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Afraid to Apply? Afraid to Accept? I Am

Community Guru
Natasha R Member Since: Aug 2, 2010
31 of 43

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.

Community Guru
Suzanne N Member Since: Aug 15, 2012
32 of 43

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.

Community Guru
Tracye G Member Since: Sep 30, 2008
33 of 43

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

Community Leader
Sadan M Member Since: Sep 3, 2010
34 of 43

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.

Community Guru
Suzanne N Member Since: Aug 15, 2012
35 of 43

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. 

 

 

Community Leader
Sadan M Member Since: Sep 3, 2010
36 of 43

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.  

Community Leader
Julie T Member Since: Sep 29, 2011
37 of 43

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. 

Ace Contributor
Jeff M Member Since: Jan 19, 2012
38 of 43

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.

Community Guru
Iftikhar I Member Since: Mar 10, 2015
39 of 43

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.

Ace Contributor
Donna M Member Since: Aug 28, 2012
40 of 43

@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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