Friday, June 15, 2007

Friday Flash..Nova in the News Again

Works been in the news again this week.Again for all the wrong reasons.Headline news on NHK television.Headlines in the two main English language broadsheets on Thursday.More fodder for the local tabloids.

In a nutshell METI the Ministry of Economy,Trade and Industry ordered Japan's largest English language school chain from solicting or accepting applications for contracts longer than a year or new contracts exceeding 70 hours.The order will stand for six months and is the result of investigations earlier in the year in connection with the law regulating commercial practices and cancellation of contract procedures.In February METI inspected the company's headquarters in Osaka.

One of the more vitriolic reports quoted an METI offical thus "We have concluded that Nova's way of soliciting students was extremely malicious..."It engaged in illegal acts, with the top management at its head office authorizing the irregularities"....
"the company even compiled a manual advising staff about how to respond to claims by the students".
In addition students complained about their inability to book lessons despite Nova's claim to prospective students they can book lessons "any time" they wanted.METI found this practice to be giving a "false account" of its services which violates the Specified Commercial Transaction Law that covers consumers.

Theres been no offical word at work about the situation.On Thursday(yesterday)the Japanese staff at my branch were busy stapling notices to the walls for students.They either couldnt or wouldnt translate the Japanese notice.I watched the NHK news on Thursday night after work and it said the notices urged the students to help in "the rebirth of Nova".It will be interesting to see if theres an offical English translation and what the company line will be.Also interesting to see what the results will be of this suspension order.Fewer new students?branch cutbacks? maybe all just idle speculation..

(The Japan Times 14th June,The Daily Yomiuri 14th June, 15th June
MSN-Manichi Daily News 15 June 2006)

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