July 18th, 2006

Giving Outsourcing in the Philippines a Bad Name?

Arnold Gamboa blogged about a UK company that was scammed by a group of Filipino web designers on one of their projects. The Filipinos, who call themselves “Wicked Innovations“, allegedly didn’t deliver the goods as promised and refused to give back the initial fee of $900 paid to them. The issue has since been resolved 6 days ago, but let me clear some things out.

Given the circumstances, this was simply a case of a bloke named Paul Bowers hiring these freelancers to setup an arcade game website for him. To say that it’s giving the Philippine outsourcing business a bad name, is a bit of a misnomer. Bowers really went out on a limb by contacting someone who knows someone from the Philippine Daily Inquirer, no less, to do an article on his plight. Erwin Oliva, who wrote the article, didn’t even bother to do a background check on this guy, whom, he writes, is “a representative of (the) UK-based firm”. Bowers, in all his rather chatty forum dialogues, never mentioned the name of his supposed ‘firm’, nor is it found in his domain name whois. If he had a firm, he would have issued a press release on his company website. But he doesn’t have one. Does that constitute as a “firm”? I don’t think so. So why is it that a preposterous article like this makes it to our most popular national newspaper? Does Oliva know that the issue was resolved the next day his article was published? Bowers wasn’t scammed as he claims. Wicked Innovations didn’t trick him into giving them money with empty promises. They just didn’t do their job well and Bowers wanted his money back.

I have had a similar experience as Bowers. But the difference is I got my freelancer from Scriptlance.com, who made everything easy, from escrows to payments to settlements in case things didn’t work out. To cut things short, I wasn’t happy with the work the freelancer was giving me. Scriptlance and Elance.com both have an escrow system wherein the buyer deposits a certain amount of money demanded by the programmer (the one who’s going to do the job) to the programmer’s name. The programmer, however, cannot touch the money until a set amount of work has been done per approval of the buyer. My problem was resolved immediately, with Scriptlance serving quite effectively as the mediator.

Erwin Oliva should realize that conflicts like these happen everyday. It’s happened to me, it will happen to someone else. But to write about it just to help a random guy out and make a big deal about it is uncalled for and irresponsible. He really should get out more.

Posted in Opinion, Tech News


  1. 5 Comments

  2. Ria said...

    I guess it’s part of “crab mentality.” The moment we hear something negative about another Filipino, we immediately assume that it’s true. To make things worse, some “journalists” immediately pounce on the issue just because it’s “controversial” without even knowing the details and assuming that the negative thing happened just because the people involved are Filipinos.

    Jul 18, 2006

  3. cyberbaguioboy said...

    thanks for taking stock on the issue. Let me clarify that we did bother to contact the guy, and we knew what he was complaining about. We later wrote about what really happened and Bowers said he got his money back. This is not about crab mentality, as one reaction pointed out. (We do write more good stories in outsourcing in the country than things like this). But I appreciate your honest opinions. In this way, we know how we can improve our work. thanks!

    Aug 20, 2006

  4. Outsourcing said...

    I have been working as an outsourcer for over 5 years now and have just created an outsourcing blog with tips and links to make utsourcing possible for companies and individuals, if anyone is interested…..just visit it 🙂

    Sep 27, 2006

  5. Mor Tinio said...

    Andrew, no amount of convincing can stop this bigot from insulting Filipinos. The outsourcing boom in the Philippines simply disproves everything he says. If we were the lazy beggars that he claims, then why do foreign companies continue to choose us to outsource their business processes? And why does the United States open its doors to our talented pool of workers?

    I’m with you on the Inquirer article. That shouldn’t have been published. Erwin Oliva didn’t check his facts like a true reporter. He’s known for that, anyhow!

    Jan 6, 2007


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