Overall score: 3.3/5. We do not recommend Cambly to our readers
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Cambly
Raiting 3.3
Raiting 3.7
Raiting 1.3
Emma Miller
Review writer at NoCramming
Published February 02, 2024

What Is Cambly?

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Cambly is an online tutoring service rated 3.3 stars based on 153 reviews on review websites, which indicates that most customers aren’t satisfied with Cambly. Users mention long waits for customer service and poor quality of studying. Cambly is currently ranked 58th among essay writing sites, scoring 3.3 out of 5.0.

If you consider Cambly, you must be a student needing help improving their English language skills.

Cambly offers to connect you with tutors in one-on-one or group lessons in exchange for a subscription fee. Available courses include topics for professional development, exam prep, reading, speaking, and vocabulary practice.

Cambly Review

What is Cambly tutor selection process? Well, the service doesn’t really delve into specifics anywhere, except for stating that all tutors are native English speakers and “many have graduate degrees from universities in the US, UK, and Canada.” While some tutors are certified, not every tutor profile bears this mark. (Besides, this certification isn’t explained anywhere on the website.)

Cambly Review

Our Experience with Cambly

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While Cambly isn’t our usual essay-writing platform, we couldn’t overlook the demand for the service. So, we stepped up our game to analyze how good Cambly is – and whether you can rely on it to boost your English skills.

As always, we started with a deep dive into the trove of information that Cambly offers about itself on its website. We put ourselves into the customer’s shoes, clicking around to determine how the service works and what to expect. We then spent our fair share of time digging deeper and reviewing Cambly’s Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Then, we walked a mile in the customer’s shoes, creating an account and signing up for Cambly’s Complete subscription. We then scheduled two 30-minute lessons “to build our confidence in English.” One lesson was a one-on-one, and the other one was a group session.

In our opinion, Cambly didn’t manage to live up to its promise. While the subscription-based pricing model is incredibly attractive – normally, you’d have to pay as much for a single lesson – the quality of learning left much to be desired. Customer support also didn’t live up even to our lowest standards.

Price
3.4
Quality
3.1
Features
3.5
Support
3.2
Ease of Use
3.6
Reputation
2.9

Getting Started with Cambly

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Once we finished our research, we set out to create an account with Cambly. While you can tinker with its AI bot for free to practice your English, the bot can’t exactly offer that personal touch that tutors can.

So, what is Cambly like when you start with it? Creating an account was admittedly intuitive and easy. You can use your existing Facebook or Google account to sign up, or go the old-fashioned way and just use your email. Cambly then asks you to provide your first name, English proficiency level, learning goals, and preferred topics.

You can then get a taste of Cambly with a trial lesson for $1.00 or forego it in favor of the full experience. We decided on the latter and encountered a bad surprise: the pricing was hardly as low as stated on the main page (more on that below).

Once you pay the price using your debit or credit card, you can schedule your lessons according to the minutes you select for your plan. However, since your preferred tutor isn’t required to set aside a specific time slot, you may find it jarring to hop from one person to another.

Getting Started with Cambly

How Cambly’s Customer Support Fares

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Now, let’s talk about Cambly customer service. It was mentioned – or, rather, criticized – in multiple customer reviews on Trustpilot, so we had to see how it fared ourselves. Here’s just one negative comment we found:

Cambly’s Support and Communication

For our Cambly review, we set out to find any contacts possible on the website before we made the account. That proved near impossible – you can submit the ticket only once you’re logged in. Which, in the case of the person above, was a significant inconvenience.

Cambly Support and Communication

Instead, we tried to find alternatives. Our eyes landed on the button in the bottom right corner of the screen – that was a chatbot. We tried our luck with a basic question about the accepted payment methods, our usual first inquiry. The bot was rather unhelpful as it didn’t return relevant help desk articles at all:

Cambly Support and Communication

However, we saw there the “Get in Touch” button in the chatbot. We tried our luck again, and lo and behold – we could finally get an answer from a human being. However, the conversation was quite rushed, in our opinion, and we didn’t feel like the person on the other side was invested in helping us.

Who Are Cambly’s Tutors?

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Most cambly.com reviews don’t outright call out negative tutor experiences, calling them “okay” for the most part. And we’d agree with that assessment: it’s not terrible but not outstanding. However, in our opinion, it’s not worth the money.

Part of the reason is the opaque selection criteria for tutors. We couldn’t find them anywhere on the website, so we had to resort to Cambly reviews written for tutors.

Cambly does require tutor applicants to be native speakers, which means having a passport from specific countries (United States, Canada, UK, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand). However, applicants aren’t required to have any degree or accreditation in teaching English as a foreign language. So, they may not even have any teaching experience!

The only upside we can find here is that at least tutors have comprehensive profiles with a rating system:

Cambly’s Tutors

Is Cambly Expensive? Refunds, Discounts, Pricing

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Let’s begin with a burning question: is Cambly free? Well, there are parts of Cambly that you can use for free, notably the Cambly MiniLesson AI chatbot and free resources like slides and guides. But that’s about it.

If anything is alluring about Cambly, it’s the price. The homepage promises to put you in touch with native English-speaking tutors for a mere $19 per month if you opt for group lessons only or $44 per month for both one-on-one and group sessions.

Cambly Pricing Policy

However, that pricing is quite misleading. Yes, you can pay $44/month for one-on-one lessons, but only if you choose 30 minutes a week – hardly enough for a meaningful session – and pay the annual bill in one go. If you’re serious about improving your English level, you’d need 2.5 hours a week, and here’s how much it’d cost you:

Cambly Pricing

On the bright side, as we mentioned before, you can get your trial lesson for as little as $1.00:

Cambly Pricing Policy

As for the payment method, Cambly accepts only debit and credit card payments. Be careful: by default, the payment is set up to be recurring. If you don’t opt out of subscription renewal, you may end up in a situation like this:

Cambly Pricing Policy

The refund policy is somewhat shredded in mystery, too. Terms and Conditions, however, explicitly state that “Subscription Plans and other services are non-refundable and non-creditable.”

Cambly Pricing Policy

What If Something Goes Wrong?

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The Cambly reviews we analyzed rarely mentioned any mishaps with the lessons. Most complaints revolved around the company and its customer support and refund policy. However, there’s always a possibility that something can go wrong with the lesson.

If the tutor misses your call, you should be able to recover the unspent minutes, according to this help desk post:

Cambly Refund Policy

As for subscription cancellations, you can’t get refunded if you cancel your plan at any point – even if you don’t use it, as this user found out:

Cambly Refund Policy

In our experience, both tutors showed up for the lessons as scheduled. We also didn’t feel like we wanted to request a refund – however, that didn’t mean our experience was A-grade, either.

How Learning Unfolds at Cambly

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Once your subscription is paid for, you can schedule your lessons according to the amount of minutes you have in your plan. You’re in charge of choosing the tutor. You can opt for a non-structured lesson for speaking practice or select one of the courses and then select a tutor that teaches that course.

We opted for the course English for Software Developers for the one-on-one session. You can get access to lesson slides for free, and you have to review them on your own before a session. (Slides themselves are akin to a basic textbook.) You can then schedule a call with a tutor based on their availability.

How Learning Unfolds at Cambly

Keep in mind that Cambly automatically records all lessons so that you can rewatch them later on. Whether it’s a pro or a con is up to you.

But is Cambly good? The answer to that penultimate question is right below!

EssayHub Ranks Among the Top 3 Best Writing Services

Does Cambly Really Help?

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According to customer reviews on Cambly, the quality of learning isn’t exactly on par with its pricing, and we’d have to agree with it. In our case, the first tutor wasn’t certified (by our choice). The one-on-one session reminded us of a video chat with an acquaintance rather than a tutoring session with any structure or conscious teaching approach behind it.

A 30-minute group session, on the other hand, had another issue: there was simply too little time for everyone to express themselves properly.

Since tutors don’t allocate slots to specific students, you may find yourself going through one lesson with one tutor, the next one – with another one, and so on. That introduces unnecessary chaos into the learning process, bringing down its quality. Tutoring is about the personal approach to every student as it is about TEFL techniques.

Cambly Pros & Cons at a Glance

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While tutoring sites like Cambly have the potential to democratize language learning, Cambly itself is unlikely to be worth the investment. The threshold for entry for tutors is so low we can’t seriously call some of them tutors. Customer support is hard to reach and doesn’t go the extra mile to resolve issues. And the pricing isn’t as low as you might think – for what it is, of course, and when comparing Cambly vs Preply.

Pros:
  • ✅ Tutor profiles are quite comprehensive to help you make the right choice
  • ✅ You can try Cambly’s tutoring for $1.00
  • ✅ There are free resources you may find useful
Cons:
  • ❌ Requirements for becoming a tutor boil down to having the right passport, which turns tutor selection into Russian roulette
  • ❌ Some tutors lack experience or skills in teaching English as a foreign language
  • ❌ Subscription fees are non-refundable, and the renewal is automatic
  • ❌ Cambly.com reviews point out customer support is often unresponsive
  • ❌ Pricing is misleading, and it’s not great value for the money

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Cambly legit?

As far as we can tell, Cambly is a registered business, Cambly Inc., with headquarters at 440 N. Barranca Ave. #4343 in the United States (Covina, CA). However, we could find that information only in the privacy policy.

Is Cambly reliable?

Cambly is reliable enough to connect you to native English speakers in exchange for the subscription fee. However, be on the lookout for its pricing; it can be misleading. Tutors aren’t required to have any experience or background in teaching English as a foreign language.

Is Cambly a scam?

You get a specific service – measured in minutes of tutoring – in exchange for the subscription fee. So, Cambly isn’t an outright scam. However, it lacks tutor screening to ensure session quality.

What is Cambly?

Cambly is an online tutoring service that connects you with native English speakers in exchange for a subscription fee. Once you sign up for a plan, you can participate in one-on-one or group lessons of 30 minutes or one hour.

Is Cambly safe?

Cambly has no track record of cybersecurity mishaps, and it’s fairly safe regarding payments. Its automatic renewal can annoy – or enrage – some customers, however.
But is Cambly a safe investment overall? In our opinion, not really, since you don’t get quality tutoring, and the pricing is steeper than you might think.

Is Cambly trustworthy?

While Cambly isn’t an outright scam, it’s not a good value for your money. Some Cambly reviews criticize its customer support (or lack thereof) and automated recurrent payments. Others point out that lessons can go on without a plan, so you can’t even see if you make any progress.

The latest customer reviews

Cambly
User ID: 985889
Rating 1.5
I subscribed to the service but had to cancel the same day for personal reasons. Now I am being asked to pay about 20% of the annual subscription fee as a cancellation fee.
Name:
Sophia P.
04/25/2023
Cambly
User ID: 676822
Rating 1.0
Once you purchase their package, they vanish without a trace. There's no customer service, no email support, no phone calls. I strongly advise avoiding this company altogether.
Name:
Benjamin C.
01/28/2023
Cambly
User ID: 600487
Rating 3.0
While the teachers and the service itself are passable, they're not exceptional.
Name:
Lauren M.
02/01/2024

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