Wednesday, 18 July 2012

BEWARE - ITTP TEFL Prague has the Same Owner that also Owns TELF Reviews

Welcome to another blog post on ITTP TEFL Prague Reviews. Today we will be previewing what we will be releasing on this ITTP TEFL Prague Review blog in coming weeks and months. In upcoming blog posts we will be releasing more reviews posted on review sites collected before they were removed by the administrators of these weak review sites unwilling to take a stand against Neville and his unethical practices. We still have over 6 new reviews to be released and I have been sent three new reviews in recent days (two negative and one positive) which will also be added in time.

We are also putting together a nice little study that looks at fake reviews for ITTP TEFL Prague. We will be showing the relationship between the writing styles and words used on some of the reviews for ITTP TEFL Prague on TEFL Reviews that are fake, and also linking these with fake negative reviews for other companies. The outcome of the project is we will be showing proof that Neville has been writing fake reviews for his company ITTP TEFL Prague and also negative reviews for a number of his competitors.

Just a reminder Neville Thomas the owner of ITTP TEFL Prague is also the owner of TEFL Reviews, an apparently “independent” reviews website for TEFL. It is important potential clients realise this.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

ITTP and College of Teachers

After making a number of complaints with College of Teachers who ITTP is affiliated with, we have unfortunately hit a brick wall in terms of progress. I will not use my real name to complain as I genuinely scared what Neville will do if he finds out what former pupil has unearthed this reviews scam he is running. He has threatened my classmates, he has threatened me and I found out he has been threatening review site administrators. I was told he even tracked down the family home of a review site administrator and threatened him there in person. If the man is crazy enough to travel from Prague to London to threaten a review site owner. what will he do after myself and my classmates decided to get serious with letting others know of this review scam he runs. Neville Thomas cannot be trusted and given the College of Teacher's response to this so far, it appears that maybe ITTP has influence there.

Here are the hard facts....

- TEFL REVIEWS - is hosted by an IP address in the same location as the ITTP website.

- When I submitted a negative review to this website Neville (the owner of ITTP) immediately had my email, name and IP address.

- This website claims it is unbiased and indepdent. Really?

I am incredibly disappointed in the College of Teachers and the fact that even faced with all of these facts and also hard statements from Review website administrators, that Neville threatens them, that this organization fails to take action. It brings to question the credibility of such an organization when they align themselves with ITTP and these type of actions.

If you are looking for schools or colleges with no ethics, that threaten and bully their way to hiding bad reviews about their practices - look for schools and colleges aligned with College of Teachers. This is an organization with no code of practices.

ITTP TEFL Prague Review Number 5

I was also on the course that Jake has commented on and agree wholeheartedly with his comments. In answer to Neville's comment about the class size, I would direct him to his own ITTP website where it states "We accept a maximum of just 14 trainees per Course date. We think this is a sensible number and our small class numbers reflects our commitment to education.", this being the first of several lies on the website. The job guarantee which is the reason I took the course is not a guarantee at all. Basically the job guidance was being given a sheet of paper with a long list of language schools (note that some of these schools no longer exist!) and suggest that you contact them. I think I am correct in saying that out of the 20 students who took the course, 18 wanted to stay in Prague and in reality only six of us are still here as the rest have had to leave through lack of job offers and their visas expiring. The few that did get jobs have found it difficult to get up to full time hours and will struggle to pay rent with the hours they have got. I should also add that I did not get a job teaching and took another job related to my work background. I was also promised full course materials and refreshments. The course materials you recieve are the cheapest possible colouring pen, the kind you get 50 of in a pack for a few dollars and are not meant for writing with, and a sketch book... not ideal if you are writing notes. The refreshments amount to a tap. The lack of a printer caused a lot of issues as you need to print of lesson plans and other material and it is difficult for a foreigner to know what printing shops there are in Prague and how to use them! The accomodation, which I was lucky enough not to need, was by all reports a disgrace (cramped conditions, broken furniture and mould amongst other things) and hugely overpriced. I could go a lot further with issues with the ITTP administration. I have also met people who have taken this course before who all agree with my sentiments. I was amazed that their are so few bad reviews about this course. I would also add that the positive comments shown on this (and other) websites are extremely suspicious and I would bet that the vast majority of them have been written by ITTP. Finally, I would be interested to know how ITTP treat the guarantees it offers on the website? "An average teaching hourly rate (45 minutes), ranges from 200-300,-kc. It’s sometimes possible to find language schools paying lower/higher than this average but 200-350,-kc is what you can expect to earn. ITTP not only guarantees you a teaching position upon successful completion of our internationally recognized TEFL/TESOL Certification Course, we also guarantee you won’t be in a teaching position which pays less than this average." I know in my professional experience, if you guarantee something and do not deliver you should compensate the client. I assume that ITTP are not planning to compensate the 16 people on this course who either did not get a job or are not earning the 200kc hourly rate?

ITTP TEFL Prague Review - Neville Thomas

My experience at ITTP was far from a positive one. I don’t think I have ever had certain expectations for something and been so sorely disappointed. I am amazed that there have been so many positive reviews posted about this Language School. The general consensus from the students that took part in my particular course was that they felt misled and immensely disappointed. The accommodation was horrendous. Speaking to locals about the prices we paid to live in a shared flat in Prague 6 with six other ITTP students was obviously inflated. Poor beds, mouldy bathroom, cramped living quarters exacerbated by one toilet/shower between 7 people. Midway through the course two new students were also offered a place in this apartment. Thankfully, they declined the preposterous offer. I found a beautiful apartment in Prague 1, two bathrooms, four bedrooms for a fraction of the price. Now THAT was a ‘good deal’. The malfunctioning washing machine was swapped with a smaller broken washing machine which remained in the apartment. (For our convenience??) Some students from the course previous to us said the same little trick was done to them. The fridge didn’t work either and we were forced to put all of our perishables outside. Once they have your money, they’re very reluctant to help you. Job guidance was literally, a piece of paper with a list of schools that we were ALL given. Some of the schools on the list were broken links, other TEFL schools or no longer existed. There were a total of 19 students in our course. The website states and I quote: ‘’ We accept a maximum of just 14 trainees per Course date. We think this is a sensible number and our small class numbers reflects our commitment to education.’’ Or in reality it reflects their commitment to profit? I saw a recent review complaining that they had 20 people in their January course. Not surprisingly, we weren’t the only ones. Due to our oversized class we all on average received a total of 6 hours of teaching practice. Considerably less than stated on ITTP website. I asked Neville if there was anything I needed to bring with me to get a visa as an non EU citizen. 'No, you do not need to bring anything. You will get all the visa info on the second week of the course.' Little did I know I actually needed a Australian Federal Police Check that had to be done through Australia and would take longer than my 90 day tourist visa would allow due to the time of year and the process itself. And in all honesty, I did not approach ITTP about this because what could they do? They don’t have the power to extend an EU tourist visa! We should be made aware of what visas are available BEFORE we leave for Prague. Some visas require at least $6500USD in a Czech bank account to apply. This is the visa that most employers expect you to have. Especially as a non EU citizen. They wanted ‘proof’ of how much work you had done in order to get a job. Sorry, but I think most students showed initiative and drive to get work by giving up leases on their houses, selling their possessions and leaving their families to fly to Prague to do the course in the first place. I paid ITTP nearly $2500USD (inc. accomm.) and I really did not get my money’s worth. Neville did agree to meet one of my fellow students to discuss his options before his visa ran out but not before being hounded and interrogated about how much he had done towards finding work himself. So the way I see it is, you pay ITTP a lot of money and if they actually have to bring themselves to doing any work, they will do so, begrudgingly. Hardly service with a smile let me tell you. Ask yourself this; do you really think I would take the time to write a review like this just to ruin their day? No. I wrote this review to help prevent other people like myself with dreams of living in Europe happily and living a decent life be exploited and disappointed. I look forward to the inevitable retort in an attempt to justify ITTP’s business practice or to expose my review as an elaborate fabrication. However, I can assure you my comments are justified and on behalf of every ex-student from ITTP I have met before, during and after the course. If this review does not put you off ITTP, then you deserve to be in the same position as me. Living back at home, broke and starting at square one. 

Sunday, 1 July 2012

ITTP TEFL Reviews 3

For the record and the benefit of those reading these reviews, Nevilles comment about my reply to him, for him to "give me money" or I would write a scathing review, Here is what I actually said:- " The only way to put things right with me, Neville, is to refund me. I did give you the opportunity to let me out before the course started, as I was on a tight budget. You could have brought the class numbers down by refunding me then but you simply said "It would be a shame for you to cancel, especially as both your deposits are non-refundable". Who says they are non refundable? You? You told me that accommodation had come up and send more deposit to secure it. I did as you asked only to be told by you, thanks for your deposit, sorry, the accommodation has been taken. You knew the score with me and could have, i,m sure , secured the accommodation before that extra deposit arrived with you, if it was there at all. From then on, I lost all faith in you, but you didn't care because you had our money. So we where stuck with your course and had no choice but to borrow more money to pay for our accommodation. Had there been 14 'MAX',on the course as you say several times on your website, perhaps I would have done better. I got a B. The most I expected was a C. I didn't even get to the lesson plan page in the exam. Dave, I believe, got a B+. ( in fact he got a "B"). Now he was well ahead of me and spent hours at home with me drumming me with more info and teaching and was brilliant. So how come we ended up with very close results? (Same results) Who was the 'Chief External Moderator'? Did he actually look at the exam papers? Did anyone? As you can see Neville, I am not happy. I will not be teaching unless I take a more reputable course that will help me. This certificate, as has been said, could have been created in 'word' and looks like it was. Its not even square on the page. I have signed up now for 'Abroad Reviews' and am going to spend today writing my review and I will probably post it tonight. I could however lie and give you a fantastic review or not do anything but there is only one way that will happen, and that is if you agree to buy back my certificate for what I paid for it. I,m still out of pocket but had a lovely expensive visit to Prague. You certainly did make a big mistake in November. I sincerely hope you can put things right and do the right thing. .............................................. ........................... .................................... That was what I wrote. 9 trainees is a good number, and obviously one that you can cope with. Keep it down and this situation might not happen again. Then again, after this you might not get 9. As for thanking me for "free marketing"..............well, what can I say?....Your welcome?... You planted suspicion about your organisation in my mind before I even got there and unfortunately I could not shake that throughout the course. I went through the course constantly feeling that I had been sucked in by you, and believe this affected my result. Had I not been so, maybe I could have got an "A", (Haha, not). So here's some more free marketing for you....your welcome. Good luck.

ITTP TEFL Reviews Two

WARNING…!!!!!!!! I had put this whole experience behind me until Neville brought it to mind again recently by looking for positive feedback from all of us on that November course. I thought it was a complete waste of my time and money. Mila was great and did his job well. I did,nt quite get it and because there where 20 in the class, did not want to bother him as he had enough to do it seemed. Had there been a maximum of 14, then perhaps i could have asked for a little extra help from him. I did not like the large class and felt quite intimidated and embarrassed to ask for help and even if I had, would he have had the time to give me.? What Howard Black wrote is spot on and I cannot disagree with any of it. I didn’t get to see the cramped, expensive accommodation that was dangled as a carrot to get us there and by all accounts, am glad I didn’t. (The pictures he posted looked nice). From the outset, and even before I arrived in Prague, I felt like Neville was scamming us. He offered this cheap accommodation and once he had my deposit, told me that it was full. I researched accommodation prices and found them to be a lot more than he was offering. I asked him for help and suggested I might not be able to afford the course if I had to pay so much, that the whole thing was based on “the cheap accommodation” he had offered. (Dangled). We ended up, thanks to Bob, finding a great appartement but at 3x the price. Thanks Bob. To my surprise, Neville came back to me saying that someone had moved course and that a small room had become available and if I sent another deposit, he would secure it for me. I sent another lump of money and low and behold, guess what, he thanked me for it and said that someone had got there before me. Do not get sucked in by promisses of cheap accommodation. Others, who were in the accommodation offered have written about that. When I suggested I might not be able to do the course for financial reasons, so giving him the opportunity to reduce the numbers OVERBOOKED on the course, instead of accepting that and letting me cancel it, his simple reply was,…” It would be a shame for you to cancel, especially as both your deposits are non-refundable”…and he gave me a link to a site that would definitely be able to help me. There are, of course, loads of sites that will help you, at a price. Who says our deposits are non refundable and why can,t they be? Particularly when he has made that guarantee of promising a maximum of 14 pupils several times on his website, and is overbooked. The course fee was $1990 but of course if we paid within 3 days, we would “make a whopping saving of 291USD”. I think a few fell for that one and took advantage of it. Then the remainder was to be paid “in full, in CASH” before the course started. Whenever anyone asks me for ‘cash’, my first thoughts are, this sounds a bit dodgy. 20 people paying this amount….Quite a lot by my calculations. I wonder if there is an element of greed involved here. When we went to look for it, the office he referred to did not exist, ‘right in the heart of Prague’. So another lie. I could go on but enough said.. Others have their comments to make. Some appear to be good. This is my opinion only. Shame, on the surface it looked good but BE WARNED..!!!!!! Don,t make the same mistake. Don,t get sucked in by lies and false promisses. LOOK ELSEWHERE...!!!!!!

ITTP TEFL Reviews Part 1

Here is the first review. I will continue posting in the coming days. Please comment if you have any reviews you would like to submit (positive or negative) and we will get these online for you.

I took the ITTP programme in 2011. I chose this course because of the high ratings it got in various reviews. Now I know the reason for such unbalanced ratings. I had no problems with the programme itself. As with many people who wrote a review on this website, I had a lot of problems, however, with the accommodation provided. Little did I know how small the room was. Picture this: when I stretch my arms out, they touched both sides of my room. And mind you, I am only 1.64m tall. Another person from my cohort who also took the accommodation provided had his bed collapse from under him on the first day and he is 70 years old. Luckily he did not suffer any injuries or Neville would have probably found himself in a lawsuit. I would also like to confirm that the bathroom ceiling was covered in mould, which was a major health hazard. During the course, I realised that among the people who took up the accommodation provided by ITTP, my room was the smallest, but, if you recall, that is not what I paid for. So I emailed Neville about it, thinking he may have mixed me up with a student from another course. Neville replied, and I quote: "You paid for the Small and Cosy Room. You have the Small and Cosy Room. The other Small room option (4,450) is in another part of the building but we are no longer offering those cheaper rooms." I then told Neville that I thought that was a fair enough reason but I would have appreciated it if this was what I was told in the first place instead of some story about how it was taken by another student and that by pointing this out I hope that it would not be repeated with another student in the future. And this was Neville's reply: "Thank you for your email. If the reason given was that it was taken then it was taken. We don't appreciate the insinuation that it was otherwise. We have a lot of students coming through the program, not only Onsite students but also combined students and we need to accommodate them too. We also have quite a lot of movement of accommodation options within the building and at other locations in the city. Now, I politely suggest that you please focus on your course studies and I trust this now clarifies everything. There is no need to respond to this email. Thank you." Excuse me, but I think that I, as a consumer, have every right to demand an explanation if I feel that something is not right with my purchase, and for Neville to tell me in no uncertain terms to shut up and accept his reason for taking more of my money is unacceptable. In addition, we met locals during our course and they all told us that for that price, we could have gotten much better accommodation in that area or much less. I was really lucky to have wonderful coursemates who made my experience there positive. So my advice is: take the ITTP course if you want to, the programme itself is great but please please PLEASE do not take the accommodation provided.