SA Butler Academy continues its lies to its students and future employers, and now hides its disparagement of its critics on its website!



Last week I was alerted by Lin Yang, the Singaporean student who managed to interest Carte Blanche in doing a story on the SA Butler Academy (SABA), about a revolutionary change in the Academy’s website, a 180 degree turnaround in how it has dealt with anyone brave enough to write anything critical about it!

In addition, about two weeks ago I happened to look at the SABA website, and found a page motivating why Butler students should study at the Academy, once again riddled with errors and lies! 

My readers who have been following the SABA saga since 2013, when I first wrote about the misleading marketing of the Academy, will know that the owners of the Academy were so mad about what I wrote that they took me to the High Court four years later and demanded a preposterous R1 million in ‘damages’ and that my Blogpost be removed, failing at the latter and never proceeding with the former claim, will know that SABA retaliated by creating a page on their website dedicated to me and my then Whale Cottage Guest houses.

The SA Butler Academy grossly misleads its students and hospitality industry clients!

The page was a collection of every negative Tripadvisor review written about my guesthouses, and every disparaging Tweet posted about me on a Whalespotter parody Twitter account created by angry David Cope. The visitor to the SABA website was not informed why my name and business name, and all the disparagement linked to them, were listed and discredited on the SABA website. I knew that it was because my 2013 Blogpost about the misleading marketing by SABA is ranked third on Google when one searches ‘SA Butler Academy‘.  While the ranking may have changed in the past eight years, the Blogpost has remained on page 1 of Google. Clearly this started costing SABA business in cancelled student contracts. I wrote in my previous Blogpost that anybody interested in the Academy would  Google my name in conjunction with SABA, and find my 2013 Blogpost. My Blogpost about the Carte Blanche programme, for which I was interviewed, as was Lin Yang, is not far behind, also on page one of a Google, with further negative information about SABA’s continued misleading marketing claims.

When Lin Yang became a ‘troublemaker’ in the eyes of SABA two years ago, by attracting attention to SABA refusing to refund her course fees, and legal fees linked to this, although not having her own Blog or website, she was added to the page on which I was disparaged on the SABA Website, with preposterous disparaging claims, including implying that she admitted to being mentally unstable!

Professor Steven Ferry is the Editor of the Modern Butlers’ Journal, and is a highly regarded Butler educator in the UK and in the USA.  In his online publication he has regularly featured information about the shenanigans of SABA, and assisted Ms Lin in requesting past students to join her class action against SABA. So Mr Ferry was added to the Rogues Gallery  too, with I and Miss Lin. Once again, visitors to the SABA website would have no clue why these attacks against the three of us were featured on the SA Butler Academy website! I wrote in my most recent SABA post that all this was achieving was that the readership of our articles about SABA, none of them complimentary, was in fact a negative for the Academy.

So after eight years of disparaging my name and reputation (and my guest houses that I sold almost six years ago), that of Lin Yang on the past two years, and of Steve Ferry more recently, the SA Butler Academy silently has made seeing the page of collective disparagement about us password protected. All one can see is a heading ‘The Beached Whale Chris von Ulmenstein’ and a photograph of me that is a good seven years old.  Once again, why would a visitor to the website want to read a page with such a heading on a butler school website?!

What caught my attention a few weeks ago was the claim that the SA Butler Academy is the world’s leading butler school. While I could not find the page on the website today, I had kept a screen shot and found the ‘Why Choose Us’ page in the SABA website via Google. It includes reasons such as the ‘best employment to Butlers and Household Staff ‘ (a lie; it offers a 10 week Butler course, the only school to do so in the world; it is the only Butler School in Africa; it ‘successfully sculpts each candidate to become the best Butler possible’,  without providing proof; it is the only Butler School to have offered ‘five Virtual Butler Training Course’ (sic) during Covid-19 in 2020 ; it offers ‘the most affordable and best value for money in the world’; it is ‘the most active Butler Academy on Social Media! (What a joke); it is the ‘only Butler Academy teaching our Butlers the subject of Electronic Valet & Household Technology’ (wording that is totally misleading, my underlining); and the final crunch lie: ‘During the last 11 years we have created a world class Butler School with integrity – we are more committed to our Butlers and you, their future employers, than being concerned about remuneration. Your success is our concern’ (my underlining)!

In addition, I found their website page entitled ‘SABA Virtual Butler School on International News’,  but only featuring one South African TV broadcast clip! Yet again a misleading marketing lie!

In conclusion, the more I have written about the SA Butler Academy, the more they are, in my opinion, the WORST at Honesty, Humility (an expected Butler trait), Respect, Integrity, and at English, their  language of instruction.


Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chrissy_Ulmenstein @MyCapeTownGuide


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4 replies on “SA Butler Academy continues its lies to its students and future employers, and now hides its disparagement of its critics on its website!”

  1. I stand with Lin Yang in the class action. Calling them a butler school is actually sugar coating who they are; blatant thieves and conmen! They failed dismally to even improve on my years of experience in hospitality let alone teach me ANYTHING but I only gained myself their wrath for questioning most of their course content. Newton Cross is the worst liar and an accomplished con leading his team of incompetents along like loyal dogs!
    What SABA is doing is one disgusting manipulation of desperation in people who are looking to better their lives but their come uppance is loading.

    • Thank you for your input Alberto. My feelings exactly, that’s why I used the word ‘lies’ for the first time, it going beyond ‘misleading’.


    • Alberto Torre thank you for saying it like it is, I rue the day I enrolled at their so called Academy because all they did was to con me of my hard earned cash.

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