Policy for Students Who Request Special Favours
"Special favours" can be described as services or privileges which are not included in the lesson descriptions that I have provided on iTalki, or are against the general policies of iTalki. I have not advertised to provide such services, but sometimes my students request them. These include:
Cancelling a lesson within 24 hours of the lesson time, but asking for a refund or make-up lesson.
Splitting a session (booking a 1-hour lesson and then asking for it to be taught in two 30-minute sessions, often on different days).
Booking a lesson outside my regular working hours (such as early in the morning, late at night, or in my holidays).
Asking me to prepare for Informal Tutoring lessons, or to help them to prepare for the IELTS test in a Conversation Practice lesson, for example.
Asking if they can pay me directly instead of going through the iTalki system (this is actually against the iTalki Terms of Service and could earn me a huge penalty if I was caught doing it!)
Asking me to download an app such as WhatsApp to conduct the lesson, rather than using Skype or the iTalki Classroom. (WeChat is okay as I have already downloaded it.)
Introducing the SFP
In general, while I would prefer not to satisfy such requests, I can understand that they are necessary sometimes. Emergencies can come up, which make it necessary to cancel lessons at the last minute. I like to be generous, but unfortunately there are some students who take advantage of my generosity. It would be better for favours to be treated as privileges, which have to be earnt, rather than simply demanded. For that reason, I have decided to launch a points system for the purchase, accumulation and spending of special favours. Special favours points (SFPs) are a type of currency, and by studying with me, you can earn this currency.
The SFP is equal to 1 ITC on the old iTalki system, or US$0.10.
GENERAL RULE: All prospective students are given 1 SFP when they book their first lesson, multiplied by the dollar cost of their lesson. Thus, a student who books a lesson costing US$10 will receive 1 * 10 = 10 SFPs. This is equivalent to $1 of special favours. After that, they will earn 10 SFPs for each $10 lesson they book in the future. A student booking and paying for a US$16 lesson will gain 16 SFPs, while buying a package of 5 $8 lessons will earn you 40 SFPs.
Basically, students get 1 point for every lesson they have completed. This is multiplied by the cost of the lesson (in US$). Other multipliers depend on how long they have studied with me. After taking lessons for one year, the value of SFPs earnt will increase to 1.1 * the US dollar value of their lesson.
The cost of some privileges include:
Changing lesson time out of usual hours ; changing medium of instruction (downloading apps (50 SULs), for example); split sessions (50 SULs per split session); getting credit lessons (150 SULs per session); .
If you are able to use Skype Payments, you can purchase SFPs by sending me money over Skype.