PeoplePerHour staff have posted a new forum thread with an announcement about their new fees.
Over one year, a freelancer issuing a weekly £10 invoice could expect to pay £23.40 commission. They now pay £104, and the new fees were applied from last week. On the day the new fees kicked in, no part of the site had been changed and no announcement had been made.
Freelancers do not disagree with the new fees, but they are angry that they were introduced with no warning. The new fees also apply to jobs that were started weeks or months ago, giving no opportunity for freelancers to opt out.
Yesterday the company deleted a discussion thread about the matter which had 63 replies. As yet, PeoplePerHour have not emailed their clients, nor have they announced their new fee structure on Twitter or Facebook. Click here to read the PeoplePerHour service fee blog post and apology in full.
Get a refund on your PeoplePerHour fees
PeoplePerHour have apologised for applying the new fee last week without telling freelancers, blaming ‘technical problems’. They are not offering automatic refunds on fees applied before the announcement was made, but their CEO says freelancers can contact them for a refund. This has not been announced on their blog, but the post is visible on their forum.
As yet, there is no comment on the legality of charging new fees on agreements which are already in place.
Join the discussion
Follow the discussion on their forum if you regularly invoice your clients for small amounts. This issue almost certainly affects you. The new discussion thread has almost 100 replies from freelancers.
Why we care
My issue is not with the increase in fees: it’s clear the site needs investment, and fees do change over time. But people need to be told and companies need to be fair. I passionately believe companies should operate ethically, particularly in tough economic times when income is no joke for freelance workers. An apology is great, but the amount of information volunteered to site users is still lacking.