Advanced search be dismayed/disappointed and disillusioned at people taking the mickey on PPH?

(26 Posts)
Punkatheart Fri 24-Jun-11 20:04:14

For anyone who doesn't know, people per hour is a website that in theory, should work well. It ties up people with skills with people who need those skills. The client states an hourly rate or a fixed rate - you then bid for the job.

But some of the jobs and some of the pay offered is jaw-droppingly insulting. There is the batty woman (I can forgive batty) who is offering peanuts for someone writing her memoir...but the worst ones are the people offering so little for so much. £4 per hour! FFS!!

I am a writer, a proofreader and a damn good editor. I love collaborating with people on their books or motivating writers with their short stories. But I know my worth and although of course I need money, I am not desperate. I also have an illness to contend with and so I can't go out and do 'proper' work. Working 'remotely' is perfect for me. I actually do quite a lot: reviewing books and assistant editing a magazine, for example. But I am so angry about some of these clients clearly trying to exploit people.

I know I shouldn't get cross. I wouldn't take one of these low-paying jobs on principle. But I feel for the people who have no other choice, who cannot afford principles. So much expected for so little.


Tee2072 Fri 24-Jun-11 20:05:54

Is there no sort of moderation on there? I have thought about joining although I am pretty crammed with work for the minute.

Onemorning Fri 24-Jun-11 20:06:36

YANBU. There's a special circle of hell for people who rip off people desperate for work. And people who run content mills...

Punkatheart Fri 24-Jun-11 20:08:49

Judging by some of the offers, there appears to be no moderation - although bidders do make sarky comments when the client is offering small potatoes. Perhaps it self-moderates to some extent? I would like to think so.

PelvicFloor0fSteel Fri 24-Jun-11 20:10:02

How does that work with minimum wage? Surely it's illegal to offer less? Is there any way to report people who do?

Tee2072 Fri 24-Jun-11 20:11:23

I am surprised anyone takes the work on. Although I guess if you have nothing, even £4 an hour can sound good.

But I am also wondering about minimum wage.

ChristinedePizan Fri 24-Jun-11 20:14:49

The problem with pph is that it's international so £4/hr might be reasonable for some people. Also there are a lot of students hoping you'll write their essays for them for buttons. I've pretty much given up on it tbh (am in a similar line of work to you) because there is such a lot of low paying dross on there. I've been invited to pitch for work that would earn me £100 for about three days. Jog on

northerngirl41 Fri 24-Jun-11 20:54:49

The thing is if you pay £4/hour you aren't looking for a rocket scientist. Which is fine if say the job is to cut n paste 800 names and addresses or something. Even on these jobs someone who has better skills/more technical knowledge might be quicker at a higher rate - so £4/hour person might take 5 hours to do the job (job total £20) but £10/hour person might only take 1 hour (Job total £10). So it's really a false economy in most cases.

If you're looking for something a bit more substantial, you might chance it using a £4/hour copywriter once, but I guarantee you won't do it twice. You lose the initial money because what you get is rubbish, and you lose time because you then have to rebrief the job and then you have to pay the higher rate anyway.

breadandbutterfly Fri 24-Jun-11 21:01:03

It's not as bad as a lot of the ads on gumtree, which offer 'internships' or 'work experience' or worse, omit to mention until way down the small print of the ad that they can't actually afford/are too tight to actually pay anything at all. Now that really is exploitation. The thing is, PPH and all those other freelance sites employ people internationally, so if they can get someone from India or Pakistan, say, which a lot of the writing jobs do, then the £4/hr or whatever is actually a very good wage, and not exploitative at all. It's the global marketplace and global inequalities that is fundamentally to blame (plus human greed); PPH is just a symptom.

Punkatheart Fri 24-Jun-11 22:43:56

But I'm afraid some of the low-paid jobs are asking for writers from LONDON - so no, it is not looking at wages abroad. They also ask for a hell of a lot - some pretty much want you to write their book for them....

breadandbutterfly Fri 24-Jun-11 22:48:39

So don't apply. I've applied foe a (very) few jobs on there and was offered one if I'd do it for less money. I said no way. That was my choice - don't have to be exploited. Equally, I put an ad on there recently to employ someone - got a few possible answers, incl someone from Dundee offering to move down south for my job! (which is part time, reasonably well paid but temporary - no way it would be worth anyone moving! Things must be tough in Dundee!)

I suppose maybe for people starting out, this kind of stuff beats internships which are unpaid. Clearly once you've got a bit of experience under your belt you'd be a mug to do it though.

breadandbutterfly Fri 24-Jun-11 22:55:25

I do have a massive bone to pick with PPH, actually, which would put me off advising anyone to use it.

When I signed up, I ticked the box that was for privacy ie my details NOT to be available on internet search engines as i am very easily googleable - my name is unique - and I never normally use my name but rather my very common married name (which is not my name for work purposes - not officially changed my name) for facebook etc. So was absolutely horrified to do a google search for my name months later to discover they'd ignored my privacy request and all my details were up there in the public domain - potentially very damaging to me in career terms as I would not want my current employers to know I'm looking for freelance work and I would never want all my personal details, job history etc there for public view.

I phoned to complain and they said they'd call me back etc. THEY DIDN'T.

So be very, very wary if you value your privacy.

Punkatheart Fri 24-Jun-11 23:06:02

That's very bad form re the privacy, bread.

But the low paid jobs are clearly NOT for people starting out - you cannot be an beginner assistant editor, for example. They are clearly trying it on. Also, an internship has some credence on a CV - generally doing a random job on a website does not....

In bad times, the parasites and exploiters seem to appear...

Punkatheart Wed 29-Jun-11 18:37:03

Well I am having a bit of fun building up my portfolio, remembering work that I have done. It is quite a useful exercise. I have bid on two jobs but still people are taking the mickey!

Hey ho!

Flisspaps Wed 29-Jun-11 19:24:10

Despite the grievances about low pay - thank you for this post. Had been thinking about doing some admin/data entry work in the evenings/holidays but didn't know how to go about it!

MadYoungCatLady Wed 29-Jun-11 20:44:27

Not been on the site but I would imagine that this 'wage' is taxable? If so, how can they get away with paying such a low amount???

OrdinaryJo Wed 29-Jun-11 21:02:34

It's freelance Mad so they pay for services and the freelancer is then responsible for their own tax and NI. I look at it very rarely, but OP YANBU. Know your worth say I! They can trot off on a fast horse if they think I'm working for those rates <goes to find the saddle>

Punkatheart Wed 29-Jun-11 22:12:15

Good luck Fliss. Yes, know your worth.

Ah the luxury of earning enough to pay tax!! I can only dream!

Punkatheart Mon 04-Jul-11 23:31:22

Well I have just reported someone for attempted exploitation. Horrible horrible woman - her tone is so facetious. She wants to pay $1 per 500 word features....500 articles in total. Basically she is outsourcing work that she cannot (or will not) turn down from clients.

Why is this allowed on a website and not in real life?

My OH asked me if I had a job yet and I told him that no - I am a superhero, saving the vulnerable. He laughed.

HelloKlitty Tue 05-Jul-11 01:01:58

Punk, some of the writing jobs are for people who have no experience and sadly there are loads who will do a load of crappy SEO articles for 4 quid an hour.

Those dollar jobs piss me off too.

Fernier Tue 05-Jul-11 06:48:18

It is ridiculous on the plus side we get alot of work which is half done jobs started from people who bid on pph for ridiculously low money, they then either can't or won't finish the work and we end up fixing it for decent money. Like all things you get what you pay for!

wicketkeeper Tue 05-Jul-11 09:31:13

Re the minimum wage, these are short-term contract jobs for people who are essentially self-employed, so the minimum wage doesn't apply. If no-one wants these low-paid jobs, they'll have to pay more. If people want them, why should they pay more?

Abra1d Tue 05-Jul-11 09:34:46

I think they only people who can afford to do them are possibly English speakers in the sub-continent, where the cost of living is far lower.

Punkatheart Tue 05-Jul-11 18:59:02

I think it was more her tone, that 'I am university educated and so I will know if you give me sub-standard work.' Awful sweat shop mentality..

tethersend Tue 05-Jul-11 19:03:56

Welcome to capitalism wink

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