I realized I’d never thought to do a Google search on the phrase “freelance ripoff” before and was curious to see what would come up. Here are a few of the results:
The Ripoff Report is an interesting place, but the “you post it” style ripoff alerts seem vulnerable to sour grapes claims and one-sided storytelling. This seemed to be beautifully illustrated by a rebuttal page thrown up by a writer who claimed to be a victim of just such a ripoff report post. It’s not my place to say who is right or wrong in this situation, but it’s proof that there are two sides to every story. Let the researcher beware!
One link gave me laugh-out-loud yuks because of the atrocious spelling in a complaint about “Copyscaped work”. I’d have felt sorry for this poster, but they wrote “Unfortunately we paid you before the work was copescaped (sic)”. Well, way to go, genius. I don’t think they’ll be making THAT mistake again.
I also found a collection of About.com posts which I ignored as I don’t have much use for About.com. Yawn. The advice on About that I have encountered is on the level of “If you want to learn how to play the flute, try moving your fingers over the holes while you blow into the mouthpiece.”
By and large the most amazing thing I found on this search was a site called DefamationRemover.com. I stumbled across this link as part of my Google results, and I was blown away by the website’s claims to “remove negative information from the first pages of search engines and replace the bad links with positive information.” This is my opinion here, but since Google is in charge of its own algorithms, I don’t see how ANY company can guarantee removal of negative information–even if you play by Google’s rules, you’re still not in charge of the playing field. Who would actually pay for a service like this?
And there you have it. An entertaining hour spent researching ripoffs. Nothing earth-shattering, but it was definitely good for a couple of laughs.