Officehours started as a goodwill project. Anyone could offer/request sessions. Sessions were offered freely, and limited to 10 minutes. We believed that this could democratize access to knowledgeable people—while making it easier for such people to help others.
Since then, we’ve received requests for a number of additions. The most common requests were for longer sessions (we added an option to extend them), and the ability to sell one’s time through the service.
After much deliberation, we added the latter item. It allows anyone to create a profile, set a rate, and get paid through the platform. (The free option still exists for those who just want to lend a hand.)
Handling services payments on the web is tricky, so, we have some rules. We hold funds for 7 days, prior to transfer. This affords customers time to note problems, or request refunds. If we can’t collect funds, or a refund is made, we don’t remit payment. Also, in the event of dubious seeming activity (e.g. fraud), we suspend the accounts and payment until the issue is resolved.
We charge a 15% service fee for every paid session, which we deduct from the amount charged to the member. This revenue goes to funding ongoing Officehours development. Funds are transferred using PayPal (we deduct Paypal’s fee from the advisor’s Officehours balance).
This is (very) beta, so, you will find bugs. To start, add sessions, select Paid, and set your per minute rate. Please note that those offering sessions must complete their profile with their full name, photo, and an accurate bio.
Give it a try, if you’d like—and do tell me when you find bugs.