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Q: Should expat forums accept ads from agents that cheat foreigners?

I notice more and more blind ads on expat forums are requiring copies of passports and visas from applicants yet they do not identify themselves in their ads, or they say they are "direct employers" when they are not. (When you call them or vice versa and ask which company they work for the truth comes out).  I also notice that many people/employers that are blacklisted on expat forums by foreign victims are still allowed to advertise!  I think this is nuts considering 20% of every foreigner who uses an agent coincidentally becomes a victim of identity theft. What say you all? I think anyone who send copies of their passports and visas to unnamed agents in blind ads must be insane, and probably deserve to be swindled for being so stupid!

4 years 20 weeks ago in  General  - China

 
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never use a agent for work, what they do is sucking ppls blood that's what they do, anyway use ur guanxi to get a job its always better that way

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4 years 20 weeks ago
 
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It does annoy me to see various sites that have forums also allow advertising from various schools/agents that have been 'blacklisted', or at least regularly condemned by those who have been burnt. And the "we take no responsibility if you get gyped" just doesn't cut it with me.... if such sties really respect their members, then I think they have a duty to not allow such advertising...

 

There is actually a Chinese Foreign Teacher Union here, and they're trying to put together a White list of agents and schools (in Shanghai).... if the agent or school is willng to jump through the (pretty mild) hoops, then they'll get on the whitelist, and thus, are basically recommended to teachers! (there is, of course, also a blacklist).

 

I remember when I was younger and more naive, I sent off my passport etc :( However, I seem to have been lucky in that I haven't been through hell... most likely ripped off, but not hell Tongue

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4 years 20 weeks ago
 
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The bottom line is the advertisers pay for the site, we use. If there are no advertisers we have no site to post on. We would only really have a say if we were paying members, and as we aren't the choice is take it or leave.

 

Caveat Emptor, (That really could have been written with China in mind)

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4 years 20 weeks ago
 
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any forum that is based on advertising should allow its users to discuss the advertisers freely.  if anyone has been cheated by an advertiser then that would be an obvious topic for the forum

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4 years 20 weeks ago
 
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I won't use the complete name but one Chinese woman who uses the western name of Rebecca and owns C.ESL advertises on three Beijing expat forums with both paid and free ads.  She has been on every ESL blacklist in China, America, and Canada with very detailed complaints of fraud, extortion, and playing the "probationary period pay" trick on no less than 50 or 60 foreign teachers.  But when someone posted all the links about this woman at the Beijinger, all the links were deleted the next day, but the ads remained. When the OP at the Beijinger complained that the woman was a notoriously famous fraud and expats need to be warned, that link was also deleted and the poor bastard was banned for blowing the whistle, even though 13 different posters bitched about how they were ripped by the same woman. 

 

I am just using Rebecca as the poster child because she is the most famous in Beijing and is the one responsible for starting the teacher's blacklist as well. But there must be at least 5-6 of them hiding behind legitimate forums like this one and others. They know we trust these forums so we would not suspect they'd be lurking here.

 

I think maybe ads that are run by agents should have some notice or disclaimer inserted by the forums so expats get some heads up to be very careful - at the very least. I can understand Hugh's opinion - to a point.  But where do you draw the line?

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4 years 20 weeks ago

China - the ultimate onion...

 
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Normally my answer would be a simple  "No"

 

But since "This Is China" I now have to say...

 

"Absolutely Not" if the forum is owned and operated by foreigners, and

 

"Sure - No Problem" if the forum is owned and operated by local Chinese, and

 

"Let Me Think About It For A Year" if the forum is owned by a foreign-born Chinese

 

 

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4 years 20 weeks ago

I want to go to Happy Valley!

 
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If they banned every school and agent that cheated employees, there would be no website. However, I think the level of cheating varies, depending on the quality of both the school and the teacher.

 

The better schools generally look for qualified and skilled teachers. Such teachers have less problems finding other jobs if the school goes overboard on the cheating.

 

At the other end of the scale are the schools that are obviously going to cheat the teacher. These tend to attract teachers with fake qualifications or lesser English skills. In this respect, both parties are cheating each other.

 

I think a qualified and English-proficient teacher has less to worry about being cheated. It is the fake and non-proficient teachers that have most to worry about, and such teachers are actually fuelling the whole cheating culture. They should not complain when they are cheated in return.

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4 years 20 weeks ago
 
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"If they banned every school and agent that cheated employees, there would be no website. However, I think the level of cheating varies, depending on the quality of both the school and the teacher."

 

I don't think this forum or any other expat forum in China is financially supported by Chinese schools. 90% of the ads they take out are freebies. And not all the schools are crooked - just mostly the private Chinese Schools.  Universities and foreign owned International schools don't create all the grief. It is the sleazy agents who have cozy relationships with principals.  This link will explain this fully, http://www.tefl.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=5688#p13489

 

But frankly I don't think the expat forums have the time nor manpower to screen all these agents who slip their ads onto the forums.  If the forums required verification  from the schools these agents claim to represent, it might cut the scams in half. But as you can see from the above link, principals cannot buy BMWs, Audis, and Benzs without a few agents.

 

It would be great if the forums could say, there is a conflict of interest here and unless you register your agency license, personal photo, real Chinese name and physical address online with us (the forum) you cannot advertise here. But that takes a lot of courage and time.

 

At present there is zero accountability for employment agents and recruiters. They ask foreigners for everything they need to steal identities (resumes, passport & visa scans) yet we have no clue what their real names are, where their office is, and what if any schools really authorized them to recruit teachers. They change their western names and mobile numbers frequently and we have no way to track them down if we suddenly get hit with a 50,000 rmb credit card bill!!!  I agree with the guy above who said their should be no free ads for agents. I would also suggest that agents be required to register all the information above in bold, before they could even buy an ad.  If they have no verifiable MoE or SAIC license - no ad.  Did you know that SAFEA only acknowledges 62 employment agents to be licensed in all of China?  Yet there are hundreds of agents chasing us down for jobs.  They could be calling and emailing us from anywhere. We wouldn't give this personal info to stranger back West so why the hell would we do it in China?  Are teachers such whimps that they cannot say "No, I will give copies of my passport and visa only to direct employers who offer me a job"?????

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4 years 20 weeks ago

China - the ultimate onion...

 
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