If you recall last year I obtained writing work with Oxbridge Research, also known as WriteRighteam.com. I was a bit dubious but I felt it was worth the risk to see how this aspect on eWriting worked, firsthand. After a lot of waiting and asking again and again I received a payment of $175, then after several more months and lots of messing about, $200. I have been promised $400 more, which includes bonuses and there was also an offer of employment on $2,000 a month. This was amongst the many emails blaming the problem on SWREG, a payment processor. I contacted them and found they had a very different version of events every time.
I can’t be bothered going into details. Suffice to say I got sick of waiting since the last promised deadline fell weeks ago and there was no reply to my emails at last. I had actually been telephoned on a couple of occasions by one of the business owners, who swore I would be paid and this and that and by this date etc.
I don’t know what happened. I do know their software is unreliable, I had access to other writer’s PayPal account details when I first signed on, I wonder if anyone had access to mine. I could see how much they had earned and what their PayPal account name was, but not if they had been paid the money they had earned. I know my account shows I have been paid for every job and that was the case long before the first dollar got through.
Either they are shonks or just shonky. My advice is to stay away from these firms and if you wish to write model essays for students to use as guides as to how to write their own papers, do it freelance. Get paid half up front and caveat emptor.
UPDATE April 2012: After posting about this on a forum regularly used by the owner of the business I can say without doubt I am not the only writer ripped off by Hala Khalek, several others have reported her owing them far more than the $50 I calculate is still outstanding. One writer is owed $1,750 and another actually partnered up with her and is claiming $200,000 was promised by this con artist.
One of her tactics is to heap effusive praise on the writer and claim they are the greatest writer she has had the privilege of working with and is so grateful she has bought iPads for all your kids! I kid you not. Stay away from essay writing is my best advice. Because of the grey area of what the client does with their model essay (that is they hand it in as their own work instead of using it to help draft their own original essay) this industry will always attract shady characters. It is difficult to complain to any official if you have taken the model essay and used it as your own against the rules of the university. As a writer, while we merely write to order and I feel are not responsible for how our writing is used by the client one is on shaky moral ground when the middleman essay company rips you off. It is this facet that the con artists manipulate to their advantage with neither end able to effectively take action against them.
There are far more genuine and paying opportunities for writers. For a complete list and regular updates of vetted opportunities, write to email@example.com and tell Julie you found out about her $7 list of nearly 100 vetted writing sites here.
UPDATE II April 2012: After I posted that I forgave her on that essayscam.org site, I awoke the other morning to find $46 deposited in my PayPal account from her company. Seems you do catch more flies with honey than vinegar. I now consider the matter closed but of course, this doesn’t change the events as reported here. I just hope those owed more than me get their money too.