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  1. #1
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    Question "Minimum Wage" - Kids - Tech Support - Who's Governing This?

    I recently saw a hosting company that posted job openings for tech & sales support, and the pay worked out to be approximately 25 to 50 cents an hour depending on the hours worked, and only payable with PayPal. I guess they are targeting kids with free time on their hands, but it seems wrong to me. It also made me wonder about a couple things.

    Does minimum wage apply in situations where a company hires random people from an online forum, with no formal interview, screening or records?

    Is there any governing body or agency that tracks such activities?

    Since the employees will most probably be kids, how does that play into normal rules and regulations?

    Imagine the quality of support you could expect from an employee making so little money.
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  2. #2
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    I may be wrong about this, but I don't believe minimum wage applies to this, especially if it's a per incident kind of thing -- it make sense that you could just be paid for services rendered... like a total amount to get a task complete... then again I may be blowing smoke out of my ***.
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  3. #3
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    While I agree that's low, I don't agree they're targetting kids as such. In some places in the world, $.50 an hour is fairly decent pay, or so I understand it. Just look at the proliferation of support being outsourced to India or Pakistan, for example. Perhaps that rate is acceptable there?
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  4. #4
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    If its a per incident basis or per ticket I don't think minium wage would apply. I don't know how many people , even kids, would sign up to use something like that.
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  5. #5
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    Could you please post where this was? Your argument may make more sense fi we could see it. Was the company here in the states?
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  6. #6
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    In some places in the world, $.50 an hour is fairly decent pay, or so I understand it. Just look at the proliferation of support being outsourced to India or Pakistan, for example. Perhaps that rate is acceptable there?
    Even in india or pakistan $.50 s really pretty low , one can't even have bread and butter in that kind of money.
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  7. #7
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    Thanks for the feedback guys.

    Originally posted by bear
    While I agree that's low, I don't agree they're targetting kids as such. In some places in the world, $.50 an hour is fairly decent pay, or so I understand it. Just look at the proliferation of support being outsourced to India or Pakistan, for example. Perhaps that rate is acceptable there?
    That's a good point Bear, and I wasn't considering the wages in other countries.

    Though, they posted the jobs at an American forum with 90% American, Canadian and UK members. I guess that's why it seemed so odd to me.

    I would post the company name and the forum thread, but I'm not sure if that even matters, or if it would be allowed.
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  8. #8
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    The main issue is which country's minimum wage are you referring to ?

    That of the employer or the employee ?

    so which country's employment laws apply

    It would be likely there would not even be a formal employment contract

    Given ther eare lots of kiddies out there looking to make pocket money (see number of cheap as hosts doing just that) I don't think they would care about a contract

    In other words while inInternational buisiness there are obviously Labour regualtions and controls for something at this level I think it would be a buyer's market

    Meaning that while regulations would apply there is going to be noone sho will spend the time or effort to enforce them unfortunately
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  9. #9
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    You guys think it's ok to post the company and forum thread link?
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  10. #10
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    Originally posted by Gen-T
    You guys think it's ok to post the company and forum thread link?
    As long as it is on a public forum, then sure.
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  11. #11
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    The company is called "PolurNet.com" and here is the thread I saw.

    http://www.namepros.com/showthread.php?t=133135

    Notice the guy says you must "work at least 3.5 to 5 hours per day" and the salary is only "Around $15-25 USD/month". He later answers a person's question who inquired whether it was an every day position stating that "we'd like it to be everyday".

    Doing the math on this is scary. I can't imagine somebody working for those wages.

    Maybe I'm misunderstanding something?
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  12. #12
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    Well, I don't think you misunderstood anything, Tim. It seems what you have stated here, is what I am reading over at NamePros. I wonder if he really meant "per hour", rather than "per month"?
    Last edited by Jamie Harrop; 10-20-2005 at 02:21 PM.
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  13. #13
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    Good. At least I'm not imagining things.

    I love the part saying "You must not work for the money, but work for the general good of the company; motivation is the key."

    Plus this one. "DO NOT COMMENT AT ANY TIME ABOUT PAYMENT. ANY COMMENTS WILL IMMEDIATELY CANCEL YOUR POSITION AND/OR YOU WILL BE REPORTED FOR NOT FOLLOWING THE THREAD RULES STATED ABOVE."
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  14. #14
    That is LOW! I cannot imagine anyone spending 5 hours everyday for $25/per month. That will not even cover the cost of internet
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  15. #15
    After reading it, i must say it does seem extreamly low. At first i thought they might accept people who work with other companys. I know of one person that handles support for 6 differnet small companies and gets paid a low amount from each, but because he can multi task between them all, it ends up been reasoniable, especially as its not a full time job.
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  16. #16
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    That is extremely low and unethical. Personally, I would be embarassed to create a thread requesting regular employees for such a low wage. But then again, this is also the company who was scouting for customers off of a bad web hosting company's forums. I personally wouldn't put anything past this outfit.
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  17. #17
    Most people who do this kid of outsourced support are considered contract workers and not employess and min wage/benefits are not applicable. It also saves the employer from having to deal with W2's, withholding, and SS taxes, etc
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  18. #18
    150 hours a month for $15 - $25 a month, this is too much money. I would only take it if he forces me to walk his dog and scour his toilet, of course helping his mother in law with the bladder problem should also be included.
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  19. #19
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    Again though, I'll repeat my point I try to get people to realize.

    In this compeditave industry, it's bad enough outsourcing your only real leveragable characteristic, why would a company choose to do what is (potentially) even worse than outsourcing to a single entity? Surely they cannot expect that this will turn into a viable business model?

    Their prices seem reasonable, and horribly out of alignment with they're offering to pay their support techs. Maybe they're living off of P.T. Barnum's addage, 'A sucker is born every minute', which is fine... but who would want those suckers supporting your clients?

    Really, who knows... it's their business, let them do what they want with it, though this should be an interesting 'warning' for potential clients, seeing how little their support reps are being paid.

    To tree-host, I don't know anyone I could convince to work for $0.50/hour, and if I did convicne them, I'm not sure how much I could trust them to do what I was 'paying' them for. I know I would never accept such arrangements.
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  20. #20
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    Whoa....isn't the same company that stole nullnic's customers through their forum?

    Sigh.
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  21. #21
    the same cough*successful*cough company
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  22. #22
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    Originally posted by WarpFactor
    That is extremely low and unethical.

    How is it low and unethical?

    It's an advertising forum. A host can set his own parameters as to hours and pay.

    No one is being forced to take a job here. If they don't like the pay, don't take the job.
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  23. #23
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    Give me a break, blue27. The fact is, it is likely that some poor child will take the bait and work for that. Not only is it illegal for him to be hiring children without parental consent and as to those guidelines outlined by the U.S. Department of Labor for children under sixteen (assuming he is hiring folks of this age, which is highly likely), the offer is simply ludacris. As I said before, I would be embarassed to make such an offer on behalf of my company. Anyone who would work for 50 cents per hour (or less) would not be inclined to do the best of jobs. It is low, and unethical. I don't agree in outsourcing, personally -- I believe Indians should be paid a higher wage. Unfortunately, I have no control over it. Seeing companies giving away jobs to Indians right and left is purely sickening. Something needs to be done about it at some point. I personally realize that there are quite a bit more things to be done before that would hit congress though, so I'll have to live with it for a bit more. It is unethical -- 50 cents an hour! No, nobody is forcing people to take these jobs, but one thing you will learn as time goes on -- there are poor people who will take low-paying jobs just to get by. $25 to a poor teenager working out of a public library is something -- and they'll do it. This just angers me. And yes, this was the company scouting the NullNIC forums. My two cents: run away from this company.
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  24. #24
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    How is it low and unethical?

    It's an advertising forum. A host can set his own parameters as to hours and pay.
    Maybe it's not "low" or unethical, but it is funny... in a sad kind of way.

    It is unethical -- 50 cents an hour!
    Minimum wage where I live comes to about $.60 an hour. It used to be lower, and I'm sure it's lower in other countries.
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  25. #25
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    I guess the hosting industry has caught up to the likes of Nike, with their hiring of near slave labor in poor 3rd world countries, making their $400.00 shoes.

    And here is the globalisation beast that has been let out of its cage. A worker in America will perform a task for $45/hr, whereas a worker in China will perform the exact same task, for $1/hr.

    Not good, but what can be done?
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  26. #26
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    Originally posted by WarpFactor
    but one thing you will learn as time goes on -- there are poor people who will take low-paying jobs just to get by.

    In that case he would be doing them a favor wouldn't he?

    If he was paying $20 an hour do you think that same poor soul would qualify for the job?

    I'm not sure how your diatribe on outsourcing is relevant to this thread. That's another topic all together.

    Personally, I wouldn't advertise such a job either, but it's not an ethical issue as far as I'm concerned.
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  27. #27
    If you pay people at an hourly rate, they probably count as employees, and you have to pay them whatever the minimum wage is in their country.
    If you pay somebody on a 'per instance' basis, it's more likely to be a 'contract for services' rather than a 'contract of service', in which case minimum wage doesn't apply.
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  28. #28
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    I believe with PayPal fees, they would be receiving just about nothing. I know for a fact that $0.50 an hour is a very low wage for a web hosting technical support position. $2.20 would be average in India for such a job.
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  29. #29
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    Originally posted by Aussie Bob
    I guess the hosting industry has caught up to the likes of Nike, with their hiring of near slave labor in poor 3rd world countries, making their $400.00 shoes.
    This is exactly what I was thinking.
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  30. #30
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    that is really ridiculous, wow.
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  31. #31
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    Originally posted by WarpFactor
    Give me a break, blue27. The fact is, it is likely that some poor child will take the bait and work for that.
    The child is not allowed to be working in the first place, and that is the responsibility of child's parents (other than just illegal for a company to hire).
    Even if the child is hired, then the company will get the according (unreliable and well deserved) level of service and support to its clients, until kid's parents unplug the cord from a home PC, or until a new video game hits the shelves.
    In the end, both parties get what they pay for. I would rather see that kid working for 50 cents an hour than learning how to steal music and crack software with friends.
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  32. #32
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    Firstly, no tech in India is paid $25 or $30/mo.
    An experienced & dedicated linux admin with 4+ years of experience will get ~ $1000/mo currently in india. And IT salaries are rising on average at 20% annually.
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  33. #33
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    The guy is desperate. He likely doesn't even have work for these so called "technical wizard children" Please....the child will break his back on the mouse...surely he will. Do me favour...how many children do you know that can do tech support?

    Anyway....what a stupid thread this is. The guy in the states can do it for $45 and the guy in China for a $1. Sure he can....but the guy in China no comprende!!!! See ...he no understand.

    Globalization is real but it is also a distraction to you small guys. Stop blaming everyone else and concentrate on your own markets. Provide the service and you will be fine. If you have no real service then you will be swallowed by the outsourcing. Get niche and live another day

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  34. #34
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    I can't imagine that. I think even the lowly paid technical support guys in India and around there get $1 or $2 an hour, at least.

    An American kid could work at McDonalds or a grocery store for $6.00/hour (it's $6.50 in Florida). Work four or five hours, and that's equal to your monthly pay on the Internet.
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  35. #35
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    Originally posted by Yash-JH
    Firstly, no tech in India is paid $25 or $30/mo.
    An experienced & dedicated linux admin with 4+ years of experience will get ~ $1000/mo currently in india. And IT salaries are rising on average at 20% annually.
    I agree wholeheartedly with you. We have one emergency admin who is in India who we use if the rare chance none of our guys in the US are available and he gets paid 35.00 US and hour with a min of 2 hours.

    He has spent a lot of money on his education and paying someone who is as smart as this guy is well worth the money. We would use him more for things except the time difference between North America and India is drastic so it hampers work collaberation between other team members.

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  36. #36
    PolurNet has an account here too...

    PAGING POLURNET TO THE THREAD
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  37. #37
    There is no minimum wage on kids!
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  38. #38
    Yeah, I saw on TV(Dateline or something) a reporter went to a 3rd world country and interviewed a lady that was working, making pennies, and brought her to the US and showed her the price of the clothing she was making.
    I don't remember all the details & actually pay, but it was something like 19cts/hr or 19cts/piece of clothing.
    She was living in a flooded area with 2 kids, eating 1 meal(pot of lintels) a day.

    .19/piece wouldn't be bad actually, if 50+ pieces could be made per hour..
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  39. #39
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    Originally posted by mjzz
    PolurNet has an account here too...

    PAGING POLURNET TO THE THREAD
    I don't see why Polurnet needs to check in on this issue.

    As long as an advertisment is made in accordance with forum rules I don't see any reason a host should have to justify it.

    If you don't like the wage he is offering don't work for him.
    If you choose to pay more then pay more.

    Are we going to make the main forum open season for every advertisement we don't agree with? Worse still, since this offer wasn't even make on WHT are we going to make the main forum open season for every offer made on other forums?
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  40. #40
    Originally posted by blue27
    I don't see why Polurnet needs to check in on this issue.
    Clearly to publicly defend his company's name. That was a pretty silly statement. He obviously has the right to be aware of what is being said about his company and the right to attempt to provide further insight into the discussion.
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