There are plenty of side hustle quotes that are inspiring — like “the harder I work, the luckier I get.” But some side hustle quotes are cries for help.

The quotes come from side hustlers who work for abusive platforms that steal worker wages or pay pennies per hour. Often the online platforms these side hustlers work for hide onerous details of the working arrangement in terms and conditions that few bothered to read. Workers discover these rotten terms the hard way. 

Cries for help

If you want to avoid miserable experiences in the freelance world, we’d suggest that you pay attention to these cries for help. They’re a warning that should remind you to be careful. Look at each opportunity with some skepticism, and do some research before committing yourself to a side hustle. Remember that your time is your most precious asset. Don’t waste it on a platform that is likely to abuse your time and trust.

Here are some hustle quotes that are clearly cries for help, the platforms that spurred them, and why.

Survey sites

Fusion Cash, a survey site, requires users to accumulate at least $25 before they can cash out. But, when you attempt to cash out you might have a problem “validating” your identity.

“FusionCash is the one and only site I have dealt with that, after accumulating the $25 cash out, they then deny the cash out and take the money. It is SO easy to make a mistake with them, and they only notify you once you try to cash out.” says one side hustler.

“I spent hours of my time it took me over a month to earn the cash out requirement of $25.00 to be tossed around like a idiot. Avoid this site at all costs. Somebody needs to shut them down!!!”

Music reviews

A number of platforms that allow you to review music, including MusicXray and Slice the Pie, have a similar formula, requiring users to hit a certain dollar threshold before they can cash out. They have different ways to make cashing out difficult, according to these hustle quotes:

“The clowns at Music Xray are a joke. When you sign up to listen to music clips, you get 10 cents for each song. They claim you can cash out your earnings when it reach $20. You will get songs to listen to during the first few months. However when your total is approaching the $20 requirement, all of a sudden you will no longer receive songs to listen to. They are full of you know what!”

“Just 10 minutes ago I was on the lovely Slicethepie and I was happily working away getting so close to my $10 payout. All of a sudden I get a notice saying my account is shut down. Closed because I rated too many 10’s. I will never get paid for the work i did for them reviewing and they keep my reviews for free.”

Writing jobs

Text Broker and TheContentAuthority are among a number of writing platforms that pay such a sorry “per word” rate that it’s nearly impossible to earn minimum wage.

“If you treat it as a full-time job (40 hours per week), I do not think it would be too difficult to make $200 per month.” – Text Broker writer (That works out to about $1.25 per hour.)

“Content Authority sucks. Anyone who pays $5.00 for 600 words is a cheap jerk. They expect perfection yet pay peasant rates.”

Delivery drivers

Many delivery opportunities offer pay formulas that work great for the platform, but poorly for the side hustler who is spending time, while paying for maintenance and gas.

“As a driver you get paid in tips only which usually compensates for the gas you’ve used driving around town all day. You get paid weekly but a minimum of $25 is taken out every week due to “delivery fees and other.” I drove around town for 6 hours over the course of 2 days only to make $42 before fees and $18 after “delivery fees.” I used that for gas I used while driving around for those 6 hours.” – Mr.Delivery driver

“If you dare reject a dispatch (which they claim is your right as an independent contractor), you can guarantee business will immediately slow down for YOU. If you reject 2 dispatches in one hour (or miss them due to the faulty app), they punish you by knocking you off the app for 15 minutes.” – OrderUp/Groupon-to-Go driver.