Berlitz Sucks Customer Reviews and Feedback

From Everything.Sucks

Berlitz Corporation is a Japanese-owned language education and leadership training company which is based in Princeton, New Jersey. The company was founded in 1878 by Maximilian Berlitz in Providence, Rhode Island in the United States. Berlitz Corporation is now a member of the Benesse Group, a Japanese company, with more than 547 company-owned and franchised locations in more than 70 countries.


Tell the world why Berlitz sucks!

I certify that this review is based on my own experiece and is my opinion of this person or business. I have not been offered any incentive or payment to write this review.


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Former Employee - English Teacher says

"Very low pay for the type of work, which is essentially one-on-one tutoring ($13/hr when I worked there). Required training is unpaid. Hard to get work hours. Lots of competition for tutoring jobs."

Former Employee - SAE says

"Management, culture, lack of communication and a complete lack of understanding of how to create a corporate offering...which seems strange after 140 yrs of existence as a company."

Current Employee - ESL Teacher says

"Unpaid training Company and management do not about employees growth and professional development They keep the industry's lowest wages for ESL teachers and highest prices for programs (there's something terribly wrong here) It is barely a part time position - you are "on call" and do not know your schedule until the evening before. Classes are scheduled in 45 minute increments, not 1 hour. Therefore, check your pay because what you earn per actual class is not per hour. ZERO benefits for instructors of any kind (typical of all private language schools in the USA) Long-term employees continuing being laid off across the board (has been this way since 2010)"

Former Employee - Enrollment Advisor says

"Everything. You will be paid minimum wage. You will be consistantly monitored. All the positions that support you, including your manager, will be remote, so they'll have no idea what's going on at your location. The goalposts will constantly shift, so don't expect to ever make money. All of the technology will be 15-20 years out of date. Nothing is automated."

Current Employee - Language Instructor says

"Terrible salaries, no pay raise in years. Old material, old devices, almost no material for teachers. So disappointing."

Former Employee - German Language Instructor says

"Top-down management, lack of training, mgmt disoriented, lack of/last minute information received @ client, disorganized management team, NO BENEFITS, conflicts in management that were salient to me while working there, poor and conflicting direction from management, inability to competently hire anyone who is at a non-native, but native proficiency level of speaking any language other than English; I don't feel Berlitz SD was truly international, because I felt that I was constantly being questioned (as well as other instructors) as to whether I can "actually" even speak fluent German by people who spoke not a word of it; mgmt showed no desire to even actually read through my resume/other certification and see all the experience and acknowledge my abilities; ***HIRE someone who can interview prospective employees in the language they will be teaching.***; you don't feel taken seriously; Non-native speakers teaching English - I think that is AWESOME. We GIFTED, NON-NATIVES matter too! That is not the attitude I received concerning my discipline(s) - It was more the attitude of back-handed entitlement/hatred, not appreciation =/this is equal to a non-global, ignorant attitude; you have to bite your tongue and grin and bear it/remain stoic; the work environment became worse and worse with time as I began to distance myself from the company in the same manner, Berlitz downsized and played it off like they were expanding (I know better. It was obvious. I saw less instructors, the rooms were fewer, office space cut down on, fewer hours worked and more; untrustworthy staff, competition overload amongst instructors, LOW PAY for non-consequential hourly wages, no respect for the instructor's schedule, scheduling last minute and very outdated scheduling system; If you cannot work with a client due to your schedule, you will be made to feel like you are indebted to them and are obligated to show up for them and neglect other commitments; FORGET ABOUT MOVING UP WITH BERLITZ, Only management worked full-time, possible hidden agendas with corp changes, BAD SCHEDULING, instructors taken advantage of, SALES more important than lesson, less than 15 min for lunch, your dedication will be taken advantage of"

Current Employee - Enrollment Advisor says

"To be in Meets expectation you are supposed to make over 80 calls a day. The leads are supposed to be warm, they are not. Most people think its free and the product is very expensive and we offer no financial aid. They hired EAs saying you will make and average of 1500 in commission. This is a straight up lie. Most of us are averaging 150-300 in commission (monthly). The amount of work you are going to be doing is too much hassle for 15 an hour. They micromanage EVERYTHING. I really mean everything. Whoever decides to try this company keep in mind, count only on your salary. (Its not hourly and you are expected to work Saturdays. ) They promised you can work from home at one point, that is a lie. They don't trust employees and they treat us like children. The goals are unreal... no matter how many years of experience in sales you have. Sometimes you sell programs and they don't have teachers to deliver.. not our fault, but you don't get paid until the student takes the first class.. Word to the wise, DON'T DO IT."

Former Employee - Former Employee says

"Worked for this company for years. I've watched it slowly fall apart, and like K-Mart, go through a slow death. Won't be shocked if it's gone by the end of the year. They've cut their staff to the bone and have fired many people over the last few years. Most of the staff they got rid of were either making too much, were near retirement age, or worth their salt. They hire attractive young people with little or no training who don't know what they're doing to manage. Many teachers that came out of their training program don't even know what the Berlitz method is. Teachers who weren't fit to teach nor could speak the language were set up to teach levels they were not suited for, but it didn't matter because they could get by on looks and personality. So it's a waste of time for the clients and their money. Quality certainly doesn't matter as I watched teachers with Master's Degrees get passed up because they weren't attractive enough or didn't fit in with the clique. They treat their teachers in ways that no other company does in the sense that you don't matter, and they let you know it. It's okay for their staff to make derogatory remarks and harass others. It's okay to show extreme favoritism, maliciously gossip, and lie about other employees. It's okay to create a toxic work environment, bully students into taking teachers they don't want. If you complain, expect them to do nothing or be fired yourself. They don't want to deal with it, so it's easier to get rid of the person who is willing to stand up and protect predators who are more vocal. I got a better job with actual benefits and better pay in a mature office where gossip mongers and bullies are dealt with and not retained because the company fears being sued or would rather avoid the problem."

Sales Associate (Former Employee) says

"Worst job ever the lady that runs it is a racist and sexist individual they lied about commission. Kept changing it so you couldn’t get paid. Stay away from this placeNoneAll"

French Teacher (Former Employee) says

"Micromanagement, Favoritism, baby seating position. They expect you to be responsible for children. Pick up and drop off. Wait for parents to get there kids and they are always late (those extra 20 to 30 minutes are not payed)"

sales (Former Employee) says

"300 salariés a l'Anpe depuis le 1er Août Merci DG"

English Instructor (Former Employee) says

"poor working environment, poor on job training poor scheduling, lack for employee and student management lacks teaching skills. at the blind leading the way"

Director EMEA Corporate Training Solutions (Former Employee) says

"Directionless, inability to embrace change and technology . Company focuses on product and not enough on customers business needs. Eventually without a clear vision of online transformation the company will not continue ."

English Instructor (Former Employee) says

"Unfortunately, in Colombia, Berlitz does not share the profit they make from the students with the teachers at all. The money goes to the bureaucracy that requires that the teachers do a lot of unpaid work: coachings, "activation sessions," travel-time, meetings, personal and group training, etc. There were weeks were my co-workers and I were scheduled for more unpaid work than actual class time. We were all promised free language lessons that never materialized. Although it was great to live in Colombia, I would not recommend working for Berlitz Colombia.Some travel cost coveredLong unpaid hours"

Spanish Teacher (Current Employee) says

"I am working with good students and my students be happy with ny class . Unfortunately the opinion students was no important for the coordinate.And when I need references about my work in Berlitz my coordinator says Berlitz don't give lunchesshorts break"

Manager (Current Employee) says

"The most important part of this job is to make District Manager look good and comply with whatever he wants. Employees must Stop attending customers, checking on delivery of programs sold and just do reports for DM. Everyone in the center is in panic to loose their job. People are not friendly. They just want to make money to pay for their bills. The worst job ever!Nice environment coming from the outside.Management is awful. Teamwork is a myth."

Corporate Trainer (Current Employee) says

"Not a good choice . The company is national but management is bad. They do not verify the locations that they send you to. Clients are rude . The kids are unruly and parents don't care."

Corporate (Former Employee) says

"The compensation is laughable, and the work load is great. Management is extremely incompetent. People are treated poorly and management does not recognize good workers. Turnover is extremely high."

Instructor of Russian and English (Former Employee) says

"The company does not demonstrate any interest in developing any other curricula except of English. Huge lack of professionalism in management. Low professional development, low coveragediversity of students"

French and English Instructor (Current Employee) says

"Pay is stunningly low! Not enough students to schedule enough classes. Last minute calls asking teachers to teach a class. Teachers expected to do MUCH work off the clock for free"

Profesor de ingles (Former Employee) says

"Un dia t`ipico de trabajo es muy entretenido, se respira un ambiente de compañerismoSeguros medicosSe trabaja hasta las 9 pm"

English Instructor (Former Employee) says

"they are not a good company to work for and regularly discriminate against people for a variety of reasons. I was pregnant and they hired me as permanent teacher but when i came in to do the paperwork and told them i was pregnant, they then offered me a temporary position until my due date."

Fremdsprachendozentin (Former Employee) says

"Keine Bewertung wegen mangelde Arbeitsrechte sowohl als Dienstleisterin als Mitarbeiterin. Das Franchising übernimmt keine interkulturelle Arbeitskultur. Geldwäsche. Kaum aktuelles Lehr- und Lernmaterial vorhanden. Alles sehr mühsam. Viel hin und her fahren von einem Schüler zum anderen für wenig Gehalt. Als selbständige werden keine ÖVM Kosten übernommen, diese können auch nicht versteuert werden. Zu wenige UE pro Lehrkraft, man kommt garnicht über die Runden, auch nicht mit 4 Sprachen (wie in meinem Fall). Schlechte Dienstpläne. Es läuft alles über Kontakte und horchelei. Alle werden benutzt und ausgenutzt wie man sich das von Deutschland aus garnicht vorstellen könnte. Eine Falle. Keine der 3 Berlitz Institute in Buenos Aires dürfe ein internationales Franchising vertreten. Als Lehrkraft wird man immer wieder beleidigt wenn man nach dem Gehalt, Fahrtkosten mit dem ÖVM oder dem Gehalt fragt. Wenn man eine e-Mail sendet, bekommt man oft entweder eine dumme Antwort oder man wird hin- und her geschubst. Wenn etwas schief läuft, ist die Lehrkraft Schuld. Ich erinnere mich an viele unangenehme Erlebnisse auch mit und von Kollegen, als wir zu Monatsende bzw Monatsmitte keinen Cent mehr hatten und das Wochenende oder die Feiertage mit leerem Kühlschrank überbrücken mussten.schnelles einsteigen auf dem Arbeitsmarktschlechte Bezahlung in Pesos, immer mit Verspätung, sehr bürokratisch, Gehaltserhöhungen von ca 15% mit Glück jedes zweites Jahr bei (offiziell) 40% Inflation im Jahr"

Instructor/Coach/Monitor (Former Employee) says

"Low salary, ridiculous schedule (at times 15+ hours a day), unrealistic goals set by the company. Not every student has the capacity to learn as quickly as the Berltiz schedule allows, and failing students were often/nearly always pushed through to the next level despite ability. This made teaching extremely difficult, as in one group there could be very strong and very weak students. Instructors receive their schedules at or after 7pm, with the next day's classes sometimes beginning at 6am. This makes it difficult to plan an effective coffeeeverything else"

English as a foreign language teacher (Former Employee) says

"Not a very good experience at this school. The method is strange and I did not see very much progress in the student's proficiency. I learned what NOT to do."

Service Representative/ Receptionist (Current Employee) says

"a typical day of work I attend people, answer, the phone, answer emails, set up schedule, post classes (for their payment), the hardest part of the job is work without the necessarily resources, the most enjoyable part of my work is talk with the people, to know their needs, attend people.the pay"

Teacher of Spanish (Current Employee) says

"Very low pay and 100% profits based. Lack of caring. The business model should be re-think in order to be less exploitative.The materials are extremely old fashion and the method doesn't allow you to have control over how to teach the student.Managers are not interested in listening to any piece of advice."

English Instructor (Former Employee) says

"This is a company whose main goal is money. They do not care about their employees or clients once they have the money. I was lied to and stolen from and treated like a child."

Seongho Lee says

"I couldn't get interesting join the class. So class is my low priority at daily task when I need to take class. I didn't recommended this class to my some of colleague."

Jorge Beltran says

"Training was good and informative. Found numerous errors in the digital version of instructional book. Completed 40 hours of instruction, however the final assessment at the end of Level 1 did not reflect any of the materials presented throughout the training."

Federico Lara says

"We are making some pressure to complete all units, with a lot of units per week, and now, I finished all 42 units a month after the full Period.
This was unacceptable."

Lena Doyle says

"The organization before the first class was just really difficult. I spent a total of several hours only to find out they did not listen to the requirements I explained. When the lessons started communication was still problematic and slow. The lessons daughter was not very comfortable and did not like them at all. She did not feel engaged and did not feel she learned a lot."

Ki Lamou says

"I am in united state.I get some lessons online but i noticed:poor quality of lessons no explanation of lessons They will take your money for nothing better to go to practice on google than to use fraux stuff Every teacher tries to finish the lesson quickly and get rid of You will not learn anything here."

Maksymilian Macur says

"The school is okay when everything is going good, the teachers are nice and you can learn something. I did the classes in the centre and also online.
But watch out, because when you don't like the class and you want to withdraw after the first class as it doesn't meet any requirements of a proper class. Online class with 10 people, 80% in the "breakout rooms", so with another participant but without the teacher. You can do it for free just talking to the people as no one is correcting you there.
When you try to withdraw and show the consumer rights proving that you can, be prepared that they will answer saying that they are not going to reply to your emails anymore and you can send a letter. They don't care about the binding rights in the European Union.
It is crazy, watch out for this school, because when something goes not their way you need to be ready to go to court."

ChrissieBee says

"My private Russian lessons with Berlitz have been unsatisfactory due to the poor quality of the materials and instructors' high turnover.

Materials: Berlitz’s Russian language materials are outdated, sexist, poorly designed, and incomplete. The Berlitz Russian language “book” is a collection of scanned pages that lack the most basic organization: no page numbers, no table of content, no explanations of the grammar, and no vocabulary list. The book is hefty on grammar, yet the grammar rules are never presented clearly. The grammar “exercises” are mostly a collection of exceptions to a rule that has not been presented. To remedy the gaps, the instructors all use their own materials – but those are usually not available to the student. I am apparently just supposed to “remember” and watch the lesson recording. But the lesson recordings are of such poor quality that I cannot even read what the instructor writes on the screen. Most of the instruction has no written trace – I have to make screenshots to record the lesson. And those screenshots cannot even be printed. Despite what is advertised, I have not gotten access to any online practice or support materials.

One of the instructors told me that Berlitz does have newer, better materials (“Russian Step by Step”), and in some of the communications, BVC wrote they would move me to the new materials. But despite my insistence, I never received access to the new materials. Their "academic expert" feedback, in turn, was that “We are aware the Russian materials are problematic because people have complained, but it is what we have.”
Instructors: Berlitz swapped out my original instructor and started rotating instructors around at every lesson. There is constant confusion about how long the lesson is supposed to be, what was done last time, which materials to use, etc.

Dear Berlitz: I wonder why you ask for my contact information. I have sent this exact write-up to the virtual classroom team many weeks ago. Unfortunately, you have not resolved the problem. I have contacted my employer (who is paying for the classes) to ask them to change vendors."

Lisa Campbell says

"I'm helping a friend try and take this test. She has emailed them for a week trying to obtain a correct key. The one they sent says it is already in use. She is running out of time!"

Intermediate Spanish says

"I was looking forward to using Berlitz to improve my (intermediate) Spanish, but have been disappointed. The online lessons are quite boring and if you don't understand it, there isn't any support. The phone lessons do not correspond with the lesson you are currently on so they do not help reinforce/reteach the online lessons. Additionally, there hasn't been much support in the phone lessons for improving grammar, which is why I joined in the first place. This was a very expensive program for what is actually offered. I would not recommend."

NJ Student says

"Teacher was good but there was we were sent a link to learning materials and told they would be used or explained in class and that never happened. It’s very tough to learn a language when you are just practicing twice a weekk"

hb says

"My tutor is excellent and I have loved working with her. The school itself has been thoroughly disappointing regarding communication, clarity in levels and testing. Whenever there is a problem or I have a questions, the wait time is long and the answer is never direct rather, I feel whenever I have a complaint my advisor somehow blames the problem on me and I find it to be extremely frustrating. I have only continued using Berlitz because of how excellent my tutor is. The other employees are hardly helpful if it were not for her I would have left long ago."

Sean says

"I think the method can work well. The first few classes are tough because there is no English and you can't understand any of the new language yet but it is effective over time. I also had an excellent teacher. The problem is the materials. Oh my lord. In an age with gamification and apps, the materials are unclear and they look like they have been pulled from a 1996 textbook. It's difficult to even understand how the exercises fit together (target A/B)."

Veianya says

"*Update* - I've received my refund now. They were pretty motivated to help after I left this review. And it should have never had to come to that. I appreciate that it's been resolved though. I'd advise others to use caution before enrolling.

I signed up for the Berlitz Connect French, and was really excited about it. They had no problem with taking my money right away. But then it took a full week (with my constantly checking in) to obtain my log in and access to the program.

Once I obtained my information, I tried accessing the website and it barely works. Every page was taking a full 1-3 minutes to load. There are security risks (they still use flash and they emailed me a username and password). And for the 1-on-1 sessions, you can only do them by phone or skype. No option for zoom or hangout, etc.

I immediately requested a refund and to cancel. Which resulted in my receiving several emails where they tried to talk me out of it. And now they're refusing to proceed with the refund until I speak with someone over the phone "to have it explained to me".

This whole experience has been a nightmare and I feel like I've just been scammed out of my money."

Alexander Firsching says

"Overall well organized platform, the online tools could be improved."

Roya says

"the course content is very good and engaging. I like the way that every week or two weeks you are assigned a new instructor. The instructors were not native speakers of English although I registered through Berlitz US for online classes I was assigned in a different Berlitz where tutors' first language was Spanish. The did not deliver the already good designed course as every tutor seems to focus on the thing they like the most. One would focus more on grammar other on performance in dialogues. I took a group lesson where we had 5 students per class. It is recommended for beginners to intermediate level as it won't help if you are already advanced or C1 learner"

Herb Summers says

"This is a liberal evaluation. I have taken a number of in-person classes. I have found them to be very good and the instructors to be excellent! Those classes are no longer available and I tried an on-line class. It was unsatisfactory. It was a limited learning platform. I also find that learning a new language over the internet is less effective than in-person interaction. Other people may find it helpful, but, I do not. I wouldn't do this type of course again."

Laurin Smith says

"I think Berlitz is a great academy but I bit unorganized. It’s hard to get in touch with people over the phone and I feel like I am always talking to someone new. I feel like no one really listens to the issues my classmates and I address. I love my teacher and thinks she does an outstanding job but as far as berlitz I think there needs to be a more centralized way of communicating for the internal operations. Maybe classes should have individual representatives as opposed to each student talking to someone different? It may help keep everyone on the same page. It is definitely a tough time to navigate and I’m glad berlitz offers online classes."

Javier says

"The program is good, but the change of teacher and problem with the constant internet wasHarmful."

Soheir says

"I took conversation level 4 with Berlitz. I was surprised that the instructors were not native USA speakers and therefore did not have the American accent as that is the main reason why I took the conversation classes. They changed instructors every other day which is not professional and became very confusing to follow. I also did not like that they don’t announce if there are any changes for hours which made me miss 3 classes and although I was told that they were going to reimburse me for the classes they never followed up or did it."

Betsy says

"The instructors are excellent, excellent, excellent—five stars for them. I have two different instructors and they work seamlessly together. I’ve learned a ton. The problem with Berlitz is the back office function: too many dropped balls, too often. These have ranged from failing to respond to my email requests promptly, failing to send out course materials, not rescheduling lessons correctly, etc. It’s frustrating. One final point—the materials, at least for Chinese language learners, are laughably sexist."