda.

Also, all the contact information listed in the previous comment is easily available on our websites, memberships, or by contacting the main office. None of this is something that we are hiding. Actually, we advertise it on our flyers and websites, etc.

In order to try to win back the confidence of the author of the original post, the membership board has decided to offer 3 months of training at any of our schools here in Florida for free. If you would like to take advantage of this, please call the main office and we will set everything up for you. 

Sincerely,
Karate America Employee
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#10 Author of original report

contact info for Karate America

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

Since they're so dodgy, I thought I'd help my fellow citizens who've been robbed by Karate America and Bill Clark with some info I found...

Christina Harrison is one of the execs and here's her number:  (904) 724-2100 x103 and email address:  charrison@karateamerica.info

Also, Karate America is registered under the name:

Blackbelt Academies LLC and here's their tax ID number:  59-334-0409  ... gotta love what you can find on a quick search on www.sunbiz.org!

Go get 'em!
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#11 Author of original report

4 replies within hours... fishy fishy!

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

Wow, what a concerned bunch.

First, a well written reply from an employee that dodges the question of why they get so many complaints and ripoff reports filed against them over at Karate America.

Then, a barrage of 3 additional rebuttals filed by "customers" within hours of the original reply.   Do you people at Karate America have nothing but time on your hands to make false replies to legitimate complaints on the internet, or have you hired an SEO company to place the fake replies for you?

Either way, best of luck to you as you burn in h**l Karate America

Here's some contact info I dug up on them, in case others out there would like to complain as well:

charrison@karateamerica.info
triggins@karateamerica.info

Billing Name:Bill Clark

Billing Street1:1400 Millcoe Road

Billing City:Jacksonville

Billing State/Province:FL

Billing Postal Code:32225

Billing Phone:+1.904724210


Also, here's the guy that makes their cheesy website:   bbarton@marketingbydesign.com
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#12 Consumer Comment

What are you teaching your children....

AUTHOR: Concerned Parent - (United States of America)

Plain and simple parents who let there children QUIT teach there children to be QUITTERS.

Doesn't matter if it's baseball (my favorite), soccer, football, or karate.
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#13 General Comment

Do nothing which is of no use.?...

AUTHOR: Martial Artist - (United States of America)

Do nothing which is of no use. Miyamoto Musashi

Seems most of the complaints on this site about martial arts either is summed up by either I don't feel like paying or Mom and Dad are tired of driving to the lessons.

I've been following a few of these post and finally have to add my thoughts. ALL martial arts schools have different levels of training. It's like golf. Better clubs = more $. A group lesson if you can find any is much cheaper than a private lesson with a PRO.

All martial arts have good points. The better qualified do charge more $. Can't imagine what Chuck Norris would charge for an hour. I bet he'd sign you up on a contract too ;

If your not sure about the school BEFORE joining look for the following.....

1. Are the instructors certified?

2. Is the school an accredited school (if you ask and they say what does that mean run for the door)

3. Is the school part of a National Organization (a governing body with rules and regulations)

But complaining here after the fact seems to have no use whatsoever. You either checked out the school, decided you liked it, and signed up for what you could afford or you didn't.

I'd go back to class pay as you agreedand get what you paid for.

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#14 Consumer Comment

Read what you sign....

AUTHOR: Customer - (USA)

Having been a long time customer I'm not quite understanding these comments. I signed a few memberships AKA Contracts over my time with them. The top of the contract does actually the printed word "Contract" in large font and visible. These so called hidden fees are listed out in the contract. It seems to me if you would have read what you were signing and agreeing to you wouldn't have any of these issues.

People make it sound as if they were forced to sign and hadn't taken any lessons before joining. I surely wouldn't buy a car without driving it first. I'm not sure how you can agree that classes are great enough to join one day. Then those same great instructors are now subpar.

Anyway I'm still happy and paying and training just like I agreed too. Wonder what would happen if you decided your house was subpar and quit paying a year later.
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#15 UPDATE Employee

In Response To Vasili

AUTHOR: Karate America Employee - (USA)

In response to Vasili:

We understand life can be difficult, and we try to assist our members as much as possible. We do, however, also have to look out for our employees and other students. If we gave everyone everything they requested, we would have gone out of business a long time ago, which means our employees would not have jobs and would be yet more people having difficulty paying their bills. Also, all of our students who are progressing and accomplishing their goalschanging their lives through the martial artswould have no place to train. We do everything we can to help our members, but we also have to keep an eye on the bigger picture.

I would like to clarify a couple points about the original complaint: Our memberships are cancellable in certain circumstances, which are clearly stated in the membership in a bold-typed section headed Consumers Right of Cancellation. The process that the student must follow is also stated there.

We do expect members to pay the fees as agreed, as long as we are offering training as agreed. We cannot help if a member decides not to come to class. We still had instructors ready to teach their class, which means we have held up to our end of the membership. If you buy a car and never drive it, the finance company will still expect payment.

Our memberships have been reviewed by attorneys and are in compliance with all government regulations.

Our collection company may have referred you back to us because they cannot change the terms of the debt; they can only collect. The employee you spoke to referred you to the collections company to make payment arrangements, because your membership, apparently, was not cancellable. (I dont know whose membership this is, so I cannot comment on specifics.)

We do have to respond to posts on sites like this from time to time, just like most companiesclearly evident by simply browsing this site. If our practices were fraudulent, we would not have been able to, not only stay in business, but expand, for more than 30 years. We wish we could make every student happy all of the time, but unfortunately, that is not possible. We do, however, try to help in any way we can.

Sincerely, Karate America Employee
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#16 Author of original report

So many complaints... I wonder why

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

While I applaud your smoothly worded rebuttals, I do have to wonder why you constantly find yourselves writing them?

If it were just "bad customers" who complain needlessly, you must be masters at attracting ALL of them right?

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck... guess what?  It's a DUCK.  Karate America smells, looks, walks, and talks like a SCAM McDojo....
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#17 UPDATE Employee

Confused

AUTHOR: Karate America Staff - (U.S.A.)

Karate America is not a scam.  If you signed a membership agreement you agreed to make a certain number of payments.  If you failed or refused to make the payments that you agreed to then you're sent to a collections agency.  However, we do try and assist when possible.  Did you request cancellation of your membership prior to being turned over to a collection agency. Or possibly even contact the corporate office to see if they could try and assist you if you had some type of financial issue at the time.  I know that I have been with the company for several years and have been blamed and screamed at by members for everything including the color of the uniforms.  Unfortunately, everyone wants things their way and they want to be catered to because they care only about their situation.  I understand that in your life you and your family are the most important things.  However, a business can not run that way.  Decisions that are made effect everyone in the business.  We have members in several locations and apply a set of rules for everyone.  If you ask us to bend the rules for you, you are asking us to compromise our integrity regarding the rules for everyone else.  Even if you say "I won't tell anyone"  it doesn't work.  I personally had tried to assist someone before and only created a larger mess. Businesses are in business to make money and try and assist there clients as much as possible.  However, it is not always to the clients 100% satifaction. 
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