Important Information For All Users (April 2nd 2019)

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475 comments

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    Sharon Ruis

    Totally agree with you @Sofia.  I do know of students asking for refunds and moving to other platforms for lessons as they can not do instant lessons here.  There are many very aggravated students at present and that will have a negative impact on Italki in the future as they will not be recommending the site to friends etc.

    @Chris There were many many students who use instant tutoring and many teachers who made a sizeable % of their Italki income just from instant requests.  They effectively lost part of their income overnight... like being fired for no reason. 

    Lots of students don't want written feedback. You talk in class about what they have done etc.  I only do feedback during the lesson for the Asian classes I do on a different platform,  which are only 25 min long and you are just going over slides. Then it is easy to write down errors, new words etc.. But again most of the students tell me they never read them anyway..  With my Italki students I'm having discussions, engaging the brain etc so not concentrating on writing feedback.

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    Bonnie U.

    The Italki website has become so UN-user-friendly that I don't even enjoy working on here anymore.

    1: Having to skip from my normal dashboard to the USELESS new one and then back to the normal one is wasting time, energy and making me get more annoyed.

    2. You can't see the activity of  each of your students anymore unless you go back to the original website...and ONLY through the USELESS messaging system.

    3. The ONLY and I repeat ....ONLY saving feature is not having to put in your password when you leave feedback for a lesson. However, what about the feedback that the student leaves??? You can't see that on the "USELESS WEBSITE".

    4. As so many others have said on here, we haven't heard a word from the Italki team to:

    a) apologise for messing things up: the website, instant tutoring...everything.

    b) explain what is going on and their strategy for the future

    c) tell us if you have been taken over by people who don't like teachers/tutors/students...

    d) ...say anything really. Are you waiting for us to give in? Do you really think we are going to sit back and let everything fall about our ears in this way? I'm sure we are "made of sterner stuff" and won't allow that to happen. 

    Having said all that, please let us know what your reasons are Italki. We loved you before...as you USED to say when students were looking for teachers..."WE LOVE OUR TEACHERS". What's happened Italki? Don't you love us anymore?

    Bonnie

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    Sharon Ruis

    @ Bonnie     I agree their response or should I say lack of response is deafening..  It shows a total disrespect for their tutors who contract to them and to their students buy the lessons.  Together, and only together, Italki makes their money. 

    I know that they own the site and can do with it as they wish but consideration, communication, and respect goes a long way.  They have alienated many students and tutors with their treatment of all.  Both teachers and students will be feeling more negative towards this company. Word of mouth is important when it comes to a companies reputation in the small ESL industry. 

    If they want to make major changes, to change it to a typical Chinese site like Hujiang, a major investor in their company, then that is their right, we can't stop that.  It will be just a business decision they have made and the contractors are not part of these decisions.

    I know many students and tutors who have moved to other platforms since Italki has made their changes. So, do they sit back and take it?  No, they just move on, sometimes together.

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    Bonnie U.

    @Sharon. 

    Thank you for that information Sharon. I might even consider Hujiang. It's a shame though, don't you agree, that we have to look elsewhere rather than remain on what used to be a wonderful website?

     

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    Sharon Ruis

    @ Bonnie U  Totally agree that everyone would rather stay on the old wonderful website.  But teachers are reporting a 15-20% drop in earnings (on the FB Italki page)  since the change so there may be no option but to look elsewhere for some/many.   Hujiang is not hiring at present and they mentioned a while ago that they may not be hiring until June.

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    Eleanor

    I am very disappointed in the removal of instant lessons; due to returning to University myself to study for a Masters and having a full time job, I now find it very difficult to schedule time in advance for lessons, instant lessons were perfect for me to teach at very short notice when I had time in my schedule. As a result of the removal my income from teaching has dropped considerably.

     

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    Sofia

    Sharon My feedback is only at the end of the lesson, if I am teaching something or using the writing board I will not stop to make a comment

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    Sofia

    it's super annoying to see the new organization of comments. It was most useful when we saw the total of classes with X student + the feedbacks all organized. We just had to press "more"

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    Janice (Edited )

     Speaking from the point of view of a student:  1. I think keeping the 45 or 90 minute option is good. 2. I don't think teachers should have wait the entire lesson time. The standard when you are taking a class at a university for example is about 15 mins. Students can leave if the instructor doesn't show up after 15 minutes.  Why should a teacher have to wait any longer.  It should be pretty clear after that amount of time(10-15 mins) whether either person is showing up. I have only had one instance where a teacher didn't show up and didn't ever message an explanation. I did not wait the entire class.  I also didn't work with him again.  3. Instant tutoring seems to be something that your users want. Italki is supposed to be a user friendly, user centered system it is unfortunate that you have decided to get rid of an important component for your users. Perhaps this decision could be re-evaluated. 

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    Craig Papworth (Edited )

    I came back after an absence to put $50 on account (as I have previously) to use towards "Instant Tutoring".  I simply cannot schedule in advance.  
    I will take my business elsewhere.  
    Very disappointing to have this valuable feature removed.  

    Edit:  I have returned to Preply.  I used them before I discovered "Instant Tutoring" on italki, and now I will go back to them because you have removed the only incentive I had to use your service.  We have other options for the exact same service you are now providing.  "Instant Tutoring" was the only feature that set you apart, and the only reason I signed up.  I'll check back in a few months to see if you've brought it back, but otherwise, I'll take my business elsewhere.  
    I also think the requirement for a teacher to wait for a no-show student for the entire duration of the class is an absolutely ridiculous requirement.

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    Kumiko (Edited )

    Why am I receiving lesson requests from new students, not former students or registered friends, even though my teaching status has been for sure "I'm not looking for new students" for years? How can I explain the situation and disappoint those motivated students?

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    Sofia

    Kumiko 

    You continue to receive requests from former students, even if you say you are not looking for new students. If they are new students it is because you are available. In the new site, you need to go to settings-availability-activate holidays mode. 

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    Vince Picton

    I only used instant tutoring, so I guess it'll be no good for me any longer then. That's a shame!

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    Sasha Yáng 楊老师

    it's a shame we have no more instant tutoring. Is an excellent opportunity to have more students. There are also students who do not have time to schedule classes。

    italki, i wanna say that you are really killing me since you cancel instant tutoring. i don't have new students ever since and what's more, i feel so bad and discouraged with your move this time. 

    Yet, I still cannot understand why Instant Tutoring has to be removed before any alternative is introduced. I am sure that many students are going to choose your competitors while you are coming up with a more convinient function, It just doesn't make any sense to me.

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    Sasha Yáng 楊老师

    SHAME SHAME SHAME!!!

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    Greg

    Why would you remove the instant tutoring? It would be nice to have some explanation why since it is something that so many teachers and students find valuable.  

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    Sonja

    such a shame instant tutoring has been removed. this was the best feature for ensuring flexibility, I work a lot and it is way easier for me to schedule things on a short term basis, because sometimes my schedule does not allow to plan 24h ahead. please bring back this option!!!! 

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    Sara

    Instant tutoring was beneficial for Italki, for the students and the teachers. It would be very much appreciated if you could bring it back as soon as possible. 

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    Sultan

    Please bring instant tutoring back lolz

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    Chris

    Please bring instant tutoring. This was the most useful feature that Italki offered. 

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    Tobi

    Cannot express how upset I am that Instant Tutoring is no longer available. The majority of my interactions and expenditures in iTalki were with community tutors and Instant Tutoring. I have a regular lesson with a teacher each week (outside of iTalk) but it's very difficult for me to find native speakers to practice with. I really depended on that feature to find language practice partners whenever I had a free evening. iTalki's lesson scheduling search feature doesn't let me look for teachers who might have a time open later on the same day, so basically 99% of the way I used iTalki is now gone. Cannot tell you how many times I posted recommendations for iTalki and specifically mentioned the Instant Tutoring option. Very, very disappointed.

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    Bēnfàng 奔放老师

    It's ridiculous and sad that the Notification system only give you useless systematic notice, when my students and potential student send me a message, it never notify me...........for the new site and also the italki APP.  Many teachers reported this issue in the post, and no one care to fix it at all....... 

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    Veronica Esau

    I am glad to see that the 45 min & 90 min are available. I didn't like that they these had been removed, so, this is good to hear. Thanks. :-) 

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    Gerardo Massimiliano

    Instant Tutoring was very useful, and I hope it will be available soon.

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    Ernesto Perez

    Why is there no more instant tutoring?! Who is making these bad decisions?! Instant tutoring is an excellent tool for students who don't know if and when they will be available, for those who do not have a set time to schedule classes. Why would you get rid of your best feature?! 

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    Woody Anderson

    Literally every lesson I've had on italki has been with instant tutoring.  I'm unsure as to why this feature has been removed.  It appears the community, teachers and students, are against this removal.  Will there be a similar option?  I highly preferred the spontaneous nature of instant tutoring, mainly to simulate random conversations with native speakers.

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    Erik Linthorst

    Italki, since your removal of instant tutoring seems to be overwhelmingly disliked by your community of teachers and students, it might be worth explaining why you did this?   What aren't you telling us?  Why did you remove it?  Seems like lots of people, myself included, really liked this feature.  

    A bit of advice:  As soon as one of your competitors offers this, people will be GONE!  So if it was me, I'd listen to my paying customers before they're paying someone else.  

     

    Thank you.

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    William Hardy

    I think it is pretty clear that something else is going on.   I hate the decision to remove instant tutoring . . it was one of the great features of Italki.  However, that action and their unwillingness to respond to their customer's comments (. . even if they wanted to defend their decision) points out an even greater problem. 

    They are clearly unwilling or incapable of taking responsibility for their decisions.  And, worse, they don't care enough about their customers to even respond.

    While this is reprehensible, it is a warning for the future.  This is not a responsible corporation.  Let's hope a competitor surfaces soon so we can start dealing with competent people.

     

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    Bonnie U.

    Hear hear William!

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    Sharon Ruis

    @ Willian Hardy,   I agree.   I stated earlier that they must have their own business plan and want to take Italki in a different direction.  Yes, instant tutoring was a great feature of the old Italki but one must assume, that instant tutoring just doesn't fit with the model they are moving to.  Remember the owners of Italki are not dumb business guys and another large Chinese online school invested quite a bit of money in this company. 

    You also have to remember that people from different cultures behave differently.  You state that they  "They are clearly unwilling or incapable of taking responsibility for their decisions"  But probably they don't feel the need to explain their decisions to their contractors and customers.  (If you have worked for other Asian online schools you will know what I mean.)  Or they don't want to at this time as it is commercially sensitive and they don't want what they are changing to widely known at present. 

    And you say "And, worse, they don't care enough about their customers to even respond."     My thoughts here are maybe they are in the process of changing their customer base so they don't need to keep their current ones happy. 

    We don't know what will happen to this site in the future. I just hope it is not in the process of morphing into a typical Asian run-of-the-mill online school as Italki, as we knew it, was different and, for me at least, most of their students were not from Asian countries.  

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