With little to work with and a pocket full of change we have to wonder just what is it that Andy Kurtzig, owner and CEO, of JustAnswer.com is offering to his customers. In a business that is plagued by questions from "What is my age?" to "My son is bleeding from his rectum. Help Me, it's possible you may get a response, to either question, some time within a 24 hour period, or not at all. Holding your breath could be dangerous. Will the person responding be who you hoped it to be? There are no guarantees.
Read the fine print and read it closely. Amid all the, mostly non legal, mumbo jumbo you will see that Just Answer states that the site is for entertainment purposes only, that Just Answer does not guarantee that what they call "experts" in any give field, really are qualified experts. Just Answer states that they are not responsible for answers given by these "experts." So we have to ask, "Just what is an expert?" according to Andy Kurtizig. An expert was once anyone that had answered one question in any given field, Health, Law, Tax, Finance, etc. and, by golly, got a customer to actually pay for that answer.
That was the site first began, Was it 2001 or 2005, Some things get a bit tangled between the BBB and the D&B reports, so for the sake of argument, lets say 2004. Since 2004 anyone that has unconsciously bumped into this website, asked a question and expected an answer from a person that was a licensed physician, lawyer, tax practitioner vet., nurse, educator, Master auto tech ( the list goes on) was given NO guarantee that Joe RatherNotBeBotherd from Apt 297 was not sitting naked at his computer with a bowl of popcorn in one hand, a Miller light in the other, watching Charlie's Angels reruns while he typed in "I suggest you take your son to the ER ASAP. With an additional comment: Feedback and bonuses are greatly appreciated." The customer has received an answer, maybe not exactly to their liking, but is honest and accepts the response. Bada Boom. Another 7 bucks in Andy's...Pay Pal Account?
Mr. Kurtizg has begun to change things a bit, to his benefit. How you ask? A new plan has been set in place called, Prove it Or Lose .In an attempt to garner his ever seeking approval of customers, and hopefully a few "experts" this Prove It Or Lose It theory was implemented to improve "Quality Assurance." We still haven't figured out what the relationship is between his new proposal and quality assurance but I'm sure somewhere in the depths of a lost mind there's a reason, valid or not.
In this program Just Answer has told all experts who feel someone is lying about anything stated in their profiles such as a degree, work history, education etc. any other expert may challenge the credentials of the supposed lying expert.
In turn, Just Answer will perform a background search for verification, at the challenging experts expense. Andy Kurtzig has refused to pay to validate his own workers to improve his own site. Now, if the background check finds the challenged expert to have falsified his profile, you get your money you paid for the background check back.
But, are you ready for this. Not from Just Answer, but from the monies earned by the challenged experts JA account. Call me silly but that smells a bit like theft of income? I know it sounds a bit archaic but it's Andy's way of, again, avoiding responsibility. Place expert against expert and you've won a front row seat to a Greek Athenaeum for the best set of games of your life.
At first glance this plan may seem to be a workable until one of his prodigy admin adds a twist. All experts will have until March 1, 2008 to remove; yes I said remove any, or all, information contained in their profiles that they feel can be challenged by another expert. So what do we have now? A bunch of once bogus profiles, now, become altered to avoid expert to expert conflict while Just Answers retains the same quality of non credentialed experts on their site.
I'd like to also mention that if an expert is challenged and they refuse the challenge due to any personal reason. i.e. not wanting to reveal SS#, live addresses, etc. they are also banned for..not playing fair.
Bottom line. Andy Kurtzig has done nothing to improve the quality of his site.
1.There is no guarantee you will receive an answer from a qualified or licensed individual.
2.There are never thousands of experts on hand to answer your question.
3.That money you deposited that you assume is going to the expert that helped you is not. Only a small percentage, including a smaller percentage of any bonuses goes to the expert. Yes Andy has to run a site, but a little upfront heads up to the customer would be a sweet gesture.
4.Are there experts on line anxiously waiting to answer your questions? Sure, if you place a $15-30 dollar value on your question. Understand these experts need to compensate for what JA takes. The larger the amount offered by the customer, the faster someone will jump in to answer you.
5.Will you receive quick service? Another no guarantee against Andy's false advertising tactics. You may if you want to pay more for it. See #4.
6.Are there honest experts doing an honest job? Sure there are amidst the muddle. But can you be sure you get one? Nope.
7.The site is listed as a site for entertainment purposes only. Another beware buyer signal. If that new puppy, your son, daughter, neighbor or friend has serious issues don't spend your good earned money on Just Answer if you expect guaranteed professional help. Think Entertainment and run like the wind.
I've seen Mr. Kurtizigs rebuttals to a couple of other complaints on this site. Standard Andy Answers. His best defense is no defense. Yes, Andy you have happy experts. Why? Because they are getting paid via a Pay Pal account, making easy, under the table, cash that the majority do not claim and stand a pretty good chance of getting away with because. JA refuses to send out 1099's.
And yea Andy there are happy customers although 10 million is a stretch. The reason? These customers are there because they are being fooled into thinking a professional person will be answering their concerns. You're won their trust Andy and their money. If any customer coming to JA knew the answer there'd be no reason to accept and pay for it. So as good, bad or indifferent the answer may be customers will pay based on the false premises you run you adevertise your site to offer.
Before you respond Andy, think long and hard about your answer. Or convey what it is you want to have said by your prodigy Admin. It would be my pleasure to be able to accurately disavow anything you may have to say. Congratulations my friend on one of the largest con games on the net. And before you use your standard response: You must be a banned expert, a disgruntled expert; maybe you didn't pass the eval. and so forth I will assure you, none of the above hold true.
Contra Costa, California