• Report: #377783

Complaint Review: ASF International

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  • Submitted: Wed, October 01, 2008
  • Updated: Mon, February 23, 2009

  • Reported By:Atlanta Georgia
ASF International
640 Plaza Drive, Suit 300 Highlands Ranch, Colorado U.S.A.

ASF International, gym, martial arts, "permanent disability" clause Highlands Ranch Colorado

*Consumer Suggestion: Thanks for your answer

*Consumer Comment: I am in a similar situation.

*UPDATE Employee: Terms and Conditions

*UPDATE Employee: Terms and Conditions

*UPDATE Employee: Terms and Conditions

*UPDATE Employee: Terms and Conditions

*Author of original report: Response to Cat

*Author of original report: ASF International refuses to cancel membership due to chronic knee problems

*Consumer Suggestion: I do not understand.......

*Consumer Suggestion: I do not understand.......

*Consumer Suggestion: I do not understand.......

*Consumer Suggestion: I do not understand.......

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I signed a contract to participate in Ju-jitsu with local gym. My knee became tender after exercise and then I suffered a separated shoulder a month later while rolling. The shoulder took 16 weeks to heal. I visited the doctor to find out why the minor separation was slow to heal; I was diagnosed with hypermobility (frequent knee dislocation, winged scapula, double-jointed). He recommended that I cease further strenuous activity on my knees to avoid any long-term debilitating complications due to my genetic hyperelasticity. The doctor wrote a note on official letterhead listing that the patient has "chronic knee problem" and further stated explicitly that this prevents engagement in martial arts (among other activities). ASF rejected the doctor's note on the grounds that "chronic" is not the same as "permanent disability".

The contract that I signed with my local gym does not stipulate that "permanent disability" needs to be explicitly stated on the note, but rather any injury that bars the student from fulfilling his/her contractual obligation to use the facility to his/her fullest extent during the length of the contract. I am quoting the terms of the contract, because ASF is known for its quick read the contract remark on Ripoff Report:
"In the event student becomes permanently disabled and/or injured during the membership term, he/she may cancel the contract upon notice to the school of such disability and/or injury. For the purposes of this agreement, "PERMANENT DISABILITY AND/OR INJURY" shall be DEFINED as any disability and/or injury that PREVENTS the student from utilizing the school's services to the SAME EXTENT as was possible PRIOR TO THE ONSET of the disability and/or injury for the entire duration of the contractual term herein. Student must provide notice from a licenced [sic] medical doctor confirming that the disability or injury is permanent for pursposes [sic] of this agreement."

The doctor I spoke with informed me that writing "PERMANENTLY DISABLED" carries severe implications with regards to insurance premiums. This is probably why ASF requests this to cancel any contract as a result of a long-term injury (although, again, this requirement is not stated explicitly on the contract). I am in my mid 20s and besides the soft knees and highly flexible scapula, am in excellent shape, at least internally. I don't know many people who are aware of future consequences that continue to practice an activity that will worsen the problem later on down the road.

I called ASF and spoke with two managers, the first of whom was quite curt and unhelpful. The second manager whom I spoke with, Danielle V., was slightly more understanding but unwavering of ASF's "policies" (which again aren't even stated verbatim on the contract). She further insulted me by stating that my condition is like her type I diabetes, which she noted as "chronic", but categorized it as a "disease". Unfortunately a chronic knee condition, whose symptoms cannot be cured, mitigated, or even deferred, but only worsen, is not the same as diabetes, which is treatable by an insulin shot. This condition forced me to stop playing high school football at the age of 16 as it was awful during puberty (unprovoked knee dislocations every few days). Honestly, I have no intention of living through that hell of random knee dislocations and several days of swelling just for a little bit of exercise. I would prefer to stick with a low-impact elliptical machine for exercise, which does not elicit similar symptoms that I began to see gradually evolve through my short stint with the gym.

Make no mistake about all of the ASF International reports on Ripoff Report. This company will do everything in its power to keep siphoning money from you, including lie to you and insult you.

Matt
Atlanta, Georgia
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/01/2008 05:29 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/ASF-International/Highlands-Ranch-Colorado-80129/ASF-International-gym-martial-arts-permanent-disability-clause-Highlands-Ranch-Colora-377783. 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 Consumer Suggestion

Thanks for your answer

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

Thanks for your answer , I was curious because I did not know if you had been having problems all along. I was not trying to be argumenative.I used to long for the day that I could go to a gym, but facing my 46th surgery this Friday, that will never happen.

I wish you the best!

Cat
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#2 Consumer Comment

I am in a similar situation.

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

I was in a similar situation. I was hospitalized with Crohn's disease and even after ASF and Premier martial arts said they would stop charging me, they continued to bill my credit card. I called several times to both Premier Martial arts and ASF and got the runaround for weeks till finally people at ASF started hanging up on me. I was out of the hospital, sick and depressed after recovering from abdominal surgery. I was finally to upset to continue fighting them. I even presented them with medical records and a letter from my doctor and my situation was never resolved. Premier Martial Arts and ASF are cruel companies that just want your money. I hope everyone stays far away from these organizations.
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#3 UPDATE Employee

Terms and Conditions

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

Without Matt's specific information it is somewhat difficult to respond to this. However, it is typical that a martial arts facility has very specific terms and conditions regarding the cancellation of a membership. ASF International does not make people pay on their agreements if they have a condition that qualifies them for cancellation. We cannot deviate from the specific terms and conditions of the agreements in place. If the cancellation clause states that permanent disability is reason to cancel, then we adhere to that. If a member has issues but has not been deemed permanently disabled by a physician, we are not in any position to help them.

Chris Peterson
Customer Relations Manager
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#4 UPDATE Employee

Terms and Conditions

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

Without Matt's specific information it is somewhat difficult to respond to this. However, it is typical that a martial arts facility has very specific terms and conditions regarding the cancellation of a membership. ASF International does not make people pay on their agreements if they have a condition that qualifies them for cancellation. We cannot deviate from the specific terms and conditions of the agreements in place. If the cancellation clause states that permanent disability is reason to cancel, then we adhere to that. If a member has issues but has not been deemed permanently disabled by a physician, we are not in any position to help them.

Chris Peterson
Customer Relations Manager
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#5 UPDATE Employee

Terms and Conditions

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

Without Matt's specific information it is somewhat difficult to respond to this. However, it is typical that a martial arts facility has very specific terms and conditions regarding the cancellation of a membership. ASF International does not make people pay on their agreements if they have a condition that qualifies them for cancellation. We cannot deviate from the specific terms and conditions of the agreements in place. If the cancellation clause states that permanent disability is reason to cancel, then we adhere to that. If a member has issues but has not been deemed permanently disabled by a physician, we are not in any position to help them.

Chris Peterson
Customer Relations Manager
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#6 UPDATE Employee

Terms and Conditions

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

Without Matt's specific information it is somewhat difficult to respond to this. However, it is typical that a martial arts facility has very specific terms and conditions regarding the cancellation of a membership. ASF International does not make people pay on their agreements if they have a condition that qualifies them for cancellation. We cannot deviate from the specific terms and conditions of the agreements in place. If the cancellation clause states that permanent disability is reason to cancel, then we adhere to that. If a member has issues but has not been deemed permanently disabled by a physician, we are not in any position to help them.

Chris Peterson
Customer Relations Manager
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#7 Author of original report

Response to Cat

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

Cat,
I have worked out religiously the last four years as a means of staying in shape. Cardio is my nagging problem to balance weight lifting, which I hoped to solve in a fun and constructive way through jiu-jitsu at the local martial arts facility. My knee problems existed during my teen years when our bones aren't fully fused; after quitting football and taking it easy, the symptoms abated. I had the problem recur perhaps 1 - 2 times between the ages of 21 - 24; during football (12 - 16, especially around 16) the frequency of dislocation or patella slippage (whatever is the root cause) occurred around 1 - 2 times a week. My pediatrician, at the time, suggested my rapid growth (5'10" by age 10, stopped at 6'2" by age 14) caused a problem with the ligaments, stretching them beyond normal growth rates thereby resulting in weak connective tissue.

Legs are fine as long as the force is perpendicular to the joint; however, any shearing force, that lies parallel to the knees (think turning/twisting motion) exacerbates the condition. I found this out after noticing tenderness in the knee following rolling sessions on the ground when we have to use our hips and knee placements extensively to control our opponent. Warm-ups, jogging in place, high knees, etc, those are fine, it's just the shearing forces that my right knee specifically cannot handle. In retrospect, it makes sense, because my knee dislocations often times happened while sitting on the floor, with my knee propped at an angle. One particularly painful event happened during the tumultuous teenage years, sitting on the floor, adjacent to the fireplace, watching the television with my knees curled in, pointing upwards, leaning ever so slightly. Yes, it dislocated and yes, I was incapacitated briefly from a surge of pain that rang up from my knee until I fell to the ground. My knee realigned itself upon falling to the ground.

The latest episode, which prompted the question to the doctor, occurred shortly after starting jiu-jitsu. I had done leg curls in the gym, came home, began to bring my legs from the car, which begins by sliding my legs towards the door-- I have long legs. My right knee dislocated and once again I fell to the ground (from the car seat) in terrible pain. My knee was swollen the next day. Mind you this hadn't happened for as long as I can remember. Nothing in my workout regiment changed. Squats, leg presses, calf raises, leg extensions, leg curls, stiff-legged deadlifts -- the only variable introduced was jiu-jitsu and the groundwork is too much for my knees to handle. I separated my shoulder a couple of classes later and was out for ~14 weeks.

This wasn't something I headed into aware of. In fact, this was something that I eventually discovered through painful trial and error. As I assumed at the time, the condition had cleared with age just like my peanut allergy, since neither reared its ugly head after my teenage years.
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#8 Author of original report

ASF International refuses to cancel membership due to chronic knee problems

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

I contacted the local gym manager on Wednesday and was put in touch with the gym's corporate office regarding my problems. I am waiting to hear back from the owner regarding the issue. I have filed a BBB report with the Denver office and recommend anyone else experiencing issues with ASF to do the same as they are a BBB member.

Note to editor: ASF refuses to cancel my membership due to knee problems, because the doctor wrote "chronic knee problems" instead of "permanently disabled", which is what ASF mandates it needs in order to void the contract. The contract makes no indication whatsoever that the specific verbage "permanent disability" needs to appear on the note. Doctor will not write "permanent disability" on my medical records due to insurance reasons, but recommended that I avoid any activity that made exacerbate the knee to avoid longterm complications from excessive wear on the knee.
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#9 Consumer Suggestion

I do not understand.......

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

First off let me say I have never been in this type of gym nor even heard of them, so I have no ties with them whatsoever. What I do not understand is that you said in your post that you had at the age of 16 unprovoked knee dislocations. Why on earth would you think you could be in a gym working out without a prior doctors approval with a specified regimen?

I ask this not to be snotty, but many people with these type of issues do have to "look down the road" and it would have been to your advantage to have gone to a doctor beforehand and had a written report to what you could do in a gym before you even walked in.

I have rhemotiod arthritis and had my knees replaced at the age of i9, so when I went into a gym to manily use the pool i had a specific written regimine I was allowed to do in a gym. It was written up and I had no issues with their "membership fees" because I knew my LIMITATIONS and the staff did TOO.

This was in 1981 when membership fees were much higher then and they knew much less about chronic dieases. I have had 45 surgeries total now and I am disabled, but my point is it is up to you as the client to be proactive and find out your limitations first. You admitted this was not the first time you have had issues with your joints and knees, so now you are having physical problems and not taking full responsiblity for your own care. How can you expect them to know what is going on if you don't?

As long as you can use some of their work out machines what does it matter what program you are on? Have they locked you into a specfic program or something? I am just wondering.

I wish you the best and hope that you are able to work out something with them!
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#10 Consumer Suggestion

I do not understand.......

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

First off let me say I have never been in this type of gym nor even heard of them, so I have no ties with them whatsoever. What I do not understand is that you said in your post that you had at the age of 16 unprovoked knee dislocations. Why on earth would you think you could be in a gym working out without a prior doctors approval with a specified regimen?

I ask this not to be snotty, but many people with these type of issues do have to "look down the road" and it would have been to your advantage to have gone to a doctor beforehand and had a written report to what you could do in a gym before you even walked in.

I have rhemotiod arthritis and had my knees replaced at the age of i9, so when I went into a gym to manily use the pool i had a specific written regimine I was allowed to do in a gym. It was written up and I had no issues with their "membership fees" because I knew my LIMITATIONS and the staff did TOO.

This was in 1981 when membership fees were much higher then and they knew much less about chronic dieases. I have had 45 surgeries total now and I am disabled, but my point is it is up to you as the client to be proactive and find out your limitations first. You admitted this was not the first time you have had issues with your joints and knees, so now you are having physical problems and not taking full responsiblity for your own care. How can you expect them to know what is going on if you don't?

As long as you can use some of their work out machines what does it matter what program you are on? Have they locked you into a specfic program or something? I am just wondering.

I wish you the best and hope that you are able to work out something with them!
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#11 Consumer Suggestion

I do not understand.......

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

First off let me say I have never been in this type of gym nor even heard of them, so I have no ties with them whatsoever. What I do not understand is that you said in your post that you had at the age of 16 unprovoked knee dislocations. Why on earth would you think you could be in a gym working out without a prior doctors approval with a specified regimen?

I ask this not to be snotty, but many people with these type of issues do have to "look down the road" and it would have been to your advantage to have gone to a doctor beforehand and had a written report to what you could do in a gym before you even walked in.

I have rhemotiod arthritis and had my knees replaced at the age of i9, so when I went into a gym to manily use the pool i had a specific written regimine I was allowed to do in a gym. It was written up and I had no issues with their "membership fees" because I knew my LIMITATIONS and the staff did TOO.

This was in 1981 when membership fees were much higher then and they knew much less about chronic dieases. I have had 45 surgeries total now and I am disabled, but my point is it is up to you as the client to be proactive and find out your limitations first. You admitted this was not the first time you have had issues with your joints and knees, so now you are having physical problems and not taking full responsiblity for your own care. How can you expect them to know what is going on if you don't?

As long as you can use some of their work out machines what does it matter what program you are on? Have they locked you into a specfic program or something? I am just wondering.

I wish you the best and hope that you are able to work out something with them!
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#12 Consumer Suggestion

I do not understand.......

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

First off let me say I have never been in this type of gym nor even heard of them, so I have no ties with them whatsoever. What I do not understand is that you said in your post that you had at the age of 16 unprovoked knee dislocations. Why on earth would you think you could be in a gym working out without a prior doctors approval with a specified regimen?

I ask this not to be snotty, but many people with these type of issues do have to "look down the road" and it would have been to your advantage to have gone to a doctor beforehand and had a written report to what you could do in a gym before you even walked in.

I have rhemotiod arthritis and had my knees replaced at the age of i9, so when I went into a gym to manily use the pool i had a specific written regimine I was allowed to do in a gym. It was written up and I had no issues with their "membership fees" because I knew my LIMITATIONS and the staff did TOO.

This was in 1981 when membership fees were much higher then and they knew much less about chronic dieases. I have had 45 surgeries total now and I am disabled, but my point is it is up to you as the client to be proactive and find out your limitations first. You admitted this was not the first time you have had issues with your joints and knees, so now you are having physical problems and not taking full responsiblity for your own care. How can you expect them to know what is going on if you don't?

As long as you can use some of their work out machines what does it matter what program you are on? Have they locked you into a specfic program or something? I am just wondering.

I wish you the best and hope that you are able to work out something with them!
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