Greens Karate / Scam and cheating
My daughter and I both signed a contract with Greens Karate to provide karate lessons to my granddaughter for the term of 30 Jun 07 through 30 Jun 08. There is nothing on my copy of my contract that indicates that this contract is actually with ASF International. The only business name on the contract is Green's Karate. I had set up payments with Greens Karate to be deducted from my bank account each month for payment.
Once the bank deductions started, the deduction was to ASF International for the amount that was to be paid to Greens Karate. When I asked Greens Karate about this, they said the actual payments and terms of the contract we had signed were with a company called ASF International.
At the end of March 2008 my granddaughter, my daughter and myself were moving from one area to another area due to my daughter's new job, which was 33.5 miles away from Greens Karate. Due to the pending move I asked Greens if it was possible to cancel our contract with them. They handed me a card referencing ASF International and their phone number for me to contact regarding cancellation requirements. My granddaughter's last class with Greens was 25 Mar 08. I called ASF and, only during this first call, they were very cordial and helpful with guiding me to their website to download the cancellation requirements and cancellation application, which I'd have to fill out and mail in to see if the cancellation would be approved. The requirements stated that 'if you move more than 25 miles from the site (Greens Karate) that you can apply for contract cancellation'. Since our move was more than that, I did the application along with a letter, copies of my new lease, and copies of utility bills to prove my move to them.
ASF's response was that I couldn't cancel the contract, even though I was the one paying the monthly payments for the karate class to them. According to them, since my daughter and I both had signed the contract, and since she was the Mother and her signature was first, she was the only one who could cancel the contract. They explained that I was a co-signer only. I explained repeatedly that due to personal situations, my daughter and granddaughter had been living with me since Oct 07 and that I was their sole support. I explained that my daughter didn't have any lease, utility bills, or anything currently in her name to prove to them that she had moved with me. But we decided to try the cancellation again as they requested. My daughter filled out her own cancellation application and submitted it along with copies of her pay stubs with our new address, and copies of her tax return with our new address.
ASF still responded that they would not cancel our contract. I had paid the month of Apr 08, even though my granddaughter had not attended any classes that month, but I saw no reason that we should continue paying since we met their requirements to have our contract canceled even though they said no to our applications. So I contacted my bank, who I found out in cases such as this they have a dispute department so I filed a complaint with them against ASF and they said they would stop any further deductions from my account to ASF. Once I did that and after ASF could no longer make deductions from my account, we began to get multiple bills and calls from ASF demanding payment for the rest of the contract. I did not pay them anything since I thought the bank was handling the situation. Later I found out that the bank doesn't really do anything in these situations but take the information and I don't know what they do with it but no action was taken on their part to alleviate this situation in any way.
So I decided to talk to the owner of Greens Karate who we had signed the contract with originally. He said he would call ASF and see what if anything he could do to help us because he saw no reason that we should continue to pay since it didn't make any sense to drive so far just to attend a karate class. I told him we would be willing to transfer the contract to a site in our local area, but had been told by ASF that they didn't have any locations in our local area that we could transfer this contract to, but he would talk to them about all of this. I never heard from him again. I finally called him a few weeks later and he said there was nothing he could do to help us. And yet during this conversation he told me that had I been active duty military and was being transferred from one base (i.e., Yorktown NWS) to another (i.e. Oceana NAS), that I would automatically have my contract canceled because of the distance and the orders. Since we had moved from Yorktown, VA to Virginia Beach, VA -- the same distance as he'd referenced -- it only made it clear that we should've been allowed to cancel our contract or at the least to transfer it. (I am retired military myself but the distance moved was still the same.)
My granddaughter wanted to continue with some form of martial arts, so one day we went looking at martial arts places in our new local area and whether they hold classes for 6 year olds. The very first place I went and talked to had classes for young children, but to put the icing on this cake of a situation, they did their billing and payments through ASF International, which completely contradicts ASF's claim that they had no where in Virginia Beach for us to transfer our contract to. I just walked out and we haven't talked to any other places since that day because it just goes to show all ASF wants is the money, and they don't care about honesty, integrity, or good customer service when dealing with their clientele.
Anyway, my daughter and I decided to pay the remaining two months of the contract (May & Jun 08) to ASF to try to stop the harassment. But even though the remaining two payments were made, ASF began billing us late fees and interest on those two payments. I finally resorted to consulting a lawyer about this situation. The lawyer basically just laughed at the ridiculousness of this situation. He basically said I should just ignore their bills and, if they should ever take me to court for the late fees, I should countersue for fraud since they did have other places in Virginia Beach that I could've transferred my contract and they lied to me about that. Also since we did meet the cancellation requirements of their web site, ASF doesn't have a leg to stand on regarding pursuing this situation in court because they would lose.
I have done nothing since Sep 08 regarding this situation. I am waiting to see if ASF ever contacts me again or if they ever try to put any derogatory information on my or my daughter's credit reports. Should ASF take any negative action toward either of us, I will fight them in court.
I am glad that I found this Rip Off site and all the other complaints against ASF. I now see that I'm not alone in this fight with them, which is some consolation. I can at least air my grievance and let others know what a rip off it is doing business with ASF or Greens Karate of Hampton VA. I am going to file a complaint with the BBB and the Attorney General of the State of VA and see if anything comes of this. I am also continuing checking out other martial arts centers in Virginia Beach and will complete a list of all of them that do their billing through ASF, just in case ASF ever does pursue a court case for the late fees.