I run a small, local computer repair/IT support company in the suburbs of Chicago. Several months ago, I was contacted by a person who said his name was Steven Fredricks, and his company was called One Worldwide Systems. This is a nationwide "outsourced" IT support company, with headquarters in Boca Raton, Florida. Mr. Fredricks told me they had a client in my area who needed some work done, and asked if I would be willing to do the job. I told him what my hourly rate is, but he felt my rate was too high. He said if I would do the job for a little less money, he would send lots more work my way.
It all seemed legitimate, and I could use more work, so I agreed to do the job at the rate he wanted to pay. I went to the client's office (a company called The Advisory Board) and did the job requested. After I completed the work, I informed Mr. Fredricks that the job was done. He asked me to mail him an invoice for the amount we agreed on, so I did.
Several weeks went by, and I did not receive payment, so I contacted Mr. Frediricks about it. He made some excuses for why the payment was delayed, and asked me to mail him another invoice. I asked if I could send a PDF of the invoice by email, but he insisted that he needed a printed invoice mailed to him. So I complied with his request.
Eventually, the first invoice I sent came back in the mail, marked "Return To Sender." I ended up exchanging several more emails with Mr. Fredricks. In the course of the email exchange, it came out that his real name is Steven Leventhal, not Steven Fredricks. When I asked about this, he just brushed it off and would not explain why he uses different names. He just kept saying that he would be sending a check soon, but it seems that he had no intention of ever paying me for the work I did. A few days ago, the second invoice I mailed him came back in the mail, also marked "Return To Sender."
Mr. Fredricks/Leventhal will no longer respond to my emails. So I am quite certain that he has no intention of paying me. From what I am able to tell, it appears that this is his scheme: He hires small time, local IT guys, like me, to do his work, and then he just doesn't pay. He figures a small time guy like me won't have the time or the resources to persue him, half-way across the country, over a $70 fee.
Meanwhile, clients of One Worldwide Systems are lead to believe that services will be provided by employees of One Worldwide Systems. This is what his clients are paying for. Instead, services are essentially being provided by guys like me. And, let's face it: As far as Mr. Fredricks knows, I'm just some guy who has a web site advertising my little IT support business. He has no idea if I am honest, trustworthy, properly trained, etc. Yet, he is sending "unknown" people, like me, into his clients' offices, having us represent ourselves as employees of his company.
So, not only is One Worldwide Systems cheating people like me, by not paying us, but he is also cheating his clients, by leading them to believe that services will be provided by trusted, skilled employees of One Worldwide Systems, when in fact, the service are being performed by unknown strangers he finds on the Internet. Furthermore, he puts his clients at risk of being the targets of retribution by the people he hires and then doesn't pay.
These decptive practices are wrong. Anyone considering doing business with this company should think twice about it. There are many other IT support vendors who are honest and responsible. One Worldwide Systems is not one of them.