I am going to use this platform to voice my opinion on how Wag! takes advantages of its employees (walkers). I have been walking dogs since late August and have completed over 100 walks. Where do I begin?
For some reason, Wag does not send notifications to people closest to the dog. I understand that the walks may be in the future, but allowing just about anyone to pick up a walk inconveniences those that miss out on walks nearby. In addition, I am going to assume that there are many more walkers than dog owners to create the appearance that the app is quick and reliable to clients. The abundance of walkers makes it incredibly difficult to request nearby walks unless you are on the app, literally staring at it (I most often apply this method), when the walk appears on the calendar.
If you are a walker, you are most likely aware that Wag takes 40% COMMISSION!!! THAT IS ABSURD! In comparison, Uber only takes 25% commission, and Lyft takes 20%. Not only that, but Wag will randomly offer discounted rates to clients without any explanation to the walkers. Rather than Wag taking the cut of their discounted rate, they take that money away from the walker who ultimately is providing the same service for less. It is totally unethical.
Lack of a rating system of dog/owner
Why the hell can’t we rate the dog/owner??? Again, in comparison to Uber, you have some idea of what type of experience you will get with a client based on their rating. When requesting a walk with Wag, you have no idea what the experiences of previous walkers have been like until after the request is completed. So, if the dog is aggressive or strong and you feel uncomfortable with those traits, you are disadvantaged because you already committed to the walk. (You could request a cover in this case, but covers are frowned upon and considered to be only for emergencies.) With respect to rating the owner, this can become extremely important in managing your expectations for what type of rating/tip you will receive. If someone is going to give you a poor rating, you should not feel obligated to take that walk. Also, if someone is terrible at responding during urgent situations and their dog is a real piece of work, we should be able to inform other walkers and make it more difficult for this individual to get walks in general. Owners and their pets should be held to some standard. Don’t just blindly throw us (the walkers) into situations that are going to feel threatening or include unknown obstacles. FOR EXAMPLE: I recently walked a dog from an apartment complex that had a gate lock, front door lock, and apartment door lock. The front door lock required me to call the owner through the intercom system for entry. I called quite literally 5 times in addition to texting the owner over a span of 15 minutes (it was also around 30 degrees outside). I waited until I was able to follow a tenant into the building to enter. The owner never responded to my messages/calls. She luckily let me in when we got back through the intercom system. I should be able to rate this person. She wasted my time and should be held accountable. When it come to owners rating the walkers, they are allowed to give us a poor rating without any explanation required.
The app itself
The app itself is a mess. The “Available” section does not list the dates at the top but rather lists them above the available walks. When sifting through various days, you can lose track of what day you are looking at. It is poor design. When you look at your earnings or profile page, you cannot easily swipe back to the Available or Booked pages. Why? When you finish walk, i.e. stop walking, you will lose all contact and entry information, forcing you to end the walk after you leave the apartment, which is not technically the end of the walk. It does not make sense.
OK that was very long winded, but I just wanted to vent my feelings about this app and open up the conversation to other walkers/pet owners about their experiences with the app. Would love to hear from you.