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 that has resulted in a timesheet disapproval 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 with the timesheet disaproval 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 timesheet disapproval 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 end which results in the timesheet disaproval 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. If you were subject to a timesheet disapproval then you might be stuck with it.
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 with timesheet disapproval or made any statement about this timesheet disaproval problem 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 with timesheet disaproval 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?
- 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.
- 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
- Additionally I recommend sending an email directly to the Ads rating project admin (Google Ads Eval: firstname.lastname@example.org) to make them aware that this is some kind of issue that really needs to be resolved.
- 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.