TaskRabbit has issued a few points of clarification for this story, and those points have been added to the piece. The original story, without any comments, has been uploaded here to preserve the
TaskRabbit has issued a few points of clarification for this story, and those points have been added to the piece. The original story, without any comments, has been uploaded here to preserve the archive.
1. 7/11/2014 TaskRabbit users revolt as the company shuts down its bidding system | VentureBeat | Business | by Harrison Weber
July 10, 2014 2:34 PM
Harrison Weber (http://venturebeat.com/author/harrisonweber/)
TaskRabbit users revolt as the company shuts down its bidding system
Above: TaskRabbit founder and chief Leah Busque
Image Credit: TaskRabbit
TaskRabbit (https://www.taskrabbit.com/)‘s pivot has left some of its contractors furious, disappointed, and
out of work.
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2. 7/11/2014 TaskRabbit users revolt as the company shuts down its bidding system | VentureBeat | Business | by Harrison Weber
Earlier today task-outsourcing site TaskRabbit (https://www.taskrabbit.com/) killed its bidding system for
random tasks, and replaced it with an on-demand service (http://venturebeat.com/2014/07/10/taskrabbit-
pivots-launches-on-demand-service-for-cleaning-handiwork-moving-errands/) for requesting services with
fixed fees: cleaning, handiwork, moving, and errands. As we wrote earlier, TaskRabbit announced the
change last month (http://blog.taskrabbit.com/2014/06/17/unveiling-the-new-taskrabbit/) to ease the
transition among the service’s users.
With the destruction of the bidding service, TaskRabbit has ushered in fixed hourly rates for tasks. Food
deliveries, for example, start at $10 per hour. Previously, if a TaskRabbit user wanted food delivered, they
had to post the job on the service and await bids from TaskRabbit contractors.
We asked TaskRabbit if there was any pushback over the changes. TaskRabbit founder and chief Leah
Busque offered us a blunt response: “Not at all. We just spent a week around the country talking to our
TaskRabbit community. The Taskers doing this as a full-time job are excited.”
But TaskRabbit’s private bulletin board says otherwise.
Messages from the bulletin board [below] reveal backlash among a group of contractors, particularly
regarding the way TaskRabbit has communicated its new direction.
When asked if any contractors have been banned for speaking out against the changes, a TaskRabbit
spokesperson issued a firm denial: “Of course not.”
3. 7/11/2014 TaskRabbit users revolt as the company shuts down its bidding system | VentureBeat | Business | by Harrison Weber
That also appears to be untrue. One long-term contractor attempted to petition against the changes, and
subsequently had their account suspended, according to images shared with VentureBeat.
TaskRabbit’s major product changes have certainly proved disruptive for some, but it’s unclear how
widespread the discontent is.
What’s clear is that some people are very upset about the change, and they’re quite vocal about it.
The TaskRabbit contractor experience has been under fire before — as profiled by Fast Company
Business Week (http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-09-13/my-life-as-a-taskrabbit) – yet in an
interview with VentureBeat, one aggrieved contractor who has been with the company for over a year told
us they loved the old TaskRabbit.
“I was totally loyal to it and believed it was changing the world,” said the contractor, who spoke on the
condition of anonymity.
Here’s more from that contractor (emphasis added by VentureBeat):
It’s really upsetting how they’re dealing with this. They told us the system was changing, and
then wouldn’t even talk to us. I feel like we were giving them the opportunity to do that. Because
I’m elite [a high status among contractors], I’m supposed to be able to talk to people there, but it
didn’t happen smoothly. The company was very defensive.
I can understand why they’re doing what they’re doing. It’s how they dealt with it.
4. 7/11/2014 TaskRabbit users revolt as the company shuts down its bidding system | VentureBeat | Business | by Harrison Weber
A second TaskRabbit contractor told VentureBeat by phone that outrage is wide-spread (emphasis:
There have been nothing but complaints since they announced it. I haven’t seen a single
TaskRabbit comment on it positively. I’m sure there are some TaskRabbits out there that don’t
mind this switch for whatever reason. But there are a lot of people that aren’t happy about this.
There are a lot of people, including myself, that have asked about this. They don’t have an
answer. They say that it’s better for us, because we don’t have to waste our time bidding,
but that’s what we like about this application; we can pick and choose what tasks we take.
VentureBeat’s second source went on to say the change only benefits TaskRabbit:
In the previous two days, I’ve easily picked up five tasks by applying for them. Now I haven’t gotten
any applications. I haven’t gotten any notifications. Usually I’d get a task a day at least. But now
it’s not working that way.
They took all the free enterprise and pretty much anything that was good out of the
application. Any job you do is different. Any task is different. Right now they want me to put a
price on every assembly job, but there are different jobs.
A TaskRabbit spokesperson addressed the commotion in an email to VentureBeat, admitting that “with any
product change this significant, it would be impossible to satisfy the requests of every member of the
community.” Nearly 30,000 contractors use TaskRabbit to find work, TaskRabbit tells us (emphasis added):
As Leah mentioned, the vast majority of our most active taskers are pleased with the
changes as it makes building their business simpler.
Additionally, these changes were made to cater to the needs of both sides of our
marketplace. As we told you, we have millions of clients, so when balancing the needs of that
many constituents, getting 100% satisfaction is unrealistic.
The only thing I’ll add is that well continue to enhance and evolve this product to continue to fit
the needs of our community, as we always have.
VentureBeat’s sources claim they’ve been asked not to post complaints on the TaskRabbit forum. According
to one Twitter user, the forums have since been taken down completely.
5. 7/11/2014 TaskRabbit users revolt as the company shuts down its bidding system | VentureBeat | Business | by Harrison Weber
@HarrisonWeber I had been using the site as a Tasker for a month now.
With their new "pivot" it becomes pretty useless to me. I'm not alone.
Rachel Ciprotti @RCiprotti
@HarrisonWeber They had an online forum for Taskers,
filled w/ our anger over the upcoming changes. As of
today, page says "Access Denied."
9:59 PM - 10 Jul 2014
“We’re the employees. We’re the people who keep your company moving,” one contractor for TaskRabbit
told VentureBeat by phone.
“Without us, you’re just an empty app on a phone. I don’t understand why they don’t listen to us. “
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7. 7/11/2014 TaskRabbit users revolt as the company shuts down its bidding system | VentureBeat | Business | by Harrison Weber
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