Confusion + Intolerance - Transparency = Mechanical Turk?

Something I've wanted to emphasize is that while very few of MTurk's problems are deal breakers in and of themselves, as a whole they make for an unruly and un-user-friendly mix. Here's why:

  • You start out and don't quite know the ropes.  You make a few mistakes.  BAM, one block.
  • You're not told when you get blocked, so you keep going thinking everything's ok.  BAM two blocks.
  • Now you've wised up some and learned to communicate with requesters.  You contact the past block and get it removed.  Kinda.  It's still on your record, but it's not supposed to count.
  • You inadvertently run into a scammer who blocks the whole batch.  Three blocks.  Account suspended.  
  • You email Amazon.  They tell you it's between you and the requesters.
  • You explain that you don't have 3 blocks.  They say, oh, ok, one of your blocks was corrected.  
  • Three days later, you can get back into your account.  You still have three blocks.
  • Next weekend you are feeling focused and do 800 HITs from three different requesters.  You pay attention and do good work.  But Monday morning your account is blocked, suspended, closed, permanently.
  • This time Amazon wants letters directly from the requesters.  But you don't know who blocked you.  You email each one.  Turns out, one had a computer glitch, the other didn't want you to do any more of his HITs but had nothing against your work, and the last one isn't returning emails and apparently blocked a whole group of people for no apparent reason.  Guess what?  Bye-bye Mechanical Turk.
  • Ok, so your account is finished, all of your reputation rating vanishes, your qualifying HITs and permissions vanish.  At least you can start over and try again, right?
  • Wrong!  One account per Turker, forever!!  In a system as confusing, muddled, frustrating, bone-headed, irreconcilable, maddening, not-user-friendly, un-Amazon, un-customer-service, you get ONE SHOT, and then you're gone for good.
It's not quite death by a thousand cuts but it's close.  Jeff?  You said you wanted to be the flagship customer service company in the world.  We are the consumers of your brand, your technology, your policies, and your support services.  This is not living up to your mission.

1 comment:

  1. This is what actually happened with me... I was working on mturk from last 3 years, with 99.2% and over 7k$ but suddenly one morning I checked my mailbox and found that my mturk a/c has been suspended. I contacted the customer care to explain the reason of such unjustified act and they replied that my percentage was too low. For whiwith over 1 lacs hits and with 99+% its not the valid reason at all. Then they replied, " Sorry to give you the wrong reason previously, you a/c was suspended because requesters blocked your account" wtf. And all this happen without any prior warning message from either mturk or requester itself. Amazon Mechanical Turk, is the most indecent, worst and most pathetic place to work.
    They have no provision of how senior or how good a worker is, even if you've 100% approval rate and loads og bonus and hits on your name, if even by mistake you get 3 bans from requester you a/c is gone...PERMANENTLY