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edited July 2010 in - Argentina


I had a very nasty experience with expanish . The sales rep, Michelle, was a pretty 'full-on' sales type of operator. She was very keen to sell me on the full eight week deal and advised that a one week introduction was a waste of time. Trusting her advice, I booked for two weeks with a view to see how things proceeded. She also said I should start immediatly because a weekly class had just started. After a hurried sign off of the form (small print in Spanish) and payement in USD only I was seated into a class that was already half way through. The lecturer spoke, only in Spanish and adhoc sign language. I seriously had no idea what she was saying. The other students were also pulling WTF type faces at each other.

I apologized to the lecturer and explained that I was having difficulty catching up with the lesson. She snapped at me and said that I would just have to take a another lesson another time. I was angered and embarrassed to say the least. I then informed the administrators that I would prefer to cancel my lessons because I was so humiliated by the treatment and needed to start from scratch. They also informed me that some lecturers do speak english and some don't.

I offered to pay a $50 USD penalty for the hour that I was there. The sales ladiy's response was aggressive and sharp.She promptly informed that that they do not give refunds. She informed me that when I signed the personal information form, (that's what it was titled), I had also signed and agreed to their terms and conditions which are posted on their web site. The only option given to me was that I could do some private lessons for equal value or simply lose my $300 US. In other words, too bad, we have your money and there's nothing you can do about it.

After a very heated argument they finally agreed to refund half my money. The hostel that I am staying since told me that Expanish has a reputation of high pressure sales and that they would have advised mt to use a different company.

I went in there trusting good reports from forums and ended up letting my guard down when it came to making an assessment. They even had a Lonely Planet logo in their brochure and guess what? When I got back to my dorm, I checked the Lonely Planet guide and Expanish isn't even listed.

Based on this incident, my advice is to tread very carefully when dealing with the sales representative at Expanish or any english teaching business in BA. Do not let them pressure you into a rushed decision or book more lessons than you originally wanted in the first place. Make sure that they give you a print-out of the terms and conditions (in English). Be sure to make sure that the lecturer assigned to your class actually speaks English rather than pigeon English and sign language - perhaps ask to met the lecturer.

Remember that the English lesson market is very competitive Buenos Aires.

Hope this advice proves useful in some way.


  • edited 2:13PM
  • edited 2:13PM
    Hi, I’m the director of Expanish Spanish School in Buenos Aires.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment about your experience at our school and I am sorry that your experience didn’t live up to your expectations. Expanish prides itself on giving clear and concise advising information before any program is purchased and we also aim for 100% student satisfaction so I will investigate as a priority your story if you would like to contact me directly on [email protected]

    I would just also like to clarify to anyone who may be reading this forum that my door is always open to hear anybodies feedback, negative or otherwise so anybody who happens to be in Buenos Aires and wants a Spanish Immersion experience drop by for a coffee / mate and decide for yourself.

    I do have a couple of quick corrections for any of the forum readers out there (as I’ve mentioned previously Solo Traveler, I’m more than happy to speak to you directly)

    1.We don’t have a sales girl called Michelle or indeed a female sales girl (although maybe Solo Traveler didn’t want to use exact names) and as we are a school with a primary interest in education, we prefer that our team act as advisers as opposed to hardened sales advisers.

    2.I would also like to clarify that all of our enrolment forms are in English, we don’t have any small print anywhere in Spanish as we are not in the business of trying to trick our students so we provide everything in English as we want to be as clear as possible. Anyone can take a look at our Terms & Conditions here in English, you will find them clearly placed on our website

    3.Courses start every Monday, if somebody arrives part way through the course to attend classes or on a Tuesday and wants to start classes we explain that they have missed xx amount of hours and that it’s difficult to re-cap those hours in a group environment. We then leave the choice up to the student if they really want to start straight away or if they prefer to wait for the week afterwards. We don’t believe in forcing anybody to make any decision, the Expanish idea is that you give students as much information that they need to make an informed individual choice on their start date or any other decision.

    4.If a student feels uncomfortable during their classes or need additional help or advice during their course, they are never referred to our “sales people” (admission advisers in our speak), they can speak to our academic team who have no interest in sales, but whose sole interest is the well being of the student and how we can help them not only learn Spanish but enjoy their class too. We never have any heated arguments with any of our students, we don’t believe that any issues got solved in a heated conversation, what´s worse it’s extremely unprofessional. Solo Traveler, as I’ve mentioned before please contact me with exact details so that I can investigate what happened in your particular case.

    5.There are many editions of the Lonely Planet out there so maybe the hostel had a different version to the editions that we appear in. You will find Expanish listed in the Lonely Planet Buenos Aires 5th edition 2008 and the Lonely Planet Argentina 6th edition 2008.

    6.We are a Spanish language school and are not involved in the teaching of English as the end of the comment from Solo Traveler implies. We are also not in a competitive English teaching market, we are a Spanish school in Buenos Aires so maybe Solo Traveler has been also taking English lessons and has had a bad experience as well?

    7.I completely agree, anyone who comes to our school to visit us, the last thing we want is for anybody to feel under pressure, take as long as you want to decide if our program is right for you. You can always speak to some of our former students too, for anybody out there who doesn’t like trusting web forums. We have nothing to hide!

    8.We at Expanish have students from all over the world; some of our students don’t have English as a first language so we try to limit English inside of the classroom. We primarily do this as it’s a universally accepted norm that only speaking Spanish (or the language of choice) inside the classroom is the best way to learn a language. Please feel free to read through the following links which explain this technique, &

    9.Whilst we do promote the use of Spanish inside the classroom, outside the classroom our support staff are willing and able to help any student in the following languages, English, Spanish, Portuguese, French and German, should anyone want help in any of these languages.

    I understand that sometimes it’s difficult to know what the truth is so if anybody is in Buenos Aires and wants Spanish classes, please feel free to drop by our school at any time and get to know us properly and then decide if you would like to enroll with us. No pressure, lots of fun with clear information and some mate (or tea / coffee / water or juice for the non mate converts).
  • edited 2:13PM
    One thing is clear from the posts about Expanish: someone is lying. What is the motivation for the student to lie? Perhaps he/she is a operative from a competitor. Could be but I doubt it.

    The motivation for the director is obvious. The defense that none of the allegation is in any way justified is not believable. (No Michelle?)

    I'll be very careful enrolling in any school. I have attended three: Spain 4 weeks, Mexico 5 weeks, and Guatemala 5 weeks but always one week at a time. All were very cooperative and made any change I wanted.

    Being older than most students, not adept at language learning, not quick to talk to strangers and burdened with a personality of never make an error or be wrong I will seek private instruction the next time I attempt to improve my Spanish avoiding schools altogether.
  • edited 2:13PM
    Viva Chile!.
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