ESLinsider TEFL X Online TEFL Course Scams

“The course contains very poor video quality”

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Is ESLinsider legit?

2 star online tefl review

Is ESLinsider Legit? ESLinsider review, submitted by Todd.

Is ESLinsider legit? The course contains very poor video quality.

I kind of feel bad writing this review, because I think ESLinsider are trying to build up its TEFL course online presence and I don’t want to be someone who comes in the way of that. But, this is a TEFL course review and I need to be objective here.

At first, I had my eye on the ITTT TEFL certification online course (which I later took, btw, and which I was satisfied with). Their website looked professional and there were a lot of good things written about the program. But then, my attention was drawn to and an article written by its founder, Ian Leahy. In the article, he argues the point that ITTT TEFL shouldn’t be trusted. The reasoning behind this, according to Ian Leahy, is because of their affiliate marketing strategy and because they also clandestinely run Ian Leahy claims that because ITTT TEFL secretly run, they were able to award themselves a TEFL course award.

How was I to know any better? I just took Ian Leahy for his word and enrolled in his course instead.

I thought, at the time, that I had dodged a bullet.

One of the first things which should have been a red flag was the need to pay the ESLinsider course fee via Western Union. Ian Leahy convinced me that this was how all TEFL schools arrange their course payments. He was very convincing, so I paid and waited, and waited, and waited. After a week of waiting, I got a reply to confirm that the payment went through. All I now had to do was create an account on his school website ( and I was good to go.

I followed the instructions and created an account. I was pretty excited by this point to start the course that Ian Leahy had claimed was the “creme de la creme of Online TEFL courses” (his own words, not mine.)

It was then that I realized the huge goof I had made.

The course didn’t have any structure to it. It consisted mainly of random pages of video tutorials, with Ian Leahy taking center stage. The course contains very poor video quality. Two of the videos were actually inaudible, due to the sounds of the children shouting and screaming at the top of their lungs.

No grammar was explained. Nothing like that. It was just a mashed-up series of videos in which Ian Leahy is teaching lessons to children. Below each video, there is a list of questions that you need to answer before you can gain access to the next low-quality TEFL video.

When I wrote to ESLinsider to complain (I was polite about it) they replied that a refund “isn’t applicable” because I started the course. Had I paid via credit card, I would have been able to contact my bank for a chargeback claim.

I decided that it wasn’t worth my while pursuing it anymore after I had complained on Quora and when Ian Leahy incredulously replied to my post that I had never taken his course and that I was an angry competitor. I have spent time reading his school blog and can see why competitors would be angry with him. His school blog is full of attacks on his competition. I can now see that this is probably ESLinsider’s way of winning new business.

Oh, and btw, I did check to see whether ITTT TEFL run and I never did find any truth to that accusation.

ESLinsider is probably best avoided. I’m awarding it 2 stars because I did learn something. It just didn’t cut it for me though and I lost a few hundred bucks in the process. The whole experience was just bizarre.

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  1. Todd.

    It’s great that you have left a review of ESLinsider.

    For weeks, we have been requesting ESLinsider Online TEFL students to come forward with reviews of the program.
    It’s just so unfortunate that my suspicions were correct – that ESLinsider is a subpar certification course. Possibly a scam. Likely a fraudulent business.
    I’m sorry that you had to experience this, Todd, but that is great news that you did manage to find a more reputable program in the end.
    With regards to Ian Leahy claiming that ITTT TEFL run a reviews website, this is absolutely no surprise to me.
    Over the past six months, Ian has claimed that the following Online TEFL certification programs are the true owners of

    Maximo Nivel TEFL
    OISE University of Toronto TEFL
    TEFL Online Pro

    Coincidentally, all five programs are listed in the top five ranking among Online TEFL certification schools.
    Why does Ian do this?
    He does this because when you search for reviews of these (successful) Online TEFL certification programs, his school’s blog posts show up in the search results and by writing this nonsense he hopes that he can convince people to take his course instead.
    This is exactly what happened to you, Todd.

    Mia Williams

  2. Thank you for bringing this to the attention of a wider audience, Trusted TEFL Reviews.

    tefl online pro have also become the fixation of unwanted attention from Mr. Ian Leahy of ESLinsider, and the harassment has gotten so relentless that we have decided to take legal action with regards to Mr. Ian Leahy’s online defamation:

    We recommend that other schools, who have also experienced similar online abuse from Mr. Ian Leahy, likewise adopt the legal route.

    Kind regards,

    Paul Murphy

    Operations Manager
    Teachers’ Choice Award winner, 2019 | 2020

  3. Who in their right mind pays for anything with Western Union these days!!??!!
    I looked at that eslinsider website and I would never pay money to a guy like that.
    Sorry to sound harsh but you probably got scammed and there is little you can do about it.

  4. Caitlin.

    I don’t think Todd’s experience with ESLinsider is a scam per se.
    I mean, he did receive something for his money – despite it being of an inferior quality.
    I do think though that it is clear that Todd was a victim of fraud.

    Mia Williams

  5. He purchased a product, wasn’t happy with the product and was refused a refund when he complained about the product. I’d say that was a scam. At the very least, he should have got some money back. The big take from this is NEVER pay for anything through Western Union!!

  6. According to this article, you should avoid teaching English in China if you took your TEFL course through the ESLinsider program.
    A snippet from the article:
    ‘After some deliberation we have decided to warn all the foreigners now teaching in China that if you sent an email to, or even visited their website more than once over the last 6 months, you will soon be investigated by the Chinese PSB as we recently found out in an unexpected interview we obtained with a veteran Captain who has worked more than 8 years with the PSB in a Tier 1 city of China.

    They are now hip to the bad advice ESLinsider has been giving wannabe teachers to use fake documents (diplomas and TEFL certificates) after recently arresting a teacher from America who spilled her guts to avoid a felony conviction and deportation four months before her wedding to her Chinese boyfriend. They are also looking to arrest another expat named “Magnuson” who the Captain promises will spend at least 2-3 year behind bars for forgery and “disrespecting the people of China” (not sure if that is a real crime or not). But to put it mildly, the government is a bit pissed to learn that one-third of the foreign teachers now working in China are not “teachers” at all and have used fake documents to obtain their visas. Now they are on a mission.’

    Mia Williams

  7. Wtf!!??!! That guy Ian Leahy has been recommending to his students going to teach in China that they should buy fake diplomas and one of them almost went to prison because of it!! I mean, HOW is he STILL in business!!??!! Jeez, I sort of understand now how come he spams the internet with his fake course reviews and attacks on his rivals. The emperor has no clothes!! What a fraud!

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