TBI (The British Institute) was one a well-regarded language school which drew rave reviews from many students and teachers. But it has now become something of a byword for unethical management, teacher deportations, petty politicking, mafia-style tactics, cyber-bullying, visa rackets and, most recently of all, school closures. What went wrong? This blog pieces that together with interviews from teachers and managers who have been mistreated, lied to or even been subject to fraud and death threats from people like Binsar Simorangkir (the school manager of TBI Bekasi SunCity) and Luke Preece ( a roguish Australian who has an appalling record of coercing people to resign and pathological lying to his colleagues about his intentions and credentials.)

In here you will find interviews with 8 victims of this TBI Mafia and a massive amount of documentary evidence that TBI schools are variously hot-beds of tax evasion, sexual harassment, intellectual property theft and much besides. Fortunately, the chain is now clearly shrinking, with 2 branches having closed forever and 1 closed for 8 months due to being dumped by their joint venture partner, so the amount of damage they can inflict on trusting teachers and staff is now in decline. This website documents the truth about a rogue language school hiding behind a slick facade. It is also a cautionary tale about the dangers of what happens when the wrong people take over a business.

Since 2013 we have also been covering a scam-ridden language school called Rumah Bahasa. We long warned people that the owner of this school was a rogue called Frendy Horas who reneged on all his false promises. Our warnings were once again proven prescient. By early 2015 five different Rumah Bahasa branches had gone bust, leaving hundreds of customers out of pocket. Worryingly, there are now reports that Rumah Bahasa may have re-invented itself as both Global Bahasa and Language and Beyond. Both these schools are now using many of the same tricks and scams as Rumah Bahasa. In particular, they ask for large upfront payments for classes which are then delayed for months or never start at all. Buyer beware.

22 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi admin,

    How do I put this?

    Hmm. Needless to say, I was one English teacher who happened to experience some really unfortunate events like you and many other teachers did. However, I’m not here to focus on telling you everything (it can wait, really, although I don’t mind telling you my stories). What I’d be interested in is to have a work cooperation with you, since I agreed with your posts and ways of thinking.

    If you are interested, where can I reach you?

    And don’t worry either, I’m not in any way someone who’s trying to set you up. πŸ˜‰

    I look forward to hearing back from you!


  2. Dear this web. author, sorry if I post this matter here… I feel shocked to know that TBI has many scandals inside, I had just applied to be one of its centers teacher, they phoned me yesterday, asked me to come to have an interview, but than I found this blog and worry, can you give me a suggestion?

    • If the school is TBI Bekasi, I would warn you not to consider working there under any circumstances. The manager and owner is an alleged sex friend and scammer who has allegedly claimed many victims. No one should consider working for Binsar. If you work at other schools, they will pay you on time and you may even enjoy it, but you will not have much opportunity for career advancement because it is tightly controlled by a clique of very immoral and dishonest people. Ultimately, I would advise you to be very cautious.

      • Hi there, any comments on TBI Bali? I am seriously considering to apply there. I have read the article that mentioned familiar names and it really threw me off. Thank you

      • It is currently run by Luke Preece, who is a complete sociopath. He has a surfer dropout who has helped the TBI management embezzle money for years. He has no degree but claims to have a Bachelors Degree. The man has been running illegal visa scams for years. If you have a degree, go to Wall Street or the British Council. TBI Bali is run by one of the nastiest con artists out there.

        He will have some of the office girls spying for him and reporting every word back to him in order for a few perks like pay rises. He will also offer extra holidays or bonuses for expat teachers who will snoop on the other teachers and report back to him. I have heard from multiple people that this is how he operated at schools in Jakarta, Bandung and Malang. Unless you want to work for one of the most disreputable ‘managers’ around, try elsewhere.

      • was recommended to visit this link from a person on expat FB page.
        there is a new shyster company running the race to be the worst company in indonesia ULI aka indogro.

        many teachers have taken the shaft from them and they deserve a good probing – in both aspects of the phrase
        plz contact me at the email below

  3. Dear admin,

    I’ve just found this website when I typed β€œBinsar TBI Bekasi” on google. I applied to be a non-native teacher there two days ago…and today I have to do a teaching demo in class. But reading your posts about TBI Bekasi and Mr.Binsar, I feel worried and confused whether I should continue striving to be accepted as a teacher in TBI Bekasi or not..?

    So, would you kindly give your suggestion?

    Thanks in advance

    • Dear Teacher,

      Mr Binsar was arrested by the police in 2010 for touching one of his students. He encouraged Western male teachers to date their students and stored 200 students’ names in his Blackberry. He watched porno movies on his computer in the school. He screamed in the face of one teacher and said, “Bule (whitie) I’m the boss here.” His office boys stole the property of a number of staff. He promised to get visas for expat staff and lied. Now TBI has put pressure on him to clean up his act a lot. But as of 2013 he was still lying to teachers, promising to pay THR and reneging on his promise. TBI, typically, refused to support the teachers. If you want to work for Binsar, that’s your choice. But he has a past of criminal behaviour and multiple teachers have accused him of sexual harassment and unwanted touching. I strongly advise no one to work for Binsar, who has conned and hurt many people. Why work for such a dishonest man when there are many other schools in Bekasi?

  4. Hi,
    I worked at tbi bekasi for a month but never heard about the arrestment. I hope you can give me more detail information or link to verify.
    Thank you
    (i agree entirely with your articles about that big headed and money stealer Binsar)

    • I don’t think the story of Binsar’s arrest ever made the newspapers. It was probably in 2010 he was arrested. He allegedly sexually interfered with a 14 year old girl. The police were contacted and he was arrested. He was held in custody but was eventually released. For weeks afterwards there were police outside the school watching it. The rumor inside the school was that he had paid a lot of money to have the charges dropped.

  5. Hi Admin

    Sekedar Update saja, saat ini TBI semakin kesulitan keuangan, semua dihemat, tunjangan – tunjangan dihapus, karyawan kontrak pun tidak ada kenaikan gaji. Saat ini keuangan TBI dikelola oleh orang yang tidak paham sama sekali mengenai Akunting maupun Finance yaitu si TM yang dulunya boneka Mariam. Bisa dibayangkan betapa semakin aburadulnya TBI saat ini. Semua School Manager saat ini terbilang baru yang range gajinya 11-13 juta saja, mungkin biar hemat , dan kebanyakan kondisi sekolahnya Loss hanya dua sekolah saja yang profit.

  6. This blog has been enlightening. I have looked up to TBI for so many years. I was a gullible chap. Not anymore though. The articles written by the whistle-blowers have cleared up some of the shrouds of secrecy that have cloaked the veracity of the english language learning industry in the nation.

    Well done…If you need my help, let me know. You have my email address (you are the admin of this blog). In the meantime, I am starting my own campaign against all this madness.

    We will meet up eventually. I promise you. If you stay long enough in the game. We are in the same team.


    For the sake of the betterment of the world through English language adoption.

  7. Word is, TBI Kuningan is moving shop from Menara Kuningan to Lotte Shopping Avenue – despite a big drop in student numbers and problematic teachers. Fascinating to watch a money laundering scheme at work, isn’t it?

  8. Omg. I was at an old school in TBI, if not a new one. I can say proudly I was one of the first victims of the scam and sham that was Mariam Kartikatresni. I had never imagined her stupid, idiotic work ethic would be broadcast on a blog!

    Have we met before?

  9. Is TBI Bandung (Dago and Paskal) any good or are they just as mismanaged? Because recently I applied for a teaching position but apparently I needed to take a GITE first and invest 2,5 million. I’m still making up my mind whether such investment is worth it or not.

  10. The GITE is a truly worthless course made up by TBI and recognized by nobody else in the TEFL industry. Personally, I would describe it as a money-making scam by this company. This is a certificate which is of no use outside of TBI. It is just a way to try and extract a few more rupiah for their unpopular teacher training department. You should keep looking for work elsewhere.

  11. I drove past TBI Fatmawati today at Wisma Subud. Doesn’t seem to be there anymore. TBI logo is no longer above the door. Just looked at their twitter account and no updates in the last 12 months. First I’ve heard of this.

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