Posted On:12/21/2007 8:13pm
Style: creonte on hiatus
It happened to me when I first started BJJ. I wasn't happy with the contract and the monthly $$$ (exhorbitant compared to anything else), so I walked away. Now, this is the thing regarding breaking a contract:
If you are paying directly to the school, chances are you can just walk away and call your bank saying you lost your credit card (this causes a new CD number issued to you while cancelling the old one... and causing the school to not being able to do the automatic pmts.)
However, if the school getting the automated pmts using a payment processing agency, then, when you try to pull the trick above, the agency may attempt to collect payments for the remainder of the contract. They may plague you for 6-10 months. And after that, they'll report the incident, making a dent on your credit score.
The later happened to me.
To the OP, talk to the school owner and just explain that you are not happy with the pmts and the cost and what you get in return anymore. Better to pay a heavy early-exit fee. And if you can't then you have to consider the risk of affecting your credit history. It's not going to devastate it, but you should be aware of it.
I'd rather bite that bullet than forking over $7,200 for the duration of the contract, $300 each painful month.
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Posted On:12/22/2007 8:39pm
I can't attest to Ernie Reyes's business practices or his skills as a martial artist. However, the billing company he uses is the same as a school I once attended. The billing company can be a bitch to deal with, but it's worth it to try.
If you want out of the contract, your best bet is to start with talking with whoever signed you up (the program director probably).
More than likely they'll direct you to call the billing company, who will remind you that you signed the contract, and blah blah blah. Tell them that you have spoken with other martial artists who are knowledgable in the MA that you want to train in. That your current school is not what you thought it would be.
The nicer you are, the more they'll push you into fullfilling the contract. The more you bitch, the more likely they are to give you an opt out. (It will still cost you)
If you try the "cancel your credit card" thing, they will send you to collection and it will hit your credit report. If you TRULY want out of the contract, you have to make as much trouble for the school as possible. Otherwise, your stuck. That's what the contract and billing company is designed to do. Buyer beware and all the jazz. Good luck.
Posted On:12/22/2007 10:53pm
Style: Judo, BJJ
What about a medical excuse to get out of the contract? Could one get a doctor to write a letter stating a medical reason to stop participating in martial arts?
Posted On:12/24/2007 3:09pm
Style: Grappling & Lifting
Most MMA places have that policy - and I'd imagine almost any MA school with +3 month contracts would too.
You'd probably have to pay a little to get out of the contract, but it wouldn't make much sense to sign a contract with no way out when injury is a serious possibility - as is the MA tendency. Then again, most people don't read what they sign...
If it's a legit excuse or one that's beyond chronic congestion I'm sure they'd be okay with it...again, if the contract allows for that sort of thing.
Posted On:12/25/2007 4:27am
Well, I had a long chat with the main instructor over the phone yesterday. I told him what was on my mind, asked about the contract, basically everything here. I got out of the contract by paying an "I quit fee".
I'm completely done with the whole situation, I got out of the contract clean, I learned from my mistakes and know what to look for while looking for a martial art now. Thanks for all the help guys. :)
Posted On:12/25/2007 11:27pm
Arne, let us know what you do next. It'll be interesting to see where you go from here.
Until then, money in your pocket, right?
Posted On:12/26/2007 11:05am
Originally Posted by Arne
Well, turns out I signed a 2 year contract. **** me.
Yes, **** you indeed. ****, dude. You gotta start working your way out of that before you spend way more money than you have to.
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