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8 reviews

Brainfuse Employee Reviews

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Worked at computer through tutor application
Tutor (Former Employee), New York, NYOctober 14, 2013
Pros: at home work
Cons: odd hours
I would tutor math to people from grade 1 up to differential equations.
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Horrible support/students, great everything else
Tutor (Current Employee), OnlineMay 6, 2013
Pros: easy money for virtually no work
Cons: the students and the company.
Turn on your favorite show that you don't need to pay attention on, open a bottle of wine or some beers and you should be good to go for about 2-3 hours before the job gets under your skin.

Students: a.k.a. what students?

I only do instant staffing, which means I tutor studentS during a live session. You get paid the same regardless of how many students you are dealing with, but you are expected to perform the same. That being said, the students aren't real students. I've done a lot of face to face teaching and tutoring for my subjects and have never encountered anyone I could not pacify or handle. These kids are monsters. They want everything short of help. They have a 10 page paper due in 90 minutes, they have 1 page completed, they want you to do the rest. It's against the policy for you to do this, or to give them any answers but most tutors do it anyway just to pacify the students (I have looked over the logs of the most popular tutors who are constantly requested). Keep the student happy, do not mention anything about the company and the company will never care what 'help' you provide. If the student is not happy, you will be the bad guy in every case. Then they will cut your hours, so either succumb to it or don't. I did and it's been going pretty well. You end up spotting major leaks and problems with writing and the company has a ton of sources for you to help the students with those leaks but because the students ONLY want answers to their specific issues, if you simply tell them "hey that's a run on, here's how you can fix it," you end up with a happy student vs. – more... "hey, it looks like you don't understand how run ons work, let's load a lesson on them." It's been progressively worse over the past year (the company just got sued and settled, this may have had something to do with it, they also opened a lot of extra access in new areas). I would say about 1 out of 5 of my highschool+ students do not know basic English (i.e. what is a subject, what is a verb); about 1 out of 10 cannot speak English and are using this company as a way to learn it. About 3 out of 5 or 4 out of 5 are failing (often they will tell you this), and you are the person they take their anger out on. The only thing you can/have to do is 'ignore' them or you are fired.

The company

They have government grants and you are replaceable. That about sums up how you should expect to be treated. They provide no training and the only feedback you get from them is after you slip up and say something about their policy. Everything else doesn't matter. I've literally made up answers to test this and no one noticed. You have 'supervisors' who monitor you for quality, but they don't. Their only job is to sit there and basically move students around and deal with issues/explain how to handle all the rude students when something comes up. I've had a monitor admit to me that they do not receive the same policy change emails and in fact that particular monitor knew nothing about policy. I've had monitors contradict each other with answers on what to do, I've monitors who needed to contact other monitors, it's a slug fest. And you are the brunt of the litter. While all this is happening you have 2-3 students asking you to review 5-15 page documents. The company doesn't care because if you don't want to work anymore there are about 1000 others who will take your place immediately. In today's market getting hired for an online entry-level job is very difficult and they exploit this incredibly well. If you can get past the hang ups... well:

The job

Sit back, skype with friends, get drunk, randomly log off when you're annoyed, play video games, watch movies/shows/whatever, do anything you want. You might say but isn't every online non-face-to-face job like that? No, because here your answers do not need to be correct nor are you supposed to give them. Your only job is to keep out of the company's way and make the student smile. Finish every sentence with a smiley face and you will be re-requested. Dealing with students and the company is frustrating but the job itself can be done by anyone so much so that I trained one of my girlfriends to do it in about one hour. So much so that I have done it once without having MS Office installed and only pretended to read the documents and was still able to put in a full 5 hours. If you really want to teach others (like I do), this is not the environment where you will do this. You will not tutor nor teach nor help. You will simply provide superficial observations. The 'best' tutors (the ones who are requested the most) based on the logs I've read do exactly that. I'm personally still perfecting the system but I noticed that smiley faces and exclamation points go a long way. You're super excited to teach them nothing today! :) The student walks away happy, the company is happy, and your brain is happy. It DOES drain your spirit if you're a teacher like I am, but it is very very easy. Each kid that comes to me, I really want to help, but no one wants the help, and it saddens me because that's probably how it works in the public school system from where these students come (the company for some reason allows you to see where they log in from, district, library, etc.).

I really should stress this but the pay sounds cool until you learn that you are going to handle more than 1 student at a time. You STILL get the same pay and the students CANNOT know that you are dealing with 2 others. So the company is making 3x, while you still get your regular hourly rate. This part really sucks. – less
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Great place for extra income
tutor (Current Employee), Jacksonville FloridaMarch 20, 2013
Pros: flexibility
Cons: not an employee, you are an independent contractor
The management can be demanding but it's a great place to work. You don't get a lot of hours in the beginning but if you work for a while and prove yourself, this gets better. At least for me it did. It's also pretty fun to work with students but t can get a bit hectic at times.
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Good extra income
Mathematics and Reading Tutor (Former Employee), New York, NYAugust 11, 2012
Pros: working with children
Cons: low pay
Good ectra income with a good mission of helping children. Hours varied. All work done online.
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High Frustration / Low Pay
Instant Access Online Tutor (Former Employee), New York, New YorkApril 29, 2012
Pros: work from home, flexible hours
Cons: students can be extremely rude, not much support from the administration office
This position can be rewarding when working with students that are willing to learn and are generally polite. Some students can be very rude and demanding. The ratio of rude students to decent students is higher (compared to face-to-face interactions; that's a very rare occurrence). Rude students can be pop up once or more during one shift. I worked in the science and math section. The tutoring in those areas can involve higher level questions and responses to their questions can be involved. One major downside is that tutors are expected to manage multiple students online, 2-3, and sometimes 4 students at a time. I rarely worked with only 1 student. Working with multiple students can go reasonably well, but most often that was not the case. That aspect of the work can be very stressful, especially if you have rude and impatient students. Sometimes time is needed to formulate a response and communicate it to the student. I find balancing more than 2 students unreasonable. And the expectation is that tutors are to respond in a speedy fashion, even when working with 3 or more students. In addition to that, tutors are told not to tell students that they are working with more than one student (if tutors could do so, that would explain delays in responding to students and perhaps pacify them a bit). Also, my perception is in general, the administrative office staff at headquarters could care less about what tutors think of the job in general. Not once did they ask how things were going. I received positive and negative feedback. When given negative feedback I notice they don't ask – more... you to account for what happened (in essence they don't open the door for discussion on your thoughts or perceptions about what happened-sometimes there is a reasonable and brief explanation), and they don't tell you what you should or could have done. That is not helpful at all. They have general tutor guidelines, which are basic and easy to follow, yet don't encompass most/all real life situations you may encounter online with students. And I noticed at least once, their feedback went gone against their tutor guidelines. I have done private and in-school tutoring for about 5 years, and this has been the worst experience I have had tutoring. The pay is low and the workload is high. Bottom line is if you work for this company and work in the Instant Access staffing area, it's most likely you won't get much guidance and support as far as feedback is concerned. Dealing with impatient and rude students is a common occurrence. And you will be expected to manage more than one online student often. Easier said than done. I have been working there less than a year and simply put, I'm burned out. I don't plan on returning after the summer. – less
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Very stressful work at home job with low compensation
online tutor (Former Employee), homeMarch 7, 2012
Pros: work at home
Cons: harassing students, low pay
I worked for Brainfuse for 3-4 months and that was enough. When I started, the job seemed great, get compensated $8/hour waiting on students and $10/hour if you are helping them. The software used was very good. I never really had much of a problem with it. The students however, would berate you and swear at you if you didn't answer their questions (which was not the job, you were supposed to be guiding them to the answer, not answering their homework). There were monitors which were supposed to be watching the instant messaging conversations between tutors and students, and you were supposed to be able to contact them if you had an issue. I would contact them if I was harassed. Half of the time they just transferred the student to another tutor, the other half I was basically told to deal with it. After the first few months, the company policy changed where I would no longer get paid to wait for a student, but I was still required to sit on the computer during my shift. No thanks!

Brainfuse Salaries

I Tutor
$10.00 per hour