We’ve covered PeoplePerHour on Freelance With Us, and as a result we’ve gotten quite a few questions about it. Most of you shared your own experiences using the site, but some of you simply asked if PeoplePerHour was a scam.
Some of you have cautionary tales, and we have a few of our own. But first things first: is PeoplePerHour a scam?
Is PeoplePerHour a Scam?
No. PeoplePerHour (PPH) is not a scam. PPH is a legitimate freelancing platform. It’s a UK-based company which was founded in 2007. Like Upwork and others, you’ll find a variety of jobs on the site. Job posts include categories including writing, web design, graphic design and virtual assistant work, among others.
When you visit the PeoplePerHour website, your first thought might be that it’s confusing. I agree. PeoplePerHour is 10 years old, but it looks as if they’ve yet to figure out how they want to set up the site. Furthermore, there are tons of job posts, but they’re not easy to search. You’ll spend more time scrolling through worthless job posts than you will writing for the jobs.
All that aside, though, PeoplePerHour is not a scam. If you can navigate the site and eventually find a job, it’s a viable source of income. I personally choose not to use PPH because I find Upwork to offer more quality work. But if you’re willing to take the time to search through the site, PPH may work for you.
The PeoplePerHour Scam
When you do a simple Google search for “PeoplePerHour Scams,” you’re going to get about a trillion horror stories returned. But let me tell you a secret. Probably about 90% of those reviews are from people who either didn’t want to do the work they were paid for or who didn’t want to pay for the work they received.
We’ve covered Upwork and Fiverr scams in previous articles, but let’s look at some scenarios that you may encounter on PeoplePerHour. Then I’ll share my own experience with the site, and tell you why I’m now scared of it.
First, on PeoplePerHour you can post what’s called an “hourlie.” This is a job which you offer to clients, that they may search for. For example, you may post a job offering a 700 word blog post at $45. A client can simply click and order it.
This is an easy way to get a quick gig, but there’s a downside to it. You didn’t have to go through an interview, but you also didn’t have the chance to interview the client. You could be hired by literally anyone on the planet with internet access, and he may be a great client or a completely unreasonable one. Now, you can always cancel the order and refund the money, but that will count as a mark against your rating.
On PPH, you get paid by direct deposit to your bank account or through PayPal. But every now and then you’re going to have a client chat you up and ask to move payment off the platform.
Don’t do it.
Right now, I have about a dozen long term clients with whom I’m working on various projects. I’ve had many, many more than that in my freelancing career. Do you know how many I would trust to pay me off Upwork? Exactly two.
Please pay for the services that these freelancing platforms provide. Don’t get greedy over the 10% or 20% fee. It’s worth it when you’re not shaking down clients for money owed.
More Payment Issues
So this one’s not necessarily a PeoplePerHour scam, but it’s a huge pain in the backside. PeoplePerHour will require a lot of verification from buyers, and some from sellers as well. If that verification is not given, your money is held somewhere in the Fourth Circle of Hell until it is.
Say a client hires you for your $45 blog post hourlie. You get super excited when you see the order in your inbox, and begin work immediately. You’re quick, so the next day you submit it. And then you wait. Then wait. And wait. Finally, you get a notification from PPH saying that the buyer is not yet verified, and your money will be held in escrow until he is.
PeoplePerHour vs Upwork: My Choice
I try to steer clear of posting too many opinions when I write, unless it’s called for. In this case, I’ll just share with you why I choose to work on Upwork and Fiverr instead of PeoplePerHour.
I have a profile on PPH, and every now and then I’ll get an invitation from someone wanting something for nothing. I know to just reject those invitations and go about my day.
But I also had (key word is had) an hourlie posted on the site, which offered a certain amount of words for a certain amount of money. For purposes of the example, let’s just say it was 1,000 words for $50.
A company bought my hourlie, and then demanded I call him on Skype to get the instructions. I told him that I’d rather have the instructions in writing so that I may refer back to them as necessary. (Also known as CYA.) He obliged, and sent me very detailed instructions on what he wanted written.
The 1,000 words was actually on a pretty cool non-profit group, so I happily finished the project and submitted it to him. He responded with an additional 6,000 words for me to write before the project would be approved.
To make a very long story short, I’m no fool. I refused to write 7,000 words for $50 when a mere 1,000 words was agreed upon. I cancelled the job and promptly delisted my hourlie.
Now, I understand that that’s not a PeoplePerHour scam. But to me, it was enough to turn me off to the site. There are so many quality clients on Upwork (and Fiverr, in my experience) that it’s just not worth my time. Only you can determine if it’s worth yours.