My First & Last Experience with TaskRabbit

Jon York

Member
Nov 30, 2018
95
20
8
What City & State do you work in?
New York City
A couple of years ago I signed up with TaskRabbit - to be a "tasker". My experience was short-lived.

The main thing I liked about taskrabbit - in contrast to Uber was that you could set your own prices. Of course you had to keep them reasonable and in-line with what other people were charging, but most people were charging enough so you could net out at around $20 an hour.

The thing I hated about it, was it didn't seem to have much demand for any useful skills of mine! So I ended up going for the bottom of the barrel and doing menial labor jobs.

The first call I got was from a woman who simply wanted someone to remove the snow from her front deck and steps. That seemed easy enough so I took the job. She was willing to pay $30 and call it a one-hour job.

It took me about 20 minutes to get there and 15 minutes to complete the work. I made, I think $24 for less than an hour of work. Which was pretty decent, especially after coming off of the minimum wage Uber driving jobs!

But it took another 10 minutes trying to contact her when I arrived to get answers to a couple of questions I realized I needed to know after I arrived. And another 10 minutes at the end to take all the photographs and submit them to TaskRabbit. Anyway, when all was said and done it was about an hour... so I didn't complain.
The problem was, that unlike Uber or Lyft there was no next job that day. If these $24 per hour jobs could have come back-to-back or almost back-to-back it would have been awesome! But that was it for that day. $24 bucks and I was done! In fact, that was it for the week!

It's true I guess that TaskRabbit wasn't very well-known back then so I was probably lucky to get even that job. But they were certainly no Uber or Lyft when it came to name recognition or market saturation.

The thing that kind of got under my skin about that job is that at the end, the woman didn't even bother to say thanks or even acknowledge that I had completed the gig! No tip, of course and she didn't even leave a review! I mean, come on... that was my first TaskRabbit gig and I did an awesome job - because I desperately needed that first review!

Okay, so that was my first experience. I had did one more gig with them after that and that was it. I couldn't take it anymore.

My second and last TaskRabbit gig was a man who needed someone to go to the grocery store, shop his list and bring the groceries to his house. Okay, that was fine. It paid $18 an hour and was expected to take less than an hour.

But here's what really got to me - and what made me quit TaskRabbit after just two gigs. TaskRabbit expected ME to actually PAY for this man's groceries!! I couldn't believe it. They wanted me to put it on MY credit card and pay for it out of my pocket. True, they were going to reimburse me and I didn't have any trouble trusting them about that... but what was I supposed to do in the meantime with $83.16 taken out of my account on a job that I was only making $14 on!? I mean, come on!

The cost of this man's groceries was 6 times what I was earning on the job! I just didn't see how they could possibly ask somebody who was getting paid so little to fork over and front so much money. Where did they think I'd get $83 from when I was only making $14 + $24 = $38 - over a two-week period! It seemed insane.

The way they paid back then, it would have been a week before I would have been reimbursed. So, I started doing some calculations in my head... what if I had a customer every day who needed me to front $83 and 16 cents for them? And what if I was only making $14 on each of these jobs. Over the course of a 5-day week I would have had to shell out $415 while I was only making $70!

Did they think I was a bank? Anyway, it was crazy. So I gave up. That was just no way to treat low-paid workers. Expecting us to front so much money... come on.

Oh and the $83 was luckily on the low end of what I found out many taskers were forking over in the New York area. You could easily be asked to do a $200 or $300 grocery shopping trip for people in Manhattan. I'd have to take out a loan in order to front so much money at that time!
 

gigabYteMe

Member
Dec 7, 2018
50
7
8
What City & State do you work in?
Long Island, NY
You're right about setting your own prices with TaskRabbit. That's actually one of their better qualities. Workers tend to make more in gig jobs where they can set their own prices.

Like Airbnb though, where hosts also set their own prices, Taskers may struggle at first before they get some good reivews, to get jobs. And same goes for Airbnb, new hosts stuggle a bit too before they have a few good reviews. But in both cases, the workers make more on average than they do with companies where the price is set in stone by the company.
 

Graham

Member
Feb 4, 2019
141
9
18
What City & State do you work in?
Glendale AZ
Hmmm, seems like there's both good and bad points to it.

One thing I would wonder, is what would be a better way for TaskRabbit to handle the jobs that involve picking up groceries for someone? Is there a way that one could be reimbursed as soon as the job is done?
 

Mr. Gig

Member
Dec 6, 2018
94
12
8
I don't think taskrabbit and all the other non-uber/lyft companies are quite as advanced as uber & lyft are as far as getting people paid instantly goes. If you need money right this minute, uber & lyft are your best bet.
 

Graham

Member
Feb 4, 2019
141
9
18
What City & State do you work in?
Glendale AZ
Hmmm, well then it sounds like an upgrade in their technology would benefit their drivers a lot. Because of Jon York was chased away by that dilemma, who knows how many other people have been turned off by it?