Closing Rumah Bahasa Season City and Baywalk Was a “Win-Win” Situation

Kami dari pihak Rumah Bahasa menutup cabang kami di Season City dan Baywalk adalah sepenuhnya atas kesepakatan bersama antara pihak Rumah Bahasa dan Pihak Mall. Sehingga terdapat win – win solution.

     Frendy Horas- Rumah Bahasa

We just received two more posts from Frendy Horas, the owner of deeply troubled Indonesian language school chain, Rumah Bahasa. The posts were in Indonesian, but I will offer a rough-and-ready translation for our non-Indonesian readers:

We here at Rumah Bahasa (The House of Language) have closed our branches at Season City and Baywalk in accordance with an agreement between Rumah Bahasa and the management of the malls. All parties have reached a win-win solution.

      Frendy Horas- Rumah Bahasa

Hmm. When dealing with rogue school operators in Asia, it pays not to accept everything (or possibly anything) at face value. There is much that is puzzling in Mr Horas’s statement, so let’s unpack the coded language using a few pertinent questions.

    1. What has actually happened? How serious is it?

Rumah Bahasa has been forced to close its 2 newest branches- Rumah Bahasa and Baywalk- just after they have both opened. This is a very serious setback for a school that was boasting of its rapid expansion plans.

    2. What does Frendy Horas want us to believe?

He wants us to believe that everything is fine. Everything is under control; everything is going well; there is no reason for anyone to panic. He wants us to believe that nothing is going wrong.

    3. What, if anything, is he trying to hide?

He obviously has a lot to hide. 2 projects being scuttled at the same time is a serious setback. Why have the schools been closed? Yes, we understand that a deal has been struck with the mall owners, but why did RB have to pull out? What were the reasons behind the reason to cancel schools that RB thought were a good idea as recently as last week? The obvious suspicion is that Rumah Bahasa has serious financial difficulties. Its plans are coming unstuck.

    4. Have there been any other hints that Rumah Bahasa has serious financial problems?

There have been plenty of hints. Pak Horas has been very slow giving refunds. Some customers have been waiting for months for refunds. Customers have to hand over 4 different documents to get refunds. Even when he promised to refund one customer today, he said that the money would be paid on April 1st. Why are there so many delays? It gives the impression that the school has chronic cash-flow problems.

In summary, calling the closure of 2 schools “a win-win solution” is certainly looking on the sunny side. I would rather classify it is a “close-close” or “fail-fail” situation. The school’s plans for expansion have been shelved. It’s all very well to boast of dealing being reached with the mall owners, but this is more of a “damage control” victory than a genuine achievement. There is every reason to believe that Rumah Bahasa has serious financial problems and customers are still advised to stay well away.



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