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Disgraceful 1 star feedbacks to employers


I've been hit 3 times in the last 10 months by contractors who have given me an absolutely unfair and disgraceful 1* feedback.

Each time it was because I simply and honestly told the contractor that I wasn't satisfied, either by the quality of his work, or because he was working really way too slowly (example: he took 4 hours to write a 300 words article on a broad topic).

Obviously, it made my overall score go down and a good employer pay attention to his reputation.

It shouldn't be allowed to leave a 1* feedback on all the fields without a special validation process by a member of oDesk Team for example. A 1* score clearly shows that this contractor wants to hurt your reputation and use his feedback as a weapon. He then wants to hurt your reputation and overall score instead of using it the way it should be: to leave an objective feedback.

To my opinion, the fields should also be different from the contractor to the client's feedback. How can they judge us the same way ? Of course, if I was a Python developer I probably wouldn't need to hire one...But can a Python developer judge my skills while I manage 40 employees on different fields for 15 years ?

2 months ago I tested several graphic designers for a project. One of these graphic designers charged me 11:50 hours and her work was so far from what we expected and so far from the instructions and examples we had given her that we ended the contract after politely explaining why. There again, she left us a 1* score and a disgraceful comment. We asked her why ? We invited her to change her unfair feedback but she didn't move a finger nor didn't take 1 minute to reply.(I didn't want to hide her feedback comment because it was so bad that it probably plays against her.)

These contractors know you won't hire them again so they try to ruin your reputation because they think they have absolutely nothing to lose. And it's a real problem ! They're totally misusing the feedback / scores system on oDesk.

A feedback shouldn't be used to fulfill a desire for vengeance. It should be as objective and professional as possible.

Unfortunately, I have no solution to suggest but I think that's something you must think of, to save your clients from being hit by such problematic behaviors.

Best regards,

Vote Result

Score: 7.9, Votes: 10
Employer Feedback

Absolutely agree. I am in a same potential situation now. Spending years in IT as a developer and a manager, I can confirm that outsourcing isn't an easy thing. Major problem is developer's understanding of the spec. Employer's responsibility is 1. to provide a clear spec and 2. To pay on time if job has been done according to the spec. As soon as spec is not being changed on a fly, rest of the thing is employee's responsibility. I think that oDesk can implement payment monitoring pattern evaluation and rate this aspect automatically. If employee got paid within a reasonable time frame, then employer is good. That's it. Another way to protect and employer is to implement a warning (yellow card system). If employee got number of yellow cards, then employee at least should be blocked from posting negative comments.


A contractor judges you based of their experience with you

A contractor judges you based of their experience with you.
Many would would just give you 1 star after you are not happy with their work because that's the loves you can go as well.

I've received a 4,2 recently - no real explanation why in the feedback and failed to reply back when I asked what I could have done differently.
Overall oDesk is a site where most of the clients expect wonders for their change, most good contractors have moved on too - no reason being here if there aren't any decent postings and if there are you have to handle difficult clients - I'm not paid to deal with your (clients) issues.

I absolutely support the free exchange of feedback - I've seen it exploited by both sides, but what are you going to do... professionals should behave as such, that's all I can say on this issue.
Any monitoring will fail as oDesk seemed to forsaken us and just left this site to ride it's life out.

Hi Stanislav, I don't agree

Hi Stanislav,

I don't agree with you on that point : a contractor should judge you based on the criterias listed by oDesk, not on their "experience" with you.

"Many would would just give you 1 star after you are not happy with their work because that's the loves you can go as well." → What does this sentence mean ?

What you should worry...

What you should worry about is the feedback they write in review sites, forums and other sites that are visible to the public.. because it can be crawled by search engines. You can hide feedback/comments here at Odesk if that bothers you.. But.. say in the future, you've got a VC ( venture capitalist ) wanting to invest in your business.. and you know they'll check on your online cred ( in fact, job seekers are subject to this all the time ). A few clicks can reveal a lot about your business... and bad reputation is not something you can easily erase overnight. Think about it..

I agree with you. That's

I agree with you.

That's coming after but the fact I'm condemning is to leave a unfair and totally abusive 1* score just because they're not happy of their experience, most of the time because YOU employer were not happy with THEIR work.

It seems to me that...

It seems to me that after the OP talked to the contractor, the contractor realized that he wasn't going to get very good feedback from the client so he decided to slam the client as well. Maybe, the contractor felt that it would look better if both sides had a bad review. This was the problem could be framed as a personality conflict and not a work quality issue.

I had a similar experience with a client who disappeared for a month. He didn't owe me any money so I wasn't concerned but I did send a couple of emails asking if there weren't any problems with the work then we could just close the contract.

He ended the contract and then took a number of stars off things like deadlines, availability and communication. I wrote back asking why he didn't give me five stars since I never missed a deadline and was always available. Luckily, he was willing to change it but I think he was waiting to see what my review of him was first. If I had given him a bad review, he probably wouldn't have changed it.

David Gregory wrote:It seems

David Gregory wrote:
It seems to me that after the OP talked to the contractor, the contractor realized that he wasn't going to get very good feedback from the client so he decided to slam the client as well.

There's a difference between my fair score (4.35) and these contractors unjustifiable scores (1).


To the OP:

I am curious as to how much you were paying for those 4-hours and 300 words.

Yes, the contractor was definitely scamming you, but if you went with the cheapest bidder, that tends to be what happens. Peanuts and monkeys.....

He was paid $ 22 / hour. Is

He was paid $ 22 / hour. Is that cheap for you ? It is not for me.


Yea, you got scammed.

It should only take about 30 - 45 minutes to write 300 words -- at the most! -- for a qualified, experienced writer. And that's including any research needed. 4 hours is absolutely ridiculous.

And while $22 is less than what I ask, its still a very good price for this platform.

That contractor deserves worse feedback than what you gave him.

I was not talking about the

I was not talking about the feedback I gave him or what is a good or a low price for the job here nor what's your hourly rate, but the unfair 1* feedback some contractors give you when they understand you won't work with them another time.

I think for both clients and

I think for both clients and contractors it is better to not obviously state that they will not continue cooperation. When they both think that they can have a work in future together, they wouldn't give 1.0 feedback without serious reason.

I won't let a contractor

I won't let a contractor think we could work on other projects while I'm not happy with his work.

One thing to add

When I look at contractors to hire I do look at what kind of feedback they gave their other clients. If I see one where he was rated 4.25 and gave his client 1.0 I would pass him by.
So, really by giving you that unfair rating he is not doing himself any favors.
As a contractor if I was looking at your job posting and saw a 1 and then saw you gave the contractor 4.25 I would not automatically pass your job up. So while he was a real jerk, I don't think in the end it will do you a lot of harm on this site.
Best of luck.

I guess you're right but it

I guess you're right but it doesn't mean we must admit it, right ?

Unfortunately situations like

Unfortunately situations like this one happen for one or another reason. If your feedback overall is good, a good contractor will check it and see that the poor 1 star feedback is occasional and isolated and therefore it most definitely has been given from an affected contractor. So it's nothing to worry about - feedback is not accounting - it's more of an expressed social behaviour so subjective factors will be considered from a decent contractor and he won't worry about it.

You're probably right.

You're probably right.