Customer claims combative relationship with instructor

Customer claims combative relationship with instructor

COMPLAINT: Raushanah Clarke, New Albany, Ohio

"My son went to J&B's ATA Black Belt Academy in Columbus for taekwondo lessons. When James Hayman took over the school, our son, Malik Clarke, had been taking lessons there for about two years. Before Hayman owned the school, we purchased a multi-year membership at an exclusive price.

"At that time, Hayman was the school's recruiter and he and the previous owner agreed to the terms of the five-year contract. When Hayman purchased the school, he also inherited the contracts. Hayman began expressing to us and other families that he had gotten a bad financial deal [since purchasing the school] and wasn't very happy. It seemed as if he frowned upon the families who had paid in advance because he wasn't making a monthly revenue.

"His attitude seemed very disrespectful and he would make mean remarks to my son. He threatened to make my son run more laps than the other children if he was 10 minutes late. He even threatened to take my son's belt. We only stuck around because we had already paid for five years upfront.

"The final straw was when Hayman yelled at me for tapping on the window while outside on a phone call. I tried to explain to him that I just lightly tapped on the window to get my child's attention. We got into an argument where I voiced my opinion and he just laughed me off. I haven't heard from him since."

DESIRED RESOLUTION: "I wish to receive a refund for the remaining years on my contract."

COMPANY RESPONSE: Kevin Cole, chief instructor and new owner

"I wasn't present at the time the conflict occurred and have been trying to contact the members since I became aware of the issue. I'm willing to listen to anything they have to say. While I disagree with the comments made in the complaint, I haven't gotten their side of the events. I'm willing to honor the terms of the [multi-year] membership agreement, but my records show it has expired. Their son is welcome to return to class anytime, but I will not return or refund money paid to Hayman or the previous owner."

STATUS: Stalemate

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