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AIBU re fee for tutor?

(90 Posts)
NoonarAgain Mon 11-Dec-17 10:37:17

Hi. DD has been unwell and has missed a lot of school. I contacted an agency which was offering revision courses over the holidays as she needs to catch up. It transpires that they are not running the course but could offer 1:1 tuition.

They quoted me their fees and it was v expensive but I accepted that I would find it hard to find someone to work for less so close to xmas.

I have met the tutor and he seems ideal. However, I have since found out that the agency are charging me double what they are paying him. I expected to pay them a fee, and expected him to get a premium for holiday work, but he is only going to be getting paid his usual hourly rate ( and we get to pay double that!).

AIBU to not want to pay so much to a firm that offers poor value for money (to me) and that doesn't pass any of the premium fee on to the tutor?

AIBU to want to book him up on line using his own webpage now that I know who he is? (I suspect he would feel compromised by me suggesting this).

So AIBU and WWYD?

SavoyCabbage Mon 11-Dec-17 10:44:43

You would be putting him in a difficult situation. Now you know that you don’t want to pay agency fees, look for someone else who is independent.

NoonarAgain Mon 11-Dec-17 10:47:04

Savoy, I don't mind paying agency fees, but think the terms are unfair. We have met the tutor and dd really liked him- this only transpired after the meeting so am reluctant to abandon the whole idea.

Killerfiller Mon 11-Dec-17 10:48:35

My friend is a tutor and someone approached them to do it independently. She did she needs the money but she was worried if things got sour he would report her to the agency.

No harm in asking.

sailorcherries Mon 11-Dec-17 10:49:08

I'd presume he is aware of the agency fees and their terms but is happy to work in this way as it is somewhat a security blanket for finding work.

Killerfiller Mon 11-Dec-17 10:49:21

If he has his on website to offer his services I would tell the agency you no longer need a tutor and book him via his own website

CheapSausagesAndSpam Mon 11-Dec-17 10:50:34

Do it. I am a freelancer and also work for an agency. I sometimes have clients contact me once they find me away from my agency.

I wouldn't mention it though. Just book him.

NataliaOsipova Mon 11-Dec-17 10:52:16

This is probably why the agency charge such high fees! I bet they know a lot people do this, so they have to make a bit of money upfront for introducing you.....

NoonarAgain Mon 11-Dec-17 10:52:25

Killer, I can see that would be a worry. I hope that he would be able to tell that we are decent people and not likely to do this (there were some details around the circumstances of our meeting that hopefully demonstrate this to him. His car broke down and we went over and above to help out).

Pengggwn Mon 11-Dec-17 10:54:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PricillaQueenOfTheDesert Mon 11-Dec-17 10:55:12

Book him direct. Don’t pay the agency the same as you’re paying him.

NoonarAgain Mon 11-Dec-17 10:56:52

Natalia, I wouldn't even mind an introduction fee but I will be paying double for each and every lesson. Take your point, though...Gah!

CheapSaus, I can't do it without asking the tutor how they feel as we are really close to making the booking throughout the agency, so I'd have to make a point of saying that I was planning to shaft the agent.

I think that he is a really unassuming sort or person with principles.... the kind to worry about this.

NoonarAgain Mon 11-Dec-17 10:59:10

Thanks Pricilla.

Penggwn, I am happy to pay a fee. do you think that fairness of terms for me ( for the tutor, if not me) is an issue given the detail of the situation?

palmfronds Mon 11-Dec-17 10:59:19

That's standard for tutoring companies! Very few charge less than 50% commission. Of course this means that tutors are much more likely to go off the books after a few sessions, which means agencies keep charging these fees... It's a vicious circle.

Fwiw as a tutor myself I wouldn't think less of a family for suggesting they go private. Agencies are comforting to use but I would always suggest trying to find a tutor via word of mouth or LinkedIn in the first instance - any decent tutor should be happy to provide you with degree/training certificates, referees and an up-to-date DRB certificate which is as much of a background check as the agencies do.

Kazzyhoward Mon 11-Dec-17 10:59:43

If he has his on website to offer his services I would tell the agency you no longer need a tutor and book him via his own website

If he's any sense he'd refuse. He's risking the agency taking him off their books if they found out about it. Unless he doesn't need the agency work, he won't risk it.

NoonarAgain Mon 11-Dec-17 11:02:13

Also there are hundreds of tutors in my area, I only got in touch with these people as they do crash courses (which are not currently even running). I would never have used them to find an individual tutor; I just thought it might be a tiny bit easier to go through them as they clearly have people who work over xmas. hence my willingness to pay the TUTOR an xmas premium.

NoonarAgain Mon 11-Dec-17 11:06:37

Palmfronds, wow! That's shocking re the commission. I need to book between 10 and 15 hours so it makes a massive difference to the cost and also to my willingness to just suck up the perceived injustice!

Kazzy, I can see your point.

Pengggwn Mon 11-Dec-17 11:08:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PersianCatLady Mon 11-Dec-17 11:08:04

Does the agency sort out his insurance, holiday pay and the like too?

PersianCatLady Mon 11-Dec-17 11:09:38

By cancelling out the agency, the only person who gains is the OP through not paying fees.

NoonarAgain Mon 11-Dec-17 11:12:31

Peng, I'm not sure i can afford to suck it up ( I initially asked for a small number of hours but think dd may need longer). I agreed to the terms on the basis of my assumptions about xmas working and am no longer happy with the terms. I can understand the point of principle that you're pointing out, it just makes me too cross to go along with it!

Persian, I doubt it as he has a regular day job.

NoonarAgain Mon 11-Dec-17 11:13:11

No persian- not if we split the difference.

AlrightBabby Mon 11-Dec-17 11:17:50

I'd be careful that the agency don't charge you an 'introducer fee' or something similar, in other words, would you have known about him and his services without their introduction.

I have known a number of businesses charge this, including the teaching supply agency I work for at the moment. The school I work for want to take me on permanently but the agency are charging a huge fee for this (into the thousands)

Just check the Ts & Cs of the agency agreement carefully

Pengggwn Mon 11-Dec-17 11:18:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mookatron Mon 11-Dec-17 11:19:40

Are you paying more than usual because of the xmas holidays or is it the agency's fee (sorry I can't see if you said that somewhere!)?

If it is more just ask them direct if the tutor gets the extra? If not, I wouldn't book through them. If the tutor himself wants to make an arrangement with you it's up to him if he wants to take the risk of being chucked off their books.

If it's the standard fee, well, you just have to pay it if you want him.

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