July 1st, 2017 at 12:27 pm
I originally wrote my high scathing review of MIC on the 27th May. I decided to delete my original review and post a new review of the company. The sole reason being that I did not want my review to be buried underneath a review which is clearly fake or MIC put significantly pressure on one of their teachers to write the review.
The fake review I am referring to is by Peter Thomas. There are a few reasons why the review rings alarm bells. Between March 23rd 2015 and 27th May 2017 there had been 4 reviews of MIC. Less than a week after I posted my highly scathing review suddenly a review gushing with praise for the company appeared. The timing in itself is incredibly suspect.
The review is clearly trying to counter my review. Peter Thomas discusses a number of same areas as me such as the 21,000VND conversion rate issue and he talks about the consequences of having your business visa revoked.
Peter Thomas mentions how there is always two sides to each story about staff and the company falling out of love. I want to emphasis the fact that MIC never got me a job. I never turned up drunk or late to work because they never found me any work.
I acknowledge that my first interview with MIC was bumpy. I made many mistakes, I was inexperienced. MIC never had the guts to tell me that I was not good enough. They just told me to do a visa run and assured me there was work waiting for me once I got back from Bangkok. Then when I got back from Bangkok they just tried to stay quiet and duck under the radar. Still they did not have the guts to turn to me and say 'look you are not good enough, this will not work out'. Only after I kept messaging them did I eventually get the truth from them.
Peter Thomas made the comment that the schools away from the major cities (Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi and Da Nang) will not employ teachers directly and to get them jobs you have to use recruitment companies such as MIC. There is very much a flip side to this comment. The reason schools outside of the tier 1 cities and tourist areas use recruitment companies is because at least in some instances they struggle to recruit people on there own. A significant number of backpackers are reluctant to relocate outside of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh. The company I am working for at the moment is having to put many incentives in place to encourage the people currently working for the Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh branches to relocate.
Here is my original review -
There is not enough negative words in the dictionary for me to fully convey how much I hate this company and Doan (one of the staff at the company). The company lied to me, wasted my time and I got banned from Vietnam because of them!
The first thing you need to know about this company is it is a recruitment company rather than a school or language centre in its own right.
When I had an interview with them I did not have any teaching interview. I did a demo lesson and they gave me lots of pointers on how to improve. I said I wanted part time work in Hanoi. We agreed on an hourly pay of $19 because of my lack of experience.
They quote you in dollars but pay you in dong. They have an atrocious exchange rate. They pay 21,000 Dong per 1$. Whereas a dollar is actually worth over 22,000 Dong. This may not seem like a big deal but it all adds up. At today's conversion rates (27th May), 399,000VND (19*21,000) only equals $17.59.
On the 24th Jan Doan said a lot of schools shut on that day for TET holiday and would open again around the 10th. I thought MIC would email me on the 9th, 10th or 11th regarding training or a potential job. On the 12th Jan I gave them a nudge.
They replied to my email and I agreed to go to there office on the 16th Feb. On the 16th they announced they didn't have work in Hanoi and asked me if I would be interested in working outside of Hanoi, doing 100 hours for $1200 and free accomodation. I was surprised the pay was so low, they said it was because the job was located outside of Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh. At the time I still trusted the company and did not have any teaching experience so I stupidly agreed to this terrible contract. At the time I had not even factored in the terrible conversion rate. It would probably actually of ended up being closer to $1150.
They then asked me to get my original documents sent from home and asked me to to do a visa run to Bangkok so they could get me a business visa. The flights and taxis to and from the airport cost over $200.
I got back to Hanoi on the evening of the 22nd Feb and then had to wait to the 27th to watch another teacher doing a lesson. Bear in mind every day I was sitting around waiting in Hanoi, I was spending $14 on food and accomodation.
Then after the 27th I did not hear anything from MIC. On the 4th March I said to them I will have to start applying to other companies because I could not afford to just keep sitting around. They told the government I was no longer working for them and said my business visa could now be treated as a tourist visa.
I did some trials with other companies and after an unsuccessful trial I returned to Hanoi. The immigration police then came knocking and started asking me why I was not working for MIC. I tried to explain to them that MIC never offered me a proper job.
Based on information a contact of mine told me, I now have reason to believe that MIC lied to the immigration department and said I just suddenly stopped responding to any of there calls. I get the impression they did not admit that they never were able to find me work.
Because of the fiasco with MIC I got banned from Vietnam.
Here are some more reviews of MIC
I believe Ta Tony works for MIC, he will message you privately on FB from his personal account rather than using the MIC page. I discuss it further in this post.
In hindsight you do not need to sign up to a recruitment company to get work in Hanoi. Instead you can use this site (tnhvietnam) and the Hanoi English Teaching Jobs Facebook page. I have got many interviews ad job offers through the Facebook page. I just email my CV to anyone who advertised a job on the Facebook page. On my CV there is no teaching experience.
If you want to work outside of Hanoi and Ho Cho Minh you can still get jobs paying $20 an hour. If you want to work outside of the two major cities you do not need to lower your pay expectations.
July 1st, 2017 at 5:57 am
Avoid this company. They frequently don’t pay Vietnamese staff and western staff full wages if any. Conditions of housing are not as pictured. Many rats and cockroaches about, (not a few, but a full infestations). When we asked owners to resolved this either by purchasing traps or calling an exterminator, the director informed us that the cost of traps would come out of the Vietnamese’s wages who do not reside in the building. Absolutely disgusting.
Furthermore, the accommodations have little to no privacy being above and below classrooms. Students will often accidently or on purpose find their way into your room. Showers and bathrooms are communal, with no toilet seats or properly locking doors.
The company as a whole is disorganized with no actual guidance being given to teachers. No provided resources and company demands that you purchase a computer. Teaching schedules are obviously mashed together in very little time with no thought. They are absolutely chaotic, often causing mass confusion among the teachers.
June 30th, 2017 at 5:43 pm
Minh is the best, he runs an incredibly reliable business. We have been here for almost a year and are always met with kindness and flexibility. When we experienced a flat and were close by we rolled in, he fixed everything correctly and even offered us part of his lunch. I recommend Minh's to anyone who is looking for a place to rent motorbikes at a quality establishment with competitive rates!
June 30th, 2017 at 8:22 am
Calif Fitness still pretty good, but I have a few issues in the men's locker room. Steam room needs cleaning more often - just plain inadequate! Sauna has broken wooden slats! Slippery floor in shower area - just plain dangerous! What's up with those lazy guards - get them off their phones and get them cleaning/fixing.
June 29th, 2017 at 10:25 am
Yet again Mr Nam smashed the visa ball out of Vietnam Stadium. Two 6 month visas at short notice. Min fuss. Excellent communication and although it was 11th hour and this makes you fret....DON'T. If Mr Nam says he can do it....he will . If he cannot he will also tell you. If i could get this service on every aspect of my life every day.....NIRVANA
June 29th, 2017 at 8:18 am
I was one of 9 people for lunch. I had to ask the waitress to come over to take my order. I waited 20 minutes for my order of paneer tikka lucknawi (85k), plain nan (28k) and masala tea (35k). The paneer and veggies were burnt! The nan was okay, but the masala tea was plain and only ½ of cup! I had to ask the waitress to come over and give me the invoice/bill. I recommend finding a different Indian restaurant.
June 14th, 2017 at 11:13 am
I love this new clinic in the neighborhood. Very friendly and accommodating staff. Some of them speak English so it's pretty easy to communicate. Facilities are new and the place is very clean. And most importantly, services are reasonably priced. Highly recommended!
June 2nd, 2017 at 3:35 am
I have worked for MIC for over two years now in that period I have been placed In some great Teaching positions and truly have been able to enjoy real Vietnamese culture all that aside , I have enjoyed working for MIC they have always paid me on time or in advance if I have ever needed any help ! They supplied me with a 125cc scooter that was great when I first started teaching for them in Hanoi even though I only had minor experience I was placed in a position two days after my initial interview .I've read some bad reviews about the company , as usual there are two sides to a story such as teachers getting drunk and missing classes or taking money in advance to help them and then leaving the company with no notice all of which are breaking your contract so read the contract carefully if you don't like it talk to them or don't sign it , I have worked for other companies in Vietnam where you only receive 1000us at the current rate but pay your own accommodation and I have met teachers in Dong Hai who only receive 800us but with accommodation and they think I'm receiving great money but Dong Hai is beautiful so they are happy, I'm receiving 1450us at the conversion of 21000 dong a month but no accommodation costs so I'm very happy over all with MIC they have helped me always and never refused time off when I've needed to take off for family reasons as long as they have some notice in advance . I believe if you want to teach in Vietnam away from the cities is the best way to meet and be immersed in the culture , I have worked two school years at the same secondary school thanks to MIC and will be going back for a third after the summer holidays because they are the most wonderful teachers and friends I could have ever hoped for , schools this big and away from major cities will only hire you through companies such as MIC or centers , you cant just walk in off the street . I will continue to work for MIC for future years ! so read you contract properly no matter who the company is if you break your contract and they revoke their sponsorship you could be asked to leave or even banned from Vietnam in some cases by immigration .
Best regards Mr John Terry
June 2nd, 2017 at 2:47 am
A friend of mine put me in touch with Yen and I'm so glad she did, I travelled around Vietnam for seven weeks and she booked trains, buses and taxis for me whenever I needed them. She had great advice for places to visit wherever I went and brilliant suggestions for accommodation too. Her advice on the cheapest and fastest routes was so helpful and she is always quick to respond. The best and most cheerful travel agent I've come across in Vietnam, I can't recommend her enough!
May 27th, 2017 at 2:26 am
Quality is acceptabel, price OK (not cheap!) but customer service shall be improved! Why they never manage to deliver on time?? Either way too late or too early! At least inform me when you are 40 minutes late!
No credit for being socially responsible. If you charge high rates then please deliver high quality incl. service!). I will order again but will look for other options as well!
May 23rd, 2017 at 4:03 am
I've been in Hanoi for a little over 3 years and there's no other visa service that I used than Miss Ly's. I highly recommend her to anyone. She's prompt with her replies, efficient with her solutions and highly professional. A remarkable agent. Also, her customer service is top notch. I've never had a problem with her services. She's also a really good person. There's no other place I would go to for my visa needs. Thanks, Miss Ly.
May 22nd, 2017 at 10:43 pm
I've benefited a few times from Miss Ly's excellent services and intend to continue the relationship in the future. I'm happy with her level of English, thrilled with her competency in completing her work in a timely manner, and thankful for her very good customer service skills. I've never had any problem with the product. I recommend her.
May 21st, 2017 at 11:25 am
We first met Ms Ly for a visa renewal assistance 4 years ago, and we liked her right away because she was easy to talk to, offered a reasonable price, and generally very helpful.
Since then we have always come to her to help book tours for my family and friends. She would always tailor her tour suggestions based on the group's needs (ie elderly, young adults, children, couples). It was always easy to call her for any issues before, during, and after the tour.
She's very honest and trustworthy. We highly recommend her.
May 15th, 2017 at 6:14 am
Where to start....
No water in the gym is massively annoying. Just one water pump per gender - hidden away right in the back of their changing rooms. So if you want to refill your bottle you have to leave the gym and go all the way back there. Several weeks after opening this hasn't changed. Presumably they want you to buy water bottles from reception instead.
Still no TV channels on the running machine. First week they said they hadn't hooked them up yet. Weeks later they still haven't.
But what they do have which are, of course, working just fine - are screens playing adverts on a loop. They drive me insane.
The music. Oh god the music. The first time I was there they played the same song over and over again till I asked them to stop. Yesterday they played 45 minutes solid of Ed f*cking Sheeran whine. Played at levels louder than anything you can achieve on your own headphones. You cannot avoid it. I've never understood the need to play music when everyone is wearing headphones to try and block it out. It's loudest in the changing rooms. Who needs music in changing rooms?
I keep politely asking them to turn it down and they say yes. But don't. Even if I am the only one in the gym. Also you are constantly reminded that classes are about to start as a loud speaker shouts at you to join in. Speakers are placed every couple of meters so it's impossible to escape and there is no quiet part of the gym.
What else? You have to bring your own padlock for your gym locker. I'm currently on a try before you buy month free membership and I have to bring my own towel and fill out a form each time to re-enter all the details that I already gave them as part of the signing up. The towel thing is laughable - as if I'm an international towel thief going to vast lengths to join gyms just to steal their towels.
Beyond that (and the Trump-esque decor) - it's just the same old thing of bored staff looking at phones. The guard permanently stationed in the changing room (despite us all having to bring our own locks) - sits there reading his phone hidden inside his hat. Why not just ask staff to not use phones during work hours?
The other point is the parking. Okay, so the building is not finished but that vast steep ramp into the underground parking is a death trap on a bike. Also there is no lift so you have to go up and along various concrete corridors with wires hanging out of the walls and constant drilling.
In general it's just not a pleasant experience. It adds to stress rather than removes it. I hope they'll see sense and sort out the worst of it - particularly the music. Can't we have a quiet zone? Then I can consider becoming a permanent member.
Two stars because actual equipment seems decent - it's just the rest that needs work.
May 12th, 2017 at 2:58 pm
I just returned from a one-week trip to North Vietnam that planned by Hoang Yen Travel Agency, I was thrilled with the hotels, tour, and local guides that Miss. Maria arranged for me at Hanoi & Sa pa & Ha Long Bay, when I told Miss. Maria where I want to visit and what kind of trip I prefer, she responded quickly and gave me the professional recommendations, she also arranged for local tour guides in Ha Noi which is exceptional, she provided information on local sites and culture that I could not have gleaned from a guidebook. My tour also included all transportation to/from airports as well as locally, and this proved to be convenient and comfortable as well.
I strongly suggest to give them a try on your next booking.
May 11th, 2017 at 5:33 am
The only reason I didn't give 1 star is that the treatment can be good sometimes.
You better have money if you want treatment in a reasonable amount of time. We had insurance, with "direct billing". We were made to wait so long that my wife collapsed in the hallway. We had no choice but to cough up close to $1000 for a deposit just to get her in a hospital bed. Vinmec is all about money- it's certainly obvious by the way we were treated.
Some of the doctors are great. But good luck trying to deal with billing or insurance. My friend had to wait 90 minutes just to pay a bill.