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Re: Just How Low Can They Go?

Community Guru
Renata S Member Since: Jun 10, 2014
1 of 29

I know the cheap client is a well-worn theme on this forum, but this one blows my mind. 

I was talking with a client today to try to figure out whether the dollar amount they listed on a fixed-price contract, $25, was a placer or not. 

It wasn't. 

What were they expecting for $25? Four hundred 15-minute samples of clear audio with 400 different British voices. I've done a contract with similar work and what this actually means is screening a lot of audio or editing it to come up with 15-minutes of clear sound per sample. The upshot is that the amount of time it takes to get 15 minutes of clear audio varies. It might sometimes take longer than 15 minutes because you may need apply noise reduction or cut out background music (there are ways to get around this a little, like speeding up the recording while you're screening it, but this can sometimes mean you compromise on quality). This doesn't take into account the amount of time you spend tracking down suitable sources. 

Even if you could achieve a 1-to-1 correspondence between the time you spent and the amount of clear audio you could reasonably come up with, this means your take home (if you didn't manage to land the generous $10 bonus) would be 25 cents an hour (before the UpWork fee is taken off, of course). Obviously, if you wanted to produce high-quality work, it would be less.  

Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention the best part of the story. I did a bit of research on the company, because the name shows up in some of the freelancer feedback (but not on the client account). I found an article from May of this year claiming that they had managed to raise $14M in Series A financing from a well-known tech giant. 

Is there a wall of shame somewhere for cow patties of this nature?
(Stronger language than I can post here was intended, so please feel free to mentally add your own.)

Community Guru
Sanja D Member Since: Dec 18, 2013
2 of 29
I thought of writing a rather long comment - but I know it will end up looking like hits * edited for community guidelines*, so I'll just say that UW in the past few months somehow managed to attract the lowest of the low - in both clients and freelancers.
Active Member
Dillon H Member Since: Feb 18, 2019
3 of 29

I'm on both sides of the fence so I see this double time. I've had Clients be like "write 50 10,000 word articles 1$ an article!" but I've also had a freelancer be like "I know we're already partway through the project, and I agreed to and understood the price, but pay me more than double the budget per milestone or I quit!" People are greedy and you just can't please everyone haha.

Ace Contributor
Sarah C Member Since: May 12, 2019
4 of 29

I saw one just yesterday that was paying $.002/word. Price non-negotiable.

Sure, I'll take $25 for 12,000 words. 

 

Now, I type 90 words a minute when I'm really cranking. Could I theoretically put down 5,000 words in an hour? I suppose. But that's typist stuff, not writing. Y'know, from my brain. 

 

I doubt there's anybody out there who could put together literate articles and keep within the $3/hour Upwork parameters but hey, that's their choice I guess. 

 

I'm cheap, but man, I'm not *that* cheap. 

Community Guru
Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
5 of 29

They're gonna wind up hiring some feckless FL who convinces them (and herself) that it's worthwhile grunt work to get a good closed contract. But she won't have done that task before. About 20% of the way along, she'll realize what she's gotten herself into. Well before it's half done, she'll demand more money and/or just bail. It will be sweet if they wind up wailing about it within earshot.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
6 of 29

I think it would be AWESOME if Upwork was like a magic wishing well where I could throw in a few coins and get anything I want.


If that was actually possible, then I would do it.

 

But it's just not possible.

 

So the client's desires, as described in the original post, are simply irrelevent. They are like a child's wish upon a star.

Community Guru
Mark F Member Since: Jul 10, 2018
7 of 29

Although the client is a problem the real problem is someone will try to get that job.  

Community Guru
Renata S Member Since: Jun 10, 2014
8 of 29

Mark F wrote:

Although the client is a problem the real problem is someone will try to get that job.  


I wish the issues associated with this one were limited to just those two. And I'm sorry, but I can't bring myself to fault people who need the money from seeking work (the people they've hired seem to come exclusively from countries outside the Europe, Canada and the US). US dollars mean something in certain parts of the world that most people in the US can't fathom.  

I've been to the company's warm, fuzzy website, where they list bios of the all of the company founders/prinicipals/board members. **Edited for Community Guidelines**

They describe themselves as "building a new, people-centered paradigm for business-critical communications."

Community Guru
Mark F Member Since: Jul 10, 2018
9 of 29

Renata S wrote:

Mark F wrote:

Although the client is a problem the real problem is someone will try to get that job.  


I wish the issues associated with this one were limited to just those two. And I'm sorry, but I can't bring myself to fault people who need the money from seeking work (the people they've hired seem to come exclusively from countries outside the Europe, Canada and the US). US dollars mean something in certain parts of the world that most people in the US can't fathom.


No, I can fathom it, I just can't relate to it.  Just like someone in those parts of the world can't relate to my monthly expenses.

 

But if the employment is a boon to those parts of the world, then what is the problem?  If people are willing to do it, and it is good money to them, then who exactly are we judging here?

Community Guru
Renata S Member Since: Jun 10, 2014
10 of 29

Mark F wrote:

But if the employment is a boon to those parts of the world, then what is the problem?  If people are willing to do it, and it is good money to them, then who exactly are we judging here?


A company with $14M in Series A funding from a US corporate tech giant that is hiring people for $3 an hour and significantly less than that (something like 25 cents and hour on the contract I was looking at). That's the main thing I'm having trouble contemplating. And the idea that they needed to get around the $3 an hour limit with a fixed-rate so that they could pay them even lower wages. 

Or, gee, is that just me? 

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