GLC Claims Several Thousand Victims

In the end it all came crashing down much faster than we had imagined. Just a couple of days after we started coverage of Global Language Centre (GLC) on this blog, the chain closed its doors forever. The trickle of complaints that we had received about the language chain were obviously just the tiniest part of a whole deluge of issues that customers were having. Whether due to financial stress or as part of a deliberate plan to defraud customers, GLC was about to go out of business forever. Then late last week all three branches of this doomed language chain closed their doors simultaneously (indicating at least a certain degree of calculation and collusion to defraud customers). When customers ventured to the GLC branches at Gajah Mada Plaza, Bekasi Hypermall and Pejatan Village, they found the doors locked and a CLOSED sign hanging in the window.

There is a lot about the way that this happened which stinks of injustice. Some of our readers have reported that they paid Rp5 million for courses just a couple of weeks ago, which they were told were going to be opening in mid-April. Surely the GLC directors had some intimations that they whole school chain was about to collapse. Taking millions of rupiah from hard-working people and families when you know that the whole school chain is about to go out of business is fraudulent behavior. In addition, the police have said that the company management have gone missing. Why are all these managers and yayasan (charity) directors in hiding if they have done nothing wrong?

Nice fittings but terrible product

Nice fittings but terrible product

Victims Numbering in the Thousands

The scale of the collapse and the sheer number of victims is quite remarkable. Apparently, there were 1600 students at Global Language Centre Bekasi alone. There were an additional 1300 at Global Language Centre Gajah Mada Plaza. The latest branch at Pejatan Village in South Jakarta had over a 1000 victims too. Therefore, there are around 4000 customers who have paid for lessons they are not going to receive. In some cases people lost up to Rp 10 million (around $850). That is 4 months of the minimum wage in Jakarta, indicating that the losses will cause considerable hardship. Once again a rogue school in Jakarta has claimed thousands of victims, further blackening the name of the troubled English language school industry.

What we would be interested in hearing about at this stage is who were the managers and directors of this fraudulent company? Also, does anyone know anything about Yayasan Cerdas Bahasa, the ‘charity’ which ran GLC? There has to be someone with information about the managers and directors of this fraudulent enterprise. We would love to know who they are and why they seem to be getting away with fraud.

2 thoughts on “GLC Claims Several Thousand Victims

  1. This situation reminds me of NOVA in Japan in October 26, 2007 when NOVA closed its doors to 1,000 schools without warning, throwing 5,000 english teachers on the street and hundreds of millions dollars in pre-paid tuition was gone. I worked for the doomed english school at that time and after years of bad publicity and a damaging court ruling in June 2007, which all but sealed NOVA’s fate, and the company simply ran out of money by October 2007…but there was plenty of warning signs along the way that NOVA was going under.

    I also had the misfortune of being hired by GEOS after the NOVA collapse and suffered the same fate in early 2010 when GEOS closed without warning. GEOS went under during the damaging effects of the Great Recession in Japan and students simply stopped going to GEOS to save money, as well as there was a huge deluge of current students who asked for their tuition back as family members lost their jobs and economic uncertainty was very worrisome, and eventually the company went under. When I was hired by GEOS in April 2008, I had over 190 paying students assigned to me, by April 2010 when the doors closed…I had Iess than 30 paying students.

    What Global Language Centre, NOVA and GEOS has in common is that they use the “bicycle business model” to run their companies…they need a steady stream of new students every month who pay several months or years of tuition up front and currents students to renew their contracts in order to keep the doors open (the pedaling part), if they cannot maintain this, then they fail (the bicycle falls over)….it looks like GLC suffered the same fate as GEOS…as the economy in Indonesia (and the world) is souring, people are starting to prioritize their budgets and english classes are not a necessity.

    Sad to see this situation happen.

  2. I was a teacher at this damned language centre…

    Here are some informations I know:
    1. The owners’ names are Fenty Tekla Sugama and Yudha Sugama.

    2. They said they were going to find someone (an investor) to buy their shares, so that they can be back in the business with a new management. Due to this matter, the learning activities in all their centers are postponed… (personally, i think this is just another bullshit made by the owner… nobody wants to buy such shitty investment…

    3. They have thousands of students…
    Around 2500 at GM Plaza…
    1000 at Pejaten
    1300 at Hypermall Bekasi…
    and there are some students who have paid in advance for their future branches in Bogor or Cibubur or somewhere in Jakarta… i forgot… they opened some booths there to do a presale…

    4. Staffs and teachers haven’t been paid… don’t bother working at these hellish chain of bullshit…

    Actually, it was good course at first, but the financial occured after they opened a new branch at pejaten village… They went unstable ever since…
    i guess they lack in management…

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