What: Handy promises to connect customers with people wanting to work as housekeepers, handymen, plumbers or electricians

Expected pay: $14 – $45 per hour, depending on the job. (Housekeepers earn between $14 and $22; skilled plumbers earn up to $45)

Husl$core: $$$

Where: Most major cities nationwide

Requirements: Pass a background check; have a smart phone; own or be willing to buy the tools of your trade; have reliable transportation

Review: Normally a company that promises pay at this level would receive a better-than-average Husl$core. But Handy’s score was cut by a lack of upfront disclosure and company policies that penalize workers for problems as banal as traffic or the need to reschedule a gig.

First, let’s address the lack of upfront disclosure. If you want to sign up as a worker on the site, you download the Handy app and plug in your information. You’ll then need to agree to a background check. You are not told that you’ll need to pay for that background check, nor will you know how much you’ll have the pay.  The site itself says only that you’ll be charged “a small fee” that will be deducted from your pay. Some workers also said that they’re pressured to buy cleaning supplies and Handy t-shirts from the company, though the company’s terms and conditions say that workers are not obligated to buy equipment from Handy.

But the biggest drawback is the fee schedule that dings workers $15 for showing up late and anywhere from $10 to $50 for having to cancel or reschedule a job. These fees apply even if you cancel because the job was not as advertised — or, as some workers claim, when the app gives them a job that they didn’t accept.

On the bright side, if a customer cancels at the last minute, you’re supposed to be paid for the job. We think your chance of finding work as a handyman or cleaner are equally good on neighborhood sites, such as Nextdoor. And Nextdoor won’t penalize you if you get hung up in traffic.

If you are looking for jobs as a gardener or landscaper, you’d do better off with GreenPal or JiffyOnDemand.

What their workers say: From Glassdoor

“So they want to charge you if you cancel within 48 hours of a job because the cancel job option is only in case of an emergency? When do we have an emergency that let us know 48 hours in advance? They get addresses wrong and if I am late I get charged when they got the address wrong to begin with. 

“The app and technology has a lot of bugs. I get random messages or removed from jobs and added to ones I did not choose. You may go to a job and it was an error which wastes your time. Customers can cancel up to the last minute and leave you without new jobs to choose; decreasing your planned income for the week. You pay $90 for the bag and equipment from them. When it breaks there is no support. 

From Indeed.com

“I do not recommend this company to anyone no matter how much you need the money. They charge you if you’re late to a job if the customer is unhappy. You get a bad rating it could change your pay rate. It’s ridiculous. My van broke down and I was one of the top cleaners at the company I had a 10 rating across the board. Well when my van broke down, I couldn’t work. The company charged me $50 per job and I was working 5 jobs a day 7 days a week. Even though all my clients had no problem rescheduling with me, Handy still charged me so you do the math. I don’t work for free. I work hard and I was so unappreciated.”

“In case of any emergency there is no number to call. I once had to leave a job site because a client left open drugs in the house and I felt very unsafe and I had to email them and wait 15 mins for a response, then fight for myself not to be charged for the job being incomplete.”

Customers can cancel the day before with no repercussions. If you do that, $10 charge. Do it on the day of it can be as high as $50 whether you have an emergency or not. Need to speak to a live person? Good luck with that. You have no idea exactly where you are going until the night before and have no idea what the client expects from you until you are literally walking in their home! They want to charge you for access to a listing to more jobs. Really?!?? Then will cancel at last minute. Try it out and then come back to this post and see if everything said isn’t the truth.”

Customers should not be allowed to rate for unfinished work if they do not select the recommended time. If you cancel, you are dinged on your keep rate. If you cancel within 48 hours of the job, you are fined. So you have to blindly accept jobs only knowing the date/time and money you’ll earn, you aren’t allowed to see anything else. Pretty shady way of doing business. 

“It started out as a great place to work now everything is crazy They cut our pay. We are offered very few jobs. We cant physically talk to anyone. We have to pay if we cancel even in emergency No paid vacation or benefits. They mislead you on locations of job sites. If it states Evanston it may be in Niles. Its like it’s a big waste of time they blame everything on there demographic team or systems”

“This job was interesting. I loved it. You make your own and move at your own pace. You get nice tips but there’s no benefits. It’s just a problem trying to reach management.”

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