Save 20% off! Join our newsletter and get 20% off right away!
NSW Member for Penrirth Stuart Ayres

Get smart on tutoring products

NSW Member for Penrirth Stuart Ayres
NSW Member for Penrirth Stuart Ayres

The NSW Minister for Fair Trading Mr Stuart Ayres and the Australian Tutoring Association or ATA are reminding parents ad students of the potential pitfalls of signing up for tutoring products and services.

Mr Ayres said 18 complaints involving the tutoring industry were received by the agency I 2013.

“While this is not a large figure, disputes involving tutors and tutoring products can be costly, he said.

“In families of non-English speaking backgrounds tutoring products canbe in high deand yet is often non-English speaking communities that are most reluctant to lodge formal complaint with consumer protection agencies when things go wrong.

Mr Ayres said tutoring businesses were required under the Australian Consumer Law to substantiate any claims they make on websites, in advertising or verbally.

Testimonials must be genuine and Fair Trading will  issue substantiation notices to any tutoring business believed to be using fake consumer testimonials or making unrealistic guarantees of academic success,” he said.

“Companies found to be engaged in false and misleading representation face fines up t $1.1 million, while individuals face fines up to $220,000.

Mr Ayres said consumers should also be wary of tutoring businesses selling products door-to-door.

“Such businesses are not permitted to take any payment within a 10-day cooling off period nd must abide by termination requirements.” he said.

‘Under the ACL, fines up to $50,000 for a company and $10,000 for idividual apply to those who fail to observe this cooling of provision.”

M Ayres said consumers should be fully informed about cancellation and refund conditions as well as the total cost of the services, before signing a contract.

“When considering buying tutoring services or products from overseas or interstate institutions over the internet, exceptional caution should b exercised.” he said

Not all tutoring products  may be relevant to the requirements of the NSW Board of Studies teaching and Education  standards (BOSTES).

“It is also important to check software compatibility and internet connection capacity before purchasing any computer based-tutoring products.”

The CEO of the Australian Tutoring Associations, Mohan Dhail, said reputable tutoring colleges were members of the association, which prohibits deceptive practices and high pressure selling.

“One of the big issues for us at present is that of accreditation.” Mr  Dhal said.

The ATA has developed a national accreditation with its accreditation  partner  Accredited Tutor. This body also doe national background police checks on tutors.

“The Association supports the accreditation of al tutors. Accreditation helps consumers have confidence in the standard tuition and the standard of training tutors.”