Lionbridge Ads Rating Project Massive Timesheet Disapproval: on Purpose or Unprofessional Approach? 

Ads Rating Project massive timesheet disapproval: on purpose or unprofessional approach? 

It appears that lately there are a lot of problems with the Lionbridge payment systems and it’s not actually a new thing. According to comments of my readers and discussions on https://www.reddit.com/r/WorkOnline/comments/9b0n2n/lionbridge_scammers/  (2018), https://www.reddit.com/r/WorkOnline/comments/cvol9y/lionbridge_scammers_2/ (2019, August),https://www.reddit.com/r/WorkOnline/comments/d95mwc/lionbridge_scammingasking_to_remove_hours_again/ 

The problem started to happen in May-June 2018. It just seems that now it’s becoming worse and there are more and more raters complaining that the time sheets that are being submitted are being returned. Lionbridge is asking people to carve a lot of hours from their time sheets and it’s obvious that there is a big problem somewhere, but the company isn’t acknowledging that there is an issue, or perhaps they are just doing this to save themselves a lot of money and get away with it. And the raters who are affected by this Lionbridge payment problem aren’t being asked to take an hour or two off, in fact, in some cases, people have been asked to cut 30-40 hours from their time sheets, some of them are asked to remove all hours from July timesheet. This is huge and it’s a lot of money for someone. In fact, it appears that it’s happening to a lot of people as one rater who has been working for the company says that he has 6 friends who all got the same notifications. In one case, one of our readers PrestigiousExplorer says that after working one year for Lionbridge the same thing has now happened to him and the company wants him to deduct 68 hours!  

The problem on their ends appears to be that the hours that are being submitted don’t match their data. What it means is that the amount of tasks completed isn’t matching up with what your submitted amount is. But here’s the thing; if suddenly the Lionbridge payment department starts seeing a lot of discrepancies in time sheets and the data that they have, shouldn’t they realize that there is a problem somewhere? Now suddenly here you have a bunch of people being asked to shave a lot of hours off their time sheets, and even people who have been working for the company for a long time and then suddenly are having issues. It seems that Lionbridge doesn’t care about any of this and are sticking to their guns and won’t budge on time sheets.  

The big question is does no one at Lionbridge see this as a problem? Or is there something else going on?  

As you may know raterhub automatically records the time and the number of tasks completed by each rater on the platform. It is very unlikely that the problem takes place there, however many long-term raters remember that raterhub used to have built-in task counter which was very helpful in terms of recording completed tasks, but for some reason this useful tool was removed from the raterhub functionality.

It looks like the Lionbridge system is just an Excel spreadsheet which corresponds timesheet data with data from raterhub (time recorded/the number of tasks completed) and the problem is there. Many raters worked lots of hours in July and got an email with 0 hours/0 tasks recorded by the system. Lionbridge seems to be very unprofessional in the handling of this problem. It undermines the project and the company’s reputation.  

But the fact that no one has caught the problem or made any statement about it since it started happening in July leads one to believe in some kind of conspiracy here. Some people are calling Lionbridge scammers because of what is going on. If you’re suddenly asking a lot of raters to cut hours off their paychecks, there’s an obvious problem somewhere.

It does appear the company had the same kind of problem in May in which they sent out incorrect data. It’s quite possible that this is the same issue, but instead of trying to figure out what is going on, it looks like the raters are getting the short end of the deal.

A company can’t just suddenly take away your pay when you put in the hours and did the required tasks to the best of your ability and as per your contract. There are some laws that protect freelancers and independent contractors, and if you are doing the work, then you should be paid. But for freelancers and independent contractors, your options are limited depending on what country you live in.  

Real timesheet correction required due to low productivity vs. Lionbridge error 

In some case raters might be asked to correct heir timesheet due to low productivity and it is OK, keep in mind that your average productivity rate  should be 1,5 – 2 minutes/per task.  

In this project, most of the tasks do not have any recommended time limits. Raters have to manage their own productivity and their own time. The customer does not indicate average estimated time because the priority is quality in rating the tasks rather than productivity, or how many tasks you rate. Raters have to keep in mind that the productivity and time invoiced should be within reasonable metrics. It is OK to spend more time in the beginning and increase your productivity when becoming a more experienced rater. 

Appen and Lionbridge have productivity metrics called RPH. It is assumed these metrics are based on the average raters’ performance in the project which is calculated as the ratio between the number of tasks and the time spent within an invoice period completed by all raters. In my view this metric is not useful, because in many cases raters get different types of tasks which require a different amount of time to complete, therefore the RPH metric is not accurate at all. This can lead to a situation where if your productivity doesn’t fall within their RGP metrics, your invoice will be returned for correction and they will ask you to align your RHP to average even though you spent a reasonable amount of time for completing more time-consuming tasks. The customer understands this issue. That is why they do not indicate the average estimated time. But it would seem that Appen and Lionbridge have again invented their own metrics to pay less to its raters. 

What raters can do in this situation?  
  1. To calculate the number of tasks completed weekly and entered into time sheet vs. Lionbridge records, if you have a huge discrepancy (like most of raters have) this is a clear indication of wrong data sent by Lionbridge. 
  2. Send an email to Lionbridge explaining the discrepancies.  
  3. If necessary as a proof of working hours/number of tasks a browsing history can be sent, it can be found, filtered by dates and website here: https://myactivity.google.com/myactivity
  4. Additionally I recommend sending an email directly to the Ads rating project admin (Google Ads Eval: ads_eval@google.com) to make them aware that this is some kind of issue that really needs to be resolved. 
  5. Do not correct time if you clearly identified discrepancies until Lionbridge responds to your email and provides you with correct data 

Perhaps if the right people receive a large response on the issue, someone will take a look and fix the problem. But as of right now things aren’t looking too good. For those of you who have lost wages, hang in there and hopefully, someone will get this straightened out.  

If you have questions or comments then leave them below.  

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51 thoughts on “Lionbridge Ads Rating Project Massive Timesheet Disapproval: on Purpose or Unprofessional Approach? 

  1. I think, this is just a big misunderstanding. To my mind, zero hours in recent reviews just means that current week hours are right, so you don’t need to adjust them. You should only change weeks with actual disrepancies. I made so, ignoring one week with zeros, and they approved me. Nevertheless, such ambiguity and no action works for them in terms of paying less to raters who didn’t get it right. Hope it clarifies the problem.

    1. Thank you for your comment, many raters who indicated discrepancies in Lionbridge emails with request to cut hours, got all their invoices approved! Lionbridge acknowledged that the issue was on their side.

  2. Hi Tim, I applied for Lionbridge English Personalized Internet Assessor, after taking the test the first time I did not pass it, I was invited for a re-test, but after I accept I got the mail the they’ve reached the target quota of applicants but also advise that they’ll get in touch with me if they open recruitment for the same position, after some weeks I saw that they started recruiting for Pidgin Personalized Internet Assessor, I created new email to apply that position but I want to be sure if it’s possible. If yes, how do I answer such questions like are currently applying for any other Lionbridge program?, Have you ever taken the Lionbridge online rating exam before?

    Please Tim, I need your best advise on this. Thanks

  3. Hi Tim, I am a new rater of LB. When I put time for tasks in my timesheet day by day, can i put the amount of actual time that i spend for tasks or I have to put the total of allocated time. Will LB pay for work beyond the allocated time ? Thanks Tim

    1. Hello, make sure that in the invoice/timesheet you put only average estimated time that they give you. If you spend less time than average estimated time per task or set of tasks, be informed that your invoice will be returned for correction, Leapforce/Lionbridge will ask you to put actual time spent, that is why there is no sense to complete tasks faster than average estimated time. Take your time, do everything correctly and watch your time.

  4. Hello,
    i was working in Leapforce and my friend was working in Lionbridge. He had given me his lionbridge account so i was working in both. but after 3 months they realised and they terminated both accounts.Now i want to work with lionbridge. will lionbridge give me opportunity?

    1. Hello,

      Unfortunately most likely no as your personal data is blacklisted in the database of Lionbridge, due to violation of Lionbridge contract (multi accounts/IP address conflict).

  5. Hi Tim,

    I am a new rater for Lionbridge, I have seen your article since this problem has just come to me recently.
    I have worked for 20 hours a week (from 8/30/18 to 9/2/18), but their system found that I have only worked for 11,29 hours. It is completely insane, because I have correctly calculate my working time and also my total finished task (as per their guideline, I can start count my time since the live task until the submission).
    As addition, my average time completing the task is about 2 until 3 minutes for each task, it depends on the difficulty of the task.
    But how can I prove them about my working time?

    Sorry if I bother your time, have a nice day.

    1. Hello,

      Please follow this recommendation:
      What raters can do in this situation?

      To calculate the number of tasks completed weekly and entered into time sheet vs. Lionbridge records, if you have a huge discrepancy (like most of raters have) this is a clear indication of wrong data sent by Lionbridge.
      Send an email to Lionbridge explaining the discrepancies.
      Do not correct time if you clearly identified discrepancies until lionbridge responds to your email and provides you with correct data

      For the future: I strongly recommend to keep track of time worked and completed tasks on a daily basis in Excel sheet so you can prove your records.

  6. I was an ads rater and required to rate 5 days or more a week. I received a warning that I had not met that standard. I knew I had but didn’t worry. Now they have terminated me for failure to meet productivity standards. I went back through all my weeks and never missed more than two days . I asked them to review my record but no response.

  7. hello tim, i’m going to do the ads test soon and they didn’t sent de guidelines yet. is there any guidelines that a i can find before them send me ? just to prepare to the real one.

    1. This is massive action (time disapproval) against many raters across all markets…

      1. Hi Tim, what do you recommend to do? In my case it’s 37 hours lost.
        Thanks

      2. The case is that majority raters will accept this and cut their hours. In order to make any strategy effective most of raters have to follow the same line: 1. Request from Lionbridge explanations and ask them to explain rules of the game, we need to know what is/are an exact reason(s) for this timesheet disapproval (Is it an productivity issue or system error?). Thus before making any corrections, write to all possible channels of communications (,
        ads_eval@google.com,
        Payments.bal@lionbridge.com,
        !BAL mbx Homeworkers Support ) and ask explanations in a polite way. More raters will follow this line, it is more likely this problem to be solved. Last year the problem was fixed on the 3rd months of the issue, Lionbridge accepted their fault.

  8. Thanks for the answer. The problem is we can read about some people getting removed from the programme for send emails about this. But it’s the second consecutive month and it’s not fair.
    Great job with all this info.

  9. I have contacts with many ads rating project raters and I confirm that it is not true that raters who asked for explanations might be removed, last year no such cases were reported, simply because they cannot remove lots of rates it will affect their business as well.

  10. Hey Tim, I´ll follow your instructions, but should we cut our hours? Last month I lost more than 30 hours.

    1. Do not cut hours we should not make any changes at the moment, because it is negotiation process

      1. They gave me until Friday to change my hours, that time around 40 hours, should I not change it even after the deadline?

  11. This deadline is to make issue looks urgent so raters got confused and scared but in fact it is not urgent the worse case scenario could be that your timesheet would not be approved this month and it will be paid on the next billing cycle, moreover even the timesheet would not be corrected as per Lionbridge request, they will have to approve it anyway and pay it within 2 months because of accounting rules (to close accounting period).

    1. How do you know this? Are you sure that I will get paid even if I do not modify my timesheet? They are asking to remove 24 hours of my timesheet. I worked extra hours, and my rate is exactly 120 seconds per task. I am very confident that I worked those hours, LB approved all my timesheets with a 120 ratio before.

      1. I cannot guarantee you anything I am telling you what was outcome for the same issue last year. If you want you can cut your hours, it is your decision.

  12. Hi, Tim. You just said above in the comments section that “Last year the problem was fixed on the 3rd months of the issue, Lionbridge accepted their fault.”.

    So, they just stopped asking for raters to deduct their hours, or they also did pay them for all their wrong removed hours?

    1. Yes, actually this year problem started last month before all timesheets were approved without any issue, it was a great time to work and now this shit happens again

      1. So, just to be clear, all raters were payed for their wrong deducted hours?

      2. Those raters who did not corrected invoices finally were paid in full. I will try to find emails from Lionbridge on this issue and post then here.

      3. And what about those who corrected their invoices to their standard? Because I am not in a good situation to not be paid this month…

      4. If you correct your timesheet it will paid as normal, but ask yourself do you want to play game without rules? They will cut hours every month, do you want this?

  13. Hi Tim,
    I also got this issue last month (July 2019), and just now for this month (August 2019), it happened again. I didn’t correct my time sheet last month, and its true that my payment got delayed until this month (as per their email). I still insist that my time sheet was correct and I will not make any other correction on that. My question is, how can I make sure that I will get paid for full on my July and August workload? And how to make them realise their mistake, I have tried to send them my activity log (for ads_eval@google.com and homeworkers.bal@lionbridge.com) and didn’t receive any feedback? Thanks before.

    1. It is not about receiving feedback immediately, the strategy should be that all raters who were asked to cut hours should not do this, instead all raters should ask for clarification what is an exact reason and what are the rules of the game. They cannot fire all raters, it will affect their business + bad reputation will spread out in the Internet.

  14. I’m a Europe based Ads Assessor. They didn’t pay for my July hours when due in mid Sept, disputing them by a ridiculous amount. No reason, no communication, just non-payment.

    Naturally I forwarded irrefutable evidence from my browser history that my timesheets were accurate; furthermore despite repeated requests they have yet to provide me with ANY substantive reasons why they shouldn’t have paid and have also ignored all requests to resolve the issue. Beyond the re-opened timesheet for review’ emails, absolutely no meaningful communication from Lionbridge.

    They are now disputing my August hours by a similarly ridiculous percentage. So it appears they plan to avoid payment of a further month. I worked the maximum hours plus numerous extras offered during those two months so now that I’m hearing of an increasing number of others in a similar situation I’m truly concerned that the thread title ‘Lionbridge scamming’ is a reality. At our expense.

    At this stage, two thoughts are occurring:

    1. All the hours I have worked have been on behalf of Google and I note that Lionbridge suggest that it is the Google system that is disputing the hours entered in my timesheet.

    Surely Google must have some moral if not legal ‘duty of care’ to their sub-contractors.

    Global internet giant actively cheating the small guy is never a good look.

    2. Given the emerging amount of Lionbridge contractors who have similarly not been paid, do we need to question the financial viability of Lionbridge? Are they about to do a Thomas Cook?

    3. Could it just be a case of a bad egg in the batch as in my Program Manager is completely incapable. I wonder as posts I’ve seen elsewhere suggest others suggest their point of contact in Lionbridge is helpful & communicative.

  15. I recommend to call Ireland based office which is responsible for EU based raters and ask your manager about the issue directly:

    Julie Loftus
    Global Program Manager

    Lionbridge Technologies, Inc.
    00353 96 73700

    Emmett Street, Ballina, Co. Mayo F26 TC53, Ireland

    1. I have already contacted the Global Program Manager and it’s useless.
      She ignored our requests, and kept asking us to correct our time sheets as reviewed by the LB team.

      1. It is negotiation game now…stop rating process do not correct time sheets, and communicate to all possible channels.

  16. Julia Loftus is my Program Manager too; she has never bothered to reply in anything other than automated form to any of my requests for explanations. Looking at her CV on LinkedIn showing the years she has been at Lionbridge one can reasonably assume that she will be fully aware of and most likely an active participant in this timesheet debacle.

    Referring back to this comment Tim Allen made – “bad reputation will spread out in the Internet” – this I feel is a proactive step we should use to the full.

    Using a theme like I alluded to previously of ‘internet giant cheating the small guy’, target & inform contacts such as:
    their clients like Google,
    Industry PR & FinService websites/ blogs like Slator,PRNewswire, LocWorld, Crunchbase etc,
    the Lionbridge owners H.I.G. Capital – money talks.

    With a bit of googling – that’s we are good at right? – named contacts & emails for the above can readily be found. Get the word out beyond Reddit…

    Furthermore don’t miss an opportunity for some facetime with the likes of Fenelly. Lionbridge execs regularly attend Industry conferences in the US & Europe, the details of which are published in advance. Being faced with the people you have cheated in front of your clients tends to have more of an effect than playing ping-pong with Julia Loftus’s automated inbox.

    1. I would like to share with all of you the true reason for asking to remove hours is bellow average productivity. Productivity is calculated as total time spent on doing live tasks in minutes in a given month/completed number of tasks in a given month. In the end of each month, based on input from all raters, the system automatically calculates average estimated time required to complete a certain type of tasks. If your productivity is bellow this metric, Lionbridge will ask you to cut hours to make your productivity close to an average productivity benchmark…After statistical analysis of 30 timesheets I came to conclusion that in August the acceptable productivity was within 1,3-1,6 minutes range per a task, depending what type of tasks were completed…

      The sad point of this story is that Lionbridge does not communicate this information because it is prohibited by customer (Google) for unknown reason…

      1. Hi Tim. I think it is calculated per week, not per month. Last year they calculated the hours we had worked per week and total tasks, this year they only show us the total amount (month), but my guess is that they still count per week.

        The difference between counting per month or per week is significant. If they count per month, you can go the extra mile and do way more tasks one week so that you can compensate the other weeks. If they count per week, you can’t.

  17. So, another month end and another looming payment problem with Lionbridge.

    My August timesheet has been rejected again which indicates that I’m not going to be paid for a second months worth of work, well into 3 figure total hours. Of course, I have been through the rigmarole of sending proof of my times etc.

    That’s very interesting information re average productivity you have posted above; it contradicts the specific instructions stating quality over quantity I receive from Lionbridge. If true, it can be shown that Google are COMPLICIT in this apparent fraud. I’ll need to add a paragraph to the targeted letters I’m throwing at my Wall.

    Quoting from your main post “if the right people receive a large response on the issue”
    I agree but would add the right people need to be targeted with the right message. I believe our message is too relevant, too serious to ignore; a global intent giant cheating on the small guy, a heavily HR reliant business screwing over it’s HR.

    For my part, I’ve compiled a list, my Wall, of publicly available email addresses & Facebook/Twitter accounts comprising contacts at the recruiting boards they use, relevant industry websites through to the management of Lionbridge & HIG Capital. Time to get busy with some messaging, the more of us doing it the stronger and more evident the case.

    If enough is thrown at the wall it will stick. A recruitment board with morals ( and a distaste for bad publicity), a newshound with a decent nose, a frightened investor will pick up on it. Notwithstanding the where-there’s-blame-there’s-a-claim legal eagles although my personal priority is to just get paid for the work I’ve done and am doing.

    We need to get the facts out there; we will be paid for our hours 🙂

    1. Thank you for your comment. Lionbridge sent out to all raters so called Ads Rating Program Satisfaction Survey, let’s use this channel of communication to inform them about unprofessional approach with regard to timesheet approval issue.

  18. Anyone here was involved in the same issue last year can share some thought with us? I’m very concerned about it, lose money, time and have the ricky to be fired.

    Thanks”

  19. For record-keeping purpose I am posting this message from Lionbridge dated 29.10.2019

    Thank you for your patience while we investigated timesheet issues impacting a program you worked on. We are sorry for any inconvenience these issues may have caused. We have identified everyone affected and are in the process of ensuring our raters are paid for all hours they have submitted on this program.

    Thank you again for your dedication to Lionbridge.

    Regards,

    Your Lionbridge Homeworker Support Team

  20. I have a problem with my invoice which just out on 11/1/2019
    my invoice is incorrect all details are incorrect including gross price it doesn’t match my timesheet at all and my timesheet wasn’t approve yet but how come my invoice already up?

    after sent them an email they approved my timesheet and which was correct but my invoice still incorrect I sent them an email through payment team, homeworker, time reporting but no response.

    If you had any experience like this please share me.

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