Today I am going to be looking at the company Appen. I have known about Appen for some time and never got around to really checking them out. Funny enough they even have an office in Exeter in the UK very close to where I used to live.

As far as I was aware they were an established company that offered legitimate but low paid work from home opportunities. I was surprised then to have recently received questions asking if Appen is a scam.

Apparently some people have been contacted by Appen asking for personal details like credit cards and household bills. Others have told me that they have been offered work that pays $50 per hour and they will be supplied with a new MacBook and iPhone to undertake the work.

Mmm something doesn’t sound quite right, so is all as it seems? I decided it would be a good time to check Appen out. So, is Appen a scam? Read on to find out in my Appen review.

appen homepage

Who Are Appen?

Let’s first take a look at Appen the company. Appen were formed in 1996 in Sydney Australia. Fast forward to today and they have offices in 5 countries, Australia, The UK, China, The Philippines as well as 5 different locations in The USA.

Their corporate headquarters are still in Australia and their declared revenue at the end of 2017 was $166m AUD. They have over 500 full time employees as well as up to 1 million approved work at home contractors. Well I think it’s safe to say that Appen are a legitimate company. So, what are their core services?

appen list of services

Appen offer a range of services and solutions but if I was to summarise their core service it would be “to improve the quality of machine learning through human data”. So, what does this really mean? Well companies are using a range of artificial intelligence (AI) services like voice recognition to do business.

Appen use as much human data as they can to improve the quality of these services. A quick example would be when we read a paragraph in a book we pretty quickly are able to determine if it is humorous, sad or maybe ironic.

A computer however will only see a block of text and can’t (without human help) understand the nuances it might convey. And this is where Appen and human data comes in. It’s all about trying to make the machines, well a little more human!

How Can I Work With Appen?

That’s all very well but how can I work with Appen? Well as we have mentioned Appen currently employ over 500 people worldwide so there are corporate jobs available. When I looked there were 25 jobs available across most locations including roles like Finance Manager, Recruitment Officer, Office Assistant, IT Support and more.

However it’s not these jobs that interest me. What I want to know is about the work from home opportunities. After all they claim to have over 1 million approved work at home contractors.

Well when you click on the jobs section on the Appen site you will be taken to a page with 4 different options. These are Raters, Language Jobs, Micro Tasks and Corporate Jobs. Let’s take a look at the 3 non-corporate options.

appen the 4 job options

RATERS: Raters is the option that we are interested in. This is where Appen offer home-based work options for independent contractors. According to Appen the options range from completing simple surveys that take less than an hour to being involved in projects that last up to 4 months.

Current opportunities include social media evaluation, survey and data collection, speech evaluation and more. In fact you can see what they offer in the current Appen Assignments image below.

a list of appen assignments

LANGUAGE JOBS: According to Appen if you have experience with translation, transcription or linguistics there may be specific Language Jobs open for you. However when I clicked on this tab it took me directly through to the 25 listed corporate jobs.

MICRO TASKS: Appen say that the micro tasks are simple tasks that can be completed in an hour or less using your mobile or laptop. The tasks though are the same as the Raters tasks and the link just takes you to a sign-up page.

How Do I sign Up With Appen?

So how do you go about signing up with Appen? Well I decided to try it out for myself. The good news is that its free to register so I click on the apply link on the Raters tab. The first thing you have to do is confirm your country of residence.

Next is your primary language and dialect if you have one. Once completed you will be asked if you intend to work with Appen as an independent contractor or if you have your own registered business. You can see in the image below that I chose independent contractor.

Once this is completed you will be asked for more personal details such as address and confirmation you have resided in your country of residence for at least 5 years. You will also be asked to upload a CV and confirm the amount of hours that you can commit to per week.

To be honest the whole process was pretty simple and I received a confirmation email back from Appen to thank me for my application.

What the email did say was that only those considered for work would be contacted. No feedback or support would be given to unsuccessful applicants. So in other words don’t hold your breath waiting for Appen. And my application?

Well I received an email 48 hours later asking me to reconfirm my address and native language which I did. That was over a week ago and I have heard nothing since. So will I be offered work with Appen? Well I don’t really know but I’m not waiting any longer to find out!

What’s The Work And Pay Like?

Ok so the first thing I have to say is that after waiting for a week I still haven’t been offered anything from Appen. My disclaimer here is that the following information is based on research that I have conducted and not personal experience.

So it seems that the work offered really is quite a mix although the option that I saw mentioned most was rating social media pages. Other roles include audio transcription, reading and recording phrases and even playing games.

Once constant I did see however was that after initial approval (which I’m still waiting for!) there is a more detailed application that has to be completed with people saying it can take up to 4 hours. I checked Appen out on a whole range of review sites like Trustpilot and Sitejabber.

scores for appen from reviews on indeed

However the site with most relevant reviews was jobsite with over 350 reviews. The overall rating for Appen was 3.6 which isn’t too bad for a company offering this kind of work.

And what can you earn? Well I browsed through all 350 reviews on the Indeed site as well as plenty of others and of course feedback was mixed.

Overall the pay seems to be on the low side with quite a few people saying they were lucky to earn $3-$4 per hour. On the other hand there are some reviews with claims of $25 for an hour’s work. Overall based on the reviews I looked at it would seem the average pay is less than $10 per hour.

One major issue though seems to be continuity of work as well as level of support if and when there are problems. You can see the amount earned for an hours work by one UK member in the image below which is substantially less than the legal minimum UK wage.

So the research did at least confirm what I thought that Appen are a legitimate company. As suspected the pay tends to be on the low side and the work intermittent.

Reviews are mixed but again that’s to be expected with this kind of work. So why did I get questions asking me if Appen is a scam? Let’s take a look at this now.

Is Appen A Scam?

Well let’s just answer that immediately with a NO. Of course some people will have had bad experiences but that doesn’t make Appen a scam. So why the comments? Well it looks like scammers are using Appens’ name to try and get peoples personal details and even request payment. There is an official statement from Appen which you can see below.

So if you recieve an email or any communication that claims to be from Appen asking for personal or financial details and promising you free equipment then it’s a scam and you should report it to Appen.

In fact they have a blog post on their site about safety tips of working from home and what you should do if you suspect you are the target of fraudulent activity in relation to their company.

Appen Review – Lets Sum It Up

So let’s start with the good stuff. Appen are an established, legitimate organisation with 9 offices in 5 different countries. They are a public traded company that is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange. They are a four-time winner of the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Australia award and in 2017 were listed in the Deloitte Asia Pacific Technology Fast 500.

Appen have made The Flex Jobs Top 100 Company With Remote Jobs 6 years in a row and were voted No1 in 2019. The work that they offer contractors is diverse and although not highly paid offers you more than survey and GPT sites like Clixsense, 20 Cogs and Inbox Pounds.

You are able to decide the number of hours you want to work and choose when to work them. Earnings are paid out monthly and although I have seen a few reports of payment delays on the whole earnings seem to be paid promptly. Overall it would appear that the pay is pretty low and projects can be few and far between.

Although the work seems to be fairly simple feedback suggest it can be pretty tedious. Reviews are mixed but that’s to be expected for this kind of work. So based on everything I have seen I would be happy to recommend Appen if you’re looking to earn few extra bucks in your spare time. 

If your looking for a long-term income solution that could eventually replace or become a full-time income then you would need to look elsewhere. My recommendation would be Wealthy Affiliate which is where I learnt how to make a full-time income online.

You get access to the best training, resources and community to help you succeed and in my opinion it’s by far the best place if you want to build a long term online income. You can read my review by clicking here or one of the buttons in the article.

So that’s sums up my Appen review. Have you had experience of Appen? If so I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. If they eventually offer me a project I’ll update the review with my findings!