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Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI)  - Complained to padi of america about sexual harassment and poor quality training, now padi refuses to issue me my owd and aowd cards

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I went to Funny Divers of Hurghada, Egypt and did the Open Water diver and Advanced Open Water Diver. According to their instructor, I passed the classes and were given a temporary paper cards (good for 90 days) and told to mail in a green paper to Padi to get my plastic cards.

I experienced sexual harassment by their Padi divemaster during my class. There was an Asian tourist on the boat, and the Padi divemaster kept goinig up to me asking if I liked her. I never spoke to the Asian tourist, and I told the Padi divemaster I didn't like her and for him to stop. He kept persisting that day on the boat. Several times he would point at her and make faces at me asking if I liked her. Because I'm Asian, I believe he was trying to imply I liked this other Asian person.

On the last day of Advanced Open Water Diver, the Padi Divemaster kept telling me he loved me and that made me feel uncomfortable due to the history of sexual harasment that occurred prior. He was doing it in a mocking way, and I told him before to stop.

After getting both my Padi paper cards, I thought about the classes I took, and felt that the training was poor quality and sexual harassment was unacceptable. I contacted Padi's Quality Assurance email, and informed them of the situation. I informed Padi, things were skipped in my class with funny divers like freeflow reulator breathing, and the orange inflatable, etc. I told Padi, I paid a different dive center/Padi instructor to do dives with and had 39 dives now to learn things that were skipped. Padi wanted to hold off on granting me my cards after my complaints of sexual harassment and poor quality training. They wanted to tell them in writing that I was a confident diver. I told Padi I wasn't an instructor, and I refuse to answer if I am a confident diver or not as they don't ask any other students if they are a confident diver to get their padi cards processed. I have over 30 dives and although I was a confident diver, I felt that I didn't have to answer that question to them because they might use it as some sort of legal liability waiver for themselves, and no other student is asked this question in order to get their Padi cards. I told them I refuse to answer the question. During this time, I was also emailing the Padi CEO Drew Richardson.

I spoke to Johnny Wetzstein the Training Director of Padi of America and he promised Padi diving cards processed and mailed. Johnny reviewed my student packet from the instructor and thought it looked satisfactory. I asked Johnny if my cards were going to be processed and he said yes. After he verbally agreed to process the cards, I told him now I can proceed more with my complaints as I didn't want to proceed any further until that happened as I was fearful of them retiallating against me if I complained more. I gave Johnny ideas of how to improve quality assurance. I felt that I needed to tell him the things that were wrong with the class as feedback to help him improve. This conversation was on May 7. It didn't appear Mr. Wetzstein cared about the sexual harassment and he seemed defensive about my suggestion to help Padi improve by having students initial skills instead of only having instructors check it off. After the conversation, I emailed Padi audio recording of sexual harassment from the dive master and writing down some of the things I told him in the conversation as Mr. Wetzstein stated that Padi needed it in writing.

The next day on May 8, Padi's legal affairs manager Stephanie DeVore emailed me, "Despite what Mr. Clements and Mr. Wetzstein had indicated previously, PADI cannot process your Open Water and Advanced Open Water certifications due to your continued written assertions that you were not properly trained and, by your own admission, you do not feel confident in the skills required to become a PADI certified diver. PADI takes great pride in upholding high training standards and safety practices and due to the deficiencies and inadequacies in your training, we urge you to seek out a dive center and instructor to help you accomplish your goal of becoming a certified diver and fill in the gaps in your training and skills."

My response was: Matt stated he noticed I have completed a "substantial number of dives and days with another PADI instructor/Centre."  He asked me if I feel confident that my concerns have been covered, and mentioned before I submit the PIC cards, that I need to be confident in my skills."

My response was that I am not going to evaluate myself to Padi because doing so will minimize Padi liability.  I am not an instructor, and evaluating myself is not my job.  Nowhere in the manuals or PIC does it say one needs to be confident in their diving ability before submission.  I simply REFUSED to answer the question.  I never said after doing my dives with the other Padi instructor/Dive center I was not confident of my ability.  I simply refused to answer the question as I refuse to give PADI a legal waiver.

I never stated I am NOT confident of my diving ability after doing 39 logged dives (dives 12-39 with the other company).  I refuses to answer the question as this is not a routine question or stipulation to ask other students when completing a PADI class.

I responded back and also followed up about the sexual harassment by emailing, "I don't recall Johnny ask me about the sexual harassment I experienced or make any apologies in the conversation.  Why didn't a Quality director care about sexual harassment with a Padi certified dive master?"

Stephanie DeVore replied back, "It has become abundantly clear that any further communications between us will not result in your satisfaction.  It also appears that your certification as PADI diver would not be in our mutual best interest.  The countless emails you have sent to PADI cannot justify the time and resources that have been used in an effort to ensure your safety and wellbeing if you are to be certified.  Therefore, I have been authorized to cease all further communication with you and you will no longer receive any responses from PADI."

I complained about sexual harassment and the quality of training received. Despite being promised my diving cards, not only has Padi refused to issue it, Padi legal also emailed me that they cannot justify the time and resources to communicate further with me and I won't receive any responses from Padi. I take it that I'm not worth the time. After that email, I posted a video of the conversation to warn others about why you shouldn't trust Padi.

The video is

Update by Boycott Padi
May 12, 2021 9:32 am

Stephanie DeVore told me that "PADI cannot justify the time and resources" and she also said "Therefore, I have been authorized to cease all further communication with you and you will no longer receive any responses from PADI." This sounds a lot like she doesn't want to spend any time responding the me about sexual harassment complaint and poor training complaint or make things right.

If you are looking for a lawyer, maybe you reconsider hiring her. because what kind of valid response is that to asking about the call with Johnny and why he didn't ask me about the sexual harassment directed at me? I guess if you complain about sexual harassment, Stephanie don't have the time to communicate with you anymore.

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Update by Boycott Padi
May 12, 2021 9:30 am

Here is a screenshot from a website that confirms she is a laywer.

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