This is a discussion on Beware of this unethical tuition agency - Txxxxxx Exx LLP within the Secondary School and Higher Education forum, part of the Singapore Kiasu Parents Forum category; Hi parents, as a parent I'm you've had difficulties engaging responsible and patient tutors who are willing to put in ...
Hi parents, as a parent I'm you've had difficulties engaging responsible and patient tutors who are willing to put in effort to teach your children well. Due to your busy schedules, you will have no time to assess tutors one by one but go to agencies to help you shortlist tutors.
As a tutor myself, I have dealt with many tuition agencies, I have met some good ones and some, sad to say, are completely unprofessional. They take advantage of the standard practice of collecting 50% commission from tutors to cheat our hard earned money.
One such agency is Tuition Era LLP, operated by 2 brothers, Richard and Philip Tan. They engaged me for an assignment and collected the referral fee from the parent (standard practice). However, due to family issues, the parent cancelled the tuition within a month, claiming no fault on my part as a tutor. The agency insisted that since the assignment was terminated within a month, there will be no payment for the tutor ($250). How is this right? As a student, the $250 is a month worth of expenses, I was flabbergasted that there were such unethical tuition agencies in Singapore. As a tutor, we have no protection and recourse against such behaviour. I had initially suggested that even though the tuition was terminated in the first month, I will still pay a nominal fee as commission to them but when they stopped replying me, the intention was clear - they were never going to pay me the money I earned.
I went to small claims court and lodged a complaint against them but they did not even show up for the consultation. To take further action against them, I have to fork out at least $500 for a writ of seizure and sale and there is no assurance that I will be able to get my money back. I told myself there was nothing I could do, and to just give up and take it as a lesson learnt.
That was in 2011. Recently I received a message from them again, asking me to take up an assignment. Not realising that it was the same agency that cheated me a few years back, I accepted it. As per my usual practice, I gave the parent a call before the commencement of the tuition so I can make preparations for the lesson instead of wasting precious time during the first lesson. When I spoke with the parent, I realised that it was the same company that had cheated me and politely declined the assignment and explained to the parent why I couldn't take it up.
I called the agency explaining why I couldn't take up the assignment and also requested that they pay me the sum stated in small claims judgement. The coordinator, Richard Tan, laughed and chuckled merrily, saying that he knows the law very well and that there was nothing I can do to him, and by all means to carry out the writ of seizure and sale at their premises. "I know the law very well, there is nothing you can do. If there was, you would have done something to me 3 years ago. I have the money to pay I just dont't want to pay you. Even if I have to pay, I will pay you slowly bit by bit, throw on the floor and let you pick them up. By all means, come" - were his exact words.
Dear parents and tutors, I know there is nothing much I can do at this point but carry out the writ of seizure and sale, which is not practical. I want my story to be out there for all of you to read and understand. I know there are some black sheep tutors out there but most of us are doing our best for your children, trying to earn a little money along the way. We have no protection, no cpf and no safeguard. Some parents cancel tuition after a month even though we didn't do anything wrong (we still have to pay 50% of our fees to the agency, or not get paid at all) and some even delay payment and refuse to pay us.
Tutors, please be careful when dealing with tuition agencies, make sure they have a good reputation before accepting assignments and never deal with Tuition Era LLP.
Parents, please do not deal with such unethical agencies. Your support keeps them going and perpetuates the fradulent behaviour.
Last edited by Alessendra; 14-07-2014 at 02:05 PM.