i think there are many types of dojos, e.g. some are "clubs", some are commercial entities and some are personal passions.
aikido clubs tend to be (but not always) not-for-profit, and they run with regular AGMs etc., and may have relatively cheap training fees. they don't usually have a "contract" as such, although it would be common to have annual membership fees, which again are usually quite reasonable.
i don't know if there are m/any, but imagine there are some personal dojos which are run passionate senseis who have enough money to teach for "fun" and not worry about fees, contracts and stuff like that.
it sounds like the first dojo you went to was a commercial dojo, and they are running like a gym-type business/scheme. as the others have mentioned, it doesn't necessary mean that the quality is bad, it just means that it is - well, a commercial dojo and the owner(s) need to make ends meet.
however, the thing you should really
be worried about is if if they have a 'black-belt contract', saying that if you sign up for X amount of months/years of training fees, you'll definitely
get a black belt. that time, you should be running to the hills!!