Hi there, my name is Lisa and for the past four months I had been working as an academic writer for a firm called The Paper Experts.com which supply custom written papers. I know it is not a very noble part of the writing field, but I wanted time to sit at home and finish my book and home school my child and this was the only way i could write regularly and get paid. I was also working for a really great firm called Doctortext, that are really good because you can pick and choose the assignments you want to complete. The only reason I signed up to Paper Experts is because they were paying $8 per page flat rate, and i really needed the money.
However over the late October November period (2003) paper experts were sending me paper after paper until I was expected to do the best part of 50 pages A DAY. I was working 14 - 16 hours a day trying to cope, but as Paper experts assign the work, I felt I had to do it. They were even ringing me on my cell phone from Canada (where they are based) asking me if I could squeeze in this paper and that one, and eventually I collapsed and spent two days in hospital.
When I got out it was to find that i had been fired for not completing the jobs on my assignment list. So I wrote and asked if they could send me the $2460 they owed me for the previous two weeks work (that is how busy i had been) and they said no, but a few days later, I got a check in the mail for just over $2,000 which i duly wrote and thanked them for and banked. Imagine my horror when my bank rang me just after New Year to tell me the check had been stopped and as i live in NZ and are subject to exchange rates i owed my bank money for refunding the check to the states (canandian banknning through USA).
i want to sue them for my money, but i can't. I live in NZ on a really limited income. I wrote and told them that they were breaking the law by 'selling' my papers to their clients without paying me, but I don't have a contract, only email communication and no way of reaching the customers who now have my (copyrighted) papers. paper experts have not bothered to reply.
That check in NZ dollars was worth over $3000 to me. It was going to pay our household expenses for two months this year, and now I am frantically scouring the net looking for more work. I wasn't going to post this as i was afraid if someone from Doctortext saw this, maybe I could loose my job there, but I know that they are a great site to work for, and that I have not breached any ethical laws here. I have just been really stupid working without a contract.
Why I am posting this is because I know I am not the only writer who takes academic work to help pay the bills as they try to finish their own creative efforts. Please be warned about Paper Experts - you only need to make one mistake with them, to have all the hard work you have done for them disregarded. Get a contract if you are working for a firm - Doctortext is good like that, all the writers have a contract. But don't be blinded by the few extra dollars per page as i was - get a cast iron contract before delivering any goods at all.
If anyone else has had similar experiences i am happy to converse with them off line, especially if they know what I could do about getting my money back, or perhaps you may know of similar academic sites that are actively looking for writers?
This has been a wake up call for me in 2004 - I don't want to see anyone else get in the same position.
Happy New Year to You all