Clogging the pipeline: A Infantile Rent Lot

NOTE: The comments here validate the credibility of opinions of this post since entered (update 6/18/07)

It was remarkably unfair of TEFL international to take away student experiences by their most recent swindle without contacting our administration or upcoming students at all. What’s that? Oh the swindle of the TEFLocal offices & student community after we built it and they are now claiming it as their own.

The story I am speaking of is how a rival TEFL program took the TEFLocal classrooms, took our students, teachers, and even (ouch) our staple supplies.

It was also extremely bad form and unfair to the TEFL students that were going to take the TEFLocal program. The students signed-up for the independent TEFL program wanted immersion, well… what they get is hegemony. Why…

Why would TEFL international design their move into our classrooms any other way. The move was obviously designed to take everything from us, our students, our staff, our location, our Buenos Aires. They wouldn’t even accept the students that tried to get into the program that same month. How rude, how very, very shady.
This however was not unexpected. That is how that company works.

I wrote a blog post early last year how about out of the big three TEFL companies that use marketing to sucker people, TEFL international was the worst. It think I titled the blog, TEFL Swindlenational, because that is how I see how they got where they are today, by taking away people’s money in exchange for an inferior program.

They claim they are non profit, they claim they are accredited, they have claimed all these things for so long people seem to think it was always true. They have some merit to speak on now as the swindle list grows, but how did they get there?

What kind of company is this? What are the facts? Everything i see points to an island near mainland China where rules are lax, its called island international and it where these people want you taste their kool aid. You see drinking their kool aid would have you to believe that they created the best and most magnificent program ever, trumping University of Cambridge, Trinity, and anything made in their next foreign market to capitalize on. They are the ultimate in dis-information, just don’t ask on a chat board, the answer will likely come from them.

Personally, i think it is a shame that they comb chat boards and post on them as administrators, couldn’t be helping someone with their homework? It is also a shame for the students at the Academy of Recoleta that will never get to know the TEFL program, TEFLocal that kept them alive and everything they might grow to be.

The academy community grew with our students at TEFLocal. Now as we have been pushed into a financial squeeze, Bruce laughs and coughs about it in Thailand while worker bees do his dirty work. TEFL international likely doesn’t care about Argentina at all, it is simply another susceptible market they had lined up where there is NO regulation, and obviously true by their most recent swindle, no control. They manage some damage control, but up until now I have only heard horror stories for their partners who I personal know, they were not built with a moral compass, aimless schools sprouting everywhere. They spread like a disease.

Thanks for the students too, thanks for giving us all a heads up TEFL international.

Actually, TEFLint you really could’ve been more tactful and given us and our students a heads up instead of making your cogs speak for you. This was a closed door deal, in the name of profit and greed. Our camp were served a notice that breached our contract, forcefully pushing us out with more money & power.

TEFL international is everything i can’t stand about the TEFL industry run amok by bs that people like Jim & Bruce pump out everyday to TEFL students everywhere.

I suggest avoiding TEFL International at all costs. Save your money and join a more morally sound organization. I will answer any of questions and as an administrator and ESL teacher I am a much better resource than most chat boards which TEFL international obviously see as another spider web for their monetization.

-A.R.Thompson

20 something year old founder of TEFLocal Buenos Aires.

argentina_tefl2.gif

A Infantile Rent Lot is a fitting anagram for TEFL international. Otherwise TEFL SwindleNational works just fine too.

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16 Comments

Filed under abroad, Blogroll, esl, tefl

16 responses to “Clogging the pipeline: A Infantile Rent Lot

  1. Dear A. R.:

    You make a lot of vague claims. Can you tell me exactly what TEFL International did inBuenos Aries that was immoral or unethical? I would really like to know. As the Chief Executive Officer I am ultimaely responsible.

  2. CLARIFICATION – JUST THE FACTS
    1. TEFLocal had no contract with the Academy
    2. TEFLocal failed to pay its bills and had essentially abandoned the facilty
    3. The Academy chose to replace TEFLocal with TEFL International.
    4. Morals? Excuse me sir, the content posted to your members was not truthful.
    5. None of your trainees were stolen TEFL International Buenos Aires.
    6. And no, we do not have your stapler. Perhaps an embellishment on your part?

    Sincerely,
    Patrick Rogge
    Chairman and CEO
    TEFL International SA

  3. Nuevo de Julio. (update)

    I suppose what is most upsetting about the comments above, is that the CEO of TEFL international first e-mailed our organization on a public blog before helping future students or our organization with the transition of their company into our classrooms at the time. We made several requests for the enrollment of our students signed up for the months ahead and these went unanswered. This was a major problem for TEFL students trying to re-locate abroad.

    He also asked us what is wrong in Argentina, check out Egypt, and other “markets” you are aggressively attacking. There is alot more with you than just this one instance, your behavior is horrendous. How do you explain infringing on TEFLinteractive™, with the SAME EXACT IDEA AND SAME EXACT WEB ADDRESS HERE. We have known about you for a long time, we just didn’t think you would screw over our students in the school we built.

    We also feel it is a great wrong to have Bruce ask us about these issues long after they were already a problem for future students. Then, instead of giving us a chance to respond to his public request, his subordinate took it on himself to answer for us with unsubstantiated “facts.”

    Their claims are unwarranted. Do not believe them, where is their proof?

    Our claims have written documentation of these events and due to the fact that TEFLocal is not currently operating, we have no motive to try and twist any facts. They of course do have motives, to save face and lure more students into a $1400.00 program. A program they charge more to students than TEFLocal did, a program that doesn’t offer any Cambridge certification training, a program that started on the other side of the world and has festered into another market for them to make money from. A market where they have no history or design to help people, they are everything I dislike about unaccredited TEFL companies and certified cultural hegenomy.

    We just feel their ponzi scheme business model is unjust to communities and the students they lure into their unaccredited certificate program. That is why we call them, TEFL Swindleneational.

    (end update)

    Dear readers,

    This is an open response to students thinking about taking a TEFL course, or anyone that deals with TEFL. As written from a TEFL grad, ESL teacher, trainer, and school operator at the academy of Recoleta for TEFLocal Buenos Aires.

    Reponse to the CEOs of TEFL International:

    Quierdo boludos,

    Thanks for finally reaching out to us at TEFLocal after you occupy our classrooms, and Bruce as you wanted “facts” your puppet in Argentina tritely filled in that for you, I do have a few words in addition to that list however…

    It is about time you contacted me, I find it appalling that it would be on a public weblog and with arrogant attitudes unbefitting of company officers. This is the first time I have EVER had the displeasure of hearing from either of you, and the audacity of your rudeness in on par with my earlier assessment of how TEFL international operates, without regulation, and without morals. By TEFL international first contacting me on a public blog not only validates that TEFL international trolls the public sphere, but that my opinions are credible and re-enforce my view on your overall methods. I pray to Allah that TEFL international changes its ways, because your illicit business practices give the TEFL industry a bad name, and TEFL international a slimy presence within the international business community. So lets explore… TEFL SwindleNational and let the readers and news outlets make up their own minds about what is happening in the monetized teaching business.

    First off, who am I, How does TEFL work, and why do my comments matter?

    I am an ESL teacher and the creator of TEFLocal, an independent TEFL program that was designed to help the local community, share cultures, and promote positive values. I have a unique view as I have dealt with many students, directors, and organizations in the TEFL world as well as attending anti-oppressive education seminars and earning a social ambassador award from one of the largest NGOs in Argentina.

    So, up until last month we were located in the Academy of Recoleta as the Academy’s principal language school, the creator of a monthly networking event, and head of their marketing department. We existed before the academy did however, and only moved to the academy last year as a move we decided to bring (TEFL) Teaching English as a Foreign Language to their attention and integrate Tango into the curriculum as it fit our core values of a locally focused organization. TEFL+Local was fused into one word to promote local Argentine culture and discourage the pattern of franchising and unclear marketing in other TEFL programs. Most players in the TEFL industry franchise as fast and hard as possible, going so far as to say they are selling one thing, and actually selling another- such as “certified and accredited” TEFL certificates. NO SUCH THING EXISTS OUTSIDE A UNIVERSITY, hence TEFL certificate hold no academic value in the vast majority universities. “TEFL” itself, is simply a methodology and the industry actively promotes it as a bona fide status, such as the TOEFL, ACT, or LSAT. <strong>This is not the case, and their is no international standard, there is no one international “TEFL.”</strong> However, many of the TEFL companies promote, “degrees” and “diplomas” and only positive testimonials to avoid transparency at all costs. Evidently even going so far as to avoid all responsibility by having “CEOs” swindle locations from independent schools & programs . Even going to far as to have many different names for one company promoting free certificates & a non-profit status when this is clearly not the case. I see TEFL International label itself as many names like the “The TEFL corporation” and many more websites/company names feeding disinformation to the public, making prospective student/clients more susceptible to applying for what many thing even after they attain their “TEFL.”

    This sort of advertising is false advertising and in a regulated industry would 100% against the rules. It is deceptive and wrong in rampant global measure.

    There is a lot more at play here as well, such as headhunting, and location take-over.

    Can you imagine if someone moved in your house one day and told you the landlord and the new renter decided was they were better fit? EVEN when you had agreements and assurance that the house was available for another year?

    This is what happened with the Academy of Recoleta, we brought them out of bankruptcy and when we moved in out of our original offices. At the time THEY were going broke and continually had financial stress, not TEFLocal. In fact, we were solicited for rent months & months in advance, because THEY could not pay THEIR bills. We were very generous with this helping them for awhile, but only up until a point. I even sat down with the director one afternoon to plan and make a segway to get the academy more money if we had them create their own TEFL program, in fact the name you now promote as your own was thought of be me, TEFLbuenosaires.com. I certainly would want the academy to succeed as they are friends of mine, but it being a first time business venture for them, they are prone to mistakes and the process that TEFL International was party to, and their new name, so called, “TEFL Buenos Aires” is another example of taking students for a ride.

    Can you imagine for a second, that when TEFLocal called our co-op, as in <strong>TEFLocal Buenos Aires</strong>, that we didn’t think of TEFL Buenos Aires? That is one of many points that people need to know about TEFL International, they reap what others sow, they go into countries and exploit the location with no respect or care of the local community, local businesses, and this is how TEFL international works, speading cultural hegenomy and global imperialism.

    TEFLbuenosaires is a generic term, and quite fitting that TEFL International went with it. They lack a true creativity and business should give no respect for that, TEFL International program’s is a business model, not a unique experience. This is unlike the first TEFL program, TEFLocal, that brought the idea of TEFL to the academy. TEFLocal was in Argentina for years promoting its core values and charging a lower price, TEFLocal equals local culture fused within the idea of the program. And I sure feel that TEFL international equals corporate greed and obviously a degree of stupidity.

    HERE are some bulletpoints illustrating that stupidity that the stooge Patrick Rogge arrogantly posted on the TEFLocal teacher blog. It is the teachers blog, because unlike him, normally ESL teachers post on the blog, he is obviously in ESL for the money, Because if he is in ESL just to be a CEO he should learn rule number one when teaching, know your material.
    He said…

    CLARIFICATION – JUST THE FACTS.
    (without ever contacting TEFLocal at all)

    Statement.

    1. TEFLocal had no contract with the Academy.

    Response.

    This is a lie. Flat out. How could he know when he has never asked us or contacted us before.

    You mean to tell people that TEFLocal never had a contract with the Academy ever? Can you look the director in the eye ask him again with 100% certainty that no agreement was shattered by your moving into our classrooms and using our setups, furniture, maps, and materials? You are responsible for this statement and so is TEFL international. The fact is you have no idea about our agreement as you have never asked anyone in our organization.

    2. TEFLocal failed to pay its bills and had essentially abandoned the facilty

    Again, where are you getting this information? Oh yes, you are making it up.

    This grossly irresponsible statement and 2 for 2, a flat out lie.

    It is unfortunate that this was even brought up as the question is designed to have somebody lose face, if so, here is the truth.

    The academy was constantly avoiding bills as they were always on the brink of losing everything. We always had money to give to the academy, the community, everywhere – you would know as TEFL pays your bills. I have written e-mails from the academy director that states THE ACADEMY was in dire straights.

    We also shelled out two months in advance as the director pleaded for more, but we as an independent organization were uncomfortable doing so and ultimately tried to help them with an alternative solutions such as naming an independent program TEFL buenos aires, instead of TEFLocal Buenos Aires. Really, this one is blatant ignorance and really makes your organization look like it is run by an ass.

    3. The Academy chose to replace TEFLocal with TEFL International.

    Yes, after we announced we were leaving.

    We had a 60 day notification clause in our contract which TEFL international helped violate, screwing over students that made travel plans long before a 15 day window we had to leave. This is so dis-respectful by the academy director and the TEFL international director

    I would still like to know the details of why the short time frame was chosen and why NO ONE thought about the TEFL students going to attend there with TEFLocal. Was there bribery involved? Non disclosed agreements? How shady was all of this?

    Many at the academy would of considered me a day manager there, as I would often take care of daily duties, close up, and had a good relationship with the director. Want to see out guest book, our video, our scores of testimonials? We have everything that points to a good relationship. it is is unfortunate it has ended due the disgusting tactics TEFL international uses to get its way. I know he has a family and tries to work hard, I respect him and the academy community very much, it is just that this was played out wrong since he is an amateur business man. TEFL international is suppose to better than that, well perhaps they are, they got their way and stepped on both of us, i have heard that the new TEFL program director is “code red” lame. That sucks for everyone.

    I had a good relationship until after a hard days work of building and hammering on a roof I came home to my community living hostel and read the academy’s note. I was surprised as we talked of a change, but only informally, and supposedly nothing would change our agreement with academy. This is of course in writing.

    I was in New Orleans volunteering for a few weeks as the freedom from working in the TEFL industry brings in a lot of money.I choose to promote the same values that TEFLocal does in my free time, it would make sense as I truly believe in making a positive impact.

    I choose to share the wealth, and actively teach. You can follow along on this very blog to see that. Start on April 10th, it’s titled, The Argentina TEFL course, over two weeks before TEFL international registered multiple names heavily “borrowing” la alma de TEFLocal & TEFLocal Buenos Aires. We were not contacted at this time or anytime until the comment above. So over two years after we began TEFLocal Buenos Aires, TEFL International had John Kettlewell register teflbuenosaires.com/net/etc. names for TEFL International from Ontario, Canada on the date of April 25th, 2007 as according to the public WHOIS database. There are multiple examples of TEFL international taking other organization’s ideas and employing them as there own as long as I have been in education, it is how their business operates.

    The whois database was changed seems “masked” since this response has been posted, luckily we can verify this as well as other examples of questionable name and operations management. They are actively trolling the web to manipulate their image, to distort reality, and the masking of the WHOIS database proves that. I have more examples, even some where they have taken our exact ideas and again applied them to their profit, profit, profit business model.

    Statement 4. Morals? Excuse me sir, the content posted to your members was not truthful.

    No, you are NOT excused.

    I am upset that you would ask to be excused at all, this is all public information and as of now, I haven’t sent out a bulletin to members, other than a red flag to the TEFL community for your actions. It has been weeks since you began operations and only write now as obvious damage control, I call it as I see it, and from what I have seen your moral compass is really screwed up. I can’t imagine an ESL teacher, someone that works under you, or along side of you ever garnering respect for your ability to mess up a transfer of programs more. You come across as quite clueless and far from humble in your “facts.

    Do you think that going on the TEFLocal ESL teacher blog and started this thread is anyway to treat people? Why wouldn’t you answer our calls for our students that were going to be SOL as we needed to scramble for a new location and help place them in a new program? We sent them to competitors of course, we had to, you wanted to screw them over just so you wouldn’t be in touch with us, why contact us at all?

    5. None of your trainees were stolen TEFL International Buenos Aires.

    No, not stolen exactly. But hired by TEFL International during the time that they worked for TEFLocal. This of course affected job performance and many duties were neglected. I suppose some people just see money & TEFL International saw our staff as a golden opportunity to just take them without asking us, setting up a trade date, or even thinking about the fact that that our employees were not free agents. This isn’t an opinon, but a fact that this wasn’t allowed and TEFL International pressed on anyway. We have contracts in black and white, we were not contacted about this at all. They just didn’t care as they operate out of Thailand and do what they want.

    Statement 6. And no, we do not have your stapler. Perhaps an embellishment on your part?

    Funny ha ha… Perhaps, but why joke around when you put so many students out and only finally contacted us when it was on our blog and wrote grossly incorrect “facts”. Why is this number 6 Anyway? This should be number 1, or not on the list at all.

    Pelotudo, If you have ever worked for what you have or seen Office Space, you would know that some employees in an organization value their supplies. As you have been opaque in your business decisions, I can say with some likelihood that you are using some of our school supplies as I said in my post, and and that likely includes our staple supplies. As for the stapler itself… she is in a safe place.

    As far as the any other claims that really do expose TEFL international and THEIR credibility. Just ask around. Ask if we didn’t bring TEFL to Argentina before, (in the same exact location they are using now) had staff that volunteered, brought in guest speakers every month, taught Tango, Spanish, won friends in the community, taught hundreds of students English, helped students with University of Cambridge TESOL TKT certificates in addition to teacher training, and didn’t save the academy from impending Bankruptcy, b/c unlike TEFL International, TEFLocal can back up their claims and is glad that that helped make a positive impact in Argentina. We have family in Argentina, friends, and a rich history of helping students to make a local difference, that is everything that we are, and everything that TEFL International would like to copy, just like many of the TEFL programs that operate under their disorganized and shady umbrella.

    -A.Ryan Thompson
    ESL teacher in the TEFLocal community.

    Please make up your own mind as to what the real story is and discuss it on forums like: Dave’s ESL Cafe, TEFL watch, Lonely Planet and other open forums like the TEFLocal ESL teacher blog. If you have any questions, or would like to respond to my comment, or the writers above, please post on this blog and we should get back to you. Thank you.

    Saludos,

    A.R.Thompson
    ESL teacher & TEFLocal Staff

  4. Weeks

    Ownage!
    No kidding, this corporation is shady with a capital SHADY.

  5. You might wanna check out this thread about TEFL International’s Business Dealings in Thailand.

    http://www.teflwatch.org/forum/index.php/topic,1177.0.html

    Some allegations being made: Teachers cheated out of salary, Teachers having their TEFL certificates being held hostage, and an intricate web of deceit.

  6. Freedom Fighter

    Bruce Veldhuisen and his cronies are systematically raping the industry. They are in it purely for the money. They hurt teachers, students, schools and anyone who does business with them.

    Please go to http://www.teflwatch.org/forum/index.php/topic,1355.0/all.html where you will find lists of organisations that can be contacted in order to submit your complaints.

    Please help to stop these crooks. The more complaints that are received, the more likely they are to be investigated. When the right people start to look into what these fiends are doing they are sure to be looking at some kind of criminal case.

    I am just a concerned teacher in Thailand who has seen what these villains are doing and want them stopped.

    They spend a great deal of time trawling the net to defend accusations and spread their lies when they should be running their so called ‘market leading’ company. They love to cloud the issue so that no-one will understand the problems. Don’t be fooled. Help stop them.

  7. Lone ranger

    TEFL International have been reported to the justice department in the US. we need your complaint to help close these crooks down.
    BV and his Honey!! have bribed police to try and stop his competitors and lied under oath to try and have people imprisoned.
    send your complaints to

    domeman2005@yahoo.com

  8. Let the truth be told

    I am not surprised in the least that Bruce Veldhuisen is running a shady operation and is in trouble with the law. It isn’t the first time. See, I know first hand about Mr. Veldhuisen…I know he abandoned his first two sons when they were toddlers in the US and wouldn’t pay child support to them. He would only allow their step-father to adopt them if he could get out of the $40,000 he owed in support. I know the law caught up with him out of the country (where he stayed to get out of the responsibilities in the states).
    As for business…I wouldn’t do business with this man ever. He was fired from the one and only job he had in the US before leaving for Asia. The fired him because he did nothing, absolutely nothing but collected a paycheck. While his family starved, he travelled back and forth to Asia “on business” using up whatever money there was to support the his family.
    Now that I hear about his business problems I know what is being said about his is true, very true. He is a cruel fraud of a man who has a violent temper and will say he is right to the point of stupidty. My best advance is to stay clear of him or it will cost you dearly.

  9. Lone Ranger

    Let the Truth be told.
    Contact me and give me more details….BV is using threats of legal action in Thailand against anyone who goes against him….help us nail him!

  10. It’s a shame that they did that to your organization.

  11. Pingback: Has TEFLWatch Sold Out? - Page 48 - TeakDoor.com - The Thailand Forum

  12. Fike2308

    TEFL International is a total scam.

    I want to contribute to their demise.

    Bruce and Mike are crooks.

  13. Wow. Thanks for the head’s up everyone! I’ll be sure to steer clear of TEFL International while researching programs from here on out.

  14. Bruce

    Funniest posts of the year.

    Take the 10 biggest losers in th world.

    Send them to Thailand because they cannot find a job or a girlfriend elsewhere.

    Give them internet and access to a blog.

    The miracles of the internet.

    I might laugh about this one for weeks. Oh especially my poor abandoned children.

    lol

  15. This issue has also been raised on the ELT World forums. there’s a hell of a lot of money to be made in the world of TEFL, unfortunately there are some real bastards out there who are prepared to act disgracefully to get it.

  16. Be careful dealing with Bruce Veldhuisen and TEFL International… get a CELTA or Trinity and don’t waste your time and money!!!

    The websites I am speaking of are: bestteflcourse.com
    teflinternational.com
    teflcoursethailand.com
    teflintl.com

    Please see my BBB dispute post on Dave’s ESL: forums.eslcafe.com
    View Topic 725523

    Second Poll posted on ThaiVisa.com:
    thaivisa.com/forum
    Search for BBB Dispute Tefl International

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