Thinking of joining Arise? Read this first.
Over the past several years, I have had a few different work from home jobs. Some of the most frequently asked questions I get: a) whether I am familiar with Arise Virtual Solutions and b) are they a scam or not. If you’re curious about Arise, stick around and read this post: I’ll break down what it’s like to get started with them, and more importantly, if it’s legitimate. I am not endorsed by Arise in any way for this post and it is entirely my unfiltered opinion. Let’s get started!
What is Arise Virtual Solutions?
Arise Virtual Solutions partners with Fortune 500 companies to provide customer service, sales, and technical support to their clients. Companies that would typically provide these services in their own brick and mortar facilities that want to outsource it to Arise. Arise then recruits agents to work from home in their own “micro call center”. Arise Virtual Solutions is headquartered in Miramar, Florida and was established in 1994. They currently hold a Better Business Bureau rating of “A+”.
How do I get started with Arise?
You’ll need to visit http://www.ariseworkfromhome.com to get started with the registration process. Once on the Arise website, you’ll notice that you’ll need to either register as an Independent Business and provide your Tax Identification Number, Articles of Incorporation, and other required legal documents. Or you can sign up with an Independent Business and provide services under their business. This normally involves the Independent Business charging you a fee for handling your payroll for service revenue and other day to day operations for subcontractors. You’ll also see the equipment required and complete a PC check to see if your computer is up to their standards.
One word of caution if you decide to join someone’s Independent Business: thoroughly research the Independent Business before joining them. Each Independent Business runs their company differently and their policies may vary greatly. Arise will not act as a go-between for issues that you may have with an Independent Business. For example, if your Independent Business is a month late issuing your service revenue and won’t answer your emails or phone calls, Arise essentially cannot do anything on your behalf. At that point, it would be strictly between you and the Independent Business. Always thoroughly vet any opportunity you are interested in whether it is related to Arise or anyone else.
What is the signup process like?
You’ll create your profile and be asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). Arise is VERY strict about the confidentiality of their clients and will sever ties and possibly take legal action for NDA violations. Once you’ve completed that step, you’ll submit your company information or the information of the company you want to work for. From there, you’ll get to select your client. And now, the real fun begins!
What kinds of clients partner with Arise?
Arise partners with several Fortune 500 companies in various areas of expertise. As I mentioned above, the NDA prohibits you from mentioning most of the clients by name, but two that they will allow me to name specifically are Intuit and Carnival Cruise Line. Other clients include energy utility companies, healthcare, roadside assistance, vacation home rentals, theme park and travel agent bookings, grocery delivery services, and healthcare transportation support. Some positions are sales related while others are technical support and customer service oriented. If you perform well and exceed all of their metrics, you could potentially be offered a higher position with that client. There are occasional opportunities that are chat/email support and do not require being on the phone, but those are extremely popular and classes fill up fast!
I’ve chosen my client. What happens next?
After selecting a client, you’ll go through several assessments and may vary depending upon client needs. Possible tests may include a voice assessment, typing test, computer/technical scan, personality test, and each client requires a background check. Arise no longer charges a fee for your background check and your results will come back online in a couple of days. Most clients will also require a drug screen, also. You’ll likely also need to send an affidavit to verify your identity to reduce the likelihood of fraud and identity theft.
After completing the enrollment process, you’ll pay for your certification course. Fees vary greatly from $10 all the way up to $250. In my experience, the more sought after the opportunity, the higher the fee (and in my opinion, usually worth the extra cost but your mileage may vary). Now you’ll be ready to start your first certification course!
What’s the certification process like?
About a week before your certification course begins, you’ll receive an email from your instructor to let you know about any pre-work that needs to be done before your class starts. You’ll also have information about how to get to your virtual learning classroom, which is on a platform similar to Zoom. It’s incredibly important to attend class each day. If you miss a day of your certification course, it could result in being dropped from the class. I’m sure they make exceptions in certain circumstances but they aren’t required to do so. If you get dropped from a course, you won’t be refunded any fees you have paid up to that point. Course length can vary from a few days to 6 weeks or more. You’ll almost certainly have homework to complete in addition to your live classroom instruction.
With my first certification course, I was caught a little off guard with the amount of time needed for training. Some days, I would put in 4 hours of classroom instruction and 4+ hours of homework. Make sure to give yourself enough time to finish your coursework so you can set yourself up for success.
After finishing the course, you’ll be ready to move on to certification! This process can vary from client to client, and may involve taking live calls in which your instructor will listen to and grade. Or, you may have “mock” calls or scenarios instead of being on the phones with customers. There’s usually a written test to take, as well. After successfully certifying, you’ll receive your contract, or Statement of Work. It’s important to note that training is unpaid. Some clients will have a “nesting” phase where you will take live calls then meet with your trainer to go over any questions or work on any skills you need to successfully handle calls. Calls taken in the nesting phase are usually paid and considered “learn while you earn”.
How much can I earn with Arise?
It ranges anywhere from $9 to $15 per hour base pay. Some clients have incentives and performance bonuses. A high-end luxury retailer and a cable company both add sales commission onto base pay which can make a big difference in your earning potential. One major factor that can influence how many hours you are offered is how well you perform. If you are a top performer, you may quality for extra incentives and get offered more hours to provide service. One of the biggest advantages of partnering with Arise is the ability to set your own schedule. If you exceed all of your metrics, you’ll get to choose your hours before lower performing agents, meaning you’ll get the chance to schedule the hours you want to work as opposed to whatever is left over. It literally pays to be a top performer!
Can I provide services to more than one client?
You absolutely can! You can have multiple clients if you choose. Many agents service two clients since many clients tend to have a slow season (think hospitality and tax services). Roadside assistance seems to have a fairly consistent amount of hours throughout the year and you can take calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is another area you don’t want to spread yourself too thin, though. Both clients will have a minimum amount of hours that you need to service and you don’t want to perform poorly or not show up for your shift, both of which could jeopardize your Statement of Work. Now that you have an idea of what it’s like to be an Independent Contractor with Arise, let’s take a look at the pros and cons.
Advantages of partnering with Arise Virtual Solutions:
• You can start your own small business… or not
In my opinion, one of the biggest advantages of Arise Virtual Solutions is that you can start your own business and recruit other agents. Many Independent Business Operators (IBOs) run their day to day operations and manage their business without actually taking calls for Arise clients. Or you can run a business with little to no agents and take calls yourself. Not interested in starting your own home-based small business? You can still partner with Arise by joining an Independent Business.
The other HUGE advantage of contracting with Arise is flexibility. It’s awesome for parents, retirees, and students that want to earn income from the comfort of homes. You can have total control over your schedule as long as you meet the criteria outlined in your Statement of Work. This was a game changer for me!
• Choice of clients
Not interested in sales? No problem! You can choose a tech support or customer service-based position. You choose the position that interests you! If you want more than one client, you can do that, too (and is not a bad idea if your primary client has slower times during the year). Losing interest in your current client? You can always look into another client opportunity.
• Support every step of the way
It can be somewhat daunting to begin working from home if you’ve never worked remotely before or if you aren’t particularly tech savvy. Arise offers support for enrollment, certification course admissions, and tech support. Also, once you’re in your certification class and during production, you’ll have ample support resources regardless of the client you’re working with.
Disadvantages of working with Arise:
• Your contract can end at any time.
Although contracts typically last around 90 days in length, there isn’t any guarantee that your contract will be renewed or it may be terminated early regardless of your job performance. This isn’t actually a disadvantage specific to Arise since it tends to be the nature of independent contractor-type work. It could pretty much happen in any independent contractor position (or any W2 job, for that matter).
• The client you want may not be available.
While it’s totally true that you can choose your own clients, you’re pretty much limited to the clients available on the portal. Some clients are looking for agents pretty regularly and need a large amount of agents while others have very low turnover, a small number of agents and may only appear on the portal once a year (or less). You’ll need to enroll in those rare client opportunities quickly as the certification courses fill up fast.
• No benefits
Since you’re considered an independent contractor, you won’t get any benefits such as vacation time or insurance. Again, this isn’t a disadvantage of Arise itself, but of being an independent contractor. It’s super important to understand that you aren’t an employee and won’t be receiving the same benefits that you would get with a more traditional employment role. I look at it as giving up the benefits but gaining the freedom of setting your own schedule.
Arise does deduct a fee of $19.75 from every agent’s service revenue payment. There really isn’t any way around it, and Arise justifies it as a way of providing ongoing technical support for all agents.
The verdict: Is Arise a scam?
Arise is definitely not a scam! You need to totally understand what you’re signing up for and read every disclaimer, form, and contract. I know many of us click on “terms and conditions” for apps without reading the fine print; this is not one of those times. You need a thorough understanding of each phase of the process, and if you don’t understand it, you need to consult with someone that you trust to break it down for you. Another key point I can’t emphasize enough: If you’re joining someone’s independent business, read reviews and research their company. Don’t get involved with a shady IBO that doesn’t pay it’s agents. Many folks that express dissatisfaction with Arise signed up with an IBO with questionable business practices. This gives even those of us in good standing with Arise to be unfairly cast in a negative light.