• Micah Kidd

Automatic contract renewals and a countdown timer.

As many people will know I’ve talked about a change in the contract section 12 B which states verbatim:


B. VIPKID may automatically renew this Agreement for additional six (6) month terms (the “Renewal Term”), unless TEACHER provides written notice that TEACHER does not want the contract renewed within thirty (30) days prior to the end of the Initial Term or Renewal Term. VIPKID’s renewal of this Agreement is subject to TEACHER’s submission to a background check in accordance with applicable law, if requested by VIPKID. TEACHER agrees that the terms of the Agreement shall remain the same for each Renewal Term, unless modified by VIPKID.


This was first documented in March of 2020 and as of this date we have no documented cases of a teacher having their contract automatically renewed.


Recently (September) many teachers began reporting having tasks in their portal related to signing their contract, It has a countdown timer and looks basically like this.







You might be thinking that the countdown timer is counting down till the final day of contract. It does not do this, teachers are seeing this about 30 days prior to their contract expiration date. It offers an incentive sometimes, we get mixed reports on this. Incentives have always been a hit or miss topic with no apparent rhyme or reason.


We have had some teachers allow the time to expire and they were still able to sign the contract, so if you let the time lapse you don’t lose your chance to sign a contract or anything like that.


Theories and Speculation


Now to the theories and speculation part. But first a fun little fact.


Do you know how they train dolphins to jump through a hoop?


At first they reward the dolphin for merely swimming through the hoop, then they begin raising the hoop higher and higher until it is out of the water, at this point they only reward the water for jumping through the hope, doing the trick.


I’ve heard humans can be trained the same way.


Moving on.


The two issues I first talked about are factual they 100% are observable right now in your contract or on your teacher portal.


Are they connected?


We don’t know for sure, but they might be. The deadlines started appearing about six months after the contract renewal wording was changed.


It is speculation that Vipkid is preparing to automatically renew contracts with the one caveat that you might have to still do background check.


I don’t really see anything nefarious about this If anything it is kind of handy. It does take away the old sport of holding out and hoping for a better incentive, but they might still do that in some form with deadlines, we don’t know.


Why would they auto renew contracts well primarily for three reasons.


  1. They want you to sign your contract

  2. Teacher retention

  3. Avid booking disruption (i.e. four week booking reservations)



They want you to sign your contract


This sounds pretty obvious, but Vipkid uses rather aggressive tactics to get potential teachers to commit to starting their Vipkid journey. Phone calls trying to get them to commit to a short window is the main example. In reality there is no time table but they like to make it sound like there is. Probably they believe that the sooner teachers begin the process the higher the chance for success.


Teacher Retention


This probably sounds the same as the above mentioned. It speaks for itself though, they’d rather keep teachers than hire new ones and by automatically renewing contracts and/or using a countdown timer it may increase retention. It’s cheaper to maintain a teacher than it is to onboard and train a brand new one. The more streamlined/easier the process is for the teacher, the better.


Avid booking disruption (i.e. four week booking reservations)



The likely reason they want those for week bookings is sales, They want to limit churn they want the user to consistently use their classes. Studies have shown if you can get clients to commit to four week plans the chance of resale goes up. They take more classes, have more success and buy more packages. Having to book teachers each week is a bit of a chore. I kind of wish Lingo bus auto booked for me in this way. If teachers are constantly dragging their feet in regards to resigning a contract it mucks up the booking process a bit. This could lead to a bad experience for the client who wants to commit to long term classes with the teacher they love.


Better sales is of course in the interest of the teachers, because it equals more classes. I sort of wish Vipkid would just be transparent about it and say “Hey we think this will increase sales and that means we can get you more classes.” Everyone benefits from the sales team. Four week bookings sounds like a good endeavor to increase revenue for us all.




In Closing


I think Vipkid wants you to sign your contract 30 days before it ends and we can see that in the contract and now with the deadlines in the portal. Maybe they will never auto renew a contract, but they didn’t put that in the contract just to get us talking.


Like a lot of things I have talked about in the past first they put it out there and they might even say something like “we have no plans to implement this at this time” Key part is the “at this time” They aren’t really saying they have no plans to implement it ever. Also if you think about it, if it’s just something they are discussing they could probably claim plausible deniability. It’s not actually planned if they are merely discussing planning it, there is a difference!!!



Thanks


First off I want to say that I don’t make these types of vidoes with the intent of bashing the company or starting drama. That’s just not the purpose. I am non monetized, no profit. If I was seeking to do that type of stuff I’d create clickbait titles and spam groups I don’t really do that. I am literally just showing people what is happening and I have a good track record of being right.


I’m not a Vipkid basher, that’s just never been who I am. I am literally just telling you things that are happening and if you perceive them as negative, that’s on you I don’t really try to make value judgments too often. I try to be impartial.


Lots of great reasons for someone to work for Vipkid. I don’t recruit people so there is simply no need for me to play the MLMy type of role here. I have nothing against those who do that, that’s just not what I do.


I say this because I think sometimes there is a bit of cognitive dissonance with teachers where they just simply don’t want to believe that Vipkid would ever do anything that does not benefit the teacher first. It’s not my intent to burst that bubble or that image. I’m really just the messenger here.



Thanks to everyone who helps get the word out. I really do appreciate it.





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