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Re: Arthur Murray Tactics
Posted by Sunshine
9/13/2007  7:25:00 AM
Dance, the same thing happened to me in NJ at AM! I practiced a lot and have a dance background, so I got through the Bronze I fairly quickly, with many lessons left. The instructors were terrific, but the owner wouldn't let them teach Bronze II, without me buying another "package." In my instructor's defense, he focused on technique and I was still learning, but as a business person, I disagreed with the practice.

Eventually I terminated my contract for the remaining lessons, but the "cancellation fee" was exhorbitant. I've been thinking of taking the AM in NJ to small claims court.

When I talked with the owner he was a bit clueless. At this particular studio they use phrases like "if you cannot afford it," to motivate people to sign on to prove they can afford it! The owner told me after I finish Bronze II he would give me a job teaching, and I could use the money to pay off the lessons. I had no time, talent, or interest in teaching!

What an idiot! I wanted challenging lessons and could afford it. Since I liked the instructors, I may have stayed there for years. What I didn't like was being bullied into committing to ridiculous lesson packages, so I took my business elsewhere.

Re: Arthur Murray Tactics
Posted by Heather1
9/15/2007  9:08:00 PM
I would absolutely switch studios. What they are doing is legal, and unfortunately common in some places. Any franchise studio will charge more because they have to cover franchise fees. Basically you are paying for the name.

I'm sure there are other studios in your area with experienced and talented teachers. Most studios host an open to the public dance or will give you a free lesson to try them out.

Also If and when you do decide to switch, I would write a polite letter to the studio owner and send a copy to the President of Arthur Murray, explaing what made you feel uncomfortable and why you left. These business practices will stay in tact, because franchise owners believe they "really work" and don't want to believe that they are driving people out the door.

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