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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 08-07-2016, 09:13 AM
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Default Calling All James Innes CV Writers

Hello all
I've read quite a few of the complaints about the company and have to say that my experience has been the same.
When the company didn't pay me after the first payment due date, I went for the jugular and told Katy Wilson that things would get really ugly if payment wasn't made to my account. The full payment for the month due arrived in less than an hour. But it must be noted that I was first given the standard excuses of 'out of my hands' 'will send a request to finance team' and so on. I didn't let up and continued bombarding Katy Wilson with demands for the finance team details. I got the money as I said, within hours of being belligerent and threatening to go for the jugular-
The issue of the minimum of 25 CVs per month is tied to the stated statistic that experienced CV writers take half an hour, so novice writers should take around 45 minutes to complete a CV. There is no reference in the contract to the fact that the writer is expected to write and rewrite the CV for a period of 3 months once the final draft has been approved. On one reallocation (my first order) the client kept insisting on changes and I tallied up that her CV took me the sum total of 37.5 hours. In addition I had to do a graphic design on the border and header- no payment, and I was sent a template by Katy Wilson the managing editor, which didn't fit with what the client wanted hence I had to do the design myself.
I am now awaiting the second payment, and again the company is late in paying. Payment deadline (first week of the month following the first 30days after the order's been approved) was today and there's no sign of notification of payment. So I have begun making the plans to show this company that free labour is not their right in the market place.
If you do a Google search for the Mail and Guardian (2005) a certain Lucy Jolin did a piece on the company- so I have begun my approach towards broadcasting this company's malfeasance and outrageously offensive arrogance in assuming that they can use freelancers without payment because going backwards and forwards to get monies due ends up taking up more time than any free lancer can afford to waste.
I also suspect that the company has a long history of not paying the writers and that it has come to be a company that employs writers on a daily basis, so with the restrictions ( payment threshold of a hundred pounds or dollars, depending if your in the States or in a former common wealth country, the 30 day wait period, and the period of waiting after and including the first week when payment is due) the company is able to get free labour from free lancers for a period of perhaps two or three months at a time for any given writer.

Thus I am asking you all to align with me and to broadcast your experiences and find more free lancers who have been ripped off by the company because I am putting together a dossier for BBC World have your say, as well as The Mail and Guardian, and all South African Journalists that I know, as well as contacts within the industry who work for global news channels worldwide.

If you take a look at the website you will note that James Innes is presented as an upright and truly moral individual, a pillar of society with the best of English private school education and a philanthropist who gives 10 per cent of all proceedings to charity.
I suspect this is a sham and that the company has just created a very good facade for the business world- but an in depth article or news feature will reveal the truth of this notion that I have of the company.

So please everybody get in touch with me because if the BBC or Mail and Guardian don't want to do a story on this global charlatan of the world, I will petition them with all your assistance and will not stop until the James Innes Group is exposed for its foul business practices. I have enabled the forum so that I receive your emails.

Every self-respecting writer should join this movement because the practice of not paying free lance writers leaves me feeling sick to the stomach.

On a final note I have sent a tweet to the journalist who did the story on James Innes in 05 a question about her feelings about not being paid or being paid late for work done. So if you want to join the campaign then send her a tweet (Lucy Jolin- easy to find on Twitter) asking about her feelings on the matter. I am sure that with enough of a deluge from angry writers who are manipulated out of the money they're owed will be enough to convince her to do a follow up story on the James Innes Group.

regards

Last edited by WriteratJamesInnes; 08-13-2016 at 05:09 AM. Reason: spelling
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 08-07-2016, 09:18 AM
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Default James Innes Non-Payment Business Model

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogdragon View Post
Yes you are right about the evasive contract. It states "paid at the appropriate time" which gives the company license to pay whenever they want.

Incidentally I wrote to one of the managers, the one who I mostly dealt with (KW), and mentioned I was considering legal action. I was paid quickly after that and received very apologetic emails back. I wasn't fired but payment did not follow easily the next month.

One more thing, I decided to stop writing for a month in the late spring to see what happened. With no orders completed I received no correspondence from JI group relating to my break. Since then I have started writing again and the emails from them have picked up asking for assistance once more. I feel they really need us writers as we keep the business engine running.

I didn't know they are Swiss based.
I'm GB based. Anyone else?
Hi there
I am new to this forum- came to it with a specific purpose in mind- to find other writers who have experienced maltreatment at the hands of this charlatan operation James Innes- please see my post- I've posted it today, it's on the third page - I am taking action, not legal at this time though civil action and public shaming is my intended outcome. Please join me and let's get rid of the charlatans and philistines who feel entitled to better-than-sweat-shop- conditions for their writers
regards

Last edited by WriteratJamesInnes; 08-13-2016 at 05:10 AM. Reason: spelling
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 08-07-2016, 01:24 PM
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They charge their clients immediately when placing CV/ resume orders but take months to pay writers. I wonder where they take the money to. I have an account with them but I've never bothered to write after reading the reviews. Most companies I write for offer weekly or bi-weekly payments. A few monthly and on time.
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 08-07-2016, 01:42 PM
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Default reedfanuel

Hi there Reedfanuel
Yes, they charge their clients upfront- but my sense is that it's not a question of where the money goes to, rather it's feels to me more like their standard business model. They probably have a turn around of writers every two to three months, and so they appear to have cut down on the costs of running their business by eliminating payments to writers. That's my view, and at any point going further my view will either be verified or proven incorrect.

It is very hard for me to accept that they are having financial difficulty when all the complaints from writers are exactly the same which is why I believe it's their business model. I imagine most writers get fed up of having to follow up on payment issues because Katy Wilson sends emails about her hands being tied and apparently isn't permitted to allow the writers access to the 'finance team'.

So most writers probably just cut their losses and move on, but this guy James Innes has been in this business since 98- it's a long time to run a business based on writing and not pay your writers- there's got to be a groundswell of writers out there who have been duped by this business, if as I suspect, their business model is as I have described.

The good thing is that there has been an article written about the guy - and that the company (his face is the image of the company too- so he's a brand) is well profiled on social media. Social media networking can be a double-edged sword. The great thing about the internet and massive social action is that when coordinated through social media channels charlatans who assume entitled to free stuff - even the labour of others- everything they've put out there can come to bite them not only in the rear end, but full frontal.

I have been digging to find out how to ascertain whether he does in fact donate to charities, but have not yet found the right channels, but will be speaking to a few people I know in the NGO environments to see what information is available to either confirm or deny the claim. Like I say, it is my sense that this person has set up a business on the backs of people who work hard for every penny. And the thought of such a business model makes most people sick to the stomach- so I think there's enough traction for a really good story.
regards
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 08-08-2016, 12:47 AM
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Default

Hey Guys,

I have had bad experiences with these guys too. After some months of hard work they keep making excuses of not paying. Let's nail them! Thanks Desiree Im with you
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 08-08-2016, 01:01 AM
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Default Fantastic

Excellent! I am in the process of collecting as much information as I can including all the possible outlets for a story on these characters at James Innes- so I will keep you updated.

regards
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 08-08-2016, 03:25 AM
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Default James Innes Group No-payment Business Model

Hi All

I have begun civil action against the company because they have writers globally, and they're doing the same to every writer it would seem. I've posted a lengthy description of my experience and my intention to expose their bad business model and foul ethic.

I just want to say that they're based in Switzerland, in terms of their business registration but I believe they have offices all over the globe- there's a website in the States, in South Africa and I believe the operations - main operations office- is in the UK.

Not withstanding where they are located, their practice is illegal no matter how it's sliced and diced. There are enough international organisations that cover worker rights, and Switzerland I believe have pretty strong labour rights in place- countries all have trade agreements and so no matter where their business is registered they still fall under international laws and the laws governing the countries where their workers live.

I am doing the research, contacting people and so please keep coming back to the forum for updates.

As stated in my first thread, I found a Mail and Guardian article done on the company and I have contacted the journalist - I am in the process of alerting her to this situation since she too, is one of us- a free lance writer. It would be a very good follow up story. I am also contacting various journos locally (SA) and I have good list of contacts in global broadcasting so I am preparing the proposals- including for the BBC.

regards
Desiree
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 08-08-2016, 05:18 AM
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Hi all

I've been actively contacting the British press and have indicated to them our discontent, and since James Innes employs people across the globe, and our experiences are the same- I suggest that we take the matter further with the State Attorney Generals of every state of residence for every writer- I am doing likewise here in South Africa.

I have made contact with the journalist who did the story on the company in 05, and my expectation is she'll do a follow up story- however I've not heard back since I sent her the information so I have begun contacting other newspapers and television outlets- I've provided a link to this forum so that they can see for themselves how the company's business ethic is nothing short of foul and worse than the sweat-shop stories of the 90s.

In addition I am putting together a media campaign to alert all writers about the James Innes operation. It doesn't end here. I will post details of the campaign and updates from whichever news office decides to do the story. It's a great story - little ants bringing down the elephant.

It might be possible through US laws to bring a class action law suit against them- any US citizens know about possible avenues to initiate such a global movement, we might set a precedent for the future since American law is quite admirable and definitely forceful when it comes to such issues.

If you have any additional information to share please post it, I've got my email notifications turned on and I'm ready to begin this process because it's got to be stopped.

regards
Desiree
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 08-08-2016, 05:37 AM
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dee1988 View Post
Hi.The contract we signed for them is very evasive.Not sure what we can do.I joined in 2015 and had multiple delays but eventually got paid each time.Taking legal action might help but it will also mean we can kiss goodbye this job so I advise anyone out here to first find a job and then do something drastic in order to get their payments.
Hi there Dee 1988
I trust you are well? The fact that they know that we are reluctant to put up a fight because it will cost us the work, is why they do what they do.

The contract I signed wasn't evasive, it wasn't comprehensive either- but I had problems with payment from the get-go, and again I am experiencing the same problems. Unlike the first payment (currently fighting for 2nd payment) I got paid, however Katy Wilson has totally ignored all my emails. I have an uncanny sense of knowing what this means.

hope to touch base with you soon
kind regards
Desiree or WriteratJamesInnes
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Old 08-08-2016, 05:50 AM
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Default re: the company quote

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogdragon View Post
Hi
I've been reading this forum with interest..
I joined James Innes in late 2015 and competed approx 20 - 25 orders a month. I didn't get paid until March 2016. I feel the only way I got paid was to send and maintain consistent complaint emails and I seriously considered consulting the CAB or a solicitor's office. Eventually I was paid for some work, but not all of it. It is now July and I am noticing similar trends in withholding payment.

I wanted to ask the forum if everyone has had an email form the CEO explaining the difficult financial situation the company has been in. I quote one sentence: "Over the past year, hard decisions have had to be made in terms of prioritising payments, decisions made for the greater good – to ensure the long-term success of the business, which is in everyone’s best interests."
This worries me as surely this company is bound legally by paying staff according to EU employment law?

The forum's messages worry me also that others have had a negative experience.
Hi again
I just wanted to say that I also got a message from the group CEO - but it was addressed to all writers and not me personally- soon after I had had the major confrontation with Katy Wilson which resulted in my first payment being made.
I recall a line about Brexit and some serious financial difficulties that were being addressed and that writers should just be patient- anyway I registered that most of the writers were probably not paid and so I was sort of expecting something along the lines of having to do battle again in order to secure payment for services provided.

The point I'd like to underline is that such a message from the CEO is completely acceptable if one is a full time employee, but makes no sense if you've just joined the company as a free lancer- it's offensive to the point of nausea.

Free lancers write for the money, not for the good of the company's longevity and financial well-being. We do our job to the best of our abilities because the reality of a free lancer's life is that if we don't perform we don't get repeat work- true story, and I'm sure we're in agreement here- a productive worker who doesn't have the benefits of being under the comfortable roof of full time employment has to go the extra mile, put in the extra hours and keep proving themselves with every new gig. Since James Innes' business couldn't exist without the writing done by the writers it's only obvious that in order for good housekeeping the most important element to their longevity is to ensure that their writers are happy and paid promptly. The threshold and 30 day delay period now appear more like means of extracting the most out of the writers - gratis, and without fear of punitive actions. We writers have no means of communicating with each other directly - such as a forum for the workers on the site itself- so they're pretty smug in their set up. Anyway they've taken for granted that we won't be able to contact each other through other means. In addition, they probably have the underlying assumption that since it's always only a couple hundred pounds or dollars most writers couldn't be bothered with the time it takes to follow up repeatedly requesting payment.

I had forgotten about the message from the CEO or Financial person (forget his name- but note that James Innes the man, is on all the social networking platforms) and reading your message I was reminded of the message I received soon after I received my first(and only) payment. My gut response to it was the nature and character of the company- the arrogance and self-evident assumption of impunity is comical in a very tragic sense.

I am curious whether or not my assumption that their business model includes a caveat where writers are given hoops and hurdles to surmount in order to be paid, and then fed with sorry tales of a near bankrupt business. Imagine pulling off such a feat for near on two decades?

New hires theoretically indicate growth- if you're growing you're earning more money- unless they're just constantly hiring because the writing staff leave after a few months when the penny drops that payment is not going to be forthcoming. Too much stress and wastage of productive time. At the end of the day such deceptive practice and abusive of the good will of others does bite the offensive parties where it hurts.

regards
Desiree

Last edited by WriteratJamesInnes; 08-08-2016 at 06:07 AM. Reason: spelling
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