New productivity requirements
In August 2020, Lionbridge introduced what they call the TCR metric, which stands for ‘Task Completion Rate’. This new metric keeps track of the average number of tasks that you complete in a one-hour timeframe. With this new metric, the TCR acceptable range is 45-50 tasks per hour, which would mean you have about 1 to 1-½ minutes to complete each task. It is no wonder that shortly after this new metric was introduced with that steep requirement that many raters were suddenly fired due to low productivity.
Appen has the same thing which they call RPH, or ratings per hour. Apparently, Google wants all raters to rate tasks within the average estimated time, and those productivity expectations usually vary from 1 to 1-½ minutes per task, or you need 45 to 50 tasks per hour.
With that in mind, it would seem that Lionbridge and Appen are keeping raters who can do more tasks in one hour than others and getting rid of the slower raters.
It seems like things are getting tougher and tougher for the average rater. But this does totally depend on where you are located. It would seem that both companies are shifting tasks to lower-wage markets. In simpler terms, giving the work to raters who are paid less.
Lionbridge Change to Service Billing Rate
But this isn’t the only surprise that raters got from Lionbridge. At the end of August 2020, an email was sent out to raters which stated, and in bad English, we might add…
“Due to changing conditions in your market, we are adjusting your services billing rate to 5.00 USD/hour. Beginning next week, your services will be billed under the new market-adjusted rate. If you do not accept the newly offered rate, please terminate the provision of your services.”
This is just an example email that we collected online, and it depends on your location and what market you are in just how much rates are being cut for raters.
But things aren’t looking good for many locales and some raters are seeing their wages cut by as much as 50%. Interestingly enough, it appeared at one time that Appen threatened to get rid of all raters in two locales because of a change in business conditions. However, they quickly said this was a misunderstanding. Maybe it might actually be a peek at things to come.
There is no denying that the global pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus COVID-19 has caused many things to happen in the rating business.
Because of a slowdown of Google’s ad business, Lionbridge did notify its raters that tasks might be low or even unstable. It is expected that tasks will increase in the future once things go back to normal. But if you look around, things may never be the same again.
Losing 50% of your wages while still having to maintain the productivity rate might seem like slavery or highway robbery as some would put it. Sadly, it seems like Lionbridge might be taking advantage of its raters. Some raters have been completely outraged by the huge cut of 50% in pay. That’s right, if you were making $10 per hour before, then you probably just got an email like the one that we showed you. However, some people have only gotten a .25 cent decrease.
For some raters, this may be worse than getting fired because many will need to continue working at that rate because of the situation with the global pandemic.