A Crazy Experience With A Hired Writer - What to Do?

by Mike Montgomery 22 replies
First let me say that this person is not a Warrior and I won't mention
his name.

So here's how it's gone down:

I've used this guy to write about 60 different articles for me over
the past 5 months.

He's always delivered my articles within a few days and his prices are very reasonable.

So I decided to ask him to rewrite a PLR ebook that I have which contains about 5,000 words (I usually order 10 articles from him of 600 words each).

Anyway he told me that he could rewrite it to my specifications and it would take about three days but he would require payment first whereas he usually requires payment after the project.

The cost was around $50 so it didn't seem like a big deal to me since he's been so great in the past. I paid him through PayPal with my credit card.

I didn't hear anything from him after 7 days so I emailed him asking him how it was coming along.

He responds to me 4 days later and says he is sorry and that he is behind and that he'll have the finished project to me later that night.

Another 4 days and I haven't heard back from him and no finished project. So I email him again.

4 more days go by and nothing at all and he responds back saying that he sent it to me on the evening that he said he would and that I must not have received it.

Hmm, that's strange never had a problem with receiving his other emails and it's not in my spam folder.

So I email him and suggest that he just upload the file to one of his websites and then I can download it directly (didn't feel like arguing with him about not getting the email).

He replies about 4 days later asking me how he can upload it to my website.

I email him back and correct him and remind him that I suggested that he upload it to one of his sites.

Then 4 more days go by and nothing so I setup an account with a online secure upload service and send him my details to upload the file.

5 days go by and I've heard nothing from him. Then I send him this email:


What do I have to do to get this rewrite from you?

If you didn’t get the email where I sent you the information where you can upload it here is the info again:

I created an account with an online storage site where you can upload the file. The website is http://www.dropboks.com/. Just go there and use my login info and upload the file. (here I gave him my username and password)

I know you said you’ve finished it but that does me no good if I don’t have it. You could try sending it to me again or uploading it.

It’s now been 4 weeks since I paid you for the project that you said would take 3 days.


Then he replies back with this email:

Wow ... I shall refrain from commenting directly on your latest email. This is the first email from you with upload information that I received. It is YOUR email account that was rejecting the attachment -- not mine. I will forward the rejection emails from YOUR account which arrived SEVERAL DAYS after each sending attempt on my part.

Due to the Dem Convention, I am not in my office today but will be in tomorrow and will upload to the link you provided in this email.


I'll be suprised if he actually sends it.

UPDATE:

He swore up and down that he would have the rewrite to my
by yesterday morning. He didn't send it. I emailed him
and asked him why he didn't send it.

I told him that if I didn't have it by this afternoon at 3pm that
I would file a paypal dispute. Here was his response:

File a dispute and I will have you banned from PayPal for fraud. I can readily document that this manuscript was sent to you. My position simply will be that you have stolen this copy. Needless to say, I will prevail on any PayPal dispute. Based on your latest unprofessional conduct -- and this ridiculous proposition -- coupled with the immense amount of time I have wasted dealing with you -- I will do nothing further until the PayPal dispute is resolved in my favor ... which, if you read PayPal rules, will occur.

Frankly, I can now only conclude that you did receive the manuscript when initially sent and are merely engaging in conduct designed to steal service and intellectual property. I assure you the moment the PayPal complaint is filed I shall proceed accordingly on all legal fronts.

I never got the file and he didn't even attempt to uplaod it
to the site where I gave him the login info.

I'm assuming he's bluffing when he says that he can have me
banned from paypal but is this possible?

$50 is nothing to me and I've thought of just letting it go.

But he has been a fantasitc writer for me up until now but this is crap

In my 5 years of online marketing I've never experienced anything like this.

Any thoughts on how to handle this?
#main internet marketing discussion forum #crazy #experience #hired #writer
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  • Profile picture of the author Brad Gile
    Hey Mike,

    That is a long time to wait for your project to be completed. First, I would wait until tomorrow to see if he actually sends it to you with the forwarded emails of non delivery.

    If he doesn't send it to you I would go and get a free gmail account, because I have never had an issue receiving attachments through gmail and tell him to send to the new email.

    Obviously he's not going to use the upload service from the way it's going. Now, that's me giving him the benefit of the doubt. The other side of it is that he basically didn't get the project done and he's tagging you a long probably hoping that you get tired of forget about it.

    Brad
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Montgomery
      Originally Posted by Brad Gile View Post

      Hey Mike,

      That is a long time to wait for your project to be completed. First, I would wait until tomorrow to see if he actually sends it to you with the forwarded emails of non delivery.

      If he doesn't send it to you I would go and get a free gmail account, because I have never had an issue receiving attachments through gmail and tell him to send to the new email.

      Obviously he's not going to use the upload service from the way it's going. Now, that's me giving him the benefit of the doubt. The other side of it is that he basically didn't get the project done and he's tagging you a long probably hoping that you get tired of forget about it.

      Brad
      Like I said above I've given him my gmail address numerous times
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      • Profile picture of the author JMartin
        Well, rather than relying on email, why not get his IM or phone number? Speak to him directly and give him the info.

        Then you both know where you stand and there's no possibility for the "I didn't receive it" excuses.

        Pretty simple solution.

        If he doesn't have one of those (or doesn't want to give you one), he's not that interested in having you as a client and you should look elsewhere.

        Jason
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        • Profile picture of the author Mike Montgomery
          Originally Posted by JMartin View Post

          Well, rather than relying on email, why not get his IM or phone number? Speak to him directly and give him the info.

          Then you both know where you stand and there's no possibility for the "I didn't receive it" excuses.

          Pretty simple solution.

          If he doesn't have one of those (or doesn't want to give you one), he's not that interested in having you as a client and you should look elsewhere.

          Jason

          That's a good idea Jason. He says he's out of town right now (although he's able to reply to my emails) and can't send or upload the file.

          So I'll wait until he gets back in town (he says tomorrow) and contact him if he doesn't send it.
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        • Profile picture of the author thatgirlJ
          Hey,
          I'm not defending this other writer, he's not handling things well. However, it seems that he's run into what a lot of writers run into. In order to be competitive a lot of us (not me...anymore ) have to compete on price. He probably has to accept a LOT of jobs in order to make any kind of income on what he is charging.

          Sounds like a classic case of burn out (and poor excuses). For instance, $50 for a 5,000 word re-write is a very, very low price.

          I think he's in over his head and can't see the light and is now very stressed out.

          It is NOT your fault...it sounds like you've been very reasonable in handling things on your end. I would suggest giving him a wake up call by saying you're going to have to take your business elsewhere if things don't improve because you 1) can't handle such late delivery 2) don't appreciate the attitude.

          I hope everything works out I just wanted to say I think I know what might be happening to the writer, as I too used to charge such low prices and try to spit out work too fast. It was incredibly stressful and I couldn't keep up...no good writer can on wages that are so low.
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          • Profile picture of the author KenJ
            The guy has taken on too much work for too little money. He can't cope and has decided to mutiny for a few days for a much needed break.

            He will now start putting up his prices and trying to make a living out of his work instead of working for peanuts.

            You always get what you pay for and $50 dollars isn't enough for 5000 words rewrite

            I'm sure he will come good wiser and give you your rewrite. But next time he will charge a lot more
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          • Profile picture of the author Kay King
            Rewriting the ebook would seem to be equal to writing 10 articles - but could be he realize that isn't the case.

            Rewriting an ebook is harder because of the continuity required. If he has completed it he should be able to zip it and email it to your gmail as an attachment.

            Email problems are always a possibility. I've had times when emails simply were not delivered no matter how I tried - it can cause real frustration.

            The clear lesson is that if full payment has been made in advance - it can remove any urgency on the part of the person completing your project.

            kay
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            • Profile picture of the author TOPGUN08
              Banned
              [DELETED]
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              • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
                Well, on the "benefit of the doubt" side, I have had occasions where I've sent someone something, and a failure notice doesn't arrive until 3 days later. So, I'm thinking they've got it, and they never did. Those failure notices are often easy to overlook as some of them look like spam. (I think some spam messages are designed to look like failure notices so that you'll look at them, which gets you into the habit of overlooking those messages that look like failure notices because they look like spam.)

                But what does strike me is odd is asking for payment upfront, especially if you've had a good history of working with him.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rich Blondi
      If he's been good for you in the past, sometimes I think you need to give the benefit of the doubt or consider the 50 bucks a cost of learning not to have him do ebooks and just have it done elsewhere.

      For instance, when I have websites built I use one person in particular. They fast, good quality, good prices. Every once in a while, maybe every 10th site, it stinks. Rather than make a beef, since he's still 90% of the time good. I chalk it up as a loss and have someone else do it. Long term, I'm still way ahead of the game and have a good relationship with him that's worth something.

      I wouldn't blow a good relationship for 50 bucks. Just me. Sometimes you gotta let it go.

      But if he's generally unreliable, then find someone new. Article writers are a dime a dozen. Make that a nickle.

      How much of your time is chasing the 50 beans worth? Is it time to say F-it and have it done someplace else?
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  • Profile picture of the author Kenneth Maddux
    Scams are becoming a daily thing it is getting hard to make a honest living now days.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dana_W
    Okay, I do feel that $50 is waaay too little money for a PLR ebook, but...he's threatening to have you banned from paypal? Really, how is he going to accomplish that? I would never, ever deal with this person again. That is outrageous behavior on his part.

    But I'd also pay your writers more.
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  • Profile picture of the author angela99
    Grovel. Apologize. Tell him that you're sorry for bugging him...

    No, I'm not kidding.

    If, as you say, he's a fantastic writer, then put up with his foibles.

    Maybe he did do everything he said, and you just haven't received the attachment. Email gateways are getting weirder, so maybe he did send it.

    I've sent attachments to people which were stripped, and I've received messages too in Gmail and in Outlook where attachments didn't make it through.

    (Solution? Try Box - Box.net - Online File Storage, Internet File Sharing, Online Storage, Access Documents & Files Anywhere, Backup Data, Send Files I've been using them since they started, and they're great.)

    So maybe you're being unkind to him.

    My point: if he's a great writer, and he writes for peanuts, he's worth GOLD to you.

    If you're reading this thread and you're a writer, and you write for peanuts - don't. You'll burn out. CHARGE A REASONABLE RATE.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mac Wheeler
      Originally Posted by angela99 View Post

      If, as you say, he's a fantastic writer, then put up with his foibles.
      Well said, good writers rely on inspiration and creativity, which most cannot turn on like a tap.

      Although on the flip side, a delay of a few days or a week might be acceptable, this person has given you the run around for quite some time.

      My guess is that they have been flooded with work and are trying to catch up, one of the main problems a freelancer faces is the fact that work flow is not constant, one month might be slow, then next crazy busy, and of course, nobody wants to turn a client away.

      If you are really serious about keeping this writer, I suggest approaching them and ask if they are having problems with their work load, if they reply yes, then consider block booking them for x days a month, they work for you exclusively on these days and mark their diary time unavailable.
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      • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
        Has it occurred to you that he might be telling you the truth...that the attachments he was sending to your email address were bouncing and he was getting more and more pissed off that he was wasting so much time trying to get the file through to you.

        If his past track record was so good I think you should act on the assumption that he is telling you the truth and if you look at it that way through the whole process you've been a genuine pain in the arse.

        Having said all that even the best outsourcing staff can go off the rails.

        Move on if you know he's just trying to take advantage of you.

        Kindest regards,
        Andrew Cavanagh
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        • I'm pretty sure if he was being honest and wanted to keep a customer he would be willing to upload the file to a server for you to download. Not to mention if he says he sent it and they were returned he should know you don't have it and should be doing anything he can to get it to you.

          I mean seriously, how difficult is it to put in a user name and a password and upload a file?

          Smells fishy, I'd just switch writers as you'll find another good writer just around the corner.
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  • Profile picture of the author jamesburchill
    My 2 cents. You say this behavior is "out of character" then I would suggest you are right. That being the case, have you left yourself any room to negotiate or is it to far gone to rebuild the relationship? Bottom line, people are nuts on their best days - this guy sounds like he fell off the deep end and you happened to be in the line of fire when it happened. $50 is still $50, principles are principles, but if you had a good relationship with this writer then (perhaps) you might try the "look, something seems off here, what can I do to help?" approach. Or... not ;-) Your call.
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    • Profile picture of the author Monetize
      What Kay King said about the rewrites is my thinking also;
      it's much more difficult to rewrite a project than develop it
      from scratch. Plus it's much more time consuming because
      now you have to read the thing before you can work on it.

      I also agree that $50 was way too little to pay for a quality
      product. If money was not an issue, $250 would have been
      much more reasonable and fair - the $50 wasn't enough of
      an incentive for him to be bothered with this massive task.

      For you to threaten a PayPal chargeback over $50 (I have
      heard that this could get your own PP account flagged) it's
      not worth the hassle. Especially since he claimed he sent
      the completed project and that he had proof of such.

      IMHO this relationship has been destroyed, much too much
      resentment and ill will at this point. You will need to find
      another writer.

      As an aside, I hired a writer a while back, who indicated
      that she could complete the project in two weeks and in
      the end it took her more than two months to complete,
      but I was patient and she delivered an excellent product
      that I can use forever. I paid her in advance also. You
      can't always be in a rush with writers, developers, etc.
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      • Profile picture of the author melanied
        He can't get you banned from PayPal, he doesn't have grounds, but you won't get a refund from PayPal no matter how strong your evidence. They don't cover intangible goods.

        Actually, that's not true - sometimes a rogue reviewer will rule in your favor. But their standard party line is no coverage for intangible goods.

        (edited to add the rogue reviewer thing )
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  • Profile picture of the author LB
    You've already invested way too much time over $50.

    On the other hand, what did you expect for $50?
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