David vs. Goliath (a.k.a. my former employer) Part 4

                                                                                                   The Great Fapiao quest of 2010

So after V and I tried to professionally discuss issue #11 (as we called it), we did as promised and went to the Foreign Labor Bureau to see what could be done for us to collect this money owed to us. There was more shuffling between places going on than in a casino in Vegas (just came to me, great right? I know!) V and I finally though got sent to the correct place to make our grievance and see what could be done. We explained our story, (pretty cut and dry, they owe us money, the contract says they would pay something we paid, therefore we are owed money) and had the Bureau employee help us contact the school on our behalf. Heck even SHE said that it was very simple, and that they should follow the contract. But of course with this school nothing is that simple, and so they told us that if after a follow up meeting to sort this out, our next course would be arbitration.

So now it’s Wednesday July 14, V and I meet together to call the school to set up a dialogue with the owner/headmaster, or to collect our money owed. 3 phone calls and 5 text messages later we STILL had heard nothing. The office told us that our boss (who should call the owner/headmaster) was in a meeting. Meanwhile another coworker (I’ll call him K) said our boss was not only in the office but that she just ignored my call. We sent a final message saying, meet us or we’re going back to the government. Within 10 minutes (I like how I have to be a prick to get an answer) I had a response saying, be at the school for a meeting at 9. We said we’d be there at 10:30 and began preparing for them saying no and subsequently going to arbitration.

10:30 yesterday (Thursday July 15) we show up, our boss is in the office waiting. “About the money, its ok, but you need to get us 5,000rmb worth of fapiaos (a tax receipt). And if we didn’t get the fapiaos we wouldn’t get the money, but we had time to gather them up. Initially we’re like ‘ok’ and she leaves really quickly. After calling Mike asking for a fapiao and explaining things, he explains that what they’re doing is illegal. (Mike and PM in whole are pretty knowledgeable about tax laws here. Just look at the section on www.psschina.com about VAT and you’ll get an idea)

So basically in a nutshell they were asking us to spend 5,000rmb in order for us to get 5,000rmb owed to us. Meanwhile they’d take our fapiaos and get tax breaks/refunds from the government. That’s big time illegal, so we were doing our best not to oblige. Next came the fapiao quest. V and I are calling friends, asking for fapiaos, and our friend K suggests going to the agent. We think yea, that works, that’s 5,000 right there. We go there talk to the guy for a while, and get back with what we think are fapios in the amount of 5,000rmb.

So we take these to the school, and they’re immediately rejected, b/c they’re apparently ‘just’ receipts and NOT fapios…..

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