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  • FIRST POST
    • MallRat
    • By MallRat 16th Jul 14, 12:09 PM
    • 424Posts
    • 1,093Thanks
    MallRat
    iSoftStone
    • #1
    • 16th Jul 14, 12:09 PM
    iSoftStone 16th Jul 14 at 12:09 PM
    Anyone taking the iSoftStone exam this weekend?!

    I've just downloaded the guidelines, and am currently trying to summon the strength to start reading them..
Page 36
    • MallRat
    • By MallRat 26th Sep 18, 12:26 PM
    • 424 Posts
    • 1,093 Thanks
    MallRat
    Hi guys,

    Just wondering if anyone that still works on Web5/Freshness news is unable to access the UHRS server as of right now (13:18 GMT 26/9/18) getting the same sort of message you would expect to get if the page did not load/404 etc, weird was working fine earlier today and my internet is fine.

    I just emailed the TL
    Originally posted by Elrateochangeo

    Yes, it went down for me at approx 12.52pm.
    • Elrateochangeo
    • By Elrateochangeo 26th Sep 18, 12:51 PM
    • 32 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Elrateochangeo
    Thanks seems to be working again now
    • MallRat
    • By MallRat 30th Oct 18, 12:16 PM
    • 424 Posts
    • 1,093 Thanks
    MallRat
    Is there no tasks for everyone else today?
    • Elrateochangeo
    • By Elrateochangeo 19th Nov 18, 7:54 AM
    • 32 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Elrateochangeo
    Hi there doesn't appear to be any hits today (no hits available in UHRS) I have emailed the manager though, hopefully sorted soon

    EDIT: hits are back now
    Last edited by Elrateochangeo; 19-11-2018 at 8:53 AM. Reason: update
    • MallRat
    • By MallRat 10th Dec 18, 9:16 PM
    • 424 Posts
    • 1,093 Thanks
    MallRat
    I realise this thread is pretty much dead, but am wondering if anyone else has been thinking about the upcoming contract renewal (assuming we get one). The pay rate for the project I assume we're all on has now remained the same for 3 and a half years, and if it does not rise this time, come April it will fall below the new minimum wage. I have done search engine evaluation work for various companies since early 2012 now, and this would be the first time I've encountered this situation. Looking back at my records, back then with Lionbridge, pay worked out at over 2 higher than minimum wage, which being self-employed I was happy with. Alongside ISS, I'm also currently signed up with Leapforce, and pay with them (in $) does work out at a decent rate. But I still spend the majority of my time doing ISS work, partly because I got this job first and only applied to LF as I believed I was about to be fired, and partly due to the lack of availability of LF tasks during the day when I want to work. I'm assuming as self-employed "contractors" we may not have the right to be paid minimum wage, but am unsure. Does anyone have any thoughts about any of this? Will people be continuing on in 2019, even if things remain the same? Or are others maybe not really affected, due to the (unfair) rules whereby doing a certain number of hours entitles them to a higher rate than those working less than that figure.?
    Last edited by MallRat; 10-12-2018 at 10:41 PM.
    • Elrateochangeo
    • By Elrateochangeo 17th Dec 18, 8:46 AM
    • 32 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Elrateochangeo
    Hi I don't really wanna comment on that since I don't wanna jinx anything, but its 09:44 and UHRS are not available again, just checking its the same for other GB Freshness news/Web5 workers.

    I emailed an hour ago , I know its the start of the week but they used to load them in bang on 8am.

    EDIT: UHRS is back to normal, work has been reloaded
    Last edited by Elrateochangeo; 17-12-2018 at 12:34 PM. Reason: edit
    • Elrateochangeo
    • By Elrateochangeo 6th Feb 19, 7:27 AM
    • 32 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Elrateochangeo
    Hi

    Has anyone had the invoice yet for January 2019, for Web5/Freshness news (GB) , still waiting here, usually we get it emailed by 4th of each month. Anyway I emailed the TL yesterday.
    Last edited by Elrateochangeo; 06-02-2019 at 10:54 AM. Reason: TL just emailed to advise he will be sending them out in a few days, he has been sick the last 3 days.
    • MallRat
    • By MallRat 6th Feb 19, 10:34 AM
    • 424 Posts
    • 1,093 Thanks
    MallRat
    Hi

    Has anyone had the invoice yet for January 2019, for Web5/Freshness news (GB) , still waiting here, usually we get it emailed by 4th of each month. Anyway I emailed the TL yesterday.
    Originally posted by Elrateochangeo
    No, not received mine. Seems to be a lack of organisation (and also work) lately, so I wonder if something is going on..
    • Elrateochangeo
    • By Elrateochangeo 15th Feb 19, 8:26 AM
    • 32 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Elrateochangeo
    Hi all

    Just to update last weekend I received my invoice for January 2019 (Freshness news/Web5 etc). So I reckon we will get paid very soon, hopefully by Monday 18th (since its usually before 16th each month, unless the 16th falls on a weekend).

    There is a new issue today though which I have escalated to our manager. The Query field, which usually appears to the left of the landing page URL in the rating tool, is missing. I have also reported this within the UHRS tool itself, if anyone is logged in please do the same. Hopefully it will be resolved asap.
    • Elrateochangeo
    • By Elrateochangeo 18th Feb 19, 8:16 AM
    • 32 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Elrateochangeo
    anyone on Freshness news/Web5 been paid yet for last month? Still waiting here, I have emailed the manager.
    • MallRat
    • By MallRat 18th Feb 19, 12:07 PM
    • 424 Posts
    • 1,093 Thanks
    MallRat
    anyone on Freshness news/Web5 been paid yet for last month? Still waiting here, I have emailed the manager.
    Originally posted by Elrateochangeo
    Just checked and nothing for me yet.

    *sitting twiddling thumbs waiting for tasks to appear*
    • Elrateochangeo
    • By Elrateochangeo 18th Feb 19, 1:49 PM
    • 32 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Elrateochangeo
    Tasks are back now and Manager is chasing up with finance regarding when our payments will go into our banks, I also asked him to find out when task volumes will return to normal, he did advise previously that would get sorted and he is aware of it.


    EDIT : Paid!
    Last edited by Elrateochangeo; 19-02-2019 at 7:09 AM. Reason: Got paid
    • LouisaGreen
    • By LouisaGreen 19th Mar 19, 8:06 AM
    • 5 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    LouisaGreen
    Hello everyone,

    I'm new ... having been led here after searching for iSoftStone.

    I'm m a little reluctant to say too much, being new, but like many of you, am a judge on the Web 5 Points project. In fact, I've worked as a web search evaluator for 9 years.

    I started searching out of frustration unfortunately - wanting to connect with others in a similar position for support and advice.

    My main gripe is the chaotic and unprofessional 'management' we are subjected to. Yet again, there is no work this morning - there was barely any yesterday either - and yet again we have not been given the courtesy of an explanation and/or any info about when we might expect to work next.

    As I'm sure some of you will also appreciate only too well, I am at my wits' end trying to deal with this. I have lost count of the hours (days) - all unpaid of course - wasted because I feel unable to stray too far from my PC in case any further work is uploaded. I simply can't afford to walk away but bitterly resent getting to late afternoon (having got up very early) and realising the whole day has gone when I could have been doing 1001 other things instead.

    Of course I email the project manager. I am always polite, measured and professional when I write. But find many of my mails go completely unacknowledged, or are eventually responded to up to 72 hours later which is unacceptable. In addition, I have encountered several incidences of being told one thing one day only for that to change (to my disadvantage) less than 24 hours later which again is terribly unprofessional.

    My past experience of similar work via other agencies has been nothing like this and, bar the occasional delay due to time differences, found communication was generally good and reliable so it can be done!

    I'm not sure what I'm hoping to achieve by this post .... other than to sound off a bit and hopefully talk to others. Never (or very very rarely) knowing what's happening is incredibly stressful and it angers me that simple and time sensitive communication could avoid that. Obviously, our fluctuating pay is another stress on top of that because I very much doubt any of us are doing this work for love!

    Thanks for reading, hope to hear from some of you!
    • MallRat
    • By MallRat 19th Mar 19, 10:13 PM
    • 424 Posts
    • 1,093 Thanks
    MallRat
    Hey Louisa, welcome to MSE

    I think task availability with this ISS job is pretty good overall, especially compared with jobs working for the other client (I currently do both). And I think with Web5 you also have the option of working at weekends, unlike those of us on Freshness..? Yes there have been quite a few days with no tasks recently, but I suppose as raters it's just something we have to put up with, and not something we can expect to be informed too much about.

    In terms of management, I've also had a few messages that went unanswered. Our original PM was certainly much more thorough, giving us lots of help and guidance on rating etc.. I get the impression they may have outsourced the role to a cheaper market, as paying people as little as possible in order to pass on more profit to whoever sits at the top seems to be what ISS is all about in a nutshell.

    The only big complaint I have is regarding our own pay, which I've talked about on here before, and also elsewhere on this forum. Yes, there is a chance to be paid a higher rate on meeting certain conditions, but as the requirements are not really achievable to me that is kind of irrelevant. I already work flat out, and yet rarely meet the higher speed requirement. It did not help when the GDPR came in and they did not recognise the fact this would slow us down with more "clicking" needed. Also, I've recently upgraded to Windows 10, and am now experiencing a lot of technical issues, I assume because UHRS is less compatible with it compared to previous versions. And as I cannot do this work for more than 2-3 hours per day (due to pain in eyes/wrists from the work), I very rarely meet the hours requirement either. I personally feel I have been cheated out of hundreds of pounds that was rightfully mine by this company due to this stupid rule.

    And while we're already working for less than schoolkids stacking shelves in the local supermarket (despite the fact that a lot of us are educated to degree level), if nothing changes dramatically in the next few weeks we'll soon be doing this extremely intensive work for less than minimum wage as well.

    But, we do get to work from home and chose our own hours, right..?
    • LouisaGreen
    • By LouisaGreen 20th Mar 19, 2:51 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    LouisaGreen
    Hello MallRat,

    Thank you for such a lengthy reply!

    We do indeed have the option to work weekends on Web5P but in reality there's rarely any work available on Saturday and you know, I do kind of resent 'having' to work on Sunday (which is counted as the start of the working week) because our hours aren't guaranteed and there might not be any left later!

    Speaking personally, and having worked on this project - albeit via different 3rd parties - for 9 years, I never experienced fluctuating availability until ISS. I strongly suspect that 'more than enough' judges have been taken on in order to ensure tasks are always completed but that does seem to have had the effect of fighting for work and never knowing how much you'll earn in a given month. Of course it also means that absence due to holidays or sickness doesn't have to be managed as there'll usually be enough judges only too happy to pick up the slack.

    I do agree with you about the 'bonus' rate and think it unfair and illogical. The hourly rate should be the same whether you work 10 hours or 100 (I wish) providing quality metrics are met. If a bonus is due, it'd make more sense for it to be paid when judges exceeded the quality metric by a required figure. And yes, it is indeed disheartening to think of the minimum wage issue but of course, as we are technically self employed we 'choose' to accept this. Gggrrrrr.

    Of course I do appreciate that technical problems can arise, and understand project requirements also alter over time and I don't expect ISS to be a charity. Clear and reliable communication however should be a minimum standard for any body wishing to be seen as professional. Unfortunately however, I feel we're somewhat over a barrel, with a single (unreliable) point of contact, let alone the ability to confer with all other judges. Our only recourse when complaints and suggestions fall on deaf ears is to vote with our feet but let's face it, I doubt many, if any, of us in these type of low paid (for the qualifications demanded and the intensity/precision required) work from home roles are in a position to find other work very easily. It stands to reason that the circumstances I suspect most of 'us' find ourselves in (such as chronic health issues or disability where energy and pain levels can fluctuate, caring responsibilities with the unpredictability that can bring, living in areas of high unemployment etc) make taking on more traditional work with set hours and travel difficult to commit to as otherwise we'd surely be doing it! I feel companies like ISS (and the rest) take advantage of this as they must have a fair idea who their contractor demographic is.

    As for 'flexibility', that is of course only true when your hours are guaranteed no matter which days and times you decide to work. Albeit that was the basis on which I was taken on originally 'xx hours a week, work when you like' ha ha .... several changes of goalposts later I'm begining to think the only real advantage is not having to buy work clothes!
    • MallRat
    • By MallRat 21st Mar 19, 1:10 PM
    • 424 Posts
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    MallRat
    Have just sent an email to the PM regarding the lack of tasks. Didn't manage to get anything yesterday, and no hitapp there again today. (Think it did appear later on yesterday, but I had to go out. Also, don't really feel in the mood to start working at the same time I would usually be finishing up for the day ). As I said further up the thread, this "NRT" does seem to be worse than I remember it being over the last 3-4 years, so maybe this could be a sign the project could soon be coming to an end..?

    I tend to dedicate weekends to my second job, as if I didn't spend a certain amount of time on that I would lose it. As a result, I take Fridays off, which leaves me less time to work this job and of course achieve the hours I would need to qualify for the higher pay rate. Ironically I only ever applied for the second job after ISS put me on a "final warning" due to my metrics, so it seemed inevitable I was about to be fired. I think in the end I failed 3 requalification tests in a row, but weirdly they just decided to switch me from Web5 to Freshness instead. Personally I do not know how anyone can do Web5, and feel bad for everyone on it! Although we do occasionally get days on Freshness when we seem to get nothing but Web5 queries..

    I also did this job for a different company in the past, and yes the hours situation was different there. I think it was a minimum of 4 hours per day, which would actually take you nearer to 5 hours due to technical problems and tasks you'd completed getting "lost" as a result. No two-tier pay system though, and we also got to charge them for time spent doing admin. As for the pay rate, I think that was in dollars, which of course put us at the mercy of exchange rates.

    I do remember with the first job I ever did at Lionbridge, they would occasionally offer a bonus payment if you achieved a certain number of hours for the month. So, raters were motivated to do extra when there was excess work that needed to be done, but those who were unable to do so were not left feeling like they had lost anything.

    I only got 24 minutes work with my other job yesterday, which TBH is not unusual. It's basically like the current ISS situation most of the time.

    Not sure if people here are aware of what happened with Google raters in the US recently, but there are some interesting articles about it on the site arstechnica.com. Basically, Leapforce now have raters as employees as opposed to self-employed consultants, which has given those raters greater rights, but also led to lots more being let go, as of course they could only offer this to a set number of people.

    As I've now been with ISS for almost 5 years, I'm not really sure about the current state of search engine work in the UK, and how many companies there are that currently take on raters here. But I assume I've personally exhausted all possible options.
    • LouisaGreen
    • By LouisaGreen 24th Mar 19, 6:21 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    LouisaGreen
    Have just had an email stating that as 'productivity has been reached early this month' production is closed until the end of the month.

    I'm 2 hours down compared to last month :-( .... admittedly not a huge amount but still in the wrong direction.

    It's this sort of sudden withdrawal of work which annoys me so much as it belies the so-called flexibility of the role and puts us under pressure to do as much as we can earlier in the month.
    • billy*bob
    • By billy*bob 24th Mar 19, 8:35 PM
    • 30 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    billy*bob
    Hi Louisa

    I've been working for ISS for over 3 years now and have also become increasingly frustrated over the last few months.
    At the moment I am a significant number of hours down on where my 'usual' month used to be. I had planned to get hours completed early next week, but of course I also had the dreaded email to say accounts are now frozen for this month (does it seem to get earlier each time?!)
    Like you and MallRat have already said, I don't think there is much we can do other than grin and bear it but the fluctuations in income compared to what had been relatively steady are a concern for me.
    Thanks for posting. It's nice hear from someone else sharing these frustrations!
    • LouisaGreen
    • By LouisaGreen 24th Mar 19, 9:29 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    LouisaGreen
    It is good to hear from others with similar concerns - though of course I wouldn't wish them on anyone!

    The fluctuations in income are a big concern indeed. This has never been acknowledged, e.g. with any explanation or expression of regret which p**s me off (excuse my language) as it certainly wasn't flagged as a possibility when I (and presumably others) began the contract and wasn't something I'd encountered before - working on exactly the same project - when a set number of hours was 99% guaranteed unless there was a major tool outage. I am increasingly feeling as though we were enticed onto the project under something of a false pretence.

    It's just hateful to perpetually work with your heart in your mouth wondering when the plug is next going to be pulled. However, every so often I've noticed that a 'promising' remark about a 'new project' or an 'increase in hours' is casually mentioned which raises your hopes that things might improve and become more stable. I can distinctly remember a 'new project' being referred to around October time and the 'increase in hours' (when we were asked to confirm how many hours we could work) was earlier this year. But then we never hear anything again so goodness knows what that's all about?!
    • MallRat
    • By MallRat 12th Apr 19, 8:52 PM
    • 424 Posts
    • 1,093 Thanks
    MallRat
    So, after a week with no tasks we now have a new project announced.

    I started going through the guidelines today, and will attempt the rest tomorrow.

    Just confused now as to whether this is going to be replacing Web5 or not..

    And to Elrateochangeo - I read your message, but couldn't reply as your inbox is full!
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