I’m writing this from my hotel room in Stockholm, after attending and conferring at Eurostar 2016. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it and was able to meet so many different and passionate testers from places I didn’t even know had testers.
But this experience was somewhat spoiled by something completely different.
Here’s a few things that get me all riled up: Pokémon that run away and injustice. (amongst other things)
Today I’m complaining about injustice.
This injustice comes from a source that I had hoped valued integrity and transparency as much as it marketed to be: We-Are-Testers.com. (WAT)
They provide a service, like many other crowd testing companies, that links a customer with specific needs to a number of testers who are willing to jump at the opportunity to test something new AND make a few extra bucks while doing it.
I welcome this idea as it offers me the chance to do some extra testing, but also get some pocket-money to spend.
This mission, I had two days time to test an application on an Iphone and come up with linguistic issues in it.
Pretty easy right? Especially because all the Dutch text I had to review seemed to be copy pasted from a Google translate service.
However, some constraints hindered me: Only two days of testing were foreseen and the first day I spent an hour trying to install the app, only to find out the configuration of the install thingy didn’t work for me. An admin from WAT had to correct this for me.
The second day I was able to test for two hours before the deadline.
I logged 18 bugs, which would amount to maximum 144 EUR.
All required fields were filled in, as per agreement. Steps, expected outcome and actual outcome were all given as well as any other required fields. (How else would I be able to submit the bug?!)
Later, the next day, mails came flying in. INCOMPLETE, INCOMPLETE, INCOMPLETE.
Wait a second, there seems to be something wrong…
I hadn’t included screenshots.
Ok, I agree that a screenshot is pretty handy to have in most bugs.
HOWEVER, in this context, with two hours time to find as many bugs as possible, making, uploading, downloading, linking,… screenshots would heavily cut into my bug-finding time.
Steps, the name of the screen where the bug was found, the actual text and what it should become had to be more than enough for meager text issues.
In any case, for the three hours of work I wouldn’t see a penny.
And me being me, I kind of want to make a problem out of that.
I contacted the moderators and spokespeople from WAT, who are generally really nice guys and girls, to ask them to look into my situation.
Argument 1: Their website’s “Payment Policy” doesn’t mention Screenshots are a requisite for payout. It specifically says attachment only if relevant.
Argument 2: The mission’s “How to report a bug” doesn’t mention Screenshots are a requisite for a complete bug.
Argument 3: If Screenshots are a necessity for this project, please please please make the input field for screenshots a required field?
This is a clear miscommunication, so I gave them time to find out how they’d handle my situation.
Today I heard that I wouldn’t get a dime for my efforts, that it was unfortunate but that it was virtually my own fault.
My point is not whether screenshots should or shouldn’t be added to bugs.
My point is that WAT is telling me I should not be paid because I didn’t adhere to a rule that I can’t find anywhere in their Terms of Agreement, Payment Policy, FAQ or Mission Description.
They did offer four extra hours to insert the screenshots. At noon. While I’m at work. Thanks a lot!
They argue that the devs need screenshots, but frankly, that’s not my problem.
WAT provides a service to the devs. I provide a service to WAT.
WAT should carry the burden of handling communication errors on their part,
And I shouldn’t be the one to suffer from the gaps they leave.
I’m pretty sure those bugs will be fixed in the next version. But regardless of that, not paying people because of rules applied by a third party seems kind of illegal to me.
If you don’t agree, let me know.