Turk will not protect its workers?!
I woke up to find that 65 HITs were rejected simultaneously for the same reason, by the same requester. The reason they gave was absolutely impossible due to the nature of the assignment, and they copied and pasted this reason into every single rejected HIT.
I have a done couple hundred HITs for the same requester in the past, all of which were accepted. In fact, out of thousands of HITs, I have had only one rejection, ever. It seemed to me that the requester decided to take my work, and not pay for it.
The problem is, besides losing time and money, it has severely hurt my score, and Turk is threatening my account. I wrote to Turk, and they informed me that they do not have a policy to investigate or protect their workers, but that they would take it into suggestion.
I am shocked. They claim that they do not get involved, but yet they threaten my account on behalf of a requester, and they will not look at the issue. Their suggestion to me: go talk about it on the forum. Seriously? A company like Amazon does not protect its workers, especially that we have to go on faith that we will ever be reimbursed?
Has anything similar to this ever happened to anyone else? Because I'm about to walk away from the site entirely.
Its because in the end it all comes over money.
It would cut into their profits if they had to hire people to check peoples work. Since there are hundreds of thousands of HITs done each day and a good chunk are rejected and people complain, it would be impossible to go through them all. You might have a case since you have done the same work in the past for the same guy and all of a sudden hes rejecting everything.
I once had someone do the same thing, it tanked my account and I had to start a new one and do over some of the requirements. I did about 140 HITs for this one guy that seemed to love me cause he would write me at the end of each run. Then one day he flipped. I dont know why except when I wrote him, he said that he was tired of being ripped off by everyone cause I guess someone scripted a bot and screwed him for 300 bucks. Since they auto approved at the time, he had little recourse since they did auto approve. So he went a bit nuts and went on a rejecting spree, I understand his anger but I always did good work. So it happens sometimes.
Now if I was Mturk, I would add to their current monitoring system a script that would look for requesters that would stop their account if they rejected a certain percent of a HIT they posted. Then have a investigator look into it, this would kind cut down on the work load quite a bit since instead of hundreds, thousands of workers emailing them about rip off people, they could just be like look, your going nuts with the reject button. Please tell us what you wanted from the workers, give us all their work. Then have the investigator go through and sample the work. If it is bad then the requesters money and account is reactivated. If not, take the money they put into it just pay everyone. Im sure bad requesters would think twice about screwing people. Hell they should even put a bad requester fee too. If its a prepaid debt card they might not get far cause most rip off people only put just enough to put the deposit in, but if its a bank account, let mturk charge them, if they get a over draft fee, its their own fault, they shouldnt have cheated people.
Also this has worked for me in the past, if you know damn well that you did the work right, and you have to be very sure cause it can get you in trouble legally if your wrong. I write a requester a basic little letter that goes like this.
I have done the service which you have requested to the exact specification. I log all my work and have proof that the task was done. I am working for you as a independent contractor under IRS rules and regulations. AS a independent contractor I provided you a service which was the task requested in the HIT. Since I have fulfilled my part of the contract as request, you are legally required to pay me for my services or show proof that I did not. I know that ($) is very little money to complain over, but I am inserting my right as a contractor. The US, Canada, EU, and most Asian countries have whats called a theft of services law. This law states that if you perform a service as a contractor then you lie about the work so you dont have to pay, it normally constitutes a felony in most places. You can face jail time and/or fines if you do not hold to your part of the agreement. Please reconsider the work I have done, if you still do not think that I did my job well/correct, please forward me your proof. If I have not done the work correctly I will accept you denying my work, if you cannot then I will have to notify amazon to locate you via your information or IP address. After this I will file a police report with your local law enforcement office. Again, if I did truly do the work wrong, just show me and I will apologies for any inconvenience I have caused. Thank you for your time and I hope to hear from you soon.
P.S I understand that since you rejected my work, you can send my payment through Amazon payments or Paypal by sending a payment to my email account which is....
I works about 60% of the time since most requesters are in the US, Canada, or a EU country. They get scared shitless and send you a payment, most of the time i get a bonus too. Thou the laws are correct and you could get them on the theft of services, it would be too much to actually pursue it, thou the requester doesnt know that.
Hopes that helps,
I don't see why amazon won't put in a qualification test to see if you're a human before you do ANY hits in the first place. That way requesters don't get screwed and people don't get screwed by requesters using other turkers to match your answers. Additionally, since Amazon is so great at product reviews there should be public turker reviews for all requesters.. If a company gets a bad rep and can't do business with amazon anymore the worst thing they can do is hire some minimum wage humans to do the work for fair pay instead of using online slave labor.
no, most requesters have those prepaid debt card things to pay for hits, if they get banned, then they just use another name and credit card, normally they can even use the same name, mturk doesn't check for names, just makes sure the bank/card numbers are not the same. There is a public turker review board, if you use firefox you can download an addon called turkopticon, you make a account with them. When you load a mturk page listing, it shows an arrow either blue or red, if its red then you can hover over it and check their score. If it is blue, it doesnt mean its safe, just no one has done work or graded it yet. If its spammy, its a tip off that it will rip you off. Again I think the way it works is if a requester gets marked for bad work enough times, they cancel that account and take any money in their account, same for workers. So amazon gets money for allowing the spammers. I know they should filter requesters out more, they just want to make money. They could also have like a verified system on paypal. They have to provide a SSN, DL, and other information to show that they are real, then once they post and show they pay, it would have a little star next to the name or something showing the status. Then workers know who is for real and who just wants to screw them. FYI, most of these hits come from outside the country most of the time, so there is no min wage in some of the countries
Thanks you so much for your extensive reply. I have tried to contact them again along the "legal path" you suggested. I will let you know if they actually respond, as this is my fourth attempt to get get any sort of reply.
Anna, hope your problem get solved. Please post your experience at Turkopticon .. it will help other workers.
Last edited by sonica; 07-10-2010 at 02:33 AM.