Basics:

Shiftsmart connects willing workers with companies seeking product testers, retail workers, telemarketers and others

Expected pay: $10 – $20 per hour

Husl$core: $$

Commissions & fees: free to freelancers

Where: Nationwide (and 50+ other countries; some remote options)

Requirements: 18 or older. Legally authorized to work in the U.S.; Smartphone; Fluent in English; Access to Mac or Windows computer with a strong internet connection for remote work

What is Shiftsmart?

Shiftsmart connects willing workers with available shifts in a variety of fields, including product testing, telemarketing, and retail.

How it works

You go to the website and choose a job category out of the featured jobs offered, which include retail, tech product testing, auditing (which is really mystery shopping) and telemarketing. After plugging in your name, email, there’s a drop-down menu showing where that job is available. In some cases, the geographic region is vast; in others, it only spans a few cities. If you’re in those cities, you pick where you want to work and then the site will text you a link to the appropriate Shiftsmart app.

You’ll sign up; complete an “onboarding” and then can choose to take jobs offered in that area.

Shiftsmart review

Shiftsmart is a employment marketplace for primarily entry-level work in retail, telemarketing, product testing and mystery shopping.

The amount you can earn per shift varies based on the company offering it. Based on the jobs available when we tested the app, it appears that the rates range from about $10 to $20 per hour. However, some jobs also promise bonus payments.

Notably, however, you are an independent contractor when you work for Shiftsmart. That means you get no employee benefits, like health insurance or paid time off. And you are often working side by side with people who do. They could also earn more (or less) than you.

Getting paid

After you complete a shift, SmartShift must approve your payment. It promises to do so within five days. Once the payment is approved, you can withdraw it instantly or wait 2-3 days for a direct deposit. If you choose Instant Pay you’ll get nicked for a $3 fee.

But beware. Shiftsmart’s terms say that the site has the right to “adjust” or “cancel” your pay if you failed to properly track your service in the partner app — or if there was a “technical error in the Shiftsmart Platform.”

Don’t ignore this red flag. It comes up in worker complaints time and again.

Worker complaints

The app’s allure is that you have control over your schedule and what you do, with the ability to cherry pick the shifts you want. But that flexibility comes at a cost. You may struggle to find an available shifts or be expected to participate in hours of unpaid training.

Worse, Shiftsmart is notorious for not paying at all. Or at least failing to pay until you complain to the Better Business Bureau. Indeed, the BBB says it has so many complaints about this company that it only publishes about a quarter of them.

Many of them claim the same thing, however. Specifically, that Shiftsmart failed to pay them the promised amount, if they were paid at all.

In several replies, ShiftSmart said there were mix-ups with the client that caused worker hours to be misstated — or go completely unreported — and the app made good on the missing amounts.

However, to err this often points to either horrible accounting procedures or a toxic business plan that denies or delays payment until the company is forced to make it. We don’t know which it is. But we would suggest that you find a better place to work.

Recommendations:

If you’re looking for work in warehouses or restaurants, check out Wonolo, BlueCrew or Qwick. You can also list your availability for shopping, cleaning and handyman tasks on TaskRabbit.

If you want to work with Shiftsmart despite our review, you can find Shiftsmart here.

What their users say (from Trustpilot)

Spent my weekend doing some shift smart surveys and drove around 150+ miles over 6 hours of work for some extra cash to find my account had been blocked the next day without reason or warning. They have IGNORED MY EMAILS AND THE CALL NUMBER ISN’T EVEN REAL! I wasted my weekend and not to mention the hours of driving and petrol down the drain.

“No one explained that you need to “check-in” on the app. So I have a timecard that shows no hours worked. I have sent several (as yet unanswered) emails to get paid. Additionally, they kept all the testers (about 30 people) sitting waiting in reception for AN HOUR with no explanation or apology. Later we heard they had made a mistake in asking us to come an hour early. Staff knew we were waiting, but didn’t bother to let us know what was happening and were rude when I asked for an explanation.”

From the Better Business Bureau:

“I spent hours on a shift and communicated with the managers during the shift, so there is proof I was working. There are call logs showing I worked and yet the pay was not received. This is not the first time that I had to go through hoops to get the little bit of money they pay for hours of work! Obviously it’s an ongoing issue.

“They only paid me $67.00. They owe me $323. Every time I call the number I was told to call, there’s no one to take my call during normal business hours.”

“I volunteered to product test a technology product. Arrived 15 minutes early. Signed in and asked if I needed to do anything else. Myself and another young man were taken upstairs. And our phones were taken away. We were given the product to test. When we were done, the woman moderating the test told us to check out on the app. Neither of us knew we had to do that and said we had not checked in on the app. I tried contacting Shiftsmart and was told that if I didn’t check in online, that it was my fault. I would not get paid for my time.”

Updated 5/7/2024

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