HELP: Batch Expired, Batch Extensions, and How to Avoid Paying Again

Discussion in 'Requesters' started by Tanya Gosselin, Apr 25, 2019.

  1. Tanya Gosselin

    Tanya Gosselin New Turker

    My name is Tanya. I am currently doing research and use MTurk to post surveys. I am new to Mturk, so I'm reaching out to you all, especially if you've had a similar experience.

    I prepaid for 200 assignments at $2 per HIT. I let the survey go on for 7 days but I did not reach my goal of 200 assignments. We still have money left over and assignments that needed to be done. Thus, we were doubting as to what to do. Our question was if we should have extended the batch or created a new batch with a new qualification to get more people to do our assignment in a shorter amount of time?

    However, we took action. We the edited batch qualifications and published it. This created a "new" batch and survey link. However, it charged us more money and I'm not sure why. We believed that we would be using the remaining balance we already have, but it charged us more money. We realized we made a mistake, but we don't know how we could have avoided it.

    We canceled this new batch, but we got participants in seconds. This survey takes 10 minutes to do and participants did it in about 2 minutes. We have revised the data and have seen that it is not viable data.

    I have two questions:

    1. What can I do to get the money back?
    2. If I reject the workers that did not give us viable data, do they still get paid?
    3. If workers don't get paid, am I able to get the money that wasn't used back into my bank account?

    And in general, if you have any tips for the next time, that would be great.

    I highly appreciate your time. I am looking for an answer everywhere but Mturk FAQ doesn't have it and customer service is slow. I'm still shaking my head at my own mistake.
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  2. ChrisTurk

    ChrisTurk Administrator

    Alright, there are a lot of mistakes here & a lot of questions that are highly fact specific, so I'm locking this so I can respond before folks yell at you lol.

    First things first (and the only simple part of this): The only way to retrieve any money from MTurk as a Requester is to email Amazon's customer support directly and request a refund. They make a final decision on all refund requests per their own totally unknown criteria.

    As far as the $ owed to workers it largely depends on why the data is invalid. Without knowing that no one here can really answer the question on whether or not you should be rejecting work. Completion times alone are not a valid reason to reject work. We'd really need a link to the study & a lot more insight into the data being collected to have any clues as to what an actual reasonable completion time would be, and even then sans real quality control methods in place it's still somewhat unfair to blanket reject work based off of that alone.

    And more generally you should not be rejecting work because you made a mistake. That might be a tough pill to swallow financially, but it isn't the worker's fault you waited until it was too late to ask these kinds of questions. So unless the workers have done something specifically to deserve the rejection & denial of payment you should not go that route.

    My honest advice is to do your homework first next time. You're dealing with real people on the other end, and they need you to be reliable as you have most of the control over the situation on MTurk. If you have questions there are almost guaranteed to be answers already around the internet somewhere, and if not this place is a great resource but this is definitely one of those situations where an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. There is no simple solution to having an outstanding debt of payment out to a bunch of workers because of a failure to look into the platform or implement quality control measures before posting work.

    If all else fails, I'd honestly recommend TurkPrime to you. It seems like if you're not grabbing research on these parts of the platform you're gonna end up w/ a much better experience just letting them do most of the difficult parts.
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