By Jay

Care.com Scams post banner

Thanks for checking out my Care.com review. My daughter recently completed her babysitting certification so we thought we'd check them out. From the moment I started reading the Care.com reviews though, it seemed everyone was calling them a scam. 

In this review I'll dig into what's really going on, and find out if what people are saying is true.

Disclaimer:
Please note, I am not a member or an affiliate for Care.com. This review has been researched with information and/or testimonials that are available online in the public domain. Any recommendations and/or conclusions are strictly opinions and may not to apply to, or agree with, all persons or situations. 
See full disclaimer for more info


What Is Care.com?


Before we get into the reviews and complaints I'll quickly go over who they are and how it works. 

Care.com is an online marketplace where families and caregivers can meet and interact with each other. Started in 2006 and based out of North Waltham, Massachusetts, they claim to be the largest online resource of their kind… currently with 22 million members across 19 countries.

It’s easy to see why…

While similar sites usually focus on one area (babysitting for example)… Care.com connects families with nannies, tutors, housekeepers, babysitters, as well as trained caregivers for the elderly and special needs.

You can also find caregivers to look after your furry friends… pet-sitters, dog walkers, trainers, and even boarding.

How Does It Work?


Similar to other job boards and marketplaces like Indeed and Craigslist, employers looking for caregivers post their jobs at Care.com and search through a list of local care providers.

If you're a caregiver, you can publish your public profile and browse through a list of jobs.

If this isn't exactly what you're looking for and you're a care provider just looking for a little extra to get through the month,  you can also make money doing surveys on sites like surveyjunkie.com  as well as watching videos, playing games and visiting websites with inboxdollars.com

These won't make you rich of course, but if a more substantial income is what you're looking for you can also start an online business.  

There are so many tools, resources and opportunities today it's crazy... it can even be overwhelming. If you need to make money from home because you have health issues, kids at home or a lack of good jobs, there are plenty of things you can do.  

Knowing how to use the web to earn income is what you want and a real strategy is what you need  in order to get what you want.

To learn how I did it, I'm going to give you a free step by step beginner's guide to making money online and you can get it by clicking HERE.


Educational Requirements for Caregivers


There are no specific requirements to join, but you should be qualified for the position you’re applying for.

When setting up your profile you’ll want to list your qualifications, experience, and provide images of certifications, background checks, and any other related documents. Care.com’s customer care team will need to approve some of your documents.  

It’s also important to include a recent photograph, as well as references and reviews from past employers.

How Much Can Care Providers Earn?


As a care provider, you set your own hourly rates which are based on market prices for your particular skill and location.

Care.com Pricing


Families and Individuals Posting Jobs

One-month membership - $39.00

Three-month membership - $78.00 ($26.00/month)

Twelve-month membership - $156.00 ($13/month)


Care Providers

It’s free to join and set up your profile. You can even search for jobs and have employers notify you that they’re interested.

However… to respond to those employers directly, you must upgrade to a premium account which is $20/month.

And, since finding work can be competitive, Care.com has set up a credit system where you can buy your way to the front of the line.

10 credits - $9.00

25 credits - $25.00

50 credits - $29.00

Like buying ride tickets at a carnival, you must plan ahead and calculate how many you think you’ll need, because they expire in 90-days.

I get that Care.com needs to earn a profit… but when it comes to job boards (which Care.com is), revenue is usually generated when employers post jobs and advertise.  

It doesn’t come from people who need a job.

Creating an elaborate credit system with arbitrary expiration dates, not to mention charging jobseekers for premium accounts to communicate with potential employers, in my opinion, speaks to the kind of company Care.com might be. 

For a company called Care.com, it seems to me (although I could be wrong) that the thing they “care” about most is money. 

From the outside looking in, this assumption gains a little more traction when you find out that there are 600 plus complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau and more than 300 of those are related to questionable billing and refund practices.

Of course, I can't speak for hundreds of people with legitimate complaints, but it's pretty hard to ignore them. For care providers looking for some extra spending money,  you can also try online surveys with sites like surveyjunkie.com. You can also make money searching the web, visiting websites and watching videos with inboxdollars.com

These of course are not big money earners, but there are many who are just looking for a way to earn a few extra bucks in their spare time.

Another option if it's a larger income you want, potentially a full-time income from home, you can also start an online business.  

It's hard to put in perspective the opportunities we have. There are thousands of ways to make money today that didn't exist just a few years ago. If you were stuck at home with kids or health issues, your options were limited...

... but not today. 

If an at-home income is really what you want, there's absolutely no reason for you to not have one. I know that's a bold statement, but when you're part of the community of home earners and workers in the gig economy it's hard to imagine living any other way...

... and a strategy that fits your current situation is what you need to get what you want.

To learn how I did it, I'm going to give you a free step by step beginner's guide to making money online and you can get it by clicking HERE.


Care.com Reviews and Complaints


As I mentioned earlier, my daughter recently completed her babysitting certification and although I was somewhat familiar with Care.com, I began researching them further thinking they could be an option for her to find work.

I was hoping to find some positive reviews but unfortunately, after going through hundreds of them... there's not many people with good things to say. 

On sitejabber alone there are over 1200 reviews… and more than 1000 have given them the lowest rating of one star.

There are those 600+ complaints at the Better Business Bureau, and another 220 negative reviews with only one that’s positive (at the time of this writing).

I’m highly skeptical of scam accusations and negative reviews, generally giving the benefit of the doubt to the company. I’m certain there are many great people who work for Care.com and quite often these issues persist simply because of poor communication. 

So let's look into the common problems people are talking about.


Recurring Payment Complaints


To be clear… this is NOT my personal experience with Care.com, these are complaints filed by members with the Better Business Bureau and other review sites.

The issue here is that when you purchase a Care.com membership, you are purchasing a “subscription” and your credit card will be charged automatically at each billing period.

There’s nothing unusual about subscriptions and people generally understand how they work… but Care.com has some unique policies that have led to all kinds of complaints…

Here’s one example of a someone who purchased a one-month membership and even after he cancelled his subscription, was charged for two more years.

One month Payment Being Charged for Two Years

Source: Sitejabber

This didn’t make any sense to me… but when I dug a little deeper I found this in Care.com’s Terms of Use.  

“If you sign up for a payment plan that allows you to be charged monthly over the subscription period and you decide to cancel your subscription during the subscription period, you acknowledge and agree that you will continue to be billed for the subscription on a monthly basis until its originally scheduled expiration date.”

Care.com Automatic Subscription Renewal Policy

In their defense, Care.com does state on their plans and pricing page that subscriptions will be renewed automatically, with a second reminder on the payment page.

But, to find this fun fact... you’ll need to dig through 13,000 plus words of difficult to read legal text.

The other complaint about recurring payments is that it’s not clear you’re signing up for a “subscription”.

As I mentioned above, it's stated on the plans and pricing page that subscriptions are renewed automatically, as well as some finer print on the page that follows when you enter your payment details.

What’s not so clear though, is that the single month option is not just a single month... it's a "subscription".

And you can see why customers might make that mistake. It says $39 for 1 month. It does not say per month, or every month.

Care.com Pricing

When I first saw this page my assumption was that the subscription information shown in the above image only applies to the 3-month and 12-month options…

Maybe it's just me, but when I read "1 month"... I assume I'm only paying for "1 month"... not a "subscription".

And, I'm not sure why anyone would buy a one month “subscription” at $39?

In some circumstances, someone's “intent” might be to use the service for just 2 months, because any more than that and they'd choose the 3-month option.

But that doesn’t really make sense… because 2 months at $39 ($78) is the exact same price as 3 months at $26 ($78).

So… in my opinion, I think it’s a fair assumption that the “intent” of someone purchasing a 1-month membership is not to purchase a recurring subscription… but just a single month.

This probably wouldn't be an issue if you could contact Care.com and explain the misunderstanding... but according to their policy, they don't provide refunds beyond the most recent charge.

Care.com Refund Only Credits Most Recent Charge

So, it's easy to see why there are hundreds of complaints about recurring payments...


Is Care.com a Scam?


If you've read through any of the reviews and comments on various blogs, social media and forums… it's likely you've seen people calling Care.com a scam.

I can’t validate those complaints, but it should be noted that Care.com is a public company with 500+ employees and revenue in the hundreds of millions. So, they are definitely not an absolute scam (the fake website kind that empties your bank account and disappears into the night).

However… Care.com is an unregulated marketplace and like most job boards you can run into people posting scam ads to trick people into things like exchanging bank account information or cashing stolen checks.   

On the other side, some employers have said they've hired caregivers who turned out to be thieves. 

There are pages and pages on the web of people discussing Care.com scams... but those don't indicate that Care.com itself is a scam.  

Care.com is a legit company.


Background Checks


On the topic of thieves, one thing you'll need when setting up your profile (as a care provider), is a criminal record check.  

Obtaining one was a service that Care.com sold. 

In early 2018 however, Care.com agreed to pay $480,000 in restitution for misrepresenting the background check product they were selling. In this case... customer complaints turned into a lawsuit.

I wouldn’t personally call Care.com a scam and being a public company that’s been operating for more than 10 years… it would be an unfair representation.

With the all the complaints though, the recent lawsuit, and the recurring payment issues, an argument could be made that some deceptive tactics are being used. I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether that’s true or not.  


What I Like


  • I like the “concept” of providing a forum in which families and caregivers can come together… but clearly, it’s a more difficult in practice than theory.
  • The Care.com website is clean and easy to navigate.

What I Don’t Like


  • I can’t get past the number of negative reviews and complaints.
  • Charging people who are looking for work.
  • Potential scammers and thieves within the marketplace… Care.com clearly states that they do not employ, endorse, or recommend any caregiver or care seeker.

Final Thoughts


In my opinion, charging jobseekers to find work suggests there could be a company culture that’s not entirely customer friendly.  

It’s an assumption that’s reinforced by the many complaints and a lawsuit for misrepresenting the background checks they were selling.  

I’m all about making money, but I think the way a company treats people... staff and customers, should also be a priority.  

As a care provider looking for ways to make extra income,  online surveys with sites like surveyjunkie.com are one option. You can also make money searching the web, visiting websites and watching videos with inboxdollars.com

For a more significant income,  an online business may be what you're looking for. 

There are so many options out there and while everyone's situation is different, people who need an at-home income because of health issues, children at home or maybe you're just sick of working for someone else, a strategy that fits your current situation is what you need to get what you want.

To learn how I did it, I'm going to give you a free step by step beginner's guide to making money online and you can get it by clicking HERE.

I hope this review was helpful, and if you have any comments, questions or would like to leave a review of your own… please share in the comments section below.  

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  1. I have had them for years and at that time there were no $$ upgrades. But there also was very little interaction with those seeking child, pet or home are. Now CARE has the UPGRADE option. You can’t send a message or get any messages on a job UNLESS YOU UPGRADE. And so if you have a profile on there with your name and where you live – you end up looking like an idiot because it appears that you never respond.

  2. I used care.com a couple of years ago for housecleaning. I researched as much as possible, the woman who came. She was quite pleasant, full of energy and started immediately. Unfortunately, she spent (literally) the entire time on her cellphone – one hand on a mop or duster or rag, the other holding the phone to her ear. She was here for 7 hours and had significant problems with her son at school, so the work completely stopped while she talked with me about the issues. Seven hours later, after giving her a really good lunch in the middle, she left saying she’d come back the next day and finish. In that time, she had finished two bedrooms and one bathroom upstairs. The entire main floor was untouched. The next morning she called again to say she was going to have postpone until Monday (this was Thursday) due to problems with her son. I had paid her the entire 7 hours plus a healthy tip. I told her it wasn’t working out and wished her well. So, I paid almost $200 for not much. thanks for the info you gave – I do appreciate it

  3. A scam is when the legal facts are fraudulently hidden. The reason CARE.COM has so many complaints is they say your subscription is cancelled and continue to bill you.

    I had a 3 month subscription that expired and then a year later was billed a renewal.
    They also send spam mail that if you open it I suspect it re-activates your billing.
    They make money through this practice of billing non-customers.

    You say it is legit only because this computer malpractice is so common you assume it is fair.

    Just like robo sales calls to cell phones that take their usefulness away but Congress does nothing
    but tell you to place your number on the do not call registry. It does not work but is it fair to the consumer?
    No, neither is.

  4. I had never heard of Gig Hustlers til now, and I’m glad I found you. Your style conveys integrity and genuinely honest opinions that are research-based. Will definitely be exploring your posts and the story on starting an online business, as I think I’ve hit upon a decent idea for one.

    1. Hey Josh, thanks for the kind words and I appreciate you stopping by and reading 🙂 All the best on your online endeavors and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask,

      Jay

  5. What a scam!!! I signed up for and paid for an account with Care.Com only to have them run a background check and with no notification, they suspended my account! I was charged with Disorderly Conduct and it was the lowest misdemeanor charge you can get in the state of Oregon.
    Now I cannot even get get through to talk to someone at Care.Com.
    On my payment history, it says the fee I paid for membership was refunded, but I have yet to see the money returned to my checking account.
    I will definitely NEVER use this site and recommend that anyone out there NOT use them either.
    I’m one very upset, angry Care Provider. I have worked with children for over 20 years and loved every minute of it.

    1. Wow… sorry Ann, that’s an incredible story. I really appreciate you sharing your experience and maybe someone else reading here will be able to provide further insight. At the very least they she be contacting you to confirm details as the background check may have been an identity error. Not being able to get through to them should also never happen.

      Thanks again for sharing and sorry you’re having such a poor experience.

      Jay

  6. Trying to find a pet sitter for my 1 week vacation I signed up for a cost free account.
    I received many mails in my inbox, but was only able to read about 10% of them. To read the others I needed a premium account at CHF 90 for 1 month – a total rip off. A jobboard maintenance can’t count up to rectify such a high fee.
    I amended my advert twice to show my phone number so people could send a text to me directly. That one was removed without letting me know. On the other hand I received spamming emails every couple of hours.
    After only 2 weeks I closed the account very frustrated.

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