17 Feb 2015

PeoplePerHour Feedback - A Freelancer's Honest Perspective

Be careful what you wish for…

I knew there was a reason I'd took my foot off the gas with PeoplePerHour. It wasn't until I saw how much they'd deducted for their fee on a recent invoice that I remembered.

On its own, the fee would have been palatable. Well, just. But you know what we human beans are like. Give us the nook of a negative and we'll will turn a drama into a crisis.

PPH Feedback Survey 2 out of 10

But, to be fair, PPH are their own worst enemies. They used to work with a straight 5-star review system. Great. Everyone knows what that means.

Then they changed it to a CERT system, which featured the freelance site's top workers (for the clients). Those in the top 100 didn't like it, justifiably so. It was unfair.

What's this? They decided to change it. Yay! Oh, hang on tick. Instead of doing the right thing, they've decided to add another filter.

The feedback for the 'upward' rise in PPH quality tells its own negative tale.

The rough side of the freelance fence: it exists

I don't want you to think I'm just jumping on the bandwagon, here. I've had two God-awful experiences on PPH of my own.

The first was a non-English speaking client who wanted help to arrange interviews and do his press. I quoted, we had a week's worth of (unpaid) dialogue, and he accepted my proposal.

Done the first week's work, as asked. Submitted the invoice and never heard from the fella again. Could PPH Support help? No. All they could do was release the deposit in Escrow and I could go whistle for the rest.

A similar thing happened with a fitness site in Bristol. Quoted, lots of toing and froing, sample approved. Submitted the work, but the client rejected it. "Wasn't what she was looking for". A leg to stand on? None.

There are serious problems at PPH. Yes, there are a few people who use PPH for their entire customer base and they seem to be doing okay. But for the majority, as a digital freelance agency, PPH just does not work.

freelancer 1200 dollar hole in pocklet

All the responsibility to deliver is on the freelancer, or 'seller'. That's even when many of the rates offered are pathetic and/or instruction even worse. PPH absolves the buyer, or client, of any responsibility, financial or otherwise.

The verdict: Guilty! PPH exists to serve clients, NOT freelancers

As all of PPH's fees come out of the freelancer's pocket, doesn't it seem a little like biting the hand that feeds you? Anyway, here's my feedback, based on their question:

How likely are you to recommend Peopleperhour to a friend?

There are several reasons why I gave PPH such a low feedback score.

  1. You really have to be a power user to make the fees PPH charges justifiable. £98.40 received from an invoice of £120 is shocking, especially when you have to pay tax on top;
  2. Many of the jobs offered are laughable; little description, miserably low rates and no vetting of 'comments' by admin to stop those who've run out of credits having a punt for free;
    • 3 x rotten PPH jobs
  3. The "Why People Per Hour" overview on the Home Page - it says it all. All the reasons anyone would want to use PPH are biased towards the client. This should be no surprise, as that's how the rating system leans: plenty of ways to 'punish' the freelancer, but none to take clients to task;
  4. The filters on the 'suggested' jobs are woeful. They must be made to meet more criteria before filling your freelancers' inboxes with inappropriate content, tantamount to spam;
  5. The rating system???? 5 Stars is a universal ranking system; it's not broken.
  6. 48 hours for payment from withdrawal, with the caveat that it may take longer depending upon your bank? Sorry, that's utter bull and you know it. What age are we living in? Pre-decimalisation?
  7. Google+ community - I've asked questions direct on G+ in your community and never so much has had an acknowledgement from you guys. And, yes, communities and notifications do work. I own the Freelancer Plus G+ community, the ezine and Tumblog of the same name and have 22,000 personal profile followers. Your lack of visibility in this day and age is, quite frankly, unforgivable;
  8. And I know you know all this, which is what makes it worse. A lot of the above, although it's all from bitter experience, mirrors what other freelancers have written in response to recent blog posts.

Tell me, where's the link to the blog on the PPH home page? Oh, yeah - it's not there, is it?

Anyone would think you've got something to hide. Your head in the sand shouldn't be it.
Thanks for the opportunity,
Jason Darrell

PPH Feedback

March 30th, 2015 - update (another moan)

One word struck me about PeoplePerHour today: cheap. Not their fees. Their attitude.

I was expecting a payment from a client, but waited to log in. I'd sent the invoice the weekend and, because of their previous prompt payment, guessed they'd pay this morning.

They, the client, did pay, as expected, at 11:18am. As I write this update, it's 22:35 in the evening and I've just logged in to see the payment there.

Given PPH's propensity to send an e-mail at the drop of a hat, did they email me to tell me that the funds had arrived?

Hell, No!

I'm so not surprised. It's like everything else - they're only in it for what they can get out of it. By 'it', I mean us, the freelance workforce.

Send us tons of emails about the amount of ill-matched jobs they're desperately trying to match to freelancers, why don't you? But Heaven forbid you alert us when something as critical as our money hitting our wallet happens. PPH, #yousuck!