IT SOUNDS GREAT!
However, if the term "work from home" caused you to feel a pang of suspicion, you are paying attention. If you are considering working with one of these services, you need to know your rights and protect yourself before you ever sign up.
Unlike most work from home jobs, telephone psychic reading requires no start up costs save a dedicated phone line and a tarot deck, if you need these items.
The services that will connect you to the largest network in the nation also seem very legitimate. They ask for no start up fee (I feel you letting your guard down...don't) and require a tax payer identification form W-9. So far, this seems pretty legitimate!
So why have thousands upon thousands of readers for this network not been paid? The Psychic Readers Network (PRN) that runs the infomercials at all hours of the day and night and advertises free readings! How can this be?! If you read the fine print on the screen or actually phone, you will notice that the free reading consists of 3, count 'em, 3 minutes of a free reading. Not long enough for the speediest, most gifted psychic to tell anyone much. If you don't know this going in, you may be in for a really unpleasant surprise when you see your phone bill where you were charged $4.99/minute for your "free reading".
So why is this important? You're supposed to be telling us about working for these lines, not calling them. Fair enough! It's important because just as if you fail to understand the fine print in calling this company you will be scammed, you will also be scammed (or at least very disappointed) if you fail to understand the finer points of how working for these services is run.
PRN is the largest telephone psychic network in North America. Five years ago, they used to handle the hiring and management of readers in-house.
For one reason or another, they decided to farm this duty out to management companies (called "bookstores") to do this for them. Some of these bookstores are ethical and some are not. When they are not, PRN cares not a whit and will not help a reader to obtain his or her pay in any way. You cannot find a way to contact them on the internet or telephone directory in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and the customer service number they provide only for disgruntled callers, not workers, is simply a recording and has provided no satisfactory results for the more than 300 readers surveyed to date. Therefore, it is solely the responsibility of the reader to research the management company that he or she plans to work with thoroughly before singing to work with them.
QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE YOU START
LEARN BEFORE YOU EARN, NOT AFTER IT'S TOO LATE...
1) How long has this management company ("bookstore"--use this word when you talk to them, they'll think you're hip to their tricks if indeed they have any up their sleeve) been operating? If they say less than a year, beware. Ask to speak to readers working with them for 12 weeks or longer to verify--do not take them at their word.
2) What is the full name and physical address of the manager who has offered you the position? Don't be shy about asking this. Remember, you are about to turn your Social Security number over to this person along with your address and full name. People are more reluctant to refuse to pay people who know where they reside or conduct business, not just for exciting gangster reasons but for the purpose of filing suit in the event they breach the contract with you and fail to pay as promised.
3) Ask them if you find a better deal or change your mind after you work with them for a while if they will mind if you move on. This sounds like an astonishing and perhaps off-putting thing to say to a potential employer but guess what? They are not going to be your employers! You will be hired at Independent Contractor status and are free to come and go as you please. Click here for a full explanation of Independent Contractor status as defined by the Internal Revenue Service. They provide no benefits and cannot require you to work any certain number of minutes nor at any specific times. A number of the unscrupulous bookstores have tried to threaten to withhold final checks from readers who wished to move on. Look for an employer that actually has some professionalism about their work him/herself who will be free with you and understand if your life takes you elsewhere.
4) Ask if the pay rate they are offering is tied to any specific minimum number of minutes or not. Many bookstores offer higher pay rates that one can only earn if one works 10-40 hours a week and by the way, only about 1 in 50 people surveyed claim to do this work for more than 600 minutes a week. It is a very demanding job from all accounts. Top managers who have been in this line of business say that they figure 300 minutes (5 hours) per week to be the average.
YOU MUST GET THE EXACT PAY RATE AND TERMS IN WRITING ON YOUR CONTRACT BEFORE YOU SIGN ON!
5) Ask if they pay you for addresses. They should pay you 25 cents per verifiable address that you get from a caller. Some of the unscrupulous bookstores promise to pay this but then do not. Again, you have to ask to speak with readers already with the company for more than 12 weeks to verify. Be savvy about this too. You would not believe the kind of tactics we have heard about from readers where one of the manager's family members posed as an "actual psychic readers" that worked for them and was happy to talk to them about how happy the were so, heads up!
6) Once you have the actual physical address of the bookstore, call the local Better Business Bureau to see if there are any complaints on file about the company.
The Consumer Information and Protection Webring|
Ring Owner: Dale O. Feinstein