07/11/2009Provided by Citysearch -
we started our 4 year old here about 6 months ago.
the main problem is with their shady pay-by-subscription methods. at first they wanted us to sign up for 1 year. i said no, then they said they could do 6 months which i fell for.
what they did not make clear was that it was a subscription, and i was actually signing an auto-withdrawal contract. worse yet, it required 30 days prior notice to cancel. i called to cancel prior to the next 6-month set of sessions to find i was too late to cancel, and costing me another $800 that i can not afford.
i have no doubt that the 4-page contract i signed spelled this all out, but the owner DID NOT make it clear what was going on. i fully thought that i was paying for one 6-month session.
the racket, and i've seen it many times after it was done to me, is that the owner does a 1-1 evaluation with your child. he's VERY good with kids and makes your child feel very excited about continuing. then he gives you the sales pitch, which of course you can't turn down because now your child is excited about attending. even if you have second thoughts, you've just signed a contract so too late.
the question is, what's wrong with just letting people pay for the services they want? the answer is the same as for many other shady businesses ... they are relying on people forgetting to cancel, or being ignorant of the contract (like me), or just being lazy, to make their money instead of simply providing a good service that keeps people coming back.
the owner himself has nothing to do with the instruction of your child. it's taught exclusively by high school (junior high?) age kids. to be fair these instructors are quite good with the children, but don't get the idea that your child will be under the tutelage of a martial arts expert.
as for the service itself, at the 4 year old level anyway, it's basically semi-organized play time. the program has nothing to do with martial arts at this level. save yourself the money and let your child play at the playground for an hour.