Google Helpouts is the latest offering from the company, which is similar to a video format of a Q&A site, except you get to ask the questions, have an expert answer them, and pay for the privilege.
It is all done over video, similar to the format of the Google+ Hangouts. This also allows people to easily demonstrate something from both ends, where a teacher can use the video to demonstrate the technique while a student can use the video to show something from their end they would like advice on, such as a yoga pose or a repair job.
Google has more than 1,000 providers who are offering help and advice on a wide variety of topics, including everything from writing tips to cooking demos. It also offers computer-related help, with an option to allow "student" to share screen with the expert.
Providers include not just individuals who are experts on a variety of subject areas, but also companies, such as Sephora. It is a Google Helpouts provider helping people with makeup tips, and marketing their own products in the process. Weight Watchers, Rosetta Stone, One Medical, and Redbeacon are all companies acting as providers for Google Helpouts.
Providers are all individually approved by Google, as they have to go through screening process, which all 1,000 providers went through prior to launch. People who purchase the services of a providers through Google Helpouts can also be feedback, which assist Google in determining the quality of the providers, and users can see the ratings and comments left for each provider.
Google is offering a 100 percent money-back guarantee. However, Google does keep a recording of the Helpout, so they can review the circumstances for the refund. Users can opt out of having their Helpouts recorded, however they will then also forfeit the ability to act on the money-back guarantee.
For medical related service Helpouts, Google has checked the credentials of each. Google Helpouts have privacy protection built-in, including being HIPAA compliant.
Google first started testing Helpouts as an internal program which allowed employees to get advice and help from ergonomic consultants, nutritionists, and even fellow Google employees, before they decided to launch it publicly.
The cost and duration of the Helpouts very between providers. Simply click on each one to learn more about the price and length of the Helpout. Google lists the next available Helpout time for each provider, and also allows people to schedule a Helpout at a later time, so you don’t need to worry that you will need to have your help out immediately when you decide you want to do it.
Those interested in being providers can submit their information to receive an invitation, however they don't seem to be accepting more applications at this time.