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Review by Choa2 years ago
The pay rate for a freelance transcriber/subtitler with Moravia's Argentinean division is abysmal, it's a fixed piece-rate so no matter how long you spend on a task you get the same amount. If you spend an hour on a task you earn less than minimum wage in any country I know of where English is the first language, and tasks frequently take an hour, sometimes more. For a job that many people these days are doing at $20 an hour or more, remotely and freelance. They ask you to quote what you think you should be paid, and then when you do they turn round and tell you that you get x-amount and that it is non-negotiable, so right off the bat they are trying to irritate and make fun of you. I quoted significantly under $20, and the fixed rate turned out to be half of what I quoted. Utterly abysmal.
Then, the pay can get even worse. You get the third-world rate providing it is a fresh transcription and subtitling from scratch. If there is what they call a "reference file" present, with usually partial lyrics for the task already in it, you get an even lesser rate, maybe around 2/3 of the third-world rate, because you have reference lyrics to work from. But the "reference files", instead of being some professional or even semi-professional transcription that some other Moravia employee or freelancer has done, are simply copy+paste notepad files of whatever the first results on Google are for [song name]+"lyrics". They just choose popular songs that they know or suspect are going to have lyrics already freely available on the internet, copy the first result that comes up from either a Google embed or a lyrics website, paste it into a notepad file and call it a "reference file", then use that as and excuse to pay a third or so less than the pittance you would have originally gotten. And the kicker is - half the time they are useless and riddled with errors due to being from some free lyrics website and have to be done from scratch again anyway. Every single "reference file" I opened was a 100% duplicate of the first google result for that songs lyrics. Pro level stuff here...
They use any excuse to not pay you for tasks. "The song hardly has any lyrics in it so we won't pay you". "It's in a language you have been assigned to transcribe, but it's a dialect so we won't pay you". "It has a couple of foreign loan-words or loan-phrases in it so we won't pay you". "It is just an intro song so we won't pay you", "Some obscure vocal sound that's not even a word, and underneath 4 layers of background vocals, was missed out so we won't pay you unless you redo it". And so on.
Also, the task pool is constantly full of songs that are untranscribable or have been dumped into the (in my case English) pool despite having no English content. Foreign songs, instrumentals and other untranscribables, and they want you to sift through, listen to and manage on the system every one of these, which takes some time because there are so many of them, and then not pay you for it. That's right, they only pay for tasks transcribed, and not for you doing their administration work for them. Songs with 'foreign performer name' + 'foreign album name' + 'foreign song name' which should have obviously been screened beforehand and never entered the English task pool, they want you to do for them and not pay you a penny. Instrumentals that you have to listen through in their droves before realising that there's no lyrical content and should never have been added to the pool, they want you to micro-manage and not pay you a penny. It would take hours upon hours, possibly days to get through all of them at any given time and you wouldn't be paid anything. So not only are you receiving third-world wages for (most of) the tasks you complete, but you are also expected to do Moravia's own administration tasks for them free of charge to save them from bothering themselves. Unreal.
And then the weirdest part is, I was doing absolutely loads of tasks for them. I mean, I can't imagine anyone else on the project having been able to have done more than I did, volume and quality wise, within the same timeframe. Then tasks stopped showing up and the pool emptied, absolutely no more tasks were showing up on the system, despite me still receiving emails asking to "pick up the pace" because there were hundreds of tasks waiting to be done. I emailed more than one of these Moravia kids about this as I thought it to be a technical issue and each time I was just ignored with no response. They have, for reasons unbeknown to me, tampered with the tasks available to me on their system, so that I can see none, whilst I am still listed as part of the team to which these hundreds of tasks should be assigned to and available. And whilst ignoring my enquiries as to why. I mean, if there was something wrong with my transcriptions (which there couldn't possibly be), why not just take me off the project? Absolute weirdness. It's like "ghosting" but from an employer, or rather the kids in an employer's day-care centre.
Avoid. Not just like the proverbial plague, but like the actual plague.
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