Ripped Off For $2/Article?!

I took a writing job last week with a newer company that wasn’t paying much, $2 an article, but to me every penny counts. That’s a week’s worth of school lunches for me. I’d searched the boards and found nothing negative, so I figured they were reliable.

Anyway, I was assigned five articles on Saturday and understood they had to be turned in on Monday. Which was fine, I got them done in plenty of time.

On Tuesday there was an email stating that the articles were no good. The client wanted to go in a different direction so now they wanted six or seven articles on each of the five topics. So this would have been 30 to 35 articles, and I didn’t have time for that many. I told him so.

His response was that I was turning down this assignment after agreeing to do it. My stance is that changing the assignment from 5 articles to 30 to 35 articles is not legit. It is an entirely different assignment. I turned it down and did not expect to get paid, though I can’t say I’m happy about doing the work and then being told they were not good enough because they decided to go in a different direction. Overall, it’s not worth the $10 to deal with him any longer.

Last night, I searched Google and found that he had posted one of my articles on his website. I did post a comment about this at Freelancewriters and just stated that some should watch for that if they opt to write for him and what happened to me–that he’d posted the article without paying me and that I was awaiting his word on why he’d posted it and that I wanted it taken down.

Half an hour ago, he sent me an email saying he posts all reviews to check for plagiarism. I checked and he has taken it down, so I posted so on the forums that he had taken the review down after I emailed him. His email took a slightly threatening tone saying that I had not made a wise move by posting about his company and that I reneged on doing the assignment, so it is all on my head, not his.

My question in this case refers to line #1 of the contract to which he was referring to the assignment I’m sure. My stance is that since he changed the assignment, I had every right to refuse it. Now that he’s sent a slightly threatening email, I’d like to make sure that I am right. I figure you might have the answer.

You’re right. He’s wrong. And, he’s a jerk.

Ignore his future emails and don’t worry about what you posted. It was the truth and, honestly, other writers need to know about this company.

And, while it’s not worth the $10 to pursue him, he should have paid you for the articles because you did the work per the assignment. It’s not your fault the client changed their mind.

In the future, please don’t offer to write articles for $2 each. Only jerks offer those types of wages and they then typically treat writers the way you were treated.