What: Generates a lot of complaints
Claims to: Pay experts in everything from engineering to medicine for answering consumer questions
Expected pay: Speculative
Commissions & fees: 50% to 80%
Requirements: Expertise in a topic covered by the site
We are only including this site to educate and let people know that JustAnswer seems to be an untrustworthy site.
JustAnswer appears to be a way for professionals to earn extra cash by sharing expertise with consumers who need answers. There were red flags in the site’s terms, and even more when the “experts” who had “worked” for the service commented.
233 complaints were filed with the Better Business Bureau and most of them were filed by customers — not experts. According to the complaints filed, JustAnswer’s “free trial” automatically enrolls everyone in a costly monthly subscription plan.
Freelancers Beware. “Experts” earn little pay, if they get paid at all.
Most questions appear to be answered for $5. Work at home scams say that the typical “expert” gets 20%, but could work their way up to getting 50% (so, don’t plan any trips on the POSSIBLE $2.50). “Experts” only get paid after their customers accept and rate the answer. There is no pay if a customer doesn’t rate your answer.
Those who opt in to “work” are required to share all sorts of personal information, including Social Security number and resume; they are also required to “verify expertise” before answering any questions for pay. That is a large security risk for very little return.
Professionals have a number of flexible and well-paid job options with sites like FlexProfessionals, FreeUp and SkipTheDrive. If you want to share knowledge online elsewhere, you might also consider the tutoring platforms, Wyzant and Varsity Tutors.
From the Better Business Bureau:
“This business receives a high volume of complaints. Consistent with BBB policy, effective 1/1/2018, BBB is publishing the details of 25% of this business’ complaints online. All complaints are counted in the total number of complaints. BBB’s profile for JustAnswer was created in June 2006. Complaints on file stated consumers pay the $5.00 question fee but are later charged additional amounts.”
“The company involved is an answering service in which I signed up to participate as an expert in my field to earn income. The issue I have is that I perform work and answered customer questions without compensation. The company agreement states that there is no guarantee that customers will rate my answers for a payment. The company requires customers to pay for memberships but does not pay the people they employ until a customer rates an answer. Most people will let the answer time out and the ticket gets closed without compensation. I have emailed the company multiple times to resolve this issue but they refuse to respond. In the state of massachusetts the wage act states that an employer must be compensated for work performed including commission based sales.”
“Customers don’t have to rate answers. Maybe 1/2 the customers do, and 1/2 of them don’t. Justanswer will keep all the money unless the customer rates the answer. Works out great for them. a good or bad rating is based on customers mood/whether the correct answer was what they wanted to hear and how much bad news you needed to put into an honest answer, and their understanding of the site. If they don’t like the answer, they probably won’t rate the question. whether it is the correct answer or not. So you spend alot of time with some questions for (you guessed it) Absolutely ZERO money.”