Robbie Phoenix was hired as a sales and marketing professional on People Per Hour for a one day job to create a sponsorship plan for the London Photography Diary. Through this website, he did a decent job, completed the job in a reasonable amount of time, and seemed to put thought and effort into the work. So, I hired him for another job, another full day of work, this time to sell advertising on the sites. Instead of conducting this job through People Per Hour, Robbie asked if we could do the job outside of the site, so that he wouldn’t incur the fee that People Per Hour charges. He asked me to pay him upfront, via paypal. Normally I would not pay for a job before it was completed, nor would I hire someone outside of People Per Hour, because there is no recourse for the buyer. Part of the reason people do good work through PPH is because the buyer posts a review of their work. Just like with Airbnb, etc. a bad review can affect future work. Though I hesitated to hire Robbie again under these conditions, he did seem trustworthy so I agreed. It seems that Robbie thought that because he was paid in advance and there was no review, that he could do a poor job (or no job at all) and have no repercussions. He, however, is wrong, as this review will prove. The quality of the jobs, from paid at the end plus a review vs. prepaid with no review, has been like night and day. With payment in hand, Robbie simply did not care about the second job he did.
What transpired after paying Robbie for this day of work is that he took 1.5 months to complete 7 hours of work, he failed to prove that the work was actually done, and rather tellingly, didn’t sell one single ad on the site. I was as patient as one can be and ended up having to chase Robbie over, and over, and over again, to find out why he hadn’t started the job. His response was that he had work that was better paid that he had to concentrate on first. After chasing him for nearly a month he finally said he would start the work but that he was charging me 1.5 hours for all the time that he spent going back and forth on email.. I was being charged, for chasing him to start the job that he was so late on starting..?!
Part of the job was for Robbie to figure out how much we should sell advertising for. He touted himself as an expert and he should have been able to come up with this number. But he was unable to, after repeatedly asking him to come up with a number, based on his experience and knowledge in advertising… I mentioned there are different possible rates we could charge, like 60 pounds a month, and suggested a few more, but just as arbitrary numbers.. I am not the expert and this is why I hired him. He said that we should go with 60 pounds a month. Simply because I threw that number out there, he gave no reason as to why this is so. There was no rhyme or reason to this choice, he simply didn’t care about making an educated decision, but rather just get the job over with. At this point he said he wouldn’t be available for future work on our site (not that I offered it) because it wasn’t paid well enough. He wanted an expert’s fee but he was not able to provide an expert’s level of service.
I also asked Robbie to show proof that he had made these sales calls and emails. Via skype records, emails. He never showed any of this. In the end, he didn’t sell one single ad on the site, and given that he refused to show proof that the work had been completed, I can only believe that he never did the work.
In addition to his poor work ethic, Robbie had quite an attitude on this 2nd job. The first job he was polite and prompt..this second one he couldn’t be bothered and actually said that working on this job was ‘an ordeal’. An ordeal to be paid a very good day rate, and paid before the job had even begun. It should be noted that I paid him a very good day rate of 120 GBP for one day.
This turned out to be one of the most disappointing experiences I have had with someone that I hired. I feel like I can’t trust anyone now and will absolutely conduct work through People Per Hour, so that I have some recourse from duplicitous contractors.