Loyalty and Honesty in Writing

A place where authors can exchange ideas or thoughts. Talk about what categories are hot and which ones are not.

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Re: Loyalty and Honesty in Writing

Postby carpenjoyce on Tue Sep 20, 2011 5:25 pm

I am glad for the clarifications. The rules here are not at all clear. I don't think just putting it in the registration agreement is a good idea; people have to click on something everytime they sign up for a website, so they don't pay much attention. Moreover, they may not be able to find it again later.

I agree with the lawyer (I'm also a lawyer---retired status----the world is crawling with them!) that an agreement to prevent private contacts probably wouldn't be legally enforceable unless it pertained only to the actual articles sold on cc. So you can't put it in the contract either. But maybe if someone would put this in some very clear site rules that were available where we could find them, we'd all know what's going on. I know my understanding of things was completely different from what Ed outlined. I do think, though, that there ought to be a time limit on the private contact thing. If someone sells something to a buyer and then contacts them privately a year later (whether to do business or for some entirely different reason), I don't think that should be against the rules. Otherwise, it's like someone controlling the buyers and sellers for life, which seems a little draconian.
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Re: Loyalty and Honesty in Writing

Postby Celeste Stewart on Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:09 pm

I haven't checked the terms and conditions lately, but really it's more a matter of ethics than what's legally enforceable. I have several clients who have contacted me offsite yet we still continue to do our business within the CC system because it's the right thing to do. With the Internet, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc, if a client really wants to find you, he can. I've found that most offsite contact is completely innocent. I've had maybe one or two people ask if I'd bill them directly and I explained that no, I couldn't. They didn't have a problem with the answer. Most of the others have never brought it up.

To me, these clients aren't mine. They're Constant-Content's and I've been entrusted to help them. Some of these relationships are five years old but the clients still belong to CC. I can't just say, "Well, it's been five years, so I suppose it's okay to bypass CC." My personal ethics don't come with a time limit.

That said, if I wrote a single article for a Robert Smith five years ago and a client named Bob Smith contacted me for work on my website five years later, I'd have no reasonable way of knowing that we had a prior relationship on CC. I wouldn't have a problem working with the client, and I don't suspect CC would have an issue with it, if the situation were something like that. Where there's a problem is when writers and customers intentionally try to work around the system.

It's just common sense, ethics, and intention.
Celeste Stewart
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Re: Loyalty and Honesty in Writing

Postby Celeste Stewart on Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:18 pm

Also, this is a really old thread and CC has implemented several measures that has address what used to be a problem. For example, that rule where you can't ask questions of public requesters until you've had a few articles approved? That addressed an issue where so-called CC writers were spamming customers with poorly worded offers to work on their projects privately - for chump change.
Celeste Stewart
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Re: Loyalty and Honesty in Writing

Postby Karbyn on Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:34 am

Point 1: While we can write for outside clients and whoever we find on our own

Point 2: But, the terms we signed up and agreed to - one of which is that we won't work with CC customers outside of the system.

Thank you for clarifying these two points, a fine distinction, but a clear one.
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Re: Loyalty and Honesty in Writing

Postby alex8355 on Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:59 pm

I wish there were the vast majority of people so loyal as you in the field of freelance writing. The work then would be much more convenient and trust-warthy, as well.
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Re: Loyalty and Honesty in Writing

Postby contentwriter on Sun Sep 15, 2013 11:04 am

Celeste Stewart wrote:Wait a minute. There shouldn't be any judgement calls. If a CC customer approaches you for an outside deal, it shouldn't be something that you must consider. It's a free country but that doesn't mean we can do everything we want or are tempted to do.

While we can write for outside clients and whoever we find on our own, we are bound by the terms we signed up and agreed to - one of which is that we won't work with CC customers outside of the system. Imagine if one of the writers earning thousands a month here suddenly disappeared and started working with CC customers directly. Why should we care about this lapse in ethics on that writer's part, right? Wrong! Would their departure hurt the CC site? Yes. Would it affect other writers? Absolutely. Less money flowing in means less money flowing out. Guess where customers come from? Lots of advertising with lots of advertising dollars generated by you and me. So, not only is about having integrity, it's also about sustaining this site. Writers that take customers away from CC are screwing us all.

Just want to revive this post even though it's years old. Well put!

So writers should work directly with clients only if the clients find them outside of CC. I don't think we should worry about lost opportunities because there are ways to promote oneself online and be found. The opportunities that would be lost were CC to go down would be far greater than what one loses turning down a dishonest client.
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Re: Loyalty and Honesty in Writing

Postby Rune on Sun Nov 09, 2014 5:02 am

I wouldn't work with a customer outside of Constant Content. Even if you got a few extra dollars, it's not worth losing the resources available by contracting through the company. You get a platform that gives you free editing and a constant stream of customers. Why would you ever risk screwing that up for a slightly increased cut of the pay with a single customer? Ethics like that will get you nothing but trouble.
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Re: Loyalty and Honesty in Writing

Postby MadHattie on Wed Sep 16, 2015 7:13 am

I haven’t signed up with CC yet, but I anticipate doing so. I’ve been reading the forum in order to understand the system better before signing up.

My question: If I sign up using a pen name and set up a separate email account just for CC business would that be an effective way to ensure compliance on my part?

I try to keep best practices in mind and would appreciate any feedback or advice from admin or veteran CC authors.
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Re: Loyalty and Honesty in Writing

Postby AthenaCharles on Tue May 10, 2016 5:06 am

I think it is probably written into the agreement with CC that you should not enter into a direct sale with a customer who you connected with through CC. After all CC do all the selling, advertising, website running. money management, and complaint handling. There is something to be said for having a middle man/woman/website that deals with customers directly on your behalf. I often work with customers directly for my proofreading business and it is not an easy thing to do.
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