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VA Horror Stories.

HalloweenIn honour of Halloween we asked you to share your VA horror stories…  Some were happy to be named, others were happy to shame the VAs in question…  And some would rather just not be identified!

We had two VAs working for us doing call answering and sharing a Skype chat so the whole team could see what was going on.  The two of them hatched a plan to steal a client right there in the shared room!  We couldn’t quite believe the stupidity!  Emma, Calls Sorted

Had a VA who volunteered to take an urgent transcription job from me.  About an hour after sending her the files, she emailed to ask how she could play the audio (I email her that we usually use Express Scribe to play the files and send her the free download link)… Another few hours goes by and she emails again to say she can’t hear the audio…  It turns out she didn’t have a soundcard installed and had never done any audio typing whatsoever – it wasted over 5 hours of my time.  I was raging! Anonymous

Not really a horror story, more a big disappointment: working with a new client on a large contract (for me) and introduced them to a recruitment consultant who helped them to recruit someone to do my work! #faceplant time Michelle Poole, VACT Yorkshire

See also  Top tips for Outsourcing: Get a contract in place!

And a few short ones:

  • VA submitted work late
  • VA submitted work that I had to do again because it was so bad
  • VA didn’t tell me how long it had taken her so I couldn’t bill the client
  • VA nicked the client for her own business
  • Outsourcer didn’t know how to do the job and ended up misquoting to the client
  • VA took 10 times longer than the job should have taken and expected to be paid for it
  • The VA tried to trade under my business name
  • VA simply never got back to me any time I tried to contact her to do work
  • When I was busy and needed the help, the VA was never available
  • A graphic designer without any graphics software
  • VA didn’t have any childcare so work was done late at night and was poor quality

Do you have any to add to our VA Hall of Shame? Tell us all about it below…

Or if you want to avoid the pitfalls of outsourcing, make sure you grab a copy of our UK based subcontractor agreement which comes with free Getting Started With Outsourcing Tips!



  1. AMANDA SHONS on 11 October, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    When I first became a VA I had a client that checked up on the work that I was doing for him every half an hour, I gave him the benefit of the doubt as he had not worked with a VA before, but after two days micro-management, including additional e-mails and skype contact I finally snapped after a call after midnight and kindly told him that I could not work for him anymore.

    • Caroline on 11 October, 2015 at 6:55 pm

      Oh that is a nightmare Amanda – probably a good decision!

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