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First oDesk job (as a client) and contractor has not delivered anything - how to avoid bad feedback?

Hi,

This is my first experience of oDesk and it has not gone well: the contractor, as nice as I'm sure she is, has failed to deliver anything so far - 7 days in to a project I expected to take a day. She acknowledges she has let me down, and apologises, but basically the task seems to be beyond her.

To her credit, she hasn't logged the time she has spent trying to work out what to do.

I think I will give her a bit longer to keep trying, but fear that eventually I will need to end it - and feel vulnerable that, if she does turn nasty (which I don't think she will, but how can I tell?) I'll get negative feedback on my first job and would then struggle to hire going forward.

I know contractors can avoid negative feedback if they charge nothing for a project. If no payment is made for the project, will the feedback for me as a client still show?

Any advice?

Thanks

k

Vote Result

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Score: 0.0, Votes: 0
No.

If no money changes hands, then there is no feedback for either side.

Kevin, I'm sorry you had a

Kevin, I'm sorry you had a bad experience with your very first hire. To avoid any issues, please begin by limiting the hours to zero, the change is effective from the next working week (Monday).

As far as the feedback is concerned, if she hasn't logged any time (you can check this in the work diary to be certain), then the feedback doesn't appear on your history (or the contractor's for that matter).

oDesk Forum Moderator

Always reach for the skies, for even if you fall, you'll still be on the top of the world...

As mentioned this is an equal

As mentioned this is an equal opportunity website.

You feel vulnerable.... that's unexpected. The TOS is well written -- keep it above board and you should be fine. Its just a profile, live a little.

The worst advice so far. I'm

The worst advice so far. I'm contractor and I'll never ever work again without up-front. Up-front still is not a guarantee that client will make final payment after I deliver the work but at least I can give a feedback.

Imagine yourself as a contractor here on oDesk. Would you work without up-front?
If you are a smart personn I don't think you would accept such job offer.

<3 Skrillex

I have also been tricked by a

I have also been tricked by a woman from Atlanta.
Job was to create a brochure for her real estate investment.
Even I already had a good reputation on oDesk, I put only 1 % up-front. That was 2 $ on whole sum of 200 $.

So I delivered her complete work, and even her assistant told me it's great (he repeated that several times) she decided to completely ignore me for more than month.

oDesk sent her tickets, I send her a ton of messages.

She decided not to pay. Later, I saw she done that to other person.

So, imagine how easy is not to pay someone who is new to oDesk, with no reputation.
What should they do without up-front? Depend on someone's good will?

I'm sorry for your bad experiences, but you should have put score 1 of 5 to those contractors and report them to oDesk. I think they would suffer serious consequences.

(EDIT: Yes, dispute is a serious thing. You have at least that option. I was completely helpless in the case with the woman from Atlanta.)

You don't need to pay 30 - 40 % up - front, but pay at least 1$ to contractors so you can both be able to leave a feedback each other.

If not, contractors will do the harm to clients, and clients will do the harm to contractors.

I'm sorry for any grammar, spelling mistakes here.

<3 Skrillex

Vesna, you should practice what you preach!!!!!!

Vesna M. wrote:
I have also been tricked by a woman
She decided not to pay. Later, I saw she done that to other person.

(snip)
I'm sorry for your bad experiences, but you should have put score 1 of 5 to those contractors and report them to oDesk. I think they would suffer serious consequences.

Absolutely right, which is why YOU should NOT have refunded what little upfront payment you DID get so the contract vanished from your profile. You did NOT warn other contractors as you advise above....

That client got away with it again and again because contractors LET her and don't use their ability to leave feedback.

I can only speculate about your motives for refunding the payment, I suspect you were so afraid of her giving you "not perfect" feedback that you refunded. You have refunded several times, for that exact reason. It costs you money, is NOT what the system is designed for, and actually makes your feedback score a bit of a farce.

Petra, exactly because of

Petra, exactly because of what I experienced I'm advising the opposite of what I have done.

You give someone a score for: skills, quality, availability, deadlines, communication, cooperation.

In which of these categories does belong the act of my giving up? I gave up on her. I was angry, disssapointed and didn't have an energy to wait and beg her to pay me. And I made a mistake because now other contractors could experience the same.

Second case: oDesk didn't send notification to the client on time. He thought I'm not responding. In which of categories above mentioned does that belong: lousy notification system?

Third case: the client I was waiting for more than month, whom I delivered all the work, communicate regularly, been available all the time, etc.
That's the only case in which I'm lying about my feedback because other clients won't be warned about how when I lose my temper I call them "my man". That won't happen again, I'm sure.

I think you are a little bit harsh here. It's not like I didn't deliver any work. I sent more than 10 revisions, not asking for final payment untill few days ago.

<3 Skrillex

which is exactly why (in my opinion) you shouldn't have refunded

Vesna M. wrote:

It's not like I didn't deliver any work. I sent more than 10 revisions, not asking for final payment untill few days ago.

Which is EXACTLY why I really don't think you should have closed the contract or refunded the upfront payment you did get. Why work for a month, go above and beyond the scope of the contract, and then throw away the pay?

Because I'm stupid. He sent

Because I'm stupid. He sent me a message today: "There was no need to refund the money as I would not want you to work for free."

What to say? I got arrogant on a wrong person.
I apologised once again. Waiting him to give me the last addition.

<3 Skrillex

You're NOT stupid, Vesna!

Vesna M. wrote:
Because I'm stupid. He sent me a message today: "There was no need to refund the money as I would not want you to work for free."

What to say? I got arrogant on a wrong person.
I apologised once again. Waiting him to give me the last addition.

You could send another message saying "I really am sorry things all got a bit out of hand. I would love to finish the project for you, we have worked well together throughout. I felt really bad about being rude to you so decided to refund because I did not want you to have to pay when there has been some misunderstanding. If you would like to complete the contract with me maybe you could rehire me, I could do the final update and then you could close the contract normally?"

or something like that, in your own words. Please don't throw away a month's worth of work, Vesna! Next time you have a sudden impulse to do something rash have a coffee, come here to vent, and then act! Never say that you're stupid, you're not stupid at all. You just sometimes act first and think later Wink

I second Petra's Comment!

I don't think you are stupid at all. We have all done things impulsively that we have later regretted. In fact, just last week I refunded a 50 percent upfront fee on an impulse and later regretted it. I had a further discussion with the client, they paid me for the work I completed and I'm nearly finished with the project now so don't think you're the only one who shoots first and asks questions later Wink

I, too, agree.

You're on a learning curve here, Vesna. Everybody goes through some of the same things when just starting out, and some people learn from their mistakes...others don't.

You're one of the few that actually listen and learn and try to do better. Don't stop now. Take what Petra suggested and try to finish the job.

Good luck.

Have you read the TOS?

When this occurs you dispute the charge. REALLY stop giving out advise that will prevent these people from hiring top quality contractors. You go ahead back to Clickbank and pay peanuts and get peanuts.

HA

Linda A. wrote:
Never hire on an hourly basis, always work with fixed fee and never pay upfront.

If you wan't things to go smoothly that's how you do it.

Seriously Linda? I'm a well-established freelancer here and I work almost entirely on fixed rate positions and I accept NONE of them without an upfront.

Why don't you do something with your profile instead of making half-cocked suggestions.

Just never expect a top contractor or to do a big project....

The only contracts I'll do fixed price are ones that are very granular. If someone wants x many pieces of such and such a length I may take that on a fixed price basis, but at least at the beginning I would need to be paid on delivery for every single one of those pieces unless I had a pre-existing relationship with that client.

Fixed price with no upfront is risky for the contractor. They can do all the work and get absolutely nothing for it, and that's just not a risk that many people are willing to take with big projects.

Yes the hourly system has weaknesses, and it can be gamed. Those weaknesses aren't enough to say that no one should ever use it.

The simple truth of the matter is that anyone who's been burned on fixed price jobs is going to try to minimize their risk so they don't get burned again. The other fact is that the only way to become a successful freelance contractor is to do a lot of work, and that means eventually you're going to get burned. Get burned enough times, and you're going do what you can to avoid it.

Now that doesn't mean I'll never do fixed price with no upfront for a brand new client, but it's rare and I won't do it unless I can afford to write the whole thing off if they stiff me.

So if someone such as yourself, who I've never worked with, had those two requirements, I'd only take the job if it took about an hour to complete and paid $20-25. Anything longer and I'm risking too much time on something I might not get paid for, I never get those hours back. It won't be cheaper because it's not worth it to me to work for less than that - especially when you figure in the time to get a new job started.

Dave

I don't understand what are

I don't understand what are you waiting for. One week is really a long time, if the job can be done in less than a day. End the contract immediately (if there is no money transfer) and pick another contractor to do the same task. No one will suffer consequences that way, except you lost your time on waiting.

<3 Skrillex