How to deal with no-shows
It has been almost a year since I joined ITALKI as a teacher. I would say one of the biggest problems I've had has been with no-shows. Recently ITALKI helped me to resolve a dispute in my favor where a no-show wanted to pay only 50 ITC of the 150 ITC that I charge for a trial lesson.
As a result of this no-show's action, I have stopped offering trial lessons. I thought the trial lessons would be good marketing, but they attracted too many people who weren't serious, who would have been better off with a language partner.
For other no-shows who are more or less regular, it is a difficult decision to excuse the charge or not. My tendency right now is not to excuse it (and probably lose the student), since such students are proving to be unreliable in the long run.
What has your experience been like?
I think we should discuss it clearly and plan it well ahead before setting up a session. If somebody promises to be there for a session and then does not turn out then there should be some mechanism to make them feel responsible because many of us consider time to be precious.
@Kalyan. That's a good suggestion. I already post and email SKYPE instructions to new students. I think I'll add a second message such as, "What would you like to do during your first lesson?" That way they'll be thinking about it and would be less likely to forget the date (I would hope).
ITALKI does email reminders to the teachers and students about upcoming lessons, so that helps, too.
@WashingtonWA. It's good to hear a student's opinion. I think the best thing is to have a regular schedule. For instance, some students schedule at the same time on the same day every week. Then it's not so easy to forget.
No shows are reciprocal. Both the teacher and the student will experience this. Waiting aimlessly for a forthcoming session is painful and is wasting your time. You have to wait for at least 15 min in case the teacher/student is late.
My first four lessons ever on italki (except my third trial with you) are frustrating. Some teachers are not serious and not responsible, just like some students. I have informed italki but got a rather funny answer: Teachers who charge less are not always the most dependable. They suggested to pay extra ITC for a better experience. I don't agree with this theory. It depends very much on the attitude of the teachers and students.
As a student, I will choose a teacher who has taken a no. of sessions with the same student as a start. As a teacher, one can also check the record of the student before accepting the booking. Nevertheless finding a serious and good teacher is equally difficult as finding a serious student.
@Rainbow. Your writing has gotten really good. :) I understand ITALKI's answer to you. It's almost like my experience that students who skip the trial lesson and sign up for a regular lesson are serious about learning. Teachers who charge more are going to include more professionals.
That's a good suggestion for the student to check the teacher record. For the teacher, it's helpful for understanding why a student did what they did. The student I had a dispute with has already had five disputes! Then I know it's not just me.
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