This PeoplePerHour review is from a freelancer who has seen and worked on a lot of freelancing sites online. Is this legit or scam? Is it worth my time? Is it better than the other freelancing sites? I’ll attempt to answer these and many other questions about the site, so you can make an informed decision about whether to join PeoplePerHour or not.
What is PeoplePerHour?
PeoplePerHour is an online freelancing portal. This is very similar in concept to oDesk and Elance, the more popular freelance marketplaces. An online marketplace brings together buyers and sellers. The buyers propose projects and the sellers bid on these projects. The sellers of course are almost always freelancers.
PeoplePerHour isn’t the first online marketplace for freelancers. There have been several in the past, some having a strong hold on the industry. Elance is one of the oldest, still popular marketplace. oDesk is newer but has grown at a really good rate over the years. For freelancers looking for work or for employers (usually start-ups and small businesses), there are plenty of options. When evaluating this site, therefore, you need to look at it from the larger perspective and compare it to existing businesses. This is what I will base my PeoplePerHour review on.
Check out my oDesk review and oDesk vs Elance to get a better idea of online marketplaces.
Quality/Quantity of Jobs Posted
The number of jobs at PeoplePerHour is definitely less than those of its bigger competitors like oDesk and Elance. However, I found the quality of jobs to be surprisingly high. I don’t have the statistics (yet) but the average pay on PeoplePerHour is far higher than either oDesk or Elance. I think I can safely say that the quality of jobs is the highest I have seen.
As a result, it is only natural that the freelancers are high quality too, which is great news for the buyers.
One of the major complaints about online marketplaces is the quality of jobs is really bad. This affects both sides of the equation. The freelancers are unhappy because of a downward pressure on their wages due to increasing competition from low quality providers. This drives the good workers away to other avenues which now affects the buyers because they cannot find enough quality people to do the job they want. As a result, the serious buyers look elsewhere. Thus what is left is a deteriorating marketplace. This is particularly stark in oDesk but present very well in Elance.
Surprisingly, this hasn’t yet happened with PeoplePerHour. The wages are decent and appropriate for the skills required for the jobs. I am not sure how they pulled it off and if this can be sustainable. Only time will tell. As of this moment, however, if you are a quality freelancer, this is certainly a site to check out. In addition, if you are a buyer looking for some good quality freelancers, it is definitely worth taking a look.
The obvious drawback however is that there are not enough jobs posted here. Besides, new freelancers might have a hard time competing against high quality and established workers.
Bottom Line: The quality of jobs posted is very high as compared to other marketplaces. The number of jobs is modest. If you have the right skills for the job, definitely worth checking out and being a part of. At the same time, accomplished freelancers might still find that they are better off on their own. The wages are good, but not extraordinary either. If you are looking for highly qualified workers, this is the place to look.
Subscription and Fees
PeoplePerHour subscription model is a layered one which I personally don’t particularly like. Elance has one too. I like oDesk the best in this sense – no membership upgrades; the fee structure, although high, is very straightforward (You pay a 10% project fee flat, no exceptions, no membership upgrades). However, this isn’t the case with PeoplePerHour.
As a free member, you have several restrictions and you can buy credits. As you can see from the chart above, basic free members pay a high fees of 10% as opposed to just 4.50% paid by Platinum members. The concept of freelancers picking up the tab for all the site’s workings too is a little weird for me (oDesk, on the other hand, is more uniform in this sense because everyone pays the same service fee and thus can be negotiated). I am not a fan of membership upgrades in general, but perhaps my fellow freelancers have a more favorable view of this.
Bottom Line: The service fees depends on your membership type, and so do limits on how many projects you can bid on. I am no fan of this model.
PeoplePerHour can be very open as compared to the other online marketplaces. For example, you can find the team and know about them. Some client testimonials are also refreshingly open. In addition, the profiles look more professional, with a photograph, portfolio, feedback, etc. The earnings are open too, unlike oDesk (but like Elance). All this provides added credibility.
At the same time, I don’t like that they are not very transparent with some things especially those related to the fee/membership structure. The chart I displayed above is accessible only to members after joining the site. I would like to access this information before joining the site.
The PeoplePerHour Economy is another great feature to check out. You can get some really interesting statistics here about the freelancers and clients who use the site, the size of projects and other information that would interest both freelancers and buyers.
Bottom Line: Some great steps towards a more transparent experience benefiting both freelancers and businesses. However, the sites need to be more transparent about its fee/subscription structure.
This is a new addition, and I thought I should add to the existing PeoplePerHour review. Hourlies is a great concept that this site started. Instead of the traditional way where employers post projects and freelancers bid on it, hourlies reverse this process, i.e., the freelancers post what they can do and the cost of doing it and the employers can ‘buy’ that hourlie and the freelancer delivers. This is a great concept, although it seems a little crowded. The concept is new but promising. I would like to see more statistics though – it shouldn’t become of those features that becomes incredibly hard to navigate because it is cluttered with low quality posting.
Bottom Line: Some innovation finally from PeoplePerHour in terms of bringing a new feature to the freelancing marketplace that more established sites like oDesk and Elance lack. It’s still too early in the game to define them successful, but hourlies are definitely promising.
Update: As promised, I need to revise my review of hourlies at PeoplePerHour. In a nutshell, they absolute, terribly suck. The whole approval process is ad-hoc and random and frankly too frustrating to deal with. When I made an extremely minor correction to an already published hourlie, it was rejected. Recently, they rejected another of my hourlie that was just about publishing an article about a business on EzineArticles. Obviously it makes no sense (their argument is without the slightest merit. I’ll publish their whole ‘explanation’ for those who are interested).
PeoplePerHour is a relatively new online marketplace and this PeoplePerHour review might not capture all aspects of the site. It is still growing and faces several challenges. The most distinguishing feature of the site so far is its ability to maintain quality. This can degrade very soon if the site aims only for growth without regard to quality. It seems to be at a critical stage in that sense. Both freelancers and workers know the better quality the site offers and it should stick to it. PeoplePerHour is still a great site to join and every freelancer should at least check it out to see if they want to be a part of the site. Definitely worth considering.
Hourlies is a great idea with terrible terrible implementation. Hopefully other sites can take the model and improve it.
Photo Credit: laverrue
Greate pieces. Keep posting such kind of info on your page.
Im really impressed by your blog.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on peopleperhour review. Regards
Its a big scam company you get fake profiles up there and they let the stay there. I recieved an offer from a guy and he didnt know what he was doing. In the end they let it be and he walked away with £320.00 and damaged the site as well.
Advice avoid it like a plague.
I am sorry to hear that. I am sure it is a one off case but those can be significant as well.
I think your story is not correct Sonia. I have been using the site 2 years now and it is impossible for this to happen since firstly, you release the money to the freelancer. If you were not happy, why did you release the money in the first place?
I’m just new to the website and got a job immediately. Although I find PPH as a good website for Freelancers like me, I am concerned that it does not have any monitoring system for hourly work.
I want to be as honest as possible with my employer when I invoice him; because I have an oDesk system and it takes “pictures” of my actual work.
That’s good to hear, congratulations! It is debatable whether the oDesk system is really efficient and good in terms of providing the ‘right’ time taken for a project.
Great insight and info on the blog…I think it’s all according to taste. Like anything else. Like the blog says though, until little more time passes, you’ll get a better picture. One of the posters before me said “PPH is horrible”. Unfortunately, someone is going to have a horrible experience at something. It happens. I chalk that up as a bad day. When it happens 3 times in a very close window of time. That’s what I call, horrible. Again only time will tell. Good subject though and timing couldn’t be better for it.
My real review is here http://peopleperhourscam.blogspot.com/
They are some huge scammers
PPH encourages exploitation. Moreover, it keeps spamming my invoice despite having requested closure of my account.
Don’t get caught by their marketing. Avoid them, whether you’re a freelancer (you won’t get paid much) or a contractor (you will be forced to pay for bad quality work).
You might like to try Bench Over – benchover.com
which is relatively new Marketplace in market but gaining customers.
Easy to use.
Includes freelancing work, buying/selling of services as well as products and advertisements.
And the best part, it is commission-less and allows paying outside the website.
No charges at all.
Completely free of cost. 🙂
Atrocious and appalling are the nicest things I can say!
I’ve been using PPH as both a seller and buyer for quite a few years now. I was so amazed with the type of things on offer initially. However, as I started purchasing and selling. I started to see the huge cracks within the company. It is all one big sham to con consumers out of their hard earned cash.
I also use other freelancing sites and some of them offer verification of employees through ID checks etc. This offers much more transparency and accountability for the people you are potentially going to work with. While they all differ in the ways they are run. They all operate on a similar model by offering to be an escrow to ensure that as a buyer your work is complete and as a seller your money is received. However, due to numerous complaints and shoddy service. I have also witnessed major changes in the way things are done.
Firstly, they used to offer a telephone number and the people answering seemed very unprofessional and like they come from the council estate side of town. They would often fob you off with short answers and just keep you on the phone repeating sorry they can’t do anything and how sorry they are. Remaining apologetic, brash, rude and quite brazen.
My first bad situation was during a telesales campaign that I wanted to run. The seller was silly enough to use his real name and once I realised he was a convicted criminal. The scam all came to light. The escrow system doesn’t normally release the money straight away and it takes time to be released. This is used to protect sellers. However, on the other hand. If a seller releases the invoice and the buyer doesn’t reject it. The invoice and funds are unrecoverable and paid automatically. When signing up you do not need to put many details other than you name and email. This should show you that as a consumer if there is no such transparency. Why on earth would you purchase from the website.
The telesales agent made fake follow up emails to show he had done the work and then charged me around £300 – £500 pounds. I soon did a background check with a simple Google search and found out that he was a conman. He had burned down a hotel and been in prison. I was absolutely flabbergasted and shocked to say the least. I called up PPH and they didn’t seem to care that much. They said they deactivated his account and cannot recover the funds. I said to myself that I will recover through PayPal, as they kept repeating their garbage. Pending the claim that I made to PayPal. Their account was frozen as a result and they sent me a very rude email saying why did you not ask us for help and in a very rude tone said why did you do that??! To which I thought what kind of low company is this.
I also had solicitation through a fake call centre based in Dubai by an owner called Adam and another one who promised me targeted emails. They almost conned me and I was clever enough to see they were not genuine. There is a plethora of scam sellers online. Even the highly rated sellers are fake and with fake reviews. You will see so many similar names and it doesn’t take a genius to work it out. I believe that I was probably the only seller on there with real and genuine reviews!
Furthermore, I also had a buyer change his order half way through for a £3500 project. I had already completed the work and was left out of pocket by £1500 pounds!
I recently purchased a press release and it was completed and there were minor amendments. The buyer was highly rated on the site and so I felt that I was in good hands. However, the buyer quickly sent the invoice on first draft and I thought this was very cheeky and unprofessional. I didn’t reject the invoice, as I wanted to pay them and felt it was ok. The changes were just one or two words. The second part of the job was to send the PR. However, to date it has never been sent and I don’t even have a copy of the amended version. The invoice was then automatically released after 7 days and I was very busy. I thought he will reply and as a gesture of good will I didn’t reject it as we were having dialogue every few days. As soon as the invoice was released he has disappeared for around a month now. PPH state they cannot recover my funds. They are appalling and their behaviour is atrocious. They are one of the most unprofessional and low ended companies that I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. As a seller of hourlies and popular featured services. I would often have sellers threaten me to give free work and they would not release the invoices. They would blackmail me to do extra work that was not included in the cost given. This website is a sham through and through for decent freelancers. The only ones that are making money are the big scammer owners at PPH and the scam sellers. Stay away from PPH at all costs!
I am professional designer – They ask you to upload PORTFOLIO, how the hell portfolio can be uploaded?
You upload your CV they ask you to remove contact info, when you do it they ask you to do it again and after 2 or 3 tries you can not submit your applications again.
Peopleperhourlie is a complete joke!, they are so heavily over regulated with rules and obsessed with prefection that they make fiverr look like a picnic on a summery sultry sunny afternoon under the Eiffel tower while serenading kim kardashians bodashous bootay
I know i over state things abit but these guys are ridiculous! ..wow, what an unpleasant experience and waste of time i just spent on there site.
My ads (Hourlies) were perfect in every way from my own brilliantly self designed cover photos (If i do say so myself) to my Hourlie Pictures to the professionalism of my written Ads, but they always come up with something to find fault with in your hourlies and i was selling very popular items that sell like hot cakes for me on fiverr and seoclerk…
And i never! ever! received a single buyer on peopleperhour, the only way i would even get close to getting a buyer on there site is if i paid them their fraudulent $14 fee (I refuse! to feed this scam so i will never pay it) …what a complete conjob they’re running …I only wish had of thought of it first Lol (just kidding) can’t stand people and sites that behave like that one
i’ll never! complain about fiverr ever again =;0) ..god bless the five
Very odd platform to work on – tried and gave up….
They have no contact telephone number – very unprofessional for a “soit disons” Global Company
They will not let members know where their customer support is based – could this be out of shame?
They claim all the money held in escrow is kept “on-site” – see facebook page for more details….
Customer support does not reply to genuine queries and questions in a timely fashion
They let newcomers register with the site BEFORE asking them to verify their identities/accounts – we believe to be a way of boosting the number of people who register with the platform and that it could be classed as “unfair trading” to the point of being a “scam”…
They request sensitive, private and confidential information AFTER newcomers post a project on the platform and want to award it to someone (my UK-based company’s own experience)
They do NOT keep their social media pages up to date in real time
The company’s liabilities far outweigh their assets – this data can be freely checked online…..
The platform is Greece-based – worrying financial dilemma – is the money they handle for their customers really that safe?
The SEO does nothing more than “blow his own trumpet” – according to ex-peopleperhour staff he treats his customers with disdain (glassdoor review)
It took their abysmal customer support 4 days to get back to us – we subsequently DEACTIVATED our account preferring to work with true professionals.on another well run platform that offers a telephone number with a call back service.
If you read this, probably you want to make sure about the place in which you want to invest your time, effort, and money. This will help you. These limited words are summary of 2 years. We were on page 3 and was ranked as 119th – TOP. I didn’t sleep for nights till I got there…
For *whatever* I say here, emails and replies exist as proof and I’ll be glad to share them.
My story on PeoplePerHour began on 18th of Jun 2014. Let me copy-paste the first email:
“I am Faryad, from Iran. I am leading an expert team for graphics design, web design, and web development. My question is, as an Iranian, can we work in your website with no concern?”
Thank you for your message.
People from all over the world are allowed to work on the site, there is no restriction for them. You are welcome to work on our site. You can register and get work.
Best wishes for your business in PPH.”
We signed up. For many times I noticed there are somethings wrong with the platform but I thought maybe these are software bugs. I didn’t care much and each time I composed lists of bug reports trying to report strange behaviors of the platform in my long lists of bugs. Each time they were telling me things like “that’s fine, we are working on it! Oh, we are sorry to hear this, we are fixing.” Stuff like this. I noticed that this is an official robbery because a mistake may happen once or twice accidentally- not after reporting it for hundreds of times. Let me clarify one after another about how they rob you (sellers) specially using their smart proposal credit system. Since I wasn’t a buyer on this scamming website, I don’t know how they rob buyers and I leave this for buyers to review.
-Proposal credits are not free on this platform. If you want to bid on jobs, you have to buy them. Each proposal credit costs something about 1.5 GBP. They claim each month they give you 15 free credits. They are right. They do this till you get to a point. When you start growing and need to buy more credits, thievery starts. Suppose you have 85 credits. In the beginning of each month, instead of adding 15 free credits, they RESET your credits to 15. Yes! Don’t be shocked! For my last 4 months of working I noticed this robbery and each month I was reporting this to the whole team (support, product, web designer). We had two accounts and this was happening to both of them. They told me, hey, sorry for this! Maybe this is a bug or something. Here are some credits!! And I didn’t know how many credits did I have before getting robbed.
-When someone posts a job, sellers start to bid. If, after bidding a buyer changes or updates his job or his budget, according to their own terms and email notifications, sellers can cancel proposals and credits must be refunded. This happens very frequently. Someone posts a job for $200 and after 15 minutes changes the budget to $50 (thanks to the uncontrolled bids and junk system of bidding). They claim you can send another proposal for the same job without losing any credits. Guess what? When you cancel your proposal, the credit will NOT refund. If you send another proposal for the same job, ANOTHER credit is consumed and will never refund. This means if you cancel your proposal and send another one, you will lose 2 credits!! A very sneaky type of robbery! This also applies to what they call Featured Proposal Credit which is a more expensive type of proposal credit and features (so-called) the proposal. Featured proposals does NOTHING and they will NOT refund to your account just like normal credits. They just add a ribbon to your proposal and this is what you pay 5 pounds for.
-PPH is a great place for posting fake and scamming jobs because no one controls anything. They filter things randomly. Spammers and fraudulent buyers keep posting spamming jobs. Newbies and those who are not aware of threats keep sending proposals for all types of jobs. They bid and bid and they lose credits very quickly. Guess what? If after reporting a job (by the community and for hundreds of times) they moderate the fake job, credits will NOT refund to bidders’ accounts. Also if they don’t moderate fake jobs, they will stay pending forever and so does your poor proposal. This means for each pending job you waste your time and your credit (money) like a charm! You will never get your credit back. According to my working experience for 2 years more than %60 of jobs is fake and they remain pending forever. I’ve reported this in detail for more than 10 times and each time they only thank me for reporting!
Mid-July I decided to ask them to stop robbing us. I sent them an email telling them about all these events including more thievery scenarios. I asked them to stop filching. Guess what? They have deactivated my account in less than 1 hour!! I asked the reason and they sent me one of their junk corporate emails telling me that I have violated their terms! I immediately contacted Christina P (don’t write the full name for her privacy) which works in their product team. Christina was the ONLY helpful person and she was not aware of the stealing algorithm of the platform. She reactivated my account and said this was a mistake! So what if I didn’t have her direct email?! I regained access to my account and was happy that I had it again because it included 2 full years of non-stop working of a group of people. But this isn’t the end!
Three weeks later I received a system email:
“Thank you for using PPH.
In a recent compliance review, we have noted that your account is based in Iran.
In line with UK AML regulations, PPH is unable to support users operating from this location. As a result, we need to close your account and are providing you with 1 week’s notice of closure to complete any work in progress. To find out more, please visit section 2 of our terms and conditions.
We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused however please note this is for compliance reasons.”
I said WHAT??? First of all, what the … does AML mean??? I googled it and found the abbreviation. I was so shocked that couldn’t talk for few hours because:
-After working as a freelancer for the first year, we closed our offices and focused on working at home. Now we didn’t have any office and we were going to lose our freelancing job as well.
-It wasn’t about me only. I was concerned about my wife and her team. She faithfully worked on this platform non-stop and we managed to serve about 170 clients from more than 30 countries. We had 178 positive feedbacks and our rating was %99.6. What about our exceptional customer testimonials? Those magnificent clients had written marvellous reviews about our performance and we were relying on their words for our future projects/positions. Are we going to lose them all?
-I was always sending them bug reports and feature requests. Their product team thanked me personally for many times. More than 100 bugs have been reported by me and they used my ideas to improve their scamming platform and now they are banning me! Can you imagine this?!
-I never charged my clients outside PPH because I was loyal and committed to their system. We used to have customers with monthly invoices but I never accepted their payment offer outside PPH. They could simply and easily send their money to my withdrawal account and therefore we didn’t have to pay any share to PPH. I didn’t do this because I was committed to those beasts.
-We had sent our CVs to different locations for different positions. Link to our profile was included in all of our CVs and if they close our account, the link will return a nasty error page instead of our beautiful customer testimonials. So what about those people reading our CVs? Most probably they will think we are lying to them. Can you imagine? My profile includes 2 years of our most recent career and the most important ones because they are recent. If we lose them, we had a 2-years gap in our career and people with link to our profile think we want to cheat them.
Let’s get back to the AML thing. They deactivated our accounts again. This easy! I searched UK authorities and asked about the AML claim. Here’s the result. Please google “uk advisory aml notice june 2016” and read page 1 of the first PDF. Here’s the last line from page 1 I copy from the document:
“On 24 June 2016, the FATF suspended its call for countermeasures against Iran for twelve months.”
If it was about AML rules, these rules were onset from 2007, so why did they let us (Iranians) join their website on 2014 with a very warm welcome and without restrictions? On the other hand, if they are obeying AML rules it clearly states that countermeasures are suspended for one year and this document has been released on June; that is 2 months before PPH thieves warn us with their fake AML message.
Wait! There’s more! Hearing this will drop your jaws: still, there are some active Iranian profiles on the website!!! Please check it for yourself. Go to freelancer’s section and search for Iran. They kept those poor rookies active. It seems like they are planned to be robbed after they gather some money for them in their small wallets.
I have more surprises for you readers. They closed our account; swallowed the money in our wallet; stole the money in our pending invoices; and clearly stated that they won’t give us access again EVEN IF we live somewhere else than Iran!!!! Let me copy-paste:
So this means PeoplePerHour.com has closed our account, withdraws our earned money for itself, and won’t give back our account even if we exit Iran.
Can you please confirm this?”
Thank you for your message.
I can now confirm this Faryad.
Your account will remain closed.
Thank you for your patience and if you have any other question regarding our case please let me know.
PPH Senior Advisor”
You will be more arrogant if you sell yourselves instead of robbing people like this. Your children will read your story.
Well it depends on your luck with freelance .. mostly they are scam .. be careful and peopleperhour will not help you.. you will feel they support scammed to make more profit !
Not recommended at all