How it all began (Part 4)

Hello Dave…

Dave Sperling

We also began to play around with the internet and began to discover several new things. One was that there was an increasing amount of information about teaching ESL in Asia. Second, a new site called Dave’s ESL Café ( had postings about the bad (and good) schools in Korea, people’s experiences in Korea, resources for teachers along with job postings and links to other sites that were called “blacklists” for bad schools and “whitelists” for good schools. As a result, we found a recruiter out in Los Angeles called Better Resource which dealt with primarily universities which were where we wanted to teach.  Second, we also found out that the recruiter our friend was pushing Korea Services Group had a horrendous reputation. There were posts complaining about how they had ripped people off and that the schools they were placed in were horrible in things like not paying on time, horrendous living conditions to name just two things. 


Be aware of sharks!!

A flag had gone up for us about them even before we saw these posts.  The contract they faxed us contracts that had several things we were not told about including a lower salary than promised “a probationary 3-month salary” was their explanation, that bothered us. Then there was a $300/person non-refundable “promise fee” that they said covered some of their expenses. What we were told from our research was that recruiters were not supposed to charge us any fees except for some small shipping fees.  

Money, money, money

The deal breaker for us was we had to pay our own airfare over to Korea with the promise we would be reimbursed when we got there. For us, that meant over $2,000 in upfront expenses between airfare and the promise fees with the hope we would get $1600 back. That combined with the stories we had read about Korea Services Group along with what they said in their own brochure encouraging teachers to break Korean law by teaching private lessons when not working. This, fortunately, led us to say “no thanks” to Korea Services Group.  Which led us to…

To be continued…

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