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Karate AmericaCancel contract military orders

I am moving to Italy, my wife just got military orders there.

I talked with my instructor and he gave me a number to talk to Karate America to notify them of my cancelation. This seems like a simple process.

I called them and told them my wife got orders to Italy and asked what paper work I would need to send them. They told me to send a copy of the military orders and a letter stating that I wanted to cancel and to sign it. I did all that and got a letter back saying that they need a phone bill, electric bill, or a new drivers license from Italy.

I don't know if anyone has moved out of country, especially with the military, but there is a lot of work involved in the move. Who wants to have to think of sending paperwork back for proof of move, and who knows how many times I would have to send the paperwork. Seeing how I already sent them what they asked for once already for my cancelation.

Karate America Headquarters is giving me 2 weeks to get over there, and give them proof that I'm living over there.

I'm a military vet and am insulted by them insinuating that I am not actually moving.

These people are far from customer friendly or military friendly. Now I have to go to my legal office on base and have them contact Karate America just to get my contract canceled.

Extremely disappointed in how Karate America treats the military. I offered other proof of my move, like sending a copy of my current apartment lease contract which is being canceled. I have medical paperwork, I'm selling my car, I have vetrenarian records...

It is funny that my apartment just needed a copy of my wife's orders to cancel the lease. I'm sure they could have told me that they did not have proof that I was also moving. I'm sure they could have threated that we would get some kind of penalty charge for me not proving I'm moving with my wife.

How many married couples have 1 person move to Italy for 3 years, while the other person stays in the U.S. for 3 years. Obviously they don't realize that military couples spend as much time as they can together when not deployed.

Anyways thanks again Karate America for giving military families a hard time. Good luck to anyone trying to cancel their contract on military orders.

I would love to see how they would treat a child moving on military orders, it is going to be real hard for the child to prove that they are moving with their parents.


  • Ka
    Karate America Employee Feb 10, 2011

    We understand the student’s frustration, and we feel for his stress at moving to another country. Much work must be involved in that large a transition.

    We did receive the referenced orders and have reviewed them to find the signer’s name does not appear on them and that there is no specific reference to a family moving with the military personnel. Unfortunately, military orders for someone else do not serve to prove move. It is policy that the move of the signer and/or student must be proven. The name on the orders does not appear on the membership, neither as student nor as signer, and there is no mention in the orders of the name of the person on the membership.

    In order to assist the student, we have offered to place a hold on the March payment to give him plenty of time to acquire proof of move for himself. This will allot him two months—from February 15th to April 15th—not two weeks as stated in the complaint. We understand the pressure he must be feeling with moving out of the country, and we are willing to work with him to make it as fair a process as possible. The membership does not require us to offer this freeze of payment.

    The student did offer other documentation to prove his move. Unfortunately, anything he offered was not going to show to where he was moving. A cancelled lease could simply mean he was moving his apartment within Jacksonville. His apartment management was probably able to cancel his lease because his wife was surely listed on the lease as a tenant. (If her name appeared on his membership with us as the student, we would be able to accept the orders as proof.)

    We hope we can come to an amicable understanding, and we wish the student luck in Italy.

    Karate America

    -1 Votes
  • Ja
    Jax Navy Vet Feb 14, 2011

    The military orders state that the arrival date for my wife is March 30th.

    Due to my wife just returning from a nine month deployment from Afghanistan in January the military paperwork for our move is behind schedule. My military spouse passport is in the process now.

    If the passport does not arrive by the end of March, then I will have to leave a week or two after she leaves. So I will have no permanent address for those couple weeks until I arrive in Italy.

    My instructor also had worked with me on 2 weeks of additional training at the end of my contract from a vacation that I had taken earlier in the year.

    So Karate America was good enough to offer to place my March 15th payment on hold, but technically if my contract is ending March 15th and I have two weeks additional training, that puts the hold on payments down to 2 weeks. The hold would be from March 29th to April 15th.

    The saddest part is they are giving me a hard time over a couple months of payments. My contract is over on I believe May 5th with them anyways. We're talking about like $300.

    0 Votes
  • Ka
    Karate America Employee Feb 14, 2011

    I am the employee who wrote the response. I am extremely upset that the response has offended anyone, especially a former member of our military. That was, absolutely, not my intent.

    Unfortunately, being a business, we must follow protocol, just like the military. We want to help the student with his transition as much as possible—which is why we are willing to offer the freeze of payment in order to give him time to acquire the necessary documentation.

    Normally, we do accept military orders as proof of move. We cancel memberships for military personnel who are moving on almost a daily basis. This circumstance just happens to be peculiar. I have had several other people read through the orders, and none of us has found anything that specifies that the transferring member of the military is bringing anyone, let alone the membership signer. If it is possible for something from the military to be provided to us that would show that the signer of the membership was being moved with her, we would be happy to cancel the membership immediately. Unfortunately, what has been provided offers no link what so ever between the person on the orders and the membership signer. The last names are even different. (We received only orders, no marriage license.) We are only asking for what is specified in the membership—which was agreed upon by the student: “legitimate verification of the move.”
    Having talked to the instructor who has taught the student and being told that he is a nice man, I personally believe everything the student has told me, but unfortunately, that does not give me the ability to brush aside standard procedure. I am hoping whoever reads this will understand the predicament we are in with this particular circumstance. We very much want to help the student and be able to put this behind us, but we have to follow the same rules that we do for everyone.

    Also, please remember we have no motivation to give the student a hard time. As I have already mentioned, we are willing to freeze the March payment in order to give the student plenty of time (two months) to acquire proof of move. If we are not making money off this, we have no reason to purposefully be difficult. Personally, I would prefer to be able to put this behind me.

    I hope to be able to resolve this quickly, for both the student’s benefit and my own.

    Karate America Employee

    0 Votes
  • Ja
    Jax Navy Vet Feb 14, 2011

    The second time I called Karate America Headquarters, after I had given them the original paperwork they asked for, I offered different forms of documentation including a letter from my legal services to prove I am moving.

    In the second phone call and in a letter they told me the only proof they could accept was a bill from Italy with my name on it.

    I am happy to send any kind of paperwork possible to show I am moving, just I had offered before. If they want me to, I can even try to get a list of contacts on the Navy Base for Karate America to call to prove I am moving.

    If Karate America Headquarters can be more specific on what documents they would accept, then I am happy to give them the paperwork. I do not mind running over to the Navy Legal Office to have them write a letter to verify that I am moving, as I offered before.

    My wife and I do have different last names. We were both in the Navy and never changed our names, this was over 6 years ago.

    At the begining of my cancellation, when I sent the copy of my wife's military orders to Karate America, they made the process of cancellation sound simple. At no point until now did they mention that they were questioning my marriage. I can understanding wanting proof of marriage, and am happy to send a copy of my marriage license.

    I will send the copy of the marriage license with any other documentation that they want, if someone from Karate America Headquarters will just tell me what paperwork they would accept, then I will happily send all the paperwork to them.

    I just would rather finish my cancellation while in Jacksonville and not have to try to cancel the contract once in Italy.

    I am thankful for my instructor's support. I had a great time working out with him and training with him. It was a lot of fun and wish I could continue to train with him.

    I would love to resolve this as quickly as possible as well, just tell me what my options are.

    0 Votes
  • Ka
    Karate America Employee Feb 16, 2011

    I did ask the student to send a copy of his orders, initially thinking the orders were for himself, and when I realized they were for his wife, I assumed they would contain something within that would specify her husband was travelling with her. I apologize for having made that assumption.

    When the student first made the offer of sending a letter from his lawyer, I did not know the lawyer was with the navy. If the student can offer official documentation from the Navy showing that he is moving with his wife, we would accept it as proof of move. I am not in the Navy and, therefore, do not know exactly what kind of documentation could be acquired. As long as it is official Navy paperwork and specifies that the student is moving to Italy, we would accept it.

    Having said that (making sure our policy on military moves is clear), I am happy to report that I have talked to the membership board, and having spoken with the instructor, they have decided to cancel the membership. The instructor verified that, to the best of his knowledge, the student is married to the person named on the orders, that the student had told him about the move previously, and that he trusts the student is being truthful. This is not something Karate America usually does, but the membership board has decided the military orders will suffice, given that we have the instructor’s word. The cancellation paperwork will be sent to the student’s home today, 2/16/11.

    We want to thank the student for being a member of the Karate America family and wish him and his family luck in Italy. Also, we thank the family for their service to our country.

    Karate America Employee

    1 Votes
  • Ja
    Jax Navy Vet Feb 17, 2011

    Two questions.

    First the letter sent to me Feb. 16th states that "If your account is on automatic withdrawal, it can take up to thirty days to stop draft. If your payment is due inside of 30 days from when this headquarters receives this signed letter with any payment, it may be drafted and we will not refund you the payment."

    So since you sent the letter a day after you took out my Feb 15th payment, does this mean you can charge me the March 15th payment on top of the $150 cancellation fee? Adding up to $300 total.

    Sencond question. I have two payments left on my contract. March 15th and April 15th. My contract ends May 3rd. would I get charged for the full payment on April 15th, or would you only take a part of that payment since my contract is over May 3rd? If you took both full payments that would be $300 as well.

    0 Votes
  • Ka
    Karate America Employee Feb 21, 2011

    We have already addressed your concerns. Please give me a call to finalize the cancellation and to discuss any further questions you may have.

    Karate America Employee

    0 Votes
  • Na
    NavyVet87 Apr 27, 2011

    Karate America knows it's customer service policies suck which is why the try so hard on these comments to try and "prove the customer wrong." What branch of the military was this "karate america employee" in? None I bet. Just another civilian with a "support our troops" bumper sticker doing everything he or she can to screw the military out of their money. If the orders are "accompanied" orders then YES MILITARY ORDERS DO MEAN THE SPOUSE IS MOVING TOO. I find it strange an apartment complex would break it's lease without hesitation but you idiots at KA wouldn't.

    -Navy Veteran

    0 Votes
  • Ka
    Karate America Employee May 02, 2011

    I would again like to clarify that Karate America did not benefit monetarily from the circumstance previously discussed. We froze the student’s payments in order to give him time to obtain proof of move, as he agreed to provide when he signed his membership. We were not required to freeze payments. We did it solely to assist the student.

    The orders did not specify accompaniment. I personally read the orders in their entirety. I also had several of my coworkers review them to be sure I had not missed something. None of us found anything remotely connected to the membership signer. As I had mentioned, the military personnel and the membership signer did not even have the same last name. We had no evidence that they were connected in any way, let alone that the signer was accompanying the military personnel to Italy.

    As for the apartment complex breaking the lease, again, the military personnel was, surely, listed on the lease, if not as the primary signer, then certainly as an occupant. The orders would likely be enough to break the lease in that circumstance. Unfortunately, we did not have the same circumstance. I wish we had. It would have been a much easier situation.

    I hope this helps clear up any confusion.

    Karate America Employee

    -1 Votes
  • Ga
    Gatorzone Mar 14, 2012

    I can tell you, from this story alone I would never join Karate America. It is hard to imagine the hassle they put this man and his wife through. Transfer orders should be enough to document that a member is leaving. Soldiers are generally not transferred within the same city, so it should not matter where they are going, just that they are. Quite frankly, it is not their business where they are going. That is probably why they were let out of their lease with no problem, regardless of who was on the lease.

    Following policy and doing the right thing might not be the same. This man had a document that showed the woman named was transferring. The fact that he had the document is near solid proof of his claim, why else would he have it in his possession? The fact that their last names were not the same is irrelevant. I was married also and we did not change our names either. In the military, it is a pain to go through all that and retain your identity and familiarity. Many people wait till they get out to change their names and some never do. He said it was his wife, end of story. There should be no questioning, interrogation or proof necessary.

    I can only speculate that had this been an unmarried partnership or same sex couple, KA might have held the member hostage indefinitely. Marriage is only a piece of paper and people do have long lasting and permanent relationships that are equally important. They should not have to be married to move together. If the contract protects only married couples, then they need to get with the times and change that language. Even though this member was married, if the contract was more comprehensive, then he would not have had to prove that he was.

    If I had been this member, I would have canceled my method of payment. If KA wanted to sue for the remainder, then they would have to get extradition from Italy. I doubt any judge would rule in favor of a company that was so unpatriotic and one to take money from people who were unable to take advantage of the company services. This is just an example of why not to sign up for any service that has a cancellation fee. They make plenty on your membership while you are using their service. There is no logical reason to pay them for nothing. I left a gym that had one after my year was up and moved to one that doesn’t hold their members hostage with a contract. I can leave anytime and go back anytime. That is the way to keep your members happy, not by arguing with them.

    0 Votes

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