Before you begin working with a tutor, Wyzant requires you to submit payment information. Phone numbers, email addresses or other personal information cannot be shared between tutor and student until your payment information has been submitted. If you do try to email your personal information to a tutor, it will be removed from the email and likewise if a tutor tries to send you contact information. This is to protect the tutor and the student. Even last names aren't shared between tutor and student until your payment info has been submitted.
By submitting your payment info, it shows that you are serious and ready to begin tutoring. Most of the tutors I know, myself included, put a lot of work into the time they spend with a student. Not only do I work while we are in session, I provide support throughout the week either by phone, email or Edmodo. I also provide helpful resources to you throughout the week on Edmodo or through email.
When your payment info is submitted, you are assured that your payments can be tracked, you can dispute them if you need to and it basically forms a contract between you and the tutor. The tutor does not get payed until after the lesson when the tutor submits the time started and ended for the session, writes a summary of what was covered during the session and submits it to Wyzant for review. Each transaction is reviewed by a Wyzant staff member. This really is a safe way of working with a tutor.
When you work with a tutor without a contract you are taking a chance. They can raise the price when they want (if a tutor wants to raise a price on Wyzant it is only applied to new students and if they want to change a rate for a current student it has to be approved by the student) and they can claim you didn't pay them (on Wyzant each session is recorded with a time and date to keep track of when sessions were). You are also taking a chance on who you get. With Wyzant you can look through profiles and read tutor's backgrounds, experiences and ratings from other students. A student won't give a positive comment on a tutor unless they really are happy with the service they received.
All of the students I have worked with so far have not had any problems with Wyzant. None of their personal information was compromised and there were no strange charges on their credit cards. Furthermore, if I thought the site was shady, I wouldn't be on here. I researched a lot of different online tutoring sites when I wanted to start tutoring and Wyzant was the best one I found. The security features, the tests they have the tutors take to make sure they are qualified, and the checks and balances they have in place to make sure all dealings with tutor and student is professional and legal are the pluses of this site.