India’s New Visa Contractor Stole My $170 … And I Still Don’t Have A Valid Visa!


I have always wanted to travel to India, but as a result of a potentially life threatening medical condition that is exacerbated by stress, I decided to visit Dharamsala later this year to learn about Buddhism (and forgiveness) and study yoga full-time. At least that was the plan until I applied and paid ($200) for a valid visa … which I have yet to receive.

I bought my ticket to travel to India after finding a reasonable roundtrip airfare ($1100), then purchased my wife’s ticket ($1700) so that she can visit during the Christmas holidays. Visas to travel to India are contracted out to a new contractor (effective July 2014), Cox Kings Global Services USA, LLC(CKGS), and their processes and website are not easy to navigate, even for someone with a fairly high IQ. Be prepared for confusion, difficulty obtaining your visa, and wasted time and money at least based on my horrible experience. Here is what happened …

I followed the detailed directions on the CKGS website and submitted all required documentation, paying $150 for the (10-year – available only to US Citizens) visa, $20 in processing fees to CKGS, and $25 to FedEx to get my passport and documents to Houston and back for a grand total of nearly $200. A week later I received a message from CKGS stating that 1) I did not sign under the photo on page 1 of my application (which was true in that it was neither obvious nor included in the instructions) and 2) I did not include the “additional particulars form” (which I had in-fact submitted with my package) … not a good start!

Signature Required On Page 1 Of Visa Application
Here is the email I received from CKGS:
—————————————–
From: 
Date: Monday, July 14, 2014 at 2:12 PM
To: CombatCritic
Subject: Incomplete Application
Dear CombatCritic ,
The following Documents are incomplete: We are not able to continue processing your application due to is missing; signature on the first page of the application form right under the picture, anf the additional particulars form which can be found on our website (in.ckgs.us). Please sent the required to our Houston Center. Thank you.
Regards,
CKGS
——————————————
I quickly submitted the signed page and the same “additional particulars” form I originally submitted with my application to the email address provided by CKGS:
From: CombatCritic
Date: Thursday, July 17, 2014 at 10:52 AM
To: 
Subject: In Regard To Your Email Indicating My Incomplete Application
Cox Kings Global Services USA, LLC
1001 Texas Avenue, Suite 550
Binz Building
Houston, TX 77002
7/17/14
To Whom It May Concern:
In reference to my India Tourist Visa (Application Number application, I am providing the required signature on page 1 (under the photo) and the additional particulars page (which was provided with my original application, but was indicated as missing by CKGS), attached, as instructed by your staff in a phone call earlier today.
Please process and approve my visa at your earliest convenience.
Thank you!
Respectfully,
CombatCritic                                                   
Attachments –
1.     Signature page
2.     Additional Particulars Page
—————————
I received confirmation that my visa was being processed and a little over a week later I received my passport in the mail only to find that the visa was for just 6 months, not the 120 months I had paid for! In-fact, the expiration date of my visa was A FULL MONTH BEFORE MY SCHEDULED RETURN, making it completely useless!
I sent a very polite email to CKGS informing them of the discrepancy:
———————————–
From: CombatCritic

Sent: 01 August 2014 20:52

To: PAD HOUSTON

Cc: fasttrack.usa@ckgs.comenquiriesusa@ckgs.com
Subject: In Regard To My Visa Application – INCORRECT VISA RECIEVED (6-MONTH, NOT 120-MONTH)
Greetings,
I received my visa yesterday. Thank you for the quick turnaround.
Unfortunately, I applied and paid for a 120 month visa ($150 + processing fees = $170), BUT I RECEIVED A 6-MONTH VISA WHICH WILL EXPIRE BEFORE I AM SCHEDULED TO RETURN TO THE USA. Please tell me how you will resolve this situation as soon as possible so I can continue making my travel plans. I have neither contacted the Consulate or Embassy of India regarding this situation nor the US State Department and would appreciate a quick resolution, without further expenditure by me, because of this unfortunate mistake made while processing my visa.
Please contact me by email or phone at your earliest convenience so that I can secure the 120-month visa applied and paid for.
Thank you,
CombatCritic

————————————-
This is the totally unacceptable response I received from CKGS:

——————————-


Dear Sir,
Sorry for the inconvenience caused to you.
The Visa issuance/rejection is sovereign right of a Nation and is not open to any discussions. Your Visa has been issued after due process, and this is to inform you that in this case you won’t get the refund of the rest amount. And if you want to extend your stay in India you can contact FRRO for extension.
We highly appreciate your co-operation.
Thanks & Regards,
Rehana.S
A Cox and Kings Company

———————————————
Now that CKGS had made it clear that they neither cared about my concerns nor were they going to make things right, it was time to take my grievance to the next higher level … The Embassy of India’s Consulate Services in Washington DC:
—————————
Greetings,

I applied for a 10-year, multiple entry visa last month (application and additional particulars form attached) through CKGS in Houston, paying $170 ($150 + processing fees = $170) as required via money order. When I received my visa via FedEx two days ago, I noticed that the visa was only for 6 monthsexpiring a month before my scheduled return to the USA. I paid an additional $90 for the 10-year visa and, being a retired US military officer, do not understand why I only received a 6 month visa when I paid for a 10 year visa ($200 total including FedEx charges).

… Devona at CKGS in Houston, Texas stated that “the consulate decided to only grant … a 6 month visa”, so I am contacting you to find out what happened so that I might resume making my travel plans to your historic and beautiful country.

Beside being a retired US Air Force officer, I am a food and travel critic with a popular blog, http://www.combatcritic.com, and wish to travel to India to see the sights, study Buddhism, Hinduism, and yoga, volunteer in Dharamsala to help those less fortunate than me, and write about my experiences. I am also a Yelp Elite member and TripAdvisor Top Contributor, having many fans who will be following my journey and hope that they (and I) will not be disappointed by an unfortunate and unexpected curtailment of my travel plans.

Please help me resolve this issue without any additional expense as I followed all of the rules required in acquiring the visa and see no reason why my visa was shortened, particularly without refunding the additional $90 I paid (CKGS). I am sure that there must have been some type of error and respectfully ask you to assist me in resolving this mistake and acquiring the 10 year visa I paid for without additional unnecessary expenditures. I hope that we can resolve this unfortunate situation without delay.

Thank you in advance for your assistance.

Very Respectfully,
CombatCritic
————————————–
The Embassy of India states ontheir website that visa issues will be responded to in “1-3 working days”, having been submitted on August 2nd, 2014 and 10 days later I still had received no response.

I then filed a formal complaint on India’s                         PORTAL FOR PUBLIC GRIEVANCE – Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances:
———————
Greetings,                                                               August 10, 2014

I have a potentially life threatening condition exacerbated by stress and planned to travel to India … not only to see the sights, but to study religion and yoga in order to prolong my life. I applied for a 10-year, multiple entry visa last month (application and additional particulars form attached) through CKGS in Houston, paying $170 ($150 + processing fees = $170) as required via money order. When I received my visa via FedEx two days ago, I noticed that the visa was only for 6 months, expiring a month before my scheduled return to the USA. I paid an additional $90 for the 10-year visa and, being a retired US military officer in particular, do not understand why I only received a 6 month visa when I paid for a 10 year visa ($200 total including FedEx charges).

Devona at CKGS in Houston, Texas stated that “the consulate decided to only grant … a 6 month visa” and that I am not entitled to a refund, so I am contacting you to find out what happened so that I might resume making my travel plans to your historic and beautiful country.

Beside being a retired US Air Force officer, I am a food and travel critic with a popular blog, CombatCritic’s TravelValue eZine (where you can read the whole story), and wish to travel to India to see the sights, study Buddhism, Hinduism, and yoga, volunteer in Dharamsala to help those less fortunate than me, and write about my experiences. I am also a Yelp Elite member and TripAdvisor Top Contributor, having many fans who will be following my journey and hope that they (and I) will not be disappointed by an unfortunate and unexpected curtailment of my travel plans.

Please help me resolve this issue without any additional expense as I followed all of the rules required in acquiring the visa and see no reason why my visa was shortened, particularly without refunding the additional $90 I paid. As an upstanding, law-abiding citizen, I am sure that there must have been some type of error in processing my visa and respectfully ask you to assist me in resolving this mistake and acquiring the 10 year visa I paid for without additional unnecessary expenditures. I hope that we can resolve this unfortunate situation without delay.

We have spent $3000 on airfare and $200 on a useless visa so far and hesitate to spend another dollar or make additional travel plans until this issue is resolved. If we do not receive a satisfactory resolution (very) soon, we will be forced to change our tickets and travel to a country that treats tourists with compassion, dignity, and respect.

As states, I submitted an email complaint to the Embassy of India’s Consular Department over one week ago, but even though they promise a reply “within 3 working days”, I have received no indication that they intend to intervene on my behalf. I am also contacting the Ministry of Tourism to let them know what is happening.

Thank you in advance for your assistance.

Very Respectfully, 

Chris Sorrentino, LtCol, USAF (Ret)

————————–

I also informed the US State Department about the scam, hoping that MY GOVERNMENT is interested in a US citizen whom is being mistreated and abused by another nation’s government:

Greetings,
I filed a grievance with the Embassy of India in Washington DC (8/2/2014) as well as the Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances (below – 8/10/2014) regarding my problems obtaining a valid visa through Cox Kings Global Services USA, LLC (India’s US visa contractor – CKGS – Houston, Texas). After asking them nicely to provide the 10-year visa I paid for or refund the money ($170 + $25 postage) I paid, CKGS failed to resolve my visa dilemma to my satisfaction, stating (in so many words) we’re a sovereign nation, can do as we please, you won’t get a refund, and there’s nothing you can do about it”. You can read the whole story on my blog http://www.CombatCritic.com
I am hoping that the US State Department might be interested in knowing how India’s contractor (CKGS) is treating US Citizens, having spent $2.4 billion in India in 2011 alone. With the tourism industry being the fourth largest source of revenue for their nation, I would think that tourists would be treated better than I have been since starting the visa process. 

Here is the grievance:

Grievance Status

Print || Logout
Status as on 10 Aug 2014
<asp:literal runat="server" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;" text="”>Registration Number :
Name Of Complainant :
Date of Receipt : 10 Aug 2014
Received by : Ministry of External Affairs
Officer name : Shri Muktesh Kumar Pardeshi
Officer Designation : Joint Secretary PSP & CPO
Contact Address : CPV Division,
Patiala House Annexe,
Tilak Marg, New Delhi110001
Contact Number : 23387013
e-mail : jscpo@mea.gov.in
Grievance Description : Greetings, I have a potentially life threatening condition exacerbated by stress and planned to travel to India not only to see the sights, but to study religion and yoga in order to prolong my life. I applied for a 10-year, multiple entry visa last month (application and additional particulars form attached) through CKGS in Houston, paying $170 ($150 + processing fees = $170) as required via money order. When I received my visa via FedEx two days ago, I noticed that the visa was only for 6 months, expiring a month before my scheduled return. I paid an additional $90 for the 10-year visa and, being a retired US military officer in particular, do not understand why I only received a 6 month visa when I paid for a 10 year visa ($200 total including FedEx charges).

Devona at CKGS in Houston, Texas stated that “the consulate decided to only grant … a 6 month visa” and that I am not entitled to a refund, so I am contacting you to find out what happened so that I might resume making my travel plans to your historic and beautiful country.

Beside being a retired US Air Force officer, I am a food and travel critic with a popular blog, http://www.combatcritic.com (where you can read the whole story), and wish to travel to India to see the sights, study Buddhism, Hinduism, and yoga, volunteer in Dharamsala to help those less fortunate than me, and write about my experiences. I am also a Yelp Elite member and TripAdvisor Top Contributor, having many fans who will be following my journey and hope that they (and I) will not be disappointed by an unfortunate and unexpected curtailment of my travel plans.

Please help me resolve this issue without any additional expense as I followed all of the rules required in acquiring the visa and see no reason why my visa was shortened, particularly without refunding the additional $90 I paid. I am sure that there must have been some type of error and respectfully ask you to assist me in resolving this mistake and acquiring the 10 year visa I paid for without additional unnecessary expenditures. I hope that we can resolve this unfortunate situation without delay.

We have spent $3000 on airfare and $200 on a useless visa so far and hesitate to spend another dollar or make additional travel plans until this issue is resolved. If we do not receive a satisfactory resolution soon, we will be forced to change our tickets and travel to a country that treats tourists with compassion, dignity, and respect.

I submitted an email complaint to the Embassy of India’s Consular Department over one week ago, but even though they promise a reply “within 3 working days”, I have received no indication that they intend to intervene on my behalf. I am also contacting the Ministry of Tourism to let them know what is happening.

Thank you in advance for your assistance.

Very Respectfully,

CombatCritic

Current Status : RECEIVED THE GRIEVANCE
I hope that my grievance will be addressed by the government of India as soon as possible and would appreciate any assistance my government (Department of State) can offer in this matter. If you like, I will keep you informed regarding the progress (or lack thereof) in my case. I hope that I can continue my plans to travel to India. Otherwise, I will be forced to travel to a nation that better appreciates tourists and our hard earned money.
Thank you.
——————————–


Having heard nothing … zip … nada from either India’s embassy, Ministry of Tourism, or Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances after filing my grievances, I had to assume that they were either as  incompetent and unethical as CKGS or they simply did not care. I finally located a contact at India’s Houston Consulate where my visa was incorrectly processed, so I decided to give them one more chance to make things right, contacting the Vice Consul (Visa), Mr. Rakesh Sharma:

Mr. Rakesh SharmaVice Consul (Visa)Consulate of India – Houston 
Dear Honorable Vice Consul Sharma,
I have always wanted to travel to India, but as a result of a potentially life threatening medical condition that is exacerbated by stress, I decided to visit Dharamsala later this year to learn about Hinduism and Buddhism (and forgiveness), study yoga full-time, and volunteer to help those less fortunate than me. At least that was the plan until I applied and paid ($200) for a valid visa … which I have yet to receive. I bought my ticket to travel to India after finding a reasonable roundtrip airfare ($1100), then purchased my wife’s ticket ($1700) so that she can visit during the Christmas holidays. Cox Kings Global Services USA, LLC’s (CKGS) processes and website are not easy to navigate, even for someone with a fairly high IQ. I followed the detailed directions on the CKGS website and submitted all required documentation, paying $150 for the (10-year – available only to US Citizens) visa, $20 in processing fees to CKGS, and $25 to FedEx to get my passport and documents to Houston and back for a grand total of nearly $200.
 I received confirmation that my visa was being processed and a little over a week later I received my passport in the mail only to find that the visa was for just 6 months, not the 120 months I had paid for. In-fact, the expiration date of my visa was A FULL MONTH BEFORE MY SCHEDULED RETURN, making it completely useless.
 I sent a very polite email to CKGS informing them of the discrepancy:
 From: CombatCritic
Sent: 01 August 2014 20:52
To: PAD HOUSTON
Cc: fasttrack.usa@ckgs.comenquiriesusa@ckgs.com Subject: In Regard To My Visa Application – INCORRECT VISA RECIEVED (6-MONTH, NOT 120-MONTH)
 Greetings,
 I received my visa yesterday. Thank you for the quick turnaround.
 Unfortunately, I applied and paid for a 120 month visa ($150 + processing fees = $170), BUT I RECEIVED A 6-MONTH VISA WHICH WILL EXPIRE BEFORE I AM SCHEDULED TO RETURN TO THE USA. Please tell me how you will resolve this situation as soon as possible so I can continue making my travel plans. I have neither contacted the Consulate or Embassy of India regarding this situation nor the US State Department and would appreciate a quick resolution, without further expenditure by me, because of this unfortunate mistake made while processing my visa.
 Please contact me by email or phone at your earliest convenience so that I can secure the 120-month visa applied and paid for.
 Thank you,
 This is the totally unacceptable response I received from CKGS:
 Dear Sir,
 Sorry for the inconvenience caused to you.
 The Visa issuance/rejection is sovereign right of a Nation and is not open to any discussions. Your Visa has been issued after due process, and this is to inform you that in this case you won’t get the refund of the rest amount.
 We highly appreciate your co-operation.
 Thanks & Regards,
 Rehana.S
 http://www.in.ckgs.usA Cox and Kings Company
 Now that CKGS had made it clear that they neither cared about my concerns nor were they going to make things right, it is time to take my grievance to the next higher level. Please help me resolve this issue without any additional expense as I followed all of the rules required in acquiring the visa and see no reason why my visa was shortened, particularly without refunding the additional $90 I paid (CKGS). I am sure that there must have been some type of error and respectfully ask you to assist me in resolving this mistake and acquiring the 10-year visa I paid for without additional unnecessary expenditures. After all, I am a retired military officer with a top-secret security clearance and a law-abiding citizen, not a criminal or social misfit, and do not understand why my visa was denied.
 I am very ill and the stress of this situation is weighing heavy on my mind, keeping me awake at night and causing unnecessary stress instead of relieving stress as vacations should do. I am a little over two months away from my scheduled departure yet still do not have a valid visa even after paying $200 to get one.
 For a nation built on the fundamentals of Buddhism and Hinduism, including compassion for all living things and the cessation of suffering, your contractor (CKGS) leaves a lot to be desired. All I know is that my travel date is quickly approaching, I still do not have a valid visa, and time is running out to complete my travel plans and ensure a relatively stress-free trip.
 Please tell me what I have to do to get a valid visa so I can resume making plans to visit India. If this is not resolved soon, we will have to try to change our itinerary and travel to another country. I hope that we can resolve this unfortunate situation without delay.
 Thank you in advance for your assistance.
 Very Respectfully, 

CombatCritic

For a nation built on the fundamentals of Buddhism and Hinduism, including compassion for all living things and the cessation of suffering, their contractor (CKGS) leaves a lot to be desired. Will the Government of India DO THE RIGHT THING and grant me the 120 month visa I paid for or will they treat me with the indignity and disrespect I have endured from CKGS? Only time will tell.

All I know is that my travel date is quickly approaching, I still do not have a valid visa, and time is running out to complete my travel plans and ensure a relatively stress-free trip. I am seriously considering changing my plans and traveling to a nation where they appreciate tourist’s dollars and treat people with dignity and respect, but our tickets are non-refundable and I am not looking forward to the added stress and expense of having to change our tickets and plans at this late date.
I have not yet learned to forgive and will pursue this issue relentlessly until I am satisfied with the response from the Embassy/Consulate of India, Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, Ministry of Tourism, CKGS, and/or the US State Department. This dilemma has only caused me more unneeded stress, wasted time and money, and caused grief instead of helping to relieve it. I will keep you posted and update this post as details change, for the positive or otherwise.

Namaste

CombatCritic

UPDATE: After being ignored by CKGS, the Embassy of India in Washington DC, and the Official Grievance Portal of the Government of India, I was finally able to locate and contact the Vice Consul for Visa Services in Houston, Texas where my visa was incorrectly processed.

I was contacted by phone and email and told that there was in-fact a mistake in processing my visa and told to send my passport (at my own expense – another $50 out-of-pocket) directly to his office for processing. I did as I was instructed and a week later I had my 10-year, multiple entry visa in-hand … FINALLY!

After weeks of stress, sleepless nights, and well over $250 in expenditures, I received the visa I paid for and was able to continue planning my journey. 

My only question is: Why was Cox Kings Global Services not able to remedy this situation

Recommendation: If Cox Kings Global Services refuses to assist with visa problems, CONTACT THE CONSULATE DIRECTLY AND PROMPTLY

CombatCritic Gives Cox Kings Global Services 1 Bomb Out of 10 … More Bombs Are Better!
Follow CombatCritic On Yelp (An Elite ’14/’15 Member) And  TripAdvisor (“Top Contributor”) Where You Can Read His Latest Reviews, Try His Favorite Recipes, And More!

Key Words: India, visa, government, Cox Kings Global Services, CKGS, consulate, embassy, travel, value, CombatCritic, TravelValue, integrity, compassion, dignity, respect, tourist, tourism, Yelp, TripAdvisor, trip, advisor

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Let Me Summit Up … Do Not Let Appearances Fool You!


Let Me Summit Up … Do Not Let Appearances Fool You!
The Summit Downtown (Fitness Center)
901 New Hampshire
Lawrence, KS 66044
Phone: 785-856-7979

Hours: Mon-Thur: 5am – 11pm; Fri: 5am – 9pm; Sat: 7am – 7pm; Sun: 9am – 7pm

A severely disabled Veteran and retired (2005) Air Force lieutenant colonel, I try to take care of the body I am left with after 20 years of austere environments and over 4 years in combat zones (Operations JOINT ENDEAVOR, ALLIED FORCE, SOUTHERN WATCH, AND ENDURING FREEDOM.  I cannot do as much as I used to or as I would like, but the gym is one of the few places I can relax and, beside the golf course, a safe haven where I can cope with the stresses of life. I spent most days of my 20-year career in military gyms and have been a YMCA member for over 10 years, but when we moved to Lawrence, Kansas in August of this year, I was disappointed to find that there was no YMCA in Lawrence. A town of 90,000 and no YMCA?


I bought a Groupon for a 6-week trial at Genesis Fitness for $20, expecting to join if I liked the facility. I did not. The facility was filthy, the sauna never worked, and when I spoke to a manager about joining, he insisted I must pay a $75 “joining fee” and sign a contract for 2-3 years if I wanted their best monthly rate. Hard-sell gym tactics, contracts, and application fees went out with the 20thCentury, or so I thought, so I told the man that I would take my business elsewhere. He could have obviously cared less.

I decided to try The Summit, a modern facility in a relatively new building just five blocks from our new Lawrence home (it is actually over 150 years old and a historic home) due to its proximity and a four-month “Fall” special for $150. Not a fantastic bargain ($37.50 per month – I paid less at the Kansas City YMCA which is much nicer, larger, and with many more fitness options). The facility seemed clean and the staff appeared to be friendly and helpful, or so it seemed, so I signed-up for the special (with no initiation fee) with the understanding that I would pay $41.00 per month if I decide to continue.

I liked the facility for the most part, documenting my experiences along the way on Yelp, Foursquare, Facebook, and Twitter. Here are a few:

The Summit 10/16/2013
“The bench in the men’s locker room is wonky and the TV on the first machine didn’t work, but it’s cleaner than Genesis by a mile!”

The Summit 10/19/2013
“The only concerns thus far are the saunas, which never seem to be hot enough, and the fans (the kind with blades), which always seem to be on, even on the coldest days. Yesterday was cold (45 degrees) and it was cold inside, but they still had the fans going full blast. When I asked if they could be turned down/off, the young lady behind the counter said “no”. Being one of just three customers at the time, I do not think it was an unreasonable request.”

The Summit 10/24/2013
“I like the proximity and cleanliness, but the fans, sauna, and locker room benches leave MUCH TO BE DESIRED”

The Summit 10/28/2013
“I spoke to quickly in yesterday’s check-in. Fans are going full blast today and it’s freezing in here. Yesterday must have been a fluke … They aren’t monitoring social media after all and that’s going to cost them that 4th star!”

The Summit 10/31/2013
“Can’t tell if it’s chance coincidence or if staff read my comments…today the fans are off and there’s a real bench in the locker room…THANKS!”

Having studied diet and exercise extensively over the years for my own benefit and that of my clients (I am a licensed professional counselor specializing in mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy – CBT), I understand the importance of a combination of aerobic activity (running, elliptical, etc.), resistance training (weightlifting), and flexibility (stretching).  I normally use the elliptical machines because they are easy on my knees and back, stretching and meditating afterward to complete my workout.

I had been stretching and meditating most days at The Summit because they had a wonderful thick red mat that was comfortable enough to meet my needs. Because of my disabilities, I find it painful and difficult to use the “Aeromats” (small, individual foam mats) most gyms provide for stretching because they do not provide enough padding, causing discomfort while I lay or sit on the ground.

When I went to stretch the other day, I noticed that the red mat was gone and replaced with mats similar to the Aeromats I dislike so much, so I asked Tanner (an employee) why my favorite mat was removed. He was very kind and helpful, explaining that the mat was worn on the bottom and had been taken away. He explained just yesterday that there was a similar red mat to the one I had been using in the “training” area of the facility and told me that his boss had said that I could use it to stretch if I chose to. I thanked him for his concern and kindness and went about my workout.

After completing my elliptical workout, I noticed that the training area was nearly empty and the red mat was not being used, so I entered to finish my workout with a good stretch and a few minutes of relaxation. As I moved to the mat to sit-down, I noticed one of the trainers (there were more trainers than “trainees”), a blondish 30-something woman with several tattoos on one of her arms, hovering around the area, stalking me like a security guard on a shoplifter. No sooner did I sit-down did she approach me stating, “Who are you working with today”.  I told her “nobody” and she told me that I was “not allowed in the area, it’s for personal training customers only”.  I told her that the owner had said that I could use the area to stretch, as Tanner had told me just a couple hours before, noticing one of the owners standing behind her like a back-up cop waiting to pounce on a criminal. She said, “Oh, you mean him” and I stated I did not know who, but that Tanner had told me just hours before that I had permission. Before I get the words out of my mouth, both she and the co-owner said “this area is for paying personal training customers only” (well excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me!) and at that I got up and left the area as ordered!

I believe in treating all with dignity and respect and as a business owner myself, particularly customers.  The Summit apparently does not hold the same values.  I found it extremely embarrassing to be stalked and thrown out of a facility I pay $40 per month to use and in such an unprofessional manner.  I have suffered many indignities at the hands of rude, self-centered people over the years, but never have I experienced such rude, unprofessional, and humiliating behavior in a place of business as I did at The Summit last night.

Now I feel anxious and stressed just thinking about returning to The Summit this afternoon, not knowing how I will be treated.  I am considering asking for a refund of my remaining fees, but there are few fitness options in this college town of nearly 100,000 other than Genesis, The Summit, and the University of Kansas (KU – where I can use their “world-class” facilities for just $20 per month), so I think I will wait until my trial period expires to find a suitable alternative. 

My disabilities, including a great deal of pain, and mood are eased by exercise and a clean, safe facility is very important to me.  Except for the filthy air intakes (see photo), The Summit is very clean, but I DO NOT FEEL SAFE any longer.  It pains me that one of my respites, a safe haven in which I can de-stress and take care of a body ravaged by time and combat, the gym, is now a place that causes me stress.

Veterans Day is next Monday, a day on which we show our appreciation for the men and women who have served our great nation.  Instead of feeling appreciated, I feel abused, but then this is not the first time I have been made to feel less than welcome in a public setting in recent years and, I am afraid, it will not be the last … unfortunately.  If you like being treated with INDIGNITY and DISRESPECT, YOU WILL LOVE THE WAY THEY TREAT YOU AT THE SUMMIT IN DOWNTOWN LAWRENCE!

CombatCritic Gives THE SUMMIT 3 BOMBS OUT OF 10 … Bombs Are Good!








Key Words: The Summit, SummitDowntown, fitness, center, gym, gymnasium, workout, exercise, elliptical, trainer, dignity, respect, combat critic.CombatCritic, TravelValue, Lawrence, Journal-World, Kansas