Damage/Loss Deposit

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PeteC
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Damage/Loss Deposit

Post by PeteC » Fri Nov 26, 2010 9:18 pm

OK one and all, please tell us your experiences. I was recently given a notice that in the Spring a 10,000 Baht deposit has to be paid for book/lab equipment/computer equipment loss-damage. This is effective with Year 1 students. :shock: The deposit will be refunded when the child leaves the school. In our case that means 11-12 years from now unless something unplanned or unforeseen happens.

My initial reply was, fine....if you pay me market, adjustable interest throughout the term of the deposit being held. If not, go jump in a lake. The next round of talks I'll include a demand for an escrow account with debits and credits specifically for the intended purpose and if not, please pay us consumer borrowing rates as what you are being given is not a deposit, but a loan.

The school has obviously looked at what the competition has been doing and decided to jump on the band wagon. Of course what they'll do with a windfall of several million Baht in funds when something like this is first initiated, is to spend it all on what they want. No escrow, no governance, short term employment contracts, back home we the administrators go....if the school fails, there will probably be be no refunds.

It's really a bag of crap sometimes with these international schools. One in the area, better IMO than the one I'm referring to, has a deposit of only 5,000 Baht. A big name down the road has one of 60,000 Baht inclusive of total loss if one doesn't give a full one term notice of the child not returning the next term. Where were the bloody parents when they rammed that up everyone's butt??!! :shock: :shock:

Unfortunately one of the problems over here with IS's is that the majority of parents really couldn't care less about costs. They are on 1-2-3 year foreign employment contracts and part of their compensation package is full reimbursement of their children's education costs while they're here. Many of these kids will never again benefit from or enjoy the level of education they are getting here when they go home. The parents simply can't afford it.

I don't know the statistics/percentages of those of us who are not on sweet deals and have to pay school costs out of our personal funds. I'll find out though now, for sure. Never again a silent minority!!! :cuss:

Beware in Hua Hin if a true IS opens, and also concerning semi-IS's already there. If you get a letter about deposits or other arbitrary fees above and beyond the published tuition tariff.....fight like hell to make them justify it and be accountable. Pete :cheers:
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Re: Damage/Loss Deposit

Post by Nereus » Fri Nov 26, 2010 10:21 pm

They spell it incorrectly. The correct spelling is "EXTORTION" :guns:

Below is an example of an IS in Bangkok. It is not the highest, I looked at another where the non-refundable "registration fee" is Bht 240,000. :shock:

Application Fee
An Application Fee of 3,000 Thai Baht is payable upon submitting the Application Form and is not refundable. (If a candidate is not successful at first, and wishes to re-apply, the application fee is not charged again). :roll:


Guaranteed Place Fee
Once a candidate has been provided with a Letter of Acceptance, a Guaranteed Place Fee of 100,000 Thai Baht is payable together with the return of the Acceptance Form. This fee is not refundable.


Refundable Deposit
A Refundable Deposit of 100,000 Thai Baht is payable by all applicants and shall be invoiced, together with their tuition and meal fees, prior to the applicant's first term.

The deposit is refunded when either:

• the applicant graduates from ................... International, or
• at least 60 school days’ written notice of withdrawal is given to the Registrar, or
• ..................... International requires the applicant's departures for reasons other than disciplinary

Year 1 fees at this School are: Bht 496,500 payable in advance. (annual)
...................................................

You are correct with your comment about fees being paid / reimbursed by foreign employers, Pete.
Maybe it is cheaper to send them overseas? I did that a few years ago, but I have no idea how it would compare now. :cheers:
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Re: Damage/Loss Deposit

Post by JimmyGreaves » Sat Nov 27, 2010 7:59 am

What a racket!
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Re: Damage/Loss Deposit

Post by hhfarang » Sat Nov 27, 2010 11:24 am

Makes me happy we only have one kid (adult now) who is not in school and supports herself! Nereus is correct, they know how important our kid's education is to us so they know they can use extortion to get more money.
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Re: Damage/Loss Deposit

Post by Frank Hovis » Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:01 am

My experience is that Somtawin English school doesn't charge a deposit, application or placement fee, it's also possible that they won't even charge the tuition fees!

Perhaps you might want to ask some questions of your child's school like...
Do they have insurance for accidental breakages?
Do they have insurance for your child?
How do they deal with vandalism or theft, do they simply subtract the value from the deposit and carry on as if nothing has happened?
If your child continually breaks/steals thing do you have to keep topping up the deposit?
Who judges that your child broke an item, and what opportunity do they have to defend themselves against the charges?
Are they really running so close to the financial edge that an accidentally broken measuring cylinder would throw them into receivership?
Does your school have a PTA? (Perhaps they should)

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Re: Damage/Loss Deposit

Post by poosmate » Tue Nov 30, 2010 7:52 am

My experience is that Somtawin English school doesn't charge a deposit, application or placement fee
It is not an international school and does not offer any facilities that could demand a deposit.
It does not even provide an air conditioned classrooms!
Most international schools can get away with high charges and fees because they produce results and offer a higher standard of education than local schools.
Somtawin results? Facilities? Above average teaching? :?
As for a PTA Somtawin doesn't have one. :wink:
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Re: Damage/Loss Deposit

Post by Frank Hovis » Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:24 am

poosmate wrote:It is not an international school and does not offer any facilities that could demand a deposit.
I apologise, it wasn't clear to me that the OP was asking only for experiences of international schools.Thank you for pointing out my mistake.

My other comments are still valid.

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Re: Damage/Loss Deposit

Post by PeteC » Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:48 am

No, I wasn't really asking for info just on IS's but general experiences. Regardless, thanks Frank for your comments. All of this was a surprise announcement between PTA meetings and nothing has been explained yet about accountability, insurance, record keeping, timeliness of parent notification etc. Too early in the game as the parent backlash so far has been pretty fierce with many of the suggestions you state, and everyone is awaiting their reaction and hopefully a withdrawal of the idea. Pete :cheers:
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Re: Damage/Loss Deposit

Post by Nereus » Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:29 pm

Just as another example, Pete, as this is a bit different.
I send my Granddaughter to an International Pre-School, (Kindergarten) in Bangkok. I choose this way because I wanted her to have a good grounding in English, which she is getting.

When she first attended the School she was regarded as "nursery" because of her age. The School has nursery, K1, K2 and K3.

The initial cost was a one off Baht 15,000, non-refundable "registration" fee, plus a refundable Baht 20,000 "deposit". She did leave for a period of about 9 months and the School re-funded the deposit without question. When she later returned I paid the "deposit" again but not the registration fee.

The term fees are Baht 60,000, x 3 terms, and includes everything such as food, insurance etc., except field outings, which are usually around Baht 300.

Another "racket" is the transport. They run a mini bus service, with an adult attendant, which has gone up several times, and is currently Baht 15,000 per term. It is not compulsory to use it, but I consider it a must bearing in mind the traffic conditions in Bangkok, and the security it provides.

They only cater for Pre-School, so there is no transfer to Year 1, and the deposit is not tied up for years. The only problem that concerns me now is where she is going to go when she finishes K3 next year. I am not prepared, or in a position, to pay the exorbitant rates being asked in Bangkok for an International School. :cheers:
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Re: Damage/Loss Deposit

Post by PeteC » Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:06 pm

Take a look at this one Nereus. It's one of the least expensive in Bangkok I believe and they're a good outfit, and not far from you I think. The same owner group and curriculum as Garden out here where mine goes. Rates are about the same. http://www.gardenbangkok.com/

Here is the Rayong campus for comparison. http://www.gardenrayong.com/

Garden here is at least 1/3 less expensive than the other two in the area. Pete :cheers:
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Re: Damage/Loss Deposit

Post by crazy88 » Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:45 pm

I broke a school window in 1981. The school charged me 25 pounds which was a fair whack then. OK it was with a home made catapult but I was not aiming for the window, not my fault the class bully moved and I am sure they would have had insurance. When I burned off my fringe and eyebrows breathing in gas from the taps in the science lab and blowing it out over a lighter I didn't get my 25 quid back. Surely I should have been more closely supervised? As we were studying "Hookes law" I hardly think the gas needed to be on.

500 kids x 60k. Do the math. IMHO it would be better to factor ongoing costs into the standard fees rather than have parents do that math and jump to conclusions. Also if 100 kids leave without damaging anything every year then thats a lot of cashola to shell out every year in refunds. Of course the money will be kept in account and the headmaster won't be driving a Merc 500 sl next year, honestly.

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Re: Damage/Loss Deposit

Post by Spitfire » Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:37 pm

I remember Nereus saying on the 'Car red plate law' thread recently that..............

"It never ceases to amaze me the scams these people think up."

Completely agree with that one. :thumb:

I once applied to a university that wanted a 15,000 baht deposit from me as insurance in case I broke anything in the classrooms. :shock:

Well, I told them they were in La La Land and can 'whistle in the wind for it', and that is from prospective teachers, not students.

What will they dream up of next?

Having worked for almost 10 years here I am aware, and dismayed, of just how shamelessly the schools/colleges/universities practice the art of exsanguination on the parents.

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Re: Damage/Loss Deposit

Post by crazy88 » Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:57 pm

Whilst I find it odd in concept that a school would do this perhaps that may be just because I am not used to it. (And have also been here long enough to know the angles and therefore understand) please let me give you some food for further discussion.

I employ a maid who has not been asked for a deposit against our belongings. If she trashed the vase in the MB it would be 2 years wages worth.

If I rented my place out I would take the standard deposit which would not even cover the vase if someone trashed the place let alone all the other furniture etc. The rental client deposit I would of course hold back as contracted. The rest I am pretty much rogered for I would imagine.

If the dog knocks the vase over then I would no more get the vase replaced than I would even dream of asking the maid to pay for it. Unless of course it was a deliberate action.

Surely insurance is the answer? If a child breaks something by accident at school is it not covered?

Does anyone have experience of these deposits being returned in full? Or in part and if so what justification was given for the deduction? How was it quantified? Does anyone expect to actually get the deposit back?

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Re: Damage/Loss Deposit

Post by PeteC » Thu Dec 02, 2010 5:41 am

Here's another one in Bangkok, Nereus. The wife knew about this one as being good academically and not as expensive as others. Their rate sheet seems to confirm that. Those fees listed are yearly, not each term, 3 terms. Yes, the one time registration fee is hefty and they also have a book deposit :( , but all in, it may be a place to look at. Pete :cheers:

http://ekamai.int.schoolwebpages.com/ed ... ectionid=3
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Re: Damage/Loss Deposit

Post by Nereus » Thu Dec 02, 2010 7:39 am

Thanks for both of those links,Pete.
One big difference is the Christian School follows the US system, and the other the UK. Will look into them both a bit further, but seems that you cannot get away from the big "donation", regardless of how they put it! :cheers:
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