Other Signs of Bias
In all his posts, Tudor never misses a chance to sink the boot into EF Jakarta on the issue of salaries, but the information he offers is not always accurate and shows serious signs of bias. Again and again he says that EF Jakarta pays only 6-6.5 million per month, citing the example of schools like EF Kalimalang. In contrast, he continually says that TBI Kuningan pays 14 million for newcomers. In doing so, Tudor misrepresents the true situation. For example, Cam got an offer of a starting salary of Rp 8.7 juta at EF Swara as far back as 2007 and was being paid around Rp 8 million at EF Menteng in 2005. We have known people who were getting between Rp 9-10 million at the best end of EFs after a contract or two. In short, Tudor has consistently been quoting the low end of salaries for EF and the high point of salaries for TBI. The truth is that TBI Bogor was advertising for expat teachers for a mere 9.5 million in early 2013. One of the teachers from TBI Bekasi has told us he was getting Rp 9 million as late as early 2013 also. In contrast, he had been getting Rp 7.5 million at EF Bekasi the previous year. At many TBI branches, especially the Franchise schools, the pay has only been a little bit higher than EF and Tudor has consistently portrayed the pay as double. This is highly misleading. He has been comparing the lowest EF wage to the highest TBi wage, which gives a distorted impression. At some branches they almost meet in the middle. Even TBI Bandung only paid Rp 10 million for many years, only a little more than EF in that city.
Signs of bias don’t end there. Chezal attacks EF for not giving proper tax information to teachers, but this is the height of hypocrisy as TBI has never given accurate tax reports to its teachers either. TBI Kuningan used to hand out tax slips claiming teachers on salaries of Rp 14.5 million were onlyh being paid Rp 3 million. It is therefore completely obvious that TBI is involved in just as much tax hanky-panky as anyone else. Chezal would not have received accurate tax slips at TBI so “she” has been misleading the ESL public for years.
On a personal note, Tudor has been going around on multiple forums calling us “jobless idiots” and telling people not to trust our blog when he has no idea where we are or what we are doing. We were working in Cambodia on a short-term project when the whole “they are jobless idiots” started and have long since moved on to greener pastures. Tudor has lied about us, so what else has he been misleading people about?
Chezal, Tudor, Michelle and The Truth Regulator
For many years TBI has been telling people, “We have a glowing reputation, just look at all the praise we get on threads on Dave’s ESL cafe.” But once you dig through the archives, you find that this glowing praise comes from just 2 people! Between them Chezal and Tudor have posted 337 times with a large percentage of these posts either praising TBI or running down EF. Again and again they claim to have left TBI years ago or never to have worked there at all, but they show that they know the pay scales, the policies, the textbooks, the names of CELTA trainers, the locations of different courses and much besides. Many other users have accused them of doing covert promotion for TBI under the guise of being objective but they have always angrily denied this and often abused the people who challenge them. They have even warned TBI teachers not to post negative comments on Dave’s ESL Cafe as the authorities might work out who they are and they don’t like dissent. Sound authoritarian much? So in short, the very people who accuse us of being obsessed with TBI have written hundreds of posts praising it themselves. They are clearly pimping TBI and the CELTA courses under a couple of aliases and then pretending that hundreds of positive comments from 2 people is proof that TBI is widely loved. It proves no such thing.
All of this is highly reminiscent of the dishonest response of TBI to this blog. They have told people, “Look there are hundreds of negative comments posted on that blog. No one supports them. They are pariahs.” And yet of the 500 comments we have received on both blogs, several hundred of them came from just two names: Michelle and The Truth Regulator. They write in hundreds of abusive and even threatening comments using a couple of aliases, up to and including threats to smash our heads in with bricks, and they claim that means their opinions are representative of ‘the general public’. No newspaper or journal in the world allows trolls to post hundreds of abusive remarks yet Luke Preece and his cronies have idiotically claimed that blocking Michelle on this blog means we are “anti free-speech”.
In short, the TBI Mafia has used the Internet to spread false and misleading information for many years on multiple forums. The people who accuse this blog of being slanderous are often found in slinging matches with TBI critics on Dave’s too, or are found calling previous expat managers at TBI they didn’t like “complete philistines” and “psychotic”. So what we have here is an established pattern. TBI has never coughed up much money for proper advertising and promotions. The greedy Ibu Ibu at USG have already got their eyes on the money for a new Prada handbag. Instead, they glorify TBI on ESL discussion sites using false information posted under a couple of aliases andshout down all dissenting voices in an arrogant tone. They have done this since at least 2009 on Dave’s and have responded to us the same way. This is not a company you can trust on any level.