By in Writing

One of the many reasons I gave up freelancing

Those of you that have been on this site for a while will remember that I was once a massive fan of freelance writing, and in particular a site called oDesk. You may also remember that when oDesk merged with Elance and eventually became UpWork I had a fall out with them and decided to end my relationship with them. I later gave up freelancing completely because frankly it wasn't worth the trouble anymore and clients were starting to expect more and more work for less and sites like UpWork would always take the clients side in any dispute.

Well it turns out that UpWork never actually closed my account and the other day I received an 'invitation to interview' it was for a rubbish job, not in an area of interest of mine and for rubbish pay so I declined it. Today I received another invitation to review a product on amazon, it would get me a free product which is something I would be able to use so I thought what the heck. Payment for the job was $13 but there was no minimum word count or anything so it actually isn't a bad paid job, plus I would have the free product.

I replied to the invite saying I would be happy to write the review, this takes you to the 'interview' stage where you discuss the job with the client. He wanted to know did I have an Amazon Prime account which I do and was I based in the UK which I am but didn't ask anything about my review writing experience or 'suggest' the type of review he would like (technically clients aren't allowed to ask you to review something favourably but they usually find a way to suggest that you do). This seemed a little odd but never mind.

He then tells me I need to purchase the product for £9.99 - usual practice is that you are given a discount code for the product so that you order it but you don't pay as the discount code is for the cost price. That way Amazon show on the review that you genuinely have ordered the product. There was no talk of a discount code.

To cut the story short, he wants me to pay £9.99 for his product and get $13 back. UpWork takes their cut out of my $13 so I actually get paid $10.40 which is £8.25 leaving me £1.74 out of pocket! Now when I thought I was getting £10.40 and the free product worth £9.99 it seemed like a decent deal, but never in my life have I been asked to pay someone for the privilege of doing work for them!

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MegL wrote on January 27, 2017, 8:07 AM

Total scam! I am surprised Amazon allows that, in fact they probably don't. UpWork will have to look out, they are likely to get reported for being involved with that!

melody23 wrote on January 27, 2017, 8:29 AM

I don't know much about it because I don't do it anymore so never looked into it much but I do know that Amazon recently changed their rules regarding reviews.

melody23 wrote on January 27, 2017, 8:31 AM

My comment posted before I was done lol, what I was going to say was you used to be allowed to send people free products for review as long as they made it clear they had received the product free in exchange for a review - don't know what the new rules are now mind you

MegL wrote on January 27, 2017, 7:15 PM

I have seen reviews where the reviewer said they received the product free but they also said this was an unbiased review!

lookatdesktop wrote on January 27, 2017, 7:28 PM

I smell SCAM from where I am sitting.

Colibry21 wrote on January 28, 2017, 2:20 AM

That makes absolutely no sense. I don't know why anyone would do that.

melody23 wrote on January 28, 2017, 8:51 AM

My only conclusion is that he either didn't factor in the exchange rate, or didn't realise he was paying in USD as UpWork is an American site and both the client and myself are based in the UK, perhaps he thought he was paying £13 rather than $13? I don't know, I gave him a few hours to answer my message questioning if I would in fact be out of pocket (he was online at the time) and when he didn't respond I withdrew from the job

melody23 wrote on January 28, 2017, 8:54 AM

I wonder if he didn't factor in the exchange rate and thought I was going to pay $9.99 and get $13 instead of paying £9.99 ($7.96) and getting $13 (£10.36) which would have left a slight profit I guess. He did eventually send me a document with further information, but I had already withdrawn from the job

frankie2015 wrote on January 28, 2017, 3:28 PM

All I can say is that it was a real scam. NOBODY HAS TO PAY TO WORK except for the person who hires you.