Please read this and protect yourself.
APPEAL: PLEASE CALL 0800-777-101 AND TELL THEM TO PAY THEIR WORKERS!
I started working for Taipei 101 English Consulting back in November, and was promoted shortly thereafter to doing the recruiting, hiring, training, marketing, sales, you name it. When I first started, the owner Mr. Ou 歐仲曦 (actually he always registers his companies under someone else’s name, in this case, Linda 胡芳如, registered as Harrison Consulting 哈利森顧問有限公司) told me that if I put in more effort and more hours I would be rewarded well for it. Before I started working, noticing his large outfit I also queried about his financial backing and he told me not to worry about it, he’s got plenty of backing. I was willing to put in extra hours and extra work for the payoff.
Well, the first thing I noticed is that after being “promoted” I was only given an extra $5000 a month, only equal to another one of the consultants, although I was putting in 9 hours extra per day over him. And he never would sign a contract with me, even up until the last day I was there. Well, in the end, I learned that Mr. Ou does not live up to his word, or his oral contracts. He says that all his employees are perfectly willing to do these hours and this work, no matter whether he pays them or no.
When you first starting working for Mr Ou, according to his “protocol” a.k.a. 101 Ways to Get Fired, payday is the following month on the 16th. And if you start working after the 9th, this month’s pay is added onto next month’s pay and given the following month, which means you won’t see a cent for over 2 months. Not only that, because in January he didn’t give pay out until the end of the month. And in February, for issuing January’s pay, some people didn’t receive their pay until March. In fact, I found out at the end of February that there were still some counter girls who had not received their full December pay, which is a shame. When going to Mr. Ou and asking what’s going on, he says, what do you expect me to do? Sell my $60million house just to pay a few salaries? Well, I’m not the argumentative type of person, but by taking what he said I started to understand a lot more about this guy. When January pay came around, despite the 300 hours I had put in in January including running around town doing flyers and mailboxes all month, he still had the nerve to DEDUCT MY PAY for the January 1st and 2nd HOLIDAY (which if you’ll note were SATURDAY AND SUNDAY, days I do not work for him). I still have not received February’s pay.
Actually, to tell you the truth, no one really knows how much money he has. But he’s obviously getting very low. His cars are dilapidated. There is(was) a branch school down the street for kids, and one of the back rooms was where he was living, and then he tried to make some more of the classrooms living quarters for the workers (in that way he could deduct their pay for the rent–a rent which was not worth the conditions). And he actually took one of the classrooms and put a glass wall near the back and put a bed behind it for one of the consultants to live out of, more like a box I’d say. I feel sorry for the poor guys that are suckered into this crap. And who would feel comfortable sending their kid to a school where half the classrooms are bedrooms for the consultants?
Finally, none of the consultants have ARCs as of now. There are always excuses week after week after week. If you are willing to put yourself on the line like that, then be my guest. One guy who started working in September was waiting for his ARC to get transfered, and when Chinese New Year came around and still didn’t have his ARC, he had overstayed by almost a half year and basically got deported, or whatever they do to you.
Supposedly he has a story about how he started a company like this one in Taichung and made lots of money from it. But nobody knows why he’s not there anymore running the show. Who would leave a profitable business like that? And if he had done so, then why the heck can’t he get anyone ARCs?
If you meet Mr. Ou he’ll tell you this job is very stable because he can offer you many, many hours and you don’t have to run all over the place to get work. AND HE’LL PAY YOU BY MONTHLY SALARY WHICH IS HIS TRAP. But what he doesn’t tell you is that the more hours you work, the less you make per hour. For example, when I calculate it out, I was only making a little over $100 per hour for the month of January. I’m sorry but no westerner is paid sweatshop wages. IN THE END HE’LL TAKE THE DAYS YOU WORKED, SAY 21 DIVIDED BY 30, THE TOTAL DAYS IN A MONTH AND CALCULATE YOUR MONTHLY SALARY ACCORDINGLY.
MAKE SURE YOU ARE GETTING WHAT YOU DESERVE, AND PREFERRABLY BY THE HOUR.
I do not trust this person any more. He has not paid his consultants, not in full and not according to law. The labor law states that a person is not supposed to work over 8 hours per day (Article 30). According to Mr. Ou, nobody will be successful unless they work a minimum of 12 hours a day. His mistake is that he doesn’t own those 12 hours of other people’s time. The law goes on to read that in any two-week’s time, one is not supposed to work more than 48 hours. According to him, I worked these hours because I was willing to, however I understood on the condition that I would be repaid, and I wasn’t.
According to articles 23 and 24, employers should pay salaries twice a month, and there’s a pay rate increase for overtime pay. If I calculate it out, this guy owes me hundreds of thousands of dollars over the time I was there. Article 14-6 says that if your employer is doing something against the labor law, you can leave without prior notice or penalty. However, now I’m getting penalized by not getting paid. And it seems this is only going to drag on forever.
So many consultants have left over the past few months and there are still a few new ones there, awaiting their ARCs, awaiting their paychecks, etc. But never get suckered into doing things like flyers (it just doesn’t pay) and other stuff.