Google Helpouts: Online Tutoring for a Profit?
Subject: General Tech | August 22, 2013 - 10:41 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: google, google helpouts, google hangouts
Video conferencing has been easy, and free, for quite some time now. Perhaps a little one-on-one instruction can encourage users to pay for a service? Maybe the expert will offer their advice for free? Google Helpouts, a free or premium video conferencing service, allows experts to share their knowledge and maybe charge a fee for their time.
Payments are, for both ends of the transaction, managed by Google Wallet. Appointments could be scheduled based on availability and cancellation fees can be applied to discourage no-shows. 20% of monies raised will go to Google and include credit card and Wallet fees. This leaves the instructor with a healthy 80% to claim on their income tax.
Google will assist users in setting up a merchant account for their Wallet service. Attempts to require payments outside of the Helpouts service could be considered fraud and breaching the terms of service.
In the event of terrible service, customers will be allowed to request a refund. The merchant will be able to, voluntarily, offer a refund for their services and, if the customer is still unsatisfied, Google will be able to review the session recording and determine if a refund is warranted. Customers who opt-out of having their session recorded cannot request a refund from Google. Conferences which cannot be saved, such as those in the Health and Counseling category, are automatically eligible for their "100% Money Back Guarantee".
The age requirement for creating a Google Helpout starts at 18 although customers can be as young as 13. There is currently no information on availability. Interested experts are able to sign up to request an invitation.
There is, also, no word on whether screen sharing software is, or will be, included for instructors without a convenient whiteboard. That would be cool, though.