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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51 Consumer Reviews for Care.com

Average Consumer Rating: 1.1
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 0 4 star: 0 3 star: 0 2 star: 4 1 star:  47
Bottom Line: 4% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 51
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  • Scam, already settled a lawsuit of $500k

    • New York,
    • May 21, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Parents or babysitters, this is a scam site that got famous. In the age of Uber n Airbnb, this site charges hefty amounts from parents and babysitters just for an introduction, not to mention fake background checks that are criminal and ultra-risky.

    I am a parent and the quality of babysitters is very shady. There may have been a time quality would be their winning point. Today it is full of drunkards, dropouts, fugitives and minimum wage workers who kind find work in New York due to criminal history or laziness. Nevertheless, lack of hygiene and disease prone babysitters. And they are looking to paid price points of software engineers.

    Not that they shouldn't be employed, but the info should be transparent, plus not at these price points. Burger flippers are not babysitters. It is a professional industry of responsibility, respect, and repute. You entrust your most valuable and dear children. Care.com must be shut down immediately. I will report them everywhere. They blocked my account after I reported an abusive babysitter.

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

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Do not use Care.com

    • Laguna Niguel, CA,
    • May 19, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Two reasons you should not give money to this company: 1) you can find the same level of care through other FREE websites like Craigslist; and 2) Care.com's customer service is abysmal.

    Here's my wife's and my experience: House/cat-sitter lost our house-key (annoying but not a big deal, we found it). Care.com lost our money, as in we paid Care.com and Care.com did not pay the house-sitter. House sitter then complained to us that she hadn't been paid (not her fault, Care's fault). Wife and I went through a three-week process to get a refund from Care.com. Customer service reps were inept and rude throughout.

    In addition to the payment to house-sitter, we paid Care.com mandatory $50 "subscription fee" to facilitate the transaction between us and house-sitter. WASTE OF MONEY. House-sitter was subpar (because she lost our house key) and Care.com utterly failed to facilitate payment. I rate this company 0/5 stars. 5/5 doctors agree using Care.com is bad for your blood pressure. Go to Craigslist and vet applicants yourself, or find someone in your community to help with your needs. This company is a joke.

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

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    This is so painful.

    • Flagstaff, AZ,
    • May 18, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    #1. They make it next to impossible to contact the other person. I have gone back and forth with people trying to make contact with them. One guy had given me his name, so I found him on Facebook and contacted him that way. Turns out I should have googled his name first. He had been in trouble with the law several times for theft.

    #2. This has to be the least user-friendly website I have ever used. I was looking for a caregiver for my father. As hard as I have tried, it keeps ending up in the childcare department. Between problems connecting I am so frustrated I want to scream. What a scam!

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

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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    It's a scam

    I am a pet sitter and also do housekeeping. I used Care.com four years ago and found a couple of clients. It was a positive experience in the past. I recently spent $50.00 on a premium membership (this is the only way to apply for multiple jobs without paying for each in credits). Over half of the clients emailing now are all SCAMMERS!

    The messages always consist of them asking you to go off site and email them your resume due to the fact they are deleting their profile. They always say they are moving from another state and their family member has a golden retriever in need of a pet sitter. They offer to write you a large check. They suggest you subtract your pay and forward the rest to a moving company, pet supply company, etc. This is MONEY LAUNDERING. They target pet sitters because they are normally young girls who don't know any better.

    Care.com is responsible for protecting their care providers as well as their clients. I have given them feedback and it has resulted in nothing. What a waste of my money! I am beyond qualified and have obtained no new clients. I would not recommend.

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

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    No longer legitimate

    • Calgary, Alberta, Canada,
    • May 8, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Auto renewed, paying for months before I noticed. I have been locked out of my account and haven’t received responses to numerous complaints using their online complaints service. I cannot find a phone number.

    Now that I’ve reviewed the company reviews I see that auto-renewing and refusing to respond or refund is how they make their money.

    I think years ago it was legitimate, but something has obviously gone seriously wrong.

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

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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Do not choose Care.com!

    • Boston, MA,
    • May 4, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Beware! This is an auto-renew subscription. I signed up for one month and was done, or so I thought. Six months later I realize they have been charging my credit card. I never received one email during that time that would indicate I was still receiving a service, which I find to be purposely deceptive. Don't bother contacting them for a refund. You will receive a boilerplate response and refusal. Besides this, the one month I did use the service was a waste. I screened and interviewed many applicants. The pool of applicants is inexperienced, unprofessional, and unreliable. I thought I was paying for more than a list I could find on Craigslist. Do not use this site, there are better options out there!

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

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  • 6 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Scandalous

    Every single person I have hired from Care.com has either neglected my elderly parent, has stolen from us, lied to us, cause grief in the household, destroyed parts of the home, and the last one, arrested for trespass and assault. When I advised Care.com of the last instance, they removed me as a member so that I cannot post a review about the caregiver who I hired through their site.

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

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  • 4 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Don't expect too much...

    • Arizona,
    • Apr 25, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I used Care.com to find a babysitter for my 8-month-old daughter. I was lucky to quickly and easily find a good babysitter in a short period of time, but in my opinion, Care.com is nothing more than over-hyped information classified adds. Most people posting their services are not professionally trained or educated, but they expect to be paid a lot for their services. Even worse than that, Care.com encourages the practice of paying these people what someone with the education and professional skill would be paid to do.

    I used the website twice to find a babysitter for one child. I needed 12 hours weekly. I could afford to pay $10.00 an hour cash. Most people wanted $14-$20 an hour. This is with no professional references, no professional background check, no CPR training, no first aid training, and no professional training or education in child development. There are people using their Bachelor and Master degrees in the profession and may find it difficult to make this amount of money.

    Care.com to me is just a bunch of people who figure they can babysit, be a caregiver to the elderly or pet sit, upload a picture and a profile description whether it's true or not and make money. Many are even looking for full-time work. The reality is that most families cannot afford to pay what the babysitters are asking for. If you want $15 an hour or more consistently for several hours weekly equivalent to a full-time job, then one should professionalize themselves to be able to demand it.

    Care.com wants to get the respect of a more professional job board, but it's just a classified add. A Craigslist for babysitters. And I agree with the other reviews about the membership and payment issues. Just no time to address it in this post. You can use the site, but know what it is.

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

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    Comments (1)
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    • May 8, 2018

      Alex

      I’m sorry you feel so strongly about this, but as a full-time nanny I have bills to pay, and if you think I’m about to get paid the same or less than someone who flips a burger, then you have clearly mistaken. You obviously don’t understand how much nanny’s and babysitters go through dealing with the kids AND the parents. We deserve $15 an hour because we’re taking care of lives. You can’t afford us, then put your child in daycare. You want personalized care, then you need to pay what we deserve. We have to make a living too.

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  • 8 out 9 people found this review helpful

    This site is a big scam!

    My mom has been on this site for almost a year. First, they asked for her to pay a subscription so that she could apply for jobs, so yes, it is free to sign up, but you can't do anything with that! You must pay to be able to apply, then depending on how much you pay, you can be reached by a potential employer! Care.com will erase your telephone number and your email if you provide that to the person looking for the services. My mom has been contacted several times, and after a few messages back and forth, she stopped receiving the message alerts, while the person on the other side is been sending several messages!

    This is a horrible site! You cannot get a job, and they make it impossible for people to connect!

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

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  • 9 out 9 people found this review helpful

    Overpaid and found only one housekeeper

    I paid for three months and saw many housekeepers in my area. I found one I liked and hired her. I then downgraded my account because I didn't think I'd need it anymore. When things didn't work out with her, I paid again for another three months and looked up perspective housekeepers.

    Before I found anyone, I realized that the job I listed had expired. So I put in another job description and attempted to set up several phone interviews and sent messages to several housekeepers. No one responded. There are supposedly several people in my area who clean houses, but apparently, none of them wanted the job.

    I also found out that my job description stated I would pay $80 per cleaning. I never signed up to pay that amount.

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

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  • 22 out 22 people found this review helpful

    Don't do it

    Buyer be warned. Once you sign up to this site, you will NOT be able to get a refund for any reason, and you CANNOT delete your credit card information or personal information. Once you do a search, the only way you can get more information about the candidate is to pay them. Once you pay them, you still don't get to call them or even give them your phone number. It will be blocked! Try to run a background check even after signing up and paying more, and that won't work either. Try to do a search for a specific person, and you get everyone. Try to tell them about your problems, and they just remind you there are no refunds.

    This company has one goal: get you to sign up and pay for as much as possible and take your money. I gave them over a $100 and got nothing in return. Nada, zilch, zippo! Total scam artist!

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

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