The short answer is no, it isn’t a scam. However, it’s also not as good as it looks.
I’ve worked for Liveops recently and I believe that there is good and bad with the company. Here are some common questions:
Do you make money?
Yes, you make money. Not “good” money, but money. It really depends on how desperate you are for a job. Liveops sort of thrives on the fact that people are desperate for work right now. You will make money, but it is really more of a supplemental income thing.
Is paying the $50 background fee worth it? Will I earn it back right away?
Yes, you’ll probably earn it back the first week. If you don’t, you really aren’t putting much effort in. That is, of course, providing you actually pass the background check. If they take you to that point that they ask you to run it, they intend to hire you, but if you send up any red flags (arrests, etc) you’re probably bumming.
Where Liveops makes its money is through you actually working. They get paid from the company they sponsor and you get a little bit of that pay. They want you to work, they aren’t in the business of a $50 at a time income. They make far more by hiring you and putting you to work.
How much will I make an hour?
You’re paid by the talk minute. They used to pay .25 per minute, but at this time that’s only for direct response calls and a few seasonal things and other opportunities – i.e. calls from infomercials, etc.
However, they don’t let most newbies start there, you have to earn your way into that with your metrics. You’re probably going to start at more like .10 per minute. When you start, unless it is the holiday season, this means you are probably going to make about $5 an hour. Calls do not come in back to back, but that really is a good thing when you’re new anyway. And you’re responsable to take the taxes out of what you make, they don’t. In other words, don’t quit your day job until you are established in the company.
Yet, if you put in time with the company, pay close attention to your metrics and keep them stellar, then you can make a reasonable amount, though those that recieve what you would probably consider a “high rate” of pay are not common. Don’t go into it thinking you are going to make $12-$15 an hour right off the bat as a regular agent. Very likely, you aren’t. In fact, you’ll be lucky (or extremely talented) if you ever make that much there under those circumstances. A few agents do make a very good living there, but they are not commonplace.
However, there is another exception. If you are a licensed insurance agent, or would like to become one, you can make very good money at Liveops. The whole licensing bit is really on your shoulders though. They won’t let you participate until you’ve completed that part.
Metrics are things like how many calls you take an hour, how much each sale is worth, and what percentage of calls you convert into sales. The problem with the current Liveops system is that things like the time of day seriously effect that. I was on their Pizza Hut program and working after about 10 pm would just destroy your metrics because customers call in and the store is closed. I.e. you have a call with no sale. You’re sales percentage just went down. You can’t really take an order if the store is closed. Therefore, you have to choose the times you work very carefully, because the volume of calls they route to you is based entirely on those metrics.
Can I work when I want?
Sort of. It depends on what time you check the schedule. Liveops has like a calendar that they periodically post hours to (yes, they will tell you when it will be posted). People take those hours on a first come, first serve basis. Imagine a time slot as sort of like a bowl full of eggs. People take them until they are gone. Sometimes Liveops puts additional eggs in, because people cancel, so it’s good to watch the schedule frequently.
So is it worth it?
Honestly, I would say yes, if for no other reason than that you gave it a try. Liveops isn’t a scam company – the $50 really goes to a background check and is fairly easy to earn back. I do think they take a bit of advantage of their workers in the pay scale, but when you need money anything is better than nothing. At least they are offering jobs in the United States.
However, many people find out that work at home isn’t really for them. You have to have a soundless environment, which means no babies crying or dogs barking. You can’t have a tv going in the background or music playing and you are responsible for making sure that you make a schedule for yourself. There is a chatroom, so you aren’t alone, but you won’t have colleagues to talk to.
Other people love it. It’s really all about the individual.