UPDATE: It appears Virtual Assistant Gold is out of business. Please consider one of these alternatives.
Virtual Assistant Gold is a virtual staffing company in the Philippines. The company was founded in 2010 and maintains its US-headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Like many virtual assistant companies in the Philippines, Virtual Assistant Gold promises educated and loyal workers, with strong English skills. And I’m fairly confident they can deliver on that promise … if they’re still in business.
The reason I say that is the site’s blog hasn’t been updated in over a year (at the time of this writing). Note to self: there’s the major risk of starting a blog – if you suddenly stop it looks like the crickets have moved in!
I also reached out to the founder, Ben, to get some more information on the company, and he was unresponsive by email.
But even if Virtual Assistant Gold is still in business and accepting new clients, there are some major red flags you should be aware of.
The first is the $675 set-up fee. Currently very few companies are charging any kind of initial set-up fee, and no other company that I’m aware of is charging that amount. I’ve seen some higher recruiting fees, but those are usually paired with a lower ongoing monthly salary.
Not so in the case of Virtual Assistant Gold. You have to pay the steep set-up fee AND the marked-up monthly salary of $950 per month for a full-time virtual employee.
An alternative would be to go through another Filipino staffing agency, such as Virtual Staff Finder or Remote Staff Recruit, pay a one-time recruiting fee of $300-400, and then pay a salary roughly half what Virtual Assistant Gold charges.
Now if that wasn’t reason enough to avoid these guys, here’s the clincher. When you sign up you have to sign a 12-month contract. If you want to terminate before the 12 months are up, you can do so with 45-day written notice, and a $950 early termination fee! I haven’t seen a contract that aggressively one-sided out of all the VA companies I’ve researched and written about.
In fact, most other companies have 30-day cancellation policies, no long-term contracts at all, and definitely no $950 fees.
So if it were me, I would stay away from Virtual Assistant Gold. With so many other Philippines virtual assistants to choose from, why sign on for such unfavorable terms?
Have you worked with them? If so, please share a quick review of your experience below and help others with their decision.