View Full Version : Best VA companies today?
06-16-2010, 01:32 AM
Before everyone jumps all over me to use the search function, let me say: I did.
Most if not all of the posts I found were outdated by quite a bit, and it seemed like the trend was that the VA business was a fast moving one and so what might've been a good service in 2009 might be garbage today, or visa versa.
So with that being said, if you're currently using or have RECENTLY used a VA service please post a quick review of how the experience was/is.
I have tried the Indian services AskSunday and GetFriday for research tasks, unfortunately both were useless even for very simple tasks and took a lot of time. GetFriday even sent me a wrong job description (someone else's) for me to confirm. I have the feeling that they are not organized well and work extremely slow.
Before GetFriday started to work, there was a lot of emailing, wasting time.
Reading Tim's warning I gave GetFriday a time limit of 2h and they came up with basically nothing, asking if I wanted to spend another $15 or 20 per hour. They called me a couple of days later and asked me how it was. This was a few weeks ago.
AskSunday wasn't as complicated but they also did basically nothing close to what I had asked them to do and even claimed it took longer than a "usual request". I had paid $80 per month for this service. That was this week.
Elance on the other hand worked great but they have a minimum of $50, so you can't use them for every little thing.
I had also signed up to RedButler but then never got around trying them. At the end of the month I realized that it would be better to quit as I didn't need them at the moment. This wasn't as easy as they claim all over their site "You can quit anytime". After filling out the form and trying to fax it twice with no success, I tried it via email. I think 5 days and another email later they accepted it.
I have started to doubt this VA thing has any use at all. There is no way I would let an Indian VA contact someone for an interview, as Tim describes it in 4HWW. I think the worst aspect is the dozens of emails you get from them and have to write them, even if the task is very simple and clearly described. They are very friendly though!
Looking forward to hear other peoples recommendations!
06-16-2010, 10:30 PM
I asked AskSunday/GetFriday for a list of apartments/houses for rent in a given city. The criteria I used was:
1. has to be under 1000 bucks a month
2. has to be 3 blocks away from the beach max
3. roommmates are okay
The results they gave me were garbage. The location was wrong, some of the links pointed to the same houses/apartments (under different websites), and almost all of the websites they gave required membership to view things as elementary as address and contact information.
06-17-2010, 06:16 PM
Here's what I did with VA hiring.
Unlike Tim recommends, I hired a person, not a firm. I wanted to get direct feedback and train the person as it was more an education for me. She's $4.00/hr.
I went to oDesk and posted VA ad with specific requirements about proficiency in english. I looked at the resume of the person for someone who was smarter than the job description. I choose someone from the Philippines that was a student (30 hours is fine for now) and majoring in bookkeeping.
Long story short, Tim's right, you do need a firm. My person is great, but grandma gets sick, etc...She is great for web research and tasks without hard deadlines, but she's smart and hard working. It's not perfect, but workable for now. As I start to source more and more, I'll use eLance to find a full time firm.
Right now, she is running an eLance proposal for me for an IT firm to help build my landing page/setup adwords. I created 20-30 questions for each firm, she presents the questions, gathers the answers and places that in a spreadsheet for me. I skim the answers, rank order the vendors, and she sets up interviews and follow ups.
If I had to find another VA again, I would narrow the list to 4-5 firms, then give each firm the same simple (<1 hour) task. Call it an interview question.
06-18-2010, 08:29 PM
Very nice adubinsky, thanks for that feedback...I'm sorry to hear the other 2 people had such negative experiences with VA services. Then again, I don't think I've heard one good thing about AskSunday/GetFriday.
I think I'm going to start with oDesk to get my feet wet then transition into a firm once my work requirements get deeper...
06-21-2010, 09:07 AM
I've been using a company called Globetask. They really don't seem to have any of the problems that have been discussed here so far. In my experience with them, they don't require a ton of instructions to get the job done. And not all the work is done by Indians. Everything that needs to look polished is checked over by an American living abroad. So it all comes out just they way I need it.
They've got several different pricing plans so you don't get stuck paying for more than you need. And they really do produce quality work. I'm very happy with the projects they've done for me, and they went out of their way to suit my needs.
Globetask is really outstanding in the VA market and I highly recommend them.
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