Sunday, June 17, 2007

NOVA In Hot Water

This week NOVA got caught up in a little strife. They got punished by the Japanese trade ministry (METI - Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry) for a number of dishonest business practices, like playing tricks with calculating refunds and deceptive advertising and sales information.

The penalty is that NOVA can't sign up customers to long term contracts (contracts longer than one year or 105 lessons) for 6 months. This will be another hit to sales, but the signs I see at my school show that already they're promoting shorter term plans. As far as punishments go, it's more creative than what would usually happen in Australia, where they'd just be slapped with a hefty fine.

Such news was bound to make teachers and students a little nervous about the future of the company. Teachers were freaked out a bit more when some teacher's pay was deposited late on Friday (mine was paid before I checked at noon, I didn't find out about this bit until talking to other teachers).

So NOVA is having a rough patch, but like all behemoths, it has plenty of momentum which should see it through this difficult patch. Honestly though, I think they should tighten ship a bit. Some of the things NOVA does seem designed to waste money.

Edit: Other sources are not so optimistic.

End Post
Writing time: 12 minutes
Time since last post: about 9 hours
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