• Report: #322313

Complaint Review: Karate America

  • Submitted: Sun, March 30, 2008
  • Updated: Wed, May 20, 2009

  • Reported By:Wellington Florida
Karate America
6840 Forest Hill Blvd West Palm Beach, Florida U.S.A.

Karate America rips off customers by saying a membership can not be canceled West Palm Beach Florida

*UPDATE Employee: Please make informed decisions

*UPDATE Employee: Please make informed decisions

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My 3 year old son was invited to join Karate America by a friend. He was then enrolled in the Basic Training Program in July of 2006. By the time of signing him up in the program, we asked the instructor what would happen if our three year old would decide not to continue taking karate. You can't guarantee a 3 year old would have the commitment to join a 3 year karate program. One day they are interested in one activity and some months later, they are not. We were guaranted by the instructor that we could leave the membership at any time by paying a penalty of the cost of a month tuition.

A month later, he got a card from his instructor saying that he was doing great in Karate and that soon he will be ready to join the Leadership Program. In the meanwhile, he had been listening from the instructor how great it is to join the Leadership program: the new weapons, uniform, XMA practices, etc. Two months later the instructor told me he would like to arrange a meeting with me and my husband to discuss our son's progress in Karate. When we met in the beginning of October, he presented us with a whole new payment contract for the Leadership program. Again we asked what would happen if our son decided he didn't want to continue karate or if we would move away (at the time we were thinking aboout moving back to our contry). Again, we were told that we could interrupt the membership by paying a penalty.

After a year of Karate my son started saying that he didn't like karate anymore, that he was too tired after school to practise it, that the sparring practice, when paired with a stronger student, were too harsh on him and left him complaining of being hurt in the legs or arms. For months I insisted. I dragged him to school. Many times he was sleeping in the car and I had to go back home. Others, he cried so much, begging me not to go. So, after a year and a half he asked me not to take to karate anymore, which I finally agreed.

Then, my battle with the school began. I called his instructor and told him what was going on, He was very cold with me and said that's not with him or his school in West Palm Beach, but the headquarters in Jacksonville. I called them and was told to write a letter explaining the reasons for cancelling my son's membership. By then, I have to say that we were having great financial problems and paying the school tuiton was a burden to our family. I explained everything to the shcool in my letter, just to get the answer that the membership could not be cancelled.

For weeks I tried to negotiate with them, while they continued to charge me even though my son stopped taking classes. I told them that I was given the word by their instructor that we could cancel the membership at any time by paying a penalty. But that was not the case, of course. When I called the instructor again, he was harsh and mean to me. They didn't show any willingness to cancel the membership, stating that "We are not willing to compromise our company policy for one person and not everyone else".

They say that the first program could have been cancelled, but not the second one. They lured the parents to sign into the Leadership program as soon as they can (because this is a more expensive program), and then they they say that the membeship can not be canceled. Now I ask: Why should I pay for a membership I'm not using any more? For a service I'm no longer getting?What's the difficulty in stopping a membership when requested by the parents? Why do the company prefers to see its name being dragged down the drain by the consumers who have used their service? Why are there so many complaints reports filled by the parents? I tell you why. Because the parents are lied to and trapped in a school policy that is totally based on deception.

I'm writing this report because I want all parents, who are thinking to sing up their kid in karate, to know how Karate America operates in the first place. Secondly, to find a karate school that's reliable. There are many good karate schools out there. A school that's straightforward with parets about membeship and contracts. A school that doesn't entrapped parents in a membership that can't be canceled. A school that's honest.


Elisabeth
Wellington, Florida
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/30/2008 08:04 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Karate-America/West-Palm-Beach-Florida-33413/Karate-America-rips-off-customers-by-saying-a-membership-can-not-be-canceled-West-Palm-Bea-322313. 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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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE Employee

Please make informed decisions

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

I have worked for karate america for several years and believe in teaching values. That being said, i would like to state that nothing is hidden from parents. We do not force students to sign up into our leadership program, it is an option. People should read everything that is written before signing a contract. That is with anything, not only a martial arts program. All terms are stated on the contract. We have integrity and would not tell someone that they can cancel a program for an invalid reason. If the parent does not agree to the terms of a contract, they should not sign it. We are not here to rip anyone off, only to provide quality martial arts instruction. The reasons our leadership program is 3 years is because it is a black belt program and that amount of time is needed to earn a black belt. We try to instill a sense of dedication and committment on our students to achieve the goal of black belt. As for Elisabeth, her son was never injured under our watch and it hurts to hear her say that. He never sparred someone older than himself. He attended a class which was specifically 5 years and younger. She was continually disrespectful and allowed her 2 year old daughter torun rampant in the academy with no supervision, constantly disrupting classes. She told us her reason for cancellation was that it was too difficult to get her son here and to keep her daughter occupied during classes.
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#2 UPDATE Employee

Please make informed decisions

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

I have worked for karate america for several years and believe in teaching values. That being said, i would like to state that nothing is hidden from parents. We do not force students to sign up into our leadership program, it is an option. People should read everything that is written before signing a contract. That is with anything, not only a martial arts program. All terms are stated on the contract. We have integrity and would not tell someone that they can cancel a program for an invalid reason. If the parent does not agree to the terms of a contract, they should not sign it. We are not here to rip anyone off, only to provide quality martial arts instruction. The reasons our leadership program is 3 years is because it is a black belt program and that amount of time is needed to earn a black belt. We try to instill a sense of dedication and committment on our students to achieve the goal of black belt. As for Elisabeth, her son was never injured under our watch and it hurts to hear her say that. He never sparred someone older than himself. He attended a class which was specifically 5 years and younger. She was continually disrespectful and allowed her 2 year old daughter torun rampant in the academy with no supervision, constantly disrupting classes. She told us her reason for cancellation was that it was too difficult to get her son here and to keep her daughter occupied during classes.
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