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Discussion in 'Private tutors' started by meggyd, Sep 19, 2018.

  1. meggyd

    meggyd Star commenter

    I have just been asked if I give a free taster lesson! Cheeky or what?
  2. langteacher

    langteacher Occasional commenter

    I have never been asked for that but if I did get asked the answer would be no
    Happyregardless likes this.
  3. gainly

    gainly Star commenter

    At least one of the tutoring websites (which apparently I'm not allowed to name) encourages this. I certainly wouldn't do it. They're probably just after a free lesson with likely no intention of continuing.
  4. treeickle

    treeickle New commenter

    If the student has purchased my details, I do offer the first session free. That way if it is obvious we are not a good fit, either of us can walk away without feeling resentment/guilty at the cost. That being said, they've always continued. First session tends to be something I've got ready already so not really missing out.
  5. langteacher

    langteacher Occasional commenter

    Mine too have continued but I have not done a free session. My time is my time. I do tell people there is no commitment but I've never had anyone just have one session
  6. sabram86

    sabram86 Occasional commenter

    I don't offer free sessions in order to try and deter timewasters.

    Occasionally, I will offer a first lesson half price, but that's very unusual. If teaching has any dignity, it should not be given away like a cheap bit of tat.
  7. Bethbee100

    Bethbee100 New commenter

    I recently signed up with an online tutoring platform. When my profile went live, I realised it said ‘first session free.’ There was no option to remove this. When I looked in to it I found that all new tutors have to offer the first lesson free. I’ve since removed myself from this website and will stick with tutor hunt.
  8. Bashkemesuesi

    Bashkemesuesi New commenter

    why are you allowed to mention Tha site when other recent mentions of Tha same site have been censored? Really the nodding on here has no rhyme or reason at all. Excuse typos, smartphone not very smart with this messaging system
  9. Bethbee100

    Bethbee100 New commenter

    They’ll probably remove it tonight.
  10. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    I do not, and would not, offer a free 'taster session'. I have had a couple of parents who have asked for this as I have been walking out of the door, after the first lesson: "The first lesson's free, right?" When I said not, they did not ask me back. In any sphere, working for free does not lead to paid work.
  11. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Star commenter

    I used to do small group tuition and the students would share the cost of their lesson, but I always billed them for 6 weeks in advance because then they all shared the bill equally. I certainly would not have given them a free lesson, but with a small group of 2 or 3 students, it does help them with the cost of private tuition. They did well and it was nice to have others to share their lesson with them.
    treeickle likes this.
  12. alsoamum

    alsoamum Occasional commenter

    I offer all new families a free 30 minute 'taster'. We have a chat and I work with the child for a short time either on some learning games or an area they've mentioned, all very off the cuff mini whiteboard type stuff. No prep and no written work produced. I use this 30 minutes to decide if I actually want to tutor the child! I make parents stay and ask them to read through my contract while they're sitting there. Then I tell them to go away and have a think. They have 7 days from then to pay a deposit to secure a place.

    I've found this a very good screening process for those who are likely to mess me about. I've had parents try to leave during the session, parents turn up 20 minutes late and not apologise and parents refuse to read or sign the contract as well as those who 'forget' to pay the deposit. 30 minutes well spent in those cases...

    I never give full sessions for free and I don't do discounts other than for home educators who want daytime lessons.
  13. digoryvenn

    digoryvenn Lead commenter

    That sounds a very useful thing to do alsoamum. I am thinking of setting up my own teaching studio and will consider using this initial approach.
  14. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    Under no circumstances whatsoever! This is one of the biggest warning signs of someone who will mess you around mercilessly. Do you expect a free session from a lawyer or plumber?
    jcstev likes this.
  15. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

  16. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    I stand corrected. Anyone going to come up with a free plumber?

    However, I would still maintain that offering free sessions, or discounts, is a sure way to attract people you would rather not be dealing with. And I'm betting the solicitors you found get seriously messed around, though I'd expect the freebie is handled by their most junior staff, so the senior partners probably don't care.
    langteacher likes this.
  17. gainly

    gainly Star commenter

    The first hour maybe free at these solicitors but I'm sure any subsequent hours will be many times what any tutor would charge.
    langteacher likes this.
  18. Bethbee100

    Bethbee100 New commenter

    Yes, I’ve heard solicitors earn £250 per hour. If I knew I’d be earning that for subsequent sessions I wouldn’t mind!
    pepper5 and langteacher like this.
  19. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Star commenter

    My students paid in advance for their six lessons (shared) and if they came late or didn't come, the money was not refunded because they were sharing the cost of the lesson. It worked really well.
    pepper5 and langteacher like this.
  20. treeickle

    treeickle New commenter

    Yes! We had a weird leak, plumber came round to do an assessment and told us how to fix it and didn't charge a penny despite being offered, but you can bet we've got his number stored for the next time we need help.

    Tutors have to do what sits best with them. If the kid finds me organically (FB, word of mouth etc), they pay for the first session and every session thereafter. If they pay for my details, then after they've booked I offer the first session without additional cost, and this is what sits comfortably with me.
    pepper5 likes this.

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