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Academic Knowledge - Alternative View and Interesting Scenario Ongoing

Sep 17, 2009 | #1
I just stumbled across this after a google search or two... Anyhow I've been writing for AK for nearly 2 years now and up until now I've found them to be pretty good. Frustrating at times with a very slow response to any query you make for your benefit i.e. relating to payment but expecting double quick responses to amendment queries etc.

But in the last month or so they have got a lot worse. I'm not sure if it's an economic climate thing that has caused the company to try and get back as much money from writers as they can or whether there has been a change in the quality department which has resulted in quite a bit of incompetence. I do believe that it is just that rather than a deliberate attempt to swindle but at the end of the day the result is the same.

I'm currently having a battle over 2 'penalties' both of which I don't think should have been applied as all instructions were followed and it's clear that the client is just after a refund. Apparently AK have refunded but if they give in when the writer has followed every request / amendment to the letter I don't see why the writer should suffer.

The real annoyance is the fact that one of these penalties has been applied twice and one four times so I am now down a total of nearly £1300 over what should be at most a £500 penalty (and that I dispute). On pointing this out to the quality team you get a curt and totally useless response of 'tough that's our decision'.

Jennifer is looking into it and I must say that she has always been really helpful and responsive so hopefully I'll be able to report back with some good news :-) I do think that the main problem comes from the total lack of thought that the quality team seem to throw at situations, even with amendments they simply seem to cut and paste responses without actually reading them which is infuriating at best.

What I'm trying to say is that there is a pocket of total annoyance (quality) and it is a monthly battle to get the correct invoice agreed which is very irritating but if you can learn to take a deep breath and try to realise that it really is just down to a lot of thoughtless button pressing from some individuals then they can be a good company to work for. Rates are pretty good and there is a reasonably constant flow of work.

I will keep you all updated as to how this progresses. Naturally if they attempt to enforce the 2x penalty and the 4x penalty I will be pursuing it so much as I hope I don't become a test case we may get to find out how enforceable those clauses are!! ;-)
Nov 23, 2009 | #2
dont work for them whatever you do, there are 2 things this company is good at, ripping of customers and writers but they will never ever dip into their own kitty , they are greedy B's, dont work for them whatever you do
Jan 25, 2012 | #3
Frustrated new writer (my first assignment from Academic Knowledge)

Received my first assignment from Academic Knowledge, and was given 16 hours to review, edit and critique a 10 page law paper. The problem - which i immediately communicated to the company - was as follows: the question presented was a request for legal advice based on a specific set of facts relating to topic A; the essay was a theoretical discussion of relevant law regarding topic B. Needless to say, topics A and B had absolutely nothing to do with each other. Moreover, the the essay never mentioned the relevant fact pattern. I sent 2 messages to the company, and in the interim reviewed the paper based on its content - without regard to the initial question. It was horrifically written, and took hours to rework. I sent in the heavily edited paper on time along with another message regarding the disconnect (which the company claims not to have received). The only response I have received (after the deadline) stated that the client provided the question, instructions and the essay, and that should be enough. Thereupon, I revised my critique to give the paper a "fail" grade for unresponsiveness. Is this kind of thing the norm? Any advice as to how I should/could have handled it differently? I found the company's response, or lack thereof, infuriating.
Jan 25, 2012 | #4

You are not expected to re-write the whole paper, think of it as a marking job. Some of these papers are truly horrific and need to be done again, if that is the case just say so on the sheet. Its the comments on the marking sheet that are most important, you are expected to edit with track changes but only to a reasonable level for the fee.

Hope that helps.

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