A few months ago I signed up to join a MMA studio after having taken a few years off from martial arts. The place seemed like a good fit and offered BJJ, judo, and muy thai and was geared more toward competitions. It was a smaller studio than several of the others I checked out in the same area. I signed up and paid for a year in advance for the all-inclusive (could take any class at any time) so a total of $1600-ish. I generally like to just pay up front when I can since I'm terrible about forgetting monthly bills.
A few weeks later myself and 300 other employees get the pink slip from our employer. No warning or indication from the employer this was going to happen (generally the employer has always given people a 30 day notice so they could transfer to another department or find another job before they let people go). I immediately start working on finding another job and find one through an old coworker a few cities over (about a 45 minute commute each way) after a few weeks.
At my new job I work 10am to 7pm and I'm on-call every other weekend. Because of the commute I need to be on the road no later than 9:15am at the absolute latest. The only class that is offered early enough for me to attend is their 7am 'cardio kickboxing' which isn't what I signed on for at all. Also the cost of taking that single class is far less than what I paid.
I emailed the studio and asked for a prorated refund minus the start-up fee and first month. I signed up specifically for Judo, BJJ, and Muy Thai and they don't offer those classes when I can attend. The first reply came two weeks later and didn't answer my question; I was just told to come and train more to get my money's worth (which isn't even possible). I asked a second time and I received a condescending reply telling me that I would need to bring in a copy of my work schedule and only if they deemed I was unable to train would they issue a prorated refund. I haven't had a written work schedule since I started working for hospitals over a decade ago.
I wont say the money isn't a factor, but I wasn't actually upset at all till they side-stepped my initial question to them, took weeks to reply, and then wanted to delve into my personal life so they could decide whether I really had the time to train or not. If I signed up for a gym membership and found out that the only the rowing machines were open when I could attend (and had paid for the full package) I think I would ask for my money back.
So do you think I should get a refund, re-negotiate for a partial refund (since they only offer one class during the hours I can attend), or just take it on the lip?