Not getting paid in full - Optical Character Recognition Study - looking for other participants
Auteur du fil: Michal Krejci

Michal Krejci  Identity Verified
Tchèque (République)
Local time: 16:46
anglais vers tchèque
+ ...
Sep 2

Hello everyone,

a rather big American localization and AI training data services provider/agency has been posting over the recent months a job called Optical Character Recognition Study.

The gist of the job was to take photographs of receipts, invoices, and/or bills that are issued in a certain language in a variety of environments, using a cellphone camera, and upload the photographs to the agency.

The compensation was between 1 to 5 USD per image, dependi
... See more
Hello everyone,

a rather big American localization and AI training data services provider/agency has been posting over the recent months a job called Optical Character Recognition Study.

The gist of the job was to take photographs of receipts, invoices, and/or bills that are issued in a certain language in a variety of environments, using a cellphone camera, and upload the photographs to the agency.

The compensation was between 1 to 5 USD per image, depending on the language (1 USD for Polish, 2 USD for Czech, 5 USD for Danish, etc.).

A couple of fellow translators who participated in this study contacted me asking if I have the same experience as them – they took this job and submitted some images as described above. A couple of weeks later, the agency sent them a message saying, that they did a quality check on the submitted images and found out, that a certain amount of these images were unreadable, or that they were not valid receipts/invoices and thus there will be no payment for them.

There are a couple of things intriguing about this:
1) The ratio of unaccepted to accepted images was extremely favorable towards the agency, in one case 20 images to 150, but on average, about half of the images were refused.
2) The agency never provided the images they consider disputable, just a number.
3) The agency usually stopped communicating right after sending the QA message.

All the translators claim that they submitted only valid invoices/receipts according to the job description and that their photos are perfectly readable.

Needless to say, some of the translators already received payment from the agency, but only for the portion that the agency deemed OK while ignoring the translators' objections. The agency sent the payment without first requesting an invoice.

I was wondering if anyone has also participated in this job and would be willing to share their thoughts, especially how many images were accepted from them and if they received any clear justification of the unaccepted content.

Thank you for your time.

Michal Krejci

The job posting:
https://imgur.com/a/691v3YF
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Jan Dostál
 

Woodstock  Identity Verified
Allemagne
Local time: 16:46
Membre (2005)
allemand vers anglais
+ ...
Report this behavior on the Blue Board Sep 3

That's a completely unacceptable business practice. Frankly, it would sound like a pure scam if it weren't for the fact that you say it's a big agency that presumably doesn't have a bad reputation or is not on record for having done this type of thing previously. However, the Covid-19 epidemic has brought chaos to economies everywhere, and the US has been badly hit, so the temptation to cheat freelance contributors to improve profits might be stronger than usual. Regardless of whether or not oth... See more
That's a completely unacceptable business practice. Frankly, it would sound like a pure scam if it weren't for the fact that you say it's a big agency that presumably doesn't have a bad reputation or is not on record for having done this type of thing previously. However, the Covid-19 epidemic has brought chaos to economies everywhere, and the US has been badly hit, so the temptation to cheat freelance contributors to improve profits might be stronger than usual. Regardless of whether or not other participants contact you, give this company a poor rating on the Blue Board and tell them you have done it and won't change it until they either pay up or can prove their claims of inferior work quality. You might also report this to the Better Business Bureau in the US. There are probably more options to pressure the company, such as The American Chamber of Commerce, which has quite a few branches abroad, perhaps ask the US Embassy in your country what else you can do, if you want to go such lengths. There are also websites for translators which keep track of companies with poor payment practices, but I don't know the URLs. You might find some links in the "Scams" forum threads.

Even if the amount owed is not huge - which you don't mention - they will keep doing it until someone forces their hand, so I would not let this go unchallenged.
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Lenette Pedersen
Kuochoe Nikoi-Kotei
Jan Dostál
Yolanda Broad
 

Peter Motte  Identity Verified
Belgique
Local time: 16:46
Membre (2009)
anglais vers néerlandais
+ ...
Bad job Sep 4

If I read the description of the job, I wouldn't have taken it anyway. Maybe that tells us something.

Philippe Etienne
 

Claudia Dornelles  Identity Verified
Brésil
Local time: 11:46
Membre (Sep 2020)
anglais vers portugais
+ ...
They blamed the client Sep 5

I participated in this project too, but on an online platform and not through an agency, and had a fair amount of submissions rejected. What I understood from the forum threads and the emails I exchanged with the project manager for Brazil is that the client changed their specifications midway through the submissions phase, requiring a certain number of lines/words on each item, not accepting numbers as characters, etc. There were understandably loads of complaints, and I for one stopped contrib... See more
I participated in this project too, but on an online platform and not through an agency, and had a fair amount of submissions rejected. What I understood from the forum threads and the emails I exchanged with the project manager for Brazil is that the client changed their specifications midway through the submissions phase, requiring a certain number of lines/words on each item, not accepting numbers as characters, etc. There were understandably loads of complaints, and I for one stopped contributing to their projects altogether. I felt bad for the poor forum moderators that had to deal with a lot of abuse, as it obviously wasn't their fault.Collapse


 

Jan Dostál
Tchèque (République)
Nouvel utilisateur
I had the same problem Sep 14

My experience with this project was very similar. The communication was very poor as they first promised to accept an unlimited amount of invoices and only told us to stop submitting by the time of the deadline. They claimed to have reached the desired number of invoices. I only got paid for 103 out of the 748 invoices I submitted.

 


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