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FYI - Deceptive Practices By Hagwons
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waterbaby



Joined: 01 Feb 2003
Location: Baking Gord a Cheescake pie

PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2003 7:25 am    Post subject: FYI - Deceptive Practices By Hagwons Reply with quote

EFL-Law has compiled a list of Deceptive Practices on their website. Read and beware!

EFL-Law wrote:
In the month's of May through October, 2003, we have been advised on a great number of occasions of the following practices that are grossly unfair, contrary to Korean and international Law, and cause the expat stress, heartbreak and financial loss. The greater % are attributable to Private hogwons. You should be aware of the following and be prepared to deal with them:-
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William Beckerson
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2003 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why isnt this a sticky?

Lessee how my experience stacks up;

Quote:
Dismissal at the 11 Month Mark of the Contract

Not yet. Maybe this is my next screwjob?

Quote:
Dismissal at the 5 Month Mark of a Contract

Got it at the four month mark. Does it still count?

Quote:
Teacher Assaulting Students

Saw the claim laid at a coworker's feet. He pulled a runner rather than try to fight it. Problem was, he was far from the end of his contract and there are much easier ways to get rid of someone, so I cant figure out the reasoning for it.

Quote:
Shared Accommodation With Strangers

Saw it at the craphole in Incheon.

Quote:
Flouting Immigration Law
e) schools deliberately not completing Immigration requirements within the first 90 days as required under Immigration law - designed to have the teacher forced from Korea for breach of Immigration laws

And that's why my visa is FUBAR to this day.

Quote:
School Being Sold to New Owner
f) schools being 'sold' to new owners who refuse to accept the contract previously entered into by the former owner -

This happened at my first hagwon after I left. Half the staff pulled a midnight run after they signed their new contracts.

Quote:
School Borrowing Money From Teacher
g) school owners 'borrowing' money from the teacher with promises to pay it back - and not doing so - if this happens it is a clear warning that the school is close to bankruptcy

William Beckerson, this is your life... in Incheon.

Quote:
Airfare Calculations
h) school owners who have contracted to pay the return air fare to the teacher at the end of contract but have calculated the fee based on exchange rates that existed 12 months ago -

Thats a new one on me. I always get my airfare reimbursed the second I arrive.

Quote:
Apartment Security Deposit
i) some schools include in their contract that the teacher must pay an 'apartment security deposit' (ASD) of 600,000 Won which is deducted from the initial pay, and is designed to cover any outstanding apartment expenses or damage caused willfully or negligently by the teacher during his stay

Boy, you'd think this never happens back home...

Quote:
The EPIK Renewal Process

Hahahahaha Hoohoohoohoohoohoo Harharharharhar hehehehehehe. EPIK...

Quote:
Misleading Vague Contractual Conditions On Working Times

Isn't this standard practice?

Quote:
Racial Discrimination

Never saw it happen. Then again, I never saw a black face in my office either.


Okay, that's four "Happened to me" and four "Saw it happen to someone else". Do I win a prize?


Last edited by William Beckerson on Fri Nov 21, 2003 4:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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buddy bradley



Joined: 24 Aug 2003
Location: The Beyond

PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2003 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good lord Beckerson you've had it bad - how did you ever cope?!
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William Beckerson
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2003 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two ways:

1- By keeping a sense of perspective about Korea and my place in it.

2- Leaving my "White Man's Burden" to be shouldered by someone else.
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Joe Thanks



Joined: 01 Oct 2003
Location: Dudleyville

PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2003 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Apartment Security Deposit
i) some schools include in their contract that the teacher must pay an 'apartment security deposit' (ASD) of 600,000 Won which is deducted from the initial pay, and is designed to cover any outstanding apartment expenses or damage caused willfully or negligently by the teacher during his stay - some schools have fabricated stories and reasons as to why the' ASD' should not be refunded - thus one should be very wary of signing this type of contract.



ECCs seem to keep this in their contract, though it was illegal (back in 1999-2000). A school can gouge for airfare refunds but cannot legally deduct a "security deposit" at any time. Anybody know if it's changed since 2000?


Cheers,

Joe
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BTM



Joined: 20 Jan 2003
Location: Back in the saddle.

PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2003 6:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah-hahahahhaha!

No, sorry, that's not funny at all. I am a bad person.
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prairieboy



Joined: 14 Sep 2003
Location: The batcave.

PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2003 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Apartment Security Deposit
i) some schools include in their contract that the teacher must pay an 'apartment security deposit' (ASD) of 600,000 Won which is deducted from the initial pay, and is designed to cover any outstanding apartment expenses or damage caused willfully or negligently by the teacher during his stay - some schools have fabricated stories and reasons as to why the' ASD' should not be refunded - thus one should be very wary of signing this type of contract.



ECCs seem to keep this in their contract, though it was illegal (back in 1999-2000). A school can gouge for airfare refunds but cannot legally deduct a "security deposit" at any time. Anybody know if it's changed since 2000?[/quote]

The ECC I used to work for still does this despite the fact that I told them it was illegal. I also told them to check it out for themselves...I guess they didn't or just didn't want to.
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Mr. Pink



Joined: 21 Oct 2003
Location: China

PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2003 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joe Thanks wrote:
Quote:
Apartment Security Deposit
i) some schools include in their contract that the teacher must pay an 'apartment security deposit' (ASD) of 600,000 Won which is deducted from the initial pay, and is designed to cover any outstanding apartment expenses or damage caused willfully or negligently by the teacher during his stay - some schools have fabricated stories and reasons as to why the' ASD' should not be refunded - thus one should be very wary of signing this type of contract.



ECCs seem to keep this in their contract, though it was illegal (back in 1999-2000). A school can gouge for airfare refunds but cannot legally deduct a "security deposit" at any time. Anybody know if it's changed since 2000?


Cheers,

Joe


How is it illegal if it is part of a contract? I worked at ECC and had this done YEARS ago. The contract goes to both the department of justice and immigration department. Curious how something illegal can be put in a legal document that is approved by the government.

Also it is a good thing that schools do this. I guess you guys have no idea how many foreigners leave with unpaid bills, or rake up huge phone bills.

Want to know what is worse than schools deducting "security deposits", that would be roommates who rake up HUGE long distance bills and pull a midnight run leaving the other roommate f-cked.

I have nothing but GOOD things to say about ECC. I always got paid on time. When I had some financial problems they gave me a pay advance. The housing could have been better, but I had a 2 bedroom apt. to myself for most of my 2nd year. As far as hawgwons go, they are pretty realiable. They might not have the most vacations or the best pay scale, but at least you get paid and don't have to worry about stuff like getting screwed over.
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some waygug-in



Joined: 25 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2003 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

600,000 won seems a bit steep to me. I had to pay 300, 000, which I never got back. I just chalk it up to the cost of working in Korea. If I had known it was illegal, I never would have signed the contract.

As far as unpaid bills, not that that never happens, but it would be nice if the employers were honest enough to give back the money to teachers who do pay their bills. I suppose you can say that they are just offsetting the cost from the bad teachers to the good ones.

Ah, c'est la vie. Confused

Cheers
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TheUrbanMyth



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Location: It's not a superiority complex when you really are superior

PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2003 3:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TheUrbanMyth Ways to get around these wrote:

Quote:
Dismissal at the 11 Month Mark of the Contract

Have it written into the contract that the teacher cannot be fired (for other than a violation of Korea law) with only one month to finish. There are a number of people who have signed contracts like this. Again it may not stop them from firing you, but at least you have something to show the Labour Board.

Quote:
Dismissal at the 5 Month Mark of a Contract

This is a little harder. Before you sign have a requirement that states they must tell you exactly why they are firing you and provide written documents to back it up. Won't stop them from firing you if they really want to, but might slow them down.

Quote:
Teacher Assaulting Students

Ask for student(s) name(s). If they ask why tell them you are going to the Labour Board. With any luck they may back down.


Quote:
Shared Accommodation With Strangers

Refuse under all circumstances. Have single accomodation written into the contract and enforce...by if necessary refusing to work until fired or until they meet your request. This goes back to foreigners who refuse to grow a spine.

Quote:
Flouting Immigration Law
e) schools deliberately not completing Immigration requirements within the first 90 days as required under Immigration law - designed to have the teacher forced from Korea for breach of Immigration laws

This sounds rather strange to me. Why would a school go to all the expense of hiring a teacher and then get them "deliberately" kicked out?
Someone didn't do their homework on this one. You'd have to be a pretty crappy teacher to have this happen to you. And those kinds we don't need in Korea anyway.


Quote:
School Being Sold to New Owner
f) schools being 'sold' to new owners who refuse to accept the contract previously entered into by the former owner -

Then find a new job. Go to Immigration and sign a release.

Quote:
School Borrowing Money From Teacher

g) school owners 'borrowing' money from the teacher with promises to pay it back - and not doing so - if this happens it is a clear warning that the school is close to bankruptcy

Just say No. Again foreigners just need to grow a backbone.

Quote:
Airfare Calculations
h) school owners who have contracted to pay the return air fare to the teacher at the end of contract but have calculated the fee based on exchange rates that existed 12 months ago -

Have it reinbursed when you arrive. No payee, no workee

Quote:
Apartment Security Deposit
i) some schools include in their contract that the teacher must pay an 'apartment security deposit' (ASD) of 600,000 Won which is deducted from the initial pay, and is designed to cover any outstanding apartment expenses or damage caused willfully or negligently by the teacher during his stay

And this is different from signing an apartment lease back home, how?


Quote:
The EPIK Renewal Process

Again do your homework

Quote:
Misleading Vague Contractual Conditions On Working Times

Have your contract be exact on these (among other things)

Quote:
Racial Discrimination

Fight what you can fight.



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just because



Joined: 01 Aug 2003
Location: Changwon - 4964

PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2003 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Urban Myth makes some good points.
Some people here need to grow some balls and stand up for themselves instead of being walked over. I haven't been screwed yet and I think its because I'm pretty clear about what i want upfront. Also, those two magic words if all else fails, "Labour Board" are great to see if the wonjangnim is full of bull, or really has a legitimate gripe.
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Joe Thanks



Joined: 01 Oct 2003
Location: Dudleyville

PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2003 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Mr. Pink"]



How is it illegal if it is part of a contract?


a.) THINK about what you wrote here.
B.) Remember you are working in SOUTH KOREA


Quote:
I worked at ECC and had this done YEARS ago. The contract goes to both the department of justice and immigration department
.

A CONTRACT. It is never read. It isglanced at for signatures and fied away. It is only exampined when called to task.


Quote:
Curious how something illegal can be put in a legal document that is approved by the government.



Then you're ignorant or naive. It happens in SK all of the time (other countries too, btu I will stick to SK since that's crucial to the discussion).

Quote:
Also it is a good thing that schools do this. I guess you guys have no idea how many foreigners leave with unpaid bills, or rake up huge phone bills
.


It's a corrupt thing for schools to do this. It's ethically wrong and it's a bridge of distrust right off the bat.

I hear what you're saying (Well, I read and understand your side of the coin) but the issue is insane. 600,000 NT.

They should get the phone charges: 200,000 NT if they gouge for anything. I believe it's a refundable deposit of 200,000 NT to get your phone as a foreignr in Korea - maybe for locals too. Land phone. 200,000 - REFUNDABLE is not bad. Most folks don't run their charges that high.

The apartment rent is nothing. The "security/trash/whatever" bi-monthly/annual/monthly fee is like 10,000-30,00 NT. If the company is too cheap to cover it and a loser cheats the payment then the school should suck it up. If not - then they are horrible for passing it onto the incoming teacher.



Quote:
Want to know what is worse than schools deducting "security deposits", that would be roommates who rake up HUGE long distance bills and pull a midnight run leaving the other roommate f-cked.


Indeed. That's why schools should do the phone deposit in lieu of a "600,00NT gouging" or, help them get hand phones. Deduct the HP cost from salary. Then it falls on the individual teacher. Home phones - each teacher pays for their own home or hand phone for their room.

There are ways around this without screwing the teacher or school.


Quote:
I have nothing but GOOD things to say about ECC. I always got paid on time. When I had some financial problems they gave me a pay advance. The housing could have been better, but I had a 2 bedroom apt. to myself for most of my 2nd year. As far as hawgwons go, they are pretty realiable. They might not have the most vacations or the best pay scale, but at least you get paid and don't have to worry about stuff like getting screwed over.


That's not the issue. The issue as the hefty, possibly illegal gouging in the contract.


Cheers,

Joe
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Mr. Pink



Joined: 21 Oct 2003
Location: China

PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2003 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joe Thanks wrote:
Quote:
Mr. Pink"]



How is it illegal if it is part of a contract?


a.) THINK about what you wrote here.
B.) Remember you are working in SOUTH KOREA


Quote:
I worked at ECC and had this done YEARS ago. The contract goes to both the department of justice and immigration department
.

A CONTRACT. It is never read. It isglanced at for signatures and fied away. It is only exampined when called to task.


Quote:
Curious how something illegal can be put in a legal document that is approved by the government.



Then you're ignorant or naive. It happens in SK all of the time (other countries too, btu I will stick to SK since that's crucial to the discussion).

Quote:
Also it is a good thing that schools do this. I guess you guys have no idea how many foreigners leave with unpaid bills, or rake up huge phone bills
.


It's a corrupt thing for schools to do this. It's ethically wrong and it's a bridge of distrust right off the bat.

I hear what you're saying (Well, I read and understand your side of the coin) but the issue is insane. 600,000 NT.

They should get the phone charges: 200,000 NT if they gouge for anything. I believe it's a refundable deposit of 200,000 NT to get your phone as a foreignr in Korea - maybe for locals too. Land phone. 200,000 - REFUNDABLE is not bad. Most folks don't run their charges that high.

The apartment rent is nothing. The "security/trash/whatever" bi-monthly/annual/monthly fee is like 10,000-30,00 NT. If the company is too cheap to cover it and a loser cheats the payment then the school should suck it up. If not - then they are horrible for passing it onto the incoming teacher.



Quote:
Want to know what is worse than schools deducting "security deposits", that would be roommates who rake up HUGE long distance bills and pull a midnight run leaving the other roommate f-cked.


Indeed. That's why schools should do the phone deposit in lieu of a "600,00NT gouging" or, help them get hand phones. Deduct the HP cost from salary. Then it falls on the individual teacher. Home phones - each teacher pays for their own home or hand phone for their room.

There are ways around this without screwing the teacher or school.


Quote:
I have nothing but GOOD things to say about ECC. I always got paid on time. When I had some financial problems they gave me a pay advance. The housing could have been better, but I had a 2 bedroom apt. to myself for most of my 2nd year. As far as hawgwons go, they are pretty realiable. They might not have the most vacations or the best pay scale, but at least you get paid and don't have to worry about stuff like getting screwed over.


That's not the issue. The issue as the hefty, possibly illegal gouging in the contract.


Cheers,

Joe


Using the "this is SK" excuse doesn't really fly with me. Do you think if the country ignored legal contracts all the time international business would invest in the country?

I still want to know WHERE it says it is illegal. Sounds like another urban myth to me. Because some website says it, doesn't cut it with me either. I want some actual proof.

About the phones. I went into an ECC where some girls had literally stuck the school with over 1mil won in telephone bills. Your idea of 200,000won deposit is nice and all, but some foreigners are just as trashy as some of the hawgwon directors I have read about on this board. I like the idea of hand phones. I also like the idea of hand phones that the teachers use a "card" to buy time for. That way they won't be tempted to screw their boss.

Anyways, there are some good points to avoiding the housing deposit. However I think it is like a catch 22 situation. There are bosses that screw over employees, and employees that screw over bosses. Some employees read the crap about bosses, or feel an injustice has been done to them, so they rake up HUGE phone bills. I have heard of others trashing their apt. Bosses then hear about these bad apples and try to protect their own arse.

600,000 won is a lot of money? Even 300,000 is a lot of money? I don't think it is a lot to ask for a school that puts "trust" on someone they dont know.

I don't agree it is unethical to take a security deposit. Considering you get free rent. If you were paying rent back home, you do first/last month's rent...the last month being a security deposit of sorts. What is unethical is some directors keep the money. However not ALL do, just as not all foreigners leave the country owing 2 months on all utility/phone bills.
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shawner88



Joined: 01 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2003 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

just because wrote:
The Urban Myth makes some good points.
Some people here need to grow some balls and stand up for themselves instead of being walked over. I haven't been screwed yet and I think its because I'm pretty clear about what i want upfront. Also, those two magic words if all else fails, "Labour Board" are great to see if the wonjangnim is full of bull, or really has a legitimate gripe.



I agree, in the past the teachers who got the worst deal were the ones that just accepted everything. Especially if it's their first job. It's very easy to feel initmidated when you just arrive in the country. There's no excuse after your first job though...stand up for yourself, be courageous and you will be fine.
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Austin



Joined: 23 May 2003
Location: In the kitchen

PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2003 10:06 pm    Post subject: Deceptive... Reply with quote

Two-way street...

a) "Teachers" coasting after completing the eleventh month of their contract with the hopes that their employer will not hold them responsible. The "I am checked out of here!" syndrome.

b) "Teachers" trying to slide to the six month mark before they leave their school, as they do not want to have to pay for their airfare, though they are leaving their employer. Their work ethic gets so weak that employers are forced to fire them.

c) "Teachers" opting to quit on their students and their employer by just showing up for work without preparing any lessons, since they are close to the end of their contract. Some resort to abusing their students to keep them quiet, as they fear the truth will reach their employer (as it often does).

d) "Teachers" that mistake a Korean contract as the guarantee of everything without taking into consideration the relationship with their employer.

e) "Teachers" failing to realize when an employer is not satisfied with their work ethic and has no intention of keeping them employed. It often results in the employer not processing the papers, so they can get out of the contract.

f) "Teachers" failing to recognize how they can negatively impact schools by losing students, etc., which can result in the school having to be sold.

g) "Teachers" that claim to have lent money without remembering the principle of lending (lend only that which you are willing to part with forever).

h) "Teachers" that sell the contents of the furnishings in their apartment that belong to the school, leave unpaid utility bills, phone bills, etc., and skip out in the middle of the night.

i) Some "EPIKs" are not offered contract renewals. Though they may not agree with the reasons, each school is allowed to decide whether they wish to extend a contract extension or not.

j) Many contracts are written using vague terms as to allow for maximum flexibility in the interpretation of the document throughout the year. Too often, many inexperienced teachers interpret the wording of their contract in one way and fail to recognize that their employer will interpret the wording in a different manner.
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