Report: #230272

Complaint Review: Clark Covington ,Clark Venable

  • Submitted: Fri, January 12, 2007
  • Updated: Sun, March 11, 2012
  • Reported By: Not given Other
  • Clark Covington ,Clark Venable
    , internet

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On December 13, 2006, I signed on with an Internet company named Internet Research Associates to write articles. The fellow with whom I had all contact went by the name of Clark Covington, whom I also believe has a pseudonym of Clark Venable.

The pay for this work was very poor, $35 for 10 400-500 word articles, but I decided to do it short term to dust off and sharpen writing skills that had been largely dormant after an extended period of time doing medical and legal transcription. I am a freelance writer and editor by trade, and have been in busiess for myself since 1994.

Simply put, Mr. Covington ripped me off to the tune of $136.50 for 39 articles turned in yesterday, saying he would not pay and that they were of poor quality (they were not). I have emails to support our "conversations". He also represents himself as a college professor, but I believe this is probably fake as I can find no evidence of this.

I did find evidence that he has a business,, by using an email of his to trace it, If this is indeed true, I'm doubly outraged, since he represents himself as the sole supplier of articles and charges $88 for 10 articles or $199 for 25, meaning that he pays writers to do this work at $3.50 per single article and pockets the difference.

This is incredibly greedy and unscrupulous even if it is not actually illegal. Certainly, writers should be passed the bulk of that fee with a small amount kept for costs and a small "finder's fee" percentage, but he's keeping almost two thirds of it.

What got me started on my search to get some justice for this is that I think Mr. Covington certainly owes me what we agreed should be paid as noted above, but more importantly, I want to get the word out as to what a truly greedy, controlling, unprofessional and unscrupulous individual he is. I want other freelance writers to read this and know to avoid him. Thanks very much for providing a forum to do this.

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/12/2007 08:44 PM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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Updates & Rebuttals


#1 UPDATE Employee ..inside information

Clark Covington sub par dealings

AUTHOR: D.T. - ()

Clark Covington is an angry individual whose hubris leads him to act un-professionally. There is a lot of smoke here on this thread so you can assume there's fire in these allegations against the man. If you choose to hire or work for him understand (I have worked for him so I know) the experience will be, at best, an unpleasant one.

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#2 Consumer Comment

Clark Covington is a SCAMMER - BUYER BEWARE!!

AUTHOR: JeeTee - (United States of America)

I'll keep this short and sweet...

I paid Clark to write 50 articles and he produced nothing! 

When I reached out to him to ask why I haven't received anything, he never responded.

Thanks for STEALING from me Clark!

Have a great day you THIEF!


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#3 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Jamie downs - (U.S.A.)

I've read this post...and I'm going to hire Clark.  I'm smellin' some B.S. in this thread from the complainers. 

Just got a bid on Elance that I thought was quite reasonable from Clark's company.  I'll post my experience up, but on first glance it appears that Clark has some whiney prima-donna's working for him (rather - used to work for him).  If he is that fastidious about keeping quality writers onboard, that means something to me.

But I may be wrong.  I'll post my experience on here.
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#4 Consumer Comment

Clark Covington (IRA) and Jennifer Frye HIGHLY Unprofessional and Unethical

AUTHOR: Roxanne - (U.S.A.)

I wrote a set of 25 articles and submitted them on June 1. My articles were called "imaginative, interesting and easy to read" by the client. I was owed $125

I was told I would receive payment in 7 to 10 days. Clark's assistant, Jennifer Frye, told me if payment is not rec'd by the 11th, let her know and she would take care of it. On the 11th, later in the day, I let her know I had not rec'd payment as of yet. She told me she "put it on the pay sheet" and I should be paid within a couple days. On Monday, the 15th, Clark paid me for a $20 project and a $50 project (that were completed after the first 25 in question), but not the $125 project. I emailed Clark to ask why. A day later, Jennifer responded again with the fact that she "added it to the pay sheet". I asked time and time again what that means and couldn't get a response. Many emails directly to Clark were forwarded to Jennifer. She would answer those and ignore most of the rest.

Finally, today (June 17) I emailed Clark again. I had another project due today but did not want to submit it until I rec'd payment for the first set I submitted 17 days ago. I told Clark and Jennifer by email and posted it on the board that I needed to write 3 articles still and would not be completing that set of 12 for $60 until I got paid for work I had already done. I assured Clark that as soon as I got paid I would submit them. He was nasty to me and told me that now I know he's slow at paying so I probably shouldn't take any new jobs. I assured him that once this last project was submitted, I would be following his advice and not be taking any more.

I wrote the set of 12 articles and tried to submit them only to find that my account had been deactivated. Neither Clark nor Jennifer was professional enough to tell me not to do the work because they were kicking me off the board. They took the cowards way out and let me complete the work then find out they bannned me.

In my opinion Clark Covington, IRA, Jennifer Frye are all unprofessional and unethical. It saddens me to see such behavior. Look at the way he spoke to people above. He obviously doesn't care what people think of him. Then he throws CHURCH in the mix. As I read in a book recently, sitting in CHURCH doesn't make you a Godly person any more than sitting in a garage makes you a CAR. I am always appalled when people use the Lord and church to "claim" they are good people. MORALS Clark. Godly people keep their word and Godly people have morals. I kept my end of the bargain. YOU did not.
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#5 UPDATE Employee

just some facts

AUTHOR: Ceetee - (U.S.A.)

Kim: if you didn't get paid, you should assume your material was not up to par.

I've worked for IRA for a year and a half, and haven't encountered any such difficulties.

the people I know of who complain about IRA (public slams, not minor gripes) are those who either got fired or quit because they didn't take the work seriously.
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#6 Consumer Comment

Clark Covington & Rufus Industries

AUTHOR: Abe008 - (U.S.A.)


I wanted to add to the notes here as his Customer to let the readers of this forum know that Mr. Clark Covington does very much care about his current and previous customers. I recently had an ebook written that his writer did not complete and even though he paid her and my product was not delivered as promised. Mr. Covington went out of his way to offer a fair compromise that was acceptable, even though he had paid the writer for that shoddy work.

Clark was always open and communication was just a chat away. All one does need to do is communicate with him. A true business professional who realizes the value of good customer service.
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#7 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Dear Mr. Covington

AUTHOR: Petralia23 - (U.S.A.)

Dear Mr. Covington...

You have every right to defend your name.
But I ask that you please go an re read my post. I do not like to be called a hypocrite.

"I also found some of the articles that needed to be written a little questionable. Some of the things he was asking his writers to do and write in my own opinion were unethical. If was after that I decided to move on to bigger and better things."

I never said that I WROTE any of those articles that I found questionable. When I was no longer comfortable with the assignments on the board..I left. As my original post says..It was after that, that I decided to move on to bigger and better things.

I never had a big piece of pie in my mouth. I left my piece on the plate and walked away.
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#8 UPDATE Employee

IRA and Clark Covington Act With Integrity

AUTHOR: Owner - (U.S.A.)

IRA and Clark Covington Act With Integrity

For months I have chosen not to get involved in this thread for personal reasons. However, it is my impression that this complaint board has gone too far in trying to toss mud on my good name. So I am writing this one rebuttal. I know it might not cover all issues addressed, and certainly won't convince all the people in the world that I am in fact a good person, but it will state the facts. It will layout why these people are upset with me, and my company, and it will allow you, the reader, to make your own choice about me as a person.

I stand by my name, and by my company. We have over 300 writers, and over 1,000 clients worldwide, and 99% of them are very pleased with us. Many of our clients continue to work with us, we maintain high ratings of feedback on all freelance boards, and I receive emails from satisfied clients each day.

Our writers are for the most part very pleased with their job. I receive dozens of emails a day asking for work, despite these negative things being put out about our company. I have received countless stories from writers both current and past on our team that have said our company helped change their life for the better.

I have always paid my writers, even when the client backs out of a project, I'd rather eat the cost myself then take money away from them.

All our jobs on the IRA job board are 100% voluntary. That means there is no fee to join, no fee to work, and no amount of work required. Pay and time frame details are set out up front, and we always pay on time.

We don't make people do work on any subject, nonetheless a subject they wouldn't want to write on. We don't ask people to do anything against their will, or take on any project they don't feel pays enough for their standards. In other words, we are an open job board that leaves it up to the writers to choose their work.

The above facts hopefully clear up this negative undertone my adversaries have put forth that our company is unethical, or that we are strange or shady. We are an open book. I use my real name, I even wrote an e-book about our marketing efforts to help our writers move forward to bigger and better things. Frankly, some choose to stay with us because we take good care of them, and take the burden of dealing with clients off of their shoulders.

Do we turn a profit? Of course we do. We are a business, and for the headaches that have come from this business, for the slandering from past writers that has come from this business, I will tell you the money often is not as good as it should be. I wasn't aware that hiring and paying writers should be a not for profit endeavor to help better the world? I was unaware that running an internet business should not be able to operate as a profitable one. I was unaware of those facts.

And those that write for me are often unaware of our marketing costs, of our technology costs, of the long and tedious hours put in by the heads of the company.
But most of our writers are very understanding, it is just this small few that felt the need to "get back" at me, for letting them go.

That's right, most, if not all the comments on this board, including the one given by the first poster, were writers that were let go for not meeting grammatical and mechanical standards. In plain English, their writing was not up to snuff and I am afraid I hurt their feelings, really hurt them badly.

For that I am sorry. I honestly apologize for hurting your feelings, I am sure you are good writers, it's just we have special standard level, with some pretty particular clients, and when your projects continually get rejected for poor quality, lack of proof reading, and worse yet, reading like they were written by someone from another country, we have no choice but to say goodbye.

You were paid for everything you did, were you not? You were told what the problem was, were you not? You were given warnings to fix these problems, were you not? Of course you were. That is why I have to post this rebuttal, because you were given all these things, and you still wanted to toss a little mud on my name.

Specifically here are some responses to the posts levied against me and my company.

To Kim,

You know that you were paid for that work just days after you posted that vicious message, and that you should've taken it down a long time ago. You probably understand you are the reason why I have to spend an hour out of my day to defend my name on this rip off report board.

For your information Clark Covington is my real name, I am (and was) an adjunct professor, and yes you were paid fairly. Remember the payment was clearly posted BEFORE you took on the project? Why did you take it if it was such a incrediably greedy and unscrupulous amount of pay.

Finally Kim, why did this dispute start in the first place. Why in the world would I not want to pay an ideal staff member like you? Oh, yeah, I remember, it's because the client told me your work looked like it was done by a five year old kid. That it was riddled with errors and was absolutely unacceptable.

But yet I still gave you a chance to redeem yourself. I asked for a revision, your feelings got hurt, and you stormed off. I still paid you. Even after I read the things you had to say about me. I still paid you, didn't I?

I'm sure you didn't mean for this to be a piling on board, but it has become that, and I have to ask you, do you feel bad? Just a little bit maybe, for doing this? I think you do. I'm sure you do.

To Nafeesah,

Now I know you have a background in writing, yet your work was constantly underwhelming clients. Several had to ask me if an American writer wrote it like we had promised them. I'm sure you are a great poet, but writing for pay is a serious task, that requires crystal clear grammar and spelling. I told you several times to make sure your writing was up to snuff, but you seemed more interested in just getting the project done and getting paid.

Now I just want to address one thing here. Since you called me a "funny" character, I wanted to ask you a joke. What do you call a writer that is supposed to do a book on soccer teams in the UK and ends up writing about generalities of the game? Here's the punch line, "It's a writer that doesn't work for IRA anymore!" You get that? You should be laughing right now because that is you. You were the one that couldn't follow directions, and wrote a book, 50 pages no less, that had NOTHING to do with what the client asked.

I'm sorry, but that was awful. That was painful. And yet you were still paid. You were still compensated for your work, even though I lost the client, lost the job, and never got a cent for that silly e-book you wrote. So who is the funny one, because when I read your post I wasn't laughing.

I'm sure you are a good person, with a reputation to protect, so I won't take this time to go after you personally, I just wish you had done the same.

To Petralia,

I do not know how you are, but I think you are at least responsible for logging in and accepting these "questionable" assignments. If you were so appalled why did you work for us? Were you willing to take my money, and then go behind my back and tell the world we were some shady operation?

I can't say you are wrong, you have your opinion, I purely ask why you would find it unethical and at the same time take part in it. That is like saying everyone that eats apple pie is bad while you've got a big piece of the pie in your mouth. So you may not be wrong, but you absolutely are a hypocrite.

To Mrs. "Confidentital" Client

I find the first and most telling part of your post the header, as you include my full name in it. You, the one from Guru, the one that is so concerned with their confidentiality, is logging into a board known to be seen by millions, and putting my full name on it.

And you have the nerve to call me slanderous? Don't worry Mrs. Confidential, I won't blow your cover, I won't treat you like you just treated me.

Now to the facts. We did 1 project for you, and it was a whopping 7 articles, that were 2 days late. We simply told you we didn't work on the weekends, and that we'd get you the articles as soon as possible. Then we delivered the articles, ON SUNDAY!
I'm sorry I didn't get to it earlier, I was at CHURCH!

How dare you write "The man has horrible ethics" when you have NEVER met me, you NEVER spoken to me on the phone, we did 1 project of just 7 articles for you, which was completed in 2 days over the deadline, and delivered on a SUNDAY NIGHT! How dare you!
And the content, the articles we produced for you this is what you had to say on my Guru feedback

And I quote "The quality of the articles, while not the best due to a very high keyword density, was not a problem. They were well-written and grammatically correct for the most part."

How dare you come on here and put MY FULL NAME on the internet as a "horrible" person when we did the work for you, and didn't complain once at your snipes.
But wait, I know why you came on here. Yep, after you received and paid for the 7 articles about work at home moms, you left us some awful feedback. Some real harsh stuff. Here I was thinking I was a nice guy for emailing you the work when I got home from Church, man was I wrong.

And then what did we do. We called you out. WE LEFT YOU FEEDBACK. Kind of like we are doing now Mrs. Confidential. Kind of like we are doing right now.

We let the people of Guru see this exact side of you, this virtual headache that you are. We let them see you for who you are, and now they can see this. What provider wants to work with someone with such absolute ridiculous expectations. I know I don't.

But don't worry. I know you value your privacy Mrs. Confidential, so I won't do you like you did me, I won't put your NAME on this post. Hopefully you'll think twice before putting out this vial unfounded, ungrounded, absolute awful language about someone you worked with once, never knew, and actually praised their work. Hopefully you'll take it easy on the next guy.

So there you have folks. You can make your own mind up about me, and about my company. All I wanted was to give you my side of the story.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

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#9 Consumer Comment

Clark Covington Treats Clients Horribly Too

AUTHOR: Michyd - (U.S.A.)

I have no doubt what these writers are saying about Mr. Convington are true. The man has horrible ethics. We hired him to write articles for our company via the Guru website. He said they'd be done in 3 business days. That was on a Monday. On Friday we still didn't have our articles. He was emailed asking for an explination and we only received rude responses. We then recieved the articles on Monday (3 business days late), which we paid for immediately.

We left feedback via the website, stating that the articles were okay but his conduct and tardiness were unacceptable. In return, he published false and libelous statements about us via the website employer feedback form. We will never use his services again, we advise others not to use his services and if you've written for him do yourself a favor and get your own account and source your own work. This guy needs to be put out of business.
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#10 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Don't even bother with IRA

AUTHOR: Petralia23 - (U.S.A.)

I agree with both the previous posters. While I wrote for IRA for only 2 months I was appalled at the way he treated his writers. I noticed that a lot of them never got any sort of feedback for what they submitted and if he thought the articles were not up to par..he basically went off on the writers. For the amount of money he was paying them ($35 for nearly 5000 words) he should not be expecting superior writing.
LIke i said I worked for them for 2 months and found that the time and effort that had to be put into these articles was not worth the $35 dollars. I also found some of the articles that needed to be written a little questionable. Some of the things he was asking his writers to do and write in my own opinion were unethical. If was after that I decided to move on to bigger and better things.
I didn't fully understand the purpose of IRA, but you are essentially being a ghost writer. If you are Giving up ownership for your own work, you deserve to be paid more than $35 dollars.

There are better sites out there that will pay you more money. IRA is a good place to go if you have no experience, but it is not a long time postions and I find it sad that people actually try to work for IRA as a full time job.
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#11 UPDATE EX-employee responds

IRA is a joke

AUTHOR: Nafeesah - (U.S.A.)

I am going to say my piece and that is Clark comes off as someone who needs to work on his professional conduct because I read a response he left on a different site to Kim and he said in closing of his comment "To your inevitable end". People who are mature and professional don't make derrogatory comments and would you want to do business with someone who makes comments like that? Clark could have taken a more mature approach to responding to the comment without wishing ill will towards someone. Kim didnt even go there making derrogatory statements like that she was being the bigger person by making her point and letting it go.

I will say this from my own experience he's a "funny" character and I know that there are better opportunities out there to utilize my experience since I've been writing more than 14 years and having been published in the last 10 so for someone who's at semi to professional standing there are bigger opportunities out there. I am not going to insult Clark because it's not my style, but whatever the case maybe I know that myself or anyone who's parted ways with their buisness relationship with Clark have gone on to find better opportunities and to work with people who are mature and professional and who treat their clients or employees with respect and as professionals.

Kim didnt lose much by making her statement, but she's got too many opportunities out there to build her career on instead of being insulted by someone who should have taken a mature and professional approach to responding to any accusations or complaints.
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