Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Burn Your To Do List - SCAM - Beware!

A WAHM from a forum I belong to, posted this warning about Burn Your To Do List:

Hello everyone,

I am so sorry that I have to come in and give anyone bad news about a company, but I wanted to make sure no other WAHM have to go through the hell I have gone through the last month at my now former job at Burn Your To Do List.

I started working at BYTDL 10 months ago for a very small amount of money (2.00 per article), and within a few months I was promoted to support staff, and subsequently promoted 2 more times to a management position.

As I became more and more involved in the inner workings of BYTDL, I started noticing dirty dealings being done on customers.
They had some policy's that I highly disagreed with, and it was becoming apparent to me that BYTDL scams customers out of money by trapping them into subscriptions.
This was not sitting well with me at all as I was raised to be an honest woman.

I stayed with BYTDL because it was up for sale and I thought maybe a new owner would turn things around as the former owner, Rachel Rofe, wanted to move on to other things.
BYTDL sold in mid-Sept, and I am sorry to say that the new owner, Joe Harkins, is well, not a nice person to deal with.

Over the past 3 weeks I have seen him:

1.Change terms of service without notifying any customers. He sent out an email with no previous warnings and changed the subscription terms and rates of older clients. He did not even have the nerve to sign it with a name, but instead signed it a generic "the BYTDL support team"

2. Has logged into his employees accounts (including mine) and pretended to be them and replied to clients and providers.

3. Called several employees (who have now all quit)and belittled them, (and in some cases flat out lied about them), and borderlines on being verbally abusive.

I handed in my resignation after he called me and spent over 2 hours telling me basically what a crappy manager i am.
I was approached by the former owner, Rachel and she (very nicely) asked me to stay and train a new manager they hired.
I agreed and spent the last week training her and doing my usual work.
I have 4 days worth of skype conversations to prove that I was on all day and made training videos for her.
This was along side doing my normal work, and putting in 9-10 hour days all week.

When Sunday rolled around, (which is payday), I was to train the new lady on how to do payroll. She never showed up. I waited for 10 hours for her to log on to skype.
Several of my friends and co-workers can verify this as they were on all day with me waiting and keeping me company.

When it became apparent that she was not going to log on, I did payroll and sent the files to Rachel (who had been acting as a mediator with me and the new owner).
Payroll subsequently did get done and my friends who work there did get paid.
I, however did not get paid.
They now owe me 600.00 for my last week of work which I doubt I will ever see.

I did not come here to whine, I can and will survive without that 600.00 but my main concern is for anyone else who might be considering working for this company.
It was bad enough that it happened to me, but I do not want to see anyone else get sucked into this scam of a job.

Avoid this place at all cost! They treat employees like garbage and all of their senior staff have left because of it.
They also treat clients very poorly, and are ripping them off.
It will only be a matter of time before they go under due to shady business practices.

I am sorry that it had to come to this, I have always been more of a lurker than a poster, but I felt in this case, everyone needs to know what type of business BYTDL (Burn your to do list) has become.
I had defended them in the past, but they are not worth working for anymore, and it is very sad because it was a great place to work at one time.

Again, I am sorry for this post, but I could not let anyone be put through the same situation as I was.

Since posting this, several people have contacted her saying that they had a similar experience. So sad that this 'company' is taking advantage of good, hard working people.

*UPDATE* 16.Oct.2010
This was posted(on the same forum where the first post is from) by a former manager at the company (she left when things took a turn for the worse):
We now have solid proof that the new owner is slandering former employees with outright lies.
Still not been paid and not sure if anyone else was either.

Avoid any ads for 'Burn Your To Do List'.


  1. http://www.3stepstosearchenginesuccess.com/product-reviews/outsource-link-building-a-review-of-burn-your-to-do-list

    This company has nothing going for them at this point do they? :(

  2. Sadly, no. BYTDL (burn your to do list) is a huge scam.


  3. Interestingly enough, every website that has posted a negative review of bytdl has suddenly come up with dead links and missing URL's.
    Even wahm.com is offline now.
    They are desperate to cover this up.

  4. Yes, Jason, they do seem desperate to cover it all up. They tried to post a comment, here, saying how wonderful the company is, and that the scam reports are all lies. Not surprisingly, their comment went straight to my spam folder.


  5. I think it's pretty obvious that the company is not that great at all when it's customers are posting addendum's to their own websites like the one Laurie pointed out. If it had been just 1 person ranting and raving, then one could see that maybe it was a disgruntled employee, but now you can not Google any variation of their name without finding the word scam in at least 1 link and those people have no affiliation with the original OP.

  6. And now another former manager has come forward and posted they were not paid either.
    I am so glad I found this post, thank you for looking out for us wahdad's too =)

  7. Thank you, Jason! I am happy to know that I am helping others. :)


  8. Just to let all of you know, I am the new manager now at BYTDL, and since I have started, none of this has been happening. I am the one that assigns all tickets and then one that makes sure everyone gets paid. As for the time I have been here, every thing has been looking better. There are no more complaints about the company as in not getting paid or having any other problems.

    When I came in, yes there was a backlog in tickets that needed to be assigned and people were not being paid. But what they are not telling you is the managers were not doing what they were supposed to.

    I now make sure that I am in contact with the providers(which would be you)everyday or at least every other day. I stay on top of things and I make sure that everything stays running smoothly.

    Now we can not make up for what has been happening in the past, but we are making sure that the same things don't happen again.

    I will tell you what if you can put in some good quality work and you will try and make sure that you get your work done by the deadline, then I will hire you and you can see for yourself. If you have any problems with payroll then you let me know, I will make sure you get paid.

    So come take a look and see what you think, you won't be disappointed and I bet you will have something good to say about us after a month.

    Check out my recruiting page and give it a try.


  9. Thank you for the comment, Monica. That is all definitely all encouraging news. I hope it all starts to work out for everyone.

    Best of luck!

  10. Finally I found a place where I can vent. DO NOT USE BURN YOUR TO DO LIST!! They absolutely ripped me off. I was warned about the upcoming changes when an employee emailed me and warned me about the new owner, Joe cheating folks. So I ordered 18 aritcles and they sent me receipt of that. I then cancelled my contract with them and under the rules I had until the end of the month to claim any credits I had. I waited for a week and sent an email asking where my articles were. I got an email back stating that they were working on them: no problem. After another week, I emailed again. This time they said they needed more time. So I investigated further and that was when they told me that they could not fulfill their obligation because I had cancelled my deal with them. Amazing that they waited a full month or more to let me in o that, despite a couple of emails stating that they were working on the articles. And when i compained I got an email from Joe himself. Nasty guy!! DO NOT EVER DO BUSINESS WITH HIM! He is a cheater. He is a snake! Never trust him! I lost the money, I lost the points, I lost the articles and he thinks it is OK to not do what is in the contract rules. I guess he can just make up new rules as it goes along. Never trust this Joe!! Snake! snake! snake!

    Mike L

  11. Wow - thank you for your comment, Mike. Yes, you can feel free to vent on my blog. I am sorry to hear that BYTDL burned you, too. It is definitely the consensus to STAY AWAY from BYTDL.

    Best of luck to you,

  12. interesting post!

    perhaps someone here can clear my doubt,
    i decide to check this company out after i saw a Miss Rachelle Rofel talked about the benefits of outsourcing.

    then i see this and clearly i have many doubts now and many question.
    can someone please ease my mind?

    was the person who posted ever paid? does this company plan to make any sort of amends? or will they continue to break the laws and not care about possible legal problems?
    could lose their business license?

    i am concerned to hand money to a company that might be shut down for breaking the law.

    and to Miss Monica, do you still work there?
    if so do you still think that this is a good business even after a subsequent post by angry consumer?

    and to Mister Mike will you be perusing legal action?

    I am concerned to give money to a company that might have a legal problem.

    please can someone post or give me a reply and clear any doubt.

    i am new to all this and want to know what i am getting into.

  13. I feel confident that the general conses is still to run. Stay far away and do not get burned.

  14. Mike, I had a similar experience. I was a customer of the site, and I have talked with several other customers that have experienced the same exact situation as I have, so I'm trying to spread the word that everyone should avoid BYTDL. Here's my information (from a BYTDL customer point of view):

    I was a long-time customer of Burn Your To Do List and stayed with them for awhile even though the turnaround time was slow at times. I was hoping for an improvement when the website changed owners, but things just got worse after the site was sold.

    My rates were changed, so I started receiving half of the credits for the same cost (my prices doubled)-- and this change happened without notification. When I submitted a ticket asking customer support about it, they said that there was an error and they sent my rate increase email to someone else. They were kind enough to give me the old credit rate for that month but said that my rate would be changing the following month.

    So, I submitted enough tickets to finish out the credits that I had, and about 3 weeks later most of my tickets were still sitting in the "unassigned" status... and since the work wasn't being completed I closed the account. I sent them a message inquiring about the unfinished work, and I was told that I would be receiving the work within 5-7 days, but it never came through... they just disabled my logins.

    Now they are saying that the work will not be delivered because my account is closed, and that I can re-subscribe to the service if I want to use the rest of my credits. Apparently, the terms and conditions of the site changed without notice... because when I signed up for the site I was told that I would have 30 days after canceling my account to use the rest of my credits.

    I am so frustrated that the work was not delivered, especially since I gave them plenty of time to complete the work before closing the account. I submitted a paypal dispute for the last month of membership fees that I paid (they screwed me out of several hundred dollars), but unfortunately paypal has a limit of 45 days for a dispute... and I missed that deadline by a few days. :(

    I was told that I could still submit a report on paypal so that it would go on their record (and paypal could use the information in the future if needed), so I submitted the information. Even though I won't be getting a refund, hopefully it will help someone in the future if they are disputing a payment because their work was not delivered.

    So, if there are any BYTDL customers out there, make sure that all of the work is delivered BEFORE you cancel your account. Or, if you need to submit a paypal dispute be sure that you do it within 45 days of your last payment.

    I'm planning on posting this information around the internet, so that hopefully other customers can avoid getting scammed out of their credits. I have been in the internet marketing world for a few years now, and have some authority in several large online forums... and I am telling everyone that I know to stay far away from BYTDL!

  15. http://www.wahm.com/forum/telecommuting-moms-34/533914-burned-burn-your-do-list-beware-5.html

    This is unbelievable... How does this company survive? Why do people keep giving money to this company when there are other (honest) companies to chose from?

    I truly hope that BYTDL stops this foolish behavior before they drag every other outsourcing company down with them, and make these poor customers so gun shy, that they stop trusting anyone who runs an outsourcing company.

    To the owner of BYTDL - Amateur night is over, please vacate the stage.

    Brenda Powers
    SEO Consultant

  16. Hi, this is Monica again, a manager of BYTDL, and I’d like to set the record straight.
    I’m glad you asked, Brenda how we do so well, despite a few rants on this forum. It’s because we provide a great service at a great price. We delivered over 200,000 jobs last year for thousands of happy customers. When you produce this much volume, there are always going to be a few disgruntled people blaming you for their problems.
    Here’s a comment we received today, “Thanks for fixing this for me so quickly. I truly appreciate it. As a new user it gives me a great deal of confidence in the service.” We’ve got hundreds of these, but we don’t splash them all over the internet like the complainers.
    Typically, the complainers on this forum, Shelli Rhea, Michael Linley and Becki Andrus are only telling you part of the truth. In the case of Rhea, if you were a client and you received poor work, would you be willing to pay for it? No, and either were we. On her way out the door, this person worked with another former contractor of ours named Jamie Cawley to steal our client list, then used it to slander us and try and launch a copycat company, in clear breach of her contractor agreement. That’s not what we pay our contractors to do.
    Linley and Andrus caused their own issue and then blamed us for it. Our site is an inexpensive membership site, where you pay monthly, and if you stop paying, you’re no longer a member after 30 days. Simple! It’s done all over the internet every day. If you stopped paying for a newspaper subscription and then complained you didn’t read it on some days, do you think you can expect a refund for those days’ papers? Of course not.
    In Becki Andrus’ case, what she fails to mention is that we delivered well over 100 articles to her in the last two weeks of her membership, which was all we could produce and still keep our other(paying) clients’ orders delivered on time. Never mind that she had the lowest price of any client, she still chose to cancel her membership and abandon our service. Now she blames us? What happened to personal responsibility? She’s over 21 and makes her own decisions, good or bad, and has only herself to blame for the consequences. Micheal Linley’s situation was the same.
    The fact is, you can’t please all of the people all of the time. But we do please the overwhelming majority of our clients, and that’s why we are successful, despite the rants of a few who made bad decisions and then blamed us.

  17. Has anyone tried posting a warning about BYTDL on Warrior Forum?

  18. Hi Brenda,

    I think it is going to take time for people to put this behind them. It sort of seems like just when the dust around BYTDL starts to settle, something happens to stir it all up again :(

    I truly feel very bad for the clients who are stuck in this situation.
    I wish I could help them all!

    We just have to keep looking forward and do our part as honest business people, to keep providing good service...and to continue to show our customers that we appreciate their business :)

  19. My apologies for not publishing comments, sooner. Have been a bit busy.


  20. Wow - okay "Monica" (who I have never met or worked with or spoken to ever).

    Here is WORD FOR WORD the email I sent out to people on my contact list after I had been inundated with emails from providers who had not been paid, clients that were getting no responses to their questions and both asking who actually owned the business since the new owner had not sent out anything to introduce himself.

    I considered that the email sent was extremely appropriate and I have documentation to prove ALL statements that I personally have ever made in regard to BYTDL. Readers of this blog are welcome to judge for themselves. Unlike certain people involved in this saga, I actually believe in free speech.

    "Dear Burn Your to Do List Client/Provider,

    As you are aware, Shelli Rhea tendered her resignation back on Monday 4 October 2010 and was staying on only to train a replacement.
    Shelli made this decision in large part based on her dealings with the new owner.

    She found that there were policies and choices being made by the new owner that she felt did not represent her own moral or ethical views of how a business should treat their clients/providers.

    Shelli has attempted to train a new manager, however has been forced to wait for HOURS for this person to show up. This includes waiting 7 HOURS today for her to show up so that she could be taught how to do payroll.

    A private message was today sent from Shelli’s system account. This was NOT sent by her, and instead someone else had logged in using her details and sent this out under her name WITHOUT her knowledge.

    These are the kind of tactics being used by the new owner that have made working for Burn Your To Do List unbearable.
    Shelli and all other providers were due to be paid today. The new manager new showed up for training, however Shelli completed the payroll and sent the file to Rachel to upload at 3:00pm, since Shelli no longer has access to the business account to be able to pay people. It is now 7:30pm and Shelli has still not yet been paid – has anyone else?
    I know that many of you have no idea who even owns the business any more.

    Emails stating policy changes or responding to complaints have not been signed.
    In case you DO want to know who the new owner is:
    Email: hark.joe@gmail.com
    Phone: 281 309 1226 or 6047 634 275

    Please note this is NOT something I had planned to send people, however Joe has spent every waking moment blaming either Shelli, myself, other providers, clients or support system staff for any and all problems he has come across.

    In my view it is cowardly to log in to other peoples accounts and send information out that they have no knowledge of, and to send emails and make comments without signing with a real name.

    I have removed all system access for both Shelli and myself from BYTDL’s systems since the owner never bothered to.

    Jamie Cawley

    If things have improved since the deluge of complaints after the change of ownership of BYTDL then good for them. I just wish that the management at BYTDL would actually allow their clients to speak on the internet uncensored, rather than having their comments on sites such as the Warrior Forum blocked or removed.

  21. Monica was not an employee of BYTDL until after the others had quit....
    Her point of view and response was obviously a coached response....

    You can not fail to pay an employee any salaries and wages due to them... It is not legal in most countries...
    If they did the work... they get the pay...

    They also refused to pay another manager after she quit too. Coincidence? Doubtful....

    Former employees open competing businesses all the time... this is just how business works...
    Look up the saga between Papa John's and Pizza Hut...

    The term 'personal responsibility' was used here...
    BYTDL made a conscious decision to fail to meet financial and moral obligations...
    They breached confidentiality clauses by revealing former customers full names...

  22. If my manager gave a response like the one Monica posted I would fire that manager without a second thought.
    Her comments are coming dangerously close to slander.

  23. haha monica, the newspaper analogy is funny, how can a customer read a newspaper if the company isn't delivering the paper on time in the first place?? if a customer pays for the subscription and requests the paper to be delivered everyday, then the company is responsible to deliver the product.

    too bad burnyourtodolist.com can't treat their customers & employees fairly, i was thinking about trying them out and i'm glad i found this website. i'll take my business somewhere else

  24. i was going to try this company but i was really put down when they post there former clients' by saying there first and last names for just anyone online to see it,
    i think it just bullying tactics to keep another poster from coming out.
    and to say well we did not pay our employees because there work was bad, you know what you do when you have a bad employee you pay them there final wage and then you end the job with them.
    you do not with-hold there pay because they quit that is illegal!
    and they with-holded pay from two people who quit so are you telling me that both those employees did bad work?
    i'm not believe that for a second.
    and i'm not understanding what a newspaper has to do with cancelling?
    i'm confused to what this means.

  25. I want to tell you my story of why you don't want to work for this company. The owner Joe is a rude and arrogant man and will not pay on time if at all.

    I was working for BYTDL before the business was sold.
    Back when Rachel was owner we always got paid on time and all questions were answered in a timely fashion.
    When Joe came on board we had to basically start begging for our pay which we never had to do before.

    Joe and myself have had many back and fourth email arguments over his payment policies.
    He assigns too many tickets at once even though I have told him repeatedly I can only do a few at a time. Now he has the audacity to not pay me.
    I am sorry but if he does not pay I do not work.
    Many customers are waiting on orders but I can not work for free.

    When Joe first arrived we were paid on Monday morning and then payments just started coming later and later and now no pay at all.

    I do want to say that BYTDL was a great company to work for before Joe came into it.
    After receiving rude and nasty emails daily from Joe I have had enough and have quit.
    I doubt I will ever see the pay he owes me.

    I also want to say that in all of my time with BYTDL I never once spoke to or heard of a manager or other employee named Monica.
    Joe manages it all by himself. I do not think anyone can live up to his unrealistic standards and the horrible way he treats and talks to people is enough to drive anyone away.

    Run as far away from this company as you can.

  26. Beware of Joseph and Sandy Grant aka Monica. After employment they will ask you to do task for free or risk project termination like me. They lacked the understanding of task complexities and would like to circumvent odesk and get you to work outside odesk so that they manipulate you. The quality of instruction was poor. Upon completion of a task under a first specification, they immediately change and inform that you were supposed to do it under a different specs.

    Many a times, they complained that some tasks were not being done correctly but when approached to explain and show the correct way you are taken in a merry-go-round (just not to pay or ask you to reduce your logged time)and when you put the fact in the floor no response is given.

    Based on my profile, its the worst job I have ever done. Reported to Odesk.

  27. By the way, Joe must be trying to clear the name and he decided to start fresh... he's no longer doing business under the name of burnyourtodolist.com, the new company name is http://outsourseo.com/

    Stay far away from http://outsourseo.com/ because it is run/managed by the same people that took over BYTDL.

  28. Hi! Just a heads up, Joe (Monica) changed the name of his company.

    He is no longer using the name Burn Your To Do List - the new website is OUTSOURSEO.COM

    It is the same business, management, owner etc... just changed the name - probably to try and hide from all the bad press.

    STAY AWAY from OUTSOURSEO.COM AKA burnyourtodolist.com

  29. My name is Joe Harkins but I want to clear the record. I am NOT the Joe Harkins discussed above. I am concerned about being confused with him because I own a web site-based business (www.buildinghosting.com) and, although I have not been professionally active as a writer for about 5 or 6 years, I did work for about 20 years as a freelance writer with a substantial clips file on one of my web sites (travelthenet.com). I live in Jersey City, NJ and was, for a few years an elected officer of the NYC Chapter of the National Writers Union. I am in the hone book. Some of my personal web sites will help verify my identity.

    I hope this clarification keeps my name clear from that of the person who is causing problems.

  30. From a content contributers perspective,I have never had a problem with this company. I have been with them for over a year and have always been paid on time and in full. Always.

    It is a good way to supplement your income.