Do not sign a contract with Mastery Martial Arts in Rhode Island or any of its locations in Smithfield, Cranston, Warwick, Centerdale, North Smithfiled, or its newest location in Cumberland. The company is also known as East West Karate. Beware that if you contract with them, and you ever have to get out of it, even through its clauses, you will not get your money back.
As it relates to this business, Mastery Martial Arts (formerly East West Karate), and its various locations in Rhode Island, I will relate the specifics of what happened to us.
In July of 2010 we signed a 36 month contract for our children to enroll in martial arts lessons at Mastery. The contract amount was $5,400. We paid $2700 up front and were to make 10 monthly payments of $270 from September 2010 through June 2011. The agreement specified the $270 would be debited the 5th of each month. The agreement also contained a RELOCATION CLAUSE which specified that if we relocated past 40 kilometers we would be due a refund of the unused portion minus a 30% penalty.
In May 2011 I secured employment out-of-state and notified the owner that we requested a refund per the relocation clause. I also asked that they not take out the June payment of $270. Based on the agreement we would be due $3,530 minus the 30% fee for a total of $2,471. On the afternoon of May 31st the Business Manager called and stated that my numbers looked fine and they only needed confirmation of my new employment. I provided this. She assured us that they would not debit the June (5th) payment of $270 from our checking account.
On June 8th the Business Manager called back with a different message. She said that since we were given a discounted membership rate we would get nothing back. This was the first I had ever heard of a discounted rate and I told her that we were never advised of a discounted rate; the signed agreement did not specify that we received a discount; and, regardless, there was not even a provision in the agreement that stated discounted memberships rendered the relocation clause null and void.
To make matters worse, Mastery Martial Arts debited $270 from our checking account the afternoon of June 8th. As this was an unauthorized debit our bank pursued the matter and we received the money back in our account. The bank also put a stop payment to prevent Mastery Martial Arts in Rhode Island from trying to take additional funds from our accounts.
Mastery Martial Arts has tried to state their position that they are not responsible for missed lessons, etc. and these excuses are utter nonsense. What they are doing is trying to defelect the fact that they breeched the contract, and have no way to get around that. Unfortunately for them, they cannot confuse lawyers and the legal system.
Please beware: do not sign a contract with Mastery if you think you may ever move (before the terms of the contract are finished) and/or you or your children may not complete the program. Remember, if you have a contract and ever stop attending Mastery, even if it is allowable through the contract, put a stop-payment with the bank so Mastery Martial Arts cannot continue debited from your account.
Additionally, some of the locations have stated that all gear has to be purchased from Mastery Martial Arts. Please check with a lawyer as I have been advised that unless it was specified in your contract, you do not have to buy gear and equipment from them.
In short, I had the relocation clause in my contract breeched by Mastery Martial Arts in Rhode Island. This is the grounds for my pursuing things against this business, and they cannot try to confuse the facts with me. DON'T LET THEM DO IT WITH YOU. There are so many fine martial arts academies in Rhode Island with honesty and integrity. Do yourself a favor and check them all out.