There is no difference between perceived or real power in this case. Such a distinction could be used in any uneven power situation to place blame on the victim of the abuse. If there is a perceived power differential in the mind of the abused, the perception is reality.
The idea of a student being a customer of the dojo cho seems sorely lacking in a number of places.
I think we agree about the power situation. I did
say "It's still a position of power."
Not a customer of the dojo cho. The employer of the dojo cho.
And perhaps it doesn't fit with traditional MA but if a dojo treats its members/trainees/cash-paying people poorly they can (and don't always realize it) vote with their feet.