Handy enlists freelancers to clean and fix things but pays poorly and fines workers for a variety of transgressions
Expected pay: $14 – $40 per hour
Commissions & fees: various (see review)
Requirements: 18 or older, background check, smart phone, bank account, any required licenses
Handy promises to connect clients with people looking for work as cleaners and contractors. However, the site has an obtuse pay structure that appears to pass on only a fraction of the customer’s charges to the person doing the work.
Worse, even though the site requires you to have paid experience in whatever work category you apply to, nearly everyone starts at a low wage — from $14 to about $35, depending on what you do. Notably, the $35 hourly rates are for skilled contractors, such as electricians and plumbers.
How it works
If you want to sign up to work for Handy, you fill out a form choosing the type of work you do from a drop-down menu. You’ll then need to agree to a lengthy “terms of service” and “professional agreement.”
After that, you’ll need to submit to a background check, which requires that you provide your Social Security number and date of birth. Next, you’ll need to verify your identity generally with either a driver’s license or passport and photo. And download the app, which is where you’ll see jobs and communicate with the platform.
If you’re approved, you’ll get notified whenever there is a job available.
The site is cagey about how much contractors are paid, saying only that jobs are set by a flat fee that you’ll see when the job is presented in the app. However, Indeed estimates that cleaners earn about $14 – $16 per hour here. And handymen generally earn about $18 to $20, but can earn as much as $40. It also says that contractors are generally dissatisfied with their pay.
After completing a job, you’ll get paid within 7 days by direct deposit.
Not only does Handy pay poorly, it imposes a laundry list of penalty fees on contractors. These fees hit when you’re late for a job or leave early. You’re also nicked with fees if you have to reschedule or leave a job that’s been misrepresented.
Contractors even get fined when they can’t complete a job because the client messed up and didn’t provide a key, for instance. And the fees are not insignificant, running from $10 to $50, depending on the infraction. Given that housekeepers earn about $15 per hour here, the fees can wipe out your pay completely.
Workers say jobs are often misrepresented and require far more work than what they’re paid for. Additionally, they complain about the pay and the ludicrous number of penalty fees. Not surprisingly, Handy gets our lowest Husl$core, reflecting the miserable prospects this site presents for workers.
Affiliation with HomeAdvisor
If you provide a service outside of cleaning, you may be referred over to Handy’s affiliate, HomeAdvisor. HomeAdvisor is an equally unattractive site for contractors. It asks contractors to pay for job leads, which often prove to be bogus.
Both workers and clients should avoid Handy and HomeAdvisor.
You have a much better chance of finding good work through TaskRabbit or neighborhood social media sites, such as Nextdoor. And Nextdoor charges nothing for the referral and won’t penalize you if you get hung up in traffic.
What their workers say: (from Indeed)
This company does not care about its customers just as much as they don’t care about the professionals that handled the jobs …. Working with Handy is the most aggravating job I’ve ever had because their system is broken
Stressful, wondering if you should waste more money quoting another job. The more expensive the quote the more you have to pay to quote it, then handy gets all the money from everyone who quotes even if customer changes mind and doesn’t hire anyone. (Contractor)
Work w/no pay
They let you work and will not pay you, if there are any issues. (Cleaning technician)
Handy took 75% of my earnings. I would not recommend it as a service place or job site to no one. (contractor)
They will charge the customer four times the amount they want to pay you. They want you to drive your own personal vehicle use your on tools and your own fuel. Theysay you’re self-employed but don’t get the benefit of being so as they control everything you do. (Handyman)
Constantly trying to fine your pay with out investigations, no way to handle personal or health emergencies. No employee protection or hr.
I run my own security camera system company from home . I take on little jobs from handy and it’s a complete waste of time . This company is completely ripping us hard working people off. A big sign is paying to cash out your own money that’s ridiculous. I do a job once I complete it I would like to get paid for it . And if I’m installing a TV I shouldn’t have to provide the customer with no materials that should be at the customer’s cost not mine. This company needs to change the way it does things and it could be a great place to work .
“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.
“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.”
“The late fees and cancellation fees are outrageous”
No one to contact
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 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.”