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jsutherland
Member

Afraid to Apply? Afraid to Accept? I Am

Although I like the Connects System there are some disturbing things happening.

 

In the last month I've:

 

Had to really look at jobs, and from a position of fear, then decide whether or not to apply.

 

Looked at jobs that would probably be ok, but any bad feedback the client has received now turns me off completely, and yet I realize they can't be perfect all the time.

 

Turned down at least 5 job offers because I'm afraid. Afraid of the client, my feedback score and my job success score being ruined.

 

Turned down one because of a Money Back Guarantee and the way it's open to abuse.

 

Are you doing the same thing?

 

How many of us now work from a position of fear.

 

What can we do to change this !!! Or is there nothing we can do?

 

In many cases the Job Success score is the problem. 

 

When I'm hiring I read Job Success as:

 

Job Success = The number of times someone has completed a job successfully. So if someone's job success is 90%, I say to myself, wow..they only completed a job successfully 90% of the time. The poor 10% who didn't get their job completed successfully.

 

Maybe Job Satisfaction score would sound better.

 

When I'm freelancing I read it differently...but still think from a clients point of view.

 

42 REPLIES 42
elastella
Member

Hi Jean,

 

I agree with everything you have written.

 

And yes, the JS score is a big problem. Especially as nobody really knows how it comes about. And if I were to hire people I too would look at the JS and not so much at the feedback. 

 

I was afraid that sth would happen that affected my Job Success Score and I wouldn't be able to figure out what went wrong. Because it happens to so many people. And then it happened. 

This morning I discovered that my JS had actually dropped 11% to 89%. And yes, I have no idea why. All the regular reasons don't apply in my case.

And it seems there is no way to find out. My top rated badge disappeared a few minutes ago. I am furious because it seems I am expected to just s*ck it up and work on "improving my JS score". Well, there was nothing wrong with it until today.

 

I have also had the money back guarantee for a while - and was afraid like you that it is an invitation to clients to take the work, the money and your good reputation.

Because to get their money back they have to complain about you. And can leave bad feedback on top of that. What's the advantage for the freelancer?

BTW, I was under the impression that oDesk decides which freelancers get the money back guarantee - not the client. That would be outrageous, actually.

 

As long as we don't really know how things work or how our performance is being measured there is plenty reason to be afraid. 

 

You can't really take precautions if you don't know what might happen. And as far as I can tell and after reading the clients' forum it's the freelancers that have the problems on this platform.

 

suznee
Member

Jean,

 

I started with a 98% JS and now have 100%. One of my clients stated it was more realistic to see a 98% then 100%. I understood from his point of view as no one is perfect. I also know from both sides, (although I don't hire, I have helped clients pick freelancers to fill a position) 

 

As a freelancer, I know that there are things beyond one's control. My very first job on oDesk was a fixed price, and the job was never sent for me to start. I contacted the client repeatedly, and was told the first few times they were delayed but it would start soon, then no communication at all, contacted support they contacted him and  nothing twice. I ended the contract after 30 days of trying to start the job.

 

I understand from both sides you are not going to see perfect scores and things happen. Clients should realize as well that a perfect score looks good, but freelancers are human.

 

As a cleint one should realize that not everyone is going to be able to have a perfect score for a lot of different reasons.

 

As far as being scared. I am not. I look at it this way, that in the real world or the freelance world, we take a chance with getting hired on a job. We either can cut the mustard or we can't. If I fail to complete a job for whatever reason, I know I did the best I could do on it.  There are to many things that could be an issue. If i sat around worrying about that I may never work, so I focus on doing the best I can do and that is all I can do.

 

If I let JS, or any of the other factors and changes bother me I would not be able to focus on doing the best I can do. That is all there is to it. Living in fear about something that might happen is not the way I do things.

Suzanne,

 

Until this morning I had a similar outlook. Because my score was perfect, just like yours is now. That is a very comfortable position to be in.

 

And then that changed over night and I have no idea why. I dropped from 100% to 89% - and no, none oft the obvious reasons that have been stated over and over again in these threads apply in my case. That's when you start to worry because - like you said - it's beyond my control. And nobody will explain what actually went wrong.

 

That is not how things work in a real world environment. You won't get demoted without reason and there is always a real person who will have to explain to you why that happened. 

 

 


@Ela K wrote:

Suzanne,

 

Until this morning I had a similar outlook. Because my score was perfect, just like yours is now. That is a very comfortable position to be in.

 

And then that changed over night and I have no idea why. I dropped from 100% to 89% - and no, none oft the obvious reasons that have been stated over and over again in these threads apply in my case. That's when you start to worry because - like you said - it's beyond my control. And nobody will explain what actually went wrong.

 

That is not how things work in a real world environment. You won't get demoted without reason and there is always a real person who will have to explain to you why that happened. 

 

 


Actually, some jobs in the real world will let you go with a generic reason and not really explain. In my profession for instance if customers complained I may never know about it, but I can be let go for looking cross eyed at someone and they can use a generic reason of anything they would like, so even in the real world there are metrics that you are measured on especially in large corporate jobs. There are evaluations that go over the most obvious reason and things that need to be addressed, but there are other things such as customer feedback you never get to see.

 

I worked for the phone company for a few years and we got to see our kudos but we were never allowed to see negative feedback, just when we were evaluated we were told that we had x amount of customer complaints and we needed to work on ..insert whatever it was. It was never the exact reason or were we allowed to see customer feeback.

 

Other things went into personal files that they were not required by law to show us or explain to us why they let someone go.

 

I knew why I had the 98% even though it was out of my control, and feel like the person who posted that we should not be scored on something that was not in place before oDesk was acquired. My score when it was 98% was due to a first job that never got off the ground, and a second that I took the job and when presented with what they wanted me to do felt it was unethical and closed the job on my own. Explaining I did not feel right doing reviews on a product I had not tested as it was unethical.

 

Should I have been marked down for this I don't agree with oDesk on this, and have stated before several times when the JS first came out. I have an advantage that I have been with 2 of my clients long term and they have ended my contracts to give me more money or more responsibilities, so I know what my JS will stay at unless on my new contract something happens. So I guess I don't feel uncomfortable nor would I be fretting if I had a JS above 90%. I guess I have been around the forum long enough to see clients post remarks of I don't give anyone 5 stars, to I didn't leave feedback for (insert reason)

 

 


@Suzanne N wrote:

 So I guess I don't feel uncomfortable nor would I be fretting if I had a JS above 90%. I guess I have been around the forum long enough to see clients post remarks of I don't give anyone 5 stars, to I didn't leave feedback for (insert reason)

 

 

My JS score dropped by 11% to 89% and I have no idea why that happened. I do want to know. I think that's pretty reasonable behaviour. I don't have a client that didn't leave feedback etc. 

I am a writer and a lawyer - so maybe that makes me feel differently about these things.

 

 

This just happened to me as well, that's how I found this post.  I went through and ended several contracts that I had completed and the clients never responded to me about needing anything extra, hoping that ending the contracts would help.  I think they never responded back after getting their final design, and then never left feedback.  My score has been 88% for a while and now, without having any complaints from clients and only one uncompleted job, a client who never responded back, my score has dipped to 81%.  I'm not afraid to apply to jobs but I do worry that even with satisfied clients, my scores may decrease further.


@Suzanne N wrote:

 As far as being scared. I am not. I look at it this way, that in the real world or the freelance world, we take a chance with getting hired on a job. We either can cut the mustard or we can't. If I fail to complete a job for whatever reason, I know I did the best I could do on it.  There are to many things that could be an issue. If i sat around worrying about that I may never work, so I focus on doing the best I can do and that is all I can do.

 


Suzanne,

 

That is true in the real world you take a job if the job does not work out there is no score that your next employer can look-up like on oDesk the only thing you have to do is account for that time at that job on your resume and you can explain to the next employer what happened (this could be done with the star ratings on oDesk) but there is no way to explain to another client what happened and why your Score is where it’s at (and as you can see by the comments freelances themselves do not know why their score is where it's at)

 

But going back to the real world jobs as you mentioned the big difference is that if a traditional job or 2 do not work out that will not prohibit you from finding other work and earning a living unlike oDesk that last client could be the one that gets you suspended on oDesk or even banned from oDesk thus preventing many Freelances from earning a living. Plus a traditional employer doesn’t take 10% of your earning for them giving you the job

 

Apples and oranges big differences

 

The other concerning thing is that oDesk is being looked at as a Job oDesk is not your employer YOU are your employer YOU are a business that takes on clients.

 

oDesk was supposed to be a platform that allowed Freelancers (independent contractors) to find clients. Odesk was to do the advertising, find clients and provide a safe platform for freelancers that is what you are paying them 10% for and since you are paying oDesk don’t you think that the JS score is over stepping the boundaries of just a platform and just a bit abusive to the very people that pay oDesk for their service?

 


@Donna M wrote:

@Suzanne N wrote:

 As far as being scared. I am not. I look at it this way, that in the real world or the freelance world, we take a chance with getting hired on a job. We either can cut the mustard or we can't. If I fail to complete a job for whatever reason, I know I did the best I could do on it.  There are to many things that could be an issue. If i sat around worrying about that I may never work, so I focus on doing the best I can do and that is all I can do.

 


Suzanne,

 

That is true in the real world you take a job if the job does not work out there is no score that your next employer can look-up like on oDesk the only thing you have to do is account for that time at that job on your resume and you can explain to the next employer what happened (this could be done with the star ratings on oDesk) but there is no way to explain to another client what happened and why your Score is where it’s at (and as you can see by the comments freelances themselves do not know why their score is where it's at)

 

But going back to the real world jobs as you mentioned the big difference is that if a traditional job or 2 do not work out that will not prohibit you from finding other work and earning a living unlike oDesk that last client could be the one that gets you suspended on oDesk or even banned from oDesk thus preventing many Freelances from earning a living. Plus a traditional employer doesn’t take 10% of your earning for them giving you the job

 

Apples and oranges big differences

 

The other concerning thing is that oDesk is being looked at as a Job oDesk is not your employer YOU are your employer YOU are a business that takes on clients.

 

oDesk was supposed to be a platform that allowed Freelancers (independent contractors) to find clients. Odesk was to do the advertising, find clients and provide a safe platform for freelancers that is what you are paying them 10% for and since you are paying oDesk don’t you think that the JS score is over stepping the boundaries of just a platform and just a bit abusive to the very people that pay oDesk for their service?

 


Not apples or oranges for what I was referring to. And yes a real life job could prevent you from working another job if you had enough bad feedback when they called for a reference. Although they are a little more likely to not say something bad for fear of being sued, but even calling on references if you had enough bad jobs could prevent you from working unless you flat out said you hadn't worked before.

 

All I was stating was from my experience. It is my opinion of why I was not afraid of the JS. I will not let something concern me so much I am afraid to do anything I really want to do. I have enough confidence in my skills that if I end up with a bad client. I chalk it up to whatever. I cannot speak for anyone else. Just myself.

 

 


@Suzanne N wrote:


Not apples or oranges for what I was referring to. And yes a real life job could prevent you from working another job if you had enough bad feedback when they called for a reference. Although they are a little more likely to not say something bad for fear of being sued, but even calling on references if you had enough bad jobs could prevent you from working unless you flat out said you hadn't worked before.

 

All I was stating was from my experience. It is my opinion of why I was not afraid of the JS. I will not let something concern me so much I am afraid to do anything I really want to do. I have enough confidence in my skills that if I end up with a bad client. I chalk it up to whatever. I cannot speak for anyone else. Just myself.

 

 


 

Employers can only say if they would hire you again or not they are not allowed to elaborate on your employment but that worry is only pretty much if you get fired if you quit a job (with notice) usually it’s not a problem ..The problem with JS is that your score is going down for things like, taking a job and then client doesn’t give you any work, there has been neither work nor money exchanged yet it still counts negatively against your JS score.

 

In traditional jobs if someone hires you and doesn’t give you work no harm nor foul and you don’t list it on a resume therefore it doesn’t hurt you it’s not even a consideration. In addition If a traditional job hires you and cause you to quit or not take another job you do have recourse since it promise to work you can go to the labor department or to the courts if need be.

 

Here on oDesk if someone hires you and you take the job and they do not provide the work not only have you wasted your time and or maybe lost out on another contract due to that client negligence but you have no recourse and as the freelancer because of the JS score you take the brunt of that clients negligence. While the client skips away Scott –Free. Do you think that’s fair??

 

There is a saying: “People Only Treat You The Way You Allow Them To

 

“You either teach people to treat you with dignity and respect, or you don't. This means you are partly responsible for the mistreatment that you get at the hands of someone else. You shape others' behavior when you teach them what they can get away with and what they cannot.”

 

This goes for employers, corporations and institutions as well.

 

In past posts I have noticed how you and other top performers on oDesk have given very important and thoughtful advice to new freelancers to charge what they are worth and not to diminish their value and not to let the clients take advantage of them.

 

So I wonder now how you can be so accepting of a system that is so clearly unjust and unfair?

mlceron
Member

I am very confident of my translation and writing skills, but this system has made me second guess everything, I have turned down interviews and even offers that before I could had accepted, and now every time I accept to work with a new client I wonder whether this will be the one that will damage my score.

Fear is the key word, and when you are afraid of something, the primary human reaction is to freeze. It will affect productivity, without a doubt. i wonder whether oDesk took that into consideration when they rolled out the "Job Success Score".

Just my two cents.

I agree JS score is a problem, and then you get unfair situations like this one

http://community.odesk.com/t5/Freelancers/Ending-Contracts-Shouldn-t-Affect-Job-Success-Score/m-p/78...


@Natasha R wrote:

I agree JS score is a problem, and then you get unfair situations like this one

http://community.odesk.com/t5/Freelancers/Ending-Contracts-Shouldn-t-Affect-Job-Success-Score/m-p/78...


Yes, that as well. I ended one contract where no work was done, no money was billed, no money paid or refunded. Because it was never executed neither the client nor I could leave feedback. Quite rightly so, because there was no performance to be measured on either side. 

 

I guess that caused my JS to drop - I cannot think of anything else. It doesn't make any sense to be punished for work I didn't even do. If I didn't do the job - how can my profile reflect that I did a bad job?

I ended one contract where no work was done, no money was billed, no money paid or refunded. Because it was never executed neither the client nor I could leave feedback.

 

Maybe it has to do with the private feedback you got, which I also find unfair, why feedback from someone we never worked for?


@Natasha R wrote:

I ended one contract where no work was done, no money was billed, no money paid or refunded. Because it was never executed neither the client nor I could leave feedback.

 

Maybe it has to do with the private feedback you got, which I also find unfair, why feedback from someone we never worked for?


If they can't leave public feedback - why would they be able to leave private feedback? And how could that have such an impact on my JS? If - like you said - I never even worked for them.

This is really frustrating.... 


If they can't leave public feedback - why would they be able to leave private feedback?

This is really frustrating.... 

 

When ending a contract it’s not even optional, it does not matter if the freelancer refunded or never got to work on the contract at all, clients still get this http://screencast.com/t/ZM3nHMG5WNe and it affects JS.

 


@Natasha R wrote:

If they can't leave public feedback - why would they be able to leave private feedback?

This is really frustrating.... 

 

When ending a contract it’s not even optional, it does not matter if the freelancer refunded or never got to work on the contract at all, clients still get this http://screencast.com/t/ZM3nHMG5WNe and it affects JS.


Natasha, thanks so much for sharing this! So, even if I end the contract they are being asked as well why the contract ended? That's interesting. So, if my stats still say that 100% or my clients would recommend me - and that job is counted in my jobs total on my profile - doesn't that mean they didn't leave negative private feedback? 

I am getting more confused every minute.

 

Q: If I am never paid for a job or if I provide a full refund, does the contract count towards my Job Success Score?

Yes, every job that you start counts towards your score. Make sure you understand the client's needs before you accept an offer, and communicate frequently to make sure the contract ends successfully.

https://support.odesk.com/entries/23103173-How-do-I-improve-my-Job-Success-Score-


@Natasha R wrote:

 

Q: If I am never paid for a job or if I provide a full refund, does the contract count towards my Job Success Score?

Yes, every job that you start counts towards your score. Make sure you understand the client's needs before you accept an offer, and communicate frequently to make sure the contract ends successfully.

https://support.odesk.com/entries/23103173-How-do-I-improve-my-Job-Success-Score-


 

Q: Some clients are unreasonable. Will bad feedback from them affect me?

Your client’s record is taken into consideration when weighing their interactions in your score. We know that not every contract will end perfectly, and your Job Success Score won’t be ruined by just one or two negative contract outcomes. However, it’s important to do your best on each contract and try to satisfy your client. How you handle yourself overall, and especially moving forward, is more important than any single bad mark on your history. Showing improvement over time will allow you to overcome almost any negative incident.


@Suzanne N wrote:

 

We know that not every contract will end perfectly, and your Job Success Score won’t be ruined by just one or two negative contract outcomes. However, it’s important to do your best on each contract and try to satisfy your client. How you handle yourself overall, and especially moving forward, is more important than any single bad mark on your history. Showing improvement over time will allow you to overcome almost any negative incident.


Hm, the word "overcome" seems to indicate that you need to overcome the negative feedback that has in fact impacted your JS score. Otherwise the word doesn't make much sense. Also, "improvement over time" implies that you have to reason to work on increasing your JS score (again).

So yes, it does affect the JS score in a negative way. 


@Natasha R wrote:

 

Q: If I am never paid for a job or if I provide a full refund, does the contract count towards my Job Success Score?

Yes, every job that you start counts towards your score. Make sure you understand the client's needs before you accept an offer, and communicate frequently to make sure the contract ends successfully.

https://support.odesk.com/entries/23103173-How-do-I-improve-my-Job-Success-Score-


Thanks again for explaining things. Like I said, 100% of my clients would recommend me, so I am not sure that is the reason. It realls seems to be a mystery. 

I did communicate with the client and that's when it became clear it wasn't working out. And the he went MIA.

Ela,

 

I think you should submit a ticket, and ask them why your JS dropped from 100% to 89%.

 


@Natasha R wrote:

Ela,

 

I think you should submit a ticket, and ask them why your JS dropped from 100% to 89%.

 


I already did. Got a cookie cutter generic reply after ten minutes. Basically reciting oDesk policy. And then the agent closed my ticket because he considered the issue resolved. I opened it again - but no futher response.

Who ended the contract, you or the client?


@Natasha R wrote:

Who ended the contract, you or the client?


I did. Because the client was - let's say - complicated; I knew that the contract wouldn't work out when he started questioning my professionalism etc. I told him that I didn't think that that was a good foundation for the kind of work I was supposed to conduct (consulting) and suggested we end the contract. He never replied. So I ended it.

 

You know, I am a fully qualified lawyer and I do communicate with clients in a reasonable, professional and objective manner. I was trained to do that.

I did. Because the client was - let's say - complicated; I knew that the contract wouldn't work out when he started questioning my professionalism etc. I told him that I didn't think that that was a good foundation for the kind of work I was supposed to conduct (consulting) and suggested we end the contract. He never replied. So I ended it.

 

You know, I am a fully qualified lawyer and I do communicate with clients in a reasonable, professional and objective manner. I was trained to do that.

 

I understand, and I have canceled contracts too, it’s not affecting my JS because it was more than 2 years ago. From everything that I have read, ending contracts can affect your JS.

 

This JS is just so unfair 😞

 

 


@Natasha R wrote:

I agree JS score is a problem, and then you get unfair situations like this one

http://community.odesk.com/t5/Freelancers/Ending-Contracts-Shouldn-t-Affect-Job-Success-Score/m-p/78...


Natasha,

 

Garnor posted in that thread that unless there are a lot of jobs closed that it doesn't affect the JS.

 

 

I am thinking to dont even apply to any job post because of wasting of connects 😄

"One thing I know, that I know nothing. This is the source of my wisdom"

Yes it's a problem. I ended up with 46 Connects leftover last month out of 70 

 

There were so many more I could have applied to but didn't.

donnamoss1
Member

Well I'll join the club here I just went from 100% to 94% Job Success yet nothing’s really changed I have been on oDesk almost 3 years and have 2600 hours and rising

 

I have been unhappy with job success why:

 

1. Going back 2 years to get data - first of all it’s not fair as things were different 2 years ago closing a contract and even refunding a client wasn’t a problem but now theses same things that were OK then with oDesk are now penalizing the freelancer.. This is highly unfair how can oDesk justify penalizing someone now for something that was not only just OK but even encouraged then.


2. Clients not leaving feedback or closing contracts - This is my fault?? I should not be held responsible for what the clients don't do on their end. What’s even worse is that even if the client leaves a 5 star feedback with a glowing review and doesn’t close the contract instead of it being counted as a positive or even natural by oDesk it instead counts as a negative against the freelancer. also again what happened 1 and 2 years ago counts against you even though it wasn’t a problem then.


3. Having to answer invites in 24 hours this I am totally against as oDesk is forcing freelances to log in everyday without being paid. I primarily work Monday through Friday but If don't answer a client request in 24 hours my score goes down. I have had invites that I perhaps would have taken but because I was working on other job and sleeping and had very little time left  to declined or accept so since time was short and I didn’t have the time to properly research the client I simply declined because of oDesk 24 hour rule (24 hours to reply or score goes down) I am not going accept a job invite blindly because of being pushed by a ridiculous standard that oDesk has set in their algorithm


4. Long term clients I mostly work long term I started with a 50% score on long term it’s now 38%. Early this year I took some jobs that were supposed to be long term they didn't come out that way the clients left me glowing reviews but they simply could not continue due to problems on their end so again that’s my fault??

 

Also I have a 2 clients that are on pause by oDesk because I haven’t worked them in a few weeks the jobs are not over I haven’t worked on them at the clients request while he updates his website and the other because she is away on family business counting this in my score is wrong as oDesk does not know what is actually happening between me and the client. So why is this even a consideration in job success score oh because I’m not working it and making money for oDesk I guess the almost $100 per week that you get from me now is not enough??

 

P.S. Also oDesk you should know by now that Freelancing is usually not long term???? It's not a Traditional 9 to 5 Job if that’s what you want then become a job agency not a freelance platform

 

There are other parts to the job success algorithm that have been mentioned as well plus the fact a lot of the job success metric is blind. Freelancers have complained over and over again that they truly do not know what the job success metric consists of which again is wrong they should know all of it if they are being judged by it they should know what all of it consists of

 

Personally I think the job success score is a big mistake it's caused so much stress for the freelancers so much so that many are afraid to apply for jobs myself included I am much more discerning, jobs that I would have taken a chance at in the past I will not touch now.

 

With the new job success score I feel it’s only a matter of time until most freelances will be below 100% job success with the impossible standards that oDesk has applied. Quite frankly I have been monitored less by standard jobs and am actually angry that I am paying oDesk 10% of my earning for them to treat me this way.

 

Personally the way oDesk is going I am finding that going back to a traditional job may be a better bet as I will be monitored less and, won’t have to pay a 10 % of my salary to them and will reap the benefits of things like unemployment insurance, paid sick days and paid vacation that odesk does not provide.

 

In the meantime I have decided that I will continue with the clients I have here on oDesk until those contracts end but will not take on any new clients on oDesk and will pursue other platforms for freelancing while I look for a traditional job

 

The job success score and connects, all the changes that oDesk has done recently has in my opinion only produced stress and alienated both freelancers and clients alike. It’s not better

 

P.S. I did try to set my profile to not available for New Work and I am forced to put a date......how about putting a reason date is not sufficient it shouldn't matter when I will available again Odesk you don't own me!!!  Plus it makes no sense as I have clients now that take all of my time when will I be ready I don't know however long my clients and I continue the relationship. This plus the JS score is the reason I am not taking new clients

P.S. I did try to set my profile to not available for New Work and I am forced to put a date

 

You are not forced to enter a date, I just set my profile to not available, and you can just leave date empty.

suznee
Member

I know oDesk has a right to set what ever policies and procedures they want as it is their site, but I also wonder if they are stepping over the boundaries of what a freelancer and employee is although we don't work for oDesk they are still setting conditions for us to work their site.

 

IRS states

 

You are not an independent contractor if you perform services that can be controlled by an employer (what will be done and how it will be done). This applies even if you are given freedom of action. What matters is that the employer has the legal right to control the details of how the services are performed.

 

Which I know oDesk is not technically the employer but they are controlling our actions with the JS and other criteria they set up. It is a fine line on telling us how to perform services, and being an employee.

Since we are being treated as "employees" (told what to do and how to do it) then maybe oDesk should be required to pay our "employment" taxes.

 

oDesk now reaps ALL the benifits of our LABOR and continues to DESTROY our freelance business, through thier arbirary, poorly thought out demands, changes and "reviews".

 

My business has gone from a "it supports" me amount to NADA. Whatever erronious algorythm change or hidden agenda they may have; it has ADVERSLY affected me...and from what I am reading...MANY, MANY of their top performers as well.

 

oDesk was set up to be a conduit for clients and freelancers to come together and provide needed services. My orginal understanding of oDesk...was middle man...NOT Judge, Jury and Freelance Destroyer.

 

NOW, we are nothing more than oDesk employees with NO BENEFITS and ALL the risk.

 

We are required to jump through the perverbial circus hoops to maintain some mysterious "rating" that NO ONE knows how it works, how it is measured or how it is meted out.

 

Is ANYONE listening or are we all pretty much chasing rabbits down a rat hole?

 

I am frustrated!! Smiley Sad

sadanmasroor
Member

I will have to say that after spending almost 6 years on this platform as a freelancer, billing almost 8000 oDesk hours and maintaining a good public feedback of over 4.5 I am now actively looking for opportunities in local market. 

 

I gave up my full time job with lucrative salary 6 years ago to work on oDesk and now I think I made the biggest mistake of my life by taking this step. During all these years most of my friends always said that freelancing is unpredictable and I am wasting my time working as a freelancer which is now proving to be the case. I have some serious reservations with JS score because it is proving to be the most unpredictable factor in my career on oDesk like many others. After successfully closing 3 contracts of over $3500 in the last couple of days on which clients gave me 5 public feedback and 10 points as part of my private feedback my job success went down by 6%. oDesk only answer to this is that clients give bad private feedback which I find a very no serious kind of a reply because I do not see any reason why clients would leave great public feedback and bad private feedback. 

 

I also do not understand the reason why things which were considered to be acceptable on this platform 2 years ago are now such a problem for contractors. oDesk knowledge base back in 2012 specifically mentioned to issue a refund if the client is not satisfy with the work and close the contract on a good note rather than proceeding with a dispute. Also I find it disappointing when people who have good JS score start advocating about this feature when they themselves are clueless of what they did to achieve this score. 

 

I do not understand how my prospect client is affected by how carefully I write my cover letter for job postings I apply and how quickly I respond to invitations I get. I also do not understand how my future client will be affected if I commit a policy violation on oDesk. Also if I had a bad client who filed a dispute for any unknown reason how will it affect my future client. I am sure no client will be concerned by the number of long term clients the contractor had before taking up the job with him.

 

oDesk named it Job Success which literally means how good I am in performing the job I take whereas marketing effectiveness,communication score, long term clients and policy violations on oDesk platform is not part of the job I do on oDesk. A lot of freelancers are suffering from this because the clients think that this percentage is representing how good a freelancer is in doing a job in his skill set where as this is not the case. I fail to understand how the metrics to calculate JS can be same for all the freelancers across the board. The variables of job in Customer Service category is quiet different from that of in Web Development category so how can the metrics of judging there work can be same ? This JS algorithm is ruining the career of freelancers rather than doing any good.

 

I am 100% sure that oDesk is not going to do anything but still I have a small recommendation to make. If it is too difficult for them to fix this algorithm or they think that it is working out they way it suppose to work than consider changing the name from Job Success to something more related to oDesk platform like Platform Effectiveness or Platform Success Score etc which atleast gives the true representation of this percentage.

Sadan,

 

Not stating this is you or anyone else in this thread. I do understand some of the reason why they implemented it. There were a lot of freelancers who were giving refunds to keep their perfect 5 score or blackmailing even to keep their perfect score. The JS does not allow for this. This is part of why you see freelancers now with a 3.5 but 5 star rating.

 

It was not fair to those who really were top freelancers and did their jobs. Part of what oDesk has done is to weed out the duplicate accounts, the ones skating by with 5 stars when they really didn't have 5 stars as they were refunding to keep from having less. And I am not saying everyone did this or every time there was a refund that this was the case. but there was a lot of this going on. 

 

The 5 stars only told part of how a freelancer performed. I like some of what the JS is meant to be. I would like to see some things changed that are beyond a freelancers control and if a score drops and someone is suspended that they have a fair say in why something happened and told why it happened. 

 

Right now things are to vague and there is a lot of the unknown. I have talked to clients and the ones I have talked to actually like some of the changes going on. I know there are those who do not but there are those that do. 

 

 

Suzanne,

              I have one very basic question here. If refunding an amount is such a bad thing why oDesk is now offering "Money Back Guarantee" to clients ? So basically it is ok for oDesk to offer a refund to a client if he is not happy with a freelancer but if an honest freelancer decides that he did not do justice to the job and wants to refund the client it is a bad thing ?

 

 Lets be practical here, in real world when we buy a product and we are not satisified with it we claim a refund. If you pay a plumber $100 to fix something in your house and he is unable to fix the problem he is bound to refund the amount paid to him. Unfortunately oDesk is acting more sort of an employer right now rather than a platfrom to connect freelancers and clients by implementing algorithms like recommended contractors, good fit, automatic hiding etc. I myself used to tell clients in an interview that if they are not happy with my service they can let me know in the first work week and I will refund them the amount paid to me and close the contract. This was out of my own choice as an honest freelancer because I think if I am not able to delver quality services I should not be paid for the work on that project. Similarly there were instances when I ended up with clients who were rude and had attitude problems and I used to politely let them know that I think our work relationship will not successful so they should hire somebody else for the job and I will refund the hours I billed to them.

 

 Also Job Success means how good I am in doing the job in my skill set. I am assuming you are a Customer Support Representative so by 100% Job Success it should mean that you are the best freelancer in Customer Support / Virtual Assistant / Telemarketer category. How other factors like long terms clients , policy voilations, marketing effectiveness and responding to invitations you receive implies that you are the best contractor for the job ? I do not think client will also be much interested in either of these metrics.

 

 If these metrics are important than they should be named something different from Job Success because clients are thinking that by Job Success it means how good a freelancer is in doing the job in the said category.  

Well, I just refunded a client who sent me back an "edited" copy of a blog post. The new copy had a number of grammatical issues, stylistic problems, and other issues. I sent a note expressing my concerns and refunding the client the milestone I sent. I contacted support to inform them. I was told that because I refunded the money, my JS would definitely drop.

 

The majority of the work I do is directly with clients and I use o-desk as a backup for slow times. At this point, all the new changes in policies and algorithms had made this platform a time sink with little to no return.  I hope the leadership reconsiders the recent changes because they are driving professionals away from this site. 

The JS policies are set up as though the clients are all ultra-professional and completely well-meaning.  I have gotten an awful lot of unprofessional behavior from clients, and I've found that you can't express any concerns whatsoever without getting less than perfect feedback.  More to the point, as others have pointed out, many problems with the success of a project come from ineptitude of the client, with one example being Julie's story of a client wanting changes that would make the writing worse.  It would be easy for ODesk to fix this: have a JS policy that takes into consideration only feedback scores and that finds a way to adjust them based on extraordinary circumstances causing low feedback. The policy as it stands is completely and utterly ridiculous.

Agree with Sadan but not with Suzanne and Odesk.Did Odesk want us to steel or snatch the mony from clients even if they are not happy with our services and what do you think if we did not do anything for the client and took his mony without delivering the job he really expected from us would you think he will leave a good review for us?

 

I think Odesk really dont like to return the mony back when they hold it for us.

 

Think about it.


@Suzanne N wrote:

Sadan,

 

Not stating this is you or anyone else in this thread. I do understand some of the reason why they implemented it. There were a lot of freelancers who were giving refunds to keep their perfect 5 score or blackmailing even to keep their perfect score. The JS does not allow for this. This is part of why you see freelancers now with a 3.5 but 5 star rating.

 

It was not fair to those who really were top freelancers and did their jobs. Part of what oDesk has done is to weed out the duplicate accounts, the ones skating by with 5 stars when they really didn't have 5 stars as they were refunding to keep from having less. And I am not saying everyone did this or every time there was a refund that this was the case. but there was a lot of this going on. 

 

The 5 stars only told part of how a freelancer performed. I like some of what the JS is meant to be. I would like to see some things changed that are beyond a freelancers control and if a score drops and someone is suspended that they have a fair say in why something happened and told why it happened. 

 

Right now things are to vague and there is a lot of the unknown. I have talked to clients and the ones I have talked to actually like some of the changes going on. I know there are those who do not but there are those that do. 

 

 


Suzanne,

 

Sorry it seems like we are debating I know; you take one side I take the other but I had to comment on this Cat Happy

 

I completely 100% agree with you on the refunding aspect but why does it take a whole JS algorithm that could have simply been done by adding one line under the star rating: How many time freelancers has issued a refund? Or how about simply if too many refunds are done by a freelancer in a set amount of time then their profile is under review. Simple!!

 

It shouldn’t take a whole JS Algorithm to solve the problem especially when the JS algorithm contains metrics that have no bearing on a freelancer’s ability to do a job

 

Example:

 

Answering job invites within 24 hours?? – This has no bearing on my ability to do a job??

 

Long Term Jobs – as far as I can tell this aspect of the JS score seems to be heavily weighted and should not be you are a contactor in your niche just like for example the plumber, electrician, handyman and the washer repair man.

 

For example a client calls up a plumber because they have a stopped up toilet (because Jr. has stuffed something down there) the plumber goes to the client’s house and fixes the problem.

 

The client is ecstatically happy with the plumbers work and professionalism happily pays him and then leaves great reviews on the different online sites and even the plumbers website they also recommend the plumber to their family & friends who also use him everyone is happy. But the original client doesn’t use the plumber again for 6 months to a year or more not because they were unhappy but simply because they had no other work for him. This is a typical scenario

 

Now take this exact scenario and apply it to the JS score although the clients were happy and recommending the plumber under JS his score would go down why?? Simply because the original client had no other pluming problems to keep using the plumber so under JS the plumber suffers and is automatically deemed as a bad service or unprofessional simply because there was no other work available from this client…is this fair??

 

I want to know when it was determined that freelancing or being a contractor became long term? When did that change??

 

On a side note here is a interesting quote I found about one of the important benefits of freelancing

 

“You’re in control so you get to decide who you want as a client, when you’re available for work, and most often, how much you’ll get paid. Yes, sometimes you’ll get fired from a project, but you can also fire your client”

 

With the current JS score and algorithm I no longer feel in control thus the benefit of freelancing has been removed

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