Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Maxxathlete (.com) Company Rips Off A FreeLancer

Location: Other, Manhattan Beach
Industry: Technology
Annoyed By: Maxxathlete (Manhattan Beach,CA USA)

Company: http://www.maxxathlete.com

A freelancer who was cheated on payment for work completed on behalf of Maxxathlete.

Payment was cheated implicitly by Maxxathlete in the company's failure to take responsibility and accountability for the misdeeds of an employee who subcontracted work to the freelancer and who later refused to make agreed payments backed by Maxxathlete.
Contract was initiated on Feb 2 2009. The work was initially estimated to last 3-4 weeks. I offered to work at 1-3K for the 3-4 week duration. The offer was accepted and work began.
The work lasted longer than the estimated duration for several reasons:
1) Employee offloaded work to me that he agreed to shoulder in order to meet the deadline
2) scope of the work was increased with the additional requirement to embed a database in the application.
At six weeks I produced a working software application which Maxxathlete currently possesses. I asked to be paid for the work done so far on March 27 '09.
Employee asked me a again to name a price for the work.
Having now a much better sense of the effort to produce the application I suggested a rate of 1.5K per week inviting the Employee to negotiate.
Rather than negotiating Employee asserted I was overcharging and refused to make payment even after I suggested to make any kind of payment.
Getting nowhere with the Employee I sought Maxxathlete's help.
As an outsider, not knowing anyone at Maxxathlete, I used the internet to find persons connected to Maxxathlete and ask if they can help me address 'An Internal Employee Conflict' by routing a message to appropriate persons.
Feedback came to me from the Employee that I only succeeded in creating a negative image of myself as a 'loud mouth and someone who is hard to work with' and insulting him and Maxxathlete.
Frankly, I see no reason to be embarrassed, no innocent person would, nobody who takes a stand against an injustice directed at them has cause to be ashamed.

Employee had successfully created an alibi creating an image of me as an unprofessional who makes adjustments to negotiated price and expects to be paid the new rate.
I was convinced of this because when response finally came from Maxxathlete.
It was inflamed and carried the prejudice of the 'unprofessional who changes the bid'.
I made clear the fact that at no time in my communications with the Employee did I make demand on a particular price rather I demanded that the Employee make some kind of payment for the work that produced an application which he currently possesses.
Maxxathlete, made a budget offer that failed to take into account the additional scope of work I had undertaken. An arbitrary 2K which I was told was non-negotiable.
One reason for the flame is that I had sent request for oversight on the Employee's failure to honor a contract to 5 persons, which in Maxxathlete's mind is too many. I explained to Maxxathlete that I acted with urgency because I had depleted my own resources for the six weeks and asked Employee for relief and he refused leaving me to go on with little to no money.
In this condition I was forced to accept the offer. I made this known to Maxxathlete on April 2. We had been communicating via Email. I sent several emails on April 3 and 4 and even on IM where Maxxathlete contact told me I could find him.
To date no response. Maxxathlete has not followed up, it appears that Maxxathlete has no intention to pay me for the product of my work which they currently possess.

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