This Rype review is based on multiple sources, from customers on TrustPilot, to teachers describing their experiences on Reddit, to a blogger who investigated the company. Click the links below to access each section of this review of Rype:
Fake & manipulated reviews
On Rype's website you'll see 'rated 4.5 stars on TrustPilot' displayed prominently. Sounds good, right?
Well, Trustpilot has been criticised in recent years for allowing companies to manipulate their reviews. And as Kris Broholm, a respected blogger in the language learning space, highlighted: Rype has done exactly this.
Kris found that Rype was paying people to submit fake reviews. He also found that 25% of the reviews were submitted by teachers, who were all asked to do so.
Taking a look at TrustPilot today, there are only 75 reviews, which is incredibly few for a site that claims to have a community of 100,000+ learners. And oddly, 18 of these reviews were during 4 days in August 2020. All 5 stars of course...
Lesson quality & ethics
One of Rype's claims on its website is that their tutors are professional and 'handpicked'. Below is how a former Rype teacher described the reality on Reddit.com:
And here's what someone who took lessons wrote about the teachers (also from Reddit):
From our research, this seems to be because Rype pays many of its tutors $10 or less per hour, taking a big percentage on every lesson.
Not only this, but several teachers have highlighted that they only get paid if they hit a certain number of hours:
Besides being highly unethical, this is surely against the law.
The subscription trap
This Rype review would not be complete without mentioning the subscription trap. Just as gyms try to entice you into a long subscription that you can't get out of, Rype does the same. And as this customer found, it can be tricky to cancel:
On a related note, we don't think it's a good idea to get tied into a lengthy subscription for a fixed number of lessons per month. On platforms like LanguaTalk, you can book lessons on a pay-as-you-go basis and take as many lessons as you want to each month.
Is Rype a scam?
Whilst some of their past customers have suggested that Rype is a scam, we do not have sufficient evidence that they're engaged in fraud. But clearly, Rype's marketing is intended to lure people into a subscription, which some have claimed is impossible or difficult to cancel. It seems their founder has a track record for making big claims then not delivering. He raised $55k on Kick Starter for an app in 2019, and yet his backers were complaining that 2 years later, they'd received nothing.
A Rype alternative
We founded LanguaTalk to provide a trustworthy alternative to shady sites like Rype. Here are some of the ways LanguaTalk is different:
- The tutors are better. Our founders personally assess every application. On average, only 10% are accepted. This is why 99.8% of student reviews are 5 stars (students can rate every lesson). We look for tutors who are strong communicators and show a passion for helping people learn their native language.
- Fair & transparent. We get applications from the best tutors because they're able to set their own rate and our commission is considerably lower than sites like Rype.
- Flexible to your budget & lifestyle. You're not tied into a subscription and can buy anywhere from 1 to 20 lessons at a time, then take them whenever it suits you. There are some highly experienced tutors at higher price points, or if you're looking for a cheaper option, you can go with someone smart who has a little less experience.
If you're looking for a more ethical platform with higher standards of teaching and greater flexibility, consider booking a trial with a tutor on LanguaTalk. We currently have 9 languages available. 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.