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ChaCha Inc / Fraud and scam

1 United States Review updated:
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So I heard about ChaCha from a friend who only used their texting service to have questions answered. I found out that they also 'hire' people to answer these text questions. So I signed up and took their tests and became a 'Guide'. I answered around 500 of these text questions at .20 cents a piece over the course of 23 hours 49 minutes and 1 second, earning 100.00.

Now their rules state that you have to earn 100.00 at least by the 15th of the month in order to receive a payout or the money will rollover to the next months payout schedule. I registered on July 14, 2008 and had earned the money by July 28, 2008 way before August 15th.

So before the 15th came I made sure that everything was set so that I would get paid. My bank account was registered and I was at 100.00. They say right on the payment area that it will take 5-7 business days from the 15th before money is processed for payment.

The 15th rolled around and a lot of people got paid, I continued to wait for the 7 business days but nothing happened, no payment, nothing. So on the 8th business day I contacted them at an email address I had for them. I waited a day so we are now on the 9th business day and tried again. Nothing. Later that day I posted a thread on the message board about not getting paid. I finally received a post back on it.

Now remember it said 5-7 business days in the payment area and also in the 'Knowledge Base' an area to find all the answers to your questions. The post I received is 'It takes 7-10 business days for a payment to be processed.'

This was the last reply I have received from a 'Moderator'. So the 10th business day came and went and still nothing. So I posted another thread asking for an explanation as to why I hadn't been paid. No one from the actual company would reply to it. So I added 'If I am not paid by Tuesday (which would be September 2, 2008) I will be contacting my state Labor Board.'

Now this seemed to get a rise out of the 'Super Moderators' they sent me a warning that I was threatening them and my post was deleted. (Seems more like they were afraid of other 'Guides' getting any Ideas from it). So I replied in email to the 'Super Moderator' and asked for a response as to why I wasn't getting paid.

No reply.

I again posted a thread asking for an explanation as to why I wasn't getting paid. I got an email telling me again that I was threatening them and my post was deleted.

So at this point I am pretty pissed.

I reply back again to the 'Super Moderator' and inform them that because I can't post anything on the message boards about getting paid and finding out when I will get paid that I will be contacting the IC3 and my states Labor Board.

The reply I received was astounding. 'You have been permanently banned from the message boards for violating the rules. You threatened a moderator in an email message.'

How the heck did I threaten a moderator for telling them that if someone from ChaCha didn't reply with a valid reason as to why I wasn't getting paid I would report them?

Ok so now I am banned from what was the only method of communication to people over ChaCha that could do anything about this. Great.

What did I do?

I have currently filed a complaint with the IC3. Considering that it is Sunday and Monday is a holiday I will be unable to contact my states Labor Board until Tuesday. On Tuesday I plan on contacting the Utah State Labor Board and asking where I should go from here.

I will keep you posted.
(That is if ChaCha hasn't already taken over the world and deletes this post)

As for my recommendation about ChaCha. Go for it if you don't mind making them richer while you use your personal resources to do it and you not getting paid a dime for it (unless your one of the lucky ones).

It's not a bad job sure you get to work at home, (by the way you now only make .10 cents a message instead of .20, if you get paid.) you can work the hours you want, you get to sign on and off whenever you want, and best of all you get to do this all for FREE that's right you don't ever have to worry about making a dime!!!

Honestly I am not the only one with this problem there is a thread on people not getting paid that is reset every month that currently has 51 pages of people not getting paid at 10 posts a page. We're looking at 510 posts plus posts under those posts of people that haven't been paid.

How a business has gotten away with it this long beats the hell out of me.

Good luck to all those who are currently with ChaCha, I hope this is enough information for you to get some ideas about what steps to take to get the money you rightfully earned.

Fair warning to all those considering joining them, I wouldn't recommend it the stress and nightmare isn't worth your time.

Keep watching for the results of my legal battle against them!

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  • An
      10th of Oct, 2008

    Yes, this company sucks! In the forums, they want to hush you up. The system is always broke and they are very money hungry! They hire more guides when they need to hire more tech support. This company has their priorities out of order! I came over to my friends place to use her laptop and she hasn't even been paid and she pressed the pay me now button last night. Highly upset, I had to come over and calm her down. This happens every time. Their system is raggedy and they need to get their stuff together.

    -1 Votes
  • Tr
      29th of Oct, 2008

    I have been working for ChaCha as a Guide, have opted for the PMN option, have gotten paid out TWICE with no problems and have had no issues using the debit card I was issued. You were complaing to the wrong people- MODS are not the people who can help you resolve your payment issues. They are IC's just like you who voluenteer to moderate the forums. They honestly cannot do ANYTHING to help you get paid. You need to deal with ChaCha directly to rectify that situation.
    ChaCha is not a scam. You had a bad experience that was made worse because you took your issue to the wrong place.

    +1 Votes
  • Ca
      29th of Oct, 2008

    There are a lot of fasities in this claim.

    First of all, the forum and its moderators have NO control over whether you get paid. Them removing you from the message board did not limit or remove your ability to contact the proper authorities at ChaCha. Did you ever send a message to Feedback? THAT is how you alert the proper people of your problem. Did you ever do this?

    Secondly, you DO get paid $.20 if you get paid. That sentence made no sense. You get paid $.10 unless you qualify for Top Guide pay, then you make $.20. I have been paid under both amounts just fine.

    And finally, yes, there are threads in the forum about not getting paid. They are not there so that people GET paid, they are there so those who aren't can get help and support in getting their earnings. This is a rapidly growing company and growing pains are surely expected, so it is not all that bizarre that there are gliches in their system.

    It is entirely possible that perhaps your bank account information was incorrect. Has this been considered before you started pointing fingers and making accusations?

    +1 Votes
  • Al
      3rd of Nov, 2008

    enough for me to have a couple red flags. thanks for the info from both sides but i will hold out for the time being.

    -1 Votes
  • Ma
      4th of Nov, 2008

    what happened to you sucks but stop acting as if only a few "lucky" people get paid. I've been a guide for FIVE MONTHS and I have a friend who has been a guide for TWO YEARS and weve gotten paid every single time. i've read threads in the chacha forum where people are worried because they didnt get paid but they always come back and say the problem was straightened out. and like everyone else said, the forums arent how you communicate with chacha, so no, it isnt impossible for you to keep contacting them.

    0 Votes
  • Su
      8th of Nov, 2008

    I Just tried to sign up as a guide, and password and user name would not go through for the learning University, Is this a scam? Seems they ask for your personal info and then you can’t get on to site. When I called cha cha for info on this, I was told to reboot. I should have checked this company out first. I got info link from a reliable site, but should have known better.

    -1 Votes
  • Th
      8th of Nov, 2008

    I have the same problem all I get is the sign in password and user name and nothing. I think it is a scam and I might talk to my attorny abought them deleteing my personal Info that I gave them. I sure am going to try to get them shut down.

    -1 Votes
  • Ja
      10th of Nov, 2008

    Your legal battle must not be going so well aye ChaCha is awesome you just didn't do it right!ChaCha!

    0 Votes
  • An
      13th of Nov, 2008

    Today is Nov. 13 and ever since election night, ChaCha has been having problems. I am a guide and though I busted my butt the first weeks and answered hundreds of questions over the required 200, I did not make "top guide", where I would be paid 20 cents a question instead of 10 cents a question. It is a they decide who will make top guide pay and who will not...but I will tell you it saves them a ton of money by not paying thousands of guides double the money.
    My primary complaint is even though this is a rapidly-growing company with growing pains, I think they are violating IRS laws by calling guides private contractors. I searched and found a description of contractor under IRS guidelines and by its definition, ChaCha has too much control over our training, activities, etc. for guides and expeditors to be considered contractors. As contractors, we have to agree that the ChaCha powers that be have full control over our 10 cent vs. 20 cent pay rate. That's a big difference when you are sitting there for hours on end making a dime a question.
    Like I said, the system has had problems since last week and our questions have slowed...where they used to be back to it's minutes between inquiries, if we are lucky.
    ChaCha does not tell us what is going on. We have no idea of anything except they are have technical difficulties and are trying to fix the problem. And even that has been guessed at by a lot of frustrated guides. Their explanation to us has been extremely limited.
    Someone needs to be regulating this rapidly growing company. Just before they started having trouble last week, they added advertisements to answers we were sending out. I tried it, as a citizen, and I got two separate text answers from ChaCha. One was thanking me and telling me my answer would be there soon, with an advertisement attached. I know advertisers paid for that...even Obama got in on it before the election. Maybe those ads overloaded the system, maybe the election did. It's hard to say. The ads disappeared for a little while. I'm not sure if the ads are back now.
    Federal regulators should investigate this company and take a look at their books. I don't think they are deliberately hateful...but they shows signs of greed and sloppy management that could eventually sink their ship.
    Cha Cha for now!!!

    -1 Votes
  • Da
      22nd of Nov, 2008

    I've never had a problem getting paid, and I have the Pay Me Now option. In your complaint you never said you contacted Feedback. That is the proper channel to go through. Feedback goes straight to Headquarters and if you didn't do that then that's why your problem isn't resolved. Also, alot of people don't understand why they have problems accessing the University or doing the training, and most of the time it's because people are using IE instead of Firefox.
    Anyway, the company is not a scam, you can read about them on the CNN dot com website, as well as on Crunchbase.

    +1 Votes
  • An
      22nd of Nov, 2008

    Have been with ChaCha since the beginning, have not had any problems with payment, contest or not receiving my .20 per text(Which by the way is what TOP GUIDES make). I have been supporting a family on this income and will continue to do until the end. Mods on the forum have no say so over what goes on besides the forum. The forum has clearly stated TOS which you broke and were rightly banned for. Maybe had you have handled the situation correctly you would have gotten results. Now you will have to wait the clearly described 45-60 days to hear anything from ChaCha. ChaCha On!!!

    +1 Votes
  • Ch
      22nd of Nov, 2008

    One person's mishap doesn't mean the entire company is bad. For those of you who are on here hating on ChaCha, why don't you just log out, cash out and cancel out. We don't need your negative BS. Holla!

    +1 Votes
  • An
      22nd of Nov, 2008

    I have been with ChaCha since August. I have made good money with them only working hours a day. It is NOT a scam nor is it fraudulent. They have issues like any other company but they work them out. I am sorry what happened to you but if you would have contacted the company versus just posting in a forum full of just other guides (the Forum states: For guides, By guides) you may have gotten your answer. It seems like you have said some pretty strong statments about a company that is blowing the doors off the information industry. Hope you can back them up. ChaCha On!!

    +1 Votes
  • Ke
      23rd of Nov, 2008

    ChaCha is definitely not a scam. I've been here since day 1. I've made tons of money in my time here and never had an issue being paid. To earlier posters, there was a glitch in the University that caused people to be unable to log in. You give your info so that ChaCha, like any other reputable business, can make sure you're legal to work in the US and you set up payment method so it's ready to go. I cashed out over $4, 000 several times with no issues at all. Don't take the rantings of one person, who did not follow the proper channels, seriously

    0 Votes
  • Di
      2nd of Dec, 2008

    I work for ChaCha and I am also suspicious there is something fishy going on and I think the company is run by idiots. As someone above mentioned there have been 'traffic problems' and you can barley get 200 questions in 1 week that it takes to make top guide (to get paid .20). Then some people actually did manage to pull it off and did not get their .20 cents! I am one of them! I have contacted them through e-mail probably over TEN TIMES never receiving a response. How is this possible? How can this company get away with this? They 'hire' you to do a job at a certain rate and DO NOT PAY YOU that rate and do not respond when you ask WHY you are not being paid that rate??? I plan on filing a formal complaint as well.

    0 Votes
  • An
      15th of Dec, 2009

    I accumulated earnings of over $100 and was waiting to have them send me the check until I needed the money. Today I logged in to my account to find that not only had they "wiped" my statistics clean (back to zero on ratings, searches etc...) but my money disappeared too.

    I am not a fan of ChaCha... and will continue using Google as always.

    -1 Votes
  • So
      8th of Jan, 2010

    I've made several thousands of dollars since April 2009 on ChaCha. The pay has dwindled, but you can still make cash if you put hard work into it and you're good at what you do. The people saying it's a "scam" are just downright wrong. I'm sorry you didn't understand how payment and such worked before you signed up, but it's not their fault that you didn't read the fine print. The fine print says that they can change the rate you're paid at, for one.

    Oh, and by the way, I've answered over 30, 000 questions for them. My traffic is almost always back to back. I can set myself to available any time I want (except rarely when the system is having issues) and immediately start answering questions. Yeah, the pay is low, but it's definitely far from a scam.

    -1 Votes
  • Sc
      29th of Jan, 2010

    This may have been a good way of making money but they have pretty much become a con company. Their pay structure for transcribers, the lowest level, is such that they don't tell you how much you get paid per transcription beforehand. A certain amount of money is set aside to pay all "guides" and the transcriber gets a portion of that based upon how many they transcribe compared and how many points they earn as compared to the total. Right now it works out to around .73 cents a transcription. Yes that is cents. Then they make you "earn" $100 before paying you. So in order to get paid you have to transcribe around 13500 messages. it also takes almost an hour to transcribe 100 messages, so you make 73 cents (once again cents) per hour. They are severely taking advantage of those needing money.

    -1 Votes
  • Da
      8th of Feb, 2010


    I've seen you on quite a few sites, each time writing the same thing. But there's a BIG flaw in your statement. You did the math wrong. you said it takes an hour to do about 100 transations. And that's at .73 cents per transaction. Yeah, that adds up to $73, yet you say it only adds up to .73 cents. It sounds to me like you just like going around busting companies' balls when haven't got a leg to stand on. I've done quite a bit of research for ChaCha before decided to go with it, and to be honest, ALL of the problems I've seen were user errors. Occasional there'd be a complaint about the system, but um... even systems for the biggest Fortune500 companies have glitches and problems, so don't go there.

    From the reserach I've done (and it's been extensive), ChaCha is a sound, legit company. Are you going to get rich working for them? Of course not, but you won't get rich doing ANYTHING from home. But it certainly is a nice supplemental income.

    0 Votes
  • Ch
      10th of Feb, 2010

    DO NOT WASTE YOU TIME WITH CHACHA! Although ChaCha is a legit company, that's not to say that they don't RIP-OFF their employees!!! CHACHA does not count as a supplemental income. You can work hours upon hours and by the end of the month you will have enough to buy ONE cup of coffee from Starbucks. ChaCha is a complete joke and if you are contemplating working for them, I beg you to RUN! After working for them I refuse to ever text them again for information.

    0 Votes

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