A Freelance Employer to Avoid: A Cautionary Tale

I wasn’t originally going to publicly out this company. I was originally going to chalk the whole experience up to a mistake, learn from it and just move on. My blog was never meant to be a place that spoke badly of anyone. But I cannot allow the risk of what happened to me happening to someone else to weigh on my conscience. So here goes…

I have recently branched out into the world of online freelance writing, registering myself on a few freelance job sites and bidding on projects with the hope of earning some extra money. It started slow, which is fine. Getting paid a tiny $20 for my first ever real job of just 250 words was the best feeling ever.

Then I was contacted by this company and promised regular daily work for $12 per 500 words. My preferred rate is $15 per 500, but I’m always willing to make exceptions if the work is regular and long-term. I was assured this was the case. They carefully explained it all to me; payments would be on the 15th and 30th of each month, $12 per 500 words, and I could work whenever I wanted. All I had to do was commit to four, 500-word articles a day, meet my deadlines and all would be fine. I accepted these terms.

Cut to now, just over two weeks later. It had been great at the start. Every morning, I would log and greet them over Skype, be sent my work for the day, complete it, get told it was good and rinse, repeat the next day. When the 30th rolled around I was told due to the CVOID-19 pandemic, payments would be delayed to the following Friday. I was fine with this and kept on working for them.

I completed every single task they set me, either at deadline or ahead of it. My work was quality, passing plagiarism checkers and spun content checkers and scoring high SEO. I was hard-working, reliable and efficient.

When that Friday arrived, I asked them about my payment. They had sent me a very basic spreadsheet to fill in to submit as an “invoice” which I did. My first red flag was there was no column for cost, only topic, keyword and word count. After completing and submitting this and providing my payment details, they went completely silent.

It’s now been three days of no responses from them and still no payment. I can see on Skype they’ve been receiving, reading and clearly ignoring my very polite messages asking them what was happening, did my payment go through all right, did they have any more work for me, etc. Today I sent them a final message, informing them of my extreme disappointment at their behaviour. That I now see their offer of regular, paid work, was not genuine. I have written more than 35,000 words for these people and not been paid a single cent.

They call themselves “Creative Content” and claim to be based in Toronto, Canada. I say “claim” because really, who knows. I am sure several of the people I spoke to did not have English as their first language. They will communicate entirely over Skype. And they will work you as hard as they can then never pay you, and ignore you when you question them, no matter how politely. Do not do any work for these people. Please learn from my mistake and don’t ever let anyone take advantage of you the way these people did me. Creative Content – definitely a freelance employer to avoid.

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