I have had a working relationship with rentacoder. For a long time, in fact. They thanked me by taking my $, dumping it into an account that does not belong to me, and telling me that I couldn't have it back.
No, I will not provide a direct URL to the company. They also operate under the name of Exhedra, which is the parent company. They are planning on changing Rentacoders name to something else, but I do not know what the new name is offhand.
Sometimes, being a freelancer really, really sucks.
The problem with being a freelance writer on Rentacoder is three-fold.
First, the pay sucks. They want low paid writers to do relatively simple work. I had no quarrels with doing so, seeing as I could do a lot of these articles in a short period of time. That resulted in the pocket change I needed for the household.
The main problem with the pay relating to Rentacoder is simple: You are competing with the bottom of the barrel. These people are willing to work for cents just to ensure a contract. As such, the customers expect writers who will work for cents. I was choosy about which projects I would take, getting a higher average of pay than many of the other writers.
Unfortunately, there were many people who preferred quantity over quality, which made obtaining good contracts difficult.
Second, they discourage all outside communications. Unlike Elance, which will even provide email addresses for offsite work, Rentacoder does not. In fact, you can have your account removed if you talk to anyone off site if your contract is below a certain threshold. They just want their money.
Third, Their customer service, as I have just discovered, really sucks. They will not notify you if they discover any problems with your account. (This is what, apparently, has bit me in the ass.)
Talk about nice treatments of those who have put money in -their- pockets.
My problem is now finding a new source of income, and quickly. While my Ghosts of Atlantis project, my Tower of the Rising Sun project, and all of my other novels, are indeed great fun, they do not put food on the table. They do not pay for the computer that recently fried. They do not help pay my mortgage or my car payment.
I am giving Elance a try to see if I can find a contract there. I won't pay for the services until I see a contract go through start to finish, but I will see if I can find work there. Perhaps it will make a suitable replacement for Rentacoder. If anyone knows of any other reliable sources of contract income, I would greatly appreciate any links that you could send me.
This is extremely stressful. In the grand scheme, it was not a significant amount of money. But, it was my money, and it was taken from me. This violation has me completely off balance.
I do not wish to try to monetize Ghosts of Atlantis. It is a project that I mean to share with the world for free. Stories were meant to be shared. I have projects that I want to try for the commercial market, but this is NOT one of them. Perhaps I will use LuLu in the future for offering fans a copy of the book, but only if it is asked for.
Oh well, tomorrow will be a better day. It is not the end of the world, although it feels like it should be.