Chegg launched in 2005 as a forum for Iowa State students to find advice about job and internship opportunities, scholarships, and even financial advice. Since then, it has expanded into one of the biggest education technology companies operating today. Higher education students should be more than familiar with Chegg for its textbook purchasing and rental services, but they also offer supplemental services such as Chegg Study.
Chegg might not be worth the $14.95/month subscription price. They offer a database of answers to textbook assignments and a message board to post questions. The mediocre benefits, strict limitations, and poor customer service turn people away from their site.
Users are mostly satisfied with Chegg’s textbook options and supplementary services. However, Chegg Study has received low reviews from both professional outlets and regular users. While some users have found success with Chegg Study, it has come under scrutiny for its potential to enable academic dishonesty and cheating.
Source: Chegg Help
Chegg Study Reviews: Mostly Negative
Since Chegg offers several services related to textbooks and higher education, many reviews for the overall site are positive, which can be misleading to customers interested in purchasing a subscription to Chegg Study.
While users speak positively about Chegg’s basic services, digging deeper into the reviews reveals a high level of dissatisfaction from customers who subscribed to Chegg Study specifically.
Reviewer Jill Duffy, writing for PCMag, gives Chegg an overall score of 3.5 but has many criticisms about their subscription services in particular, including Chegg Study. The biggest complaint is the disconnect between accessing them as well as the strict user limitations placed on the subscriber.
Duffy reports that while some of Chegg’s features are accessed via their website, others, including Chegg study, have separate, individual mobile apps that must be downloaded to access the service. This leads to an overall feeling of disconnectedness and disorganization.
Adding to this issue is the strict limit enforced by Chegg of two users per account, which is implemented in an attempt to dissuade account sharing between students.
However, it seems extreme given the high $14.95 price point.
Chegg’s Multi-User Policy Is Too Strict
The multi-user account policy is frequently cited as a particularly frustrating issue by Chegg Study subscribers across the board. On SiteJabber, Chegg has a dismal rating of 1.63 out of five due largely to these account security issues.
Despite being the only user on the account, many users report being locked out or temporarily banned from their Chegg accounts for alleged “account sharing” after attempting to log into multiple machines or even different wifi networks.
This relatively minor issue grows when combined with reportedly subpar customer service.
When an account is flagged for sharing, Chegg must initiate a potentially lengthy review process. Users state that getting in touch with customer service for assistance can be difficult and often fruitless.
If you’re able to get a response from customer service, they may not be able to reopen access to your account, meaning you’ll be paying for an unusable subscription.
A number of other reviews state this problem repeats itself after being initially resolved, making it necessary to contact customer service multiple times. Consumers also report Chegg’s handling of charges and refunds is messy and frequently results in numerous incorrect charges that are difficult to resolve.
Billing Issues Are Common
Alongside the previously mentioned issues, Chegg users frequently report significant problems with billing. While Chegg has a much higher score of four out of five on TrustPilot, the most often mentioned criticism in negative reviews are repeat or incorrect charges from Chegg.
Frequently, subscribers report being charged by Chegg incorrectly for products they did not purchase, had unsubscribed to, or had already paid for. This is exacerbated by Chegg’s poor customer service department, which can be challenging to get in touch with.
Some users report being unable to receive full or even partial refunds for these charges and have to dispute them through their credit card provider instead.
Additionally, users report that it can be a hassle to cancel their subscriptions. Many had to contact customer service to do so and frequently reported being charged again despite canceling their subscription.
Cash-strapped college students will want to be especially wary of these issues when considering Chegg Study, as it can easily lead to more significant financial problems in the future if not taken care of.
Source: TrustPilot Reviews
Limited Benefits of Questionable Quality
Chegg proudly advertises the Study service’s two features: textbook solutions and access to “Expert Q&A.” These might sound like tempting supplements to assist you with your assignments. Still, they are not as beneficial as they sound due to the limitations and potential risks involved with using them.
“Textbook Solutions” Might Not Be Helpful
“Textbook solutions” is a bit of a nebulous phrase. This simply refers to Chegg’s database of over 20,000 textbooks that subscribers can search for answers and step-by-step solutions to assignments within the textbook. This feature is the most valuable inclusion in Chegg Study and may interest students whose textbooks are available through Chegg.
There are a few things to keep in mind, however:
- Chegg does not clearly advertise that access to these solutions is limited to 5 per month, a low number considering the subscription’s steep monthly price tag.
- Additionally, Chegg only provides solutions for some of their own titles. Not all Chegg materials are included in the database, and anything not published by Chegg won’t have solutions available.
- Consider how many of your textbooks are available under Chegg Study before purchasing a subscription.
Expert Q&A Is Questionable
Some may find Chegg’s Expert Q&A forum even more questionable. Chegg Study allows students to post questions and even upload photos of assignments for assistance from the Chegg community.
While some users have had luck with this feature, most users report some dissatisfaction with the quality of the answers. Additionally, the service has come under fire for allowing academic dishonesty.
Chegg Study allows subscribers to post up to 20 questions per month, but additional questions can be purchased if needed. Chegg reports that questions are answered relatively quickly, but results vary.
Some users report having success with this feature, but others found that the results were less than satisfying.
While Chegg employs experts to answer these questions satisfactorily, they also allow users to comment and provide guidance. Some users report that answers to their questions varied wildly and were frequently incorrect.
Questions are not refunded if answered incorrectly or even left unanswered, a point of contention for subscribers.
Source: What To Become
The Tiered Pricing Scheme Can Be Frustrating
Chegg offers a tiered pricing plan that includes access to Chegg Study and a number of their other features depending on the subscription level.
Basic access to Chegg Study, an improved return policy, and the textbook discount will cost around $14.95 a month. The Chegg Study Pack is $19.95 a month and includes additional features like video walkthroughs, practice assignments, and a plagiarism detector.
These features are available a la carte:
- The Chegg Writing Pack includes access to EasyBib, a grammar checker, and the plagiarism tool.
- The Math Solver subscription provides further assistance with math topics such as algebra, calculus, geometry, trigonometry, and stats.
Both are priced at $9.95 a month.
Chegg offers a year’s subscription to all of these services for $74.95 annually. Considering many college students do not have a steady source of income, these prices are particularly steep considering the limitations placed on the user and quality of the service.
Unless the Writing Pack or Math Solver subscriptions offer some value, students will find that avoiding these high price tags will help them financially.
Is Chegg Study Legit?
Despite a myriad of questionable issues reported by users of Chegg Study, it is a legitimate subscription service offered by a well-known organization that provides assistance to students and higher education institutions.
Students might want to avoid the Chegg Study benefits that come with a basic Chegg subscription. However, if a student is gifted with a subscription, it might be worth it.
Still, other perks are offered that may be useful, including textbook discounts and an extended return policy.
In addition, Chegg’s services are not limited to those included with Chegg Study. Many students across the country and worldwide utilize Chegg to buy, rent, and sell their textbooks. Chegg frequently offers competitive prices compared to other outlets such as Amazon and your institution’s bookstore.
Depending on their major, certain students might also find a use for Chegg’s writing and math services.
Chegg Study and Academic Honesty
The COVID-19 pandemic forced many students into the unfortunate position of having to learn remotely. This sudden shift in the status quo led many students to look into improving the remote learning experience, including turning to services like Chegg Study for further assistance.
While institutions were aware that students occasionally utilized Chegg to find and share assignment questions and answers, it became a significant issue as students started taking their exams from home.
Chegg has been under intense scrutiny for this reason.
Many instructors and even entire schools have banned the use of Chegg Study and similar services used for “Contract Cheating,” or paying someone for the answers to an assignment or exam.
Chegg’s so-called “Honor Code” prevents using their services to cheat. However, studies show that the code is rarely enforced. The University of Auckland found that despite the Honor Code, they could solicit answers to obvious bait questions that should have been flagged as potential academic dishonesty.
As the 2020 academic year drew to a close, many institutions found that students were cheating on their final exams using Chegg and then sharing the answers with other students. This led to Chegg cooperating with schools to provide data on which accounts were used to cheat.
A large number of physics and chemistry students at Boston University were caught cheating, leading to an investigation and generous ultimatum (source). Students could admit to cheating for a single letter grade reduction from the class, while other students caught cheating would receive an F.
Similarly, physics students at Washington University were caught cheating and allowed to come clean for a zero on their exam but no further action from the conduct board (source). Students who are caught cheating without admitting it might face course failure, probation, and even expulsion.
It should be noted that using Chegg Study is not inherently considered dishonest or cheating.
It is simply a tool that can be utilized in many different ways, including general assistance on assignments.
As long as you do not use Chegg Study to share and receive specific answers on exams, it can be used to help build and solidify your knowledge, or as a last resort on assignments, you might find it particularly difficult.
If you are considering purchasing a subscription to Chegg Study, you should check with your instructor or institution to confirm that it does not violate the rules. If they’d rather you avoid using it, they may be able to provide you with less problematic alternatives.
While some students may find Chegg Study helpful, most reviews of the service are negative. Criticisms include the steep price tag, a strict limit on users that directly affects access to the material, and an unresponsive, subpar customer service team.
Additionally, many users report being overcharged or charged multiple times for products they may have canceled or didn’t even intend to purchase.
Given these reasons, it is generally not recommended for college students to purchase a subscription to Chegg Study. That money is often better spent elsewhere, as most students will find the services offered by Chegg Study are not worth it.
Of course, in the end, it comes down to how valuable you perceive the service and how it may ultimately benefit you.