If you checked out some of the results on Google for 'Preply reviews' before reaching this page, you'll have seen several review articles claiming to be 'honest'. The reality is the owners of these websites are being paid every time someone clicks through to Preply and buys lessons.
In contrast, this review is based on real feedback from hundreds of students and tutors, as well as our own extensive research. Full disclosure: we created LanguaTalk to provide a better alternative to Preply, with more talented teachers, a more helpful support team, and fairer policies.
Click the links below to skip to the different sections of this Preply review.
Quality of tutoring: 2/5 ⭐⭐
Value for money & ethics: 1/5 ⭐
Flexibility: 3/5 ⭐⭐⭐
Customer support: 2/5 ⭐⭐
Technology: 4/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Overall rating: 2.4 stars out of 5.
The bottom line: Preply takes an unreasonable proportion of tutors' earnings, which is why the best tutors tend to work on other platforms, like LanguaTalk. Preply seems to allow literally anyone to teach, rather than focusing on recruiting experienced and talented tutors. These factors, combined with criticisms of their customer support, appear to explain their many 1-star reviews on TrustPilot. In addition, Preply also recently switched to an inflexible monthly subscription model that doesn't suit many students.
Quality of tutoring: 2/5
On Preply, like on most other platforms, the tutors develop their lesson plans independently, so usually you'll want someone experienced. In various places on Preply, you'll see tutors are described as 'certified', professional' and 'internationally certified'.
The reality is the platform accepts basically anyone who fancies trying their hand at teaching. So to find someone talented and experienced, you'll have to browse through dozens of tutors, many of whom have little to no experience and may be unreliable. Not ideal.
Value for money & ethics: 1/5
Because most of the online reviews of Preply make money from recommending the site (using affiliate links), this may be the first time you'll see anything about the company's policies. At LanguaTalk, tutors regularly join us because they're unhappy with how they've been treated by Preply.
When you take your first lesson with a tutor, 100% of your payment goes to Preply. Yes, you read that right, the tutor gets nothing.
After this, Preply takes 33% commission on future lessons, with the rate only decreasing to 18% once 400 lessons are taken.
Of course, this means that tutors are forced to charge you a higher price. What makes this even more shocking is that the company received approximately $50 million in investment. Taking such high commission is perhaps the only way they can afford to pay huge sums to dominate Google's search results and pay investors back. Because of their dominance on Google, tutors' already precarious incomes are being hit globally.
It's also why the best tutors usually work on other platforms, like LanguaTalk.
(Side note: there's a Change.org petition against Preply taking 100% of payments - consider signing it.)
Like on other platforms, you can book lessons for times whenever your tutor is available. Unlike LanguaTalk, there is no option to just buy one lesson at a time. And in early 2022, Preply made monthly subscriptions the only option for new learners. They said this was done to keep learners motivated, but the reality is it removes flexibility and means you have less time to use your lessons.
Update June 22: on Trustpilot there are numerous students complaining that they lost money due to the new subscription model. It appears that Preply does not allow you to use credits left over from previous months. This means Preply keeps more of the users' money.
Customer support: 2/5
Given Preply seems to allow basically anyone to teach, there's a decent chance you may have an issue you need help with. If you look on TrustPilot, you'll see dozens of 1-star reviews for Preply, often stating that the support was poor or non-existent. It's hard providing support to hundreds of thousands of users, and it seems the company may have opted to cut costs using bots and cheap contractors.
Side note: you'll notice that their overall rating is 4.3 stars, however lots of the Preply reviews look fake (TrustPilot is notorious for not preventing this).
We said this Preply review would be fair, and on the tech side, we found the site reasonably easy to use. We like how their calendar displays availability (as shown below). It's certainly better than many other tutoring sites, though all modern platforms make it easy to view availability in your time zone and manage your appointments.
Preply review - the bottom line:
Preply is letting students and tutors down, as can be seen on TrustPilot and Reddit. The company takes far too much of tutors earnings, which is why the best tutors tend to work on other platforms. Preply seems to accept basically anyone who applies, rather than focusing on recruiting experienced and talented teachers. So you could get lucky or you could have a bad experience. If its the latter, you may be in trouble as there is extensive criticism online about how poor their customer support is.
Is Preply a scam?
Whilst some customers and tutors have suggested that Preply is a scam, there is no evidence that anything they're doing is illegal. But clearly many people see the platform as being deceptive and unfair, and there are many better options out there.
If you're looking for a more ethical platform with higher standards of teaching and prompt support from the founding team, consider booking a trial with a tutor on LanguaTalk. Tutors offer 30-minute trial sessions for free or for a reduced rate to get to know potential students. No card is required for free trial sessions, so you can meet a tutor without any commitment. Click here to see tutors' videos, reviews and prices.
P.S. we wrote above that Preply accepts pretty much anyone who applies. Here is some evidence to back it up: