Buying individual credits vs locking in a subscrtiption

Until recently the credits page allowed to buy individual credits at 9 EUR each. I used this several times. When I wanted to buy again yesterday this feature was gone. I take two classes a week and so I need 8 credit per month. The subscription model is either 5 or 10 credit and the price is 10-30% higher than my previous orders.

I’ve reported the individual buying feature is missed for my flexible number of classes needed each month. The workaround suggested by email is starting and cancelling subscriptions to sort of match my needs. This does not sound flexi and functional to me.

  • How are others dealing with this if your needed number of credits are not exactly 5-10-20 etc?
  • Who prefers to have the previous feature to buy individual credits at 9 EUR back?
  • What are thoughts on buying credits in bulk with longer validity?

I wish to add to your comment by saying that whilst I have been very happy with the standard of service & lessons provided by LTL I must agree with the lack of flexibility re buying credits.
I have currently paused my subscription due to this & I would ideally like to be able to purchase credits singly or two per monthly subscription. I believe this would better reflect true flexibility. The cost of a minimum of 5 credits in New Zealand Dollars
( I am from New Zealand) is at times too expensive , I have no desire to use a Flexipay / credit like system to purchase language lessons.


Thanks so much for posting here too @Jasper-Mandarin Its always good for us to hear feedback from students and we never stop to learn. Thanks for helping with that.
We have had a long email discussion about it too, but maybe that didnt fully get through, so quickly to summarize again

  1. First, thanks a lot for the praise for the teachers, structured curriculum and I am super happy that the classes are useful for you and help you to progress. To create an environment like this is a lot of work and takes a lot of commitment from teachers, the team and students. To be able to do so a few things are required which I will talk more about in point 3.

  2. Nothing changed and the system works the same as it has been since 2020. No feature was removed or added and nothing is missing. Your trial subscription finished one month after you signed up for it and that is why you do not have an active Flexi account anymore. Therefore you cannot purchase individual credits anymore. To do so again you would need to sign up for a subscription.

  3. Flexi Classes is an online language school with a subscription service - not a on. Flexi Classes is a school and a home for students who want to make real progress in a language. Where students meet the same teachers again, can make connections with other students in the same level and are part of a community. To be part of a school one needs to have some at least little bit regularity in studying. The smallest subscription (5 credits) is designed to study about one class a week, which is very little and really the absolute minimum needed to be considered to be studying at any school. There is huge flexibility with being able to stop subscriptions at any time while keeping full access to Flexi Classes, being able to book classes as far into the future as you want (independent of their validity) and of course being able to study 24/7 day and night whenever you want.
    However, it is not completely without commitment. If someone feels that even with the ability to take breaks, re-schedule classes, move them into the future, one class a week is not something they cannot commit to, then that is of course no problem, but then at the moment they are not a student at Flexi Classes.
    We do not want people who sign up for one class every three months, not knowing the system, the class structure and then end up holding the group class back for other committed students. We are a school and not a market place like iTalkie, nor do we want to be. If someone wants to just once buy an hour with a teacher and then go your way to do something else, we are not the right place. If you are looking for a school, community and home where you can get to fluency in Mandarin, then we are the right place for you.

  4. The subscription system is actually extremely flexible too, because
    a) If you cancel your subscription, it only cancels your renewal of the subscription. The subscription (always for one month) you already bought remains active and you can continue to use it. In practice the only real effect this has is that you can buy individual credits, but cannot buy another subscription (because you already have an active one) until the current one expires.
    b) Once your subscription expires, you continue to have full access to Flexi Classes, which is a bit different to many other subscription services. If you have credits, you can book new classes, if you have classes already booked, you can study them, you can leave feedback, remain part of this forum etc. The only change is that you cannot buy individual credits anymore, however you can sign up for any subscription you want immediately (because currently you dont have one anymore)

  5. Work around: It unfortunately works very well, in fact much better than we want it to be, however that is what it is. We were thinking of re-designing this but its not really practical, so it continues to work. Purchasing a subscription and immediately cancelling it works exactly the same as buying a one off package of 5 credits. The only difference is that also for one month one will be able to purchase individual credits, but not sign up for a new subscription.
    The smallest subscription is 5 credits (about 1 class per week), which is by design as discussed above in 3). Like with most things in the world, things get cheaper if you buy them in bigger packages (subscriptions). A professional teaching curriculum, managed teaching team and professional teachers of course cost more than an unprepared lesson from an online tutor. If a teacher needs training we will organize it, if there is a problem with a class we will fix it, every Flexi teacher is interviewed, trained and examined before he/she can join Flexi Classes. The result is of course better teaching quality than a market place where any person can sign up, no training is provided and nobody manages a team. The costs are of course higher, but in the end you dont pay most of it, because they are shared among several students in the group, so it ends up being a similar cost or even cheaper.
    Currently all classes are an amazing deal (at any subscription price) because the group classes are so small (average 2 students per class).

I hope that helps. In the end we have always been a school both online and in our offline schools and not some online market place. There is nothing wrong with an online market place like iTalkie and the many others there are, however they are not a school, they do not, cannot and do not want to control quality and provide structure like a school does, but in return are very cheap and of course can only do 1on1 but not group classes because those require structure and consistent teaching quality. We are a school, that does very much control quality and provides structure and as a result has higher costs, which however is mitigated through the fact that in a group costs are shared amongst students. This should be about 3-4 students per class, though of course it is much smaller in reality (and probably will be for quite a while to be).


Thanks for the feedback and I am very happy to hear you enjoy the classes and are very happy with the service and classes. I spent a lot of time working on Flexi Classes and hear this quite often, but every time I do again it warms my heart a little bit :grinning:

I tried to explain a bit more about the logic above. The system is not designed for someone to only study one or two classes per month. In a difficult language like Mandarin, Korean or Japanese such a low studying intensity also gets most students almost no progress at all because they will have pretty much forgotten everything they learned in the last class by the time they take the next one. Unless people spend a lot of time revising themselves (very few do), effectively they can take the same class every two weeks again and again, because every time what was learned two weeks ago has pretty much been forgotten. The absolute minimum for really any kind of measurable progress and a chance to still remember what was taught in the last class is one class a week (in reality its actually quite a bit more, but I wont get into that).

Finances and time constraints are of course real. In my experience the best way to study then is to take a break for a while until you have the time/finances to do a little “sprint”. During a fixed time period (with a fixed end date), you study more intensively, take more classes and also review them afterwards and make real progress. If you study 20 hours of Mandarin spread in a week you will learn a lot more than if you had studied the same 20 hours spread out over six months, because in the 2nd class you still remember what was taught in the 1st and in the 3rd you will remember the 1st and the 2nd etc. etc.

Learning Mandarin, Vietnamese Korean and Japanese works a bit different to many other activities. The more intense the better the progress even with the same amount of hours studied.

Note 1: this applies to speakers of European languages - a Vietnamese speaker can study Mandarin non intensively and get ahead just fine because many words and structures are similar and its relatively easy to remember them even for a several weeks after a class. Same as studying French for a Spanish speaker doesnt require much intensity.
However the Vietnamese speaker learning French and the European language speaker studying Mandarin need intensity to fight against forgetting words and structures - as they are so different to their own language they very quickly completely disappear from short term memory (and never make it to long term).

Note 2: You can still study less intensively than a class a week by getting a subscription for 5 credits and then scheduling those classes as far into the future as you want (you can do 1 this month, 1 next month etc. all the way until next year). The only difference is that because the credits are valid for bookings for one month, while you can book classes after that one month validity, if you cancel them, you will not get the credit back (because it is expired already), so they wont have the same flexibility in cancelations as they do if they take them during their month of validity.


Appreciate the feedback.

Bruce and I took the effort to explain our point of view and why we dropped out. (Or soon will) Besides the two of us I wouldn’t be surprised if there are at least a few more students who have not shared that they dropped out because of the subscription model.

From the detailed feedback above I am left with the understanding that the subscription based business is going to well to accommodate a true flexible model. Which, to be honest, is not what I see when browsing through available seats for booked classes.

I’ve suggested before that bulk buying of credits, at a good rate, and with much longer validity, is what I believe will fit a certain demand in the market. Hope this helps.

Whilst happy with the teachers and quality of materials, I’ll will start reviewing alternatives.


Hello thanks for the feedback and thoughts. The main point is quality for us and having committed students is the key to that.
Which of course includes you and I have seen you have taken actually quite a few classes. We would love to keep you but there is a spirit and philosophy to Flexi Classes, which we will not change. We are a school and not a super market.

Still it is completely possible to purchase packages without any kind of subscription with the process described above. It takes one click more and that’s it, it is exactly the same as a package purchase.
Prices of course are all very attractive for the tiny group class sizes at the moment.
When class sizes increase then it will be possible to change that too but then it won’t be only you and one other student in a class.

1 Like
  • I think LTL “group” lessons are incredibly cheap. (Mostly I am alone)
  • The subscription system is maybe a bit complicated, but I understand that LTL wants us to take one lesson a week as a minimum.
  • If I can do or want to do less lessons, there are a few possibilities to handle that.

Just wanted to add my 2c. @Andreas_Admin_Flexi, I will only do one class a week with Flexiclasses but am doing at least another 15 hours a week of Chinese study, because I’m studying Chinese at university. The reason I signed up to Flexiclasses is because my university course tutorials are really large and there’s not enough tutor-student interaction to develop my listening and speaking skills strongly.

There are subscribers like me, who on Flexiclasses appear to be “doing the bare minimum” (5 credits a month), yet in reality are committed learners. It would be wrong to consider us “fly-by-nights” or not making much progress, because we don’t buy lots of classes.

Also, I’ve only just returned to Flexiclasses after three months away, because I was stricken with anxiety when assigned a new tutor who spoke way too fast and was supercilious when I asked her to slow down. I kept studying on my own through the four-month summer holidays in Australia, and now that university semester has recommenced, I am back filling in the gaps of my university course.

Best wishes,


Thanks. Yes of course many students study in many different ways so they can be very committed to studying Mandarin while not being very committed to the Flexi Way.
As the system is built in a rather unique way, what I mean is we need some commitment to studying the Flexi way, so we have students who can meet each other again, know how the system works and the teachers.

Also, there is the option to buy Flexi Classes in fixed packages with much longer validity and no need for any subscriptions.

Maybe that’s an option for you too @Jasper-Mandarin ? No subscription needed ever for this.
Can pay via WeChat, Alipay or GrabPay too if you choose SGD as the currency.

1 Like

Just wanted to speak out PRO subscription. I have the lowest with five hours per month, which really isn’t that much of a commitment, and I belong to the type of person that needs a push to do stuff… so actually “having to” take the classes within a month helps me tremendously with progress.


I don’t have the option to buy fixed packages, as I’m on a low income. Why does wanting credits to be valid for 12 months equal lack of commitment? I think the opposite is true. Plus, the way things are, it penalises people with chronic conditions, like myself, who may have to cancel for reasons that are out of their control. I think it’s not a compassionate system, but I do know that the people behind the system are themselves compassionate.

I haven’t met the same students in any of my classes, but I have had the same teacher often, which I am very, very grateful for. That’s all that matters to me. Also, given I’m in Australia, I often struggle to find enough classes at times that work for me. I can never get classes in the order I want to study them but have to pick from different chapters out of sequence. Often I can only find a couple a week anyway.

Thank you anyway for providing a system that still works, albeit punishes me financially when I have relapses.



The validity of these packages still forces around 3.5-4.5 hrs of class each week. Appreciate the idea, but it’s the same commitment as a subscription. Just for an even longer term.

1 Like

Yes true. Anything we do will always be built for people who want to use Flexi with at least some kind of intensity. We are just not a mass market system and want to be able to know and support our students. With a thousand students taking an hour a month that’s not possible, but with a hundred studying ten a month it is.
Anyways just thought I mention it as an option. The 5 credits a month and then immediate cancel is the smallest option we have.

1 Like