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Thread: Stampede Services

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Stampede Services

    Hello,

    New to the board, so please excuse me if this has been brought up before. I recently got involved with Stampede services, writing one-liners for some kind of project that the owner of the site seems very tight-lipped about. I was wondering if anyone knew about this organization?
    I sent them Initial writings on a couple of different topics and was "Assigned" 12 assignments in both of these topics. Each assignment is 31 writings, and I am to receive $1/writing, which adds up to 31*12=$372 per topic. The catch? The business is supposedly not profitable yet. As such, they can't pay their writers yet. But since they are sharing no information with their writers as to who they are working for, how are we to know when(and if) they become profitable?
    Besides that, their writer's agreement sounds a little shaky.
    Am I just being paranoid?

    Jenn

  2. #2
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Not all paranoia is unhealthy.


    Are they asking you to become an unsecured investor in a startup business?

    Where are they located? How did you hear about them?

  3. #3
    carpe noctem Sarita's Avatar
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    http://www.stampedeservices.com/pages/1/index.htm

    According to their website: As of August 2005, we currently expect the company to be profitable by December 1st (less than four months), if not sooner.

    Provided that revenues ramp up enough to compensate you, we will pay you within seven days of receiving payment from our client. For your assurance, we are contractually required to do so in the Agreement.

    Also, for each month you work while we're working to achieve profitability, 2% compounded interest is added to your payment. The idea is simple: if you invest in us, then we'll invest in you.

    On the agreement: The above listed Freelance Writer agrees to work on the contingency that Stampede gets paid enough to cover the payment of $1 per writing to the Freelancer. Since the company is not operating on an advance from our corporate client, any payment to the Freelancer is contingent on Stampede's revenues ramping up enough to compensate the Freelancer.

    So, if they never become "profitable", you're out. (bolding is mine) Who determines the definition of "ramping up"?

    ETA: I can't seem to find any info on their site about location...
    Last edited by Sarita; 09-20-2005 at 01:38 AM.


    ~Sara

    "There are moments when, whatever be the attitude of the body, the soul is on its knees." ~ Hugo

  4. #4
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Question

    According to their writing agreement they are located in Boston. I heard about them through a writing job board. I've tried to find info on them on-line and haven't had any luck. The ONLY info I've gotten is the name of the guy that responds to the writings. His name is Steve...but he is always using the plural when writing back. 'We' liked this, or 'We' need this.
    There are many others who seem to be writing for them as well, which would seem to provide validity, but who's to say they're not being taken for a ride too?


    Jenn

  5. #5
    Gone
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    The terms they quote are disturbingly vague. What determines if they've become profitable enough to pay you? You're being asked to give them your work for no guaranteed payment and no idea about how it's being used. And for work for hire, the rates stink. I'd be suspicious, too.

  6. #6
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Generally speaking, the writers are the cheapest part of the publishing equation. If they can't afford to hire writers... well, that doesn't say much for their over-all capitalization.
    Last edited by James D. Macdonald; 09-20-2005 at 02:28 AM.

  7. #7
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Thank you for responding!
    I really wanted to think of it as a legit opportunity to make some decent money writing. But it's hard to see past the obvious, as much as I tried. I just needed it pointed out to me, I guess.
    Oh well...thanks again!

  8. #8
    Bliss-ninny
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    Has anyone heard of this Stampede?
    I'd make a vegetarian stew, except it's against the law to cook people in the United States.-Frank

  9. #9
    personalmedia
    Guest

    Stampede Services

    Jenn,

    I wrote about 26 sets of writings for Stampede starting back in July 2005. The company has pushed their expected date of profitability back several times. Steve Miller communicated to me that it could take an additional 3-5 months and they would let me know when they are ready to send me a check for the $900 worth of writing I've done.

    Kind regards,
    Lori

  10. #10
    Juliensmom
    Guest

    Unhappy

    That's good you got any response at all from Steve. I have done some writing for them as well, to the tune of about $1,200 worth of it. I sent him an email back in December and I still haven't heard from him. I'm going to contact him again and see what he tells me. Wouldn't it be nice if we could all sue him for breach of contract or something?

    Oh, btw, I'm Carolyn. I just joined the forums. I get the newsletter already, but this is my first trip here. I found this forum when I did a Google search for information on Stampede Services. I was looking to see if there was any scam information about them posted online anywhere.

    Carolyn

  11. #11
    Ooo! Shiny new cover! Absolute Sage Cathy C's Avatar
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    Welcome, Carolyn!


    Do they actually PROVIDE a contract, with terms, that you both sign? Or is it just a series of emails with instructions? Just wondering...
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    Cathy Clamp
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    "An entertaining (and occasionally very dark) mystery." -- Locus

    "[Shapeshifter] fans are about to hit the jackpot as Clamp returns to re-energize this amazing series. Searching for layered plotlines and complex characters? Look no further, as Clamp truly delivers!" -- RT BookReviews

    "Cathy Clamp is a visionary author, creating new worlds that are both strong and vividly drawn. Adventure and excitement at its best." -- Yasmine Galenorn, New York Times Bestselling Author

    "A struggling community under attack, compelling action, characters struggling with dark secrets ... FORBIDDEN hit all my favorite notes, and I love the rich world of the Sazi!" - Rachel Caine, New York Times Bestselling Author

  12. #12
    Juliensmom
    Guest

    Smile

    They do provide a contract that you download from the website. You sign it and mail it to them, but they do not sign it and send it back to you with their signatures. As of this date, I still haven't heard from them. I emailed Steve for an update on the status of the company's financial situation yesterday. It's really sad because it's not hard work. I'm thinking he's using our writings as his own to submit in his own name to someone else. I haven't submitted anything else to him and I informed him that I won't be until I hear from him.

    Hope that helps.

    Carolyn

  13. #13
    Ooo! Shiny new cover! Absolute Sage Cathy C's Avatar
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    Well, certainly you're right to wonder about this, since you haven't been paid. Have you tried to Google unique strands of your article content? You know, something like, "the paralysis can be caused by infusion of." Something totally unique that could ONLY have come from what you wrote. You never know, you might get a hit and you'll at least have that question answered.

    While I'm glad they have an actual contract, if you don't have a signed copy, it does little good. Just another good reason why writers shouldn't submit the product until the contract is in hand, unless it's a well known publication on the stands (and even then, I'm hesitant without some firm commitment in writing -- even if email.)

    Keep us advised on how you fare with getting paid, Carolyn.
    Want FREE reads? Click here!

    Smiles!
    Cathy Clamp
    USA Today bestselling author
    ILLICIT, coming 7/16!
    My Website
    Follow me: Twitter
    Now on Facebook! Come friend me!



    "An entertaining (and occasionally very dark) mystery." -- Locus

    "[Shapeshifter] fans are about to hit the jackpot as Clamp returns to re-energize this amazing series. Searching for layered plotlines and complex characters? Look no further, as Clamp truly delivers!" -- RT BookReviews

    "Cathy Clamp is a visionary author, creating new worlds that are both strong and vividly drawn. Adventure and excitement at its best." -- Yasmine Galenorn, New York Times Bestselling Author

    "A struggling community under attack, compelling action, characters struggling with dark secrets ... FORBIDDEN hit all my favorite notes, and I love the rich world of the Sazi!" - Rachel Caine, New York Times Bestselling Author

  14. #14
    Juliensmom
    Guest
    Thanks for the suggestion about Google. I'll try doing that. It's so unfortunate that someone would do that just to get content. I couldn't find any information about the company itself when I Googled the name, only the website itself and this thread, which prompted me to join and post here.

    BTW, I also found a message on craiglist.org that is warning people about this company. The message talks about being wary of Stampede because it is a startup company and the author wasn't sure if it was a scam or not. If only they posted that months ago.

    I guess it's back to the proverbial drawing board for me.

    I will let you know when I hear anything.

    Carolyn

  15. #15
    caelanmac
    Guest

    sketchy, indeed

    I gave them the benefit of the doubt for one project. If I heard more from them, or was paid timely, I would have done a lot more work.
    The whole "ramping up" was strange enough...they couldn't get investment capital? Still, I gave it a shot. No dimes, yet.
    At least the website has been updated with a properly contrite message.

  16. #16
    practical experience, FTW Rambling's Avatar
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    I find it odd that their web-site is aimed entirely at prospective writers - no contact details whatsoever if you actually want to BUY something from them. That having been said, I can't figure out what they have to gain either.

  17. #17
    Juliensmom
    Guest

    Wondering...

    Hi everyone,

    I was just wondering if anyone has heard anything else from Steve at Stampede Services. I've been checking their website weekly and they still have the same message posted on there since Jan 2006 (could have been earlier than that.) I have sent emails but I keep getting the automated message that I should keep checking their Charting the Course page on their website.

    If only he would post some sort of update on the status of the company. If I thought threatening legal action would work, I would have done it by now. It just doesn't make any sense. If I knew of another place that was looking for the same kind of writings, I would gladly send them there instead. (If you know of such a place, let me know. )

    Oh well...

    Carolyn

  18. #18
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    http://www.stampedeservices.com/pages/5/index.htm

    Charting the Course Forward

    Our writers have done great work

    We would like to congratulate our writers and content editors on their outstanding work. Thank you for your creative contributions thus far!

    Achievements and challenges

    Over the past months, we have created a strong library of content, which is a tremendous accomplishment. However, we have experienced a setback: while we have been able to complete a number of deals with companies, they have been slow to launch. Since we are paid through royalties from the content, this has affected our ability to pay you thus far.

    A candid view of the delay we've experienced

    We believed that our clients would launch as soon as they said they would, which lead to us giving you an expected payment date that turned out to be incorrect. For the resulting delay in payment, we are deeply sorry and we apologize to you.

    We are working hard to get you paid

    Albert Einstein said, "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." With that in mind, we are carrying out a plan to give us the best shot of getting you paid.

    The plan: our focus has moved entirely to sales

    We are putting all of our energy into sales. We will not ask that you complete any more writings on contingency. We want to get you paid - and sooner than later.

    If you have any remaining Assignments that you would like to turn in and be credited for, you can do so, and assume that we are pleased with them unless we contact you.

    It may or may not be a long road ahead to get you paid

    We will soldier on, focusing on sales, and we are optimistic about getting you paid.

    How you'll know that we're ready to pay you

    • You will be paid if or as soon as Stampede has been paid.

    • Once Stampede has been paid, we will contact you via e-mail to confirm your mailing information. In addition, to make certain you don't wonder if we simply forgot to contact you, we will place a notice at the top of the homepage at StampedeServices.com that will say PAYMENT IS IN and we will leave it there throughout the year.

    • We will compensate you for all of your writings. We will not deduct any writings that we re-wrote (if any).

    • You will be paid for your work plus 2% compounded interest for each month you wait for payment, for up to nine months, provided that we receive payment from our clients. We will confirm the exact payment to you only once we are ready to send payment.

    • We will send checks as opposed to PayPal or other payment methods.

    Sound Off

    Again, we apologize for the delay, but completely understand if you are frustrated. You can express your frustrations to us at contact@stampedeservices.com.

    We originally planned to respond to each e-mail, but decided that since the goal is to get you paid, we're best off spending that time on sales. We will contact you as soon as your payment is ready. We will be working hard to make that happen.

    We take our responsibility to you seriously, and we will work to make it right.
    Translation: don't hold your breath.
    ICAO
    ---------
    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

  19. #19
    Rep Point Whore Nangleator's Avatar
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    Stampede... I could make a joke, but it would be lame.

    Is this 'work for hire'? Does that matter?

    Or would it legally be work for hire if you don't get paid?

  20. #20
    Juliensmom
    Guest
    LOL Nangleator, your joke can't be any lamer than Stampede itself. What a waste!
    Oh well, you live and learn, right? Working for no pay would be slavery, but then again, even slaves got room and board, didn't they?

    Thanks for responding Nangleator and CaoPaux.

    Carolyn

  21. #21
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Not a good sign.... http://www.stampedeservices.com/update.html

    We want to apologize to you for not providing an update sooner. By not giving you an update, it may have seemed as if you were forgotten - but you weren’t. The thinking was that the next update would state that your payment is in, because that is what we would like to be able to tell you.

    We have implemented a plan that took some time to develop, and we believe that it is the best shot to get things on track. It is, however, not the only option available. We will work as quickly as possible, but do understand that it takes time.
    When your payment is ready, you will be contacted via e-mail and the site will be updated. If we believe at whatever point that the company has truly failed, then we will update the site as well, but we do not believe that that will be the outcome.

    We apologize to you for these delays.
    Last edited by CaoPaux; 06-19-2007 at 10:54 PM. Reason: adding quote
    ICAO
    ---------
    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

  22. #22
    Writer Beware's Faithful Igor Richard White's Avatar
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    I would say by now, the odds of getting paid by Stampede are about as good as Publish America outselling Scholastic by the end of the year.

  23. #23
    Juliensmom
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    Red face

    Isn't it just a shame? Like a crazy person, I kept after Steve until he did finally post that lame update a few months ago. Man, I am just disgusted, but what can you do? Oh well, on to better things!!

    Carolyn

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