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 Post subject: Advantage Media
PostPosted: October 15th, 2011, 4:52 pm 
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Joined: October 11th, 2011, 2:29 pm
Posts: 22
The Associated Content site has a forum section where people can post about "other online writing gigs." One of their writers whom I was not familiar with posted what seemed to be a great job offer for a company called Advantage Media. I applied and was accepted. After hearing nothing, I posted about it on the forum, and the person (Mary Lamphere) posted saying she hadn't checked her email in a month, asked me to send her a PM on that site, but never replied to my PM, either. A couple of months later I received an email from Mary, asking me if I would start an assignment. The situation was: applying included a telephone interview with Mary, and getting hired required me to make a commitment to writing & submitting a specific number of articles every weekday. As I didn't know what their sites consisted of & how much research would be involved, I agreed to start with two articles per day; after I had the chance to see the sites, I said I'd be able to cover 4 articles per day, and Mary said that would be fine. Next, she asked me to get a "Google Chat" account, telling me that was her preferred way of communicating with writers. In Google Chat she told me the company has many websites so there would never be a shortage of work, and I could count on it being an ongoing, longterm position.
First, she never increased my workload as she'd agreed to do; second, she approached me and asked if I could do more in one particular week, but never sent the assignment. The big problem: while I'd agreed to do work every week day, she consistently failed to post the assignments so I could do them. When this problem continued for a number of weeks I told her I was in an unfair position-- not being able to do the work because she didn't post assignments on time-- and she responded by blatantly refusing to give me the next week's assignment at all. To make matters worse she kept my account open on the job board while denying me the work. In other words she intentionally withheld work from me that I'd agreed to do.
I took the situation to the guy in charge of the company-- and was fired. I essentially had a contract-- but as Mary insisted on having the agreements by phone and Google Chat I had no recourse. The guy in charge, Mike Esposito, never replied to my inquiries about the situation. In July, he eventually emailed me saying he would keep me posted, and that was the last I heard. I followed up with a couple of emails, but he never responded. I'm more than ticked off that Mary's incompetence cost me a good writing job, and the fact that Mike didn't see fit to do anything about it leads me to question his integrity as a businessperson.


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 Post subject: Re: Advantage Media
PostPosted: October 23rd, 2011, 1:31 am 
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Joined: October 11th, 2011, 2:29 pm
Posts: 22
post deleted by the original poster.


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 Post subject: Re: Advantage Media
PostPosted: September 13th, 2012, 10:19 pm 
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Joined: October 11th, 2011, 2:29 pm
Posts: 22
Update: more than a month ago, I received an email through this site, asking if I would remove the above comments I made last October. I did so- mainly because part of the email stated "we have weekly assignments so if you would be interested in possibly coming back on board that would also be an option that I will leave open to you." However, after I removed the comments, I was told getting more work from the company would mean either of two options: if I wanted work offered directly to me, as the original agreement stated, they'd 'let me know if something comes up;' otherwise, I could try to obtain 'team' assignments through Textbroker. Finding there was nothing listed on Textbroker I emailed about this and was told they'd 'send me a quick email' when assignments are listed. I've not received any emails since, and although I've checked Textbroker a couple of times every day there's never been anything there.

I will also add: I was told that in the past "there was no contracted agreement for work"-- first, getting the job in the first place meant agreeing to produce two articles every day from Mondays through Fridays- verbally, by phone, amounted to a contracted agreement; second, the chat comments that there'd never be a shortage of work and it would be a longterm position furthers that agreement.

Second, while the email stated they never intended to withhold work from me, the situation was: late one Tuesday night, when I still hadn't received the week's assignments (meaning I was already two days behind), I emailed to say I needed the assignments and the response was "go ahead and work on 'other projects' until further notice.' Now, with the agreement to produce articles daily, failing to receive that week's work , and then being told to go work elsewhere until further notice-- I'd say that amounts to 'intentionally withholding work.'

Third, I was told I was paid in advance for the work I did for Advantage Media. As every writer I know would take that to mean being paid before the work was completed, that statement was not true, either. When I worked for Advantage Media I was paid before their normal pay dates, after I had completed the work. I appreciate Mr. Esposito doing this-- and my sole reason for it was when I agreed to work for them, the amount of work I agreed to do and the income meant I was working for them full time, and so I had no other source of income.

I did my job as I agreed to do, while frequently being held back on work. There were times I had to double-up on work in order to complete it all by Friday deadlines, because the assignments were not provided when they should have been. Not only did I knock myself out for this company, after signing up a second time more than a month ago, I received nothing. I agree I was 'baited' with further work only to encourage me to remove the comments.


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