Thursday, December 20, 2007

Mahalo Refuses Mentors Payments

Mahalo Refuses to pay it's Mentors

To make the long story short I've been working with Mahalo as a mentor since back in July. Well things have gone pretty smoothly with the exception of payments being continuously delayed until last month. I got an email informing me that there was a discrepancy with some of the pages that I've "mentored" and they needed to discuss our payment options.

I'm informed that because I spent less than 15mins "QC'ing" some of these pages they are refusing to pay for them. Later I'm told its because there weren't enough edits or major changes. Now as I can see it from the QC process no where does it specify that there even needs to be a change made.
# To check the quality of the work, follow this process:

* STEP 1: Assess the page and make sure it looks complete and well-organized. Are there any sections it needs to have but doesn't? Is there a Guide Note, Fast Facts and related tags? If it's missing anything important or fails to follow Mahalo formatting and style rules, kick back the page.
* STEP 2: Click the "Open Links" button on the guide toolbar. Wait a few moments for all the links on the page to open. Skim quickly over all of the links. If more than 1/3 of the links look questionable or fail to meet Mahalo standards, kick back the page.
* STEP 3: Do a quick Google search. Does Google's Top 20 have quality links that you haven't yet visited? If so, kick back the page.

# If the SeRP is not acceptable, click the "Decline" button and send an email to the PTG explaining what they can do to improve the page.

They provide me with a list of about 111 pages they are willing to pay in full for but the rest are "under scrutiny". Basically it works out to 359 out of the 470 pages I reviewed during October.

I'm given two options:
1. they can do a full audit of these pages and they'll pay me for the ones they think had enough work done or have been worked on since they were added to Mahalo. I'm not told what constitutes enough work nor am I given any guidelines for their review!
2. they will pay me 1/3 of the total sum for the remaining pages, this works out to paying me $3.33 per page or $1163 out of the $3590 they owe me.

Well not being one to take things sitting down I ask them to do a full audit of these pages. Which some how they manage to audit 359 pages with 3 full time guides in less than a week. Keep in mind they've told me that its not likely that I could have done the same thing in a full months time. They inform me that they are now willing to pay me in full for an addition 120 pages. Interestingly that works out to just about the 1/3 they wanted to pay in the beginning.

So I reviewed the full list of pages they don't want to pay me for. I noticed that several of the pages we were specifically asked to QC and move to Mahalo. These were either pages from other mentors, previously QC'd page ect. And several of the pages had numerous changes made. Which leads me to believe they infact did not do a full audit of these pages and I in deed should be paid in full.

In an attempt to reach an amicable agreement I offer to review the list of pages and they could pay me in full for the ones I feel I deserve a full payment for and a lump sum or $5/page can be paid for the rest. Or they can simply pay me $5/page for the remaining 239 pages. I still didn't understand why they were refusing payment to begin with as these pages were mentored per their guidelines. I felt no matter how you cut it I worked on all these pages and I should at least be paid a little for my time spent.

I received the inevitable response in the form of a phone call (Mahalo isn't big on putting things in writing} informing me that they are simply refusing to pay anything beyond what they have already paid. I'm still waiting on the payment for the 120 they are now willing to pay. They also inform me that there was an issue with some of the pages from November and they will now be audited.

So now it looks like they are going to refuse payment of anywhere from $2400 to $3200 (maybe more). Its my understanding that at least 2 other mentors had similar issues, with one opting not to fight, and the other asking for a full audit. So I know I'm not alone in this ordeal. But what a way to be treated for someone that worked their butt off for this company.


  1. Anonymous5:29 PM

    Ah, the J-ster continues practising his usual business strategy: Making mad love to the press while screwing employees. Any Weblogs Inc peeps want to throw in a shout out to the old boss?

  2. Anonymous10:16 PM

    Jason Calacanis, owner of Mahalo, is a thief that uses his "star employees" to gain credibility but is stealing from everybody else. Proof: he has stolen my drawing, removed copyright info and placed it on his server - all without my permission - 100% proof that he is a thief.

    Please sue him!

  3. I've received a lot of rather interesting feedback related to this situation. For the most part it has been very supportive. ValleyWag is running this story which while not all that supportive does provide some perspective. I do agree with some of the observations made, and apparently so did Mahalo as it changed the pay rate shortly following Oct (the month in question). And eventually started a new pilot program where as we were being paid a salary.

    I was reading C0D3W12's post and have posted a response however my account is still pending so it will be a little while before it gets posted.

    My response to that user is this: At the time the work was done we had 22 mentors. I know at least 3, myself and two others, were involved in this situation. The 3 of us were the top 3 producing mentors in the program and accounted for the majority of the pages done in that time frame.

    Collectively we QC'd almost 1200 pages. Combined I believe we did more work in one week than the rest of the program combined for the entire month.

    I can't speak on their behalf but I do know one of them took the 1/3 payment deal and I'm unaware of the terms the other mentor reached.

    As for negativity towards Jason, I don't know him personally and have only had limited contact and business with him. So I really have no comment there. I did add him on one of the original emails regarding not being paid but he failed to respond. I am a bit surprised that he has not responded to my post in any way. I'm sure for legal reasons he won't, however it would be nice to see a response.

  4. Anonymous3:13 PM

    I Have Had nothing But Trouble With Mahalo, As Far as Pay And Reasonable Turn Around Time on Getting Serps Approved!! They do Not Respond to Most E-Mails, And When They do...It Is Generally Hostile and Sarcastic!!
    Jason And Matt Stroke their Pets, And Screw the Rest of Us!!

  5. Anonymous5:23 PM

    I hope you get the FULL amount you are owed and you deserve an apology from mahalo. I've had several disagreements with them on payment for serps and I feel like I am NEVER treated seriously. I've been a mahalo employee since July and have never been taken to ptg plus even though I have applied several times. Most of my serps are accepted in 1 - 2 times and they don't make sense. as soon as I breached the payment gap of having 50 serps accepted (when I hit 52) they changed the pay scale to a per serp basis.

    --- Good luck to you!

  6. Follow up: Today was their last day to pay up and there was no resolution. So it looks like I get to go through the tortures of the legal system. Wish me luck!!

  7. Anonymous8:19 PM

    Thanks all for posting. I was looking at this Mahalo thing and right away googled the name along with "complaints", and found this site.

    I won't touch anything to do with this Jason skankster.


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