ChaCha is the name of a mobile phone service which you can ask any question you can think of and get a response soon thereafter. How does ChaCha know the answer to everything? Well, they don’t, in fact, the response you get is coming from another person sitting at their computer and using Google and other search engines to try and find you the best answer. Is there money to be made doing this? I decided to look into ChaCha as an employment opportunity. Here is my ChaCha experience.
Before anything you’re going to want to know what it pays. As a guide I was making from 10 cents to 14 cents a question answered depending on the rate for that category for that given day. One of the ways to get paid by ChaCha is you have to apply for a bank account with the First Internet Bank of Indiana, which includes a credit check. They claim that all will be accepted, however, and then you get a bank card and can transfer your money to it to use at ATMs. If you do not feel comfortable opening such an account you can set up direct deposit to another bank account, but the catch with that is that you have to have earned up to $150 before you can request money.
There are several different positions you can choose from, including a “guide,” an “expeditor,” or a “transcriber.” A transcriber listens to audio recordings of questions sent to ChaCha or possibly reads and deciphers jumbled text messages to figure out what is being asked. An expeditor is a middle man of sorts helping direct the flow of questions and making sure they get to the right, knowledgeable people. Or at least that is my best guess at what those two jobs entail, my knowledge of them was limited as I went for a guide position. Guides are the ones sitting at their computer and answering the questions.
The first step in getting to work for ChaCha is a series of training videos and tests. The website says that this process will take around half an hour, however, it was my experience that it was closer to an hour. The videos and training are the type of thing you would get paid to sit through if you were hired at any other job. What ChaCha does is weed out the people looking for just a quick buck by making you do this training on your own time. After passing the initial tests and watching the videos (which are really simple and repetitive) you are then given an action type of test where you log into the ChaCha system and they throw a series of questions your way. You answer the question using the techniques taught to you and then wait to hear back from ChaCha as to whether or not they are going to accept you as a guide. It took several days for ChaCha to grade me and tell me I was approved.
To be a guide for ChaCha you have to download their special toolbar. You will use this bar when surfing for answers. The way getting questions works is: you log into your ChaCha dashboard account, put your status as available, and then just sit and wait. A doorbell chime will alert you to a new question and you have a second to click whether or not you want to answer the question. During peak hours you get a lot of questions to answer, but there were also times where I would sit there logged in for hours and only get two or three questions sent my way! Sometimes ChaCha gives you a preview of what the question is before you accept it, most other times not, so often you’re just going to be blindly accepting a question you may or not be able to answer. This is a flaw in the system in my opinion. To answer a question you click on the “answer” button under the question sent and then another tab will open where the ChaCha’s system has already connected you to a series of search engines with the question put to them. I found it easier to just use Google in a separate window as opposed to using ChaCha’s search service. If you think you’re going to log in and just answer questions with any silly thing you can think of and then cash in: think again. Every answer you give also has to have a source cited for where you found the answer.
When you set up your Guide account at ChaCha you set up a section called Interests. This is where you let ChaCha know where your best areas of knowledge are and what types of questions you would be best suited to answer. So, if you pick movies and translations you will be flagged as the right guide to answer any questions ChaCha gets about movies or about translating words. However, you will not just get questions in the topics you label as interests! I found myself getting loads of math questions or background checks on people questions that I was not fit to answer, nor felt would be worth the time to answer. Every time I would land a question that I automatically knew I would not be able to find an answer to quickly I “aborted.” Aborting a question means you pass on it and it is sent to some other guide. You also have the choices of reporting a question as “Abuse” or having them “Clarify” if you feel it does not give enough information to count as a question. ChaCha frowns upon you using the abort button, I soon found out.
After a week of using ChaCha I had earned up to $22. I only reached this mark by skipping the questions I deemed not worth the time and answering the ones I was skilled at. ChaCha’s quality control department then began bugging me. They informed me that my excessive usage of the abort button was not acceptable. They said using that button causes the question to be answered slower because it has to then be sent to another guide. From my viewpoint though, if I am sent a trigonometry question that I will never be able to answer and I hit abort instead of spending loads of time trying to figure it out, then I am saving ChaCha time after they, for some reason, sent me the question.
I failed to mention earlier that ChaCha will spam your e-mail with newsletters and “alerts” all day long! They e-mail you every time they have a “high volume” of questions and this sometimes adds up to a plethora of e-mails being sent to you. Factor in the spam aspect, the small amount of pay for the amount of time it would actually take to answer every random question sent to you, the training process you went through, and you can see how having quality control gripe at you is more annoying than acceptable.
After ChaCha quality control told me I could no longer abort questions and had to answer every one sent to me, I quit. I followed the procedure of informing ChaCha I wished to have my account canceled and any earnings I made sent to me. Thus far, my request has been fully ignored. My account is still active and I am still receiving the high volume alert e-mails in my inbox daily; I even clicked on the opt out of the e-mails link! I have not been aid or responded to in any way to let me know whether or not to expect my payment anytime in the future.
ChaCha does not advertise itself as a grand money making opportunity, it is more about spare change, and there are people out there making the system work for them. My experience with the website showed me that in my opinion it is not worth the effort and time in comparison to other money-making ventures, but I am not by any means trying to scare you off from trying it out yourself. Of course I cannot personally vouch for them coming through with payment yet, so only time will tell, but if you like answering trivia questions it may be the ideal set up for you, just make sure you can answer anything under the sun and do it quickly.