Jazee

Is FlyGuys a SCAM? Are you a Fly Guy?

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Seems there's a "new kid on the block" for the drone pilot referral directories.  Seems like there's about a half dozen of them out there.  I've heard from other pilots, all these services, the supply of pilots is huge and the number of jobs posted per week is very small in most areas, even on the most prominent directories/referral services.  

So I got this email today from FlyGuys, it was highly unprofessional, it started out without my real first name:

Hello #[Contacts.First Name}

The image in the signature was broken, etc.  And the email makes claims like "The number of mission inquires, as expected, is going up logarithmically and as a result of this rapidly expanding sales pipeline, booked missions are starting to happen multiple times per day."  Logarithmically?  What, from 2 jobs a week to 4?

The thing about this FlyGuys service is unlike the other referral services, they want either $99 a month or $199 a month from you.  If the job posting to pilot ratio for these services is really low, I would expect the chance you will be paying your monthly fee and getting NO JOBS is quite high.  Do you get your fee refunded?  No.  So these Fly Guys want $1,200 to $2,400 a year where the other service want $0 unless you actually get and bill a job.  This really smells like a big SCAM to me! 

The email goes on further to say "We are about to launch a major weapon next week. A mostly automated function to register each pilot with near 100 directories.  We were already doing google, bing, now yahoo, yellow pages, +90 more... this will help our pilots' url prominence in all searches.

"Major weapon?"  My friend who works in the Internet Market business says basically they just signed up for a business directory submission service, there's a dozen of them, for probably a couple hundred bucks a month, and so they are really operating from a revenue standpoint more as an Internet marketing service, collecting thousands in fees and paying hundreds to use an automated directory submission service while most likely providing a small trickle of jobs to select pilots or for pilots to all fight over.

Has anyone actually signed up for this service?  How long have you been with them? What kind of jobs did you get? What area of the country are you in? Which affiliate are you?

I'm really afraid this is a scam that many pilots may fall for.  There are free ways to get your business listed in directories and you risk paying out lots of money with no jobs referred to you.

 

 

Edited by Jazee

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Although I wouldn’t necessarily categorize this as a scam I doubt there’s any value to most of these services.

There might be value and opportunity in services that are focused on a particular niche of a market.  PrecisionHawk just purchased two of these types of services focused on agriculture.  Any reputable “drone” employment website will likely be purchased by an industry leader, like what just happened with PrecisiinHawk, or by a more traditional job site.  Also there will probably be more listings on more traditional job sites like indeed and glass ceiling etc.. 

It’s definitely buyer beware.  If services like this are hyping job opportunities in the same way drones have been hyped over the past couple of years, I’d stay away from them.  

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I agree with @Av8Chuck that this may not actually be a scam.  As long as the terms are clearly stated up front, as he said it's simply buyer beware.  I think an important factor would be whether there is a commitment term or if it's simply month to month.

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Oof, DELETE THIS EMAIL and move on. Buyer beware, indeed.

Here's another example of companies trying to take advantage of folks:

Drives me nuts.

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Okay, I can confirm I tried these guys for three months and as expected nothing, no job (I admit I'm a risk taker).  I can't say I'm surprised seeing that I've been on Droners.io for a year.  Droners.io has been around way longer than FlyGuys and I've been getting notification on jobs in most major cities in California.  The number of jobs is low, even for major cities, even on Droners which has the most exposure.  So if jobs are scarce on Droners they'll be even more scarce anywhere else. And when the jobs do come up, it's a feeding frenzy so you now you've got a bunch of guys low balling, desperate to get a job,  making the prices ridiculously low. I've been desparate to get a job probably like most other pilots on Droners and so that's why I tried FlyGuys "pay for play" just to see if they had some secret channel to bring in jobs better than Droners.  Not.  Waste of money.  I feel sorry for others than keep paying with their fingers crossed.  Maybe you will eventually get a job, maybe not but if you weren't the first pilot that signed up in your city for FlyGuys, based on the trickle of jobs I've seen on Droners, I can pretty much guarantee you will won't get "jack" through Fly Guys.  Anyone paying for anything before even getting one job is a sucker.  All the 'support services' are worthless if you're not making any money.  

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Looks like enough of the FlyGuys pilots are getting tired of paying them a monthly fee for little to no jobs.  I wonder how many paid a year's worth of fees to help  pay for FlyGuys' online advertising and DroneDeploy/Pix4D business subscription, and didn't make their money back? Is their a no-job refund policy? This just in from the FlyGuys Pilot Newsletter...

2018 Pilot Beta Programs
 

Based on pilot feedback, drone business support tools are still of high interest, yet paid programs are not useful before a certain mission traction is reached. So the early 2018 FlyGuys pilot programs, Standard and Plus, will be closing on December 31, 2018

Edited by Jazee
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