I am a former ITTP TEFL Prague student and I am writing this complaints to provide a place where people can review ITTP TEFL Prague without fear of their reviews being removed. It is also to alert other potential TEFL clients to a major review scam currently being run by Neville Thomas and ITTP TEFL Prague. What his company did to myself and my classmates was really poor, however that is not my problem now. My problem is his attitude and dirty games towards our complaints and subsequent online reviews which has made me really angry.
To give you a background on my situation, I participated on the ITTP TEFL program in late 2011 in Prague. The course was ok (although after talking to other TEFL graduates from other TEFL courses it sounds as though there were better options in Prague). But the accommodation we were sold with the course was terrible and prices extortionate. There were multiple problems and to sum it up, we were all ripped off badly. Neville’s contempt and attitude towards us made matters worse and what was meant to be an enjoyable learning experience, turned into the course from hell as we were jammed into tiny accommodation with moldy rooms, broken beds, we had to clean the accommodation ourselves, internet barely worked and had 9 people sharing one toilet. This would be no problem if the prices were cheap but they were very top end, comparative to hotel living.
However, my motivation for writing to you is not because of that experience, it is my frustrations since leaving the course and revelations of dirty tactics and deceit by ITTP over the past 6 months which have forced this email. The efforts that this company and its owner Neville Thomas go to, to mislead potential clients and try to hide the truth that are disgraceful and need to be shared.
By the time we finished the TEFL program with ITTP we were all very upset and naturally went online to voice our displeasure and warn others of the “accommodation scam” that was being run by Neville and ITTP. This was where the serious issues started to arise and where my frustrations really began. As I searched online I could not find a great deal of independent reviews of ITTP (reviews not on the ITTP website) and the limited reviews I did find were gushingly good. Given I did not meet a single classmate in my time of the course who would rate the program anywhere near 10/10, I immediately smelt a rat. Outlined below are my experiences with the different review sites and how Neville has influenced them (or owns them).
TEFL Course Review - http://www.teflcoursereview.com/
I posted on this site along with a number of my classmates clearly outlining our displeasure at the shabby accommodation and terrible experience we had. After a few weeks all the reviews were removed and ITTP was completely removed from the website. On investigation we found out that Neville had threatened to sue this company and after continual harassment from Neville, the owner had just removed all comment of ITTP from the reviews site to stop Neville harassing him.
Abroad Reviews – http://www.abroadreviews.com/
Again, myself and a number of classmates posted onto this site giving ITTP bad ratings in the process as our experience was terrible. The reviews stayed there for a while but were littered with clearly fake positive reviews in between the negative ones. Finally, after a few months we received an email from the owner of this site saying they were removing our reviews. Neville had got lawyers involved, was going to sue for defamation of his company and had even gone so far as to visit the owner of the review site at his family home in London! In order to stop the harassment and legal threats, the owner had caved in was going to remove our reviews - some limited positive and negative reviews did remain though. ITTP was completely removed from this reviews site last week prompting me to take action. I have emailed the administrators of the site, twice since then asking them to reinstate ITTP and this is the reply I got - I am sorry but we are not interested in having ITTP on our site any more. I appreciate the fact you are frustrated but we do not want to our waste our time with him. Neville would relentlessly email us threatening legal action and he even visited one of the admin of the site at their flat in London after he got his personal details. He would call and text with legal threats. There were positive reviews popping up on the site for ITTP which we could not verify and were coming from IPs within Prague and any negative reviews he would threaten legal action for defamation. The final straw was last week when he emailed about 20 times in the space of a week giving us a deadline or legal action and will be suing for $1000 every day (loss of one customer per day) his company was mentioned on our site. It is not worth our time to have him on there. His company is a hassle. Abroad Reviews receives over 400 unique visitors per day and the way we see it, he is not getting access to any of them. We would prefer no more emails on this from you, as we will not be changing our mind. You need to find another site. We realize what he is doing is wrong but we do not have the funding or time to keep dealing with him. We are tired of him.
TEFL Reviews - http://tefl-reviews.com/
This website it turns out has either incredibly poor ethics or more likely is owned by Neville and ITTP. I had tried to post on this site in the past and my review had always been rejected. Funnily enough, despite the fact ITTP has terrible rankings elsewhere, it was the top ranked company on this website and my past negative reviews had never appeared. I was suspicious, so as a test, myself and other classmates tried to post under an alias this past month and within 2 hours of posting, Neville (the owner of the company I was supposed to be reviewing confidentially) had my email address, contact details and IP address. Is this legal? Can a TEFL company own what is supposed to be an “independent, unbiased reviews website”? I would advise all TEFL companies with listings on this site to get them removed immediately from this website and take action against ITTP if you are listed on here.
What this means is the only review website Neville now has his company on is his own reviews website - TEFL Reviews. He is using a review website under the guise of being "independent" to promote his own company and run down other TEFL companies after threatening other review sites so they removed ITTP.
Needless to say, I am incredibly upset, my classmates are upset and this is no longer about our experience, rather the fact Neville tries so hard to mislead potential clients. Review site owners will no longer receive our reviews, citing they no longer wish to be “harassed or threatened by the owner of ITTP”. Is that right that a company can hide their company performance through bullying and threatening review websites?
Neville’s response to this publicly has always been that the reason our reviews are removed from review sites is because they rant and are not reviews. His claims that the reviews are removed because they are “defamation” are not true and if you ask any of the owners of TEFL Course Reviews or Abroad Reviews, they will confirm that Neville harasses them and threatens them legally to have the reviews removed. They have both explicitly told me in emails in the past when I have complained that the reviews have been removed.
Here is a link to my blog where I fill it up with complaints about ITTP - http://ittp-tefl-reviews.blogspot.com/
The complaint has been investigated and resolved to the customer's satisfaction.