The First Look at Preply
Preply has tons of reviews on Trustpilot and similar review platforms, and the average score Preply has earned based on customers’ experiences is 4.2/5.
First of all, if you’ve never heard of Preply or don’t know how it works, the number one thing you need to know is that Preply is an online tutoring platform. Unlike the websites we typically review, Preply isn’t the place to get your essay or research paper.
Instead, you can use it to learn languages and improve your academic skills, such as writing. You will have a teacher-tutor guiding you toward your educational goals.
Many Preply customers complain in their reviews about long waiting times and poor quality. We’ll check if that’s indeed the case.
Preply: Our Initial Verdict
We love it when our regular readers request a review of a certain service we have yet to write about, and Preply is one of the most popular names suggested. Students want to know, “Is Preply legit?”, “Will Preply help me improve my grades?”, “Is Preply a good platform if I want to work on my writing skills?”, and other similar things.
We genuinely want to help you find the best education-related services out there; it doesn’t matter to us whether they are for writing assignments or anything else. That’s why we’ve created an account on Preply and used the platform to write an unbiased review of our experience. Hopefully, our insights will help you make an informed decision.
We will use a slightly modified version of the scale and criteria we typically use when reviewing traditional academic writing services. But remember that Preply isn’t like EssayHub, PaperTyper, or any other writing platform we normally review. It’s not even an AI writing tool. Instead, it’s a tutoring service where you can get help with your writing skills, but in a different way than most of us are used to. Anyways, let’s dive in.
Preply: What It Is and How We’ve Tested It
One of the surprisingly common questions we see online is “What is Preply?” which is perfectly understandable. Indeed, Preply Inc. differs from most other services students are familiar with, such as academic writing agencies. Preply is an online tutoring platform that connects tutors searching for learners with learners looking for tutors.
Whatever you’d like to learn — from Spanish to anatomy to speech writing and everything in between — you can find a tutor on Preply. All you need to do is use a bunch of filters to limit your options and prevent choice overload (which is very likely on Preply, seeing as it has some 35,000 registered tutors).
Because of Preply’s nature as a platform, we couldn’t use the regular mechanisms we use when testing different academic writing services. Instead, we created an account and scheduled many lessons with Preply’s tutors. We limited our search to writing tutors to make our insights relevant to most of our readers.
Now, we know what the customer’s experience on Preply looks like, and we also researched some of the key problems of the platform according to the tutors registered there. So, let’s discuss Preply in detail.
How Good Is Preply Customer Service?
One of the concerns we often see in students’ Preply reviews is that contacting Preply’s customer support team isn’t always easy. The platform notoriously doesn’t have a contact number one can call if they prefer to discuss their concerns over the phone.
Instead, your options are limited to an email address and the so-called Help Center on Preply’s website. No wonder “How to contact Preply?” is such a popular question online. It’s frustrating for users that they don’t have a way to talk to someone from Preply’s support immediately, especially considering that the platform isn’t flawless.
After trying Preply, we can fully agree with other users’ concerns—the lack of a service number one can dial to contact the support center is inconvenient at best and blatantly unfair at worst.
Moreover, we’ve noticed a weird tendency: Preply’s support team answered our emails way quicker before purchasing the credits necessary for scheduling lessons with tutors. Once we spent money on the platform, the response time increased noticeably.
We were also trying to get a refund, which proved nearly impossible. After everything we’ve experienced with Preply’s support, we can see why it’s one of the lowest-rated aspects of this service.
Preply Tutors: Who They Are and What Their Qualifications Are
Tutors on Preply come from all walks of life. Some are professional teachers; others are simply looking for a side job, which is especially common among native English speakers charging ESL learners for conversation classes (there’s nothing wrong with that).
Preply is a seemingly perfect capitalist entity that regulates itself, albeit to an extent. More experienced and higher-rated tutors, as well as those who don’t have the most impressive qualifications but charge less than their more seasoned colleagues, get all the students. Those who lack expertise but have a high rate are left with nothing.
Every tutor on Preply has a profile where you can find a detailed account of their career. We had one lesson with a more experienced (and therefore, more expensive) tutor and another lesson with a newbie. Both were alright, but we did conclude that the “you get what you pay for” principle works on Preply.
Preply Prices, Credits, and Fees: How the System Works
Preply has the same payment system as other similar tutoring platforms. To book classes with Preply’s tutors, you must “subscribe” and pay for the so-called credits. You then use those credits to pay tutors. You can choose a subscription with one to five lessons per week included.
However, remember that your subscription will renew automatically in 28 days, and if you have many unused credits, a large chunk of them will be deducted. That’s inconvenient, especially if you don’t want to commit to too many classes immediately after you start on Preply.
Trial lessons with different tutors are available throughout your Preply journey but aren’t very helpful. We’ll explain the reason in a bit. The subscription cost will largely depend on the fees of the specific tutors you choose. One of the questions we keep seeing is, “Why is Preply so cheap?” The answer is it’s not. Tutors come from different places and walks of life, so their fees vary.
For example, the more experienced writing tutor we booked a class with cost us $60 for a 50-minute session. The cheaper one charged only $12 for the same time. As you can see, the price disparity is noticeable. Regarding the payment method you can use, there’s a bunch. A regular credit card is probably the most convenient option, but it depends on what works best for you.
Preply Refund Rules
Preply refund policy is so complicated that many people are confused about how everything works. Having tried to get a refund from Preply ourselves, we can’t blame them. You have to read through paragraph after paragraph of text to find out how Preply gives refunds to its clients. You will then need to reread it to understand what Preply is trying to tell you.
First, please do your best to set realistic goals and pay for the weekly lessons you can commit to. Otherwise, only one week’s classes will be transferred to your next financial month; the rest will be simply lost. We recommend you compensate for fewer lessons than you’re hoping for; upgrading your subscription is always easier than downgrading it.
To request a refund for the lesson you’ve already had, you must email Preply’s customer support team, which is inconvenient and very slow. Simply canceling the subscription is easier, but Preply still makes it tricky to locate this option in the app, so you will need to put in some effort anyway.
How Does Preply Work?
As discussed, Preply is an online tutoring platform, which means you have lessons with a tutor (or tutors) of your choice, thus learning a language or anything else you’re interested in. All lessons are scheduled on Preply, and trying to take them elsewhere is a bad idea. If you do, Preply won’t be able to protect you from getting scammed.
The specific details about how a Preply lesson goes depend on your subject and the particular tutor you choose. For example, when we took a writing class with a cheaper tutor, it involved actual writing during the lesson (which we found odd).
In contrast, our class with the more experienced and expensive tutor focused mostly on reviewing, discussing, and analyzing other pieces of writing and an in-depth discussion of fundamental principles of good writing. We recommend you talk to a candidate for a bit via text messages on Preply before selecting someone as your tutor. We should also add that while the answer to the question of “Is Preply a good way to learn a language?” is yes, for writing courses, it’s a no.
How Effective Is Preply?
Preply is generally a good platform, but it’s nowhere near perfect. First, there’s a massive problem: Preply’s tutors aren’t paid for the trial lesson with each new student; the platform takes all the money. As a result, tutors aren’t motivated to deliver a good lesson or, in many cases, even show up to it.
As lessons you request are often confirmed automatically, it’s not uncommon for students to be patiently waiting for a tutor who has no idea they are supposed to be teaching someone at the moment. It’s an unfortunate and very annoying waste of students’ time.
Regarding its effectiveness, Preply seems to be a good way to learn a language. However, if you want to improve your writing skills, using a writing tutor and a professional academic writing service for your current school assignments is better. Otherwise, your GPA might suffer.
Popular Preply Alternatives
Students often search for websites like Preply because of some of Preply’s flawed aspects, and we can understand where they are coming from. The platform has quite a few competitors, and some of them do seem like a better choice.
We’ve compiled a list of the best platforms similar to Preply. Here are some of them:
- italki. italki might be a little pricier than Preply, but the quality of lessons is generally better. Also, if it matters to you how the platform treats its tutors, go with italki.
- Wiingy. Wiingi is very similar to Preply because it works for various subjects instead of only foreign languages. You can find a writing tutor on Wiingy easily.
- Take Lessons. Take Lessons has almost every discipline, including languages, arts, science, and more. It doesn’t have a free trial, but the prices are quite affordable.
- Verbling. Verbling is mostly suited for language learning. If you’d like to improve your writing skills specifically, it’s not your best choice.
- HelloTalk. HelloTalk is for practicing your conversational skills in a foreign language you’re learning.
We encourage you to read our article if you’re interested in a more detailed comparison.
Preply’s Key Strengths and Weaknesses
To summarize everything, check our list of Preply’s main perks and drawbacks. It will make it easier to compare Preply to competitors and decide if it’s the best platform for your needs.
Remember that no tutoring service can substitute for a professional writing agency that helps students with their schoolwork.
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