I’m so sorry to hear that you suffered this. I read a lot about it here and it’s terrible. I think working on any gig platform opens ourselves up to this happening more often. The reason? Take gig orders from anyone and everyone, people you don’t know anything about, people you can’t investigate beforehand. As some have implied, our hands are tied, regarding this type of theft of work, while working on these types of websites. They give us opportunities to get clients faster and work gigs, but there is high risk involved.
Will 5R or any of the other gig sites ever want to invest the funds and manpower to contest with PP? Who knows? The only other option I see is to solicit private clients who we can investigate before taking them on. People who are serious about buying work and retaining talent. New reliable clients and client referrals. Creative people come to the gig sites to take advantage of the quick, high-risk traffic. And that’s what it is: Work At Your Own Risk. We know this when we come here. We can pick and choose what gigs to take, but unless it’s a returning buyer, we’re still relatively working for strangers, numbers and grayed-out avatars.
Vickie Spencer’s solution is a good one. Mine is to set a # limit. If it happens to me 1 too many times, I’m gone from 5R, and anywhere else where this would happen to me. Yes, I must make money, and I like 5R, but I won’t do it under these circumstances. There are many ways to get clients outside of gigging platforms. Many just don’t want to invest the time and effort to learn how to do it. I appreciate everything that 5R has allowed me to do, but I don’t want to work with an underlying, prevailing fear whenever I take on a new gig. The possibility of getting a chargeback 6 mos later from an unknown, questionable entity buyer is what I call terror. All it takes is one time to begin to feel that prevailing fear.