Mar 26, 2010, 07:29PM | #
I worked for Prospect Solution for nearly a year and I won't write for them again.
They were perfectly fine to me for the first few months that I was writing--I bid on nearly every brief that came to me that I was suitable for and wrote thousands of pounds worth of briefs. I wasn't a huge fan of how they do their invoicing--I think it's needlessly fiddly that the writer has to do so much work to get the information off of the site and felt their rules were a bit harsh on mistakes, but I'm detail-oriented so I never had administrative difficulties. I also never had any problems with amendments for months on end. Occasionally I had amendment requests, of course, especially for bigger papers like dissertations where the client wanted to make some tweaks, but everything was handled just fine.
But then the last couple of months I worked for them were just horrible. I don't know if they changed staff or if they changed rules, but suddenly, I was getting amendment requests constantly that they weren't happy with. There was just no support for their writer--if a client gave information on their brief that ended up not being what they wanted (there were several times when the amendment requests were clearly brought about because the client hadn't been clear to begin with), then I was the one who was penalised for the necessary amendments. Even that I could tolerate to a point--it's the nature of the business, after all.
Where I could no longer put up with their business practices, however, was when they began messing around with my online account. I had a brief that was completed more than three weeks previously jump from my Completed Briefs section back over to Works In Progress section--because the client had gotten their paper back from their tutor and wanted amendments based on the comments that came back. Never mind that this was against the rules that PS set up themselves (amendments are to be made within 7 days, completed briefs are then paid in the next invoice) or that it was unfair to take away my earned pay for that period.
I did the amendments for that brief as a courtesy, yet this sort of practice just kept happening. They would hold a brief in Works in Progress section for several weeks, rather than the posted 7 days. Amendments would go on and on, with the client requesting new things each time. When I had done several amendments on a brief and complained to them that this was over the normal period and that the amendments were outside of what was called for in the original brief, they accused me of "not liking to take criticism" and they took half the pay for the piece. They took half even though their own rules indicated that I should have taken no more than a 20% penalty--if anything--for not doing a final amendment.
They had a nasty habit of removing whole briefs from my online account while they decided what they were going to do with it. If I hadn't taken screen shots to keep track of what was supposed to be where, I have no doubt that they would have stayed quiet and let me go without payment for briefs--there was more than once that I had to write to them to ask that they put briefs back onto my account. Even after they were written and accepted!
I just got zero support from them, is the problem. They would be rude, and if called on their rudeness, they would backtrack. They would say on one hand that they respected how much quality work I had done for them, while on the other telling me that I was being unreasonable to expect a client to not be allowed to have as many free off-brief amendments as they wanted.
I'm working for another company now and the difference in writer support is incredible. I'm paid more, I'm supported through amendments, and I just feel like a valued team member. The difference in how I'm treated just makes the job a whole world better. It would take the Apocalypse for me to go back to Prospect Solution.