I recieved the following email from Scott Rose who gave me permission to reprint it here:
Over the past few months, I have been repeatedly duped by misleading ads placed by www.FreelanceHomeWriters.Com”
Many of the ads that duped me, I found in your newsletter.
One person connected with the company is cc-d in this message. The company is some sort of paid subscription service. It attracts people to its sign-up-and-pay page by posting varying help-wanted ads for writers.
The texts of the help-wanted ads keep changing… sometimes it might be “Article writers needed, $300,” another time “Professional writer needed,” et cetera. But the posts never state that what is being advertised is a paid subscription service of some sort, not a job and still less a writing job. For your reference, the scammers’ company’s home page is here:
I have wasted hours and hours and hours of time, crafting application/responses to this company’s help-wanted ads, only to receive in response the link to their commercial sign-up–and-pay-page.
Obviously, I am not the only victim. Today, I complained to Craig Newmark of Craigslist about this company. I let the poster cc’d in this e-mail know I was angry over having been victimized in this manner. Obviously, henceforth if I respond to one of their misleading ads, as they know who I am, they will no longer respond to me.
So, for the sake of the other recipients of your “Jobs” newsletter, I am requesting that you consider letting those other recipients know of this situation, and encourage them to report the company to Craigslist if and when it makes fraudulent posts in the future.
“Charlie” at the cc’d address sent me messages stating he never intended to deceive anybody, blah blah blah. Funny, that when I told him I wanted an e-mail message from him committing to never again posting a misleading ad, I received no answer. It is not correct to continue to let this company place misleading ads. If they want to post for their pay-to-join service, they should post clearly stating that the “opportunity” involves paying to join the service.
The freelance community should join to stop these unethical people from wasting freelancers’ time.
Sincerely, Scott Rose
Like Scott, I’ve replied to these ads and been pissed off to discover its Freelance Home Writers trying to pry some money out of me. Lord knows I don’t object to people charging for information. I’ve thought often about charging a small fee for the jobs I post here. But I do obejct to what I consider deceptive advertising – and advertising for a writer without including the fact that the goal is to get the writer to pay for the job info frosts me too.
So I did a little research and found a few complaints:
- There are a couple of resolved complaints at the Central Texas office of the BBB.
- There are also a couple of complaints at Ripoff.com (Scott turned me on to this site).
This morning I went to the Freelance Home Writers website and had this dialog as a result of clicking on their live help:
Thanks for contacting us. Please hold a moment while we route your chat to a specialist who will help you with your question: ‘Why don’t you put something that indicates you cha…’aaron has received your message and will be right with you.Please wait, connecting to server…Connected!aaron joined the room.
Anne Wayman says: 08:24:07 AM Hi Aaron
aaron says: 08:24:34 AM Hello Anne, how can I help you today?
Anne Wayman says: 08:24:52 AM Why don’t you put something that indicates you charge a fee in your ads?
aaron says: 08:25:58 AM I’m not sure why that’s the case. There is a $2.95 charge for a seven day trail and then on the 8th day, their is a $47 monthly charge
Anne Wayman says: 08:26:40 AM It’s so frustrating to respond to an ad only to receive info about how to pay you.
Anne Wayman says: 08:27:19 AM who can I talk to about how you do your ads?then we got disconnected and reconnected
aaron says: 08:29:15 AM There is no one at our customer service office to speak to about changing any of our ads
Anne Wayman says: 08:29:58 AM okay, your website has an address on it, who would I address a snail mail complaint to?fyi, I’m Anne Wayman who does the AboutFreelanceWriting.com blog.aaron left this room.