‘The money looked good’: Woman says she had trouble getting paid for work done through online job-matching service

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. — A Lake County woman struggling for a paycheck during COVID-19 thought an online job-matching service could help. But now she can’t collect her pay and contacted Action 9 for help.

Vivian Gotham owns a house-cleaning business and doesn’t have the clients she did before COVID-19. That’s why online job services like TaskRabbit seemed like a lifeline.

“The money looked good. It was in the area,” Gotham said.

TaskRabbit connects people who need chores done with people who can do the job.

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Gotham landed two jobs cleaning local homes two months ago and says both customers paid TaskRabbit.

“As far as you know, TaskRabbit has your money?” Action 9′s Todd Ulrich said.

“Absolutely. They most definitely do,” Gotham replied.

She showed Ulrich several texts from TaskRabbit asking for more information so she could collect $230. She filled out the information the company requested.

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Gotham said she was told, “‘They’re going to hop to it.’ They haven’t hopped to it yet.”

TaskRabbit is based in San Francisco and has an A-plus rating at the Better Business Bureau but has poor reviews.

In one review, an Orlando man claims he signed up for jobs and had a terrible experience after paying fees for work he never got.

It can be tricky resolving online job company complaints. Since another company is marketing your job skills, you may have to use their online payment system.

“You’re one or two steps down that revenue ladder. The money may come in one day and may not land in your account for a few more days, and you really have no control over that,” said BBB President Holly Salmons.

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Action 9 reached TaskRabbit top managers. They claim its fraud protection department withheld Gotham’s pay because she entered incorrect bank account and cellphone numbers. The company also said it is currently working with Gotham to release her money.

“It needs to be stopped or they need to fix their program and get it right,” Gotham said.

TaskRabbit is a member of the Better Business Bureau so it’s committed to resolving issues. A complaint to the agency could trigger answers and a paycheck.

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TaskRabbit’s response:

TaskRabbit’s Customer Support team follows strict protocols in order to ensure fraud protection, therefore ensuring that payment is only sent to the individual for which it is intended. Furthermore, Taskers are independent contractors and Clients pay Taskers for work completed on the TaskRabbit platform through a third-party payment processor. The entire payment process, including reimbursements, is handled securely through that processor.

In this case, the Tasker, Vivian Gotham, completed two separate Cleaning tasks in February. The payment for the first task of $127 failed to process due to an incorrect bank account number. Thus, payment for the second completed task of $100 failed to process as well.

Vivian reached out to our Customer Support (CS) team on March 4th to report this payment issue. After reviewing the issue, CS advised Vivian to re-register since her bank account information had been scrubbed. Although Vivan re-registered the following day, a new payment account could not be successfully created as our system alerted us that she had input an incorrect phone number when registering.

CS team members followed up with Vivian on three occasions (March 6th, 17th and 21st) to offer support. Vivian replied on March 18th stating that she had updated her bank account info and phone number. However, CS found that the information was still not correct on her new account.

To fix this issue, our CS team has advised Vivian to once again verify that her bank account information is accurate. Once Vivian provides correct payment instructions, TaskRabbit will be able to send a request to our third-party payment processor to re-issue Vivian’s payment for $227.

Todd Ulrich

Todd Ulrich, WFTV.com

I am WFTV's Action 9 Reporter.