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LTL online school flexi classes review.


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@zhouhaochen have you ever considered allowing students to listen in on a class without participating? What I mean is that some students may be willing to pay a small fee (lets say 4$/class) to listen in on a 1:1 class. This money could be split between the student actively studying in the class (to give him an incentive to let other students listen in on his private lesson) and the school. While I personally believe being actively involved in the class is of course superior, sometimes students might want to listen in to review material they have learned or to prestudy for a similar class. 

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@alantinthanks so much for the in depth review. I have learned a lot from it already. Also the comparison with other software I find very useful.

We are working on automizing all the zoom rooms this week and hopefully next (very latest the one after) all this will be automized and it will not be possible for mistakes like this to happen anymore. It will also save our teachers quite a bit of headache and extra work, which is great.

For material length, thanks a lot for the feedback. We will definitely take that into account as we develop the next set of teaching materials (Beijing and Taipei city versions) at the moment.

Great to have you with us and I hope Flexi Classes continues to be useful for you.

 

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On 4/25/2021 at 1:38 PM, Jan Finster said:

allowing students to listen in on a class without participating

Its a nice idea, but in reality I think that would be quite difficult. Students usually dont like it when someone else listens in on them. Many people are more afraid to speak etc.

We really struggle to find some students to even allow us to record an example class or do an online interview. If anyone agrees it is after a lot of very careful and polite asking by us - if we just put someone else into their class watching them study, I dont think that would go down very well even if they got a bit lower price for it. If someone is concerned about money they probably would have booked a group class already anyways. For 1on1 students getting ahead as fast as possible is the main aim usually, not saving money.

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  • 1 month later...

Quick update, Flexi Classes now have introduced an HSK 3+ level and have Flexi Classes from complete beginner up to HSK 4 for six levels

Intro

HSK 1

HSK 2

HSK 3

HSK 3+

HSK 4

Each level offers 24 small group classes per day (60 minutes each), so we now have 24*6=144 online live taught group classes per day.

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  • 6 months later...

I tried to sign up for the 3 free trial classes on Saturday, accidentally somehow added to buy 5 credits??? No idea how that happened but at the bottom of the page there are options to buy credits which I think is not a great thing to have in there if you are offering free trials, as the point of the trials is surely for new people to try first before they buy.
 

Immediately contacted them about it but I was told too bad no refund. So I haven’t attend any lessons yet but first impression not great. I’m out 50 quid before trialing and now have 8 credits that will expire if I don’t used them up to schedule lessons within 1 month. 
 

I currently already use Italki which I really like because I have found a great teacher and I have a semi private teacher as well. I just wanted to try the flexi class to rotate with my current routine. Talked to someone from their company on Instagram who said if I really really don’t want to use the credit he will try to see if they can do something about it. Well would love to have tried first before buying but I’m already out of pocket. So anyway, haven’t heard back after that. 

 

It’s their prerogative whether they refund me the money or not as I did the clicking but this is definitely not for me personally. I would prefer a bit more transparency and flexibility. 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

@amytheorangutan Hello Amy, sorry just saw your post there. We have a forum for Flexi Classes on https://forum.flexiclasses.com/ which the whole team is on more regularly. Its Christmas time now, so finally have some time to read Chinese Forums.

 

I am sorry that you clicked, confirmed and paid for another program than you wanted. There is not much we can do there though. There are different options and the system will give you the program you asked (and confirmed) for. 

You were offered a free trial, but of course not everyone is offered a free trial. So there need to be options for people who were not offered a free trial and pay for the classes too. The page that shows how to get and enter the discount code is pretty clear about what the discount code is, which program to choose and how to enter it too. 

 

We have had thousands of people go through this process successfully and it works, so at the moment we are not planning to change this.  I believe on top of the 5 credits you bought the support team gave you an extra three free credits too.

 

We are very generous with refunds in general if there are any kinds of problems, but in this case the system really did what it was supposed to do. 

 

Now, payments aside, we would definitely want you to have a good Flexi Classes experience of course. If you send me the email address you used to sign up for as a pm here I can extend your credits validity manually for you, so you have enough time to use all of them. Just let me know how long you would like them to be valid for and I can get that done straight away.

 

I am very sorry for your first experience not having been as good as we would have liked it to. I hope we can make the rest of it much better. If there is anything else with your classes, Flexi Classes or anything else I can help with just let me know (here, private message or the Flexi Forum).

 

圣诞节快乐

 

 

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@zhouhaochen hello there. Thanks for replying. I appreciate that you responded. My issue with it was that the page where you can top up credit is on the same one where you can sign up for the free trials. You should make them completely separate so that people who sign up for free trial will ever ONLY get that, free trial. If they want to top up they can do that separately. Sure, I admit I was the dumb one for clicking it and paid for it but the whole point of giving people free trial I thought was for people to try first, then if they like it they will buy more credits. What’s the point of signing up for free trials and buy the product at the same time? 
 

Honestly, if it wasn’t because of the free trials I would not have signed up and paid 50 pounds on first go. Like with all the resources I’m using right now, Skritter, Chinesepod, Du Chinese, Italki. I did a free or cheap trial first, I liked them and then paid for the subscriptions and lessons. 
 

I already used most of my credits now so won’t be needing a further extension. Thanks for offering. I just personally don’t like the way this is conducted and while I do like the teachers, especially for my Japanese lessons, I personally won’t be using the platform anymore. Transparency and flexibility is the main issue for me. 
 

If I conducted a business, personally if I offer something for free especially to new potential customers I would honor that otherwise I won’t give that offer. But as you said thousand of other customers did not have that issue so it must be just me which I have accepted and not looking for further reparation. 

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@amytheorangutanthanks for the reply and being so understanding and open about this.

 

It is possible to create a completely different sign up process for people who got a free discount code to make sure that there is no risk at all that they click on the wrong option. It is actually on our to do list. However, it is quite a lot of work to program and will cost several thousand of Dollars to implement (programers are ridiculously expensive). We are not a Silicon Valley funded start up, but a Chinese language school that was forced online by Covid. The end result is pretty cool, but we have to be a bit careful where we spend our money and the focus for me is to make the study experience better for students who are inside the system. 

 

As a side note, credit card processors take about 8% of any payment made and then another 20% if it is refunded, plus quite a bit of admin work. They advertise that they dont, but in reality they do via an incredible number of hidden extra charges (talking about transparency....). So once a payment has been made by credit card, it is not like in a shop where you just give someone money back, it comes with significant additional costs and work. That has nothing to do with your or us of course, but it pisses me off every day I see it and thought I just mention it. Credit card companies are running a monopoly mafia racket.

 

One of the things we have to deal with when working online of course, its not just us, its the same for everyone, as of course everyone has to accept credit cards.

 

Anyways, I am very happy to hear that you used all your credits and liked the classes and teachers.

 

Maybe one day in the future you give us a try again - I promise we will keep working on making it even better.

 

 

 

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As a side note, credit card processors take about 8% of any payment made and then another 20% if it is refunded, plus quite a bit of admin work. They advertise that they dont, but in reality they do via an incredible number of hidden extra charges (talking about transparency....). So once a payment has been made by credit card, it is not like in a shop where you just give someone money back, it comes with significant additional costs and work. That has nothing to do with your or us of course, but it pisses me off every day I see it and thought I just mention it. Credit card companies are running a monopoly mafia racket.

 

This truly does not belong in a conversation with a customer - and with many other potential customers looking on!

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  • 2 weeks later...
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Why not?

 

Well, you asked!  Because quite frankly it makes you look inexperienced and naive about business.  Complaining about things you can't change and that you need to consider as just a cost of doing business.

 

When I see a company complaining in front of customers about taxes or fees, they drop quite a bit in my estimation.  It is unprofessional, inappropriate and amateur.

 

It's like an actor complaining about how much they had to study for a role or an athlete complaining about aches and pains. 

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What you are implying is that they should make the lessons more expensive to factor in such hidden costs (!?)

 

Correct.  That is what normal businesses do.  For example, every retail store has some losses from shoplifting.  They factor that into their pricing.  And they don't complain to the public:  "You see, you have to pay more for vegetables because some of your fellow citizens steal."  (Even though that is true.)

 

For years I worked as a business coach, and it was always a reliable sign of amateurism and naivete when someone complained like this:  "Well, they're paying me $1000 for this service but it's really only $600 after taxes, poor me." 

 

Whether a small or a large business, you need to set prices so that you can cover inevitable expenses, even the ones you personally dislike or believe to be unfair - and leave some profit for yourself.  That's what is involved in being in business, and for someone to complain about this shows a poor attitude.

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Zhou Haochen has explained his reasons, Moshen has explained the background to his criticism, can you guys put this to rest now? If you really wish to continue the discussion on business communication, I suggest either of you make a new topic here.

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@Moshen I think you really are misunderstanding whom you are speaking to. It is me as a person. I have been on Chinese Forums for longer than I am working at LTL. I also comment and post about issues related to LTL, but this is not an official business PR spokesperson. It is me and my personal thoughts. I am sure you are a very experienced business coach, but we are not in a business coaching session here. If you are not interested in a piece of information (sounded like other people are) you are welcome to ignore it. If you have any suggestions regarding learning Mandarin I am very interested, but maybe keep the business advice for your paying clients.

 

@Lu Agree 😃 No further posts from me about this rather irrelevant matter.

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I find the social element of this very enticing, especially in the age of covid, I find I am really yearning for more opportunities to socialize with people who share interests. 

That said, I think I may be too advanced for the group courses. Since after HSK4, it goes to private tutoring. I have never studied the HSK, but I assume that I'm above what would count as HSK4. I've done private tutoring, but I don't enjoy it that much. I like to feed off the enthusiasm of others. A class working through advanced/native material with other higher level learners would be nice. 

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@PerpetualChange We have levels up to HSK 4+ at the moment, which is a bridge level between HSK 4 and 5 as its a pretty big jump from HSK 4 to 5. The free speaking classes in HSK 4+ especially are pretty challenging. So if you are a high HSK 4 or low HSK 5 that level  fits for you already.

We are launching HSK 5 at the end of this month, so this could fit you well. We are running trial classes for HSK 5 listening and writing classes this Friday. 

The full HSK 5 level should be online before Chinese New Year.

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