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Shame on you!

Discussion in 'Private tutors' started by suzette, Jul 1, 2020.

  1. suzette

    suzette Occasional commenter

    Hi All,
    This email dropped into my inbox this afternoon from a popular tutoring site that I'm with today. (Called Tut*rf*l).

    "A lot has changed since we started ---- in 2015. We’ve grown from being a small, Sheffield based tutoring company to one of the UK’s leading tutoring providers.

    More recently, we’ve shifted our focus from providing mostly local tutoring to supporting the fast-growing demand for online tuition. We firmly believe that the future of tutoring is online. For parents and students, it offers a much more convenient way to access the best tutors in the country, and we’ve heard from countless tutors that online tutoring allows you to earn substantially more than from local tutoring, without the added burden of travel.

    One aspect of ---- that hasn’t changed much since we started has been our platform fee, which has been a tiered fee based on the number of hours each tutor has taught. However, as more of our tutors have moved to lower platform fees, this has become unsustainable for us as a business.

    What’s changing?

    Starting from 3rd August 2020, we will be changing to a new 25%/20% platform fee for all tutors on ---, with the platform fee falling after you have taught more than 250 hours with ---:

    25% - Up to 250 hours taught

    20% - More than 250 hours taught

    This will only apply to new students - future lessons with all your existing students will continue to be charged at your current rate.

    Why are these changes being made?

    Our goal is to be your entire back office, marketing team, and technology provider so that you can focus on what you do best - teaching. To achieve this, we need to invest heavily in our website and mobile apps, which we believe to be the best in the industry; in marketing to bring in new students; and in our customer service team, so that we can continually provide you with the best support for your business.

    We have always invested all of our revenue back into ---, but our current platform fee has made it difficult to continue with this level of investment. This is especially true with the move towards online tutoring, where we are making large investments into both marketing and our technology platform, and where the majority of students are taught by our most established tutors on our lowest platform fee.

    How does this change affect me?

    We recognise this is a significant change, and we’ve not made it lightly. Our belief is that you will benefit by being part of a stronger, more sustainable --- with greater opportunities to build your own tutoring business and help more students.

    To mitigate the impact of the increase in platform fee, we recommend increasing your rate slightly to offset the fee increase for new students. Once you have a good number of positive reviews, a few pounds difference in rate shouldn’t affect your ability to attract new students.

    If you haven’t already done so, we also highly recommend that you switch to online tutoring where possible, and to take advantage of the new best-in-class tools that we will be launching over the next few months. The majority of parents and students are now requesting online tutoring, which we expect to continue, and teaching online is a great way for you to grow your business by accessing a national pool of students and eliminating travel time and costs.
    I’m incredibly grateful that --- has such a strong, passionate community of tutors such as yourself. I hope that over the coming months and years, the changes we’ve made will mean we’ll be able to help even more of you build a successful tutoring business."

    Is anyone with this tutoring site? I can't say I'm surprised! How many more tutoring sites are going to find a way of profiting from tutors like myself that has given them three years service and effectively been kicked in the teeth when we can least afford it! They're going to take 25% commission for every new student I get from them. (If I'm honest I've got nada students from them for so long anyway and I'm getting more work on my own merits.

    I'm just pis*ed off that they should decide to do this now! Shame on you T*ful!
    Kateray1 likes this.
  2. langteacher

    langteacher Occasional commenter

    I don't deal with anyone who charges commission.
    My work
    My rates
    My money
    Jolly_Roger15, Lespaul101 and suzette like this.
  3. zetafunction

    zetafunction New commenter

    Aeons ago a man entered a contract with the devil in return he demanded a quarter of the man’s life. Salves were expected to work for pittance, the more things change the more they are the same, fast forward to 2020, the devil is still at work but in different form, with a nice email informing him that in order to increase productivity etc, etc, he wants a pound of flesh.

    Once he, the devil, has had his pound of flesh, then he will wants more, because of some reduced revenue and such, then even more still, so the noose is becoming tighter and tighter around the poor man’s neck, till one day the devil wants three quarter of the earnings and the poor who is doing all the work will be left with a quarter for his toils. So he, the man, is robbed twice, robbed off his time and robbed off his income. Why?

    The power of the people is the power of gods, why we all tolerated this; the noose will get tighter and will suffocate all of us, one by one. We all need to stand together and not allow these companies to profit from our time while they have their knees on our necks. This example might strike some as very drastic, but in reality the situation we have been put through, is.

    No one in their right mind will give away a quarter of their lives in order to enrich others, they only way that we are persuaded/coerced is out of desperation and allowing ourselves to be exploited. This piece is not pointing any finger to any teachers but rather to the system that allows exploitation such as the one that has been described above to flourish without challenging it, combating it and opposing it.

    Long time ago when they first introduced automatic car wash, they said it will revolutionise the industry and free up man to do something else with their precious time and it was deemed the cheapest way to do business, the machine washes the car while man spends his valuable time carrying out some other valuable tasks!!!!! Have you guys seen the car washes now? They are all manned by guess who... the poor man as recruiting a man to do the job now is a lot cheaper to deploy a machine to do the same job !! ..... while the flesh and blood and the beating heart of a human being is engaged in cleaning the car and doing the mundane and mind numbing task, the machine is sitting in some cool office unblinkingly calculating some other ways to exploit us.
  4. gainly

    gainly Star commenter

    I'm not with this website but I think that is the way things are going. TH have gone the same way for new tutors and online tutors and it will probably change for all the other tutors before long.
    cwilson1983 and suzette like this.
  5. Kandahar

    Kandahar Star commenter

    Yes...they are a disguting organisation.
    suzette likes this.
  6. suzette

    suzette Occasional commenter

    Agreed. They're parasites! 25% is just plain greedy!
    Jolly_Roger15 likes this.
  7. briancant

    briancant Occasional commenter

    I got the same email. I pay 15% commission at the moment which I think is fair. I did notice the new rates would only be for new students.

    I quite like this company they have got me lots of work. I guess like a lot of businesses they are struggling. How many are going bust and how many millions are going to be unemployed? It seems a bit rich to call a business trying to make ends meet a 'parasite or disgusting'. If you don't like their service don't use them. They are in business just like us providing a service and if they don't make money they can't pay their salaries.

    Some tutors here are charging £100ph are they parasites? No. If customers don't like the fees use someone else. If any business overcharges, it will lose out because others will step in and provide the service more cheaply, this surely is how the free market works.
  8. suzette

    suzette Occasional commenter

    You have your opinion, I have mine. I stand by what I've said. If I'm charged up to 25% commission that's more than anyone would feel is reasonable. Yes, it's difficult, yes people and businesses are struggling, but a small raise in the commission rate is ok, but this is parasitical in my opinion as it's very high. In any profession, if you are working and having to give back to the company you work for 25% of your wages, it would be high!

    I know I can walk away from this (and I probably will), but personally just because as you've said this company has got you lots of work, still doesn't make it right. So yes, I stand by what I've said. What about on the other side of the scale, tutors that are charging £15-£20, how is a 20% or £25% commission fair on them?

    They also said they've done this as part of a drive to focus mainly on their tutors based in Sheffield, but as a tutor from London how do I fit into their plans? I'm a client of theirs too and it doesn't take this into consideration.

    Yes, I know there are some tutors that charge £100 (I don't). If you're not on a tutoring site and charge this and if there's someone willing to pay your fee that's your prerogative.

    But I feel that whether you charge £100 or £15, on this site; isn't the issue here, as I feel no tutor will benefit from this decision.

    Also one of the reasons I say what I have about them, is that they have left the onus on us tutors to raise our hourly rate to accommodate the commission hike. This is not acceptable and parasitical as it's leaving it for us to have to lose potential clients with a price rise, as I don't think clients are going to accept one's reasoning for raising our fees and will just move on.
    Kandahar and Happyregardless like this.
  9. Happyregardless

    Happyregardless Occasional commenter

    I got the same email. This, after numerous attempts to report glitches in website, in which they respond in almost Narcissistic fury when you 'dare' to raise any issues, taking it as personal injury and then with unerring predictability swat it back on the tutor. I've been insulted, blamed, demeaned, by responding site staff which inevitably attempts to blame tutors for any problems that they should actually be sorting out on their 'wonderful platform which has far more online tools than any other online classroom' (really?o_O) which is then immediately followed up by a 'kinder, nicer, staff member apologising for their colleague: "What I think they mean is......" which is basically narcissisting enabling I even asked parents to report back any gltiches so they could see it wasn't be just being ar**y, and they have told me that 'T--awful'
    told them that it was the parents bandwidth fault, not any fault of their platform. :eek:o_O

    Institutionalised Narcissim is most certainly with us.

    Let's face it they are less than supportive (highly toned down response!) and a ruddy nightmare to work for BUT they have more traffic of potential tutees than any other site.. I use them because they do bring me more regular work than any other tutoring site and as long as I dont need to speak to anyone working for them (as in staff not other tutors by the way) then I can get on with it, regardless of their annoyingly punitive rubrics used to 'measure tutor response'.

    If you are successful in attracting loads of tutees through your own Facebook group, then I would ceetainly say that would be better
    cwilson1983, suzette and Kandahar like this.
  10. Lespaul101

    Lespaul101 New commenter

    25% really is extortionate. The same TH are charging. I almost swapped over to the online model withTH at the start of lockdown but glad I didn’t. One reason that stopped me, apart from the extortion, was them wanting to book all my lessons and take all payments. That would not work for me, I will always be doing that for myself. I agree that more and more tuition will stay online, I personally plan on keeping as much online as possible. I guess all tuition company’s are wanting to squeeze as much as they can out of tutors. As far as justifying it by use of their online platforms, you really don’t need it, I manage perfectly fine with a physical whiteboard.
    Jolly_Roger15 and suzette like this.
  11. hhhh

    hhhh Star commenter

    Aren't there lots of online platforms you can use free anyway?
  12. Kandahar

    Kandahar Star commenter

    No it is not. Those tutors who travel already have to pay to travel to and from their students, whilst those working online do not. Why then penalise the travelling tutor?
    Probably - inflated sense of self-worth.
  13. gainly

    gainly Star commenter

    There were until about a year ago. Now most are moving to the commission model.
  14. Kandahar

    Kandahar Star commenter

    The same fate that supply teaching met with over ten years ago.
  15. cwilson1983

    cwilson1983 Occasional commenter

    I had a particularly poor experience using their online teaching tools and when I contacted them to complain and offer constructive solutions, they were batted away with the 'must be your internet/computer at fault as it normally works fine" line.

    That plus the commission rates meant I quickly opted out of using them to acquire tutees.
    suzette and Kandahar like this.
  16. Kateray1

    Kateray1 Occasional commenter

    Completely agree. It means for me that I would have to increase prices to over market prices, I’m already having conversations with people on the site that won’t pay more than £15 for any type of tutoring . The market has also been flooded with all kinds wanting a slice of the cake.
    I have a website and once I have populated this weekend and sorted how I am to receive money, I’m going live and leaving the website once the 3 students I have are finished.
    suzette and Jolly_Roger15 like this.

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