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Why do you allow contractors to hide feedback?

I take time when I write comments about a contractor. I think about my comments carefully and go out of my way to help future clients in making a decision, as I hope others do for me.

Recently I have had some bad experiences with particular contractors where for a variety of reasons they have wasted my time, money and in one case actually cost me a client.

I want to be able to let other potential oDesk clients know that this happened so they can avoid it happening to them.

My comments are fair, constructive, and objective.

So what is the point of me going to the trouble of making these comments if the contractor can just hide them?!

Contractors should NOT be able to make feedback comments private and I believe this is a major flaw in the feedback system. I would be very annoyed if I hired a contractor who had hidden comments, only to find they had done something very bad by a previous client and had been able to hide the comment.

Vote Result

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Score: 6.9, Votes: 36
Don't hire people who hide

Don't hire people who hide the comments. Simple.

And don't work for Clients

And don't work for Clients that hide feedback.

Goes both ways.

I wasn't even aware that the

I wasn't even aware that the contractor could "hide" negative feedback.

If they "hide" the feedback, does this have any effect on their star ratings?

No, the star rating remains

No, the star rating remains the same. Hidden feedback shows up as something like "The contractor has chosen to hide this feedback"...or words to that effect.

From a hiring or hiree perspective though, I'd rather see bad feedback than hidden. More than one and I wouldn't even bother with the person.

I find it funny that you have

I find it funny that you have such strong views on a lot of topics but in reality you have barely used oDesk as a contractor. Someone that's only done 8 hours and 17 contracts would not have had enough exposure to the wide range of differing views of many oDesk clients.

Some clients are extremely hard to deal with, some are liars and scammers and will write just about anything to try to force a contractor to refund or be left with a bad mark on their profile. Some expect unlimited work for virtually no pay, i.e. the never ending fixed price contract. Some expect the contractor to be available 24/7 which is totally unrealistic. I have often received rude demanding messages wondering where I am when I am sleeping.

I think you are totally wrong about hiding feedback comments as I have hid about three so far and I get plenty of work and more invites than I can even contemplate. I see you have no invites at all and you last worked 6 months ago.

Just some things to think about next time before you espouse your theories.

oDesk is not the entirety of

oDesk is not the entirety of my experience.

John, You're Wrong

I just had a Contractor try to steal money from me by claiming he'd done work and asking for a milestone payment before continuing. Only problem was, he hadn't noticed I changed all the log in details a week earlier so he couldn't possibly have done any work.

Now he's cancelled the contract and given me negative feedback because I threatened to report him if he didn't provide screenshots proving he'd done work I knew he could not possibly have done.

Should I hide it? No, because as you say if someone hides comments they look like they're trying to hide something *they've* done whereas in my case it's the other way around.

What *should* happen is that negative comments don't get posted for 72 hours, thus allowing the recipient to dispute them with oDesk. oDesk should then look into it and make a decision. If the negative comment is found inappropriate, the person who posted it should risk getting banned.

That would be a fair system. And while it may not be 100% fool-proof it would be a helluva lot better than the present system.

If oDesk think it's too much work for them to manage negative feedback, consider this: I'm not thinking of moving to Elance because I'm really not happy about my experience.

What am I wrong about? I am

What am I wrong about? I am stating facts from my personal experience on oDesk as a contractor, a hiring manager and a client. I seriously doubt you have as much oDesk experience as me. Hiding the feedback comment is the only protection contractors have from scamming clients that employ feedback blackmail techniques. The clients have all the power here, they have the money to spend and as long as you got money no matter how bad your company feedback is you will always have people wanting to work for you. The same is not true for a contractor, too many bad comments and you will never get hired again. I've had unreasonable clients outright lie in their feedback comments, one of these so called clients lost the dispute two weeks in a row then just nailed me with bad feedback cause he was an absolute prick.

Being able to hide the feedback comments is a must oDesk, do not remove this feature.

It keeps things even

John, flaunting your hours number isn't meaningful. It doesn't take that long to get a sense of how oDesk works and have a valid opinion.

I would normally agree that hiding feedback undermines the point of the system, except for one reason: it allows you to keep a single feedback from overpowering your profile and leaving prospective clients with a bad impression. When people see a hidden feedback they already assume it was badly, but they aren't reading 4 paragraphs of strong verbiage (while happy clients tend not to). It keeps one client from having more impact than any other.

For example, it would be similar if while happy clients can give 5 stars, unhappy clients can give negative stars.

Well if the client is bad,

Well if the client is bad, just leave that feedback. That doesn't mean the contractor should be able to hide the comments if they're bad.

I feel , odesk has to protect

I feel , odesk has to protect both parties interest, i.e., employers and contractors. Instead of hiding, they can introduce a feature where the contractor can reply to the negative feedback. This way they can refute an unreasonable negative feedback.

No, only the actual text gets hidden, all else stays the same

Adam P. wrote:
I wasn't even aware that the contractor could "hide" negative feedback.

If they "hide" the feedback, does this have any effect on their star ratings?

No, the overall rating does not change, and the individual stars given for each category remain visible as well. It's only the text comment that gets hidden and replaced by "The contractor has chosen to make those comment private" or words to that effect. Frankly I view hidden comments with a degree of suspicion, and would have a good look at the circumstances (the client's other feedback left, for example) and / or ask the contractor about it if it's not a seemingly out-of-character one off.

Personally I would like the ability to hide feedback to be withdrawn, and replaced with the ability to respond once with a limited number of characters.

+1

Petra R. wrote:
Personally I would like the ability to hide feedback to be withdrawn, and replaced with the ability to respond once with a limited number of characters.

I agree!

Client or contractor, anyone

Client or contractor, anyone hiding comment with low rating is a 'avoid working with' person - simple.

This is one of the very few

This is one of the very few privileges that the contractor has, at large. Don't remove it! Everybody who is bit more familiar with the oDesk rules knows how much more tolerated clients are, compared to the contractors... They've got the money, so they get more privileges.

I agree

I believe contractors should be given the opportunity to hide feedback. I have been looking at evaluation of contractors who chose to hide the comments and see the star rating. In my opinion, the thing would already speak for itself and I do not need to decipher what happened. I figure it out that the comment might not have been nice.

Allowing contractors to hide comments is fair to the benefit of contractors who are given second chances.

no, it doex not give them

no, it doex not give them second chances.
Their rating has already been knocked down by the feedback.

Well in my oDesk experience,

Well in my oDesk experience, I have been given bad feedback, and lots of clients have given me a second chance. In fact so many clients want me to work for them, it shows that as long as you have enough good scores and nice comments, you can get away with the odd bad mark.

sure if you already have a

sure if you already have a history to go with it.

There are many funny

There are many funny contractors and funny clients also Smile Hope I never have one..

AGREE!!!

I totally agree. This should absolutely not be allowed.

Just like

Web Dev P. wrote:
I totally agree. This should absolutely not be allowed.

oDesk absolutely does not allow fake names and yet....

I agree

Just wanted to say: Agree. I have hired a contractor (my first, yes) but have been disappointed by the quality of the work. I don't mind paying for what I get - but I do mind paying and not getting what I want. And now I am not sure whether I have the time to look into all details of contractors, to check them in all ways to see whether the contractor is trustworthy. Also it seems to me as if some of the positive comments are very much the same... can you trust them at all?
It is a shame because I really like the idea of oDesk and I think it is a great tool... Anyone who can give me recommendations on how to find the best qualified contractors?

This option to hide feedback is ridiculous

I'm happy to see that I'm not the only person that doesn't agree with this feature.

I'm fairly new to odesk but I've used a different freelancer site for nearly 10 years and spent over $120,000 there. During all those years, I have NEVER given a one star feedback. I've always preferred to work the problem out with the provider or just leave no feedback at all if I felt that the provider honestly gave his best effort.

Well, that all changed when I got taken for a ride here on odesk. The provider estimated that the project was going to take 120-200 hours and then charged me over 600 hours. I kept paying him because he kept telling me that he was almost done and I didn't want to make him mad because I'd already paid so much money and he still had all of the code for the project. Some days he would charge me 21 hours of work in a single day! I ended up paying over $20,000 for a project that realistically shouldn't have cost me more than $5k.

My only consolation was that I would get to leave him bad feedback and warn other users about my experience. Imagine my surprise when I left him a flaming feedback and all he had to do was hide my comment! Sure, the 1-star rating stays, but when he had something like 30 prior 5-star feedbacks, he can screw over a client every now and then and take the hit. Now, I see that in the last month or so, he's had 5 one-star ratings out of the last 7 projects (and he's hidden all of the comments, by the way). That's barely bumped him down to a 4-star contractor!

I'll tell you this. I'm going to stick with that other site I've been using as long as odesk keeps this policy. What's the point of leaving feedback if the provider can censor you?! Very disappointed...

either make all feedback private or nothing at all

Steven G. wrote:
I'm happy to see that I'm not the only person that doesn't agree with this feature.

I'm fairly new to odesk but I've used a different freelancer site for nearly 10 years and spent over $120,000 there. During all those years, I have NEVER given a one star feedback. I've always preferred to work the problem out with the provider or just leave no feedback at all if I felt that the provider honestly gave his best effort.

Well, that all changed when I got taken for a ride here on odesk. The provider estimated that the project was going to take 120-200 hours and then charged me over 600 hours. I kept paying him because he kept telling me that he was almost done and I didn't want to make him mad because I'd already paid so much money and he still had all of the code for the project. Some days he would charge me 21 hours of work in a single day! I ended up paying over $20,000 for a project that realistically shouldn't have cost me more than $5k.

My only consolation was that I would get to leave him bad feedback and warn other users about my experience. Imagine my surprise when I left him a flaming feedback and all he had to do was hide my comment! Sure, the 1-star rating stays, but when he had something like 30 prior 5-star feedbacks, he can screw over a client every now and then and take the hit. Now, I see that in the last month or so, he's had 5 one-star ratings out of the last 7 projects (and he's hidden all of the comments, by the way). That's barely bumped him down to a 4-star contractor!

I'll tell you this. I'm going to stick with that other site I've been using as long as odesk keeps this policy. What's the point of leaving feedback if the provider can censor you?! Very disappointed...

that is so true,i agree a 100% , its totally unfair to allow anyone to keep feedback private, feedback is feedback the same way,

if personally think if they want to keep allowing feedback to be private, no one should be allowed to select which feedback he can make private, either he makes all feedback private or nothing at all,

the fact that you can pick and chose what you make private is really a joke

So your view is based on

So your view is based on what? - an empty oDesk profile?

Why don't you wait until an employer lies in there feedback comment and gives you 1 star after you have done a good job, maybe then you will change your tune!

I think clients and

I think clients and contractors should be able to respond to feedback. There's more than one side to a story.

It works both ways

It is interesting that contractors seem to more easily grasp the concept that there are bad contractors as well as bad clients...yet few clients on here seem to realize that the problem runs both ways. There are some horrible clients out there as well. Why anyone would be so short-sighted as to think otherwise is beyond me.

There are clients who expect additional work for no additional pay once the original job was completed to the original specifications, clients who expect free consulting services (which can take the form of soliciting an opinion, asking for some advice, etc., on an ongoing basis), clients who have multiple people contacting the contractor with differences of opinion on what direction they wish to take, clients who take weeks to respond, clients who are just outright scammers, clients who whine about being financially strapped and beg constantly for more work than their budget allows, clients who ask for free rewrites because they've "changed" their minds when in reality they just want two articles for the price of one, clients who are disrespectful and some who are downright nasty, clients who expand their project needs without expanding their budget once the contract begins, clients who believe a contractor's only worry is the three hours of work they are paying them for each week and expect them to be available 24/7 because of it...well, you get the idea.

Yes, having the ability to respond to negative feedback would be nice. However, it is very short-sighted of anyone to think that it is wrong to give contractors the ability to hide negative feedback when we have to deal from time to time with clients leaving poor feedback just because they are ticked off that we are not allowing them to rip us off. It isn't as though we are able to erase the star ranking. I had received excellent rankings since starting until one client recently, who was a major train wreck, got angry at me because I refused to do any additional work for them once my original obligation was fulfilled. While I can't do anything about their ranking, I should have the option of hiding their inaccurate comments while allowing all my other comments to be visible.