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http://forums.gumtree.com/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=394729
http://www.eslteachersboard.com/cgi-bin/review/index.pl?noframes;read=35758;expand=1

reports from current pod teachers @ http://www.eslcafe.com/discussion/dz1/index.cgi?read=1408952488


His passport refers to him as BILAL ISMAIL SONI, born 13 January 1985. His passport number is 458659196, issued by UKPA on 21 April 2006.
  
  He ran an English organisation called English International, from Leeds in Yorkshire, England. The company attracted English people to come to China to teach English, mainly at Kindergarten level.
  
  As part of the enticement to come to China, foreign teachers were promised, upon completing their 6 month contract: Half their airfare refunded; the entire cost of their travel visa; the entire cost of hotel accommodation while training; two full weeks paid leave and an entire refund of the private taxi fare from Shenzhen Airport to the hotel where training took place.
  
  With Mr Soni, having disappeared, none of the foreign teachers seems able to get the money rightfully owed to them. This amounts to an average 1,000 GBP per person.
  
  In addition to the money he owes to foreign teachers, he has also cheated many Chinese people who have invested money in property to accommodate the foreign teachers and who will now not get this money refunded.
  
  As I have explained, this person has left a lot of people, both Chinese and foreign, extremely unhappy and any assistance you can give in tracking this person down and bringing him to justice would be gratefully appreciated.
asked by ross t. on 4/1/11
6 Answers
Reported sightings of Bilal have emerged, is anyone still trying to track him down?
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thanks for all the info, alex! i'm sure it will be helpful to someone who googles the website..
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Thanks ross, spread the word!!
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Hi everyone, I recently applied to Pod Travel & Teach to teach English in China. I was told that I was successful and went to their office in Batley to meet some of their staff. The guy I spoke to seemed very young and new to the job and I wasn't completely convinced that he wasn't answering my questions by reading from a script. I was also a bit sceptical about the company ringing me from a mobile number. Nonetheless, I applied for a tourist visa as they advised me to and I've spent time and money getting ready to go. However, I've recently come across a few reviews of the company advising people to stay well away, reviews which I hadn't noticed before. I now don't know what to make of the company. I really want to do something worthwhile like teaching abroad but at the same time I'm starting to believe the negative reviews I've seen written and I'm not entirely convinced by Vicky's responses. I think she is a real person since the woman who interviewed me on the phone said she was Vicky but she has written pretty much exactly the same response to all the criticism to the company she works for and I just don't know whether I can trust this company enough to book my flights next week. I really do not know what to do for the best.
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It is illegal to work in China on a Tourist Visa; if you want confirmation, simply call the Chinese Embassy's visa service in London. I strongly advise that before you spend any money on flights, ask Pod to put in writing, signed by an employee, that you can work on the Visa they are arranging. Also ask them to confirm in writing your exact rate of pay in China and any expenses or other deductions that will be made. A legitimate company should be more than happy to answer these points in writing.
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This doesn't sound good Jennifer. I had the same feeling about the company I worked for last year, a company I and many others strongly suspect is now operating as POD Travel and Teach. Like Paladin says, it is illegal to work on a tourist visa in China, as is the case in just about every other country in the world. When I called them up a few weeks ago to see what they were like they sounded extremely susupect to me. Are you sure you really want to go half way around the world with a company like this??

My advice, do a TEFL qualification and then apply for jobs yourself, dont use an organisation like this.
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