Amazon is not there to protect you

This Turker at came to the harsh realization that, though Mechanical Turk will be there to suspend you, they won't step in to defend you:
Turk will not protect its workers?!

I woke up to find that 65 HITs were rejected simultaneously for the same reason, by the same requester. The reason they gave was absolutely impossible due to the nature of the assignment, and they copied and pasted this reason into every single rejected HIT.
I have a done couple hundred HITs for the same requester in the past, all of which were accepted. In fact, out of thousands of HITs, I have had only one rejection, ever. It seemed to me that the requester decided to take my work, and not pay for it.

The problem is, besides losing time and money, it has severely hurt my score, and Turk is threatening my account. I wrote to Turk, and they informed me that they do not have a policy to investigate or protect their workers, but that they would take it into suggestion.

I am shocked. They claim that they do not get involved, but yet they threaten my account on behalf of a requester, and they will not look at the issue. Their suggestion to me: go talk about it on the forum. Seriously? A company like Amazon does not protect its workers, especially that we have to go on faith that we will ever be reimbursed?

Has anything similar to this ever happened to anyone else? Because I'm about to walk away from the site entirely.  link
One Turker offered this cynical but realistic response:
Its because in the end it all comes over money.

It would cut into their profits if they had to hire people to check peoples work. Since there are hundreds of thousands of HITs done each day and a good chunk are rejected and people complain, it would be impossible to go through them all. You might have a case since you have done the same work in the past for the same guy and all of a sudden hes rejecting everything.

I once had someone do the same thing, it tanked my account and I had to start a new one and do over some of the requirements. I did about 140 HITs for this one guy that seemed to love me cause he would write me at the end of each run. Then one day he flipped. I dont know why except when I wrote him, he said that he was tired of being ripped off by everyone cause I guess someone scripted a bot and screwed him for 300 bucks. Since they auto approved at the time, he had little recourse since they did auto approve. So he went a bit nuts and went on a rejecting spree, I understand his anger but I always did good work. So it happens sometimes.  link
These kinds of things are common but not acceptable.  It's one thing to deal with requesters who occasionally go off the deep end, but it's another for Amazon to not make any attempt to distinguish between a good worker and a bad worker, a good block and a bad block.  In sum, all the risk is on the Turker and if you get tripped up for any reason, don't expect Amazon to lend a hand.  In fact, they'll probably cancel your account.

This is fully within Amazon/Mechanical Turk's purview.  Nothing is stopping them from raising their requirements for suspensions or using a probationary model which allows Turkers to challenge their blocks before they turn into suspensions.  Is that so much to ask?


  1. This is absurd for a company claiming to
    be so customer oriented...for a company of
    this size and prestige to treat workers this
    way is simply unacceptable.

  2. Thanks for the comment... You're the first! I agree that there is a huge disparity between proper's customer service and this site. It's not only the people-to-people stuff that's lacking, but the attention to a user interface which permits ratings and favorites and searching and feedback and tracking... it's all sorely lacking.

    Questions, if you're still around:
    1. How did you get to this blog?
    2. Do you mind not being able to comment anonymously?
    3. Do you Turk?
    4. Would you be willing to write an email to pointing them to this blog and encouraging them to improve the system?