For tutors familiar with the thread https://community.tutorful.co.uk/t/could-we-make-it-more-obvious-to-the-new-students-that-its-online-only that was created over nine months ago, you will be aware that Tutorful have been asked by myself and other tutors many times what they plan to do about the obvious confusion caused by their unwillingness to make it clear to prospective clients that in-person lessons are no longer an option.
Below I’ve taken screenshots of the process clients go through in order to find a tutor:
After Tutorful have been asked many times to sort out the problem of clients being unaware that in-person lessons aren’t an option, their refusal to fix something as straightforward as removing location searches for tutors seems to suggest that Tutorful are deliberately keeping this option as a way of luring people to the site where tutors can coerce people looking for in-person lessons to try online lessons instead. The chances of tutors like myself who teach practical subjects such as piano into persuading clients to try online lessons are very slim indeed. I have messaged pupils back in these instances I’d estimate between 12-15 times, and NEVER have I been successful in persuading a client to try online learning instead of in-person.
Not only is this a case of Tutorful forcing its tutors to do their dirty washing for them, it is having a devastating effect on tutor rankings. I have had countless messages from pupils asking for in-person lessons that I’m unable to give, and consequently I have had to message Tutorful Support ad nauseum in order to have these enquiries removed from my booking score. What Tutorful doesn’t seem to realise is that sometimes pupils contact tutors with a simple message such as “I’m interested in taking piano lessons.” It has happened many times that I’ve returned the message making it clear that all lessons are online, and subsequently I’ve not had a response. Without having the evidence that these pupils were in all likelihood expecting me to teach them in-person, this means that my booking score is unprotected from such enquiries.
To illustrate my point, my booking score is currently 1/10 (up until the ‘online’ change, my booking score would hover between 7-10/10). For someone who’s taught almost 900 hours with 47 repeat students and 19 very positive reviews, this decline in my booking score is very much a result of Tutorful’s archaic and deliberately ambiguous method of recruiting clients.
Another thing that Tutorful need to be aware of is the exodus of piano teachers from this site (and I assume teachers of all musical instruments), and no doubt this is because many tutors have been through a similar experience to myself. Either that, or they’ve given up on Tutorful finding them clients.
A few months ago, the number of tutors offering piano lessons was somewhere between 310-320, and today the number is 256, with numbers declining by the day. Because of Tutorful’s deliberately ambiguous and misleading approach to bringing clients to the site, it’s the tutors who are being punished for this shambolic situation.
Time and time again various members of Tutorful staff have come up with the same evasive response to this massively damaging issue: “we’re looking into it,” “these changes take time,” “we plan to give an update soon” etc. The simple fact of the matter is that Tutorful haven’t given a single voluntary update over the space of nine months, and nor have they given a single shred of information about how they plan to tackle it.
Far from doing anything to help the situation, Tutorful continue to wilfully encourage clients to search for tutors by location - and this is very obviously the main cause of the confusion. Removing the location search is surely the easiest thing to do, but Tutorful seem determined to have their cake and eat it - and also seem totally unbothered about the infuriating, time-consuming and devastating effect this indefensible lack of action is having on its tutors.
It’s utterly inexcusable that Tutorful continue to encourage this confusion while at the same time telling us it’s an issue they take very seriously. In short, Tutorful have continuously turned a blind eye to a situation that’s having a devastating impact on tutors.
If nothing is going to be done about this issue, then we deserve a straight and honest answer, and NOT a continuation of the endless cycle of shallow and meaningless excuses.