To write or not to write, this is the question; whether it be in one’s favor or to one’s disfavor.
If you love writing it is usually a pleasure for those who love to write to do so. Throughout all my years, I have had wonderful experiences doing freelance writing, editing, proofreading, and E-publishing. And I have had some terribly unfair and financially damaging experiencing, as have most of us.
Recently I experienced a situation in which I was appointed to prepare a project proposal requesting financial investment for a “buyer”, through an “agency”, one of the well-known online agencies, who I still use. The buyer sent me a template in which to draft the proposal, plus many pages of background information, but excluding the name of the organization, their precise plan, and much vital information. I familiarized myself with the template and captured the scant information that I had received and repeatedly messaged the buyer for the information I needed, but without response.
Eventually the buyer said he would Skype me with all the details, but he didn’t. In a message he asked me to invoice him for the hours I had spent on the work I had already done and to forward the partly completed proposal. This I did and I also sent him the original project plan that he had agreed to, including the hours I’d worked on the different steps in the project, i.e. drafting the project plan, understanding and modifying the template, reading all the background information, capturing the parts of the template that I could with the info I had, and all the time spent communicating with the buyer.
Ultimately, I charged for twenty-seven hours of the total thirty-eight quoted at the agreed rate of $35.00 per hour. The buyer rejected my invoice saying that all I had done was to copy and paste some information and that his boss/employer was not happy to pay me. All I got was the deposit I had originally requested, $50.00. I protested and I got the agency website involved, a great deal of communication erupted, but still to no avail. I have asked for the buyer’s boss’s name and the name of the organization so that I could take legal proceedings. Nothing received yet.
My mistake was that I originally requested only a $50.00 initial deposit in Escrow for the job, this in good faith. I should have asked for at least 50% deposit up front, which the agency said in a recent message. The agent has tried to moderate the situation, but it looks like I’m the looser. Thus, I will lose around $1,280.00 if I don’t take legal action soon, however this will cost me money and time, but in principle, this is an abomination and such a shame that people of no heart and low integrity are allowed as members of the agencies. I wish I could quote names.
Is this a common scenario among freelance writers? I haven’t experienced many as bad as this. We might just hope for good business practice and improved levels of integrity at least.
Let’s share our experiences and the solutions we may find.
Happy writing and my best wishes to everyone,
Vaughan Jones – ONE Scribe.