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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26 Consumer Reviews for Care.com

Average Consumer Rating: 1.1
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 0 4 star: 0 3 star: 0 2 star: 2 1 star:  24
Bottom Line: 8% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 26
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  • 1 out 1 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 3 out 3 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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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Major rip off

    • Waynesboro, VA,
    • Oct 24, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I recently "joined" Care.com and was very disappointed because they DO NOT tell you ahead of time that you have to pay a fee. I had a prospective employer contact me through Care.com, and when she tried to send me her phone number, it was blocked. I tried to send mine; same result. I even tried to send my personal email, and it was blocked. She said she was very frustrated with this and because we could never connect me she hired someone from another source where she had advertised.

    When I emailed Care.com and told them what happened and asked if there was a hidden fee, I was directed back to the website where it then shows a fee that has to be paid either one time or monthly in order to finish your profile and receive job offers. That is very sneaky because they don't tell you at the beginning that there is a fee.

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

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Terrible customer service

    So, I needed transportation for two of my kids, upgraded my membership two days ago, and found that not only was there no point but that also I no longer wanted or needed their services. On the second day, I requested a refund of my membership fee and wished to remove my membership. Guess what? “Per our policy, we do not give refunds, but I’ve downgraded your account, and you can have access until November 2nd."

    Do NOT waste time or money on that crap of a website and business.

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

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Not in best interest for caregivers

    I was on Care.com for four years before they closed my account recently. I have babysat for over 25 families and most of them I've become so close with over the years. I was so grateful for their amazing reviews on my profile, but Care.com lets scammers and people who haven't even interviewed you review on your account and completely RUIN your reputation as a caregiver. It's absolutely disgusting. I finally closed my old account and opened a new one after a 3rd person wrote a false review and Care.com closed my new account for it. I wrote Care.com multiple times over the years explaining how these people were scammers and they never did anything about it.

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

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  • 6 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Run away fast!

    • Michigan,
    • Sep 26, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    First, as a caregiver, they want to pay for a membership, which I came to the site to make some money and meanwhile help people.

    Within the first week that I signed up, I was contacted by a Carl H, who introduced himself as Mark McCormick. She/he/it is a scammer block if you see those names. He offered me a job that was too good to be true. It told me that it worked for Lively Franky Furniture & Decor, but the company does not exist. I did further investigation, and the numbers and emails are all disconnected. I looked up the CEO and he does not exist.

    So, run away fast! I wish I could give Care.com ZERO stars. They have false advertisement, having so many members (oh please), filled with scammers. Care.com needs to clean up the mess. I know better websites than this.

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

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  • 8 out 8 people found this review helpful

    Nannies, DO NOT use Care.com!

    Care.com allows "parents" to review nannies, and it opens a door for passive aggressive cyber bullies online.

    I have been a nanny for about six years, working with families for years at a time that I still keep in touch with, and when I received a message from a woman regarding childcare paying $15-20 per hour I gave her a call. She then said she would only offer $8 per hour and also wanted housekeeping. I politely declined her offer in a message after our phone call, only to receive backlash from her and then two weeks later received a bad review saying horrible lies about me on my page.

    I called Care.com to explain to them what happened and they told me that they cannot remove reviews but that I could write a response to her. If I had DESERVED anything she said, I would have written a polite response, but what she wrote was horrible, and I felt embarrassed having my image on the website above that. I was told by the Care.com person that if I tried to delete my account and get a new one, they would find out and have me banned. Acting like I was the one in the wrong here. There was no respect, no empathy, and they didn't have my back at all.

    Care.com does not protect people from scammers and possibly dangerous people on their website. They say they are a referral service, not a nanny service which I guess absolves them from any wrongdoing.

    The reality is anyone can go on this website saying they're a parent and then write whatever they want about a person. Care.com does not go to any lengths to protect the people that are keeping the site running, which are the nannies, housekeepers, petsitters, etc. Please go through other websites or companies, they do not accept any personal responsibility for the environment they are creating, and by allowing reviews they are opening the door for anyone to say anything they want, and there's nothing that can be done about it.

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

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  • 5 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Paying member suspended for 20-year-old criminal record

    I was a bad kid and made poor decisions. Care.com does background checks on paying members looking for care. My crimes were nonviolent and over 20 years ago, but they have no problem taking that membership fee of $78. I feel like I'm on Cerci's walk of shame from Game of Thrones.

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

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    • Sep 19, 2017

      Angela

      This SAME thing just happened to me.

      I have been paying for the last year for the upgrade, and to get unlimited "tokens." Today I received an email because of my background check from 5 years ago underage age drinking.How is it that I am in nursing school now with that record? I think that parents should be able to request a background check if they want and make their own decision on being hired or not.

      Sorry this happened to you! How did you cancel your account? Everything is disabled for me, every single link in my profile. I am planning to call them tomorrow and see how far I get.

      I love how I just made my payment for three months, two weeks ago too. I don't understand why this is just now coming up, and not years ago when I started a profile, or a year ago when I became a paying member.

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  • 3 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Hard to use and not upfront with costs

    I was able to post a job right away and got responses from applicants right away. It claims to have some free service when you search for it, but posting and observing responses are the only things free. You have to pay for a membership to respond to the applicants. Most of the applicants didn't seem to have read the job posting because they were applying for something completely different. The site constantly asks you about keeping an applicant or not. Doesn't seem to matter, their name never disappears from the list. You can not organize the applications or delete any, or mark them in any way such as contacted, good prospect, did not respond, or whatever.

    I scheduled telephone interviews, and the process was almost a total failure. The applicants did not get the message fast enough, and you have to go through a procedure on the telephone designed to hide the contact information of both parties. The site claims various things like payroll services, which I would be interested in, but there were no details, and you have to pay extra I'm sure.

    They strongly suggest a background check on every applicant, which costs maybe $89 for one time or $20 a month. They really are wanting you to sign up for monthly services and fees. The only response I ever received from the Care.com was when I complained that you had to pay to use the site. The said no, you can post a job and view applicants for free, you just have to pay to contact them, and gave me an extra 5%, which I used.

    I was finally able to contact an applicant, but the process seemed to take about a week. This is just for a tiny temporary job. Bottom line is, I would recommend with reservations at this point, but I also haven't tried to cancel the service, which they claim you can do if you call up to the day before the automatic renewal date.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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