Internet Research Associates aka GuestProfessor.com / Nonpayment/underpayment
On December 13, 2006, I signed on with an Internet company calling itself “Internet Research Associates” to write articles. The fellow with whom I had all contact went by the name of Clark Covington, whom I also believe has a pseudonym of Clark Venable.
The pay for this work was very poor, $35 for [protected] word articles, but I decided to do it short term to dust off and sharpen writing skills that had been largely dormant after an extended period of time doing medical and legal transcription. I am a freelance writer and editor by trade, and have been in business for myself since 1994.
Simply put, Mr. Covington ripped me off to the tune of $136.50 for 39 articles turned in yesterday, saying he would not pay and that they were of poor quality (they were not). I have emails to support our "conversations". He also represents himself as a college professor, but I believe this is probably fake as I can find no evidence of this.
I did find evidence that he has a business, http://www.guestprofessor.com, by using an email of his to trace it, firstname.lastname@example.org. If this is indeed true, I'm doubly outraged, since he represents himself as the sole supplier of articles and charges $88 for 10 articles or $199 for 25, meaning that he pays writers to do this work at $3.50 per single article and pockets the difference.
This is incredibly greedy and unscrupulous even if it is not actually illegal. Certainly, writers should be passed the bulk of that fee with a small amount kept for costs and a small "finder's fee" percentage, but he's keeping almost two thirds of it.
What got me started on my search to get some justice for this is that I think Mr. Covington certainly owes me what we agreed should be paid as noted above, but more importantly, I want to get the word out as to what a truly greedy, controlling, unprofessional and unscrupulous individual he is. I want other freelance writers to read this and know to avoid him. Thanks very much for providing a forum to do this.