I was trying to figure out the most economic way to do transportation for a travel assignment in California. I do not wish to drive cross country because that would be racking up too much mileage on my new car and I'm not particularly impressed by the reimbursement rates that the travel company is offering. I was thinking that since they are a big company that does rentals all the time they could get me a really good deal on a 13 week rental. NOT SO! They are quoting me almost $4500+!!! I checked around on the car rental websites and I found that I could rent an economy car on my own for less than half that amount. Then the recruiter is telling me that I will get "free housing" with a certain rate of pay, but it turns out that the housing isn't really so 'free' at all because another agency quoted me free housing and a much higher hourly rate of pay for the same hospital. If I were to find my own housing and take the housing subsidy from the first agency, I would come out at least $800 more ahead.
If I were to sign with the first agency, after the housing and an economy car rental 'benefits' I would actually end up making in the high 20s per hour BEFORE taxes---and this is in the Bay Area, which is a joke. The recruiter seemed annoyed that I kept working the math every time he quoted a number, as if I'm supposed to just sit and play dumb while he's ripping me off. I wonder why this guy thinks that I, with my experience, would leave my permanent job (with great benefits, btw) to travel across the country to work for less money than I make now, in an area of the country where the COL is sky high
! This recruiter is just like a used car salesman. When I first spoke to him, the benefits and rate of pay he sold me were very good. Now that we are getting ready to do the contract I realize that he's trying to play the old game of bait and switch.
I know the agency has to make money, but jeez.
I said 'No, but thanks' to his generous offer. I'd rather stick with my current job until I find a better travel opportunity. I posted this message so that new travelers like myself are very careful when dealing with some of these travel companies. Pay careful attention to everything these recruiters tell you and ALWAYS do the math, otherwise they will tell you you're getting a great deal when what they're really doing is screwing you over with a smile.