WARNING - TEFL International / NAME REMOVED

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WARNING - TEFL International / NAME REMOVED

Unread postby QueenMac » 23 Jan 2009, 21:10

Be careful dealing with NAME REMOVED and TEFL International...
get a CELTA or Trinity and don't waste your time and money!!!

The websites I am speaking of are:
http://www.bestteflcourse.com
http://www.teflinternational.com/guaranteed_jobs.html
http://www.teflcoursethailand.com
http://www.teflintl.com

Please see my BBB dispute post on Dave's ESL:
http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewtopic ... 523#725523

:evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:
Last edited by QueenMac on 27 Jan 2009, 16:06, edited 1 time in total.
QueenMac
Registered Member
 
Posts: 4
Joined: 23 Jan 2009, 21:05

Re: WARNING - TEFL International / Bruce Veldhuisen

Unread postby systematic » 27 Jan 2009, 14:15

Hi,
Sorry to hear about your apparent misfortunes with TEFL Intl. It has a lot of detractors but I'm not sure it's all justified - some of the courses are heavily supported by universities.

DAVE's ESL Café requires registration with a lot of personal details to be able to read the posts. Maybe you could also give more information of your problem here.

If you cause is genuine, it might serve as a warning to others who don't want to register everywhere else.
I offer any information or advice 'as is' and hope that it has been of help. I am not an admin of this board, and my postings do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the board management.
____________________
Thailand TESOL forum
systematic
Teacher
 
Posts: 528
Joined: 21 Apr 2008, 13:38
Location: UK, France, & Thailand
Status: Other

Re: WARNING - TEFL International / Bruce Veldhuisen

Unread postby QueenMac » 27 Jan 2009, 16:05

I have posted on multiple forums and the only site allowing me to post the status of my BBB dispute are:
ETL World
TEFL.net

I have been banned from:
Dave's ESL Cafe (twice)
Thai VISA
Ajarn.com
English-test.net

And my comments have been removed from:
Metacafe.com Videos for TEFL International

I didn't think posting a warning and the unedited communication between myself and TEFL International constituted "flaming" their business. I thought of it more of an advisory against unfair business practices and feedback on the type of "service" you get from the school and their staff.

I will post my entire BBB argument with TEFL International if anyone wants to know the details. I have attempted to open polls on several forums for reader feedback, but I have been banned withing 24 hours and the posts removed.

THE LONG VERSION OF MY BBB DISPUTE CASE #22187397 (OREGON USA):

My Request:
I am seeking the refund of my $500 deposit that was supposed to secure my placement in the Thai/Korea project advertised on the TEFL International website. Additionally, I paid for my Thai VISA and the gathering of my information for the Korean VISA (apx $250 in fees total).

I only ask that my $500 deposit be refunded as originally agreed too by the president of the company, NAME REMOVED, in the email dated December 9, 2008 and verified in the chat message by his staff member NAME REMOVED on December 10, 2008.

My Argument:

*** I have the emails and chats to verify the timeline and info below**

I originally contacted TEFL International in December of 2007 about the 4 month Thai project listed on their website (http://www.bestteflcourse.com) for Chaing Mai. I applied, did my interview with NAME REMOVED, paid the $500 deposit for the April 2008 class and processed my VISAs for Thailand in February 2008.

In March 2008, a family member fell ill and I had to postpone the trip. I contacted NAME REMOVED and I was referred to a new contact, NAME REMOVED. I requested they hold the deposit for a future class, most likely April 2009 and they agreed. They told me the Chaing Mai project would not be available in Spring 2009, but I could transfer my payment to another project if I did not make the October 2008 class.

On August 18, 2008 I requested information from NAME REMOVED and NAME REMOVED (bestteflcourse@gmail.com) on the Spring projects in Thailand for 2009 and they sent me to a new website (http://www.teflintl.com)

From this new website, I found listings for the new projects available in 2009. I requested a transfer to the China project in Zhuhai on September 26, 2008. NAME REMOVED emailed the China project admin (stp@teflintl.com) and advised them of my prepayment for the China program and I requested detailed information emailed from the China admin on September 28, 2009.

On October 4, 2008 I again emailed TEFL International regarding a 3rd website posting different 2009 projects (http://www.teflinternational.com/guaranteed_jobs.html). I asked if these were all the same organization and why the projects were listed differently on each site. I was again asked to email the China admin by NAME REMOVED (stp@teflintl.com).

On October 5, 2008 I found a 4th site advertising projects in Asia. I then emailed the admin of the 4th site plus the China admin (that had still not responded to my emails). I asked the following:

I am having some trouble with your multiple websites and the information on each seems to differ, so I am confused about what you actually offer. Which "special projects" are being offered in 2009 - Thailand, Korea, China, etc? Is there a master list somewhere that you can send me that included the costs and dates of each project?

The websites I am speaking of are:
http://www.bestteflcourse.com
http://www.teflinternational.com/guaranteed_jobs.html
http://www.teflcoursethailand.com
http://www.teflintl.com

Thank you,
Ann


*******
To this email, I received the same canned response from NAME REMOVED on October 6, 2009 of:

Dear Ann,

Yes, we are running several projects. Please go through our website http://www.teflintl.com and select the program & date from there and write back to stp@teflintl.com

Best regards,
NAME REMOVED


*******
On October 6, 2008 I requested to join the Thai/Korea program in 2009 with the admin (stp@teflintl.com):

Hello,

After examining all of the projects listed on your website - I would like to apply for the Thai/Korea project in 2009.

Link for the project is: http://www.teflintl.com/guaranteed_job_thailand.htm

I have prepaid my $500 deposit to Suzy for the Special Thai Project and she advised me the fee would transfer.

My resume, photo, degree and passport scan are attached.

Thank you,
Ann


*******
I again emailed the admin (stp@teflintl.com) on October 10, 2008 requesting confirmation:

Dear Admin,

I have not received confirmation that you have received or are reviewing my application for the Thai/Korea project. Please email me the dates for the program so I can begin planning for the costs, visas and flights.

If you need anything additional from me, please email or contact me via Skype (user name 12345).

Thank you


*******
On October 13, 2008 I emailed NAME REMOVED (teflprojects@gmail.com) again stating I had not received a response from the admin (stp@teflintl.com):

Hi NAME REMOVED,

Sorry to keep emailing you but the admin has not responded saying that they are reviewing my application for the Thai Korea project. I would like to attend the class in spring next year and begin teaching in Thailand for the original 4 months or go straight to Korea for the 12 months.

I need to start VISA arrangements and saving for flights and expected costs - can you please have someone send me more information?

Thank you,
Ann


*******
On October 16, 2008 I had not received a response and decided to email the admin, NAME REMOVED and the two founders listed on the website (teflprojects@gmail.com, stp@teflintl.com, admin@teflintl.com, brucev@teflintl.com, davehbanphe@teflintl.com):

Dear TEFL Intl,

I applied for and emailed the requested information for the Thai/Korea project on October 06, 2008. To date I have tried to contact both NAME REMOVED and STP@teflintl.com multiple times (by email and Skype) for more information and have not even received a response saying the application is even being reviewed. The web chat people know absolutely nothing about your programs and keep asking me to email the Admin or send me web links for other websites within your company to redo my application... which all have inconsistent information and offers which seems a bit shady to me.

I need more information on the project to begin my VISA applications, travel arrangements, etc., and since TEFL International already has my $500 deposit for the Thai April 2007 Special Project that I could not attend - I expected a response from your company in a more timely manner.

Please response with additional project info by Nov 1, if not, I am requesting a refund of the $500 for the program cost so I may go directly to Park English or another agency for job assignment into Korea.

Regards,
Ann


*******
On October 16, 2008 I received a response from the president of TEFL (NAME REMOVED) who forwarded the email and requested NAME REMOVED contact me to discuss the project "right away."


*******
That day NAME REMOVED emailed me requesting the best time to discuss the project and I responded with:

I am usually online using skype in the evenings CST in USA. Otherwise you may call my cell and I will answer if I am available - my work hours and travel changes frequently.

123-123-1234
12345 on skype

Thank you!
Ann


*******
On October 21, 2008 I emailed Joe again:

Hello again NAME REMOVED,

Please let me know by email what day would be best to chat about the Thai/Korea project.

Regards,
Ann


*******
On October 23, 2008 I had not received information from NAME REMOVED, so I emailed NAME REMOVED again:

NAME REMOVED,

I still have not received the information on the Thai/Korea project. I have emailed Joe at least 3 times regarding setting up an appointment with no response and the (BestTEFL) Admin has not been signed into Skype either.

Please contact me with the details using Skype (12345), email the specifics, or refund my $500 deposit.

Thank you,
Ann


*******
NAME REMOVED responded on October 23, 2008 at 9pm that we would chat via Skype on October 24, 2008:

Hello Ann,

I'd like to give you a call tomorrow if that is alright with you.

Cheers,
NAME REMOVED


*******
During our short Skype call we discussed my plans for arriving in Asia in April/May 2009 and he stated he would email me information for the VISA application and get back to me about a possible job combining time in Korea and Philippines.

I also forwarded the requested scans and jpgs for my application to NAME REMOVED on October 24, 2008.


*******
On October 28, 2008 NAME REMOVED emailed one very short job listing that did not fit any of the preferences discussed during our call:

Hello Ann,

Thank you for taking my call the other day. I've got one job for you to look at. I'll have the one hooked to the international school in Manilla in two days (the job information). Have a look and let me know what you think. If you want to give it a try I can set up an interview for you.

Location: Daugu City
Pay: 2.3-2.5 mil KRW/ month
Health Insurance, Pension, and Servance provided
Roundtrip ticket provided.
Kindergarten and Elementry School
Working hours: Morning to early evening. (6 teaching hours per day, M-F)

I have also attached the information for your documents.

Cheers,
NAME REMOVED


******
On October 29, 2008 I responded:

Hi NAME REMOVED,

I am working a trade show this week so my laptop time Is very limited. I will be able to review everything on Thursday.

Thank you
Ann


******
To his job offer and regarding the Manila job opening I responded on October 30, 2008:

Hi NAME REMOVED,

I am wondering if the school in Manila is the actual International School or if you were using a generic term?

If it is IS - my father and a lot of my family members attended the school and aunt used to sit on the board before they relocated to Makati..

Please send the information when you have it - I am trying to not get to excited but it would definately be my first choice for jobs in Asia.

Best regards,
Ann.


******
On November 3, 2008 I tried to communicate again with NAME REMOVED regarding my objectives and sent link from the Park English website (who is the Thai/Korea project partner):

One more thing NAME REMOVED, I have been looking at locations around Korea and I think I would like to try for something along the coast line or with a lot of outdoor activities (especially caves or scuba diving). I particularly like Jeju Island, Incheon, Gangwondo and Busan. Of course, anything with the public school system seems to give 6 weeks vacation (3 in summer and 3 in winter). Those positions would be ideal for me to stay in Korea the entire year because it will will allow me to visit my family in Manila or US during the long breaks.

I found these links on the Park English site and they seem to "fit" what I am looking for (if I don't go on the Manila project of course):

http://parkenglish.com/seeker/j_view.php?id=3239&page=3&start=40&search=&noSch=&sMonthSch=&titleSch=&locSch=&PrevNext=3317,3314,3303,3302,3300,3297,3296,3281,3278,3275,3274,3261,3252,3251,3243,3240,3239,3238,3233,3222

http://parkenglish.com/seeker/j_view.php?id=3302&page=3&start=40&search=&noSch=&sMonthSch=&titleSch=&locSch=&PrevNext=3317,3314,3303,3302,3300,3297,3296,3281,3278,3275,3274,3261,3252,3251,3243,3240,3239,3238,3233,3222

http://parkenglish.com/seeker/j_view.php?id=3455&page=&start=&search=&noSch=&sMonthSch=&titleSch=&locSch=&PrevNext=3455,3454,3450,3449,3447,3445,3444,3442,3440,3436,3435,3434,3433,3432,3431,3430,3429,3426,3423,3413

As you can see from my selections, money is not my primary motivation for change of career. I want to have the fullest experience possible from the locations I go to and the time to experience the culture and landscape. I am sure that once I have more experience that the higher paying jobs will follow.

Thank you,
Ann


******
On November 16, 2008 I again emailed NAME REMOVED requesting status for the Manila job opportunity after trying to catch him on Skype for 2 weeks.

2008-11-16
Ann: 21:47:16
Hello NAME REMOVED, Any news on the Manila/Korea job? I have started my paperwork list and hope to have everything for Atlanta by mid-January.
TEFL International: 21:47:48
Hi
Ann: 21:55:24
Do you have any information on Korea/Manila?
TEFL International: 21:55:42
let me see
TEFL International: 21:56:20
'need to ask NAME REMOVED.
Ann: 21:56:32
I'm sorry - I thought this was his info
Ann: 21:56:46
I have emailed him twice.
TEFL International: 21:57:07
Will realay your message to him
Ann: 21:57:11
thank you
TEFL International: 21:57:24
No problem

*****
To the Skype contact and my email I received the following response from NAME REMOVED:

Hello Ann,

I've had some trouble with the communication process with that school, so I don't think I can recomend it as a place to work anymore. They wanted to do some stuff with the contract that is not ethical or fair for a teacher. I'd recomend seeking employment with another institution. If you'd still like me to give you a hand, let me know but I won't be able to get you to the Phil. just yet.

Cheers,
NAME REMOVED

*******
On November 18, 2008 I requested more info from NAME REMOVED regarding the project details and procedure:

No problem. I am a bit confused though - am I supposed to find placement on my own in Korea or are you supposed to send my job links that I can interview for? If you are supposed to send links, do you have any other job postings for me to look at that are similar to the links I forwarded from the Park English site (or should I just apply directly from to their site)?

Thanks,
Ann


******
On December 9, 2008 I had not received any additional contact or information from NAME REMOVED, so I again emailed the president NAME REMOVED:

Hello again NAME REMOVED,

I still have not received any contact regarding the Thai/Korea project and had instead been working with NAME REMOVED at Park English directly. She does not seem to have any information on the joint program between TEFL International and Park English and my emails to NAME REMOVED (and before that to NAME REMOVED) have gone unanswered.

At this time I would like to ask for a full refund of my $500 due to the lack of response from your company. I have all the emails filed and documented with my questions that have gone unanswered from the original Thai project, to the confusion over the multiple websites for your company, to the transfer to the Thai/Korea project.

You speedy response and refund of my deposit would be appreciated. If I do not have a response within a week I will take the matter to American Express and the BBB.

Thank you,
Ann
Skype: 12345
Cell: 123.123.1234

*** FYI - here is my last email to NAME REMOVED ****
Nov 17

No problem. I am a bit confused though - am I supposed to find placement on my own in Korea or are you supposed to send my job links that I can interview for? If you are supposed to send links, do you have any other job postings for me to look at that are similar to the links I forwarded from the Park English site (or should I just apply directly from to their site)?

Thanks,
Ann


******
NAME REMOVED emailed me and copied in NAME REMOVED on December 9, 2008 and stated:

NAME REMOVED, did you contact Ann? Can you please report on this contact? If not, then I must agree with her that she deserves a refund.


******
On Dec 10, 2008 I was contacted by a new contact, NAME REMOVED, via Skype. I expressed my desire for a refund and frustration with TEFL. To this he stated:

8:53:18 AM) NAME REMOVED- Certification and Placement Advisor - TEFL International says: I have heard NAME REMOVED agreed to refund this morning if that is what you really want. I would like for you to reconsider if you have not signed up with another company. I can make sure you are handled correctly. 3 months no contact is very unusual. I have known the company for many years and have not heard of this before. I understand how you feel not getting any response. I am available anytime and reply usually within 24 hours except on weekends. You can contact me directly if you want to continue this is such a wonderful experience and placement really is guaranteed for you.


*****
During this conversation he requested to "help" me get the information on the project and job openings in Spring 2009.

I requested:
(9:07:12 AM) Ann says: Can you get me the ful details for the Korea project or any other opportunities that would offer compensation above $1500 USD a month. I have a technical engineering background and my objective is to learn the Japanese, Korean or Chinese language during my employment. I would also prefer decent amount of vacation time to explore the country and culture, at least 2 weeks to 30 days.

(9:11:58 AM) Ann says: Do you have the full details for any jobs on the korea/Thai project? What are the course dates and time line for placement?

(9:12:53 AM) Ann says: You can email information to 12345@gmail.com. These are the types of questions I could not get answered before.

NAME REMOVED stated:
(9:18:23 AM) NAME REMOVED - Certification and Placement Advisor - TEFL International says: Just deal with me I will deal with Joe and get back to you on any specifics. I am the best source as I stay connected with all forms of communication even when I am not working I have my laptop with me and we can email and chat and when you get you microphone we can even talk.

(9:25:02 AM) NAME REMOVED - Certification and Placement Advisor - TEFL International says: Give me 24 hours to get back to you about what we chatted about I need to get with NAME REMOVED in Korea to cover what I now know you are considering.


*****
On Dec 10, 2008 NAME REMOVED (The previous contact assigned by the president) emailed a list of job opening for February 2009. Considering I had discussed entering the Thailand for their 3 week course in April 2009, I expected the problem to be corrected by NAME REMOVED when NAME REMOVED emailed NAME REMOVED:

"NAME REMOVED will be working with her now. She has some pretty specific requests."


*****
On December 11, 2008 NAME REMOVED provided me with the Thai class dates of:

Ban Phe, Thailand
05 January - 30 January 2009
02 February - 27 February 2009
02 March - 27 March 2009
06 April - 01 May 2009
04 May - 29 May 2009

Chiang Mai, Thailand
05 January - 30 January 2009
02 February - 27 February 2009
02 March - 27 March 2009
06 April - 01 May 2009
04 May - 29 May 2009

PLEASE NOTE that the Chiang Mai class is listed again - after I was told it was not available by NAME REMOVED and NAME REMOVED originally in April 2008.


*****
On December 28, 2008 I again contacted the president, NAME REMOVED, requesting a refund due to lack of response from his staff:

Hi NAME REMOVED,

I have not had any contact from TEFL since the last email from NAME REMOVED with the February jobs on it. I have not attempted to contact NAME REMOVED again since our last Skype conversation where he provided me with the class dates. He was supposed to forward info about the Korea program with Park English but I have not received anything to date and I have decided to take a CELTA program stateside before going to Asia instead.

At this time, I would like to move forward with the refund of my $500 deposit.

Thank you,
Ann


******
On January 5, 2009 @ 10:20am CST - I had not received a response from anyone at TEFL and again emailed the president, NAME REMOVED:

Hi NAME REMOVED,

I would like to move forward with the refund of my $500 deposit, please have someone contact me regarding the transfer of funds back to my AmEx card.

Thank you,
Ann


******
The following conversation, on the night of January 5, 2009, occurred via email on my cell phone with NAME REMOVED - please ignore grammar and spelling errors:

--NAME REMOVED @ 7:20pm CST
It is my understanding that we have never backed out of our agreement to supply you with everything promised--training and a guaranteed position in Korea.

--Ann @ 7:37pm CST
I have not been contacted or supplied the positions available (by TEFL) in Korea. No one has even been able to tell me who my contact is at Park English and your company has not followed up in any of the information requested. The only informaiin I hve been provided is the Thai course dates - which I could easily find on your multiple websites.

I have dealt directly with Park English and said I am not required to take your course and can not provide me the person within your organization to contact about your advertised Thai/Korea "project."

I have the documented discussions with NAME REMOVED, NAME REMOVED, NAME REMOVED and NAME REMOVED on this matter and the time/date stamps show that your people have not been helpful or timely.

Please process the refund or contact me via Skype later tonight.

Thank you,
Ann

NOTE: I also forwarded the entire chat thread from my Skype conversation with NAME REMOVEDon Dec 11, 2008 where he stated he would get back to me in 24 hours.


--NAME REMOVED @ 7:54pm CST
Actyally I saw the email from NAME REMOVED detailing positions--he cc'ed me! And I know NAME REMOVED very well. She owns Park English.


--Ann @ 8:17pm CST
Then you know the positions were for February only and I discussed my placement with both NAME REMOVED and NAME REMOVED for May placement after the April class in Thailand. I have not received any further contact since then.

I am not trying to be difficult, I just feel that the lack of appropriate response and guidnce from your company staff warrants my full refund - something you previously agreed with as well at the beginning of December.

You are the only person that has ever responded In a timely manner from TEFL Intl. Your people have not asssisted me by providing information or given me any reason to think your company deserves my $500 prepayment fee.

Please process the refund or I will take mycomplaint with documentation to the BBB, ESL Cafe and the American Embassy as needed.

Ann


--NAME REMOVED @ 8:25pm CST
Ann, withthe Special Programs we do not guarantee you anything but training and a job that meets certain conditions. We do not guarantee you a specific job before you arrive.


--Ann @ 8:55pm
Then how about the name of the contact of a full description I how your program works. Everyone I dealt with did not have a clue about where the job postings came from or If I should deal with TEFL or with Park English.

NAME REMOVED, my contact at Park, does not even know who to speak with and tried to stet me away from your program when I contacted them regarding job listings on their site.

NAME REMOVED provided ONE list of jobs for a time period before I was even supposed to take your class. I was very clear from the beginning that I would be leaving the US in April/May 2009 timeframe.

I do not have cofidence TEFL as a company to take your course or the desire to be in your program based on my experience with your staff.

I am requesting the refund of my class prepayment originally agreed to by yourself and NAME REMOVED. Your company has not offered placement or assistance as posted on your website. No job contract offers of interviews. Not even a registration date for the class.

Your website states guaranteed job with the Thai/Korea program and that is what should be expected (before leaving US soi)l since a job contract is vital to the VISA application for Korea.

I will be online via Skype in 10 Min.


--Ann @ 9:07pm CST
I am online via Skype, MSN and Gtalk and waiting for you to discuss this situation.


*****
I waited until 9:30 for NAME REMOVED to sign on and he did not appear and then attempted to contact NAME REMOVED thru the TEFL Skype contacts that were online:

Chat History with NAME REMOVED
2009-01-05
Ann: 20:59:00
I am online and waiting to discuss the refund situation
with you.
Ann: 21:47:58
I am filing my complaint with the US BBB.

--To BestTEFL Admin
Chat History with BEST TEFL (TEFL Intl.) (besttefl)
2009-01-05
Ann: 20:58:39
Are you in Thailand?
BEST TEFL (TEFL Intl.): 20:59:00
yes
Ann: 20:59:21
Are you near NAME REMOVED?
BEST TEFL (TEFL Intl.): 20:59:31
why?
Ann: 20:59:52
I asked to speak with him earlier this evening and have been
emailing with him regarding my refund processing.
BEST TEFL (TEFL Intl.): 21:00:29
kindly email him
Ann: 21:00:52
I have and will wait for him online.

--To TEFL Intl Admin
Chat History with TEFL International (teflinternational)
2009-01-05
Ann: 20:58:22
Are you in Thailand?
TEFL International: 20:58:58
hi, how can i help you?
Ann: 20:59:17
Are you near NAME REMOVED?
TEFL International: 21:00:09
no, i'm sorry we're not
TEFL International: 21:00:21
you can contact him over msn
Ann: 21:00:29
thank you - I will contact him by email
Ann: 21:00:32
what is his MSN?
TEFL International: 21:00:48
NAME REMOVED@hotmail.com
Ann: 21:01:08
thank you
TEFL International: 21:01:22
np


--To NAME REMOVED:
Chat History with NAME REMOVED- Certification and Placement Advisor - TEFL International
2009-01-05
Ann: 21:23:10
I am online and waiting to discuss the refund situation with
NAME REMOVED... please let him know.
Ann: 21:37:05
I will be filing a complaint with the US BBB in 15 min if I do not
have a response from your company.
Ann: 21:47:55
I am filing my complaint with the US BBB.


*****
On January 5 at 10pm CST I started to file my complaint with the BBB online.

*****
January 5, 2009 - recorded additional information to BBB:
While submitting this complaint at 11:55pm CST on January 5, 2009 - NAME REMOVED signed into his MSN account but not into his Skype or GTalk... and did not attempt to contact me of course.

I have a screen shot with the time/date stamp showing him active:
NAME REMOVED@hotmail.com

*****
BBB ACTIONS:
01/06/2009 Member - Complaint Validated by Operator
01/06/2009 Inform Consumer
01/06/2009 Inform Member Business of Complaint
01/20/2009 MBR- No response to first notice to business
01/20/2009 MBR-Resend Complaint to Business

*****
01/20/2009 Receive Business Response:
I have read Ann's complaint and remain perplexed.

From our terms and conditions it is clear that once you make a deposit you are obligated to attend the course you sign up for. if you fail to attend that course you lose your deposit--it is completely non refundable. Yet, despite this clear statement in the terms and conditions, we tried to accommodate her many changes in program and timing. At any time we could have just told her that her deposit was lost and that she would need to reapply and pay an additional deposit to join any of our programs.

Most recently she asked to join the Special Korea Project and I have seen NAME REMOVED and NAME REMOVED corresponding with Ann to assisit her in joinng the program,

Finally i have spoken to NAME REMOVED , the owner of Park English and she agrees that a TESOL certificate from TEFL International would enable Ann to get a better, higher-paying job in Korea. NAME REMOVED suggests Ann take our course.

While our stated terms and conditions make it clear a deposit is not justified and that TEFL International has every right to simply keep Ann's deposit and give her nothing, we are willing to do 2 things:

1. Use the deposit to pay for an online TESOL training course.

2. Hold the deposit for a future TESOL course.

*****
01/20/2009 Received Consumer Rebuttal:
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)

I am not satisfied with the responses or the treatment received from TEFL International as a business or school. I would like the refund that was agreed to by NAME REMOVED and offered by NAME REMOVED before they tried to resolve the situation one last time in early December 2008.

My changes in programs were due to the confusion stemming from the lack of response from the staff, multiple websites with conflicting project details, and general confusion on their end as to who was "helping" me... and it should be noted that all 4 websites are still not showing consistent data as of today.

I do not feel my constant hounding of TEFL International staff reflects well on them as a business or school or that I should be forced to give up my $500 deposit due to their ineffectiveness as a recruiter/placement agency. The quality of information I received from the TEFL staff was basic information available on the websites and my questions went unanswered as to the procedures to follow for the Thai/Korea project advertised in conjunction with Park English. To date, no one has been able to tell me who the contact is at TEFL from Park English and TEFL has not provided me with a contact name at Park English. The 2 job offers they forwarded were not even within the time frame for me to be in the country (offered February openings when I specifically stated I would be in the March/April 2009 call and in Korea by May 2009 in my multiple Skype interviews).

I consider this highly unethical behavior and I will not do business with TEFL International or trust any more money to their offerings as a school or placement agency.

Regards,
Ann

*****
01/21/2009 Received Final Response from Business:
I am afraid Ann's story is now contradicting itself.

To quote her original complaint:

"I originally contacted TEFL International in December of 2007 about the 4 month Thai project listed on their website (http://www.bestteflcourse.com) for Chaing Mai. I applied, did my interview with NAME REMOVED, paid the $500 deposit for the April 2008 class and processed my VISAs for Thailand in February 2008.

In March 2008, a family member fell ill and I had to postpone the trip."

Yet in her response she claims "My changes in programs were due to the confusion stemming from the lack of response from the staff, multiple websites with conflicting project details, and general confusion on their end as to who was "helping" me"

Finally, to quote our terms and conditions:

"If for any reason you wish to subsequently cancel your place on the course after your part or full fees (i.e. deposit plus balance) have been paid, TEFL International cannot provide any refund except for exceptional circumstances. The course organizer's decision is final. In any case, the deposit is non-refundable. The reason for this is that the staffing for the course and accommodation have fixed costs which have to be paid for in advance and based on a specific number of course members in the group. The college cannot guarantee to replace course members who subsequently drop out."

it is clear that after Ann postponed her original course we were under no legal obligation to assist her further. But we try to accommodate people as best we can. It can get very confusing and annoying, and in Ann's case we spent countless hours trying to help her as she moved from course to course. At times, due to all these changes, we certainly did not follow through as frequently as we should have.

Our offer of a free online course or to hold her deposit for a future course is already a very fair offer.
*****
01/23/2009 Consumer rejects business' final offer:
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)

The original postponement was handled in a fair manner and I was very happy with TEFL until I moved from the original Thai project. When I was told the original project in Chaing Mai was not available in Spring 2008--that is where the trouble with communication and the confusion regarding the staff and project details came in.

I have tried to get basic details and communication from TEFL, from their multiple admins, numerous websites, etc. and the only time I could guarantee a response was to copy in the VP.

TEFL has not spent "countless hours" assisting me... the original interview with NAME REMOVED took the most time and the rest has consisted of my hounding the staff to get a few word in a email and broken promises.

Please provide the refund of my funds as agreed to in December 2008.

Thank you,
Ann

*****
01/27/2009 BBB Contacted me to process the complaint for arbitration.
QueenMac
Registered Member
 
Posts: 4
Joined: 23 Jan 2009, 21:05

Re: WARNING - TEFL International / Bruce Veldhuisen

Unread postby systematic » 27 Jan 2009, 17:18

QueenMac wrote:I have posted on multiple forums and the only site allowing me to post the status of my BBB dispute are:
ETL World
TEFL.net

I have been banned from:
Dave's ESL Cafe (twice)
Thai VISA
Ajarn.com
English-test.net

And my comments have been removed from:
Metacafe.com Videos for TEFL International


Hi Ann,

I have read this with great interest (twice over in fact). I don't think you will be banned for posting on TEFLnet, but any decisions of the moderators are of course binding and they don't need to give their reasons.
About being banned from forums:
Most of the forums you mention are commercial. That means, where they once started with the best of intentions, many exist today for the sole purpose of selling advertising on them, and believe me, it is a highly profitable business. The deal with advertisers is therefore, that any negative feedback about them will be deleted. There have even been instances in the past where wealthy advertisers have simply paid forum owners to close the forum down and go off line.

Multiple websites:
The owners of TEFL International are perfectly aware of the confusion and contradiction that the running of multiple websites causes. However, for reasons best known to themselves they choose to ignore the good and effective practices of advertising and the use of the Internet, and effective web design.

Most of the 'branches' of TEFL International are stand-alone franchises who have licenced the TEFLintl courses. Some of those websites are clones of the TEFLintl sites with a few content changes and may therefore have conflicting content.

The only real TEFL intl college, as far as I know , is the one in Ban Phe in Rayong, and that's where the Internet chat connects to. TEFL Intl, is hoever registered in the USA as a 'non profit charity'.
All of this information is available in the public domain.

Personally, I have no reason to believe that Mr Veldhausen is guilty of any mal practice, but as he nowadays has very little to do with the everyday running of the company's activities, it could be that the professionalism of the staff leaves a lot to be desired - the transcripts of your chats would seem to point in that direction.
I believe that the BBB is a well respected American arbitrator, and that if you are able to state your case in a short concise way, you may have to be content with their recommendations.
Nevertheless, it appears to me that there could be some ambiguity in TEFintl's conditions of sale, and it is not clear whether their major activity is providing TESOL training, or being a clearing house for teachers. My personal experience is that teacher placement agencies are in a more lucrative situation.

I wish you the best of luck in obtaining a satisfactory solution.
You can post your story again on the forum link below without any fear of it being removed.

Systematic
I offer any information or advice 'as is' and hope that it has been of help. I am not an admin of this board, and my postings do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the board management.
____________________
Thailand TESOL forum
systematic
Teacher
 
Posts: 528
Joined: 21 Apr 2008, 13:38
Location: UK, France, & Thailand
Status: Other

Re: WARNING - TEFL International / NAME REMOVED

Unread postby QueenMac » 27 Jan 2009, 17:42

Systematic,

I appreciate your reply and although I do not think Mr. Veldhausen is personally responsible for the problems at TEFL International--he is the one refusing to process the refund that he previously agreed too. Of course, the refund is a concern for me monetarily, but my primary reason for posting is to make others aware of the uncertainty they may be entering into with the staff of TEFL International and that they could potentially lose their deposit money while wasting a lot of time chasing information.

This time last year I was looking forward to my journey to Asia and beginning a new chapter in my life--but TEFL International has left a very sour taste in my mouth. They have disrupted my plans to be there in the Spring 09 with their lack of response and customer apathy. I tried to resolve the situation peacefully but their attitude has forced me to take the fight to the BBB and to the forums.

Thank you again for allowing the post to remain on your forum.
- Ann / QueenMac
QueenMac
Registered Member
 
Posts: 4
Joined: 23 Jan 2009, 21:05

Re: WARNING - TEFL International / NAME REMOVED

Unread postby systematic » 27 Jan 2009, 18:18

Hi Ann,

Please understand that this is not my forum; I am but one of the many contributors :mrgreen:
I offer any information or advice 'as is' and hope that it has been of help. I am not an admin of this board, and my postings do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the board management.
____________________
Thailand TESOL forum
systematic
Teacher
 
Posts: 528
Joined: 21 Apr 2008, 13:38
Location: UK, France, & Thailand
Status: Other

Re: WARNING - TEFL International / NAME REMOVED

Unread postby QueenMac » 09 Apr 2009, 02:50

The decision from the BBB dispute with TEFL International came in on March 11, 2009.

The official decision of the BBB:
"The consumer's request for a refund is denied. The business does not have any obligation to provide credit to the consumer for the deposit."

However, TEFL International (BV) contacted me after the decision and still offered me the opportunity to apply the $500 deposit towards a future class. Since they were under no obligation to do so after the BBBs decision, I do appreciate them honoring the original offer.
QueenMac
Registered Member
 
Posts: 4
Joined: 23 Jan 2009, 21:05


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