FAQ

General

 

Does the app GPS drain my battery?

Only when it's on, and then only a little. Meaning, when you have an active job engaged, the GPS activates only when your position changes significantly in order to catch your new location. We use this optimal strategy to allow users to know where their Bidder is and when they are arriving; and for Bidders to more easily find their customers - while saving on battery life. The protocol we use can be read about here; we use the same strategy on Android: https://developer.apple.com/documentation/corelocation/getting_the_user_s_location/using_the_significant_change_location_service

Why was Crowdservice created?

Crowdservice was developed to create an economy. Or rather, to catalyse the economy which already exists. We are all busy and want more money, more or less. And your smartphone is an amazing tool. Cowdservice is the leanest, safest, most efficient and most fun interface I could imagine to join labor need and money need into as few thumb taps as possible.

 

I believe that no one should feel exploited, and both customers and providers should feel that their time and money are valued as they value those things. Crowdservice aims to leave you with your money and your time, so you can spend and economize them as you see fit.

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Customers

 

Write a catchy title...

What's this item about? What makes it interesting? Write a catchy description to grab your audience's attention...

Can I list just any old job that comes to mind?

Yes, and no, and yes.

 

Yes: Crowdservice's job lisitng routine is about the easiest around. Three screens and you're live. If you don't like the bids that come in you can remove it, or your job will self-expire after the end date.

 

No: Obviously, if you list a lot of jobs you don't intend to start, it's a waste of time for your bidders, so please consider them. We do have some automated flags we put up to protect our providers' time - but having said that...

 

Yes: If you're new to Crowdservice, go ahead and list a job just to see how the process works. You can always delete it before starting, with a swipe of a finger.

How do I know the bidder will complete my job?

A few ways.

 

1) All bidders must provide a valid Paypal account before placing a bid - that is, a valid Paypal ID where they will accept payment at job's end - prior to placing a bid on your job. Furthermore, if they have a silver shield icon next to their name on the bids screen, their Paypal account has been verified with their CS registration email.

 

2) Feedback, feedback and feedback. If the bider has prior jobs under his or her belt, they are likely to complete your job. If it's an important task, only choose Providers with a good feedback rating. If it's not such a critical chore, save some money and pick a low bid from someone without much feedback.

 

3) We keep track of non-performing bidders and only give them 1 or 2 chances.

 

4) Watch for our upcoming guarantee. After we launch that, if a Service Provider fails to complete a job we will pay you for your trouble. You can tell if the bidder is guaranteed because they will have a Guaranteed Badge next to their name. We can't wait to launch that!

I Need Help, but I Don't Have Much Money. Can I List a "Free" Job?

Absolutely. Crowdservice supports personal assistance jobs. Just state the word, "FREE" in your job name, and explain your situation in the job description. For example, "Elderly couple on fixed income needs help walking Shih Tzu. Unable to pay, but Doggie is very friendly" Accept a $0 bid from the Provideer of your choice, and give your Provider a Karma point when you evaluate him or her. Karma points are valuable to your provider. Note: We are working on a modification to make this process easier to designate, but in the meantime you can use the above workaround. Crowdservice will take NO surcharges for $0 jobs, they are all yours.

PayPal won't take my payment?!

You've chosen a bidder for your job, go to the PayPal window but PayPal rejects your payment. This can happen for a few reasons:

 

1) You do not have a valid credit card associated with your PayPal account, and

2) Your bank account associated with your PayPal account has not been VERIFIED by them, or

3) Your VERIFIED bank account balance is low.

 

In other words, PayPal can't process a payment from you unless it can insta-bill a credit card company, or take an ACH payment.

 

The easiest way to remedy this is to enter your credit card into the PayPal window in Crowdservice. Alternatively, you can go to your account on the PayPal website and put a Credit Card on file with them there. While you're there, if your bank account has not been verified by PayPal you can submit it for verification.

 

A verified account with PayPal will also earn you a higher security rating with Crowdservice, for everyone to see.

**Note, that we have not yet programmed a 'Back' button on this view, so if you get stuck here just close the app from your phone and restart to go back to Crowdservice.

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Providers

 

Can I just bid on any job that I see?

Yes and no. Bidding on a job in Crowdservice is a very easy, one-step process. However, it obviously comes with some responsibility to the people who are your potential customers. If your bid is accepted then you must complete the job in order to get paid, of course, and we do keep close track of non-performing bidders in order to protect our customers' time.

 

But if you just want to see how it works, go ahead and make a high-ball bid one time - you can detete it after, with the swipe of a finger.

How can you keep your commissions so low?

Because our overhead is so low. When designing Crowdservice, we worked out a way to keep money secure and keep personal security high, while still being able to offer a dynamic environment for on-demand services. We don't need an office in every city we operate. (Guess where our office is?)

Why do commisions decrease as the service fee decreases?

We could have inverted the fee schedule by taking 9% from jobs costing $1-10 and received real money for every job. Instead we might take 30 cents. I know you hear this a lot, but CS was not designed just to make a lot of money; it was designed to create an economy which serves people. So as your margins go down, so do ours.

Can I become a full time employee of CS?

We decided not to do it that way. If you look as the statistics, most people are not unemployed, but many people are underemployed, or they have less work than they would like. Crowdservice was designed to help people fill in the down time in ways that can supplement their regular income while not being predatory on their earnings. And let them do it when, and the way they want.

 

It is still possible to work full time providing CS services and do quite well, if you live in the right area for it.

What about FREE Jobs? I Want to Help Somebody in Need

When you see a job listed as FREE in the job title, and some descriptor in the job listing, like, "Wheelchair bound individual needs pickup of medical supply," etc, you can place a $0 bid on this job. If your bid is accepted, you may complete this job and Crowdservice will take NO surcharge. Please remind your Customer to leave a positive Karma point for you when leaving feedback. Your work is tax deductible per the standard charity allowances, and Crowdservice keeps completed job info indefinitely in case your screenshots are not enough for the IRS. Note: we are working on a modification to make these jobs easier to deal with, but in the meantime you may use the above workaround.

Why are your fees so low?

Crowdservice was created lean, and it runs lean. All of our processes are automated so our overhead is very low. Ultimately, we intend to serve everyone in the US. And that's a lot of people - so in order to grow Big, we let the users keep most of their earnings. We still exist, so we must be doing fine.

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List a Job

I don't have a Paypal account. Can I list a job?

Yes, you can also pay with credit card. List the job, then enter your address. After that, Crowdservice will take you to the Paypal website where you can enter your credit card information. Note that your CC payment is entered and processed directly by Paypal. Crowdservice does not record, or keep your payment information on file.

How do I list a job?

Opening a job on Crowdservice is easier than you've ever seen before

 

Screen 1:

 

  1. From the maps screen, tap the Request Service button at the bottom.

  2. Either type in some keywords for your desired job, or pick a category and then pick a job from the drop-down menu.

  3. Don't see a job type you want? Find the nearest one for now, then let us know by touching the Heart form on your Settings page.

  4. If the job does not involve the Provider buying something for you, leave the Merchandise field blank.

  5. If the job involves buying something for you, like "Bring me a cappuccino," then estimate the price of the cappuccino.

 

Screen 2:

  1. List your approximate address if you want to list the job anonymously. Otherwise list your true address. Your approx address should be within a few blocks of you, so that your Provider can accurately estimate the cost of his or her job.

  2. Enter the Date and Time you want the job done.

 

Screen 3:

 

  1. Make any comments about your job. Like, "12oz Nonfat dry from Peets'" blah, blah ;) Take a picture that pertains to the job.

 

Confirm everything, then list!

What is "Approximate Address"?

It's another way of maintaining privacy. If you want to list your job anonymously, you can provide an Approximate Address near your personal location, so when you publicize your job, all anyone will see is the approximate address. And then you can reveal your true address to your chosen bidder, AFTER you have looked at their profile, and feel ok giving them the address.

 

Similarly, your real name is not revealed until you shoose a bidder either. Obviously for a job like delivering an item from one office location to another, you would care less about anonymizing than if you were asking someone to fix your sink.

 

Pick an address near you, but vague, like, "Broadway and 54th Street," and use your real City, State and Zip. If you make up something, or use a location that is not very proximate, then your provider will not be able to calculate their time very well and might end up making the wrong bid which is not fair to them. So be close, but not perfectly specific.

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Bid on a Job

I don't have a Paypal account. Can I still accept payments?

No, at the moment the only way you can accept payments through Crowdservice is into a Paypal account. The reason, is that it is impossible to receive payments onto a credit card - at all. We looked at direct bank payments as well as check disbursements (direct payments from us to you by check), however these add a huge amount of complexity. We may re-examine direct payments in the future if there is enough demand; please tell us if that is what you prefer.

 

Besides Paypal, we examined many payment gateways when we designed Crowdservice, and though it is not perfect (nothing is), Paypal is currently the best fit for the Crowdservice model. Paypal allows us to escrow, pay and refund money with greater flexibility than the others, and being a veteran service, they are very, very secure.

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Security - Money

How safe is Paypal?

Nothing in the world is bullet-proof. You can pay in cash and the wind can blow it away - or worse. However, being a veteran internet payment processor, Paypal is about as secure as you can reasonably get. All payments go into, and out of, Paypal directly without passing though our servers or database; that is, we don't keep any of your information on file. Even Crowdservice's CEO can't access this information, because we simply don't have it. So even if we get hacked, the crooks would have no way of getting your Paypal login information from us.

 

Besides Paypal, we examined many payment gateways when we designed Crowdservice, and though their model is not perfect (nothing is), Paypal is currently the best fit for the Crowdservice model. Paypal allows us to escrow, pay and refund money with greater flexibility than the others.

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Security - Personal

How safe am I really, using service providers I don't know?

How do you know the person ringing at the door is really the postman? Even if they ring twice?

 

Thanks to mobile technology and all the things that we can accomplish with cheap devices that communicate with cloud servers, we can keep track of who a person on your job is, and where they are, at a specific time, while still maintaining everyone's privacy. We can also automate a very tight vetting process

 

The sum effect, is that CS is more secure than "traditional" methods of delivery, although we are so used to those methods it takes some thinking and explaining to see why. Please see the FAQ questions below for details on how we do that.

When should I be more or less concerned about another user's vetting level?

Crowdservice uses a common-sense ratings system for security. If you are inviting someone into your home, you might want to make sure they are a well-known individual, from the standpoint of feedback, and possibly a background check. If you have a non-sensitive job, like "Deliver donuts to my office," then it really doesn't matter what the Provider's security rating is. 

 

See the security shield for that user on their job "Bid Bar," or check their profile:

 

Blue - New user, has not verified Paypal identity

Silver - Has verified Paypal identity

Gold - Has completed a background check 

Do you require a background check?

We don't require one, but if you plan to perform a lot of services it's highly recommended. Getting a backgorund check is $25, and earns you the Gold Shield icon next to your name in your Profile. You also get the shield on your Bid Bar, so that when customers glance over all the bids yours will stand out vs. the others without one. You can place higher bids with the shield too, as customers will generally prefer you for jobs involving thier home and person.

 

If you don't plan on performing any services where you have contact with the customer, it's not as necessary.

 

If you don't plan on performing any services through Crowdservice at all, it's probably not very necessary.

What do you look for in a background check?

Mainly person crimes and fraud. People are people, and stuff happens but to protect our users we are quite sensitive about the whole victimization thing.

 

If you made some mistakes during college, don't worry about it.

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Privacy

What information does Crowdservice keep on me?

Crowdservice was built by people who are very privacy-oriented, and at every step we have considered how we would like the same information we are asking from you, to be kept about us.

 

We Keep in our database:

  • Name

  • Address (true and approximate)

  • Communications between you and other users during a job, so we can settle disputes

  • Any voluntary information you submit, like profile picture, preferences, etc.

 

We do NOT keep:

  • Financial Information, Including credit card, or Paypal login information

  • Age, sex, race are not asked for

  • Background check results - we set a flag and destroy that info.

  • Please see our full Privacy Policy

 

If CS were to be hacked, the hackers would basically get "White pages" information.

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My Profile

 

What is that shield near my head?

The Security Shield shows the level of vetting a particular user has:

 

Blue - New user, has not verified Paypal identity

Silver - Has verified Paypal identity

Gold - Has completed a background check

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