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Despicable farmers posing as clients (rant warning)

rinor85
Active Member
Rinor R Member Since: Jul 23, 2017
1 of 8

I just have to go for a rant a little bit. 

 

I am a freelance transcriber and I'm very sorry to say that there is very little genuine jobs to be had here on Upwork. I'm talking about real jobs from real clients with real work to do.

 

Plenty of times I send my proposal for a job and presto, the client is actually a transcriber too. All I have to do is highlight their names and paste it on the search bar for freelancers. And he/she had the gall to describe him/herself as a 10+ plus years of experience professional honest integrity blah blah blah, while he/she farms out her work instead of doing it themselves. 

 

If you are so good at it why don't you do it yourself you **Edited for Community Guidelines**? Sorry for this, gotta let it out my chest. 

 

It's basically like they create an agency described as a 'team' without any team members with their names and profiles specified, and they just pepper away buzzwords over how professional and excellent they are blah blah blah and **Edited for Community Guidelines** clients get suckered in as they think ooooh agency = pros, and right under their noses these agencies then proceed to post the job right back on Upwork and pay someone else to do it. They get the money and the excellent review for doing nothing and the subcontracted bottom of the rung freelancer gets what's best a generic review without any real connection gained between him and the genuine clients.

 

Every time I get a proposal reply back from someone who is actually a transcriber I just delete the proposal. If they try to pull off that free sample crap at me, all the better. Gave me the justification to report them too for violating the Upwork TOS.

 

Advice to all genuine clients out there - always be skeptical. Those top-rated wannabe professional/plenty of years experience freelancers you see are often farmers - especially if they demand high prices from you for their work. ALWAYS insist on an hourly priced contract if you hire them. That way they can't BS you by saying they are pros and then give their work to someone else to do it for them. 

jasmineclover
Active Member
Jasmine C Member Since: Apr 11, 2017
2 of 8

I feel your frustration. These 'pro agencies' are paid good amount then they repost the jobs on Upwork for less cash. It's just sad Smiley SadSmiley Sad

wtrabex
Ace Contributor
Winter T Member Since: May 11, 2016
3 of 8

I insist on being paid well because I've been doing the same job for four years or so now. I'm very experienced, and highly qualified for my field.

 

But, for whatever reason, clients just don't care. Many of them I've seen are out for bottom-of-the-barrel talent. They don't want to pay well because they don't understand how to make money from what they're paying for.

 

So the reality for me is, I don't think I can be on Upwork anymore. The deceptive practices, fraud, and just outright time-wasting is rampant. There are good clients out there, but they're in the minority.

rinor85
Active Member
Rinor R Member Since: Jul 23, 2017
4 of 8

If a client is demanding an absurdly low bid from freelancers then that's one big red flag of the client actually just being a subcontractor posing as one, at least that's for me. He wants a low bid because he didn't want to have his slice of the pie cut too much from the bid given to his client.

 

This might not neccessarily the case but if there's a project, say, about transcribing an interview done in Korean and the client's country is shown to be from Kenya, you know something absolutely fishy is going on. How and why would a Kenyan have his hands on an interview in Korean unless......oh, obviously. He got it from his Korean client and after conning him into thinking he can do it, he then immediately opens a job on Upwork and gives it to someone else. 

 

That's also the unrealistic deadlines - another red flag though to a lesser degree. Clients do demand rush jobs sometimes but subcontractors usually promise the sun and the moon to the clients with their ingenuine proposals and then waste plenty of time reposting the job back on Upwork (or if they wanna hide, on other freelancing platforms), waiting for proposals, interviewing other freelancers, giving BS free tests, interviewing again, then hiring, then before they know it they were already running out of time and the poor sod they just subcontracted to had just got started working! 

 

Also there's the irrelevant requirements coming from someone who has actually never worked in the business. Native speakers only? Dude, I am Malaysian and I transcribed videos featuring Japanese speakers, Dutch, Indonesian, French, even Chinese and Singaporeans with their notoriety of having the funnies of accents. Do you seriously think you need to hire an Indian to transcribe for Indian speakers, an American to transcribe for American speakers, a Canadian to transcribe for Canadian speakers? 100 percent accuracy? Nope. There is always a few margins of error due to speech disfluencies and human error and clients actually do not need a 100 percent perfect transcript for their research as far as my own experience can tell. They are perfectly happy with 99% accurate transcripts that I deliver to them.

 

Of course last but not least......foot pedals required. Dude, it's 2017. 

tlsanders
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
5 of 8

@Winter T wrote:

I insist on being paid well

 

You know we can see your profile, right? You definitely SHOULD insist on being paid well, but that's not reflected in your work history here.

 

because I've been doing the same job for four years or so now. I'm very experienced, and highly qualified for my field.

 

Four years is slightly beyond entry level, but certainly not what most clients would consider "very experienced."  I've got 29 years of professional writing experience (and at least ten of near-daily writing before that), and I can definitely tell you that my writing has improved dramatically from when I was only a few years in...or ten years in. The same is true of most of my colleagues, and is even obvious in the published work of successful authors and journalists. 

 

But, for whatever reason, clients just don't care. Many of them I've seen are out for bottom-of-the-barrel talent. They don't want to pay well because they don't understand how to make money from what they're paying for.

 

It's because you choose to write fiction, and the fiction-for-hire market is very specific. There are book packagers who pay well for ghostwritten fiction, but those opportunities are few and far between and generally go to people who are well connected and have a lot more than four years of experience. 

 

Most of the market is made up of cottage "publishers" who make money by making a small profit on each of hundreds of books. No individual book generates enough profit to allow these "publishers" to pay well for the manuscript. 

 

So the reality for me is, I don't think I can be on Upwork anymore. The deceptive practices, fraud, and just outright time-wasting is rampant. There are good clients out there, but they're in the minority.

 

In your field, this is absolutely true. I will be surprised if you find a better source of this type of work, but you could make more money by writing these novels under your own name and self-publishing through Amazon. It would take some time, but having multiple titles listed boosts sales--a person with five books listed will typically see far more than five times the sales he would have with one listed. 

 

If you can crank out novels, you can easily take advantage of the same system your clients are using, but keep all of the profit for yourself.


 

lysis10
Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
6 of 8

lol same in IT/development. These people calling themselves senior level programmers or "exparts." It takes at least 10 years to call yourself senior level or an expert. Anyone who actually has that many years can smell the frauds a mile away. 

 

You can't fake real experience because there is no book or college course you can take to compensate for seeing the crazy things you see at around 2am when the company is losing thousands and  you and your team is banging your head on a desk cuz you can't figure it out. You can identify these people from the ones that took a udemy class so easily when you've been through it. I figure it's why most of these exparts come here complaining that they can't find work.

tlsanders
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
7 of 8

Deleted - duplicate post.

lysis10
Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
8 of 8

lol yeah they really are scumbags. I ran into one from Elance a month or two ago. I didn't know she was a farmer but she and i bid on some of the same projects back on Elance. I thought she did her own work but I was wrong. She did the typical Elance farmer song and dance. First tried to get me to work without a contract. I bid $350 and once I saw what she wanted me to write, there was no way her client was paying that much for an article so I could see she was trying to get me to work for free. At that point I was just messing with her cuz I could see her game. So then she sends me an offer for $35/hour and said I could work 10 hours. LOL 

 

They always try to get out of paying you and get free work, so stay far far away. They are scumbags.

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