If IELTS and The British Council were A&E


For those of you who have not heard, my skills in English, according to the IELTS exam assessment are not very good. I have had an ongoing issue, starting the day of the exam where they basically give me the run-a-round, by simply sending me links to their advertisements touting how great they are.

If it takes the rest of my life, I will show the world what a bunch of frauds these people really are. I particularly like how they also sell test prep to the exam they administer. That is no different than buying a better grade. Also, if you contest the assessment scores, they charge you a fee for rescoring. This rescoring also takes almost 4 weeks longer than signing up for the exam again. Since you can expect no change in their assessment, they basically extort money out of you to get even more when you retake the exam and potentially pay for one of their test prep classes. After all, wouldn’t legitimate test preparation for a language assessment focus on the language and not the mechanics of the exam?

Anyway, that is a work in progress. But I would like to share with you all what dealing with the British Council over their IELTS exam would look like if it were a patient in the emergency department.

A female patient in labor would present to the emergency department (A&E) to get help delivering her baby. She would then sign in with a secretary and immediately be given an EKG, a blood draw including CKMB, troponin, D-dimer, and chest x-ray. She would then be sent for CT angiography of her coronary vessels. Some hours later, she would be informed that she did not have acute coronary syndrome. This patient would then attempt to explain to the secretary, who is a mindless robot that she did not come to A&E for coronary artery disease. The secretary would then direct her to a website explaining what the tests for acute coronary syndrome are and why they are required. She would then be told if she wanted to further pursue the matter, she could file a general inquiry at an email address. The helpdesk clerk who receives this email would take hours to respond to her with a reply that said the hospital has looked into its protocol for acute coronary syndrome and has found that the tests they run are adequate. They would further support this assertion by providing a link to a store in the hospital that was willing to sell her a CD for 99 pounds sterling that explained how the EKG machine, the lab equipment used to test her blood, the x-ray machine, and the CT machine worked. About this time our patient has her baby completely unassisted and unassessed right on the waiting room floor. All of the staff then turn away and pretend not to see. They make no effort to help or refer her to anyone who can. When she complains again, they refer her to yet a different email address for the hospital.

Angry, she emails a frustrated request for answers as to why nobody asked her why she came to A&E in the first place. She asked for a response as to why nobody listened to her when she stated she was about to deliver a baby. She also had a few choice words to call the staff for not even telling the doctor that there was a pregnant lady in labor in the A&E department. To this email, the senior help desk attendant replied that he had spoken to the doctor recently, and the doctor concurred that there was nothing wrong with the tests for detecting acute coronary syndrome. The senior helpdesk technician also provided 2 links to the hospital website. Upon clicking on the links, the new mother discovered that they were the links to the same advertisements originally sent to her in her very first correspondence. The senior helpdesk clerk also stated he now considered the matter closed and officially closed her complain ticket.

Frustrated, the new mother, while still caring for her newborn baby in the lobby of the emergency department, sent a letter to the highest ranking government official that she could find in order to protest the treatment (or rather lack of treatment) she was receiving both medically and from their customer service department. She also sent a copy of this correspondence to the director of the local branch of the hospital, as well as to the most senior official that could pursue action against the hospital in the foreign country it was registered as a charity in. She detailed the events of her complaint that nobody even realized she was pregnant and in labor, but instead followed their prescribed protocol for acute coronary syndrome irrespective of her presentation or immediate concerns.

Expecting no reply and still angry, the lady also created a Facebook group to share her ordeal with the world as well as posting a warning on the hospital’s Facebook page for other innocent people needing service not to go to or pay the hospital for any reason. Surprisingly, the company person responsible for overseeing the Facebook page, replied to this post by stating that if the lady just emails the general inquiries department again, they will have somebody open another complaint ticket. In a last effort to resolve the matter on amiable terms, the former patient did as was instructed, and added a caveat in the complaint that she would not find it satisfactory for another mindless helpdesk clerk to send her links to advertisements for the hospital or their acute coronary syndrome protocols. Stay tuned to find out how this all turns out.