Was I scammed by a cowboy? Was I scammed by a cowboy?
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  1. #1

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    Default Was I scammed by a cowboy?

    I am wondering what sneaky tactics my recent recruitment agent nightmare employed to stiff me. Most of my experiences (15 years) with agents are usually bearable, sometimes nice and rarely bizarre. This is a bizarre one.

    I had a telephone interview for a contract in another country. Got given a verbal yes and I responded likewise but wanted to negitiate the rate & agree details like flights.

    Anyway I got a call at 4pm from the rectruiment agent and I was in an interview so couldn't respond. I ended up calling him back the following day at 11am. And he tells me he had to give the contract to someone else as he couldn't get hold of me????!???

    WTF - Af first I thought this guy is pulling my chain but all he could repeatedly say was "Yeah, sorry but I couldn't get hold of you, I called you, texted you and emailed you" - true but I couldn't reply any sooner and never once did the conscientious fella say how urgent it was to speak to him.

    After forcing myself to speak civilly to this guy on several occasssions I had to listen to a few classic lines like...

    "What do you want me to do? The job's gone to the other guy, do you want me to call him up and tell he hasn't got a job, how would that make him feel? Put yourself in his shoes?" - I never told him I wanted him to get rid of the other guy but I like the way he's trying to make me feel guilty - nice.

    When I said I wanted to put in a complaint about him he said
    " You don't want to burn any bridges mate" ...
    - ha ha, that bridge was blown to smitherines by his dodgy behaviour - what's to burn.

    Good to get that off my chest. The impression I got was that the agent was stringing a few of us along and then went with the guy that the client wanted & dropped the rest of us using a variety of excuses - I can't believe they would source a contract based on who they could get hold of in a 4 our working window! Interested in your views.

    Also any advice about taking this further - e.g. putting in a complaint with the agency. I am loathed to let this one go as I am convinced this agent has done it before - his attitude was way too casual -what a cowboy - I am sure I could hear his horse neighing in the background of our calls.

  2. #2

    Contractor Among Contractors


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    How hard were you negotiating? Was that biting into the agent's cut? If so, then you may have been victim to them using any excuse to get someone less willing to negotiate. It's irrelevant for them who gets it if the rate is the same but even a few £ per day extra for the agent can get them acting unethically. I'd not be surprised if the client wanted you but the agent told them you were now "unavailable" and they went with a backup choice.

    Easiest way to get your point across? Consider naming and shaming.

  3. #3

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    so it took you from 4pm to 11am to respond, sound to me like you didn't want the job, you were hardly chasing it

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by craig1 View Post
    How hard were you negotiating? Was that biting into the agent's cut? If so, then you may have been victim to them using any excuse to get someone less willing to negotiate. It's irrelevant for them who gets it if the rate is the same but even a few £ per day extra for the agent can get them acting unethically. I'd not be surprised if the client wanted you but the agent told them you were now "unavailable" and they went with a backup choice.

    Easiest way to get your point across? Consider naming and shaming.
    I was asking for an extra £20 per day but I did make it clear that I was willing to negotiate on the rate as I was really keen on working in that country. There was no doubt that I was superkeen on it and he did tell me I was the "strongest candidate" which now stinks to high heaven.

    Naming & shaming where? Here or some other place?

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Support Monkey View Post
    so it took you from 4pm to 11am to respond, sound to me like you didn't want the job, you were hardly chasing it
    I thought it was a done deal, the client has said yes, I had said yes and I was willing to negotiate on the details so didn't feel the urgency to call him. If I had know the urgency I would have happily woken him up at 2am. It's worth mentioning that the client took 3 days to get back to the agent with the verbal offer and that the agent congratulated me for "hanging on" - shame it was reciprocated.

  6. #6

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    What do you hope to achieve by making a complaint against the agent?

    A change in the agents behaviour in future?
    Unlikely to happen.

    The contract being re-assigned to yourself?
    Definitely won't happen?

    Feeling better about the chain of events once you vent to his manager?
    Possibly, but he's probably just as slimy as the agent.

    You've vented on here which has made you feel partially better.

    To feel completely better, focus on the weekend and assign this incident to history which is what it now is.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clippy View Post
    What do you hope to achieve by making a complaint against the agent?

    A change in the agents behaviour in future?
    Unlikely to happen.

    The contract being re-assigned to yourself?
    Definitely won't happen?

    Feeling better about the chain of events once you vent to his manager?
    Possibly, but he's probably just as slimy as the agent.

    You've vented on here which has made you feel partially better.

    To feel completely better, focus on the weekend and assign this incident to history which is what it now is.
    You are right on most counts. I don't want the contract now as it's possible the client was involved in the decision. My only hope is that they might think twice before trying this again if I make an effort to complain to them and any regulatory bodies they belong to - this might just happen. If we all just sucked it up and moved on nothing would ever change.

    But don't worry, I plan to enjoy the weekend! Thanks for all of the advice.

  8. #8

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    Let it go, agent will be pissing his sides at you getting all upset and wanting to 'make a complaint' - who do you think will care ? You aren't generating revenue and are therefore of no use or interest.
    Most times you would have got away with this delay in responding, turns out they were just as keen on someone else and you got bumped.
    Move on, add layer to skin and get back in the game...

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by b00ts View Post
    You are right on most counts. I don't want the contract now as it's possible the client was involved in the decision. My only hope is that they might think twice before trying this again if I make an effort to complain to them and any regulatory bodies they belong to - this might just happen. If we all just sucked it up and moved on nothing would ever change.

    But don't worry, I plan to enjoy the weekend! Thanks for all of the advice.
    I re read your post and yes it does sound like a done deal, but as others have said is it worth the hassle and does such a body exist ?

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by lukemg View Post
    Let it go, agent will be pissing his sides at you getting all upset and wanting to 'make a complaint' - who do you think will care ? You aren't generating revenue and are therefore of no use or interest.
    Most times you would have got away with this delay in responding, turns out they were just as keen on someone else and you got bumped.
    Move on, add layer to skin and get back in the game...
    I get it. Man up and move on. Done that, talking to an agent about a similar opportunity. I don't give a monkey's if the agents are pissing themselves with laughter, they still have to give the illusion of professionalism to their clients and that image can be tarnished. APSCO is an organisation that could be contacted. I'll consider if I can be bothered with it on monday.

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