Kumon is an educational center with its own after-school learning program. It was founded by Toru Kumon and headquartered in Teaneck, New Jersey. The center offers special math and reading


56 of 76 Kumon reviews

Kumon is the worst franchise to own here in the U.S. I quit a high paying job in Chicago in 2010 to start a Kumon learning center. Initially, everyone was friendly and painted rosy picture about the franchise. I went through the motions and finally got my center up and running after investing close to $120,000 in build-out, lease, furniture, training etc.

No sooner started my Kumon learning center, I was asked to spend $4000 on advertising. I was told that I could advertise anywhere. So I did, only to get into the cross hairs of another Kumon learning center franchise owner. My signs were taken out, posters ripped etc. The Kumon office intervened and "I" was told not to advertise by the same people who told me to do so in the first place.

The problem is that Kumon does not have assigned territories. So anytime a center can open anywhere even next door to you. It makes your Kumon center vulnerable to competition.

The rent I pay is over $4000 per month with CAM extra. In the first 12 months I just had about 60 students, and by the end of 2 years I just had 110. I am deep in the red, and am worse off than I was with a high paying job that I quit. The royalties are about 35% of the tuition. Tuition is $100 per month. I would like to increase it but other Kumon franchisees seriously undercut me on the price that one can do nothing about.

Older franchisees bad mouth newer franchisees like me claiming more Kumon experience and by putting some fake awards on their walls.

Management at Kumon is in total disarray. My field support manager provides me with no support. She comes once in a while, looks around, smiles and leaves. The staff are poorly trained to support franchisees. You call up the Chicago branch office and you are sure that your call will never be answered or returned. At the instructor conference this year, I heard that the problem goes right to the top. Recently the President Akira Hamanaka and Executive Vice President Atsushi Nose were fired from Kumon North America. This happened after all franchisees were promised better days to come at the conference by the President and CFO.

If you are reading this and are planning to open a Kumon learning center, take my advice and DO NOT invest your hard earned money in Kumon.

- Kumon is an outdated program and has not changed in over 50 years. It does not match the school curriculum and is below school standards in the U.S.

- Overall Kumon has a bad reputation among students and parents. Parents and students who quit the program usually never come back.

- If you complain about your student numbers with the Kumon staff, they blame the franchisee saying that "it is your fault that your students are quitting you."

- Older Kumon franchisees get a free pass. They can do whatever they want, even run a center from non-retail space.

- Older Kumon franchisees bad mouth new franchisees like me.

- There are no clearly assigned territories.

- There is poor advertising support.

- Management at Kumon is bad.

- There is no quality control in other Kumon centers.

- Royalties are very steep and margins slim to none.

- Kumon staff are inept, poorly skilled, arrogant and condescending.

- Worksheets similar to Kumon and of better quality are freely available on the internet.

- Many parents have switched to online learning on advice from their school teachers.

- Kumon has a bad reputation among Schools and School Teachers in the U.S.

- There is no resale value for one's Kumon center. I have been trying to sell my center but I cannot even recoup 10% of my investment.

- There are many, many better programs like EyeLevel, Aloha Math etc. which offer lower royalties and assigned territories.

- Franchisees that I met all hate the management and staff at Kumon.

- If you fall sick or are unable to run your center, the Kumon management will shut you down.

My advice is DON'T OPEN a Kumon learning center even if you are sold about it. You will regret it just as badly as me.

This review is a subjective opinion of a user.
Report Comment

More Review Details

Monetary loss:
Product or service
Review category
review #496958 by
Had an experience with Kumon? Submit review ›
Helpful? 86 Yes 86 3 No 3
Had the same issue 60 Yes 60
56 of 76 Kumon reviews
Comment as anonymous As anonymous or Log in
OR Is it your business? Respond to your
customers as verified company representative.
Apply for a Free Plan

Dec 12, 2016 #1253891 Phoenix, Arizona, United States

Thank you everyone for writing these reviews. I wanted to own a kumon franchise but now I'm 100000% sure to not to. In fact I'll tell others also. My sister pulled her kids out of kumon because of the enormous amount of worksheets that are given to kids. Thanks everyone.

0 0 Reply

Dec 10, 2016 #1253160

Thank you so much for writing this article. After reading this I can tell you wrote from the heart and given your honest opinion. My wife spoke highly of Kumon and was asking me to invest in Kumon franchise. Anyone can write positive things about a franchise but I choose to read the negative part bc that is the true information.
Thank you my friend.

0 0 Reply

Sep 29, 2016 #1220306 Duluth, Georgia, United States

Why would you leave a high paying job to start something that already has shìt loads of competition, and isn't even a likely success.

0 0 Reply

Jun 26, 2016 #1177933 San Francisco, California, United States

We instructors demand company management in Japan to ban Mr. Joe Nativo and Mr. John Anzin from KNA finance department from 2016 instructor conference. Many instructors and staff are not feeling safe with these two people. We have lots of strong informations about their inappropriate behavior with female instructors and female staff. All of us are not feeling safe with them.

13 0 Reply

Jun 30, 2016 #1179489 Belmont, Massachusetts, United States

WE APPEAL TO PRESIDENT MR. MINO TO FIRE MR. JOE. Too many staff in company are knowing why certain female employees are promoted because of servicing Mr. Joe N.

10 0 Reply

Jul 02, 2016 #1180378 Fremont, California, United States

I've been working with the company for less than 8 months but Finance VP Joe's bad reputation in Kumon is well know. All know that he makes unwanted jokes, gestures, offensive words on clothing, and unwelcome comments to women staff he targets. Promotions of women within this Teaneck office are purely based on nepotism and lead straight to Joe.

5 0 Reply
Corporate Counsel

Oct 18, 2016 #1228607 Hackensack, New Jersey, United States

The allegation of this person, that Kumon's chief financial officer has a "bad reputation" is libelous. No wonder the author will not identify himself/herself. If "knavoice" is serious, he/she is challenged to utilize the Kumon complaint system online (please refer to the Kumon Employee Handbook for specifics). Any charge submitted will be openly and honestly addressed. In the meanwhile, if you cannot follow set rules of protocol, please refrain from anonymous libels.

0 0

Jul 01, 2016 #1180239

The company allows these two dangerous VPs do as they wish with female staff, if employees complain there is definately RETALIATION. Then the corrupt HR department just comments that it is just a disgruntled employee that does not lke the company. Wrong…that is their cover up. That is how Kumon at our Teaneck office here and Canada office works. Just remember RETALIATION!!!!!!!!!!!!

1 0 Reply

Oct 18, 2016 #1228612 Hackensack, New Jersey, United States

Dear Anonymous:
"Retaliation" against a Kumon employee who files a charge against Kumon management is illegal and against Kumon's policy and standards. It is not permitted. If you truly have a charge to file against any Kumon employee (as opposed to being an anonymous rumor monger), please follow the protocol set forth in the Kumon employee Handbook. If you choose not to do so, kindly refrain from spreading malicious statements anonymous.

0 0 Reply

Jul 01, 2016 #1180241

The company allows these two dangerous VPs do as they wish with women staff, if employees complain there is definitely RETALIATION. Then the corrupt HR department just comments that it is just a disgruntled employee that does not like the company. Wrong…that is their cover up. That is how Kumon at our Teaneck office here and Canada office works. Just remember RETALIATION.

6 0 Reply

Jul 02, 2016 #1180606

It is also interesting that some young women instructors who are close to Joe Nativo get special favors and loans, plus royalties are forgiven and even get paid to sell your center to the company for a good prices. If you are old and ugly looking you don't stand a chance of getting any favors because you have nothing to offer.

4 0 Reply
Corporate Counsel

Oct 18, 2016 #1228614 Hackensack, New Jersey, United States

To Claire*
Perhaps you prefer to promulgate slanderous tales of misdeeds using an anonymous cloak. Perhaps this gives you a feeling of power. Perhaps you are a Kumon competitor seeking to upstage the leader of the supplemental educational enrichment industry. If you have a complaint to file against any Kumon employee (as you probably know), you must contact Kumon and be prepared to present your specific charges. Without such action, anyone who places a modicum of belief in your statements is foolish and is being misled.

0 1 Reply

Sep 21, 2016 #1216552 Kansas City, Missouri, United States

We Kumon instructors are treated like comfort women of the Management of Kumon not just the Japanese males but also other VPs in Kumon. The two VPs you mentioned are notorious for taking advantage of the modesty of female instructors during training and conferences.

0 0 Reply
Corporate Counsel

Oct 18, 2016 #1228605 Hackensack, New Jersey, United States

Comments entered on bulletin boards such as this by anonymous authors must always be viewed with skepticism. Such is the case with this post. Its scanty comments should be disregarded by anyone seeking the truth about Kumon as an investment or workplace. The fact is Kumon has a commitment to the success of its franchisees and the comfortable work environment of its employees that is unmatched. Kumon Senior Management has provided means for employees to tender complaints about fellow employees, either through a private email server or a face-to-face interview. Anonymous complaints with no specifics cannot be treated seriously for obvious reason. With Kumon's strict policy of non-retaliation against those who report an issue, no franchisee or employee need fear retaliation. In this case, charges, without specifics, have been made against two senior members of Kumon management. We challenge "Kim" to submit a report to Kumon with specifics of her alleged complaints. You may contact Kumon's General Legal Counsel in New Jersey. Without specifics, all readers who come across it should treat this complaint as being devoid of true information and the author should feel ashamed of himself/herself for attempting to slander two honest individuals who are dedicated to the success of Kumon franchisees.

0 0 Reply

Apr 25, 2016 #1149861

I am trying to learn about Kumon franchising, and I read your comments with interest.
$4000 for rent seems high. How would you have fared if he rent was much lower, say $2000?
Can you update the current status of your franchise operation. There is nothing like an actual experience to learn from.

2 0 Reply
Corporate Counsel

Oct 18, 2016 #1228616 Hackensack, New Jersey, United States

For truthful information about the value of Kumon as a franchise, please obtain and refer to the Kumon Franchise Disclosure Document.

0 0 Reply

Mar 06, 2016 #1122787 Irvine, California, United States

I had the exact same experience and quit a few months ago. Two months after I opened my place another opened 4 miles down on the same street. I pity the money and time I spent on this franchise. The day I close my center was a happy day for me like I escaped from a dire situation. There are a little of centers closures mostly the newer places due to the over expansion

1 1 Reply

Oct 19, 2015 #1050906

issa *** im bililonare due to kumon

0 0 Reply

Jan 08, 2016 #1091216

bilionaire in yen? get the spelling right, then you may be able to count the money and write accurately of it.

0 0 Reply

1-20 of 38 comments

Great comment! Would you like to convert it into review?

You will be able to edit the text before publishing.

You May Also Like

× You are about to contact PissedConsumer.com

Review submitted through "Contact Us" will not get published on the site or forwarded to Kumon. However, many companies do monitor reviews on our site.

You were reading a complaint about Kumon.
Filing a new complaint about