Teachers Discussion Forum
Date: 3 February 2008
I worked for TutorABC for several months recently, I completed hundreds of sessions with them and so I know their system and there methods very well.
Things you should know,- firstly, the rate of pay indicated as being an average of $630 per month for 45 hours ($14 per hour) is totally false. I believe that its deliberately misleading. The most I ever averaged with them was around $10.70 per hour,- and that was by working very hard and by being able to attain some session bonus payments. At first I thought that I could get the average up to $12 or $13 per hour, but after months of performance I realized that it was completely impossible for even the very best of consultants to crack the $1.50 average session bonus on a regular basis. Their base rate is set at $10 per hour if youre a white Caucasian English as first language instructor, but otherwise youll be on a lower rate. Many of their consultants are Filipino that are on $5 to $6 per hour because TABC know that they can get away with paying that to them. I know that some Filipino instructors speak excellent and very fluent American English, and many of them are really excellent instructors,- but the fact is that generally they dont command as high fees as native American or English speakers and unfortunately this is a fact thats rorted by TutorABC.
TutorABC have a bonus system that pays up to $1 per student per session provided that the student leaves a bonus score of 10 (on a scale of 1 to 10) 75cents for a 9and 50cents for an 8. They say that with an average of 3 to 4 students per session you can earn $3 to $4 bonus,- but in reality what happens is that 30% to 40% of students fail to leave any score at all, and then others will leave a 5 or a 6 which brings your overall session average back down to a 7 for which there is zero bonus paid for that session. Even worse though is when the average score gets rounded down to a 6 for which there is a deduction of $1.50 made to the session,- and thats for each student in the session, so if you just worked your ass off teaching 4 students then youll get handsomely rewarded with a $6 debit against the session resulting in a $4 earn. Thats how they keep the payment average per session down to a minimum and the poor old consultant ends up chasing its tail trying to stay above an average of $10.50 per session for the month.
Their system of lesson delivery is quite streamlined with the use of PPT presentations for the consultant to walk the students through. Some of those lesson plans are quite good but most of them really suck and lack any pedagogical structure or uniformity and there are numerous spelling and atrocious grammatical errors as it appears that most of the material is put together by Taiwanese graduates of English. The sessions that have more than three students per session are a joke and that practice should be stopped because it means that one or more of the students feels left out or cant keep up and that just reduces the overall session experience for all and results in frustration for the teacher and low scoring bonus points from the students. I did many sessions in which there were 4, 5 and 6 students per session and they were a complete farce. Those sessions are mostly fraught with problems and end up in either zero bonus or a deduction to the consultants base rate,- it totally sucks! And added to the frustration is the fact that with several students in a session the sound quality reduces to the point where you can hardly hear the students for sound drop out and interference and video failure,- when that happens you can virtually guarantee a low score!
Their online I.T. support is a joke and it seems that whenever theres a problem then I.T. cant fix it or they mysteriously disappear of screen and then later blame the consultants bandwidth which is complete bullshit.
If thats not enough, when it comes to payment time you may end up chasing them for a week to get paid whilst they make excuses about some Paypal glitch with your account (which is always YOUR fault) and then theyll remove 20% tax which they insist is required by law under ROC taxation rules. This in fact is a complete sham as they are paying service providers located overseas in a foreign currency ($USD) and the consultant is not a resident of Taiwan (and never will be). Everyone knows that whatever income you place into a banking account of the country of you own residence is subject to taxation from that country. I suspect some kind of rort in which theyre pocketing an extra 20% margin from casual consultants that generally will come and go every month or two via the revolving door that appears to operate at TutorABC,- this explains their constant efforts to recruit new unsuspecting recruits into their fold.
So, if youre happy to work your ass off online for around $10.50 per hour (if your lucky) less 20% ripp-off tax (now your down to $8.40 per hour which youll be taxed against in your own country) then go ahead and be my guest. But my suggestion to you is that you can spend your time far more productively elsewhere and also keep your sanity and blood pressure levels in check!