The Truth Behind Virtual Assistant Horror Stories (and Why They Shouldn’t Scare You)

virtual assistant horror stories

I’m pulling this article directly from the crypt archives. Why? Because for home businesses that need help, working with a virtual assistant is one of the smartest things they can do. One of the reasons many are reluctant is because they’ve heard one or more virtual assistant horror stories. This oldie but goodie explores the truth behind the stories and why you shouldn’t let them scare you.


It’s the time of year when horror stories are embraced and being scared is fun. But when you’re talking about using a virtual assistant to help you with your business, horror stories are enough to scare you off completely.

Like a lot of scary stories, they start out based on fact.

There really are people out there who have had bad experiences working with virtual assistants.

For some the horror began with a language barrier due to looking for a bargain with offshore assistance. For others it was the terror of a breakdown in communication with their VA.  And then there are the tales from the cryptic who simply state that virtual assistance just didn’t work for them.

Of course, like any good horror story, these tales have grown and been embellished until many an overworked business person has been frightened away from the prospect of outsourcing their work overload to a virtual professional.

But in reality there isn’t anything to fear.

To begin with the stories that start out looking for dirt cheap assistance sort of speaks for itself.  When is the last time you bought anything of real quality at the dollar store?

And yes, sadly, there are people out there giving virtual assistants a bad name and falling off the face of the earth with a client’s projects still incomplete.  That certainly shouldn’t leave you believing that all virtual assistant’s will do the same thing. 

I’m sure there have been plenty of situations where employee’s have up and quit with work still undone too. Did that stop people from hiring someone else?

Of course not.

Many people find themselves overwhelmed with work and rush to find the first virtual assistant they come across who says they can do the work at the lowest possible price.  And then they wonder why it doesn’t work for them.

The truth is, you need to prepare yourself and your business to work with a virtual assistant before you ever go on a search for one. 

If you haven’t assessed your workload how can you determine what you really need done?  Or what is truly taking up the majority of your time?  If you haven’t examined the things you need done, how are you going to effectively communicate those things to a virtual assistant?

It’s kind of like those idiots in scary movies. You know the ones.  They open doors that clearly shouldn’t be opened.  Walk alone into dark empty houses or pull over on a lonely stretch of highway for that poor person in the breakdown lane.  Yeah, those ones.

Well people who think they can just hire a virtual assistant and ‘poof‘ their administrative woes are going to be magically taken care of are just as silly.  Working with a virtual professional is a business partnership.  You have to approach it realistically and prepare for the collaboration.

So don’t let the virtual assistant horror stories scare you off.  For every tale of terror there is are dozens of stories of success.


Tina Marie Hilton provides online technology services to forward thinking businesses. She writes on her Tips from T.Marie business blog to share insight and information with other small businesses and entrepreneurs. It also makes her feel like that certificate in creative writing isn't going to waste completely.