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Thread: Beware the Block: Part 2 of 3

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    User ergo's Avatar
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    Default Beware the Block: Part 2 of 3

    Continued from Part 1.

    Here is an excerpt from a different document for requesters which explains how to use the MTurk API (application programming interface). The RUI discussed in Exhibit A is very limited, so some requesters choose to program a custom HIT processing system using the API instead. This allows them to use MTurk in a more powerful way that suits their own needs better than the RUI can.

    Exhibit B: Could we possibly be more vague?



    Take a look at that highlighted section, in particular the last line.

    What? Instead of being given a reason, they're told nothing but, "There are a variety of reasons for Requesters to prevent particular Workers from completing their HITs." That can't be right, can it?

    Exhibit C: Then why bother providing a reason at all?



    Yep, that's right. Even if the requester provides a reason, "The Worker does not see this message." It serves no purpose other than allowing "you to keep track of your Workers."

    What's worse: the requesters who use the easy but flawed RUI shown in the first image, but never read these API docs -- and many won't since they don't need all that technical information -- will never realize that what they type in the Reason box is never shown to the worker. Yeah, they may have wanted to explain themselves to you, but you'll never read it.

    That sucks. So what do I do if I feel I've been blocked unfairly or by mistake?

    First, contact the requester as soon as you realize you can't do their HITs anymore. Don't waste any time, because the longer you delay the more chance they'll forget the reason. They could keep a copy of the reason in their records, but they don't have to.

    Be polite. Explain that you were surprised at being rejected and blocked after submitting what you thought was good work. Ask them to please tell you why the work was rejected, and if it was your mistake then tell them you're sorry and you'd like to do better. Ask them if they would please consider unblocking you and giving you a chance to prove yourself again.

    If it turns out they blocked you by mistake, whether a careless error or whatever reason, ask them to please remove the block so that you can continue submitting the good work you've always enjoyed giving them.

    But what if they don't respond?

    In that case, you should contact Amazon. But be aware that Amazon may at first tell you that they can't get involved because it's a matter between you and the requester. They don't consider it their job to judge whether your block was fair. If they take that attitude, contact them again and ask for a supervisor to review your account and assess the true situation.

    If that still doesn't get you anywhere, then please write about your experience here. I am willing to contact the requester and Amazon on your behalf if you can't get anywhere on your own. I don't have any special influence with Amazon at all, and I've never been blocked as far as I know, but I'm willing to go to bat for workers regarding the issue of having more rights.

    Why is it so crucial to get blocks removed? See the answer in Part 3.
    Last edited by ergo; 02-21-2009 at 01:59 PM.

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    User Shego's Avatar
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    So my question is: Who does the responsibility rest with?
    SOMEBODY has to step up, because passing the buck simply does not work for any of us. If amazon wants to provide this type of site, then I feel that they have a moral and legal responsibility to make sure all parties are represented with fairness.

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    Default Blocked

    I've been blocked from doing the hits by
    Amazon Requester Inc.
    A31IBWUGP9F5GN

    I have not had any rejections from them that i could see and i'm very good about performing quality work. I tried fruitlessly to contact them. Now I'm waiting on a reply from Amazon support. I'll let you know what I hear back.

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    User rj007's Avatar
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    Well this the regular story.

    They make us work and when the $$$$ are hanging up in our account they block us and Amazon suspends us, taking all our money in their pocket. In other words Mturk is not any less than a BIG SCAMMER.

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    I agree ,, Now a days.. Mturk suspends account wantedly to take all our hard earned money...

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    Quote Originally Posted by vazrakar View Post
    I agree ,, Now a days.. Mturk suspends account wantedly to take all our hard earned money...
    I suggest you withdraw the earnings in your account from Mturk as soon as you can.

    I bung mine in Amazon.com everytime I see I have a non zero balance even if only a few cents.

    If you lose the Mturk account they should not be able to remove the transfered earnings from your Amazon.com voucher total, as that surely must be illegal.

    If you are one of the lucky ones allowed to have PayPal as a payment option, then even more so, no way that PayPal would let Amazon reverse the flow of money.

    Sez me anyway.

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