Rylan Schaeffer

Kernel Papers

8 January 2022

Why I Left Wyzant

by Rylan Schaeffer

In August 2021, the start of my PhD was rapidly approaching and I was starting to fear the impending poverty I knew was coming. One of my friends suggested that if I wanted some extra income, I might try tutoring and suggested one platform, Wyzant.

At first glance, Wyzant looked promising: a market with lots of tutors and tutees, with the flexibility to set my own hours and my own rates. I signed up and started tutoring in computer science and statistics almost right away.

101 hours later and $7534 richer (gross), I’ve decided to leave Wyzant and I want to tell others who are considering joining why: your take-home is \(<40\%\) of your hourly rate.

How? You get hit with the following fees:

Whether this is acceptable is up to the prospective tutor, of course, but I have a foul taste in my mouth from Wyzant leading me to believe I’m earning a lot while pocketing 25% and passing me the bill for another 15%.

Additionally, and this is less important, Wyzant has terrible customer support. Here’s just one example. One student rated me 1/5, the lowest possible score, even though I thought I helped him quite quickly and satisfactorily. I tried to message him, asking him for feedback on how I could do better, but Wyzant had suspended his account for non-payment (whether this was failure to pay for our session or another, I don’t know). I wrote Wyzant asking to have his rating of me removed. They told me that there were only two ways to get a score changed: ask the person to change it, or refund the person. I had done the work, so I wasn’t going to refund the person, and when I told Wyzant that their system was blocking me from messaging the student because Wyzant had suspended the student’s account, they shrugged and said nothing could be done.

tags: tutoring