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A warning to freelancers

Ace Contributor
Andy G Member Since: Apr 2, 2015
11 of 23

Hi John,


Thanks for the response, it is definitely a lottery but would you buy a weekly ticket at the local store if you also knew that there was a chance that the numbers you've chosen were not going to be entered based on discretion? I'm not being obtuse, I understand that we're working within the confines of a system that is built and refined by a business, nothing is free etc but they are walking a fine line ethically even if legally there is no problem.

60 free connects per month is a paltry amount for those who wish to use oDesk as a real alternative to full time employment, it's a given that the points will be used up and we'll have to buy more, who applies for one project a day?


If I have to choose then give me all the facts, I hate stealth and dishonesty and most of all I dislike ambiguity when it comes to my time and hard earned money.


Don't hate the player, hate the game?


oDesk have a great platform, let's hope they make it level one.

Active Member
Gordana L Member Since: Apr 3, 2015
12 of 23

Hi everyone,


I just want to support you all. I've been working for 3 years now on Odesk and I have had some good jobs working on it. But ever since the change to connects I've been feeling iffy about it. Do they really believe that the new system helps freelancers?


I think this is just a marketing "moto word". As usual as all money-hungry capitalising companies they introduce something that will make them earn money more, which is obviously the reason why they introduced the new system, not to help us freelancers.


So, basically the reason for me coming to this place was because I lost a quarter of my connects to sending jobs that were fraudsters. I work with data entry and as some of you might now there's a lot of "captcha" fraud jobs offered to you when you apply to a job. And there doesn't seem to be an end to it! 


I don't know, this was once a great platform, but these recent changes made me so much spiteful. 


This is especially true for new freelancers, which should really get an easier life when it comes to getting jobs. 


They need to rethink this twice in order to keep this platform great. If this keeps on I'm gonna start looking for alternatives. 


Thanks and sorry for my rant.

Community Guru
John K Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
13 of 23

Gordana, sorry to hear you've already been victimized. I wish you better luck going forward. (I use the word luck deliberately here.)


Andy, if I may expand a bit on your original point, there is another area in which connects stack the odds against the freelancer. I alluded to it in my own topic here:


Even if oDesk permits the application to go through, they will do nothing to ensure that someone gets hired within a reasonable timeframe by leaving it up to the client to cancel the job. So in this respect a paid-for connect is similar to a raffle ticket with no guarantee when or if a prize is ever awarded.


Lotteries primarily benefit the organizer of the lottery and oDesk benefits to the tune of $1 a connect beyond the monthly allotment of 60, but the irony is if enough freelancers hold out and refuse to upgrade membership, which I gently suggest every chance I get, then the sheer drop in applications, especially for lower paying work, might produce a significant drop in the number of freelancers hired and thus less opportunity for oDesk to collect its 10% fee. So it is not entirely clear to me that anyone benefits from this innovation. I'm just repeating an argument I've already made in other posts, but oDesk doesn't hesitate to repeat its claims so I'm doing the same.

"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce
Ace Contributor
Andy G Member Since: Apr 2, 2015
14 of 23



Thanks for the heads up, i've taken a look and commented accordingly.


The problem we face is the client will not suddenly become more descriptive in their lazy approach to job posts.  I don't think oDesk realise what kind of service we the freelancer offer them and how they are inhibiting the success of the platform.


Here is a typical example (oDesk take note):

**edited for Community Guidelines**


Normally I'd look at a link like that and think: hmmm 5 star... UK... OK I'll message them with some spiel and see what they come back with.  I may take a punt and get lucky but looking at my dwindling connects from the ACTUAL jobs that I think are worthy I think I'll leave it.  Therefore the client has one less option and may end up with a boring engineered beige box ala IBM or no suitable freelancer at all.


I think the oDesk bosses need to step away from the glitzy forecasts which the sales and marketing team have blinded them with and actually think about what it is they are doing?


Google says:


Symbiosis: This comes from a Greek word simply meaning 'living together' and can be used to describe any association between two organisms.

Mutualism: This can be used to describe an association in which both organisms apparently benefit

Commensalism: In this association one organism [the commensal] benefits, and the other [the host] is apparently unaffected.

Parasitism In this association one organism [the parasite] benefits, and the other [the host] is adversely affected [weakened, sickened, damaged etc]. This description would also fit the relationship between a carnivore and its live prey and a herbivore and the plant it feeds on, especially if they are very specialized in the food they eat. We normally define parasites as orgamisms which cannot survive without their host and have special modifications to their body or their life cycle for this association. In many ways though, the difference between a lion eating a gazelle and a flea feeding on a dog, is a matter of relative size.

Active Member
Jam H Member Since: Apr 22, 2015
15 of 23

Warning taken.


I've come to realize the disadvantages of online work. I thought it was feasible to do it full-time but it isn't. Online work through a website such as oDesk/Elance, etc... should only be done part-time. A full-time job balances the balance the power. 


It's useless to argue about things out of your control. The only control you have is to walk away and find something else.

Ace Contributor
Ray C Member Since: Apr 10, 2009
16 of 23

Garnor says: "So, there isn't an effort to "trounce freelancers for more cash to apply for projects."


Sure there is. It's clear the Paid Membership creates an artificial advantage, as it is intended to do. The playing field is no longer level. A free membership is an automatic disadvantage. Please, we're smarter than this.

Community Guru
John K Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
17 of 23



For the job you cited, the $6.00/hr AVG HOURLY RATE PAID designation for the client would give me pause, but the point is well taken--one has to roll the dice in effect to bid on a project with a one line description, unless that one line is highly specific and detailed.

"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce
Ace Contributor
Andy G Member Since: Apr 2, 2015
18 of 23

Upselling Smiley Wink

Community Leader
John T Member Since: Mar 19, 2015
19 of 23

> "If the algorithm was infallible, all this might be justified"


I think that's the key point, and one which, with no disrespect intended, Garnor keeps missing. He's defending the idea, but the problem people are having, it seems to me, is to do with the reality, which currently seems to fall short of the idea.

Community Guru
Jeff R Member Since: Apr 17, 2015
20 of 23

@Andy G wrote:

Upselling Smiley Wink

That's your shortest post!

Smiley Very Happy 

I knew about the hidden feature, but I had no idea the clients could automate it.

I'm going to have to be extra careful now, when applying to jobs.

Sometimes I'm lacking a required skill, but I attempt to make up for it with a really convincing cover letter. BUT now that I know they may never even get the chance to glance at it, I'm not wasting my efforts on that approach no more. Or waste my connects.