Canadians Banned from Thailand
Popular teaching organisation 'Teach Abroad Thailand' today announced it was effectively banning Canadians from applying to join their TEFL teaching programs. The company normally offers teacher training courses in Thailand to native English speakers from the USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and South Africans.
Program Director, Jimmy Crangle originally from Scotland, explains, "We decided to analyse our stats over the past 10 years to try to understand what demographic may be making the most chargebacks or refund requests. We thought we may uncover a trend in a particular age group, region, income bracket or other demographic. We were shocked to discover that 93% of our refund requests and chargebacks over the past 10 years were in fact made by Canadians."
TEFL Students normally make a deposit payment to secure a place followed by the balance fees which are due 4-weeks before the course start date.
Jimmy insists he is not being prejudice in making this decision. "Unfortunately, the high risk area we identified just happens to be Canada. Cancelations requests from all other countries are virtually non existant so this was a very unusual discovery for us. It's my responsibility to make sure we keep any chargebacks or refund requests to an absolute minimum. Our Credit Card merchant agreement states that we must keep this number below a certain percentage".
Jimmy claims they allow all paid customers to suspend their placement for up to 24 months if an emergency crops up. Customers can also transfer their place to another candidate if they are unable to attend. "These refund requests usually came months after the Canada based customers had made their deposit payment and they were not interested in complying with our refund policy" Jimmy explains. "Look, in my experience If I were to stereotype Canadians, I would say they are out-going, friendly and adventurous people. In our business experience however, it seems that they virtually always cancel their placement weeks or even months after booking".
"Due to the nature of our business, once a customer makes a payment to secure their place on our TEFL course in Thailand, we then incur costs in arranging their placement, booking their accommodation and arranging teaching practices in local Thai schools. So payments are non-refundable after a cooling off period. We also have to reject other applicants as 20 is the maximum number of students allowed in each class. A chargeback can leave us thousands of dollars out of pocket and with a damaged credit rating with our credit card company."
Asked if the ban was permanent, Jimmy said, "Obviously any Canadian citizen who applies to join our program, and is based outside of Canada, will be more than welcome to join us. We simply must eliminate the high risk regions so this ban will remain in force for the time being. It may be the case that in future, Canada based applicants will be asked to sign a legally binding contract with a Canadian lawyer, which could incur further costs."
For more information regarding teaching in Thailand visit. www.TeachAbroadThailand.com