We have received notice of another scam school which has opened its doors. The modus operandi is exactly the same as Rumah Bahasa and Language and Beyond, the schools associated with Jakarta con artist, Frendy Horas. The new school, this one located in Makassar, the largest city on the island of Sulawesi, is also located in an upmarket mall, this one Ratu Indah Mall in Makassar. It requires that students pay a large upfront sum (in this case the very hefty sum of 8.6 million rupiah), in exchange for a promise of 18 months language instruction in 6 different languages. Basically, this is a carbon copy of the system used at Rumah Bahasa. The customer is making a bet that the school will still be around in a years’ time to offer language classes, something which didn’t happen in the case of Rumah Bahasa.
Worryingly, World Language Academy in Makassar are already refusing to give refunds. This was one of the main warning signs that Rumah Bahasa was not a legitimate business. That World Language Academy (even the name sounds like Frendy Horas style) is already behaving suspiciously with money is a very troubling sign. Furthermore, this ‘school’ does not even have a website. The lack of a proper website was a common feature of schools that turned out to be cons in Indonesia over the past couple of years. In short, we would strongly advise people not to trust this company. They are a complete unknown which is using a model that has proven disastrous in Jakarta. As for our informant, we would like to thank him. He claims that if does get a refund by next week, he is going to run amok. This is hardly a good recommendation for the sort of customer response that World Language Bahasa is generating. Here is his full warning (in Indonesian) below.
Di mall Ratu Indah Makassar lagi ada pameran WLA, World Language Academy. Modusnya mirip dengan kasus kasus yang telah terkena penipuan bayar sekali untuk enam bahasa. Hati hati warga Makassar.
Saya telah membayar 8.6 jutaan paket kursus 12 bulan, free 6bulan. Minta refund katanya tidak bisa…Tunggu aja…Rabu depan mau ngamuk kalau sampe nggak dibalikin. Uang dicari setengah hidup hilang kena penipuan.