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#335074 - 02/28/07 06:53 PM Re: Contracts made by schools [Re: Sorin]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5844
Loc: USA

I'd like to see the redacted version.

Once you get it fully whited out that is.
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

#335075 - 03/01/07 01:21 AM Re: Contracts made by schools [Re: cxt]
Sorin Offline

Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 131
Loc: Oxford, MS
Ok, let's try this once again. I uploaded it a little too quickly the first time without getting rid of all of the names. It should now have any name or reference to the school or persons in charge blocked out and all of the information has been erased except for the payment part, so you can see just how much was being charged. Looking at it, I have to say that the monthly fee is significantly more then I've seen or been charged at even some very high quality schools, not to mention the "down payment", but I'll let you guys see what you think about it.


#335076 - 03/01/07 02:24 PM Re: Contracts made by schools [Re: Sorin]
JohnL Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 03/24/03
Posts: 4309
Loc: NY, NY, USA
Hey Sorin


If this is the only document you have signed it is a fairly loose agreement. It is basically signing over the payments to a finance company which is bad, but the good point is that it doesn't refer to any RULES which you have to conform to. As such, many of CXT's suggestions come in to play.

The only contractural element I found which may be worth pursuing is;

They are clearly a Taekwondo school. In fact in point 5 they state that the payments cover taekwondo training only. However, in the programs you may participate in, they have ticked Cardio Karate.

I would take a couple of Cardio Karate classes (if you know a karate friend who can come and watch, so much the better) and then question the instructors qualifications to instruct. You could question what style he does, what rank, and which organization he got his KARATE grades under. Chances are, he's a taekwondo guy rather than a karate guy and if so they may be guilty of misrepresentation.

If they say, Oh he's a TKD guy but it's the same as karate, it isn't.

If they have misrepresented themselves, you need to go into writing stating so. It's going to be a fight, but hey, if you're going to have a fight have a good one.

$7,795 for 3 years!!

That's $2,598 a year.!!!

That's $216 a month!!!

(And gradings are on top!!!)

That's a ridiculus rate and I live in New York!!!

Other people may have other suggestions, but let us know how it goes.

Good luck.
John L

#335077 - 03/02/07 03:05 PM Re: Contracts made by schools [Re: Sorin]
WarblyDoo Offline

Registered: 03/15/06
Posts: 24
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Interesting how not only to you sign away your right to sue but also the right of your guests to sue should they be injured in the class. As far as I know you cannot give that sort of tacit approval unless you hold power of attorney over your guest, which is unlikely. I know in my school I require even drop ins to sign a waiver directly even though serious injuries are incredibly rare (one broken leg on one of our more "intense" regular students in the 4 years I have been teaching) never an injury to a guest. So if they are not requiring your friend's guests to sign a waiver possibly the threat of a countersuit over a "twisted ankle" would be effective. That being said it would be a bluff as taking it to court could get them charged with fraud, unless of course the friend is willing to break their leg or arm for them.

#335078 - 03/02/07 03:38 PM Re: Contracts made by schools [Re: JohnL]
Sorin Offline

Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 131
Loc: Oxford, MS
I agree. It doesn't list the behavior of the student, so CXT's suggestions would be pretty good. I would love to see the instructor's reaction.

The money they're charging is extreme. And it's not located in a large city like New York. It's population probably doesn't exceed 40,000 at most. It makes me think that when the day comes for me to have my own school, I would never want to use contracts. That's a good ways off, but I certainly would love to teach once I'm out of college and have secured a job and such. Contracts just don't seem like a fair way to get students. It ties them down and forces them to stay and pay. I think a teacher should want to teach first and foremost. Using a contract makes it seem like you think of money first. Just my Opinion. I'll post an update it anything happens.


joke of the day
A guy walks into a Judo school to take Judo lessons, but he lost his left arm in an accident.
He asks the teacher if it's possible for him to still learn judo with just one arm. The teacher
looks him over and then smiles. He says, yes, I can teach you. He shows the man one move
and tells him to practice for the rest of class. The next class, the young man expects to learn
something new, but the teacher tells him to practice the move he learned the last class. This
happens for the next few classes and the young man starts getting frustrated until one day
when the teacher walks in and tells him that he will compete in a competition the following
week. The young man says "That's impossible! I've only learned one move." The teacher
smiles and tells him "you'll do fine" The next week, the young man enters the competition
and to his surprise, wins his first match with ease. And the second. He goes all the way
to win the finals. At the end, he goes up to his instructor and says: "How did I win, when
I only know one move?" The Instuctor smiles and says to him, "That's because the only
counter to that move is to grab the opponent's left arm.

#335079 - 03/02/07 07:27 PM Re: Contracts made by schools [Re: Sorin]
haze Offline

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 106
Loc: Syracuse NY USA
You could possibly get out of the contract on a medical reason. If a doctor states that you are no longer fit to take said classes. Neck injury/pain, back pain, any kind on nerve problems related to the legs, heart, high blood pressure, there are a million reasons. Do you have any friends that are doctors?

#335080 - 03/03/07 02:07 AM Re: Contracts made by schools [Re: Sorin]
IRKguy Offline

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 56
I'm tempted to say your friend is screwed, since a good lawyer might cost more than the price if the contract. However, if you have a law school nearby, you can get a team of law students working for her for nothing. They might be enough of a nuisance to make the contract-holder drop the case, especially since it seems your friend has no assets to claim, even if the dojang won. It's not a suit worth defending. If she can't pay her dojo tuition, she definitely is not worth suing.

I'm sure the contract-holder has a formula for deciding how worthwhile these contracts are. It's probably a formula based on how deep the pockets are (empty) versus how much effort it would take to enforce the contract (much) multiplied by the hourly rate of their lawyers and debt collectors (more than the payoff). She might have to pay them off, but nowhere near the value of the contract. The bigger of a pain she is and the less she can pay, the less she will have to pay. Bringing in law students will just make her a bigger pain. For every hour the students waste, they're getting college credit. For every hour the company brings in professionals, they are losing money in billable hours.

They could just put a notice on her credit report and hope to be paid someday. Unless she's looking to buy a house or get a security clearance, they will not see anything soon. They know that. They just need to know that she knows it too.

I ordered some stuff from Century for my dojo a couple years ago and for about a year got magazines all about how to squeeze more money out of my students. It disgusted me. Maybe I'm biased, being from a free, nonprofit dojo, but I'm always nauseated by the business end of it. When your friend gets free of the dojang, she might start looking for the nonprofit dojos. There are a lot of us out there, and there's a difference between an instructor who looks at you as a student and one who looks at you as $.

#335081 - 03/03/07 08:47 PM Re: Contracts made by schools [Re: Sorin]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
pretty cool...always wondered what those things look like.

#335082 - 03/05/07 11:15 AM Re: Contracts made by schools [Re: Sorin]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5844
Loc: USA

I really don't like the wording--seems a nearly perfect example of a contract set-up to be sold to a 3td party.

I also note that "membership prices are subject to change at the discression of the academy."
I'd be curious to know why a contractual document would have that little line in it---presumably one signs a contract to lock in a specific amount for given period of time.
Not being a legal pro, I would question its inclusion--why would it be there?---And its enforcabilty in any case.
Just seems weird to me.

Also not a fan of the automatic withdrawl--too many things that could go wrong there.

Clause 4 also worries me as well--in effect it states that if any PART of the contract should be deemed unenforceable--perhaps a portion of it might be found inconsistant with local/state regs--then the rest of it is STILL actionable.
To my mind this would strongly imply that the issuer KNOWS sections of the contract are "questionable" under the local legal system.

I'd also guess that they want the information on the "nearest relative not living with you" is because in a collge town, people are transitory and they need the info to maybe track your friend down.
Could be just boilerplate--but it kinda bothers me.

I've seen MA contracts that ask for the make/model number and licesense plate of your car as well as contact information on your employer.
Overall, this is a really good example or a really bad contract for people to sign for training.

The biggest "red flag" however is no mention is made of how to canceal the contract if you move, graduate etc.

The $200 a month sounds really bad by itself.

There does not seem however any contractual means to prevent your friend from taking some of the actions suggested on this thread.

My guess is that the school onwer has already sold off the paper to 3td party--thus they would have return some of the monies THEY have been paid for the contract.
That would make it a bit more problematic---if he canceals the contract he/she just is not out future monies--they will have return what they have already been paid--or a percentage--depending on THIER contract with whomever bought the paper.

As was suggested above--you might run the contract by the legal dept of the school you go to.

Also you might contact the school paper and perhapsa local paper as well.

See if they will run a story on the predatory business practices of the school/owner.
Chances are pretty good that the school and local communitry send a lot of business to that location---fellow students and communtiy might thank you for informing them of the dangers of doing business with this person.

Perhpas a future reporter could go undercover and see what they are being told--have them ask about how they could get out of the contract if they need to ---see what they are being told.

Poor customer relations and poor business practice make it hard for the whole business community.

Edited by cxt (03/05/07 11:20 AM)

#335083 - 03/07/07 09:21 PM Re: Contracts made by schools [Re: cxt]
Sorin Offline

Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 131
Loc: Oxford, MS
All very good suggestions. I don't care for the language of the contract either. It's not very fair for the student. It
doesn't give them any openings to get out of it, but it also doesn't state a lot of other things, which would certainly
make some of the suggestions here not a breach of contract. I'll pass on everything and see what she thinks. She said
she was going to have a friend ,who does all of the legal stuff for her army reserve unit, look into it when she gets
the chance. Hopefully this issue can be resolved. Thanks for the advice and suggestions.


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