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Naked Theft

Stories about dodgy eikaiwa practices

How Fortress Japan Bilked its Victims

This got buried in my stack of stuff to do, but why not haul out the rotten corpse that is Fortress Japan for another round of flogging? To recap, the Consumer Affairs Agency shut down Fortress Japan in February for six months over its coercive methods of signing up new students. The agency's report [PDF] contains five case studies that illustrate how Fortress Japan did business.

Eikaiwa: 

The Japanese Way

Comedy gold!

Page launched an unfair dismissal claim against GEOS, which comes under the umbrella of the GEOS Corporation founded by Japanese businessman Tsuneo Kusunoki.

But the company responded by claiming that Page "accepted understanding of the 'Japanese way' of doing business". They went on to say he was used to Kusunoki "ranting", "berating" and "humiliating" people "so this was nothing new".

Japan: 

On Getting Paid

Tuesday's Lifeline column in The Japan Times featured a situation that illustrated just how fly-by-night teaching English in Japan can be:

Reader TS writes: "I return to the U.S. next week and I was supposed to receive my final pay check from a really bad ALT company . . . last week, but did not receive payment. I've called them but the secretaries say that the people in charge are not in the office. I called my direct contact and he has yet to call me back.

Lessons Unlearned

When Nova went bankrupt in 2007, two central themes of the collapse were the large pre-payment of lesson fees and the inability of Nova to provide refunds. The fallout was so large, the media dubbed Nova's collapse as the largest consumer wipe-out since the end of the Pacific War.

Japan: 

GEOS Goes Bankrupt

Add GEOS to the list of eikaiwas that have gone bankrupt. GEOS filed for bankruptcy today, temporarily closing its schools until the 23rd when G.communication, the company that picked up the scraps when NOVA went bankrupt in 2007, will take over part of GEOS's business.

GEOS will close 99 schools (PDF), while keeping 170 schools and 66 GEOS kids (PDF) schools in operation.

Japan: 

Chiba ALT Conracts Deemed to be Illegal

Whoever wrote The ALT Scam on the Fukuoka General Union blog is probably feeling vindicated right now. The Mainichi Daily News reports:

Public schools here [Kashiwa, Chiba] have been unable to start their native speaker-taught English classes this school year after the city's board of education was accused of violating labor laws with foreign language teachers.

The Problem With Dispatch ALT Jobs

The Fukuoka General Union has a long read titled The ALT Scam that points out the problems with BOEs outsourcing ALT jobs.

The main points are:

China Cautions Students About GEOS

This is going to leave a mark:

China's Education Ministry on Sunday warned students considering studying overseas against Australian schools run by the GEOS group after more than 40 Chinese students were left stranded with the group's collapse.

More than 2,300 students in GEOS group schools across Australia were affected after the college closures. The schools were scattered across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Cairns.

Eikaiwa: 
Japan: 

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