ISAS complaint against ILSC, on behalf of Aya Miyazaki

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  • 7/30/2019 ISAS complaint against ILSC, on behalf of Aya Miyazaki

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    Complaint againstThe ILSC Education Group Inc.Complainant: Aya MiyazakiDate: May 3X., 2013

    SummaryWe allege that The ILSC Education Group lnc. (ILSC) has broken multiple parts ofthe Languages CanadaCode of Conduct and other Languages Canada rules and regulations. ILSC has a contract with RyugakuJournal to allow Ryugaku Journal to recruit students for ILSC.Specifically, ILSC and Ryugaku Journal engaged in all ofthe following activities:1. Ryugaku Journal, an authorized agency of ILSC, gave false and misleading information to Ms.Miyazaki in an attempt to recruit her for ILSC.2. |LSCfailed in its responsibility to checkthe documents being provided to students by itsagency. The"Estimate" document [Exhibit A] and "PAYMENT BREAKDOWN" document [Exhibit B] contain noneof the required program details, refund policy, dispute resolution policy or any other terms andconditions.3. ILSC and Ryugaku Journal failed to provide required documents prior to Ms. Miyazaki registering inthe school. No contract was provided to Ms. Miyazaki before or immediately after she registered in

    ILSC and she did not receive, complete or sign an "Application for Admission." [Exhibit G] [4. Even after ILSC received the reglstration information for Ms. Miyazaki from Ryugaku Journal, anddesplte havlng Ms. Miyazaki's contact Information, lLsC failed to contact Ms. Miyazaki to ensurethat she had the required information.5. ILSC did not, at any time prior to or immediately following Ms. Miyazaki's registration in the school,provide Ms. Miyazaki with the website address or any contact information for the school.6. ILSC provided the "Policy and Procedure" document [EXHIBIT C] to Ryugaku Journal and RyugakuJournal then provided the document to Ms. Miyazaki after the initial refund policy period had

    already elapsed. The document makes no mention ofthe initial refund period or any refundavailable until after the student starts the school.

    7. ILSC provided another document, namely the "New Student Package" [Exhibit D] to Ms. Miyazakiand all other students of ILSC that also intentionally left out the full refund policy.

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    9.

    When Ms. Miyazaki told the school that she wanted to wlthdraw, the school gave her a documenttltled "Request Form for Cancellation." lExhibit E] This document does not include any options forwithdraw before the program starts. ln fact, the school is so confident that they can keep the 75%refund option secret from students until it is too late that they don't even include the 75% option onthe form. Even when they provided Ms. Miyazaki with the Request Form for cancellation they stilldid not provide her with the complete Refund PolicyA school counsellor and a manager engaged in intimldating behaviour when Ms. Miyazaki requesteda refund. The counsellor pressured Ms. Miyazaki to sign the "Request Form for Cancellation" anddenied that she had any recourse to complaint to Languages Canada.

    10. ILSC only provided the full Refund Policy to Ms. Miyazaki in a document titled "2013 lLSc FeeSchedule" lExhibit F] on May 2, the day after they asked her to sign the Request Form forCancellation. The Fee Schedule was attached to an Application for Admission [Exhibit G]. Ms.Miyazaki was never given either of these documents by the school or the school's agency. When Ms.Miyazaki requested a copy ofthe contract she was given a blank, unsigned Application for Admissionwhich is included in the Exhibits.

    11. The ILSC Refund Policy is unfair to students who may change their mind as soon as one day aftersigning up in the program and would lose 25% or more oftheir tuition. Other ESL schools providefor a 1OO% refund if the student changes her or his mind for at least one week after signing up forthe school. lf the documents provided by the school showed that this school only offers a refund of75% or less the students may choose another school but this choice was taken from them by theschool's intentionalfailure to provide the full refund policy.

    12. The school continues to mislead students in the orlentation process by giving them yet anotherintentionally misleading document and then verbally informing students that they only have theright to a refund after the program starts. Even during orientation the students are not given acomplete Fee Schedule and there is no Fee Schedule included in the New Student Package. Manystudents at the school may never have an opportunity to see the complete Fee Schedule and RefundPolicy.

    13. The deceptive business practices ofthe school may affect thousands of students who have beengiven intentionally misleading information by the school and denied the opportunity to understandthe program they are entering or having any knowledge of the school refund policy or disputeresolution procedures.

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    Background Detailsln December 2012 Ms. Miyazaki visited an agency called Ryugaku Journal lnc. in Fukuoka, Japan andexpressed an interest in studying abroad in the united states. she told the agency that she wasinterested in studying in a college or university language program. She was told by Ryugaku Journal thatit was not possible for her to get a Visa to study in the United States so she should study in canada. Thiswas false information because Ms. Miyazaki could have easily obtained a Visa to study in the U.S. Theagency then convinced Ms. Miyazaki to attend ILSC by telling her it's the top English language school inCanada and met her criteria for being a public school and having an intense program of study. RyugakuJournal lnc. did not give Ms. Miyazaki proper educational counselling and acted only on behalf of itsclient ILSC.Ms. Miyazaki agreed to attend ILSC based on the advice of the agency. She was never given anApplication for Admission which would have included the contract. on Dec 25, 2012, she received adocument written in Japanese titled "Estimate" [Exhibit A] by email. This was scanned as an image andis difficult to read. This document included the following charges:"Support Fee": Yen 84,000Application Fee: S125Tuition Fee: S10,370Materia ls Fee: S140This document did not include any reference to program details, refund policy, dispute resolution policyor any terms and conditions. There was also nocontact info rmatio n, add ress o r we bsite add ress for theschool. The "support Fee" was listed on the same document as the charges from the school but no suchfee is on the school Fee Schedule.on March 25,2oL3, Ms. Miyazaki transferred cAD 513,505.00 to Ryugaku Journal lnc. by bank transferfrom her bank in Japan to Ryugaku Journal's bank account In Japan to register in the language programatILSC. OnApril 6,2013, RyugakuJournal generated a documentcalled a,,pAyMENT BREAKDOWN"[Exhibit B] which detailed the allocation of the amount paid by Ms. Miyazaki. The document states"THIS IS TO CERTIFY THAT RYUGAKU JOURNAL HAS PAID THE BELOW AMOUNT FOR THIS STUDENT ANDTHE BALANCE To BE PAID oN ARR|VAL..." However, this document was not given to Ms. Miyazaki untilApri!12,2073, eighteen (18) days after she paid to register in the school.Attached to this "PAYMENT BREAKDOWN" was a document titled ,,policy and procedure.,, There wasalso a sepa rate copy of the same document [ExH lBlr c] giventoMs. Miyazaki. The contents ofthedocument are in Japanese but they include an incomplete version of the llsc refund policy. Thisdocument a ppea rs to be provided by the school and has the school logo on it. lnthisversionof therefund policy, there is no mention of any refund available to students prior to the start of the program.There is no reference to the school website or reference to the full school name in this document so itwould be difficult for a foreign student to find the school website. ln the document |LSC EducationGroup is only referred to as "lLSC" and, in the school logo,',ilsc.,,We know from speaking to other students entering ILSC that students asking about the possibility of arefund before they start their class are told by ILSC'S agencies that they cannot get a refund. I have metwith five students in the past week who have told me that agencies will not allow students to leave ILSC

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    before they start the program and this misinformation given by the agencies is supported by theocuments provided by ILSC.on April22,2013, Ms. Miyazaki went to the schoolfor a group orientation session. A document ti,edNew student Package" IExhibit D] was distriout"J to tr'rJgiJlp ot stuaents in the orientation session.n the last page of this document is a page titled "tLSc STJDENT coNTRAcr., This was the firstcontract provided by the school to the students. There is still an intentionally incomplete refund policyincluded in the New student Package attached to the contract. This Document still does not explicitlyention the Languages Canada Dispute Resolution policy.

    The students are not given sufficient time to review the package and contract especialy since many ofhe students signing the documents do not have a rrri.i"nttf r''igt, level of English to understand whathey are siSning The document was explained to the students in Japanese but the school counsellorreviewed the contract very quickly. The contract references tre Reruna policy but the nerunJ eoticy stiltnly includes the "eterrsgl.plgcrallllet ,,section. This phrase is the only phrase underlined in thentire document. lt is also in bold printwhen the schoor counselor, Ms. Akie ohori, reviewed the document with the group of students shepecifically read the phrase "after the program starts.,, g".;rre .ta.re. started the next day somestudents would potentially ask for a75% iefund on tt,i, o"y uul tne school intentionally continued toide this option from the students. The school emphasizes ttre lact of a refund option still potentiallyavailable to the students on that day in writing anj r"inrorc"l ,e "lt"red policy verbally. There were nother documents given to Ms. Miyazaki on thii d.y. sp"cirla y, no Fee schedule was included in theew Student package or provided to students sep.r.,"rv. ar"n if the schoor had suppried a compreteefund poricy and Fee schedure on Apr 22, it wourd have come rong after tt," ,"girtr"tion. it-i, .r"aayoes not meet the Languages canada code of Ethics requirement ttrat "lg-ergreslirtr,s' studentseceive a crear statement of the Member program's fee and refund poricv as we as any other contractequired bythe program." some students r.y h.r"rriJrhe Apprication for Admission and FeeSchedule but Ms. Miyazaki did not.

    After attending crass at |LSC for ress than one week, Ms. Miyazaki rearized that the schoor did not meeter criteria and she decided that she wanted to reave rLSc. lrre quicHy concruded that the agency hadmisrepresented the schoor to her. she went to the rLsc office on ruay r,2013 to withdraw rii theThe counse|or gave her a form titred "Request Form for cancelation,, lExhibit E] which Ms. Miyazakicompleted The form onry provides three options for percentage of program compreted: ,,Less than 10%/ Less than 30% / or 30% or more and onry 3 0ptions for "Refun-dabre percentage on paid ruition:,, ,,30%/ 3jo/o / o%."The "Request Form for Cancellation" is the only form that lLSc makes available for refunds so it is clearhat they have no intention of providing refunds to students before the program starts or they wourdhave included the "before your program starts,, options of ,,75% or 5400,, and ,,75%.,, Ihisform alsomakes no mention of Languages Canada Dispute Resolution procedure or any other policy.Ms' Miyazaki returned to the school on May 2, 2013 to discuss the refund with a witness from lsAs. Athat.time, the schoors staffgave farse information to rvrs. vifazati in an attempt to scare her intostaying in the schoor. Among other things, the student was tord that she wourd have to give her Study

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    Permit to the school and that she would be reported to lmmigration if she left the school and thatlmmiBration would call her. Our witness, Ms. Asuka Sugiyama, kept a record of the conversation.On May 2, for the first time, Ms. Miyazaki was given a document titled "2013 ILSC Fee Schedule."lExhibit Fl On the back of the document (this was stapled with the Fee Schedule on the front) is the"Application for Admission." [Exhibit G] Ms. Miyazaki was never given the application for Admission byher agency or the schoo I priortothisday. Theschool counsellor showed the section ofthe RefundPolicy pertaining to leaving the school after classes started (and used a pen mark to show this section onthe form). While looking at the fee schedule Ms. Miyazaki saw the section about refunds availablebefore the start date of classes for the first time. She was surprised to see that she would have beenable to withdraw with a larger refund before the classes started.When Ms. Miyazaki asked about theA translated extract ofthe conversation between Ms. Miyazaki and Ms. Aki Ohorithe school counselloris as follows:

    Ms. Miyazakij I come back here todoy because I would like to pick up the copy oftherefund document which I signed yesterdoy. Also, if there is ony controct betweenme ond your school? lf so, could I hove o copy of it? [Ms. Miyozoki did not sign acontroct when she registered but she wonts to hove the school odmit to this.lMs. Ohori: sure. Pleose woit for o moment ot woiting oreo.Ms. Miyazaki: O(.

    [Ms. Miyazaki and Ms. Sugiyama are sent to the reception area and wait there for afew minutes. They are then called back into the office. Ms. Ohori hands Ms.Miyazaki the 2013 ILSC Fee Schedule with a blank Application for Admission on theback.lMs. Miyazaki: ls this the contract?Ms. Ohori: Yes. This is a controct Irom the school. However, becouse you come toour schoolfrom Ryugoku Journal, you olreody signed o controct between Ryugokulournol ond you onywoys. lMs. Miyazaki did not, in fact, sign a contract withRyugaku JournallAya: I see...Ms.Ohori: "Doyou hove your Study Permit with you right now? lnorderforustoprocess your refund we need your study Permit. we used our nome for you to getthe Study Permit. You used our LOA to get the Study Permit. We would like to holdit ot this time. [The original Joponese specificolly meons thot the counsellors will

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    physicolly keep the Study Permit ond it is cleor thot the counsellor is pushing thestudent to return her Study Permitl. Depending on the cose, lmmigration will phoneyou. They will osk you whot you ore doinq."

    This is clearly an attempt to intimidate Ms. Miyazaki. Study Permits are transferable and CIC does notcare where a student is studying as long as they don't change their level of study (e.9. secondary to post-secondary). CIC does not call stud...