SuperProf's SuperFail

Warning: This might get ranty . . .

The Tutor Pages was a favourite among professional private tutors. The students didn't have to pay to access your details and they didn't take commission. It was funded by paying a subscription. The subscription was tiered and I was more than happy to pay £60 per year for the gold membership which allowed me to put a hyperlink to my site. My profile would come up near the top of the Google search for 'physics tutor Manchester' and I got a lot of click-throughs for my site with it. It was also a fantastic education-oriented site and LinkedIn group — clearly more than just a way to make money off the tutoring boom. But apparently all good things must come to an end. Henry Fagg sold The Tutor Pages to Superprof, who are possibly most incompetent company I have ever come across!

Part of the deal was that it couldn't be announced, not even to the tutors on the site, before the acquisition. That in itself is dodgy and I'm pretty sure the transfer of our data (including payment data) is in violation of GDPR. The first we all heard of it was either via social media or an email from Superprof with a lovely surprise "We have some exciting news to share with you. Superprof, the World’s largest tutoring network, has just taken over The Tutor Pages!" The email also contained my new password, which was superclare. Genius password, right? There's no way I could work out anyone else's password from that. It's bad enough our details were migrated to the superprof site without our permission they made a password so insecure that a 5 year old could hack our accounts. This came out on Twitter and quickly several website had commented on it:

I immediately changed my password and the morons email you your new password. But that's not the end of it. When they migrated our details over they changed our prices (in my case to half of the original price). They also said the average fee of maths tutors in Chorlton is £12 per hour. Maybe if you're asking GCSE students to tutor you. They messed up a lot of our details. One maths tutor, for example, was put in the category of literacy tutor!? Some of the site is in French. Which is helpful. I'd put so much work into my The Tutor Pages profile page and it was all ruined. I was definitely not alone. It was also possibly the worst time of year for it to happen — a couple of weeks before the start of the school year. So, many frustrated tutors took to Trustpilot and made our feelings very clear. The first 10 comments were all one star within a couple of days. Superprof cut and pasted an apology as a reply to each of the reviews. Then as they received yet more negative reviews they couldn't take it anymore and got TrustPilot to take them down. Their reason? It's SuperProf_fr and this is regarding the new UK site. Even though it's the French company that's running it. So we started commenting on a new That was kind of dumb of them because rather than having a score of 8.5 rather than 8.8, which was still 'good', they now have a rating of 'bad'.

There's still a lot of noise about it on Twitter. I started the hashtag #SuperProfFail but there was also a catchy #pooperprof hashtag floating around. Maybe 'floating around' wasn't the best phrase there. The CEO of Superprof appears to be an emoji junky and thinks telling his team are 'super cool' is going to fill us with confidence.

Is that the end of the incompetence? No. Since I had paid The Tutor pages for a service I wasn't receiving anymore I emailed Superprof twice; once on the Friday and once on the Monday requesting a refund an expressing my annoyance (in a very subtle and British way). Still no reply by Tuesday so I took to their facebook page. Their auto-response says to email them. I started yelling at my phone like a crazy person. I kept my cool on Messenger though, trying to keep it professional, and after a bit more prodding I got a reply. I was told I can be refunded the £33 left on my subscription and that they have deleted my account. What what what? Deleted my account? I didn't ask for that. I emailed immediately saying how and why did not ask for that. No reply. Back to facebook the next day. They apologised and said they were under the impression I wanted my account deleting. They said they can reinstate the account, so I said yes please. I'm not sure I want to be part of their tacky website full of unqualified 'tutors' but I can delete it myself if I decide they're not worth it. I couldn't log in so I did the 'forgot password' thing and was emailed a new password. You thought you couldn't get worse than super[first name] as a password? How about blank? Yes the field was blank. Also my details had disappeared from the website. They fixed that but didn't have anything to say about the password thing.

The thing that bothers me most now is they managed to bring back all my info after supposedly deleting it. This means they are keeping our information. For how long, I don't know. But it reeks of incompetence and underhanded tactics. They cannot be trusted. I don't want to be part of their dishonest website but it's a big decision to effectively remove myself from the first page of a Google search. I guess I just need to work really hard on SEO and get up there myself. I thought Henry Fagg, the founder of The Tutor Pages was one of the good guys — but it looks like you can't trust anyone.

Update: After a bit of threatening to share their second password blunder with the world, they sorted it out. The also refunded me the £33. So, I've got to give them that.

Dunce cap