Review of Tutor.Ac
"Don't Like" isn't strong enough
Richard from Tutor.Ac complained about the use of the word "despise" as well as the description of his site as being "foreign" and as being an "agency" so let me explain.
I despise spammers and so I despise Tutor.Ac because they mass emailed all the tutors on this site when they set up in 2005.
Despite the claims they have made to being British, Tutor.Ac is based in Thailand. Their terms and conditions state: "User Agreement will be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of Thailand".
Their site clearly meets the British description of an Agency (i.e. as defined by UK employment law) and would satisfy the description of an Agency in all European Union countries as well as the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand.... but, more to the point, what else would you call a business which takes a commission for finding people work?
Having said all that, as a tutor, they might actually be worth using. The main reason is that they are based in Thailand and they bind you to the laws of Thailand when you use their site. This means that if you are not based in Thailand it makes it legally impossible for them to force you to pay them a continuing commission. However, you are forced to give them a payment upfront when someone is interested in contacting you. This is illegal in the UK (and the countries mentioned above) as the employer (the student) must meet this cost. There are good reasons for this and employment agencies are highly regulated in these countries. It is up to you if you think their site is worth this "per contact" charge.
Not if You're a Student
Worryingly, if you are a student you have no legal protection what-so-ever because they are not based in a European Union member state and do not conform to EU employment law. This site is worse than any of the Tutor-Student sites which were shutdown by the DTi in 2004 and 2005. For the most part, I don't like agencies but if I was to go with one I wouldn't outsource to Thailand. I would also pick one which knows the law and offers a good guaranteed service to both tutor and student.