About Care.com

Founded in 2007 and based out of Waltham, MA, Care.com is a website dedicated to bringing together families who need caregivers, and caregivers looking for work. According to the company’s website, they are committed to “improving the lives of families and caregivers by helping them connect in a reliable and easy way.”

Care.com holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, despite having nearly 300 closed complaints within the past three years. Considering the fact that the company claims to have more than 9.5 million members, online reviews seem to be primarily positive. However, by far the most common complaint we encountered during our research referenced the company’s auto-renewal program (more about this in the final section).

How Care.com Works

With more than 9.5 million members and a presence in 16 countries, Care.com claims to be the “largest global destination for quality caregivers.” As such, the primary categories on the website include:

  • Child Care – Includes babysitters, nannies, family day care, tutors, and more.
  • Adult & Senior Care – Everything from errands and exercise, to companionship and 24-hour care.
  • Pet Care – Dog walkers, boarding, training, and more.
  • Home Care – Housekeepers, event help, and more.

Because Care.com provides a wide variety of services, both for families looking for caregivers, and for caregivers looking for families, there are two different ways to use the site:

As a Family:

  1. When you’re looking for a caregiver, the first order of business will be to post a job. Here, you’ll outline your needs, list your pay rate, and provide any other information you feel is important. This is the listing that caregivers will read and decide whether or not to apply for, so the more information you can provide, the better.
  2. Care.com guarantees responses from qualified candidates within three days. Once they apply, you’ll be able to review their responses, and even view detailed background checks.
  3. Narrow your list, and interview only those candidates you feel most closely match your needs.

As a Caregiver:

  1. If you’re looking to advertise your services to those needing caregivers, you’ll first need to sign up for a Care.com account, which can be completed in minutes.
  2. After signing up, you’ll need to take some time to complete an in-depth profile, which can take some time to perfect. Be sure to include at least one photo of yourself, in addition to references, reviews, and background checks.
  3. Once you find a job posting that you feel you’re qualified for, simply apply in one easy step.

Whether you’re an individual or a caregiver, all correspondence is handled directly through the Care.com messaging system. Overall, the website appeared very user friendly, and can be accessed from almost any electronic device with an internet connection, including smartphones, laptops, and tablets.

Care.com Pricing & Refund Policy

As an employer (e.g. posting a job for another member to fill), a Care.com membership will cost you:

  • 1-Month Membership – $39 per month
  • 3-Month Membership – $26 per month
  • 12-Month Membership – $13 per month

As a caregiver however, your account is completely free of charge.

When paying a caregiver you’ve hired, you can pay them through the Care.com HomePay system. Here, you’ll be able to set up automatic completely control your payroll, withhold and file taxes, and more.

An important note: One of the most common complaints we came across during our Care.com research included billing issues—more specifically, the automatic renewal program. For example: If you sign up for a 1-month membership at $36 per month, it will continue renewing every month and charging your payment method on file, until you contact the company and cancel it. We came across numerous complaints of people being charged several hundred dollars before they realized what was going on.

When this occurs, it appears that Care.com customer service has been unwilling to process refunds. In fact, according to the company’s Terms of Use, all services provided through the site are non-refundable.

Our recommendation would be to sign up for the free account, see how you like using Care.com, and then signing up for the membership option of your choice. Then, once you find a caregiver, you can simply cancel your account, or change it back to the free version.

Pros:

  • Claims to have more than 9.5 million members, and to be active in 16 countries.
  • Easy way to post a job for a caregiver, and for caregivers to match themselves with a family.
  • User-friendly website.
  • Three different membership options.

Cons:

  • By far the most common complaint we noticed was regarding the company’s auto-renewal program, and their refusal to process a refund.

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33 Consumer Reviews for Care.com

Average Consumer Rating: 1.1
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 0 4 star: 0 3 star: 0 2 star: 3 1 star:  30
Bottom Line: 6% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 33
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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Account vanished, no warning

    I was a member of this site for few years. I paid for a background check and to upgrade my membership. Over the course of a few years, I ended up providing my tutoring services to several clients. My profile on the site contained seven 5-star reviews. Out of nowhere one morning (while looking for more clients), I couldn't log in. It was saying my email was not registered.

    After a very long process (a few emails and a half hour waiting on the phone), I finally got through to a representative. Not only was the representative rude, but she told me my account has been closed and offered no justification why. Basically, "Your account has been closed, and we can't tell you why."

    Such a terrible way to do business. What a shame.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Caution

    • Los Angeles, CA,
    • Jan 3, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Don’t bother with this; you’ll end up paying for all kinds of things and people contacting you have to pay for everything. Background checks and DMV checks all expire like in a month or something. If people want to contact you, they have to pay. Anybody can sign up. I don’t know if they really check to see if the person is real, and this could cause some serious problems. I’m speaking from experience, meeting someone that did not actually need a caregiver. Luckily, I had brought somebody with me.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Negative - useless, money-hungry company

    I had a profile on Care.com for years. I got one job out of it, that’s all. I responded to many messages, but when I started receiving spam messages and didn’t respond, my response rate went down.

    When I contacted customer service about this, I kept getting automated messages and no answers back. I’ve given up now that they charge you to apply for a job, and I found out they are charging the care seekers as well. Ridiculous.

    This company is only about taking everyone’s money, not helping anyone find or receive care.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Unfair and worthless

    I originally used this website to find a helper for my homeschool with 9 children of varying ages. It’s pretty impossible to get reliable help. I didn’t continue the membership. It was a waste of money, but because I moved and still hoped for help, so I decided to give it a try. It was then linked to an old account and had to be canceled and corrected to link up to the correct account. For my troubles, I was given 30% off, and less than a week later was emailed a discount offer of 50% off, which I requested but was denied.

    This website is all about making money and not at all about helping connect people with the right help. This is a dishonest company. Don’t waste your time and money; put an ad in your local paper instead.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 7 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Care.com is a scam

    • New Jersey,
    • Dec 2, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    They are the worst case of large business with bad practice! They have ZERO customer service, and it took me 1 hour to reach their customer service! They don't have their phone number on their website (where I spent 20 minutes looking), so I had to scour the internet to find a working one! I finally found it on Google!

    Their "customer service" number goes directly to the Philippines, where they do nothing! They sign people up with the option of a month membership, and if you buy this option they will continue to charge you until you call to cancel! With my 1 month membership, I also joined for a premium membership for the same month. This makes sure that our ad is "seen" boldly for 30 days.

    After 2 weeks they "closed" my job. I called to find out why and they said that each job has an expiration date and mine was 2 weeks. I said to the woman that it was ridiculous that they would charge me for a one-month premium membership only to close my job after 2 weeks! She talked in circles and then said it is their policy that they cannot credit my account with the lost time! They refused to give me 2 weeks free to compensate for the 2 weeks that the ad was not posted!

    I tried to ask for a supervisor and was disconnected. I called again and after explaining my story AGAIN and was told that they needed to take my information to pass along to a supervisor. I never heard back!

    Also, please notice that when you go to the Care.com site to find employees, many of the candidates are having their "friends" sign up to leave reviews! Most are obvious! Not only have I noticed the SAME reviews on multiple applicant accounts but I also heard this from 2 that I interviewed (before my job was closed).

    With their permission, I did a background/driving record check on both candidates. I found that one had a suspended license and the other's background was fine. After speaking again with this candidate, I found out that she was accepting unemployment welfare, rent money and food stamps. I would understand that necessity, but this woman gave me references dating back 8 years of full-time employment cleaning houses! Care.com only wants your money.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 6 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Cancelled membership

    I am deeply troubled by the tactics used by this company. Care's services are heavily advertised in this area, and due to the absence of childcare choices in such a rural community, a service such as theirs could prove beneficial. That being said, an unreliable and dishonest service is markedly worse than having limited resources.

    Simply because "terms of service" allow for the termination of membership for any reason or for no reason does not mean that it is fair to so carelessly and callously do so.

    I have no criminal record (haven't received as much as a speeding ticket in over a decade), and I am a professionally licensed educator. Care.com frivolously removes memberships for no reason and refuses to provide explanations - or even to pretend to "care" (pun intended).

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 6 out 7 people found this review helpful

    A good place to find unemployable people

    • Florida,
    • Nov 21, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I am beyond frustrated with the quality of help I find on this site. I used to get quite a bit of work from here, so I know someone out there wants to work. So far the candidates either are a no-show, stop responding to contact or accept a job only to try to bait and switch to a higher pay rate when they arrive at the house. I place ads stating to respond with reasons why they are a good fit for the job, and they just send saved responses that have nothing to do with the job. My ad says we have pets and yet people show up who dislike animals or have allergies. They lie about their ability to communicate in English. It's pretty clear why these people are on a website as they are unemployable in person. All responses from Care.com are pre-formed responses.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 9 out 9 people found this review helpful

    Just cheat for money

    They have been billing me with auto-renew for a year. We did have another account at the same time in our house and did tell them that I did not even log in to the account since we already have another account. Customer service cannot be any worse. They just care about stealing money.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 6 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Cancelled my membership after 10+ years without notice or explanation!

    • Lake Forest, CA,
    • Nov 13, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    A mother of a 6-year-old boy was so completely impossible to work for that I discontinued working for her after five days. Believe it or not, it was not because her son smeared his poop on the back side door of my car. Please know this wasn’t a bowel movement, he put his finger up his butt hole to dig out poop and smear on the inside of my car door. He then violently kicked my car air vent located on the back of console between the front seats, before taking off his seat belt. When I stopped the car to secure him again, I saw the poop and had to clean it up. Even still, I was willing to continue to care for him because I still found him sweet and sensitive enough of the time, and even though I told his mother that taking him in my care was no longer an option, she later talked me into trying it again the next week, which I did, and all was fine about that.

    The day after the poop and kicking incident, the boy’s mother firmly informed me that my description to her of what happened in my car was not how I was to talk to her. She said that using the word “disaster” was not acceptable. I apologized and figured I would do my best not to make her feel bad if something happened.

    Of the five times I worked for her, two of the scheduled days she was not at the house at the agreed upon time and I was left waiting for her to arrive. She changed the agreed upon time for work several times, without notice, but I said nothing. She continually forgot schedules and details. I was alarmed to see her parking her car in the middle of the car lane at the school parking lot, blocking/preventing other cars who may try to pull out of their parking stall, then chatting it up with the teachers, prolonging a potential problem, and revealing her disrespectfulness. But the deal breaker was when she began harassing me with endless extremely rude text messages. Very early on a day I was not scheduled to work for her, she began a plethora of harassing text messages:

    Starting on a Monday at 7:46 in the morning, she began accusing me via text of losing the Target gift card and demanding why I didn’t leave it at the same place as the last time. Not only did I leave it at the same place (with the receipt attached), but I texted her of this on that same day. It was ironic to see that my previous text to her detailed this, but she did not read it. A minute later she tells me it’s not okay that I let her son have it, and went on and on about how it is my responsibility to safeguard her things.

    A minute after that, she demanded that I also produce the Ruby’s gift card used that same day. I had already told her that day that the $15 balance was exceeded and the waitress never came back after I gave it to her. She apparently forgot and was sure that I had misused her card and began reprimanding me about my carelessness and accusing me that the balance was $25. She forgot that we used the card the previous week also. When I reminded her about that, she then accused me of not being truthful due to that she found it highly suspicious that the $15 balance would be used up to the exact dollar amount as she found it hard to believe. I told her I just paid the rest in cash out of my pocket. She then said she believed me, but reprimand me again for not giving her the receipt (that the waitress never gave me and I told about, but she forgot, again).

    All this harassing texting was going on while I was on the phone with my brother who had a motorcycle accident the previous day and needed me to help him. I told her that I may need to visit my brother (out of state) to help drive him while he recovers from the surgery. She then said, “Are you canceling work for today?” She forgot that I work for another family Mondays, Tuesdays and some Fridays and that I was not scheduled for her until Wednesday, 2 and 1/2 days away. She continued to ask me to work that Monday and the next day and I had to repeatedly let her know I was not available and had to keep reminding her of my schedule.

    Then she demanded to know why I would work Monday and Tuesday for another family, then leave town to help my brother on Wednesday. I told her that the pin that was put in his ankle prevented him from doing anything for two days. Then she wanted to know the time of my airline flight and insinuated I was lying to her. Not that it was any of her business, but I let her know that I would be driving. She then said she found my canceling for Wednesday (2 and 1/2 days’ notice) was unacceptable to her due to it was “so last minute.”

    I found all these 51 text messages in a just a few hours time to be extremely rude, obtrusive and disrespectful and decided to discontinue working for her. So, I had my friend return her house key with a note that I will be assisting my brother for several weeks off and on and I wish her the best, but I could not continue working for her. I had to change my cell number because she would not stop harassing me with crazy texts.

    She complained to Care.com, and they promptly canceled my membership, without notice or explanation. I had three reviews all with 5 stars, as well as a couple new potential contacts I was working with.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 7 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Auto renew policy will steal hundreds (in our case $1,000).

    • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada,
    • Nov 7, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    Do not use this site! We tried locating a nanny on Care.com and unfortunately were unable to find any that Metha requirement. We ended up using an outside agency and were successful very quickly. Unfortunately, Care.com continue charging our credit card for over one year, And when they were alerted of the challenge, they only refunded us one month. Extremely unethical, do not use. Do not waste your money. Do you not get the scam artist the opportunity to steal from you.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 9 out 9 people found this review helpful

    Identity stolen!

    I had my identity stolen. I tried to send paperwork to Care.com so they can fix my account and they were not willing to help, even after someone used my name and everything. I will not recommend this company to anyone! And the bad part about it is I was the top provider in my area.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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