The truth about International TEFL Academy and Bruce Jones, and why we left Nicaragua
Fact – Jones, and International TEFL Academy (ITA) have been throughout the last few years claiming that they have franchises in other countries, including Nicaragua, and benefitted from stating that.
Fact: Jones has no right or grounds to do so legally.
This is how the law reads in the state of Illinois about Franchises:
Illinois Franchise Disclosure Act, 815 ILCS 705/1 et seq. (“Act”).
As defined in the Act:
“Franchise” means a contract or agreement, either expressed or implied, whether oral or written, between two or more persons by which: (a) a franchisee is granted the right to engage in the business of offering, selling, or distributing goods or services, under a marketing plan or system prescribed or suggested in substantial part by a franchisor; and (b) the operation of the franchisee’s business pursuant to such plan or system is substantially associated with the franchisor’s trademark, service mark, trade name, logotype, advertising, or other commercial symbol designating the franchisor or its affiliate; and (c) the person granted the right to engage in such business is required to pay to the franchisor or an affiliate of the franchisor, directly or indirectly, a franchise fee of $500 or more…”
It goes on to read that:
Also, Sec. 5 of the Act provides that the following are prohibited practices:
(1) Sale of unregistered franchise unlawful; (2) Failure to deliver a disclosure statement unlawfully; and (3) Sale of a franchise by unregistered franchise broker unlawful.
Again, there should be no disagreement that you and ITA IL have committed practices prohibited by Sec. 5 of the Act. The franchise sold to the Smiths was not registered and there was no FDD provided to the Smiths. Also, you are not registered as a franchise broker in Illinois.
Under Sec. 26 of the Act, other officers and directors of ITA IL, who materially assisted in the act or transaction constituting the above violations, may also be liable jointly and severally to the same extent you are liable.
Fact: Jones and ITA were promising something that they couldn’t deliver, and failed to do so when things became inconvenient with the political situation in Nicaragua. Jones and ITA choose profits over people.
Fact: Jones and ITA resell classes and promote travel to parts of the world that are deemed unsafe by the US Embassy, and even have school locations that carry the same warning as Afghanistan.
Fact: According to ITA, Mexico is one of the largest EFL teaching markets in the western hemisphere for graduates, and even resell 3 onsite TEFL classes in Mexico.
Fact: ITA uses online resources, such as the US Embassy, only in cases where it tries to promote fear. ITA does not do this for all countries, or across all sites, forums, or via email communication. ITA casts a blind eye when it is convenient for them, and of course profitable.
Fact: There are civil uprisings and political unrest on every continent on the globe, except for Antarctica. It is a fact of world travel.
Fact: Jones singled out Nicaragua, and highlighted the civil unrest there, while not communicating civil unrest in other parts of the world at the same time. For example Spain, France, and Costa Rica.
In reflection, it is clear that Jones and ITA seek profit above student/graduate safety, and participate in unlawful business practices.
Why are we promoting this? Jones’ actions have hurt a vital Nicaraguan business that offered free English classes to locals, helped dozens of Nicaraguan’s elevate their life goals, and employed several Nicaraguan families. Jones’ actions have hurt a community in the direst time, as the Nicaraguan economy is currently reeling. Jones’ actions have also relocated a young US family with their two children who called Nicaragua their home. Their youngest child was born there, and their oldest child is a native Spanish/English speaker. The business that was supposed to be their livelihood is now gone.
The Smith Family
International TEFL Academy Nicaragua