TakeLessons Reviews | Glassdoor

TakeLessons Reviews

Updated July 29, 2017
20 reviews

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TakeLessons CEO & Founder Steven Cox
Steven Cox
7 Ratings

20 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • I can turn my profile off when I'm not accepting new students (in 5 reviews)

  • The company supports teachers by advertising, customer service, providing the online website/platform/scheduling and general assistance in any way (in 4 reviews)

Cons
  • If you are just starting you have no way to get new students (in 8 reviews)

  • There are no benefits, and don't offer bonus's (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Horrible to its teachers"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Music Teacher in San Francisco, CA
    Current Contractor - Music Teacher in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at TakeLessons as a contractor (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    The best (and maybe only) good thing about Takelessons is the students it brings to you through its massive online advertising structure. They are good at doing this, and I've gotten some great students through them. Otherwise this company should be sued for the way it abuses and threatens its teachers.

    Cons

    Takelessons takes 40% of the first 5 lessons to a student, eventually scaling it down to 10% of the lesson cost, bound in a contract for apparently the rest of eternity , even though they provide no additional services after the initial referral (other than what they deem as their very valuable "billing service", which is a total rip off at 10% of your income for the rest of your life. They claim to basically own a student after they search for a teacher through the Takelessons website, and even if their billing service isn't working or is utterly confusing your students, they threaten to sue you if you remove the students film their malfunctioning platform. Horrible respect for their teachers, horrible rate scheme.

    Advice to Management

    Change your business platform, changed your rate scheme, respect your teachers, or someone else with a new platform will come along and do a better and fairer job of what you should be doing and put you out of business because all your teachers will choose to move to them over you. You cannot survive without your teachers. They are your company.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Theft-Style Commission Rates"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Instructor in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Instructor in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at TakeLessons part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    It's nice and easy to find teachers of a wide variety subjects and skills and to browse their profiles. It's easy update one's own profile and its easy to remove.

    Cons

    They take 40% commission off the first 5 lessons of EACH and EVERY student that an instructor takes on. It takes teaching of TEN SESSIONS to finally pay the only legitimate commission rate - 10% with -again- each and every new student!

    FYI
    Professional talent agents who are legit and successful receive 10% of their actors' income. Professional managers of talent - who are legit & successful - receive 15% of their actors' income (because they market and speak IN PERSON on the behalf of their talent)... both work FOR the talent. Professional sales people make between 10% and 20% commission... 20% is for the well seasoned and highly successful salesperson... SOMETIMES 25% can be negotiated by & for the EXTRAORDINARILY talented salesperson. Take Lessons is a passive "agency"... even talent agents (who receive 10%) make direct calls and submissions on behalf of the actors they represent. Teachers here create their entire profiles. 10% is the only legitimate and all-around respectable amount of commission for Take Lessons Corp to receive from their hosted teachers. If that were so, this would be the ideal company to link up with.

    Advice to Management

    Without teachers you have no business. If you continue to take these outrageous percentages from your teachers, as you know, you WILL profit off of teacher desperation for some time. But that's not a successful long-term business plan. Bad news spreads like wild fire and if you continue to overly profit off the backs of teachers you'll run it into the ground. Maybe you don't care. Maybe you'll get all the desperate-naive-unhealthy-teacher money you can and then "close the box" and walk on to your next scam venture.... or maybe you do care, and do want this to be a long-term and highly successful venture for both you AND the instructors whom you host and will make a dramatic shift that will positively impact your company for the long term and take 10% of your instructor's pay (and NOTHING from THEIR travel expenses). Through the latter you will sustain AND grow substantially with happy teachers and students. Continuation of the former will burn out the instructors you host and burn your company right out along with them. Choices.

    FYI (although I'm sure you're well aware)
    Professional talent agents who are legit and successful receive 10% of their actors' income. Professional managers of talent - who are legit & successful - receive 15% of their actors' income (because they market and speak IN PERSON on the behalf of their talent)... both work FOR the talent. Professional sales people make between 10% and 20% commission... 20% is for the well seasoned and highly successful salesperson... SOMETIMES 25% can be negotiated by & for the EXTRAORDINARILY talented salesperson. You are a passive "agency"... even talent agents make direct calls and submissions on behalf of the actors they represent. Your teachers create their entire profiles. 10% is the only legitimate and all-around respectable amount for your company to receive from the teachers you host on your site.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Money hungry"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at TakeLessons part-time

    Pros

    Good way to get new students

    Cons

    They take way too much of the teachers' money (a whopping 40%) including travel fee when you drive to the student's house. That money is supposed to be for my time and gas, I really don't understand why they're so greedy. They also monitor all the messages like a hawk and I received a warning for offering a potential student a free trial lesson. They didn't register after I had to tell them I couldn't offer them a trial lesson, so whose loss is that really?

    Advice to Management

    Pay the teachers the amount they deserve.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "No help in finding students"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at TakeLessons part-time

    Pros

    Its a portal just to show cast your skills

    Cons

    as a link between teacher & student these people are not able to find students . they are just taking our data may be for some other use in future.


  5. "I bet on losing dogs."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Music Teacher
    Current Contractor - Music Teacher
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at TakeLessons as a contractor (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Free conversions! Decent scheduling tool. I met some really great people, even some people in sales from TL themselves.

    Cons

    Lost of privacy. Hard to leave without TL using your personal image and name for its search engine optimization. Shady tactics against teachers starting out. If you're advertising on your own. You might reconsider joining because they'll make sure that your personal website won't see light or day.

    Advice to Management

    Most of the people working in entertainment are not thrilled being associated with TL. So, please respect the privacy of your teachers. Continue back to the company's original mission statement when people cared about each other.


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Terrible."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Helpful assistance, as needed over the phone, plus they pay on-time.

    Cons

    I go on vacation and they cut the cord. Cryin' shame!

    Advice to Management

    please manage your teachers better and stop being so paranoid!


  7. Helpful (5)

    "Piano Intructor contractor"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Piano Teacher in Silver Spring, MD
    Former Employee - Piano Teacher in Silver Spring, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Recruiting new students if you are a new teacher in the area.
    Collect five lessons package tuition in advance.

    Cons

    No benefits for contractor (teachers), charged 40% from the first 1~5 lessons and break down to 10% until the 20th lesson!!!! Be aware, most students who look for teachers from Takelessons usually don't stay for more than 3 months, some even only had 3 lessons due to TLs offer charged trial lesson for new students in order to get their money!

    This company is very suspicious about teachers stealing students or potentional clients. For teachers you may think TLs is a good way to advertise yourself, but keep in mind they will close your profile without awareness all depends on they suspect you steal students. TLs expect teacher will retain students for more than three months and once you lose students they will blamed on you and shot down you profile!

    They rarely bring you new students but lots of Q&A which teachers have to answer by ourselves. (So where is the customer service????)

    About background check, it's all lie, they charged teacher a $20 for background check and immediately put on a parent trust local next to your profile. So, what's it for?

    Advice to Management

    Show respect to your teachers, remember students are there because of the teachers not because of you agent which barely provide customer service. Takelessons administration rarely offere customer service once they booked a new student! Teachers have to deal with the students' issue and cost without any benefit from TLs charging!

  8. "Dont lose your time with Takelesson"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Freelancer - Anonymous Freelancer
    Current Freelancer - Anonymous Freelancer
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    I don't see pro because what they do is invest in IT to be the first on Google when you search for teachers.

    Cons

    They get 40% from teachers lessons paycheck. Also you don't see before you accept if students is requesting 30 minutes 45 minutes or one hour lesson and plus where is located. Also they give me student that was way far from my location.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Poor company to work with"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at TakeLessons full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Online marketing tool to get new customers

    Cons

    If you are just starting you have no way to get new students. Customers generally see the people with the MOST reviews and they get business. Also, takelessons takes 40% of your initial charging price and phases it out to 10% but not until the 14th lesson!!! How absurd

    On top of that, you have no way of communicating with your customers in a helpful manner. You have to check your profile regularly and hope someone messaged you. But more often then not, people wanna call or email you, but you can't cuz take lessons is afraid you will get money without their knowing. And to make matters worse, they don't even bother providing you with a w-2. But your earnings are still reported to the government. I lost way to many custermors due to their counter intuitive software. Don't bother, you will have more luck utilizing care.com

    Advice to Management

    Stop stealing from your customer base, stop taking advantage of people. Your buisness approach is petty. And make it easier for people to communicate with one another


  10. "Abusive..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Tutor in Edmond, OK
    Former Contractor - Tutor in Edmond, OK
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at TakeLessons as a contractor (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Other than a lower commission rate after a short amount of lessons...nothing. I also did not get as many students as other sites I've contracted with.

    Cons

    Takelessons has some very unreal expectations.

    They expect you to provide every bit of personal information to students and expect you to make yourself available to students 24/7. This can become an issue if an online student want who is international or was internationally located wants to work with you because they dont understand the time difference. I was called at all hours of the night and I was expected to be available because as quoted, " Students like to interact with their teachers and know they are not going to be taken for a ride."

    Luckily I have been in this field for a while. I understand that safety is important. Through other sites, I have been spammed with Western Union transfer requests. I have also been asked to places that make my skin crawl. So I normally like to go through a companies messaging system so I have a paper trail until I get a confirmation to me at a VERY public well light place for the first consultation. Takelessons does not screen their students. I had a colleague reveal to me that she was doing yoga lessons and a student came to her not dressed to for the occasion when she asked why she was told, " Im not here for lessons. I am here to see you do Yoga in your leotard." Um wat?

    When I relayed my concerns, I was chastised and threatened to be taken off the site for not following the companies practices. I was treated like I was the "help" and that I should not question their practices. I was told that they spent way too much money on advertising to deal with me because no one makes any money off students. Um wat? I worked with the few students I got on that site for over a year. Maybe if you spent less on advertising, more on social media, and more on securing safe policies, tutors would actually few comfortable referring students to use their site. I am not going to apologize for wanting to stay safe nor am I going to apologize for insisting I dont need to be called at 3 am by students parents.

    This is a prime example of what happens when start ups are bought out. I am with two very good and happy tutoring companies who treat you with respect

    Advice to Management

    Regardless of what you spend on advertising, (which is completely unnecessary), your business relies on happy tutors. Being abusive and not realizing their needs will not get you any where. You will just end up losing tutors. You also need to update your security protocol because one day something is going to happen, and you're going to get sued.


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