Chegg is a big company ($250+ million in revenue big), and covers multiple segments across the online-learning industry. It’s understandable to have a few unhappy customers… some might even use the word scam too freely. We’ll get more into that topic below… but first, what (or who) exactly is Chegg?
What is Chegg?
In addition to an audio and video chat window, Chegg’s classrooms also have a full text editor and a virtual whiteboard.There’s a lot more than tutoring here though. As mentioned above, Chegg offers a wide range of online learning services. In fact, tutoring didn’t come until 2014 when Chegg aquired InstaEDU for $30 Million.
Chegg’s original business was renting textbooks from a website called textbookflix.com (a play on the movie rental company Netflix).
A global company, tutoring has become a significant part of their business and today they accept applications from around the world, covering a wide range of ever-changing subjects from the ones you’d expect; Math, English, History etc. to their currently most popular; Finance, Computer Science, Economics, Electrical Engineering, Accounting, Linear Algebra, and Mechanical Engineering.
How Does it Work?
Chegg Tutor Requirements
The first step to become a tutor is to fill out an online application. It can take up to 7 business days to get a response.
The requirements are,
- Two forms of school verification to prove you are currently enrolled in 4-year university degree or have completed a 4-year university degree. These could include,
- Photo of your dimploma
- Student ID card
- Scanned copies of your transcripts
- A picture of you (selfie) holding your government issued ID such as a passport or drivers license.
- You may be required to write a test depending on the subject you are teaching.
- Access to a computer with a mic and camera, internet access and a distraction free workspace.
- A PayPal account.
- Short introductory video (optional).
If for any reason you don’t meet their requirements, there are still plenty of work at home opportunities you can check out.
Chegg Tutor Pay
For a work-at-home gig, Chegg pays pretty good. $20.00 an hour for the time you spend tutoring and/or creating a written lesson explanation.
Your pay is based on the exact number of minutes accrued during a week, and the minimum pay is 5 minutes. In other words, if you log in to answer a question that only takes two minutes, you are paid for five.
Payments arrive in your PayPal account every Thursday.
Is Chegg a Scam?
Chegg is not a scam… however, trust is always an issue when it comes to online transactions. Considering the bad publicity surrounding social media (and our private information) these days… you can never be too careful.
The question here is whether Chegg is deliberately out to rip you off, and the answer is no. Poor customer service that leads to a complaint, or an issue that slips through the cracks, does not make them a scam.
For example, here’s one reviewer who makes that accusation…
I can’t imagine the number of academic related questions students have (across dozens of subjects), but it’s probably in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions. The best answers (to the questions the reviewer asked), were probably in the solution manual. Additional questions would have required a tutor.
I’m not defending Chegg (I don’t know enough about the above situation)… but accusing them of being a scam is definitely a misinterpretation of the word scam.
To identify a true scam (the kind that takes your money and runs) there are few things you can easily check,
- Do they provide contact information?
- How long have they been in business (real scams burn out pretty fast, or at least change their name once people figure them out)
- Do they have a community (social media)? Scams don’t typically build followings.
Most of that information is available from the Better Business Bureau. Contact names, phone numbers and an address is provided. You can also get the business age.
Sixteen years is a long time to be in business (especially online). Although some scams can endure for years, they’ll go through of cycle of death and rebirth. That’s not the case with Chegg.
As far as having a community, Chegg’s Facebook page has over 600,000 followers, again… not something that occurs with scams.
And, if you have any lingering doubts about Chegg, you shouldn’t. They are a publicly traded company listed on the NYSE.
I know… that doesn’t mean they’re a good company, but it does mean they’re legit.
As mentioned above, Chegg has two divisions. There is Chegg Tutors which provides student services such as study resources, scholarship information, College searches… and of course what we’re here for… tutoring.
Then there is Chegg Books which is their textbook sales and rental division.
If you wanted, you could spend an hour reading through the stack of Chegg complaints on the BBB website.
However, with a few exceptions… just about every complaint is about Chegg Books, not Chegg Tutors.
On the one hand, it would seem they have a customer service issue, or a misplaced policy when it comes to buying and selling textbooks. But, we’re dealing with the distribution (and return) of physical products here. There’s going to be challenges.
Especially books, which aren’t the most durable of products.
I’ll go out on a limb here and say that not every one of those complaints is Chegg’s fault. And more importantly… they have not gone unanswered. Chegg has responded to every one of those 237 complaints.
When it comes to Chegg Tutors (not Chegg Books)… the reviews are more promising.
Chegg Tutor Reviews
The Chegg tutor reviews are generally positive, I haven’t seen any issues with pay rates, payments, platform issues or software glitches.
If there is one common complaint, it’s that establishing yourself as a tutor can be competitive.
One reviewer describing Chegg said, “It is a waiting job. As a tutor, you need to wait for a student to demand your tutoring service.”
Another said, “When you start off it is rather cutthroat trying to land clients.”
Overall though, both of those reviewers gave Chegg a good rating.
And here are some more positive reviews…
Obviously, Chegg isn’t perfect, but as a work-at-home job or side hustle you could do a lot worse.
What I Like About Chegg
- Good pay and no complaints about the payment process.
- Wide range of subjects.
- Virtual Classrooms with text editors and whiteboards.
- Chegg responds to customer complaints. The customers might not always like the response, but at least Chegg tries to resolve the issue.
What I Don’t Like
- The number of customer service related complaints. I wouldn’t avoid Chegg because of the them, but they do point to an issue that needs improvement.
- It’s not for everyone. At a minimum you must be enrolled in or have completed a 4-year university degree. It’s a policy that makes sense (you must be qualified for the job)… but in subjects like languages, web design, dance, music, etc… potentially good tutors may be getting overlooked.
- The amount of work can be inconsistent. You can’t rely on Chegg as your only source of income.
It’s hard to measure the benefits of working from home, but one of them is that you can live on a lot less money. And… at twenty bucks an hour, an established Chegg tutor can do quite well.
If you’ve been a freelancer for awhile and you’re looking at Chegg as another income source, they’ll be a good fit for your strategy.
For those taking their first step into an at-home job, Chegg is also great choice, but you can’t depend on them as your only income source. Even if you’re available to students for 15 hours a day, most of that time will be spent waiting (and you don’t get paid to wait).
In many ways, online tutoring is a sales gig. You’re building a client base by providing great service to get positive reviews and referrals.