I am raised in a CMAS club and i´ve always been told how profitable and evil PADI are. In our club we educate CMAS divers at a price that is equal to what it costs to hold the education. We don´t make any profit at all but we get well educated divers that, as soon as they´re ready educated, have 2-300 dive buddies instantly to dive with (our dive club)(this is ALOT in sweden). Our basic education is the CMAS 2 star scubadiver, which is equal to the Advanced Open Water (i think).
Our family (which all is CMAS) went to thailand a few years ago, and my sisters boy friend (which was not a scuba diver back then) had planned to get a certificate in Thailand and we were quite surprised to see the amount of money the local PADI divecenters took for their education, besides ,even i (which had become a scuba diver only months before, a CMAS two star) outperformed their Advanced Open Water divers in terms of safety and knowledge.
This is only my personal experience. I think it is sad that PADI only educates divers, and if they want to dive with the dive centre (after your education is finished), they take alot of money for that. In our club, you pay some money for the education and then about 85§ a year to dive as much as you want.
To me it looks like PADi is only here to make money, not to educate divers and coordinate to get out to dive. I guess that many people that performs the PADI education, don´t have any dive buddies, maybe no equipment (why would you spend a fortune on a full scupa equipment when you have no dive buddies)just bails out of scuba diving quite fast. They think that it is like on television with coral reefs around every corner and fish everywhere and gets disappointed just because they dont know any good divespots and dont want to pay lots of money every time they go out with the PADI centre.
This post is big, not very well written (as my brain is not set on english at this time of day) and does probably not make much sense anyway. It is just my (bad spelled) personal reflection.
One thing that i wanted to say with tgis post is that it is possible to run a non-profitable diving organisation that runs really well.
my 50 öre.
(start the flaming)