@Oli S wrote:
I was ok with this since he seemed quick off the mark. Now I realise the negative ones are actually hidden (as is mine - the details of it aren’t available - there’s a sea of empty review closures which I assume have also been cloaked).
That isn't how it works. Unless it specifically says "This feedback has been removed" it's not "cloaked".
The "No feedback given" remark means just that: Contracts closed without any feedback.
Your feedback to the freelancer will become visible on his pürofile when the freelancer leaves feedback to you or 14 days have passed, whichever comes sooner.
Your freelancer was not inflating the numbers to make up for the low rate; people tend to underestimate the time they'll need to complete a project. More so when you hear 30 instead of 4. That's off by an order of magnitude, so you really have to determine the cause. Most likely they just don't know how to do the job, so that estimate means nothing, you can't rely on it.
re: "Most likely they just don't know how to do the job..."
That's why the same project can sometimes cost a lot more with lower-cost freelancers.
A freelancer charging $80/hour can cost less than a freelancer charging $8/hour, when you obtain the same deliverable.
When I have hired freelancers, I have personally worked with freelancers representing a very wide range of rates. I have been extremely pleased with some work done by freelancers who are very affordable. But sometimes the work from freelancers with low rates has simply been unusable. I understand that beforehand.
I have worked with lower-cost, medium-cost, and higher-cost freelancers for a variety of creative work, including design, illustration, and writing.
When I need something done right, and done right the first time... such as for more technical work, I hire more experienced freelancers with significantly higher rate.