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.