Being taken off line

I have been taken off line again because apparently I did not respond to a request. However, I have replied to all my messages - none outstanding.

Firstly, I would request that you do not take me off line. Assuming I have not responded means I am not available is annoying. Can you at least message me first?

Secondly, I may not have booked a lesson yet, because I am still n discussion with a student. A number of times is has been impossible to book stratify away. Either we are still looking at a suitable mutually convenient time, or they are still asking questions.

Sometimes it’s because the TF calendar doesn’t work for me (TFC Passim) or it may be that some back and forth is required to establish what they need and what I can provide.

Thank you.

I was not aware that Tutorful could take someone offline, and I agree that it can take quite a few message back and forth before an agreement has been reached. I have students that have ‘pre-booked’ time slots for September but will be getting back to me in August to actually book. I am waiting days at a time to firm up times before I actually book the lesson - especially as many parents are away for Easter holidays! So, actually it can be the parent or the student who has not replied lol

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Happened a few times to me. I get irked that it’s my income. Basically my job. I see Tutorful as working for me, seeing as I pay them. So I get a little more than miffed when the treat tutors like staff! Tutoring is my main source of income and I rely on being available. If I don’t spot I’m off line they are basically shutting me off from my customers. I think they forget who pays whom sometimes.

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Good afternoon everyone!

Natalie, Tutorful Product Manager here! Thanks for posting, this is a useful thread for me to see. I want to understand the problem more, so we can work through how we could solve this!

To summarise the problem, currently the way Tutorful works is that if you have not responded to a lesson request, we automatically put you offline. The reason we’ve done this is to give students the best chance to find tutors who have availability and are able to respond and book in lesson requests.

Unfortunately what we’re finding is that oftentimes a tutor doesn’t respond to a lesson request (and by that I mean tutors who have received lesson requests but never messaged the student back at all), and the student gets discouraged and leaves the Tutorful platform.

Ultimately our goal at Tutorful is to help our students and parents in finding the right tutor, and it can be quite discouraging if a student or parent takes time out of their day to find a tutor, read their profile, ensure that the tutor is right for them, request a lesson, and then never hear back.

I completely empathise that what you both are describing isn’t what I’ve outlined above, as you are actually responding to the student, but it’s taking some time to arrange a time/lesson. This is a completely different situation than a tutor not responding at all.

Would having some kind of way to indicate the relationship should be put on “hold”, rather than that you can’t help the student? This would mean we wouldn’t put you offline for “not responding”, but it would indicate to us that you’re still working with that student. What are some other ways we could solve this to make sure you’re not being negatively affected, but we know at Tutorful that the student is getting the attention and response they deserve.

Thanks so much for your help and thoughts, they are always great to hear and useful for us to improve things!

Kind regards,

Natalie

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Hi Natalie
Interesting situation, not had this happen.

But in the past, I have had requests from prospective students, I have replied promptly (sometimes with multiple messages to them) and never heard back which then annoyingly affects our ranking.

I guess prospective students can engage with multiple tutors at a time, a bit like us shopping around.

It just would be nice for them to have a polite button, they can press to say “Thank you I have found someone else” which then nullifies any negative rating on us, rather than leave us hanging, so we can pursue other students.
Kind regards
Anne

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Hi Natalie,

I think a simple ‘Acknowledgement’ option of a tutor, to confirm that I am willing to take a student on, but that the timer requested is not available. At the moment we can only accept, decline or propose a new time. Options 1 and 2 do not apply in such instances. Option three is unworkable in that I don’t know if the time I am free is suitable for the student. We then play ‘appointment tennis’ until we get an agreement.

As to calendar, then I really would like to be able to offer the option of booking via my Calendly account. All my other clients and work is done through this. The client/student books, they see when I am free and when they can make it, the book and it blocks out my calendar and make a Zoom appointment. All done there and then. It may be possible to provide a secure TF link via tutorful into Calendly, perhaps a deal to be struck with them there? The student would book via a TF Calendly link, which would access the tutors without providing contact details. It’s technically possible, requiring only a Calendly account for tutors. An added bonus would be no need to maintain the calendar system at TF, bringing a cost benefit that would outweigh (or at least off-set) any cost setting up an account.

I realise that TF don’t want us exchanging contact details, but as I have pointed out a number of time before, you already collect metrics on take up - it’s one of the statistics on our profile. It would be really easy to flag up tutors who have a high percentage of non-take up, which would indicate a possible misuse of the system. To be fair, I can’t see any professional tutor doing this in any case. Firstly, it would tarnish our reputations, see us ‘banned’ from TF, and thus, ultimately, affecting our earning opportunity. For an unscrupulous individual there are ways around exchanging details in any case. The tutorful algorithm for detecting email addresses and telephone numbers is easily by-passed. You can tell I spent many years in finial crime investigation (my services for TF are available view my other profession if you are interested).

Finally, Natalie, I would be more than happy to have a chat as requested. Why not book an appointment via Calendly - David Jefferies and see how easy it is.

David

Personally I’m not interested in using calendly. I am fine with a Tutorful calendar and paper diary !

That’s good it works for you, but for myself it doesn’t. I have to accommodate non-tutoring clients booking as well. Calendly gives me control and flexibility to do that and TF doesn’t.

I’m not advocating removing the Tutorful one, so no worries there. Even if they did they’d have to replace it with another diary which would work along side your paper diary as it does already.

It’s about making things work for all really, not just for me!

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Even if Calendly wasn’t used, I’d be extremely supportive of Google Calendar integrations amongst others!

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