Apps for microjobs: earning money with your smartphone?

Microjob apps on smartphones

The offer of so-called microjob apps sounds tempting: By smartphone or tablet can be used in apps like "Goldesel", "Cash Pirate" and "Gift Wallet", small tasks – so-called microjobs – complete. For example, if you take part in short surveys, download apps or watch promotional videos, you collect points for this. Later, when you have collected a minimum amount, you can convert them into vouchers or credits, depending on the microjob app.

If you have collected enough points to be paid out(z.B. a 5 euro voucher for 5000 points in the app "Goldesel"), this minimum value of accumulated points for the next payout can increase in some apps for microjobs. Do you want to convert your earned points then the next time, you can for the next voucher, for example, 10.000 points (for a 10 euro voucher) must collect.

Market watchdogs warn against dubious apps for micro jobs

But complaints in the early warning network of the consumer centers show: Not all apps for microjobs appear to be reputable. Against this background, the Marktwachter team Rhineland-Palatinate has put three micro job apps to the test:

  • "Gold donkey"
  • "Cash Pirate"
  • "Gift Wallet"

All three apps are quite popular and have been downloaded by users more than a million times each in the Google Play Store.

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Collecting points very time consuming

The review shows: Earning enough points for a voucher or credit is very time-consuming. For example, with the app "Goldesel" at least 5.000 points required for a payout of five euros. However, most tasks only earn points in the single or double digits. Downloading a given app, for example, often earns users only about 30 points. In addition, the points were not always credited for tasks performed – the reasons for this remain unclear to the microjobbers.

The situation is similar for the other two microjob apps reviewed, "Cash Pirate" and "Gift Wallet": Here, collecting points is even more tedious. In the test period of several weeks, it was not possible to get to a score that would have allowed you to redeem a voucher.

Earned points for microjobs are not paid out

Users of the app "Goldesel" complain that the operator does not pay out the earned points. This is also confirmed by the review by the Marktwachter team. In May 2019, the team applied for a five-euro voucher. But even after several months of waiting, the voucher did not arrive.

When asked, the customer service of "Goldesel" replied that the delivery of a voucher can take some time. All further inquiries remained unanswered until today.

This is apparently not an isolated case: the negative comments in the Google Play Store suggest that many users have already had similar experiences.

App data used for aggressive advertising

For many microjobs you have to reveal your data. For example, email address and phone number are often mandatory for completing tasks. Shortly after participating in sweepstakes and surveys in the "Goldesel" app, the Marktwachter team received aggressive advertising calls. In addition, within four weeks, over 10.000 advertising mails in a single e-mail account that has been set up especially for this purpose.

The promotional emails come from email marketing companies to which the microjobbers have not given consent to use their data. Because the privacy statements and terms of participation of the sweepstakes or surveys do not cover a transfer to these advertising partners.

What you can do against spam mails and where you can complain, we have summarized for you here.

You can also report unwanted advertising calls directly to the German Federal Network Agency via a dedicated complaint form.

Microjob apps: Tips for earning money with the cell phone

If you want to earn a little extra with microjob apps or work out coupons, inform yourself well beforehand whether the apps are reputable or not. Otherwise, you risk your personal data ending up with companies that misuse it for advertising purposes.

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