If you've been in this industry long enough, you've probably heard that any work at home opportunity that requires a fee is a scam. I know it was something that was pumped to me many times over on various sites. The intentions behind this piece of advice is good. But today I'm going to turn it on its head. Because the folks that have given you this advice are guilty of some "Simple Simon" behavior. This basically means they're over simplifying advice that should be prefaced with certain exclusions. This is going to make a lot more sense as you read this review of Arise.com so sit tight if you're interested in other legitimate business opportunity outside of affiliate marketing. If you have any work experience in Customer Service, Tech Support or Sales, you'll want to read this review in detail.
In a nutshell it's a full fledged business opportunity NOT a job! This is a very important distinction that we will get into further which seems to be a sore spot for the uninformed. In any event, Arise.com is a BBB A+ rated home business, where you can partner with Arise.com as a Customer Service, Tech Support or Sales Rep. But like most work at home companies you're an independent contractor (IC) NOT an employee. Now don't go running away! As I said before 99.9% of work at home companies work with people as ICs not employees. Do you know someone that is an affiliate marketer, or selling Avon, Amway or Tupperware? Well guess what? They are independent contractors. Those folks own their own business, will have a home office, do the legal stuff to make the IRS happy, and make sure they have taken any training needed to do the work, often on their own dollar.
Simple– you become trained to be part of a store's telephone, online chat or email support team. Your work may range from answering emails or you might be one of the people answering the 800 number for customer support. Yep many of those folks are most likely sitting at home in their PJs, talking to you as an Independent Contractor for Arise.com or as they like to call their workers, Arise Certified Professional(ACP). Don't even ask me why they thought of this name. Personally I think it causes more confusion but I'm a bit slow to begin with so you have to take my opinion with a grain of salt. I'm just reporting my findings.
In any event, Arise.com is basically a middle man. An online store may need 24 hour customer service via telephone, online chat or email. Arise.com basically has an online database of approved ACP members, organized by background and training qualifications that the online retailer can contact for work. Arise will take care of screening, training and paying these independent contractors so that the online retailer can focus on their business which is to sell stuff and not worry about HR headaches.
If you've ever worked for a staffing agency, it's very similar except that you're not an employee and are responsible for paying for your home office and business set up. Arise is responsible for training you and getting you work with their clients. So you do not actually work "for" Arise.com. You work for yourself and contract your skills to these online retail businesses. Arise.com is just the middle man, or a partner, with the technical software, to make it all happen. So it's basically a win win for all and totally virtual which is why it's called Arise Virtual Solutions. Are you still with me?
Once you set up your home office, take their training, and are in the Arise.com database for companies to find, you are ready to accept work offers. As you take further specialized training, (often required by the retail business hiring you) you then become eligible for even more jobs and higher pay. You specify which hours you are willing to work each day. When you are accepted by one of the companies, you agree to be ready to go, and online during the contracted hours. Then you basically do your customer service, tech support or sales duty as you were trained and paid the agreed salary per hour. What happens to most people is that they develop a couple areas of specialty, like tax software or roadside assistance, and may end up working exclusively for two or three companies. If you get bored, move to a different field, like webhosting, or a chain store! But you have to pay to be trained for the new company which is explained later in this article.
Your pay is based on the number of productive minutes you actually are online and interacting with the customers. Arise.com has patented software that takes care of all of that. In general it works out to be about $10-14 per hour. Expect to begin at $10 and build up as you take additional training. Many companies provide added incentives for productivity, 3rd shift (overnight) hours, and for working during their peak times. Arise.com has nothing to do with that, that part is totally up to the hiring company. You can use this as a guide: 25 hours a week/$10 hour is $250 a week, $1000/month.
Oh, and by the way, Arise.com software can tell if you are actually talking to someone, or just sitting there with an open line trying to rack up minutes. There are a few other tricks they are on to as well, so just do the job, don't try to milk them, chance are they will catch on quickly.
Another thing you should be aware of is that since you are an independent contractor you're responsible for paying Uncle Sam his taxes at the end of the year! So you'll need to put aside money for that. A tax professional can help you figure all that out. You may want to read my Work At Home Taxes article about how this all works since a large number of legitimate work at home opportunities use independent contractors.
Thankfully, there is not a "minimum" requirement for payment, which is a good thing. They send out payments twice a month by Direct Deposit straight to a bank account you set up specifically for this business.
Although the retail companies my be global in nature, Arise.com partnerships are available only to legal residents of the United States and in the United Kingdom/Ireland. Pretty much everyone else is out of luck. Sorry guys. It's not my policy, I'm just relaying the facts.
• Flexibility. Obviously most people want to work at home because they like the freedom of being home with their families. So making your own hours is a real plus. Depending on the online retailer, their workload will fit into anyone's schedule whether they look for full time hours, or a few hours in the evening or on the weekends. This is huge for a lot of stay at home moms that are qualified to do customer service work but may not be able to work during the daylight hours when the little ones are running amuck around the house. By the way, let's say you move to an entirely different state. You can continue working for whichever companies you contract with. They do not care where you live, just that you have a phone and high speed internet access.
• Online training provided. They designed the initial customer support training themselves, and you get it from their site. I have seen places where they tell you you have to be trained, but not where to get it!
• Security. As long as companies do business online, there will always be a need for an online support team. Any given retailer that offers 24/7 support will need multiple people working during each shift. In other words, this is not a hit and miss fad thing like members only jackets. You have some security especially because you're the boss not an employee.
• It's legitimate. So many home based businesses are about pushing products you don't believe in or trust. (Yes even in affiliate marketing.) Sometimes many of these companies have poor ratings with consumer protection agencies. Arise.com has a BBB A+ rating, VeriSign PCI Data Security Standards met four years in a row, two software patents and awards from: Telework Coalition Hall of Fame; Call Center Magazine Product of the Year; Presidential Task Force on Employment of Adults with Disabilities; Smithsonian Institute's Technological Achievement Award for Innovative Technology. They have also been featured in many media reports as a legit company to work with. For a lot of people this type of stuff is important. It gives folks a sense of security that you won't get screwed over. Personally I take all that stuff with a grain of salt. I tend to focus more on real people that have actually worked with the company to make my decisions. But to each their own.
• Confusing website. I don't know, it may be me, but it took me a while to figure out what this was all about when reading their website. I think they could have simplified it a bit by maybe having a video walking through how this all works for the work at home seeker's point of view. I found the best info about their opportunity in the Work At Home Tab and FAQ section which I guess makes sense! But even when I did find it, I really thought they could do a better job of explaining their opportunity in plain human being English.
• Technical Difficulties. Another thing that stands out to me is technology issues. The arise system doesn't support all browsers like Chrome or Firefox. Also, they have not updated their software, so it does not work with Windows Vista or Windows 7. Only versions of Windows 2000 XP are listed on the site. In addition there are only eight anti-virus systems that the software supports and you have to have one of them. So this may hinder some folks that are perfectly qualified to do the work from joining. You're also going to need to install a landline, as the award winning patented phone system does not work on cell phones. Virtual cell phone online support? Not in the cards.
• Fees. This is probably the biggest complaints for most people. I blame this on the over simplified advice provided by other work at home websites and the media. They've pumped that any work at home related opportunity that requires a fee is a scam. What they've failed to do is clarify the exclusions. For instance when was the last time you heard that you could start your own McDonald's without any money? I mean how are you suppose to lease the store, buy the food, supplies, etc.? Well a home business works the same way. The only major difference is your start up costs tends to be less because you're using your home and probably your personal computer to get started. But you still have to invest in other supplies to get your business off the ground.
Well Arise.com is a home based business NOT a job. Unfortunately most of the people that are complaining about the fees don't understand the big difference. The real advice that everyone should follow is don't pay for a job. Although even that advice is flawed because we've all done it when you bought a newspaper to find a job, paid someone to write a resume, use the internet you pay for to find a job, etc. But in generally if on the offline world you wouldn't pay someone to work for them at a job, you shouldn't do it online. But it's perfectly reasonable to invest money in a legitimate home based business, business and or career training provided you've done the research. See my scam video on how doing research effectively. Now that you have been educated about fees regarding work at home, it's still worth itemizing what your initial start up cost will be to run your business in partnership with Arise.com. Because at the end of the day, even if they are legitimate, it may still be too rich for your blood and that's still a con for some people. So let's itemize the start up cost below.
1. Home Office set up. The initial costs for the home office would be the computer which I assume you will already have, high speed Internet connection which you may or may not have and anti-virus software. Dial up connections just don't work for this. High speed runs around $50 a month, but you are probably already paying something for the Internet service you have. And folks, it has to be your own Internet address, no going to the library to do this!
2. Phone equipment. A real landline phone, and headphones. It might be around $100 if you do not already have a land line phone to use.
3. Phone lines. They want it to be a separate line from your household line. Reality check here, for this business this only makes sense, they can't have busy signals because "Ray-Ray & them" are on the other line.
4. A National Background Check ($10.95-$23.95) depends on which state you live in. Now honestly? This is for your own good. In this day and age, I personally would question any business like this that did not screen their independent contractors. Think about when you make a purchase via telephone to a customer service rep. Don't you want to be sure this person isn't guilty of identity theft or some other crimes where they can misuse your personal information.
5. Legal Stuff. You have to set up a registered corporation or L.L.C account which is about $100 or more depending on your state. This again is for your own good and helps keep the IRS happy. You can choose to get liability insurance. All of this my friends is between you and your financial advisors. Trust me it's better to set up a corporation because it helps with your tax burden. The initial cost is saved many times over during the course of your business because you would have been taxed like an employee and the government pretty much screws employees in taxes. They're a lot friendlier to businesses even if you're a small one. So in the long run, it's a actually a pro, not a con. However if you really can't afford this fee, check out "How To Work With Arise Without Being Incorporated" here.
6. Training Fees. Initial training 101 in virtual phone support is $99 and you take that through Arise.com. It takes a few weeks to complete. Additional training is usually required and that is not always made abundantly clear on the website. Each company will want you well versed in their product, but many will make you pay to get the additional training. This can definitely add up.
7. Arise Fees. There is a semimonthly service fee that Arise collects to cover their 24/7 technical support and automated software programs used to obtain jobs, track your minutes, and get paid. $20 twice a month.
Personally I don't think Arise.com is a scam at all. Like any company, it may have some flaws. From where I stand, the biggest complaints regarding this company have always been the fees. In my humble opinion, these complaints are not totally justified. The fact that there are start up costs does not mean automatic red flags. As we discussed earlier there has been some oversimplified advice given about work at home and fees. There are obviously good intentions in this advice because there are so many shady products out there being misrepresented as jobs. But it doesn't justify overgeneralizing certain pieces of advice. Most of this advice is written online. How difficult is it to add a few more words explaining the exceptions to the rule? I just did it several times here in this article. So it's not that difficult!
At the end of the day, even with the start up fees being justified, let's face the facts. Most people looking to work at home don't have extra money to spend. But if you just think for a moment about the colleges, community colleges, classes, workshops, and internships to train for a specific skill, and how they are full of people paying to get trained, it's a normal part of life in terms of career and business advancements. I don't know about ya'll, but I prefer that my little princess's teachers have some kind of degree… and my plumber is certified…my accountant can add, and my taxi driver has a license… even the NYC cab drivers.. lol Enough said?
Look, working with Arise.com means you become a home based business; they do not give you a job, which they're very upfront about. So the complaints about the fees and cost of training are a moot point. If they claimed to be a job, that would be a whole other situation. But they're very upfront that you're working as a business partner with them not an employee. If that's not what you're looking for then obviously Arise.com isn't a good fit for you. But if you truly want to be your own boss and start your own business, and learn to understand the concept of running a business, then Arise.com is worthy of your consideration. Again, I don't think Arise.com is a scam. I just think people are misinformed about the difference between a work at home job and a home based business. Hopefully after reading this article and my meager attempt at teaching Home Based Business Model, Eddy Style, you're clear about the distinction. That being said, the same advice I preach still applies. "Do your research." Just because a company is honest enough to tell you they're offering a home based business doesn't mean they have a legit business. Never forget that due diligence is still required!
With that all said, I would highly recommend Arise.com for those that can absorb the start up cost of running your own full fledged home based business. One problem and it's usually the biggest one, with a new business is finding customers, or traffic. But partnering with Arise.com solves this issue. So, it's definitely a win win in my mind, if a full fledged home business is what you're looking for. Good luck. If you've worked with Arise or considered it, let me know your thoughts about the company below.