MyTutor suppressing unfavourable opinion Watch

David Getling
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#1
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#1
I've just received an email saying this company has complained about my review.

I've given 5 star reviews to several companies that I believe offer students and their parents the best deal. However, with this company I gave my opinion that pushing online tutoring, in preference to being tutored in person, and pushing tuition by students, rather than qualified teachers is not in students' best interests.

I don't expect everyone to agree with this, but is it unreasonable to expect that parents and students are allowed to read such reviews and make up their own minds?

As I've said elsewhere tutoring in the UK is like the Wild West. Parents are pressured to give reviews while their kids are still being tutored, so it's little wonder that so many of them are 5 star. We need more qualified and experienced teachers to be asking whether some of the services on offer are the best choice for parents.

I really don't mind competition, but I genuinely hate to see students do badly because they have been persuaded to make sub-optimal choices. I've been asked several times to do online tuition, both by schools and individuals, but my advice has always been to find someone who can teach in person, rather than just grabbing the money. I'm not saying that online tuition, or tuition by a university student isn't better than nothing. Just that there are better alternatives, and students and their parents have the right to hear this opinion voiced.
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999tigger
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#2
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#2
(Original post by David Getling)
I've just received an email saying this company has complained about my review.

I've given 5 star reviews to several companies that I believe offer students and their parents the best deal. However, with this company I gave my opinion that pushing online tutoring, in preference to being tutored in person, and pushing tuition by students, rather than qualified teachers is not in students' best interests.

I don't expect everyone to agree with this, but is it unreasonable to expect that parents and students are allowed to read such reviews and make up their own minds?

As I've said elsewhere tutoring in the UK is like the Wild West. Parents are pressured to give reviews while their kids are still being tutored, so it's little wonder that so many of them are 5 star. We need more qualified and experienced teachers to be asking whether some of the services on offer are the best choice for parents.

I really don't mind competition, but I genuinely hate to see students do badly because they have been persuaded to make sub-optimal choices. I've been asked several times to do online tuition, both by schools and individuals, but my advice has always been to find someone who can teach in person, rather than just grabbing the money. I'm not saying that online tuition, or tuition by a university student isn't better than nothing. Just that there are better alternatives, and students and their parents have the right to hear this opinion voiced.
Are you a tutor or a student?
Could your comments be regarded as true and would you be prepared to finance and defend them in court as part of a defamation case?
Would you have evidence to back up your claims?

The website is a private business., its easier for them to remove.
Make a complaint if you think its worth it.
You need to learn the art of writing a review which avoid being libellous, damns with faint praise.
They are equally liable for anything defamatory you say.
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David Getling
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#3
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
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(Original post by 999tigger)
Are you a tutor or a student?
Could your comments be regarded as true and would you be prepared to finance and defend them in court as part of a defamation case?
Would you have evidence to back up your claims?

The website is a private business., its easier for them to remove.
Make a complaint if you think its worth it.
You need to learn the art of writing a review which avoid being libellous, damns with faint praise.
They are equally liable for anything defamatory you say.
What you have written, regarding defamation is completely wrong. Publishing an opinion that a different way of doing things is better is not defamation. It's exactly the same as me saying that I think one textbook is better than another. Would you seriously claim that was libelous? And would you support the author who came second attempting to suppress that review?

Think of pizza. I myself buy the frozen ones, for price and convenience. But I would be the first to acknowledge that getting a Domino's or Papa John's delivered would give me a superior albeit more expensive pizza. Far better would be a trip to a good pizza restaurant like Chicago Pizza Pie, but this would be more expensive still, and more time consuming. Should I not be allowed to give this opinion?

Well, online tutoring is the equivalent of taking a frozen pizza out of the fridge. Having the tutor come to you is similar to getting one delivered, and going to the tutor is like going to the restaurant. As for student tutors versus qualified, experienced teachers, that's like brand choice: the difference between Pizza Hut and Chicago Piazza Pie. That's my opinion. Some will disagree with it, but I've every right to publish it. And others have the right to see that opinion. Having also done the Domino's and Chicago Pizza Pie options maybe I'm qualified to offer my opinion on Pizzas. Similarly, as a qualified teacher, with many years classroom and tutoring experience, maybe students and parents might want to read my opinion on what the best tutoring option is.
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999tigger
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#4
Report 4 weeks ago
#4
(Original post by David Getling)
What you have written, regarding defamation is completely wrong. Publishing an opinion that a different way of doing things is better is not defamation. It's exactly the same as me saying that I think one textbook is better than another. Would you seriously claim that was libelous? And would you support the author who came second attempting to suppress that review?

Think of pizza. I myself buy the frozen ones, for price and convenience. But I would be the first to acknowledge that getting a Domino's or Papa John's delivered would give me a superior albeit more expensive pizza. Far better would be a trip to a good pizza restaurant like Chicago Pizza Pie, but this would be more expensive still, and more time consuming. Should I not be allowed to give this opinion?

Well, online tutoring is the equivalent of taking a frozen pizza out of the fridge. Having the tutor come to you is similar to getting one delivered, and going to the tutor is like going to the restaurant. As for student tutors versus qualified, experienced teachers, that's like brand choice: the difference between Pizza Hut and Chicago Piazza Pie. That's my opinion. Some will disagree with it, but I've every right to publish it. And others have the right to see that opinion. Having also done the Domino's and Chicago Pizza Pie options maybe I'm qualified to offer my opinion on Pizzas. Similarly, as a qualified teacher, with many years classroom and tutoring experience, maybe students and parents might want to read my opinion on what the best tutoring option is.
I havent read your review.
I havent seen their letter, nor their complaint as to why they think its actionable.
The point is you can say what you like, but as owners of the website they are just as liable for what you wrote.
As a business are they more interested in your potentially libellous opinion and be willing to engage in legal proceedings about it or would they rather just delete it? It is a private website and they can do what they like. That is the way it works.

If its that important to you then start your own website, giving whatever opinions you wish.
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TheOnlyIzzy
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im a tutor for MyTutor and (whilst this may sound biased) I think they're pretty good. You have to undergo a rigorous selection process, including going to a top university, top grades and an interview over Skype. You can only tutor at a-level if you study the subject at university, and you can only teach GCSE if you got an A or A* at a-level in the subject. You have to undergo a training process and course, and they offer additional training courses if you want. The fact that students teach mean that they are both qualified (due to the limitations I mentioned above) and they have a better understanding of what its like to be a student and which tips worked best
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David Getling
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#6
Report Thread starter 4 weeks ago
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(Original post by TheOnlyIzzy)
im a tutor for MyTutor and (whilst this may sound biased) I think they're pretty good. You have to undergo a rigorous selection process, including going to a top university, top grades and an interview over Skype. You can only tutor at a-level if you study the subject at university, and you can only teach GCSE if you got an A or A* at a-level in the subject. You have to undergo a training process and course, and they offer additional training courses if you want. The fact that students teach mean that they are both qualified (due to the limitations I mentioned above) and they have a better understanding of what its like to be a student and which tips worked best
I'm not saying the service is useless. It certainly appeals to many, because it is one of the cheaper ones and tutees don't have to travel, or accommodate a tutor in person. What I am saying is that the gold standard is having a qualified, experienced teacher. And students will probably have to travel to the best of these, as they are often too busy to make house calls. This is why some students and their parents can often spend longer getting there and back from a good tutor, than the length of the lesson. It's more expensive, and much less convenient, but they clearly feel it's worth it.
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