The Japanese government is investigating my former employer, giant English school chain Nova. By Japanese law, when you sign a contract, there's a "cooling off" period where you can cancel it and get a refund.
Not, however, if you're a Nova student. Nova students have to pay in advance, and not only that but quite a few have recently complained that while they cancelled their contracts during the cooling off period Nova refused to refund them their money.
As I've written, my experience was generally positive working for Nova. I had problems with the sleazy nature of some of the teachers, the insular nature of Nova-culture, and the general weirdness of Nova as a company, but I really liked a lot of my coworkers (almost all of them in Hamamatsu), the Japanese staff, one of my bosses, and practically every single student.
Plus, it brought me to Japan and I had some exciting experiences and adventures. I like to think I grew up a lot, belatedly.
I still cast doubt on some of the worst horror stories, and cannot believe the vast amounts of negativity I encountered in the teachers' rooms. Still, when you read stories like this one, where the company is just hammering its customers in what I consider a highly unethical way, you have to wonder what the hell kind of people run the company.
It's definitely a good idea to read accounts by others who worked there if you're interested in working for them or you want to know what it was like for me and other teachers. Some of them are completely reasonable. I won't link you to the bullshit ones.
However... if you're a prospective Nova student (although if you're reading this and digging it your English is probably better than mine and not only do I salute you, but I also want you to teach me), and no matter how cute you think that pink rabbit is... STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM NOVA.
You can do much better.