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Be careful: ZenDesk & Upwork are still the same

Active Member
Emma M Member Since: Dec 23, 2015
1 of 12

I spent quite a bit of money on ZenDesk a few years back trying to see if I could find outsourcing via this website.

I had managed multiple teams in many different countries for other companies, but wanted to find my own without extracting the talent signed to the corporations.

 

I found one really talented, pro-active person in Dubai, whom I still work with and refer to other corporations. He is fantastic. There were very few skilled workers, even though they had passed tests and had URLs to show me.

 

So, now that UpWork is re-named,  I thought I would try again. I started with a very small wordpress site that has a CSS plugin menu. I made picture pdfs and explained thoroughly. He disappeared for a day or two, called me 'dear' when I asked him when he would finish, and then never even came close to even getting the minor stuff done.

 

He made $55.55 as I capped his hours at 5 hours for what took me 20 minutes to do. This is not my first rodeo on this billing issue, so I had learned the hard way a few years ago. Well, Upwork liked the pretty pictures he took, but did not evaluate that it does not take 5 hours to align a div tag underneath a menu. He also had never heard of browser compatibility testing url sites. He wanted me to keep sending him pictures? I sent him a few but then gave him the url to test himself. He didn't. 

 

I disputed the cost, but still had to pay. Sad actually, but perhaps this is a great fresh breath of air for the agencies who know what they are doing. We won't get replaced any time soon, if this is their source of talent and their protection for clients.

 

So, word to the wise... it is probably best to hire people who know what they are doing if you have the budget or your friend who is learning down the street..if you want sub-par work. That way you will be protected and not have to bother with all of this.

Community Guru
John K Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
2 of 12

@Emma M wrote:

I spent quite a bit of money on ZenDesk a few years back trying to see if I could find outsourcing via this website.


I think you mean oDesk, not ZenDesk. Upwork is oDesk rebranded. Zendesk makes customer support software used by Upwork. I think your dispute didn't succeed because you set the time limit at 5 hours. Next time you post a 20 minute job, you should make it fixed price or limit the hours to say 1 hour.

__________________________________________________
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce
Active Member
Emma M Member Since: Dec 23, 2015
3 of 12

Thanks John! I was over-worked from other projects and the holidays. You are correct. it was oDesk.

Since I have 17 years experience programming and designing, I give others' quite a bit of leeway to finish tasks, especially if we are trying to understand each other.

 

I have experience working with off-site as well as on-site project management. I gave him extra hours so he could move on to other tasks, if he had time. However, he could not even finish the first item.

 

I reviewed his images and he did not work in the code at all. He only took pictures of changing settings in a plugin.

I was very careful and was in contact with him.

 

Since this was my experience with the thousands of dollars I spent with oDesk, I just don't feel the need to go through this again. I'm fortunate in that I have talented individuals in my network and will invest in them as it is a sure thing.

 

Much luck and wishes to you! 

 

Emma Moore

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

Moderator
Vladimir G Moderator Member Since: Oct 31, 2014
4 of 12

Hi Emma,

 

I'm sorry to hear the contract with this freelancer was not completed successfully. On Hourly jobs, you are paying for time, not a product, and disputes must be based on hours billed, not quality of the work. 

 

You have full control and visibility of hours logged through your freelancer’s Work Diary, and have the ability to set a weekly limit of hours at the onset of the job. Managing your freelancers to ensure quality work is your responsibility, and you as a client need to define the scope of work, set up the project and communicate your expectations in detail, in order for the freelancer to manage those expectations and deliver great work. We recommend reviewing your freelancer's Work Diary frequently, especially at the beginning of a contract to ensure the work is meeting your expectations.

 

Here are some Help articles about how Upwork Payment Protection works in general, plus more details about the dispute process for Hourly jobs.

 

Depending on the type of work, you can set up your job as Fixed price, create and fund Milestones, and only release payment for a Milestone once you're satisfied with the work freelancer delivered. Please have a look at how Upwork Fixed-Price Protection can help you manage your Upwork projects. You can check the differences between Fixed price and Hourly jobs in this Help article.

Community Guru
Chris M Member Since: May 6, 2015
5 of 12

@Vladimir G wrote:

Hi Emma,

 

...On Hourly jobs, you are paying for time, not a product, and disputes must be based on hours billed, not quality of the work....

 


 What!? Vladimir - Are you saying that the quality of the work can not be disputed?

 

I'm not a client. I work mostly fixed price, but if your terms and conditions are stating that the quality of a freelancers work in an hourly contract can not be disputed, then surely it needs changing?

 

If you can not dispute the quality of work in an houly contract then freelancers can just produce low quality work and get away with it surely?

 

Am I missing something here?

 

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
6 of 12

Upwork is not in a position to adjudicate the quality of a freelancer's work. That's a simple fact.

 

Upwork can, however, evaluate whether a client logged a certain number of hours with a certain minimal activity level.

 

So this is a sound, workable policy.

 

And, no, a freelancer can not "produce low quality work and get away with it."

 

When I hire a freelancer who produces low quality work, then I close their contract and refrain from paying them any more money.

 

I can monitor work in near real time. I can pause a contract and ask the freelancer to submit work files at any time, to review them. I can limit the number of hours a freelancer can work. There are many things I can do to avoid paying for low quality work.

Community Guru
Chris M Member Since: May 6, 2015
7 of 12

@Preston H wrote:

 

...

 

I can monitor work in near real time. I can pause a contract and ask the freelancer to submit work files at any time, to review them. I can limit the number of hours a freelancer can work. There are many things I can do to avoid paying for low quality work.


 Hi Preston,

 

I see your point about Upwork not being in a position to adjudicate on quality.

 

You have set my mind at rest with your list of ways to avoid low quality work - thanks.

Active Member
Emma M Member Since: Dec 23, 2015
8 of 12

Yes, I tried to explain that he didn't even get to the actual code and they did not understand.

Smiley Happy I wish you the best in your UpWork journey!

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
9 of 12

@Emma M wrote:

 

So, word to the wise... it is probably best to hire people who know what they are doing.


 Really? You think?

 

You get what you pay for.

 

you could have hired someone in the 20 to 30 Dollar an hour range and probably would have had your job done in an hour at half the price.

 

 

 

 

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
10 of 12

Emma, you hired a bad contractor, no question about it.

 

But it sounds like you gained some valuable wisdom from the experience.

 

In my own hiring experince I have hired a mix of contractors... Including those who are more experienced and highly paid, as well as those who are lower cost.

 

When I hire low cost contractors, I typically hire about four or five simultaneously to do the same work. Because that is what I find it takes to get the results I'm looking for. I end up either mixing and matching from their submissions to compile a final result the I like, or I end up keeping the work of only one of them and throwing away the rest. (I don't tell them this, though. I don't want them to feel bad.)

 

I have done this multiple times. Of course the contractors are all paid for their time.

 

I simply don't believe that hiring a single, unknown, low-cost contractor is a very effective practice if you have a deadline.

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