They baited and switched me on a job placement in 2017. The owner Ian said I could get a full-time job that paid $3,800 a month with a free furnished apartment with air-fare reimbursement if I completed his TEFL course ($599 at the time) and a fake diploma from him for another $500 which I negotiated down to $300. Since I would be making $3,800 AFTER TAXES it sounded like a great deal. After I paid him all the money and bought my $1,200 plane ticket to Shanghai (non-refundable) Ian called me the day before I left and told me to change my ticket to Beijing and take a train to Tianjin because he said the Shanghai job would not be available for another semester. I had to pay an extra $50 to change my ticket and then took the bullet train to Tianjin for another $30.
I found this dumpy school and the Principal took me for dinner and asked to hold my passport so she could register me with the local police AFTER I FIND MYSELF and apartment! I called Ian and he said the freebie apartment came with the Shanghai job, not the Tianjin job! So I found a one bedroom furnished apartment for $500 a month but I had to pay first, last, and security in advance and also deposits on the water, gas, electric and internet. In all it cost me $2,700 to move in.
The job was easy and then came payday after six weeks. In China they pay you for the work you did last month on the 15th of the new month. I was expecting the $3,800 and was paid the equivalent of $1,800 and was given all sorts of *** reasons why I didn't get the $3,800 promised to me by Ian and my contract!. She told me Chinese taxes were 25% of my pay and until my six months probation period was over I would be getting the same 12,000 rmb every month. I told her I quit and I planned to go to see the Great Wall and then just home and get a refund from Ian. That old bag Principal would not give me back my passport until I either completed my contract or found her a replacement foreign teacher since the parents of my 27 students would be furious. She told me to work it out with Ian. Ian told me I had to work it out with the *** I decided to "work it out" with the police. Big mistake.
After the cops came (one actually spoke a little bit of English) I told them the whole story. They asked the woman to give them my passport. I thought they were going to return it to me. Instead, they asked me how many classes I had taught and so I told them the truth. They said I should go with them to the police station so they could write a report and officially return my passport.
We got to the cop shop and the cops told me I was under arrest for working illegally without a work permit. They took my photo, put me in cuffs, and took all the money out of my wallet and said that I was paying the fine. I was waiting to see a judge to tell him or her about this horrible mistake. After all Ian got the Shanghai school to send me an invitation letter and was told the F visa was okay for 90 days and then it would be extends for another 90 days.
Guess what. I never saw any judge, was not allowed to call a lawyer and was taken directly to a jail way out in the boonies where I met about 60 other foreigners with similar problems, including two guys that had also used Ian and were offered the very same $3,800 job in Shanghai that came with 10% pay raises every six months!!! When I arrived home after 32 days in that Chinese jail, I called Ian and demanded a refund. He had the ball to tell me "I am not going to refund money to someone who insulted the Principal" and hung up on me. Need I say more?
User's recommendation: Hang up the phone if ESLinsider call you!
Location: Bragadiru, Ilfov