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Return to Index › China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!
#1 Parent Dr. Turnoi Turjakuunnen - 2018-05-23
Re China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

Well, read all the negative reviews and warnings in this thread.
If you still decide to work for them, it would be rather foolish.

#2 Parent Miztiza - 2018-05-23
Re China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

I just received an offer from this agency.
What can you advice for me

#3 Parent Sasha - 2018-04-05
Re China Tefl Network Helen Group,Be aware of new alias

we have just come home after working in Hanghzou 6 months . They are liars ,nobody pays you whole salary as foreign teacher. nobody pays money after contract.they promised a lot , and just betray.
don't accept any kind of work they suggest.
they pay 5000 rmb instead of 15 000 Rmb.
they send people to work illegal.
don't sign anything with them.
they never tell truth and lie to you face to face.

#4 Parent Corah - 2018-03-29
Re China Tefl Network Helen Group,Be aware of new alias

Good to see that first-class teachers no longer fall victim to them and that now they have to retort to second-rate teachers (i.e., non-native speakers) to keep their crappy business alive! Fuck them!

#5 Parent Barnum J. Bailey - 2018-03-29
Re China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

Firstly, to the previous poster, Helen's little group has been around a LOT LONGER than 10 years ... soon MORE LIKE 20 YEARS.

I should now ... I was one of her first victims......

Way back when, around 2000, Helen was the Foreign Officers Affairs for Zeijiang Province provincial government in Hangzhou. She was the boss. She ran the place with an iron fist...meaning you paid, she did....

Then she got really greedy and opened a sideline from her day job....

Taking commissions from the schools under her government jurisdiction that needed foreign teachers. Soon she was supplying her third tier and fourth tier school in Zhejiang with teachers. And she raked in the commissions.

Then she reached out to other foreign affairs office in other provinces as she got more greedy. And she corrupted many of them.

She was pushed out when Hun Jing Tao took over as president of China. She belonged to a different cabal but by that time, her business was just raking in the moolah ... that means money. She didn't care....her network had been set up ..

I was young and stupid and knew nothing about agents in China. I stumbled across an ad of hers ... she offered me a job in Hangzhou at a famous university. I signed the contract, actually got a proper visa and went to China. When I arrived in Shanghai, one of her lackeys met me at Hong Xiao airport...in those days overseas flights arrived at Hong Xiao.

And then to my biggest surprise, instead of taking me to Hangzhou, he promptly put me on a plane to cold, frozen, desolate, isolate MANJOULI on the Russian border ...... a charming enough border town of Inner Mongolia with seven months winters of - 30. I couldn't do anything.

I worked one term of the one year contract and then left at the end of the term. She threatened, screamed, did whatever ... but I escaped to warm Guangzhou and never looked back.

She is an avoid at all costs.... she is the worst in China.

#6 Parent RM - 2018-03-29
Re China Tefl Network Helen Group,Be aware of new alias

Yes, they are still around. The majority of their teachers now seem to be Ukranian's who they ship over in bulk.

They are now operating under a new company calling themselves Zhejiang Wendy Talent Development Co. Ltd, still operating out of Hangzhou at an office complex just down the road.

Be aware. A recent advert:-
http://www.eslcafe.com/jobs/china/index.cgi?read=50927

#7 Parent Corah - 2018-03-29
Re China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

They are stil the same crooks and shit company they have been all these years!
Avoid them like a plague!

#8 Parent Camron - 2018-03-29
Re China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

They are still very shady, you don't get to sign a contract with the school directly but with them... good luck with that. 10 years of scams, abuse and they're still going strong: http://www.eslcafe.com/jobs/china/index.cgi?read=50949

#9 Parent mandy - 2018-03-29
Re China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

Hi.
I found lots of threads alerts about this company, one of my friend also had an interview with them recently. But how do they continue like this?
Hasn't anyone complain about this company yet?

#10 Parent FTinPRC - 2018-03-29
Re: Re China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

Hi Kenneth, Did you accept the contract? I also received a contract, but haven't decided
anything yet

While you guys are deciding about working for Helen, take a sharp #2 pencil and stab yourself in the eyeball.
Working for Helen will feel very similar to that sensation.
All the best.

#11 Parent me - 2018-03-29
Re: Re China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

Hi Kenneth, Did you accept the contract? I also received a contract, but haven't decided anything yet

#12 Parent Former FT in China - 2016-09-20
Re China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

Yep, Helen Group of Hangzhou is advertising widely for FTs.

They are even paying advertising commission to Daves ESL Cafe to try to attract unsuspecting newbies to sign up with them. If you do so, you'll be used and abused, and shafted financially. Helen's outfit is bottom of the barrel! That's it in a nutshell!

http://www.eslcafe.com/jobs/china/index.cgi?read=41449

#13 Parent toum_kro@hotmail.com - 2016-09-19
Re China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

Dear Teachers, please pay attention and spread the news, don't let the newbies get fucked, Hongtao, Helen and the others, i declare war on you until you pay every single fucking dime you stole from everyone else, make sure you understand that, Teachers do not believe what they are writing because they will never apply that shit, and im very surprised that they are still posting at job forums and this is an example:


Job starting in November 2016
Zhejiang University Helen China TEFL Network (CTN), the largest foreign teacher recruiting agency registered with the State Administration for Foreign Expert Affairs is now offering hot positions in the above mentioned city. These offers include all levels of education with low working hours.

Anyone with qualifications of teaching and obtained more than two years teaching experience in or outside of China will be considered. However qualified principal assistances are especially welcome.

As China's premier foreign teacher recruitment agency with 17 years experience in education, CTN offers its teachers and instructors an entire package. The package includes getting you your working visa, accommodation, social insurance and dealing with all official procedures and documentation and travel to and from as well as within China.

Employment Package
Education: bachelor degree (or up) holder
Major: unspecific, education-related
Age: 25-50
Nationality: USA UK Canada Australian New Zealand Others if the candidate is highly-qualified
Language: English French Japanese German Italian Spanish

Vacancy and terms and conditions:
1. 40 oral English teachers with two years of teaching experience
2. 2 oral French teachers with two years of teaching experience
3. 2 oral Japanese teachers with two years of teaching experience
4. 2 oral German teachers with two years of teaching experience
5. 2 oral Italian teachers with two years of teaching experience
6. 2 oral Spanish teachers with two years of teaching experience

The time the employment contract be offered: before arrival
Contract time: one year (from August 20th, 2016 to August19th, 2017)
Working place: on campus
Workload: working hours (8:00 am to 12:00 am, 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm), 5 days each week. Teachers are required to complete no more than 20 teaching hours per week during the school working hours.
The time to get salary: the eighth on the following month
Courses: spoken English conversation other courses
Personal Monthly Income: Full package of RMB 15,000 - 16,000 yuan including basic salary of RMB 10,000-11,000 for oral language teachers, RMB500yuan of airfare allowance, allowance equals to RMB4500 yuan for social insurance and boarding and various welfare per month.

Any potential and interested candidates please send documents including detailed CV, copy of degree, TEFL/TESOL certificate, teacher license, photo page of your passport, letter of commitment for no criminal record as well as other equivalent documents to admin@helengroup.com with the subject of 'Teach in Shenzhen, Guangdong'.

Best Regards

HR Dept of China TEFL Network
E-mail: admin@helengroup.com
Tel: +86-571-8823 4567 ext. 8017
Fax: +86-571-8823 4517
Add: 16th Flr, Blue Sky Business Center, 18# Moganshan Rd, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

#14 Parent San Migs - 2016-09-03
Re China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

This place has been crap for donkeys years, and it sticks out like a blind cobblers thumb. I and at least one other poster on these boards have had direct experience of this outfit. Avoid, avoid, avoid!!!

#15 Parent toum_kro@hotmail.com - 2016-09-02
Re China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

Dear Fellow Teachers,.
i Advice you to stay away from those MFKs, take it seriously, if you do not stay away from them you will get Fucked, of course unless you want to experience the real Meaning of Hell then you will be in, what can i say?, i never Saw someone like those Basterds, crooks, bitches, Motheruckers, scambags in my life, it was 3 years ago when i accepted their offer and still got Scars from it, and im still wondering how could it be possible that these gangsters are still in Business, Richard, Hongtao, Helen is the trinity of pure evil.

im not a Native speaker, but after 3 years in China i came to understand that Native and non Native expression is a Marketing Bullshit, it does not matter im not teaching anymore, i went doing business, still doing business, and i want to tell Helen that they fucked up coz they danced with the wrong guy, an eye for an eye. never forget, that i will spend the rest of my life seeking Revenge you Motherfuckers.

Fellow teachers,. by taking a job with them: you will suffer as you never did in your life, and that shit is really going to affect your mind, i was an inch closed to insanity, but thanks to anger management it went all fine.

#16 Parent Kenneth - 2016-07-17
Re: Re China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

I have just received a contract offer to from HelenGroup in Hangzhou China. Should I accept?

#17 Parent Johnboy - 2016-06-18
Re China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

Twenty years later, the infamous Helen is still in place doing her ugly business.

There are warnings about her on every site on the Internet that deals with China.

And there are hundreds of pages about FT's back experiences with her all over the 'Net.

So why do FT's continue to do it? Doesn't anyone around here do his or her homework before
jumping off the cliff?

My own personal experience with her was one of endless lies, deception, half-truths, no
truths, late payment, no payment, reduced payment.

She and the infamous Frank Zhang are the worst...but at least with Zhang you are paid even if
you end up in a school not of your choosing.

D.

Well, Dr T, what can I say?

I'd say those foreigners who enlist the services of dubious agents or recruiters have probably had no other options if they want to teach in China.

That said, it doesn't necessarily follow that they will all be screwed over in China. If they perform adequately in their jobs, it wouldn't make sense for their agents or recruiters to piss them off. Such foreign teachers can be re-sold time and again to generate ongoing profits for their agents and recruiters.

But of course, foreign teachers who have turned to agents or recruiters, but who have thereafter been found to have taught inadequately, or cannot adjust to Chinese culture and work ethics will oftentimes discredit their agents and recruiters to shift the blame from themselves. That's cowardly and deceitful!

#18 Parent Curious - 2016-06-18
Re: Re China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

Well... it's exactly like the Trump candidacy... For example, I recently posted on the Forum the link of a New York Times article that enumerates in detail the five - FIVE - consecutive bankruptcies of the Trump Atlantic City Casinos (contractors were never paid and most small contractors lost their business while Trump managed to get a lot of money out of these casinos, etc). And some posters came here, afterwards, saying that maybe Trump was the right guy to put things straight in America and in the world....

Thanks god for vodka.

#19 Parent P.T. Barnum - 2016-06-17
Re China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

Twenty years later, the infamous Helen is still in place doing her ugly business.

There are warnings about her on every site on the Internet that deals with China.

And there are hundreds of pages about FT's back experiences with her all over the 'Net.

So why do FT's continue to do it? Doesn't anyone around here do his or her homework before jumping off the cliff?

My own personal experience with her was one of endless lies, deception, half-truths, no truths, late payment, no payment, reduced payment.

She and the infamous Frank Zhang are the worst...but at least with Zhang you are paid even if you end up in a school not of your choosing.

D.

#20 Parent Jae Yang - 2016-06-17
Re China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

Let me tell you something about their contract. The one they send you is not the one that you will sign. In their new contract, it will SPECIFICALLY SAY, ANY promises or guarantees given to you by email or told you by their officers is not valid unless it is in writing. So remember, they will give you a new contract which is different than the one you got by email. It almost looks like the same one but it is very much different. They will find every excuse not to pay you. I was doing what I thought was a like easy Summer job for low pay because it was a government school. They will pull this scam on you. You must fill out attendance sheet, when I asked for it before going, they said, the school will give you one, when I asked the school to give me one, they said to ask Helen TEFL, when I asked the Helen TEFL they said ask the school. So figure it out, I actually made students just sign a notebook paper, but they said that didn't qualify as their official daily sign in sheet. You see I knew something was wrong when I didn't get paid first month, then 2nd month, then they said if I leave I would owe them 20k I stuck it out and they breached contract, but finally paid like a month after I left, and it wasn't for the amount specified.

#21 Parent San Migs - 2015-08-06
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

Quite right Roxy.

And those non native ft's will often pick up illegal work on the side as they normally send their main salary back home.

#22 Parent ROXYINCHINA - 2015-08-05
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

Why does what Enfly does makes me angry?
First and foremost, because Enfly lets non-native speakers teach on tourist visas. Last but not least, because that agent cheats many of its 200+ foreign teachers by paying them basement wages.

Unlike the likes of Yuncheng agents, Enfly is bigtime. It supplies schools throughout Sichuan province with FTs, very different from Yuncheng agents, who only supply the Yuncheng area with FTs.

In Antonio's case, he was offered a paltry 5000 a month mainly because of his age. Certainly not because of his excellent English pronunciation and fluency! In the case of the two non-natives, they were offered 5500 a month each, which I thought was reasonable because non-natives generally have worse English than native speakers. But Enfly adopts bait and switch tactics with non-natives. Enfly tells them at first they can work on Z visas. However, in the end Enfly tells them they must work on tourist visas, and that none of their FTs in that category have ever been found out! That would be of no consolation whatever to the first one to be arrested, or to others in the same boat as a result of an immigration raid!

Enfly should be paying native speakers 6500 - 7500 a month according to age, qualifications and experience. This is fair because Enfly does not have to bear the cost of providing its FTs with TAs, as none is supplied, and also because Enfly can make savings due to economies of scale.
What's more, Enfly should not hire any non-native speakers unless it can be done properly, ie with Z visa and the appropriate Residence Permit.

I reckon that ENFLY is cheating each of its FTs out of at least 1000 a month on salaries alone. You multiply that by 200, and the figure is 200000 a month. Of course this does not apply during the two major holiday periods of each academic year because the FTs get no holiday pay at those times. The business model in Sichuan is the same as that in Yuncheng. Each student pays around 300 for the academic year for the FT's class to the school. The school pays the agent, Enfly. The agent pays its FTs.

ENFLY SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO OPERATE IN THE WAY THAT IT DOES!

http://www.eslteachersboard.com/cgi-bin/review/index.pl?read=65888;expand=1#m_65888

#23 Parent San Migs - 2015-08-05
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

but the country as a whole--for the outrageous practices (especially from a financial standpoint); which are leveled on foreign teachers.

At last, someone with the conviction to do something about it. Good for you, as you are no longer in China, they can't do anything to you. Please email me; I'd like to relate my own experiences about helen and china.

#24 Parent ANTONIO HARRISON - 2015-08-05
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

I was teaching middle school students in Sichuan province. They could tell that I had a disability (I wore a prosthetic device with a hand attachment; which looks just like my real hand) but the students did not have any problem with such (I wore very nice long-sleeve business apparel). I never had to ask the students for any assistance due to said disability and even the first agency finally admitted that I was "success" in the classroom. Unfortunately; it was the ADULTS that had the problems with my disability. Whenever the students would ask me a question (which was usually in private or during office hours; which was rare); I made sure to share with them the reason for said disability. Also; I do appreciate any assistance that you can forward to me concerning the various schools or universities that would be happy to have me (and not focus on the disability).

#25 Parent ANTONIO HARRISON - 2015-08-05
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

Now that I have returned to my home in the USA; please know that I am doing everything in my power to expose not only the agencies within China--but the country as a whole--for the outrageous practices (especially from a financial standpoint); which are leveled on foreign teachers. I especially intend to include information concerning the mistreatment and derision of disabled foreigners (both workers and tourist). This information is to be shared with as many international organizations as possible (including various foreign entities). Something must be done to address this reprehensible behavior!

#26 Parent martin hainan - 2015-08-04
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

Your efforts for stranded foreign teachers are admirable, but these recruiters are not worthy of your anger. They are legion and they are shameless.
Fortunately their ability to 'con' new teachers is being impaired by the new visa qualifications.
Like feral animals, they will lash out as the become hungry.

#27 Parent ROXYINCHINA - 2015-08-04
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

Hi

What other names does this organization go by and is it to do with Enfly. Can you supply any hard evidence of what you are speaking about?

You come across as a fool. Why don't you read the other recent relevant threads instead of burdening others to explain what reasonably intelligent people can glean in an instant by reading the threads daily? Are you really a foreign teacher?

BTW, I have Skyped with Antonio once. His spoken English is standard American and fluent. After 2 Skype interviews with the very, very disreputable agent ENFLY, he was offered a derisory 5000 a month. That was before they knew about his disability.

So, Antonio has a complaint against 2 agents, the initial agent being ENFLY, subsequently he was unfortunate enough to jump from the proverbial frying pan into the fire, by getting involved with 'Hangzhou Helen'! His complaint is about mistreatment due to his disability by two Chinese agents.

I have 2 complaints against ENFLY, my complaints are about ENFLY employing non-native speakers on student visas, and about the basement salaries ENFLY offers foreigners. ENFLY is one of the most despicable and greedy bottom-feeders operating on the Chinese mainland, much worse than the Yuncheng agents of Shanxi, and that is a really severe indictment, you'd better believe it! I know what I'm talking about.

I can tell you what you can do with the hard evidence you will discover on the ENFLY thread, stick it up your....!! Get lost, you clown!

#28 Parent DW - 2015-08-04
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

Hi

What other names does this organization go by and is it to do with Enfly. Can you supply any hard evidence of what you are speaking about?

#29 Parent ROXYINCHINA - 2015-08-03
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

Hi Martin, thanks for making the effort to console Antonio and provide him with some useful university recruitment information.

Also thanks for agreeing with me that Enfly mistreats its FTs.

I must admit being exasperated by the apathy the readers have shown themselves to have re naming and shaming dishonest Chinese employers. For example, the Yuncheng agents have many complaints against them on the threads. But I reckon they employ at most 45 FTs among them. In contrast, Enfly claims to place 200+ FTs.

Both Yuncheng agents and Enfly will allow their FTs to work illegally. However, the salary paid to an FT by a Yuncheng agent will be 5500 or 6000 a month. Bear in mind that 'fetid swamp' agents are also paying the TAs who assist the FTs, about 1800 a month.

But Enfly pays just 5000 or 5500 a month and provides no TAs.

Who is the greedier? Obviously Enfly, by far. And Enfly can benefit from economy of scale, unlike 'fetid swamp' agents! Yet the Enfly thread does not expand, unlike the Yuncheng threads about rubbish local agents.

SO, I THINK I'LL STOP POSTING IN DISGUST!

#30 Parent San Migs - 2015-08-03
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

Antonio, there have been numerous warnings about Helen and China Tefl on these boards going back for years.

Get out of there while you still can, and still have money. Mainland China is NOT as progressive as HK, Taiwan or other more democratic societies regarding discrimination and even in the other chinese territories there is still discrimination there. Simply get out of Helen and Chinatefl....much better places and sorry to hear of your bad experiences!!!!!

#31 Parent martin hainan - 2015-08-03
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

Mr. Harrison,
Thank you for sharing the details of your ordeal.
I certainly cannot fully appreciate your distress and outrage, but I applaud your efforts to redress the wrongs inflicted on you.
Though it is no consolation, the two agencies you dealt with routinely mistreat other Foreign teachers. Anything you can do to expose them to authorities is a worthy endeavor.
If you would not mind a question: what age were the students that you taught and how did they respond to your disability? How did you deal with their questions? Chinese students have difficulty discussing many issues and Chinese society has much work to do in the arena of providing equality for their citizens with disabilities. Your work in the classroom was a valuable opportunity for your students.
May I suggest you consider applying directly to some universities? I will be sending you an email in the event that I may provide you with some leads in that effort.

#32 Parent ANTONIO HARRISON - 2015-08-03
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

****** THIS LONG LETTER IS ABOUT 2 AGENCIES; WITH THE 2ND BEING HANGZHOU ZHEJIANG UNIV HELEN CHINA TEFL NETWORK********

Of my last 6 months spent in China; only 5 weeks of such can I say was 'positive' and this is because I was enjoying the opportunity to teach middle school in Sichuan province. I have also sent the following letter (see below) to various government entities--both in the USA and in Britian--in order to WARN their respective citizens about the horrible mistreatment and discrimination faced toward DISABLED FOREIGNERS (no matter how 'small' the disability is). If the teacher or individual is not 100% in the eyes of the Chinese; then that person is deemed to be 'not good enough' to teach or work anywhere in China. Such a horrible though process starts at the top and trickles down to the others (such as company officials). The letter (which was composed on July 8, 2015) follows:

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I am aware that as a U.S. Citizen; every country has it's own laws and interpretations of such and that such may be extremely different than what I am used to. However, I was quite stunned to personally experience such reprehensible behavior and treatment (and I have 20+ years of working experience; mostly in the business arena). Please allow me to share the difficulties encountered since my arrival in China in February of 2015; when I was scheduled to start working (per recruitment) as a Foreign Language (English) teacher:

The company that recruited me to China; upon finally meeting me in person (as compared to our 2 Skype interviews), they immediately informed me that “I cannot teach English” and that “it is illegal for me to work in China” due to my disability (in addition to also calling me a liar). Why did they say this? Because they noticed my prosthetic hand (which looks just like my other hand).

I was stunned to be attacked with such information. I then informed the company that I was hired to teach English—not Physical Education—and therefore I was going nowhere. I came to teach and that is what I intended to do.

After 24 hours of back-and-forth; they sent me to a school in Sichuan Province (which was a 5 hour bus ride from Chengdu). I taught at that school for approximately 4 weeks—and was even informed by the agency that caused all of the outrageous problems—that I was a success at the school.

After being re-called to Chengdu; the relationship between the agency and myself turned hostile. I wrote to the US Embassy, the Office of the Ministry of Education in Beijing and finally went to the Public Safety Bureau (PSB), where they were able to resolve the differences between the recruitment agency and myself. In essence; the PSB informed the agency that—as long as I was still on their payroll and until the agency paid me all of the money owed me—that I was still their employee and therefore they were still responsible for paying all of my fees (such as hotel cost).

About 3 weeks later; I was offered a 1-year contract to teach English in Shenzhen (which I accepted and was then informed that the school was in Ningbo). The recruitment agency is based in Hangzhou. Not long afterward, I was also offered the chance to teach summer school (through the same agency); at a school in Ningbo. I was very happy to be accepted for my knowledge base and was even more happy to be able to contribute my skills to the students. Unfortunately; I was fired from the school in Ningbo before I even arrived to begin (which was scheduled for July 1).

Before leaving the hotel to head to the train station (to catch the train to Ningbo), the recruitment agency (Hangzhou Zhejiang University Helen China TEFL Network) informed me that the school had called and requested that I “not come” and that they send “another” teacher. I was informed that the reasoning was because of the “hand” issue. Again I was shocked but not surprised.

To make matters worse; the next morning (July 2) while at the company apartment in Hangzhou, the recruitment agency stopped by with my contract cancellation/termination papers in their hand. The agency's reason for terminating my contract was the same reason that the school gave: my hand.
Not only was I shocked but now I was extremely angry.

In a letter that the director of the agency sent to my email; he tried to blame me as to the reason for the schools firing me (along with his agency's cancellation of my contract).

To add insult to injury; while visiting Vietnam 3 weeks earlier, I was offered a job to teach English on a part-time basis (for summer school), with the opportunity of working full-time when the fall semester started. I turned the offer down! Why? Because I made a promise—weeks earlier—to accept the position in China. Now, as of today's date and thanks to the outrageous policies and belief system here in China, I am out of both jobs.

Not only am I out of a job but I am also out of a lot of money. I decided to remain in China after signing that contract in early about 8 weeks ago (lodging, food, bus and train fare to Vietnam, visa fees and other costs). The recruitment agency first said that it was my problem and that they were not responsible for my costs. I was not happy and informed them that because of their actions; they are responsible for reimbursing me.

Finally; they agreed to reimburse me for some of my expenses (as long as I had receipts); but it was no where near the amount that I actually paid. There was no reason for me to keep receipts from 7 weeks earlier; because I had planned on starting the teaching assignment (and never thought that this would happen). Even though I entered into a signed contract with them at their office 9 days ago, they stated that they could not give me my copy because it had not yet been “stamped.” I still do not have it and since I am no longer with the agency; will not get it.

Thank you in advance for reviewing the information.

#33 Parent Jae Yang - 2015-07-21
Re China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

I just finished a short term contract with them. Due to confidentiality non disclosure, I cannot say anything about them negatively publicly. Contact me by personal email for private non public discussion. Saiops@hotmail.com

#34 Parent San Migs - 2015-04-28
Re China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

How do companies like this stay in business they must be bribing people left and right. They have people on illegal visas traveling to Hanghou every few months to renew their visa.

As you say obviously bribery. It is sickening that they have people on illegal visas, who have to go to Hangzhou each few months.

I try to warn as many people considering to teach in China not to work for this company and to research every offer they get. Helen Group and their bullshit contracts they don't honor then you have Hong Tao Wu on here saying he was going to quit and to protest. He still works for them till this day. What's this about him molesting someone???

He is obviously a liar and take everything he says with a huge pinch of salt. He is still working for them, despite stating he would quit. About the molestation accusation, that I know nothing of, but I do know he got mad when I named one of the former recruiters or managers who worked there....she deceived me bigtime, and this odious individual got mad at me for having the temerity to reveal her name, and that of one of her accomplices on her. to be fair, one of her accomplices did quit and left elsewhere, and I have no reason to suspect she was implicit in deceit, but perhaps she was. birds of a feather and all that.......

#35 Parent What? - 2015-04-28
Re China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

How do companies like this stay in business they must be bribing people left and right. They have people on illegal visas traveling to Hanghou every few months to renew their visa. I try to warn as many people considering to teach in China not to work for this company and to research every offer they get. Helen Group and their bullshit contracts they don't honor then you have Hong Tao Wu on here saying he was going to quit and to protest. He still works for them till this day. What's this about him molesting someone???

#36 Parent San Migs - 2015-04-27
Re China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

Is Helen herself, or John Zhou still invoved with this company?

I know one thing about this company their staff turnover is huge, there were always people leaving and getting other jobs, probably because it is not a good place to work for.

Yes, don't work for them, not a good outfit at all.

#37 Parent San Migs - 2015-04-27
Re China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

They pawn off Ukrainians as teachers from England to schools to get more money off them.

This does not surprise me at all.

They were hiring guys from Ghana and having them tell schools they were from the UK or some crap like that, or that they studied there, when they damn well had not.

Anything to make a buck...this place just shows what crappy chinese business practices are like!!!

#38 Parent What? - 2015-04-26
Re China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

hong Tao is a crook. He happily steals from foreigners and tries to take every rmb he can from them. He is a liar and a fraud who does bait and switches on contracts and doesn't honor one word of the contract. To sign up with this company is to give away any rights you might have. They bribe the police and give out visa that don't relate to where you are at and read the contract everything is in their favor. Do not sign up with this company they go by three different names. Why you might ask, well simple so that people won't catch on that they are the same company with a bad reputation. So one person may say bad things about Helen Group and they try to sign you up under Chinese TEFL network or their third name. Hung Tao Wu still works with Helen group as their top man to this day. He is a liar Wu Hong Tao is a cheat. I hope that he develops cancer. That would be the karma police in full effect. He doesn't help you get a career you can make more money and get better treatment by many different companies. So to end this make the smart move go with another company but be sure to research them so you don't end up with a company that's like Heleng Group aka Chinese TEFL Network Aka Zhejiang University Helen. They'll wipe their ass with your contract they are honor-less crooks. With this company you are in a Foreign teacher sweat shop

#39 Parent What? - 2015-04-26
Re China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou - Hongtao Wu is guilty by association!!!!

What she wrote is the trust I agree 100%

#40 Parent What? - 2015-04-26
Re China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

He is a piece of crap that will ignore everything you write him. He just sits in his office getting fatter and fatter screwing people over left and right. Spread the word make sure to help others avoid working for such a wretched company. They pawn off Ukrainians as teachers from England to schools to get more money off them. They have no ethics what so ever. Helen Group are unholy spawns from Satan's taint.

#41 Parent What? - 2015-04-26
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

Are these only for Beijing or for other provinces too?

#42 Parent karma - 2015-01-14
Re Thank you Thomas

So you were a scum bag just like the rest of Helen. You tricked foreigners into raw deals and got screwed over. KARMA FOR YOU

#43 Parent yu2fa3 - 2015-01-08
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

He is still working there today. He is just a liar like the rest of the crooks in Helen groups. This company is full of dirt bags

San Migs was a good and respected poster but that post you answered dates back to over two years ago hahaha! We haven't seen hide nor hair of him for at least a year. I heard rumours that he was involved in a punch up with an Australian all over some hooker and a steak pie. Another rumour has it that he opened up a coffee shop in competition with an Englishman in Shandong Province and a contract was taken out on him. Another, he met his end overcome by poisonous gas shortly after securing employment down Darlington Sewage System. Take your pick but he won't answer you.

#44 Parent What? - 2015-01-08
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

He is still working there today. He is just a liar like the rest of the crooks in Helen groups. This company is full of dirt bags

#45 Parent What? - 2015-01-08
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

How is that quitting going for you?

#46 Parent Terrible experience - 2015-01-06
Re China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

He is a cheat not to be trusted!!! He and Helen sits there and gets fat off stealing teachers money. When the teacher has an issue and rights him he simply will ignore you. The man is a liar and pimps out teachers not paying fare wages or doing anything promised.

#47 Parent yu2fa3 - 2015-01-04
Re China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou - Hongtao Wu is guilty by association!!!!

Some apartments had serious vermin problems, and what I mean by vermin, I mean rats. I had cockroaches in my apartment, even in my room. This can be expected in Shenzhen and I have cockroaches in my kitchen here in Taiwan. But, rats?!?! A fellow employee told me he actually had rats in his apartment.

I lived in Miami for a year and cockroaches were pretty standard in most households. Maybe they came over with some American FT's- one or two hitched a lift. Don't worry about them, they're pretty harmless. As for the rats, when I worked in Shandong, I knew one Aussie FT who'd get drunk and chat to a rat half the night- mistook him for a mate- occasionally cursing at him that he didn't have much to say for himself, only nibbled at his host's peanuts on the coffee table. Again they're pretty harmless creatures...and good company for aussies.

#48 Parent Sludge - 2015-01-04
Re China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou - Hongtao Wu is guilty by association!!!!

This can be expected in Shenzhen and I have cockroaches in my kitchen here in Taiwan. But, rats?!?! A fellow employee told me he actually had rats in his apartment.

That sounds terrible and I feel for you.

Now cockroaches can be avoided by keeping floors clean, throwing out rubbish regularly, and placing those little plastic traps at strategic points, keep on top of things and you may never see one. But rats, that is just sick.....I expect Helen would say something like, but this is china, get used to it!!! terrible.

#49 Parent JH - 2015-01-03
Re China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou - Hongtao Wu is guilty by association!!!!

I wasn't going to actually write something about this company, but I felt like I actually should warn some people about Helen Group. Where do I start? I want to make on thing clear, I don't have anything personally against anyone in the company and there are some nice Chinese people in the company. But, I'm sure they are getting ripped off, just like 99% of the teachers. I'll get into what I mean by "99% of the teachers.

I moved to Taiwan 5 months ago for a way better paying job and only did 8 months of a year contract. I don't regret leaving this company, but do miss the life that I had built in Shenzhen, where I was assigned. If Helen had been a better company to work for, I'd be in Shenzhen right now. I'm not the only teacher that quit working for this company in the 8 months I was in Shenzhen and I'm sure I won't be the last. I'm not doing this out of spite towards Helen Group and its employees, this is a warning to future teachers who would like to enjoy their teaching experience in China. China is an interesting country to be sure, both good and bad. However, if you want to enjoy your teaching experience, find another way to do it than going through Helen Group.

For one thing, like everyone else has stated, this company makes promises and will keep very few of them. I was promised more pay than I actually received after arriving in China. I worked in Shenzhen, China which is an expensive city, like Shanghai and Beijing. However, my pay was not enough to cover your expenses while living there. Not only did they lower my pay after arriving in China, they don't pay you for holidays. However, they say that they will pay you for holidays, but once you get into China, that will all change. I was one of the lucky people in Shenzhen, my pay was even better than about half the teachers Helen employed. I heard that some teachers made 4000 RMB or less, especially none native English teachers Helen regularly employs from other countries and not English speaking country. They end up paying them slave wages because they know they can do it because they are not native English speakers.

Also, if you do not have a Bachelor's degree, they will try and also give you a low wage. All this while one of the coordinators gets paid two or three times what they rest of us make, all because he has a PhD in some worthless major. I actually had over 3 years experience teaching in Korea, have worked in education in the past and have been in management in the USA, so I had way more experience that this person. Also, the things he had to coordinate were a joke. Meetings about our school and training on how to be a better teacher. I never learned one useful thing from these meeting and these meeting were mandatory or we would get docked on pay. A waste of time.

Second, this company will also promise you things you are guaranteed for your apartment, but you will never see any of these things. Things like a microwave, free Internet as well as some basic things will be stated in your contract, but you can forget ever getting them. You'll pay for your own Internet once you get to your apartment and they'll say that the microwaves are coming, but they never will. Also, some apartments are even worse than mine. I was lucky, my apartment was not all that bad, but I did have a roommate. I don't really mind having a roommate and my roommate was actually a pretty good person, but I had nothing in common with him and it would have been better to live alone in some ways like I did in Korea and do in Taiwan, all this provided by the school. I've heard stories of people having some really bad roommates with this company, but that's not even the worst of it. Some apartments are horrible in terms of living conditions. Again, I was lucky, but I've heard horror stories. Some apartments had serious vermin problems, and what I mean by vermin, I mean rats. I had cockroaches in my apartment, even in my room. This can be expected in Shenzhen and I have cockroaches in my kitchen here in Taiwan. But, rats?!?! A fellow employee told me he actually had rats in his apartment.

It's like throwing dice. Some people get lucky and have good apartments like I did, but the other half will not be so fortunate. Another fellow employee that I know didn't have air conditioning in his apartment. If you know anything about Shenzhen, or China for that matter, you will know that air con is a must. In fact, when they asked the company to fix the air con, Helen Group told them that they must pay to fix it out of their own pocket. And when they couldn't pay to fix the air con in the living room, the company told the manager of the apartment to break the other air con in the bed rooms. Great company policy, right? You need to know your place in the Helen hierarchy. All this while the coordinator gets a nice salary and unshared accommodations. By the way, and all expenses in the apartment paid.

And you can forget about traveling or eating well. You're low salary will not allow for it. If you save enough, you might be able to see some nearby cities, but the only traveling you'll do is to get your Visa done in Hangzhou where the company is based out of, and Hong Kong where you'll do the final step of your Visa, at the last minute by the way, so you'll never know if you're allowed to stay and teach in China. And, if you are working in Shenzhen, why do you have to do your Visa in Hangzhou? Because you're Visa is based out of Hangzhou and not the city you actually work in. I'm sure there is some sneaky reason that they do this, that's my only guess. Actually, that's what I've heard and read.

And, your salary will be so low, you'll be eating at home or at your school. Forget going out to enjoy the night life or a good restaurant, you'll never have enough money to do any of this. All the money you'll make will go to towards traveling to your school, your phone bill, utilities and just being able to eat at home or some street food. Granted, China can does have some really good food places for cheap, but it would be nice to be able to actually go to a nice restaurant or go out and drink at a bar or night club. You'll never have enough money to do any other this or travel. I mean, isn't this one of the reasons that you came to China, to experience the culture? The only culture you'll get will be through your school or the China friends you make that might invite you over to their homes for dinner. Also, they'll never deliver on the free Chinese lessons. Actually, I take that back, they'll finally get around to it, about 6 months after you arrive in China. Now this is just a rumor, but I heard that the coordinator gets his vacation and travel paid by the company, only because he has a PhD, but I was a more experienced teacher than this person.

I never made it until the end of the contract, but the are suppose to give you 5000 RMB towards your plane ticket, or so they say. Let me explain why this is not a good deal, I'm from the USA and flew out from Oregon (I'm actually from Minnesota, but stay with a friend before traveling to China). However, my ticket to China came up to way more than 5000 RMB. This is only about $815 US. My ticket to China was more than $815, but just to Hong Kong. I flew into Hong Kong because that's it's next to Shenzhen and this is where I was to work. One week before I was to leave for China, they told me I needed to fly to Hangzhou. So, in addition to going to paying to fly to Hong Kong, I was now expected to get another ticket to Hangzhou, which cost me an additional $200 to 300. Also, I paid for extra luggage, so I had to pay for all that as well. A fellow teacher just went back to New York after finishing his contract, but told me he had to ask Helen repeatedly to reimburse him for the plane ticket back to the USA, this after he paid just to make it back home. He wanted to change jobs, but Helen cancelled his Visa because he didn't agree to resign with them. Class act all the way on the part of the Helen Group.

Once you arrive in Hangzhou, you will have to travel to the city where your school is located. Guess who pays for this initially? You guess it, you. To be fair, they will reimburse you, but after paying for the trip from your country to China, why am I expected to pay to get to the city where I was assigned my school. Helen Group will just assume you are a foreigner and have all the money in the world, so this shouldn't be a problem for you at all. When I told them I was broke, they thought maybe we were going to have a problem. Why couldn't I pay for it? After all, all us foreigners are rich, right? I eventually used my credit card. This is not the last time you will be expected to do this, you'll have to do this when you go to Hangzhou for anything concerning your Visa, and to Hong Kong as well. Keep your receipt. However, you'll pay more for your trip to these places than the Helen company will. All this while you are making really low pay.

My final rant will be this. At your school, you'll also be expected to keep track of all the hours you put in at your school. You'll be the only foreign teacher at the school that does this. None of the other foreign teachers had to do this each month and the director at my school thought, "Why do you have to do this"? You'll also find that other teachers at your school will be making more than you are. Even another teacher that I knew that was employed by another agency made more than I did. The teachers employed directly by the school are making even more. I've heard of examples where the other foreign teachers making twice as much as I was working for Helen. I wonder who gets all the extra money? I can only guess. Forget getting paid for holidays, or days off, or summer and winter break. To be fair, Helen paid me half for winter break, I suppose they didn't want me to starve to death, especially after just getting into China. But during this last summer, my last pay check was a big fat 0. I also had another month of summer break and I spoke with a teacher working for Helen that said they threw him a bone and he got about 2000 RMB. But remember, you have to pay for your expenses like getting to your school, food, utilities and phone bill. I guess Helen Group justifies this because you have a roof over your head and, get this because they actually told a teacher this, you get to eat for free at your school.

Well, I'm sure that there are a few more things I could mention, but I'll either let you decide or find out for your self. But if you read this and still decide to work for Helen, don't say you were not warned. I wish I had looked up this company before taking the job through this company. I'm in Taiwan now, but wouldn't rule out teaching in China again. I actually had many tutoring jobs on the side and was able to make good money that way. In fact, I made more money tutoring then working for Helen. However, I worked way harder than I needed to and would have been happy just to work at one school and tutor for a little bit instead of making a career out of tutoring just to make ends meet. Anyways, I hope this helps people that would like to teach in China.

China can be a good place to teach and I found Chinese people to be really nice. However, you're time there will be living slim or frustrating, unless you have an unlimited amount of money from your home country or a pension to live off of. In that case, you are doing it for the experience. Still, there are better ways to do it than going through the Helen Group. I still to this day get offers from China for better pay and living situations. You have been warned if you are reading this.

#50 Parent Corah - 2014-04-18
China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou - Hongtao Wu is guilty by association!!!!

I know who you are by first-hand experience, Hongtao Wu. You have always been Helen's most loyal right hand in all the cheat and mistreatment of foreign teachers. You have been actively involved in all the lies and cheats that were going on in so man cases, and I don't care what the PSB says about you or someone else. We know that your company has bribed many officials at PSB and the local Bureau of Foreign Experts, and justice was never done because of that in the many cases of foreign teachers that you and Helen have abused. You may also have pocketed some of the money yourself that Helen has made by cheating teachers out of airfare reimbursement and many other things.

So why should we believe you and even help you in your current troubles with Helen now? Even this could be a lie, but I could not care less. Both of you, Helen and yourself, deserve each other, and both of you are guilty by association!

The only thing I want to see happen is that China TEFL Network goes bankrupt and people like you will be put in jail and that at least some of us would be financially compensated for that what you and Helen have stolen from our rightly earned salaries. I wish you and Helen all the bad and misfortune in this world possible and would even feel personally satisfied if the authorities in China sentenced you to the death penalty.

Folks like you are the scum of the earth, and you should be very careful in case you would ever cross my way as I could not guarantee for anything then. Helen and you are like disgusting rats that need to be eliminated immediately. Fuck off and take your rants about Helen, your good friend, elsewhere, you are the same or even worse than her!

The psb saiD i dId no tHing wrong. helen is the onE tHat stolee. tHey lie I diDnt moLest the girl I hav a family.
#51 Parent Wu Hong Tao - 2014-04-18
Re China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

The psb saiD i dId no tHing wrong. helen is the onE tHat stolee. tHey lie I diDnt moLest the girl I hav a family.

#52 Parent Corah - 2014-04-17
Re China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

Hongtao Wu, you are the biggest liar on earth, and you deserve be jailed next to Helen. How many times have you broken Chinese law!
To hell with you and Helen!

#53 Parent Wu Hong Tao - 2014-04-17
Re China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

I wOrkd with china teFl netwrk for two years but they stopped giveing me salary.
we will protest china governMent and helen group april 24 2014 at 5pm blue sky buildng hangzhou.
hope all the teachers i help get career at school comes to help me revenge goverment and helen.

#54 Parent How to Beat China TEFL Fraud - 2014-03-09
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

China TEFL Network (CTN) otherwise known as Zhejiang University Helen Group is a malicious company that DEFRAUDS foreigners professionally.
If you are defrauded you will not be helped by the police and it will be nearly impossible to win in court.
The only way to combat this problem is to contact the foreign expert bureau and the labor union within your province.
(Do not give personal information- only tell them about what the Helen Group has done in no more than 150 words)
The problem will not be fixed until enough foreigners speak out against their crimes.
Be very careful when confronting this company (especially if you are located in Hangzhou).
Helen Group will put you through hell if you oppose them.
Warning---It was reported by more than one source that Helen Group has bribed police and officials in Hangzhou and Shenzhen.

Here are some useful contacts that may be able to help you. (The foreign expert bureau and Labor Union also need to be informed).

Honorable Wu Aiying
Minister of Justice
Ministry of Justice
10 Nandajie, Chaoyangmen
Chaoyang District, Beijing
100020, China

Honorable Yuan Guiren
Minister of Education
No.37 Damucang Hutong,
Xidan, Beijing, P.R.C
100816

He Guoqiang
National Bureau of Corruption Prevention of China
NO.2 Guang'An Men Nan Jie,
Xuanwu Disrict,
Beijing 100053

#55 Parent San Migs - 2013-12-30
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

Crooks and scum!

Hangzhou is a city full of weasels and that is a crappy company!!!

I hope they go bust is my new years resolution, and that vanessa guo goes bankrupt!!!!

#56 Parent Karen Jones - 2013-12-30
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group related to Zhejiang University ESL

Helen Group Zhejiang University ESL

Go by many names -- but if company is IN Zhejiang province, it is very likely HELEN GROUP ESL of Hangzhou or name of Zhejiang University ESL etc.

ALERT ALERT ALERT teachers deported 2013 December

Not following Chinese laws on VISAs and Work Permits.

You can make twice the money by working directly for a PRIVATE school as they pay.

#57 Parent Karen Jones - 2013-12-30
(Message Deleted by Poster)
#58 Parent Mike Dunn - 2013-11-12
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

Helen Group has caused me many problems and I am building a case against them. Anyone that has experienced problems with the Helen Group should contact the Zhejiang Foreign Expert Bureau at 0571-8705-1076 Changsha Foreign Expert Bureau at 0731-8866-6718 and email your countries embassy.

#59 Parent The Jane They are Slandering - 2013-05-30
We Won The Case

Hello Thomas,

I hope this reply finds you well and your job in teaching is going smoothly. I know good people will be always lucky and I know good things come slow, so does my legal case against HelenGroup.
Me and my colleagues have beat them up with help from all fields. Although this is not what traditional Chinese will do (they tend to leave the trouble alone and accept the fact of being victims of career insult), we are actually forced to fight against them. As sarcastic as it can be, just like Lord Voldemort created his own enemy Harry Potter, HelenGroup is creating its own enemy, or enemies.

For all those good teachers, my sincere suggestion will be find the job wisely. English teaching is very popular in China,and there are thousands of job awaiting new teachers. When you come to China, it will be much easier to find a job. Be cautious about the visa though.

#60 Parent Pazuzu - 2013-04-10
Re: Thank you Thomas

I can help you out here, as I am presently the only FT at a place out in the boonies, in the west, so not in the east of China.

Students are decent enough, and the boss is ok too. I've included my email if you want the lowdown, and they are looking for people pretty much year round.

Good luck,
Pazuzu

#61 Parent Thomas Robertson - 2013-04-10
Re: Thank you Thomas

Thank you, Jane.
I figured it was something like that.

This is off the subject, but I would like to get a job in an isolated rural area far away from the east coast.
I understand that recruiting agencies, especially unethical agencies like Helen Group, could represent schools in such areas if they really wanted to.
However, they don't because they couldn't earn as much commission.
Do you know any way I can get a job way out in the boonies?
That's what I've wanted ever since I came to Asia 13 years ago.

I wish you the best of luck in the legal case.

#62 Parent John - 2013-04-10
Re: Thank you Thomas

The old witch never realize her mistakes. Sick!~!~! greedy~ Miser
LMAO.

#63 Parent The Jane They are Slandering - 2013-04-10
Thank you Thomas

Hello Thomas,

I worked in Helengroup for almost a year and am the girl that the letter you posted was talking about. Thank you very much for your notice and sympathy, which sounds more like support to me.

I will not stain my name to swear to Helengroup about the obvious slander that they are trying to label on me. I will let everyone decide what is the truth and if I'm doing the right thing.

This is the first job that I liked to do after my university graduation. I liked to talk to foreign teachers, meeting all different people from all over the world and sometimes they tell me fatastic stories about their lives! I loved that!

That is exactly the reason why I stay in the office more hours that I have to be----- I was recruiting teachers, talking to them, replying their emails, doing Skype interview with them. My hard work helped me to be the No.1 recruiter in the company. I made lots of friends and many of them come to the company and teached in the schools that I recommended. I still miss those teachers that I recruited and the friends I made in the office.

The collegues in the office are very nice too. I enjoyed working with them every minutes I stayed with them.

If the company, some people in the office, didn't slandered me and tried to gave me so many trouble to blame me for every mistake that they made, I would have miss the office very much.

I thought I got the best job I liked and I was gonna stay there for a long time-----untill December before the Chinese new year.

They began to cut every recruiter's salary. They make everyone signed the new KPI to achieve the "mission impossible" and then cut every recruiter's salary. For how impossible? Look at this figure:

For example, my mission was to recruit about 30 foreign teachers in a year by my self, with the salary offerd to the foreign teachers of 4700 RMB-4900 RMB monthly.
By 30 teachers it means they have to actually come and teach in the school. For the record, I worked my ass off and work extra hours EVERYDAY and I only have 30 teachers signed the contract and 12 actually come. That's the best I did with that salary range and the teachers recource the company offered.

I looked at the new KPI and I knew immediately that this will not be likely to achieave with the present conditions. I was told that the KPI may change based on the actual situation because the company should count the REALITY into sinderation instead of being unrealistic. Now they change their mind and cut everyone's salary.

So I have to go, leave this job and stop working my ass off for the little money they offered.

I wrote a Thank- You letter as my resignation letter and sent it to Helen and my supervisor.

Guess what happend? When I was at home, I was informed by the HR manager that I was acused of trying to steal teachers from the company and selling them to other schools. (Is that because of the hours I spent afterwork in the office to recruit teachers ? For my stupid goal and interest to talk to foreign teahcers ? )

WHAT THE HELL ??!!

Well there's an ugly process that I had to go through, so I asked my lawyer friend to come and helped me deal with the unexpected situation. It was so ironic that I worked faithfully and enjoyed my time in the office, to earn a slander that they try to label on me.

If there is God, Buddha,Allah etc I will swear to them that I did nothing or anything they said about me. All the tacheres that I recruited or colleagues I worked with will agree with me because they know who I am.

I will not reveal anything related to the business I know about the company, but I believe people will see a company through how it treat its own people, its employees.

When a company meets difficulites or bad things, it is not that if you blame it all on one employee and then it will be resolved itself. However, this company I worked seems to use this method as the altimate solution for every problem it has.

I will meet the scandalmonger on court on May. My Thanks go to all the people who supporte me in all ways.

(The figure and examples I listed above are just examples. For those with evil purpose, please seek your heart for any bright side that exists).

#64 Parent John - 2013-04-08
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

it is just a joke! I think the criminal are Helen herself plus a group of running dogs
LOL, oh, by the way, the guy who was mentioned in this letter called MR. Zhangcheng Tong already quit his position in the same time.
it is the biggest sarcasm.

#65 Parent the eye in helen - 2013-03-21
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

Helen, all of the old staff including department of technology, HR, legal counsel, all guys you so-called faithful and never-quit left you, Whose problem? Open your eyes, learn how to respect ppl. We are human beings, not your slavers.

#66 Parent the eyes in helen - 2013-03-20
China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

I am waiting for god to punish you. helen. you are evil, suck blood. All we teachers [edited]

#67 Parent the eyes in helen - 2013-03-15
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

Most of the recruitment managers left those hell company, there are no old staff there, only 3 old guys plus a group of rookies. I will quit the job soon with my manager [edited].

#68 Parent Thomas Robertson - 2013-02-28
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

Here is a letter which I received today from that worthy organization:

Dear Thomas Robertson,

This is a letter from Zhangcheng Tong (Manager of HR) and Richard Lee (Manager of FAO) written on behalf of Hangzhou Zhejhiang University Helen China TEFL Network Co., Ltd (abbreviated as China TEFL Network or CTN). By this Letter of Notification we would like to inform you officially of the following facts:

1. Hangzhou Zhejiang University Helen China TEFL Network Co., Ltd is the first Company and one of the 32 companies in China up to this moment registered and authorized by the State Administration for Foreign Expert Affairs (SAFEA) to recruit and assign foreign teachers to certified schools around China.

2. On Feb. 10th one of our recruiting staff, Jane Qin, resigned from the Company, so any conducts and words from her after that date does not represent our Company.

3. Our recent investigation has shown that, some previous staff resigned, and even some one still in the Company at this moment, under the drive of their own economic interest, has built a team of partners of crime and involved in the theft of commercial secrets from the Company, which is obviously against the Chinese law.

4. The team of partners of crime made up untruthful stories and sent them through e-mails or phone calls to some of our present foreign teachers of our Company, sent to foreign foreign teachers who has received legal visa invitation from the Company and on their way to entering China, just for one aim, to hold back the Company’s foreign teachers and introduce teachers to other schools they contacted and make illegal money. Their behaviors have violated the Chinese Law. All these illegal conducts has resulted in causing severe loss to the Company and the schools both in reputation and economy. They also caused negative influence to our foreign teachers and their legality of working in China.

5. Fortunate enough, most of our foreign teachers don’t believe their words and conducts. Some of our teachers reported to our Company on these illegal things. The Company has started to collect evidences of the crimes and has reported to the local the PSB (Public Security Bureau) in Hangzhou on the crimes. More other evidences of the crimes from our foreign teachers are welcome to provide to us if you have any.

By this letter of Notification, here we would kindly again remind everyone of the teachers that when you apply for a position in China through an agency, the first and most important thing you should do is that you should ask the agency for a copy of their license from SAFEA to make sure if the agency is legal or not.

As for the list of legal 32 companies in China up to now, please check SAFEA website (http://www.safea.gov.cn/content.shtml?id=12745867) for more details, and please check our Company’s website for our license copy (http://en.chinatefl.com/about/License.htm). Please do not trust any gossip or rumors from those partners of crime and not to be deceived easily.

Any further questions or any help from our BPO schools or from our Company, please contact us by e-mail at fao2@helengroup.com; gmoffice1@chinatefl.com.

HR Manager & FAP Manager
Hangzhou Zhejiang University Helen China TEFL Network Co., Ltd
Feburary 26, 02013

Doesn't your heart just bleed for those fine ladies and gentlemen?

#69 Parent Thomas Robertson - 2013-02-28
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

For those who have missed my earlier posts, I am currently finishing a job with Helen Group and accepted a new job with another agency.

At 3:40 today, just as the children were coming into the classroom, two guys came in.
One was a Chinese person who spoke English, one was a Chinese person who didn't.
They handed me a letter which I copied onto an earlier post.

They stayed and talked to me for the whole class period.
They did their dangdest to talk me into choosing one of two schools which they are offering me.
My teaching assistant did an admirable job of keeping the class in session, despite all the confusion.

They asked me to share whatever was on my mind.
So I asked them:

-- Why did they promise me I could stay in the school as long as long as both parties were happy, only to throw me out after three months?

They told me the director didn't want me there any longer.
The director told me she wanted to keep me, but the agency made that impossible.
I hope it is the director who is telling me the truth.

Anyway, this was the only question for which I could get any answer.

-- Why was there another teacher in the school receiving 6000 a month when I was receiving only 5000 a month?

Was that all the fault of these villanous former employees?

No answer here.

--Why won't the agency give me more information about the schools which they have chosen for me?
They won't even tell me what age group I would work with!

No answer here either.

--If Helen Group is so reputable, why did the police in Yuhuan tell Yuhuan County Kindergarten not to do further business with them?

No answer here either.

--Last but not least, if they're not too busy to drive all the way over here, why are they too busy to wait until after class?

To me, that showed how much importance they put on the children's needs and the teacher's responsibility.

No answer here either.

#70 Parent Dragonized - 2013-02-27
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

Yep, to borrow an old Chinese saying, "Monkeys scatter when the tree falls", lol.

#71 Parent Dragonized - 2013-02-27
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

You have an interesting web site. Phenomenal work! I truly respect people who try and preserve culture.

#72 Parent John O’Shei - 2013-02-27
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

Chinese people may be turning against them, due to the recent congress. One powerful guy loses his position, his guys below him are replaced by the new leaders, guanxi networks all over are destroyed etc. This kind of thing is quite common.

#73 Parent Thomas Robertson - 2013-02-26
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

She is relatively powerful in Zhejiang Province and a foreign teacher stands no chance if he or she should seek redress again her in that province.

It might be getting so that even the Chinese people are rejectiing Helen Group.
I am currently leaving a job which Helen Group messed up for me.
The director said that the local police told them not to do any further business with Helen Group.
This job was in Yuhuan, which is in the Zhejiang Province.

#74 Parent juanisaac - 2013-02-26
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

This place is complete crap. I know one guy who has worked with them for a few years. He has been at the same salary for 3-4 years now after you know who takes
a piece. When he stays at their apartment, they charge him 100 Yuan per day. Avoid them at all costs.

#75 Parent Corah - 2013-02-25
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

Helen has a contract with them, and one of the stipulations included in that contract is that the school cannot hire teachers directly.
Have a guess, why....
Anyway, in the first place you should not have worked for them, they are a big cheat!

#76 Parent Thomas Robertson - 2013-02-25
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

I wish I had read your post six months ago.
They sent me to a school, promising that I could stay there indefinitely as long as all goes well.
For reasons known only to God and Helen Group, they wrote a contract which I have never seen, saying that the term would be limited to six months.
The school wants to renew the contract and I want to stay, but through some legal fluke, I can't stay.
So now I'm having to pack up all my boxes and go somewhere else.

#77 Parent San Migs - 2013-02-20
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

Thanks for that reply Gnome, and I do agree. I also suspect who you are gnome, an old time ally on these boards, and you did well to call this mob out.

Well done, Cheers gnome!!! thanks again sir!

#78 Parent Gnome - 2013-02-20
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

I do face many problems to convince our manager to change the company's policy, so I do not recommend the company to any foreign teacher, as it is like wasting time and going on circles and it is like a big hassle, and finally the company does not fulfill the contract and breach it finally, sorry for your bad experience, I am going to quit my job from the company very soon.

Hahaha...Hongtao Wu, you are one of the worst people in that awful company, and you support Helen and her crap company's policies 100 %; you have turned out to be one of the biggest liars and hypocrites, and I would even say that you are the backbone of that terrible place. You should take full responsibility for your part in all this mess instead of blaming others!!!! It seems that people like you have no ethics at all and do not take any responsibility for what they are doing and put the blame on others instead, just for the sake of face-keeping!

China TEFL Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, is crap, crap, crap, and all people would be well advised to stay away from it!!!!!
#79 Parent San Migs - 2013-02-20
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

Dear Hongtao,

I thought you said you had already quit?

Now we read you will quit

soon?

Which is it to be? If you want foreigners to believe in and trust you, you are going to have to do a lot more legwork to convince us for now.

Good luck if you do leave,
SMGS

#80 Parent Hongtao wu - 2013-02-20
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

Hi, I have just seen your post, I do agree with you, though I am one of the vice managers at Helen's company but I do face many problems to convince our manager to change the company's policy, so I do not recommend the company to any foreign teacher, as it is like wasting time and going on circles and it is like a big hassle, and finally the company does not fulfill the contract and breach it finally, sorry for your bad experience, I am going to quit my job from the company very soon.

Hongtao Wu
Recruitment Case Manager
Tel: 0086-571-8823-4567 ext. 8013

0086-571-81028339
Mobile:0086-13757132907
Fax: 0086-571-8823-4511
MSN: faoctn8@hotmail.com
E-mail:fao8@helengroup.com
SKYPE:China_TEFL_Network 8
Zhejiang University Helen Chinatefl Network Co., Ltd.

#81 Parent Dragonized - 2013-01-27
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

and things often operate in a manner akin to an old boys network, although perhaps with a lot more fake smiles and doublespeak.

Right on! It also contains all forms of corruption, racism, sexism, and general xenophobia(both towards expats and towards minorities within China) thrown in for good mix.

#82 Parent San Migs - 2013-01-26
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

I do have to say that in China people will get away with this because the general population does not believe in any system of law, only rule by men

For all the faults in western society, this is one aspect where the West trumps China imho.

Individuals have a right to air grievances, complain, and get refunds, compensation, fair treatment and so on. Things like employment law, property law and so on in China are nowhere near as developed as in western countries, and things often operate in a manner akin to an old boys network, although perhaps with a lot more fake smiles and doublespeak.

#83 Parent Dick - 2013-01-26
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

Some places will even try and keep your passport, which is not the property of anyone of Chinese citizenry.

Sometimes this is done so that the school director can use his special relationship with an underling at the local PSB to get you an RP that shouldn't be issued when the boss of the PSB office is away. Happened to my good lady and me in Dongbei some years back. Of course, we knew our school boss could pull local strings before we signed our contracts. A former foreign teacher from there had filled me in on the situation there. So, we had no worries whatsoever re trusting the school boss.

#84 Parent fettered - 2013-01-25
Re:Beware of China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

Helen Group in Hangzhou is certainly an agent to avoid. Even if she is your last resort for a job in China, don't join her dreadful outfit. You'll regret it for the rest of your life if you let her ensnare you.

#85 Parent Dragonized - 2013-01-25
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

First of all, they will make you sign one or several contracts but you will never see a properly counter-signed contract copy for yourself, and in such a case it is not a legally binding contract, right?

If they do not give you a copy then yes technically the contract is not worth the paper it's printed on, of course they do this for control. Many places in China will keep your Foreign Experts Certificate for "safety" reasons or reasons out of "need for something". Some places will even try and keep your passport, which is not the property of anyone of Chinese citizenry.

Second, the pay is mostly late, some teachers had to wait one and half a month until they were paid.

At public schools I was paid either on the last day of the same month I worked or the first/second day (the first weekday) of the new month. Only private companies will make people wait so long. This is because they are busy trying to calculate how much money they can scrunge out of you. Maybe this "Helen" company blew too much money treating the local government officials to KTV and had to borrow themselves to finally pay the foreign teachers, just saying.

Third, your first three days will always be in their headquarters in Hangzhou before they transfer you to the school assigned to you. In that case, you have to pay the travel expenses yourself, although in China it's normally the employer who does or who will refund your expenses. They also basically refund your expenses, but you have to fill in lots of so-called application forms to keep a lot of otherwise useless people in their office busy. A simple ticket to show should be enough to keep bureaucracy to a minimum level, but they make it really hard for you.

Any professional company would give you money up front. As for the refunding part they are hoping you just forget about it so they don't need to pay you. What a rubbish company!

During the summer and winter holidays there is no pay, they pay you only for the days you have been actually teaching. Their system of control is 130 %, you have to fill several papers each month and send them from your school somewhere in China to their head office until you receive your monthly pay.

This kind of control is unheard of anywhere else. This company would make me want to go back to a place like Saudi Arabia. This whole paperwork thing is unnecessary. How would they check every day to the tee? It's only a way for the upper management who probably wouldn't have the job in the first place if not for the connections to a rich daddy/mommy/auntie/uncle who saved them from being totally useless. Now they are just merely useless.

There are delays in sending these papers sometimes, and your salary will also be delayed then.

Again, poor money management. I'll bet these crooks wouldn't delay giving money to the mistresses they've stashed on the side in one of those cheap one room apartment complexes. Expensive whores are always more important than foreign teachers as is the rule.

The schools pay them in advance, so they should be able to pay their teachers in full or on time. Who wants to fill in unnecessary paperwork after a month's hard work to get the salary one has rightly earned? The teacher is better off when working for a school directly as there will be no delays, and if the teacher missed some classes, also the school can make the necessary salary deductions. Why do you need an agent for that, I can't see any sense in that! This tremendous bureaucracy causing delay in the salaries to be paid has a system as they seem to work with that money meanwhile in other areas while the teacher is waiting for his pay and has to phone the head office to ask for his money. This is causing unnecessary stress and takes too much of your time, so why should you work for them if there is always such a hassle to get your money? Only fools would do, right? The same with airfare reimbursement and other benefits promised to you in their so-called "contracts".

The company does this because they do not have any responsibility, so one of the less hollow brained member of management who studied at some crap foreign school will show their "cleverness" by coming up with this bureaucracy. But in the end they just want to stay in your head and not make you feel comfortable. We are after all talking about folks who grew up in a culture of utility, where even the husband and wife will play politics towards their child on which family name is more worthy of the child's attention. I mean in their fawked up minds I'm sure there is the possibility that they are really telling you and the other unfortunate teachers that they love you all so so much! But I think not.

They have a company apartment that was dirty and run-down when I was there. They put you together with sick or other kind of crazy people that you don't know to share this apartment before you move on to other schools - broken chairs, smelling beds that other people have slept in before and leaking toilettes and showers - this is the kind of standard you can expect.If you tell them about it,. either nothing happens or they are far too slow to do something about it. Many teachers have not renewed their contract with them because of the way they have been treated.

You have to look at it this way: We are all creatures of habit and we all want to be in familiar surroundings. If you went to the local mental hospital and checked for records of escaped lunatics you might find the pictures of some of these folks you had to share the apartment with, along with the people who put you there in the first place. This is their way of wanting you to be comfortable, this is their way of showing you China, actually.

If you don't want unnecessary hassle, stay away from them - this is a well-meant advice.

There is hardly anything professional in this company. While they are not only agents, but also active in other business fields, it is all done with such a high degree of unprofessionalism and dilettantism that you can only wonder how they get away with it.

I suggest give such agents a miss and don't work for them, they are only there to make your li8fe miserable!

admin@helengroup.com

I know you went through hell, and I've been there myself as well as many posters. You are not longer working there but you had the generosity to share your experience with all. For that you saved many others from going through the same horrific things. Unfortunately I do have to say that in China people will get away with this because the general population does not believe in any system of law, only rule by men. As such you will encounter plenty of crazies who think the way they "rule" their company or school as being the best way, and anyone who disagrees with the way they run things can take the highway elsewhere. Please don't hesitate to share more, you sound like you've been around the block.

#86 Parent Poster - 2013-01-22
China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

I worked last year for them, and my experiences with them were not good at all. They are agents in that they hire out foreign teachers to partner schools within their network, and the foreign teachers have a contract with this company directly, and not with the school.

First of all, they will make you sign one or several contracts but you will never see a properly counter-signed contract copy for yourself, and in such a case it is not a legally binding contract, right? Second, the pay is mostly late, some teachers had to wait one and half a month until they were paid. Third, your first three days will always be in their headquarters in Hangzhou before they transfer you to the school assigned to you. In that case, you have to pay the travel expenses yourself, although in China it's normally the employer who does or who will refund your expenses. They also basically refund your expenses, but you have to fill in lots of so-called application forms to keep a lot of otherwise useless people in their office busy. A simple ticket to show should be enough to keep bureaucracy to a minimum level, but they make it really hard for you.

During the summer and winter holidays there is no pay, they pay you only for the days you have been actually teaching. Their system of control is 130 %, you have to fill several papers each month and send them from your school somewhere in China to their head office until you receive your monthly pay. There are delays in sending these papers sometimes, and your salary will also be delayed then. The schools pay them in advance, so they should be able to pay their teachers in full or on time. Who wants to fill in unnecessary paperwork after a month's hard work to get the salary one has rightly earned? The teacher is better off when working for a school directly as there will be no delays, and if the teacher missed some classes, also the school can make the necessary salary deductions. Why do you need an agent for that, I can't see any sense in that! This tremendous bureaucracy causing delay in the salaries to be paid has a system as they seem to work with that money meanwhile in other areas while the teacher is waiting for his pay and has to phone the head office to ask for his money. This is causing unneccessary stress and takes too much of your time, so why should you work for them if there is always such a hassle to get your money? Only fools would do, right? The same with airfare reimbursement and other benefits promised to you in their so-called "contracts".

They have a company apartment that was dirty and run-down when I was there. They put you together with sick or other kind of crazy people that you don't know to share this apartment before you move on to other schools - broken chairs, smelling beds that other people have slept in before and leaking toilettes and showers - this is the kind of standard you can expect.If you tell them about it,. either nothing happens or they are far too slow to do something about it. Many teachers have not renewed their contract with them because of the way they have been treated.

If you don't want unnecessary hassle, stay away from them - this is a well-meant advice.

There is hardly anything professional in this company. While they are not only agents, but also active in other business fields, it is all done with such a high degree of unprofessionalism and dilettantism that you can only wonder how they get away with it.

I suggest give such agents a miss and don't work for them, they are only there to make your li8fe miserable!

admin@helengroup.com

#87 Parent hong tao wu - 2012-12-27
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

I do agree with you 100% , I left Helen Group last month, and the company is not professional at all,

They really like to deduct any amount of money from the teachers' salaries with and without reasons,

They deducted some money from my salary because they did send me the legal documents to apply for z visa by DHL when I was at my home country however I have not been advised with this at all,

Also, I staid at the Hangzhou to do that medical check for some days, and they also deducted those days from my salary, they even let me pay the medical check fees first an then they said they will reimburse me those charges after some days, and also I have not been advised with this ,

They deduct from the teacher's salary for each hour if he is off an amount like 120 Yuan, so if you have 5 teaching hours per day, they will take like 600 Yuan from your salary if you were absent , can you imagine how much they want to take from the teachers ??!!!

Then they always pays the teachers very late, and sometimes they do not transfer the money on time may be on the 17th of the Month, if they do have a delay,

They usually offer a basic salary from 4000 up to 5500 RMB with a free house but the problem is they get from the schools at least 11 000 Yuan each month , and they take the rest of the money as commission, It is one of the worst companies I ever met in my life , unprofessional and some of them are rude people as well.

please never ever to sign a contract with them, even if it is your last chance in teaching here in China.

#88 Parent Potato - 2012-12-27
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, takecare, warning!

I want to report this company online as I had a very bad experience with them , Helen group is the worst company I ever seen or worked for in my life, they had never pay me on time , they showed me a picture of a flat when I was in England , but when I arrived to China , I found that the flat is shitty , and it is not the one that I had seen before, the company lied to me about my salary , and they paid me less and they deducted much money from my salary under the name of taxes , please do not ever sign a contract with them as they are liars , useless , try to avoid dealing with Hongtao Wu , he is the recruitment Case Manager and his Email is fao8@helengroup.com and his mobile number is 13757132907 also try to avoid the owner of the school , her name is helen chen and her number is 1300363251 and her Email address is admin@helengroup.com.Please do not ever sign a contract with them , otherwise you will hate your life and yourself, like me.

#89 Parent nick name - 2012-12-21
China Tefl Network warning

China Tefl Network is one of the worst companies not only in Hangzhou but also in China,The company is blacklisted in many provinces , and it has a bad name even between Chinese people,

They offer the foreign teachers the z visa which is quite good but they will never fulfill the terms and the conditions of the contract,The have nice trained recruiters , they speak in a nice way , using sweet words but actually , most of them are liars, My experience with them was horrible,The first thing that they did to me is to send me my documents to my home country by DHL but they never advised me that they will deduct the DHL fees from my salary,Sometimes they delay the payments and they pay me on a different payday ,Most of the houses that they rent for the teachers do not cost more than 1000 RMB for the rent , but actually they mention on the contract that it costed 2000 RMB,

They try their best to deduct money from your salary as much as they can , some teachers might not get insurance from the company, which is quite dangerous,

And the company does not care, finally when you finish the contract they company will not provide you with a release letter or a recommendation letter, that means you will not be able to extend your residence permit with another school , and finally you will return back to your home country ,

My advice to you never ever to sign a contract with them ,as it is like losing money and time

#90 Parent Henkish - 2012-12-14
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

One of the worst companies in China that deal with hiring foreign teachers, they do not provide the teachers with the legal working visa , no insurance , no nothing ,

if they did and provided you with that , they will keep deducting those fees from your salary ,

They will offer you on the contract like 7000 RMB as salary but actually they will pay you 4000 RMB as they will deduct so much from your salary under the name of benefits ,

Honestly speaking I have been working for them for several months, and then I quit my job,

Please stay away of this company and never ever to sign a contract with them ,

Do not listen to them if they say they will blacklist you or something as all of that is just crap ,

finally there is a man his name is Wu , and the owner of the company her name is Helen Chen those people are the worst two people in those company ,

please stay away of them , they will talk to you nicely but actually they are cheaters and liars , please stay away ,

Henkish

#91 Parent San Migs - 2012-11-20
Re: How to report China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou

Helen Group company is blacklisted in Taizhou, as it is one the famous illegal companies in China,

When did this happen? Because as far as I was aware, they were still placing teachers in linhai, which belongs to Taizhou?

#92 Parent Henkish - 2012-11-20
How to report China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou

If helen group put you on z visa and you got the foregin expert certificate , that means it is legally for you to teach in China, then helen Group started holding your documents , and also they started threatning you saying that they will cancel your resident permit and they will blacklist you with no reason, which is not true

as all of this is not right ,

just contact with the government on

Units Address of the Handling Counter Contact Person Telephone
Zhejiang Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs Room 202, Building 3, 32 Baochu Road, Hangzhou Zhang Chenyi
Xi tangping 0571-87051076
0571-87052536
Hangzhou Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs Room 1316, Jinhui Mansion, 73 Moganshan Road, Hangzhou Zhang Xihong
Zhang Xinzhen 0571-88392816
0571-85252608
Ningbo Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs Room 309, Building 1, 91 North Jiefang Road, Ningbo Chen Chuanben 0574-87186224
Wenzhou Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs Room 645, 6th Floor, Main Building of Wenzhou Executive Administration Center, Wenzhou Cai Shiwei 0577-88967822
Huzhou Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs Room 508, Building 2, Huzhou Administration Building, Huzhou Fu Yudan 0572-2398730
Shaoxing Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs Room 507, Government Building, Shaoxing Yu Ping 0575-85141274
Jinhua Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs Room 804, Government Building, Jinhua Wang Chaoyang 0579-82469660
Taizhou Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs Room 1249, Government Building, Taizhou Zhu Changzheng 0576-88511930
Quzhou Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs Room 403, Bureau of Labor and Social Security, Hehuasan Road, Quzhou Wang Hongling 0570-3085033

Helen Group company is blacklisted in Taizhou, as it is one the famous illegal companies in China,

Just take care and make sure never to sign a contract with them,

Thanks,

#93 Parent Stephen - 2012-11-19
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

I was in Hangzhou a while back, and interviewed with the Hangzhou Helen company.

The contract I was offered did not in any way match what was advertised on their website. The contract I was shown did not even offer a salary or travel bonus for the Winter or Summer holidays.

I was not allowed to call or email any current foreign teachers, and the apartment they put me in for two nights was rat and roach infested and the bedding was unwashed and smelled of sweat and body odor.

No one ever asked me about any of my credentials or experience. It really did not seem to matter if I was qualified, they just seemed to want to sign anyone.

I did meet one of their current teachers in the lobby, and she told me that she had to pay for all of her own transportation and the medical check for her visa inside China, After almost 3 months she is still waiting to be reimbursed for her expenses and to be sent to Hong Kong to have her tourist visa changed to a work visa.

The impression that I got is that they offer you anything to get you in the door, and then do not follow up on their offers.
Fortunately I am in China already.

I would hate to travel half-way around the world to be offered a contract that does not even come close to what is advertised on their website.

This scammy, scummy organization goes by many different names. Be careful

#94 Parent manasyt - 2012-11-15
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

My first year in China was HELL because of them...avoid them like the plague!!!

#95 Parent Corah - 2012-10-21
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

I can understand your anger only too well. I have worked for them as well with too long hours and very low pay considering the amount of hours I had been working for them.
They are agents, and not only do they take half your salary paid by the school for to you to them, they will also be slow in paying you the other half, will either delay it for some reasons or find fictitious reasons to deduct some horrendous amounts from your salary. They do that because they also always short of money - the large amounts of money they get from the schools is being used for speculation on the stock exchange market or for some other investment business. This is the way they operate, they are irresponsible people and make people coming to China under false pretences.

Do not trust these dishonest agents, do a runner if you work for them, and even better: DO NOT WORK FOR THESE CLOWNS AT ALL!

#96 Parent Mark & Gramme - 2012-10-21
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

I do agree with you 100% , I left Helen Group last month, and the company is not professional at all,

They really like to deduct any amount of money from the teachers' salaries with and without reasons,

They deducted some money from my salary because they did send me the legal documents to apply for z visa by DHL when I was at my home country however I have not been advised with this at all,

Also, I staid at the Hangzhou to do that medical check for some days, and they also deducted those days from my salary, they even let me pay the medical check fees first an then they said they will reimburse me those charges after some days, and also I have not been advised with this ,

They deduct from the teacher's salary for each hour if he is off an amount like 120 Yuan, so if you have 5 teaching hours per day, they will take like 600 Yuan from your salary if you were absent , can you imagine how much they want to take from the teachers ??!!!

Then they always pays the teachers very late, and sometimes they do not tranfer the money on time may be on the 17th of the Month, if they do have a delay,

They usually offer a basic salary from 4000 RMB up to 5500 RMB with a free house but the problem is they get from the schools at least 11 000 Yuan each month , and they take the rest of the money as commission, It is one of the worst companies I ever met in my life , unprofessional and some of them are rude people as well.

please never ever to sign a contract with them, even if it is your last chance in teaching here in China.

#97 Parent Badminton - 2012-06-14
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

I have workerd for them too. All I can say they are deceivers and crooks, they send you contract samples different fropm those that you are asked to sign after your arrival.
#98 Parent The Gnu - 2012-06-12
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou - they are....

Here you can read how they market and sell themselves:

http://www.helengroup.com/about.asp?classid=6&id=50

The truth is contrary to what they say and claim - their internal structures are actually counter-productive to acting professionally and flexibly in the ESL industry - thousand of signatures needed until you can collect your salary; underpaid and mostly unmotivated and incompetent Chinese staff, lack of ability to communicate cross-culturally, no real expertise in the teaching field nor in English, a big hassle to get even the most essential things for your work, and: they do not provide the necessary living and working conditions: a run-down company apartment that they started to clean up and repair only after severe complaints made by a number of people; you have to share the apartment with other people, you don't have your own kitchen, bathroom and toilette; the company people come in and leave whenever it pleases them, no private life for yourself! How does that sound to any foreign expert they may need to achieve what they claim to be? They treat people poorly, lie to them, do not pay them in full or on time, make you work long hours for nothing, and act against Chinese law in so many respects...

The real truth is they are nothing what they claim to be; they are just a bunch of unprofessional clowns deceiving and cheating everybody!

Don't get caught in their trap, and don't work for them!

#99 Parent Manhendra Yogeshwar - 2012-06-12
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou - I have left them! Great!!!!

Then, in brief, China TEFL Network Helengroup in Hangzhou is a corrupt organisation with many officials they have bribed in their pocket!

The idea of Rule by Law is something which still hasn't been accepted.
#100 Parent Dragonized - 2012-06-12
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou - I have left them! Great!!!!

SAFEA in most provinces are just an extended hand of corruption for the pretend "schools" to operate under. The law in China is only used as seen fit to benefit those who have the most power/money due to the amoral principles applied to society by the ones presently in power. Rule by men and you get these kinds of backwards results. The idea of Rule by Law is something which still hasn't been accepted.

#101 Parent San Migs - 2012-06-11
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou - I have left them! Great!!!!

Bum advice, sir!

OK, then just don't work on business visas, it is perfectly straightforward.

#102 Parent Captain Sensible - 2012-06-11
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou - I have left them! Great!!!!

You should go to SAFEA. They should not have you working on a business visa.

Bum advice, sir! SAFEA only deals with foreign teachers employed legally, and only as a last resort when all attempts to mediate between the legal employer and the FT have failed! Even then, don't expect a fair investigation! We're ALIENS, after all!
SAFEA will report the illergal employment to the PSB, who will penalise both parties to the full extent of the law! SAFEA's remit doesn't include arbitration between illegally employed FTs and illegal Chinese employers!

#103 Parent San Migs - 2012-06-09
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou - I have left them! Great!!!!

They told me then that they have cancelled my business visa.

You should go to SAFEA. They should not have you working on a business visa.

Good luck, no need to bite at others in the same boat....

#104 Parent Donatus - 2012-06-09
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou - I have left them! Great!!!!

Although they were eager to have my material that I had prepared for them, they haven't paid me in full and still owe me some money. I have told them that I reserve the right to destroy the materials or do whatever I like with them if they haven't paid me by the 15th of June.

They told me then that they have cancelled my business visa.
Should I now be "impressed"?

#105 Parent San Migs - 2012-06-09
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou - I have left them! Great!!!!

I was rather surprised!

I'd agree. The problem is these jobs just want a "token" laowai.

#106 Parent San Migs - 2012-06-09
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

My guess from your english is you are a filipina.

If I am wrong, forgive me, but going in with an agent you should know they are taking a huge cut of your cash.

#107 Parent San Migs - 2012-06-09
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou - I have left them! Great!!!!

The only way to solve these apartment problems, as the Chinese do not value privacy, is to rent your own apartment, or negotiate a cheap hotel room, to which only you have keys. Hard to do with a hotel room, but with your own rented apartment a Chinese locksmith can come to change locks as you please, definitely for bedroom where you keep important stuff, and the landlord likely won't know any different when you give the keys back upon leaving.

#108 Parent foxy - 2012-06-09
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou - I have left them! Great!!!!

In their office, doing high quality editing and other related work for as little as 4500 RMB a month,.....

I knew a Greek-American foreign teacher, ex waitress, years ago. She used to work at Shanxi University of Taiyuan. At that time I taught at a teacher-training college of a small city near Taiyuan. I was in her apartment one morning in the middle of paying her a visit when a major earthquake struck Baotou. It was about 11:30 in the morning when a potted plant hanging from the ceiling started swinging! She was cleaning the outside of her windows just then, perched precariously on the outside, when I called out to her to come in at once.
Some years later she worked for China Daily in Beijing as one of the editors. "Considerably less money than an FT gets, worked hard, boring work, but high-class accommodation," she had told me. I was rather surprised!

#109 Parent Magister - 2012-06-09
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

These people aren't stealing from you if you agreed to work for 4000RMB a month. The fact that Helen takes the same amount home as you a month just shows the true nature of agencies and recruiters - they are parasites that leech of both schools and teachers. Do yourself as well as the whole education system a favour by not working for them.

#110 Parent Corah - 2012-06-08
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

China Tefl Network is trying to sale us to some schools in zhejiang who have no lisence to hire foreign teachers. and helen makes much money by saling us to them. i got only 4,000rmb a month there. but helen got 4,000rmb too. in fact, i should get paid 8,000rmb from taizhou foreign languages school. but my money was stolen by helen.

Oh, my God! Hope you have left them and are OK somewhere else!

#111 Parent Donatus - 2012-06-08
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

but helen got 4,000rmb too. in fact, i should get paid 8,000rmb from taizhou foreign languages school. but my money was stolen by helen.

Would you call them "thieves" then?
#112 Parent angel - 2012-06-08
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

China Tefl Network is trying to sale us to some schools in zhejiang who have no lisence to hire foreign teachers. and helen makes much money by saling us to them. i got only 4,000rmb a month there. but helen got 4,000rmb too. in fact, i should get paid 8,000rmb from taizhou foreign languages school. but my money was stolen by helen.

#113 Parent Donatus - 2012-06-08
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou - I have left them! Great!!!!

After they had messed up my job promised to me with their usual switch-and-bait tactics, they made me work for them in their office. Instead of going to a school that would provide a single apartment, I ended up in their run-down company apartment where I spent three months, standing up early in the morning at 6 a.m. to take the crowded bus that takes hours to go because of all the traffic jams to arrive on time at 8 a.m. in their office when work begins. Being in a crowded bus that takes hours to arrive and being pushed from all sides is soooo "nice"...

Then back at 5 p.m. each day, again with the same bus and with the same privilege of being pushed from all sides...how nice! After 90 minutes, back in the company apartment, going early to sleep to be up again at 6 a.m. the next day early in the morning.

In their office, doing high quality editing and other related work for as little as 4500 RMB a month, no private life because the apartment owner comes and goes as it pleases him and even tells you to move to use another Bathroom than the one you had before. How "nice"...

Finally, I have left them and feel much better; I am in a hotel now and can relax, see the city and nice places I haven't seen before, no more interferences with my private life in their apartment, no more stupid replies regarding material I needed for my work, no more hassle in running after my money, and now much more free time for myself. Really great!

Compared to a job at a school, I had a much harder life with them after they had messed up my job at that school:
- many more hours each day and per week,
- a ridiculous salary (too low even in China for all the work I did for them),
- no single apartment, no private life, not enough free time for myself.

Working for a company like this is hell and a poor job compared to the privileges a foreign teacher enjoys at a decent Chinese school. i said good bye to them a couple of days ago, and they were not too pleased. I have found another decent school in another city, and I will go there next week. I have been told my apartment will be ready by then...wow!

Good-bye, Helen, to keep experienced and qualified experts, you must become much more professional than you and your company are now, and you must learn that foreign people like me do not like to be given the feeling that you "own" and that you can do to them whatever you want. If you continue like that, you will not only lose those foreign teachers that you managed to catch in your trap with all your false promises given by your so-called managers, you will have people quit your company that you are actually looking for because of their qualifications and experience.

Be assured that from now on I will only see your company office building from the outside. Bye bye, Helen, and never interfere with my private life again! Better polish up your run-down company apartment where I did not even have any water for months because this fool of so-called apartment manager was too lazy or did not know how to handle the matter.

#114 Parent Not fully paid worker of that company - 2012-06-05
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

Who are they?
The answer might be given below...

#115 Parent Kang Youwei - 2012-06-05
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

Very true indeed. The different treatment of foreigners and Chinese native staff by employers most certainly causes a high rate of frustration if not jealousy among the Chinese staff even if they don't show it. Foreigner are often too self-centred and only see the problems they have. It therefore would be better to take a broader perspective. Eventually one may arrive at a point where a solution is at hand.

2. To show support towards local staff. A simple example would be - upon hearing a member of the management laying into a local staff member, a foreign teacher would go over to the area where the 'disagreement' was taking place. You wouldn't have to actually interpose in the situation but the presence of a foreign teacher was usually enough to modify the bad behavior of managers towards local staff. In this example you're actually using the unbalanced system to restore some balance and support your colleagues.
#116 Parent Magister - 2012-06-05
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

Yeah, unfortunately this poor treatment of local staff is a problem on several levels.

Firstly it can create embarrassing and uncomfortable working conditions for foreign teachers and local staff. In some cases ( though not perhaps in the specific case detailed in the last post ) foreign teachers are treated in such a superior way by the management of a school compared to their local counterparts that it creates a very poor working environment. How often do you read posts by people claiming that certain members of local staff dislike foreigners? Obviously there are many reasons for anti- foreign sentiment but If the management of a school creates a poor working environment by treating staff differently because of their race then this only adds to it.

I worked at a school once where there was a clear difference between the treatment of foreign staff and local staff. As a group the foreign teachers met several times to discuss the problems that this was causing and decided upon the following action

1. To act in a professional manner to in some way justify the difference in particular of compensation and benefits between foreigners and locals

2. To show support towards local staff. A simple example would be - upon hearing a member of the management laying into a local staff member, a foreign teacher would go over to the area where the 'disagreement' was taking place. You wouldn't have to actually interpose in the situation but the presence of a foreign teacher was usually enough to modify the bad behavior of managers towards local staff. In this example you're actually using the unbalanced system to restore some balance and support your colleagues.

3. A more active stance was taken by the foreign teachers against the managements policy of fines for local staff.

All in all the working environment at that school was the best Ive experienced in china. For the most part the relationship between foreign and local staff was excellent. I understand that for some foreign teachers, their working situation may not permit them to take all of the above action. In particular it was the unity of the foreign teachers team that allowed us to make changes that benefited everyone.

As with foreign teachers, when local staff are unhappy it causes a high amount of job turnover (as the previous poster stated everyone at Helen is looking for a new job). I've spoken to Chinese management on several occasions about why I feel that the happiness of Chinese staff is at least as important as that of the foreign teachers. My rational is simple. Foreign teachers will leave the school at some point. It may not be because of a negative experience but perhaps because they just want to go home or fancy a change of location. Natural leakage must be expected. On the other hand, if you provide better working conditions for your local staff then they may decide to build a career with your organization. Which school operates better the one with experienced and content staff or the one with high staff turnover?

The benefits to a foreign teacher of finding a place that treats its local staff fairly are huge. There are many examples on this board of schools malevolent actions denying foreign teachers what they are owed but I'd guess that there are just as many circumstances in which foreign teachers lives are made more difficult just because they are dealing with inexperienced, unmotivated and unhappy local staff who aren't capable of doing a good job in the first place

#117 Parent Kang Youwei - 2012-06-04
China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

The fate of foreign teachers who are unfortunate enough to end up in the shark network of this company is one side of the coin. The other side of the coin is how they treat their Chinese staff. I have talked with some of them and was given somewhat really shocking information:

- To save money, this company gives their Chinese full-time staff so-called "internship" contracts to avoid paying the social benefits for them like health insurance and other things. That means they act against Chinese law on purpose if that information is true.
- In an expensive city like Hangzhou, some of them only earn 2000 Yuan a month which had not been paid for months.
- These people are sitting in the company office and work for Helen from 8.00 a.m. till 6 p.m. and are compensated for their hard and honest work with almost nothing!
- Many of them are looking for other jobs, it is incredible what this company is doing and how they treat and exploit people shamelessly!

Another thing:

Helen has the direct contact with the schools and makes all the business deals with them. Her bait-and-switch tactics does not work out successfully in all cases; and so it can happen that a new teacher who has just arrived from abroad will have to wait one month or more until he/she can get a job. On what is that person living then meanwhile when he/she has no work because Helen was not successful in her deals? This is how they've messed up job opportunities for several people!

Have a simple guess: If they get 10,000 Yuan a month from the school for a foreign teacher, and a foreign teacher gets around 4500 Yuan, how much is ending up in their private pockets? The calculation is very simple.

There are several Chinese people in middle management positions of this company, all of them speaking English fluently and intelligent enough to know what they are doing and the cheat they help accomplish on the back of foreign teachers and the rest of the Chinese staff who are as much the victims of these ruthless practices as the foreign teachers. These people are as guilty as the owners who allow all this to happen!

If you ask me - they are not only highly unprofessional but also cheats and liars, no decent person should ever work for them and help them make other teachers running into their trap!

For those already in the trap - get out of there as soon as you can!

#118 Parent San Migs - 2012-06-03
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

Sure, I understand, not asking you to reveal your identity.

Thanks for the link!

#119 Parent Donatus - 2012-06-03
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

They have recently appointed some foreigners in their office. And they are looking for other foreigners for full-time work in their office. I can't say more, I need to protect myself if you understand what I mean. The link below is quite interesting, have a look there:

http://www.helengroup.com/hotjobs_con.asp?id=390&classid=25

#120 Parent San Migs - 2012-06-03
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

It sounds like you are holding a position in the office, as most FT's get placed at different schools throughout China.

Or are you teaching in hangzhou?

Regards on,
SMGS

#121 Parent Oldtimer - 2012-06-03
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

IF I am reading your words correctly, you are being ( for lack of better words ) subcontract, that is illegal ! I had an employment agent / training school in Maoming try that trick. I was shown a school that I would was illegal, bottom line is, I filed charges with the experts bureau and he lost some money and is now blacklisted. Problem solved !

I can see your point, but let's get back to basics. Which situation will be better for Chinese high school students? that must be the priority, and is it feasible?
A) just to have a foreign teacher.
B) to have a foreign teacher and a Chinese teaching assistant trained by the agent who has employed both of them, and pays them both.
C) to have a foreign teacher and a Chinese teaching assistant trained/employed by the middle school, both of them being paid by same.

In practical terms, C) is uncommon. It's so because Chinese teachers of English won't work as teaching assistants for foreigners for the peanuts that agents pay their Chinese teaching assistants to do the same.
Now, back to basics: I've taught for Chinese public middle schools on my own, a hard struggle indeed for both my students and me. My teaching was inefficient and ineffective. I was worn out quickly after a few classes.
B) is the best option for all parties, in my view, given that C) is financially draining to the employer, the middle school, and that's why middle school headmasters in Shanxi opt for B). The middle schools are the ultimate bosses! Remember that, he who pays the piper calls the tune!

First things first, we want jobs that don't work us like dogs nor give us no job satisfaction. If Helen group is only sending FTs to middle schools, that agent should be avoided, as she isn't doing any more than the minimum that the school itself can do. She would be a bottom-feeder!
But an agent who provides both a foreign teacher and a teaching assistant to a public middle school is a necessary agent providing a better service than agents whose only interest is to sell foreign hides!
So, let's not tar all agents with the same brush! Teaching with the aid of a teaching assistant is preferable to teaching alone, provided said teaching agent can co-operate with the foreign teacher. There's the rub!
The RP should name the workplace and the employer. Both can be different, but the information must be accurate!

#122 Parent Hamilton Bison - 2012-06-03
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

The owner of that company in Hangzhou has got a lot of guanxi at Zhejiang provincial level. I was informed that the owner's husband has an important position in the provincial Zhejiang Bureau of foreign experts. What does that tell you?

Let me also point out that being an agent is not illegal or a criminal thing per se if the agent follows the law. But like most other agents in China, there are agents that are outright crooks taking advantage of a foreigner's situation. They hire foreigners, have them under contract and hire them out to schools that pay the agents. The agents charge the schools all the benefits a foreigner normally gets like airfare reimbursement but pocket it themselves for the most part. I know of concrete cases where a certain agent had people at the age of 70 working for a private university on a tourist visa, which eventually was changed to a business visa by way of guanxi the agent had with local immigration. This is where the cheat starts (and does not necessarily end).

I had an employment agent / training school in Maoming try that trick. I was shown a school that I would was illegal, bottom line is, I filed charges with the experts bureau and he lost some money and is now blacklisted. Problem solved !
#123 Parent Donatus - 2012-06-03
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

However, at many schools such as mine,, we have a few who's nose is up the FAO's arse so far it's not funny !

Yes, and make a bit of noise; otherwise, you get nothing done by them!!!!

#124 Parent San Migs - 2012-06-03
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

I had an employment agent / training school in Maoming try that trick

you weren't dealing with O**n Ou of D Hawks English per chance?

I hear he is back in business in Guangzhou now, under another name.

#125 Parent Donatus - 2012-06-03
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

I am currently working for this company, therefore let me add a few words on the matter.

Most of the English speaking Chinese staff in the company are friendly and very helpful. There are some apparently poorly trained and lazy employees in that company that make the lives of others working there a nightmare and difficult. For example, what the OP said regarding the company apartment is absolutely correct - when I moved in, it was in such a state of mess and so dirty that you couldn't believe it! I have asked them to clean up and to repair the things, and it took them a long time to do it at all and to do it properly. Now, to be fair, I have also to say that they have started doing their job, they cleaned and repaired certain things and the situation is not as bad as before. But they still need to work on it to make it really acceptable for a foreigner to live there, and certain remain yet to be done.

A couple of days ago, they moved a very strange 70 year old woman from Kenya of Indian origin into the company apartment. Since I had to share with her, things got really worse - not only that she messed up my things in the bathroom I had in there before she took it, she took the water I bought for preparing my coffee, she locked me out of the apartment so that I could not get in when I came back from work; she also must have taken things like disks from the room I am using since I could not close this room until Saturday when, after making some noise, I got a key for the room.

Even to get simple things for the work I am doing is hell and a nightmare - I was in need of some empty DVDs, which they did not have and were not really willing to supply, they only cost a couple of kuai. It is a big issue - you need to fill in a certain amount of request/application papers, then all the managers seal and sign it until that application reaches the Financial Department for a few Kuais to buy these DVDs. It is too much trouble to request, wait and run after all these things.

The good news is that I will be leaving that place by the end of the month. I did not want my review to be too negative, but I am afraid it is as it is the truth.

To summarize, in case you decide to work there, be aware that you will be facing all kinds of issues like that because their structures and way of working are far from being really efficient and professional in certain matters.

#126 Parent Kanadian - 2012-06-03
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

I love letters like these ! In your foreign experts book it say's where you work and who you work for. As for mine, it has my campus housing address and apartment number. IF I am reading your words correctly, you are being ( for lack of better words ) subcontract, that is illegal ! I had an employment agent / training school in Maoming try that trick. I was shown a school that I would was illegal, bottom line is, I filed charges with the experts bureau and he lost some money and is now blacklisted. Problem solved !

#127 Parent Kandedong - 2012-06-02
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

Are the people from that company like sharks as well?

Now, then just don't work for them, be warned!
#128 Parent All*About*Helen - 2012-06-02
Re: China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

The OP post was quite-on-the-mark.

Helen has been around and in this business a long time and she is widely known for her nefarious practices.

Once upon a time, Helen was simply the FAO of a Hangzhou University and prior to that, she is rumoured to have worked in the Zhejiang Foreign Experts' Bureau in Hangzhou. Thus, over the course of time she built up her contacts in the industry and then used them to found her own business.

She is well-known in China for her endless bait-and-switches, even after the contract has been signed. Many times the witless applicant will comes to China believing that he will be going to "y" will be sent instead to "x" or maybe even "a, b, c". She will not, under any circumstances, help an applicant whom she has placed in peril through bait-and-switches. Everything that the previous poster has written has been written over-and-over and again-and-again on so many ESL boards on the 'Net.

She also runs a series of summer camps where the poor unsuspecting FT will end up working a great deal of hours for relatively little money. No foreign teacher should believe the blurbs re money and hours about Helen's summer camp programs.

She is relatively powerful in Zhejiang Province and a foreign teacher stands no chance if he or she should seek redress again her in that province.

Working for Helen is a loose-loose situation on all counts.

Safer to go swimming in an ocean infested with sharks then to get involved with this lady. And that is history and fact.

Corah - 2012-06-01
China Tefl Network Helen Group, Hangzhou, urgent warning!

I worked last year for them, and my experiences with them were not good at all. They are agents in that they hire out foreign teachers to partner schools within their network, and the foreign teachers have a contract with this company directly, and not with the school.

First of all, they will make you sign one or several contracts but you will never see a properly counter-signed contract copy for yourself, and in such a case it is not a legally binding contract, right? Second, the pay is mostly late, some teachers had to wait one and half a month until they were paid. Third, your first three days will always be in their headquarters in Hangzhou before they transfer you to the school assigned to you. In that case, you have to pay the travel expenses yourself, although in China it's normally the employer who does or who will refund your expenses. They also basically refund your expenses, but you have to fill in lots of so-called application forms to keep a lot of otherwise useless people in their office busy. A simple ticket to show should be enough to keep bureaucracy to a minimum level, but they make it really hard for you.

During the summer and winter holidays there is no pay, they pay you only for the days you have been actually teaching. Their system of control is 130 %, you have to fill several papers each month and send them from your school somewhere in China to their head office until you receive your monthly pay. There are delays in sending these papers sometimes, and your salary will also be delayed then. The schools pay them in advance, so they should be able to pay their teachers in full or on time. Who wants to fill in unnecessary paperwork after a month's hard work to get the salary one has rightly earned? The teacher is better off when working for a school directly as there will be no delays, and if the teacher missed some classes, also the school can make the necessary salary deductions. Why do you need an agent for that, I can't see any sense in that! This tremendous bureaucracy causing delay in the salaries to be paid has a system as they seem to work with that money meanwhile in other areas while the teacher is waiting for his pay and has to phone the head office to ask for his money. This is causing unneccessary stress and takes too much of your time, so why should you work for them if there is always such a hassle to get your money? Only fools would do, right? The same with airfare reimbursement and other benefits promised to you in their so-called "contracts".

They have a company apartment that was dirty and run-down when I was there. They put you together with sick or other kind of crazy people that you don't know to share this apartment before you move on to other schools - broken chairs, smelling beds that other people have slept in before and leaking toilettes and showers - this is the kind of standard you can expect.If you tell them about it,. either nothing happens or they are far too slow to do something about it. Many teachers have not renewed their contract with them because of the way they have been treated.

If you don't want unnecessary hassle, stay away from them - this is a well-meant advice.

There is hardly anything professional in this company. While they are not only agents, but also active in other business fields, it is all done with such a high degree of unprofessionalism and dilettantism that you can only wonder how they get away with it.

I suggest give such agents a miss and don't work for them, they are only there to make your li8fe miserable!

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