Report: #1275865

Complaint Review: ASF International

  • Submitted: Tue, December 22, 2015
  • Updated: Tue, December 22, 2015
  • Reported By: Will — MAYSVILLE Kentucky USA
  • ASF International

    Internet
    USA

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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 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 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 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 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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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/22/2015 07:29 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/asf-international/internet/asf-international-asf-and-contracts-involving-children-endangers-children-highlands-ranch-1275865. 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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5Author
2Consumer
0Employee/Owner

#1 Author of original report

Follow Up

AUTHOR: - ()

 Thought I should follow up on my complaint and how it was resolved. At the end of December ASF released the "contract" back to the karate instructor. I'm not sure that this is normal procedure or not. I didn't know that till sometime later in January though. The karate instructor was texting me in January and claimed he was trying to help me and that I needed to pay ASF before they transferred the bill to their collections wing and completely out of his (the instructor's) control. That claim by the karate instructor was certainly laughable later, when ASF later told me they had returned the contract to the instructor and that they would no longer respond to me. But, I was still concerned I'd be sued by the instructor, something he alluded to. So I studied the so-called contract more closely. The contract gave rigid requirements to cancel (for example my son had to have a major injury or die) in order to cancel. These were quoted from Kentucky health spa laws. A light bulb then when on - the karate instructor was using health spa guidelines to bind my son to the contract...but was he licensed as a health spa? I researched the health spa laws and it made clear that a health spa MUST be licensed/registered, etc or any contracts would be considered void and contrary to public policy. From there I called the KY attorney general's office. I learned that the instructor's business was required to be licensed as a health spa...but was not currently licensed. I then got in contact with a lawyer who confirmed the contract was void. She wrote a cease and desist letter to the karate instructor - but the letter was returned as undeliverable (strange, huh?). But one morning when the instructor texted me again I told him how the contract was not legal. He seemed angry and freaked out on me initially, but I haven't heard from him since. I don't know if he knew he was supposed to be licensed and got caught in the act of forcing illegal contracts or not. I guess it's possible he didn't even know. I hope for now on ASF allows people to cancel from this guy's "contracts", because the contracts aren't legal. Moral to the story: just because the owners of a "contract" tell you you are bound to a contract doesn't mean you really are. Research every angle of the contract, check your state laws, etc. you may not be the "bad guy" for wanting to cancel - as they make you out to be. They may be willfully (or accidently), violating the law by trying to milk you for all they can through a void and illegal contract.

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#2 Author of original report

Chris and robert's argument

AUTHOR: - ()

 It's important to recognize the basis of Chris and Robert's argument. Here's a simple summary: "There's a piece of paper out there saying you will give us a lot of your money for the next two years! We don't care if your kid was suffering in this karate program! We don't care if other kids out there may be in a similar situation! We don't care if your child can no longer continue with the services! Give us thousands of dollars anyway because the paper says to! If you don't you are being responsible! To heck with your kid! WE WANT YOUR MONEY!" I know, I know. They'll accuse me of a childish rant. But, that's their argument. That's it. That's their passion. I must remind you, there's a bigger issue here. My own child is simply an example of a much bigger issue. For me, the money alone is simply a small part of a much bigger issue. My son's name appears on the document they speak of. If not, it'd certainly be a ridiculous document. It is a child contract. They don't care if the child receives the services or not. They don't care if the child even can receive the services or not. ASF only wants to rape your wallet. But, mark my words. There are and will be parents out there who feel pressured to push the continued participation of their child due to high financial pressure from ASF's ruthless tactics in pushing these child contracts. That puts children at risk. ASF makes their passion very clear. They want your money. To heck with your child. But, what's your passion? I hope it's the same as mine. Stand up for children's rights. Call your lawmakers to pass legislation ending these child contracts. If a karate school is good, they will continue to being in students. If a karate school is not good they will either have to improve or agility down. For kids, they will have needed protection in this ruthless world. As for ASF...well, to heck with ASF. We see their passion very clearly already.

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#3 Author of original report

Ruthless, but thin-skinned

AUTHOR: - ()

 Oh, Robert. Robert. You present such a narrow understanding of slavery. Such a narrow, 19th century antebellum America understanding of slavery. But that's a whole nother issue. Let's not deviate. Let's get on with this. Here we go.

1. I think Robert and Mr. Peterson both work at ASF. If not that, they definitely know each other. Their posts to this board occurred almost simultaneously. I know this because I was on this board off an on today (expecting Mr. Peterson to comment). I checked the board one moment, and no comments. I check the board a second time 5 minutes later and there they both are! :) The fact that they are employed with ASF hurts their credibility. They have to say these things.

2. Did you catch that a moment ago? I was waiting for Chris Peterson. How'd I know he'd show? Google him for a couple ours. Try various key words like "ASF Chris Peterson contract". There's all kinds of complaints about ASF and Mr. Peterson is there every time. He scours over these boards all over the Internet to loyally defend ASF. Part of his job is to defend ASF's honor by spinning the complaints against it. He's Mr. Spin.

3. Now, it's interesting that he recruited Robert to join him. That's out of character compared to the normal approach they take. It wreaks of desperation. Makes them seem panicked. They should be. What they do in relation to children is immoral and wrong.

4. In response to Robert's argument. Well, it's a bad argument. The basis of his argument is that I act like a child...and that its me who's failing to protect the children :) Let's move passed his 19th century American understanding of what slavery is. Flair for the dramatic? See Robert, you totally misunderstand. It's passion. I believe whole heartedly and with sincerity in what I am saying. I believe whole heartedly and sincerely that your company, ASF, is indifferent and negligent to children's rights and wellbeing. You plead and argue that I should blindly pay monthly for the next two years while I reject services for my son. But, see, you just don't get it, do you? This isn't about my personal wallet. My son's situation here is an example of s greater problem. Contracts like this, related to children, simply should not exist. Ever. I stated in my original post I will watch out and stand up for my son...we all know not all parents will recognize this. These contracts place pressure for parents to continue their child's participation due to this high pressure. Forgive Robert, though. He, and ASF are so blinded by the high profits that these child contracts bring to ASF he just simply can't see the bigger picture here. He's arguing, in the last paragraph, that my whole argument is simply a personal one. He can't see beyond money. He assumes that, for me, this is just about money and my personal wallet. But that argument correlates well with ASF. Nothing is more important than the money they "deserve", regardless of whether services are received or not. But my argument is beyond that. Yes, money is part of this story. But, there's so much more to it than what Robert seems capable of comprehending.

5. Mr. Peterson's argument is the same consistent argument he always makes. He likes to say my name a lot. It's either a sign that he's holding in anger, and that his buttons have successfully been pushed, or it just makes him feel powerful. Probably a little bit of both I imagine. I'm my above post I make clear why I signed the contract. I was naive. I'm a little embarrassed by that. But, it's true. I didn't realize the tenacious, hard core tactics or reality of it all...in relation to child contracts. Like Robert, Mr. Peterson can't seem to see past a simple disagreement in money alone. Can't seem to understand passion for children's rights. They view and interpret my argument in the best way they see things. Superficial money alone. Yes, money is a part of it. I won't repeat myself all night. Please read above carefully. I know it's a lot to read. But it's important. This is bigger than my personal wallet alone.

I'm the end, Google this stuff. It's all over the place. I was really surprised, at first, that a business would spend so much time responding to these complaints. You'd think they'd be more thick skinned and quietly stand by their services. But, that isn't so surprising though, is it? This is a shallow business. A thinned-skinned business. I will hand them this though. They took it a step further with me. With the clear tag-teaming efforts. It wreaks of desperation and frustration. And thin skin. I genuinely, and truly, believe that contracts related to minors - to young children - should be illegal in this nation. Spin it however you want, ASF, but that's the basis of my argument. ASF is clearly indifferent to the well being of children. To the point of negligence. For those reading this post. Look beyond Mr. Peterson and ASF staff/allies. It's their job to spin. They have a great deal of money at state in their ruthless drive to hold adults "accountable" in clear disregard for the rights of children. Call your congressmen. You senators. Members of your state legislature. Demand an end to these kind of contracts related to children. Defend children's rights.

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#4 Author of original report

Robert and Chris Peterson

AUTHOR: - ()

 I believe Robert and Chris Peterson are both with ASF - given the close proximity to both their posts in defense of ASF. That alone should ruin their credibility. That, and the fact that Robert seems to view slavery purely through the lens of 19th century America. Normally, based on these boards, only Mr. Peterson scours through these boards with his loyal spin for ASF. Having recruited Robert, I must assume a nerve has been struck. That makes them appear panicked and desperate. That should also ruin their credibility. Gentlemen, forget about the adults for a moment. Look at this through the eyes of children.

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#5 Author of original report

You are wrong

AUTHOR: - ()

 Wrong Mr. Peterson. My passion here is not with the individual contract pertaining to me and my son (who's name is also explicitly written on the contract). Yes, I want the contract ended - but my passion here far exceeds my family's individual circumstances with ASF. My passion here is with the very ethics of contracts related to minors, to children, with their involvement in such intimate and influential programs. I will not rewrite my above argument. Those who come to these posts, please read it closely. My own child serves as an example to what is an unethical practice that does, in fact, place considerable pressure on young children to participate in programs even when it has become clear that the program has a negative impact on that child. Forget about the adults here on this. This is about children's rights. There should NEVER be such extensive contracts in relation to children.

Chris Peterson, you are consistent and predictable. It's your job to defend your company, ASF. Anyone who visits this bored, spend an hour googling "Chris Peterson ASF karate" or similar key words. Mr. Peterson's job is to give spin on these boards, and similar complaint boards. He's done this so long, and so consistently that he has rendered his arguments moot and irrelevant. I emplor anyone who visits this board to write your state and federal lawmakers. Demand that contracts connected to children in these intimate programs be made illegal. This is about children, Mr. Peterson. That is a topic you have demonstrated, all over the Internet, that you have no concern for. Your reply, Mr. Peterson, only further demonstrates your indifference to the physical, emotional and academic well being of children.

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#6 Consumer Comment

Your report has more stretch than a rubber band..

AUTHOR: Robert - (USA)

I argue that contracts involving children are methods of entrapment, indenture and enslavement of a child and should absolutely never be allowed.

This is not some "child contract".  It is a Karate Lesson.  You aren't sending your child to the Cotton Fields in irons from dawn until dusk.  You don't have instructors marching children at gunpoint to go to a lesson.

You in fact have a simple dispute but with your "flair" for the dramatic, you have totally lost any credibility.

The fact is that YOU as the adult are supposed to not act like a child.  You had every opportunity to read the contract to see what you were signing. But YOU even by your own admission failed to do that.  So if anyone is failing to "protect" the children it is you.

If the lessons aren't working out for your child, then just stop going.  Again you aren't being forced to go.  Yes, it will cost you $150/month whether or not you go.  But if it is as bad as you say, why send him?  Are you saying that money is more important where because you have to pay you are willing to put your child what you think is at more risk?  

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#7 UPDATE Employee

Accountability

AUTHOR: Chris P - (USA)

Mr. Maynard signed a contract agreeing to pay for a membership for his child. We have been more than reasonable in trying to find a final resolve for Mr. Maynard.  We are not "enslaving" his child to a contract.  The only person responsible for the contract and the committment is Mr. Maynard.  He made the choice to put his signature on the agreement.  What did Mr. Maynard expect when he signed an agreement that specified a financial committment and a specific number of payments?  We have offered Mr. Maynard a couple of different options and in return he has done nothing but lay balme on everybody else but himself.  This is not a moral or ethics issue.  Simply put, it is a contractual issue that Mr. Maynard accepts zero responsibility for.  

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