In the spirit of "Screw You!"...

By Katharine Swan On Wednesday, January 24, 2007 At 3:14 AM

In the spirit of Kathy Kehrli's blog Screw You!, I can't resist the temptation to direct your attention to a pathetic example of a low-paying client who expects the world at bargain prices.

I've noticed with Writerlance that if I post a bid - or a critique, as I did here - before anyone else, what I say or bid will have a strong impact on how people post after me. For example, if I bid a decent rate, fewer people bid in rock-bottom range; likewise, if I comment on the client's insultingly low budget, others will follow suit.

In this case, "tallyho" not only wants a professional writer for cheap (i.e. $5 or less per 700-word article), he also wants one with impeccable feedback. I thought that odd, since his rating was a 3 (out of 10), so I checked his feedback... And guess what? The only person who had given him any yet said she didn't get paid any more than a fraction of what she was owed! Her story was much the same as many other freelancers who find themselves in similar situations... He loved her work, continued accepting it, and then when it came time to pay, said it wasn't of a high enough quality.

In my opinion, there's nothing worse than a client who thinks that complaining after the fact about a writer's work is grounds enough to refuse payment. Clients, if you don't like someone's work, end the project, but you are still obligated to pay your writer for the work he or she has already produced!

Actually, there might be something worse: clients who try to deceive writers. When I saw this project, I entered a fake bid. The bid was for $450, the absolute minimum I would have charged for 30 700-word articles (and even that was probably too low...). Of course, the entire point of bidding was to leave a scathing comment, which read:

Not only are you offering writers slave wages to work for you, you also have the audacity to ask for bidders with good feedback ratings when YOURS shows a track record of not paying! BIDDERS BEWARE!

An hour or so later I checked back, and found that several other writers had commented in a similar vein. However, I was appalled to see that the client's feedback had been erased - he was hiding the fact that he hasn't paid his last writer! I added to the end of my comment:

BIDDERS BEWARE - HE HAS NO FEEDBACK NOW BECAUSE HE HAD HIS FEEDBACK DELETED!

Of course, there are always those writers who see these types of situations as an opporunity to move in and "steal" the job from us self-respecting types. As a result, "tallyho" will get what he most likely is really after - a dirt-cheap writer who will turn in substandard work and enable the client to once again justify his refusal to pay.

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Blogger Irreverent Freelancer Says:  

Oh boy, you can add "I'm willing to pay" to my list of pet-peeve phrases, as if tallyho is doing all the writers who are bidding a favor by actually paying them for their work. After all, writing 700-word SEO articles is "easy for someone who knows what they're doing" and anything that's easy surely isn't worthy of payment. Typical freelance-bidding site jerk! I commend you on alerting other bidders to his scumlike behavior. Of course, people *should* be able to figure something like that out for themselves, but there are always a few idiots in every bunch. BTW, welcome back!

 
 
Blogger Katharine Swan Says:  

Thanks, I'm glad to be back. :o)

I also get very annoyed with the "willing to pay" phrase in job ads. I usually won't respond to any ad that says that... Unless of course it's to tell them what I think of their rates. :o)

 
 
Blogger SFolega Says:  

Hi I luuuurve your blog! I am a freelance writer and I am so glad I came across this website!

Don't work for Writerlance full stop!!! They are a scam and lots of writers are not getting the money in their accounts, me included!

The site seems to have disappeared now so I can't even complain! I know someone who did complain and they had their account deleted!

If writerlance does make a come back, please don't bid and only got to well known reputable sites only!

Sarah

www.copywritingtipsandideas.com

 
 
Blogger Katharine Swan Says:  

Sarah,

Thanks for visiting. I'm always glad to gain another regular reader!

Thank you also for the information on Writerlance. I haven't worked for anyone on Writerlance in well over a year, and anymore my bids are usually either scolding a poster for low project budgets, or (more recently) a high bid that I know full well the client will never choose. :o)

I don't use other bidding sites because I refuse to pay for membership. I didn't mind paying Writerlance's commission because it wasn't much, but that was also only a few times. I get most of my work now through referrals, my website, and job boards that are free for jobseekers.

I only ever got paid through Writerlance once -- usually I was paid through PayPal -- and I do seem to remember having problems getting my payment then (about 18 months ago). Interesting that there are more problems with it now.

I also verified that the site is down. The whois information says that it was last updated today. Interesting...

This may justify a separate blog post!

 
 
Blogger SFolega Says:  

I get a lot of my work through referrals as well. The freelance sites are good for new starters who just want to try out the water so to speak!

I agree, it does require a separate post! I will keep checking back! :D

 

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Katharine Swan is a full-time freelance writer with more than 5 years of professional writing experience. In addition to maintaining several personal blogs, she writes a variety of online marketing materials for clients, including company blogs, articles, and press releases. In her free time, she spends time with her horse, reads, and writes fiction.

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