Associated Content and my performance bonus -- I give up!

By Katharine Swan On Wednesday, September 12, 2007 At 12:17 PM

My regular readers are no doubt well aware of my beef with Associated Content. At first I couldn't get them to pay me my performance bonus, and then when they did it was short, and I had to fight with them to get the balance. The last time I posted, they had suddenly gone against everything they had told me so far, and claimed that they would only make payments once a month, even when they had skipped over someone's payment.

Seriously, how do you think your credit card company would like it if you said, "Oh, I only pay bills once a month. I guess I missed yours this time, so you'll have to wait until next month." That's pretty much what Associated Content told me. After they had already promised numerous times to fix the problem ASAP.

Now it's time to put an ending on this little story -- and it's anything but satisfying. On Monday, I received the following email from Mike Street at Associated Content (emphasis added):

Thank you for contacting us about your missing Performance Bonus payment. We will be sending it on Wednesday. We’d like to fully explain why the payment was not originally sent.

In order to remain eligible for the Performance Bonus program, you have to log in to your account once every 90 days. When you logged in on 6/5/07, it was the first time you had logged in since 2/27/06. You were actually not eligible to receive the February, March, April or May payments. We excluded you from the May payment, but you were accidentally paid for February, March and April. In light of this, we have decided to honor the May payment, too.

We appreciate your assistance in helping us identify this problem.


Just to reinforce my statement that Associated Content is ridiculously disorganized, I received yet another email from them 15 minutes later (emphasis is theirs):

Katharine:

Thank you for contacting us about your missing Performance Bonus payment. We will be sending it on Wednesday. We’d like to fully explain why the payment was not originally sent.

In order to remain eligible for the Performance Bonus program, you have to log in to your account once every 90 days. When you logged in on 6/5/07, it was the first time you had logged in since. The date is 4/27/2006, not feb 27. You were actually not eligible to receive the February, March, April or May payments. We excluded you from the May payment, but you were accidentally paid for February, March and April. In light of this, we have decided to honor the May payment, too.

We appreciate your assistance in helping us identify this problem. We are paying all the CP’s that might have been affected by this on the Sept. 12th payment date.

Interesting that this is the first time I have heard this in three months of dealing with this problem.

Actually, I did see in the performance bonus terms that you have to log in once every 90 days in order to remain eligible. However, I don't count how much time passes between logins! I assumed that since the amount was showing up on my account page, that meant I had logged in recently enough to be eligible for it.

Moreover, I was completely honest with them about not having logged in recently. The following is quoted from my initial to them regarding my performance bonus payment:

I logged onto my account today for the first time in a long time, and noticed that I have a little more than $15 in bonuses. I see from the contract that payments are made monthly, but I have no idea when that is! Also, are newly submitted articles only paid for once a month now, too?

Thanks for your time!

Sincerely,
Katharine S. Leppert

Nothing was said to me about my comment about logging in "for the first time in a long time." In fact, here is the email I received in response:

Hello Katharine,

Thanks for contacting us, and welcome back!

Payments for the performance bonus are made once a month, on the second Wednesday of every month. So, you should be receiving payment tomorrow.

We still pay initial payments every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.


As you can see, they did not say anything to indicate that I was not eligible to receive my performance bonus. In fact, they said I would be paid the very next day. (Obviously, though, I wasn't, or this whole ordeal never would have happened.)

Fast forward to today. Amazingly, I did get paid when Mike Street said I would. Amusingly, though, it was wrong. If you'll remember from the email exchange I had with Mike Street weeks ago, I was missing a $4.16 payment that they're records said they had made. Today, I received two payments: one of $3.79, and one of $4.67. Since the latter payment is for last month, I can only assume that they once again shorted my payment, this time by 37 cents ($4.16 minus $3.79).

But you know what? I give up. If Associated Content can't get it right after three months of emails, they never will. My advice to Associated Content writers is to keep tabs on your payments -- how much they are supposed to be, and how much you actually get -- and call them on any discrepancies. Even if you don't get anywhere with them, hopefully the barrage of emails from disgruntled writers will encourage them to do a better job of organizing and processing payments.

Labels:

for this post

Leave a Reply

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.

Subscribe to posts

Content copyright © 2005-2011 by Katharine Swan Leppert.
No part of the work displayed on this site may be reproduced without the author's permission.

Previous Posts