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Attention GARNOR

I put this to you Garnor:


How can a brand new oDesk client outright lie in their feedback comment and get away with it?


Basically in Australia we call this defamation!


I would like my last completed contract reviewed by oDesk and the client to be ejected from this platform.  I need the feedback that he left me to be removed. 




Yes, these issues need to be addressed. A client shouldn't be able to lie and get away with it, but oDesk always say they don't intervene. I'm a client and I know oDesk don't intervene, great! I'll give horrific feedback and try to claim back my money.


**edited for Community Guidelines**. It appears oDesk live by the motto: "The customer's always right". 

I asked the same thing before and support told me that they don't censor feedback because they believe in being fair. I asked what if the client is unfair? The CS said to simply respond to the feedback and if a lot of freelancers report the client, then they might consider checking his account. I further asked what do they mean by 'a lot' but got told that I should read this support article regarding disputing feedback. 


Oh, and that bad client is still here and sometimes posts at the forum calling himself an 'employer'.


I posted about having a feedback dispute system in the old forum when I encountered another possibly bad client but a lot of people didn't think it's a good idea (it got like 19 votes and 5.5 stars). That client gave me 5 stars but almost everyone else recieved only 1 star from him, which prompted me to suspect him of refund scam. Now, I simply think he's very difficult to please and I feel bad for the rest of our team who all got 1-2 stars...their profiles got destroyed. Though I agree with the client that they didn't perform above and beyond like me, I think that 1 or 2 stars is unfair. They deserve at least a 3 for 'average' performance. 


Now, here's a double standard story...When I was very new to the site, I left a negative comment saying a client has very erratic communication. I got warned and was asked to change my feedback and leave a more professional one. What I did is narrated that in my new feedback and said that in the spirit of professionalism, I should be honest. You know what they did? They hid that feedback from the client's profile and the client had the gall to ask for a refund!

❄❄❄ Just A Forum Contributor --- This isn't against forum guidelines ❄❄❄

Right Lyam, in most cases we won't intervene and change Feedback. This is per our policies, noted earlier. 


That said, we have a dedicated and hard working Support team that does its best to assist our customers, both freelancers and clients. Per our Community Guidelines, we ask that members of the Community, and oDesk staff, are treated with respect here on the forums. Please keep this in mind when posting.

Garnor, you understand you condone lying? By not intervening with feedback, you're LITERALLY saying that clients and freelancers can lie with no investigation, no warning and no repercussions. This is scary. 


Policies can change. You didn't have a minimum rate. Now you do. You changed a policy. 


Also, I mean no disrespect to anyone, but you need to understand that freelancers feel helpless, victimised and unheard. 






I recently had the same experience with odesk support. After accepting the first delievery of content and giving me a lot of complements, client started making very ambitious demands when I delivered content for second milestone. I humbly asked him to keep the content for second milestone free of cost and look for another freelancer if he is not satisfied with the work quality to which he got erratic. I still have the racist and angry messages that client have sent me in my odesk message archive however he is still not removed from odesk. The odesk support however claims that action had been taken against him. 

While the client is still functioning on odesk, I am left with a 1.6 rating and a very poor feedback. I have already delivered half of the work for free and only way to remove this comment from my profile is to compensate him in full. I am losing my trust in working on long term projects. Even though client may appear happy in the begining of the project, if something does not work out towards the end or client just turn out to be a jerk, all your previous good work is termed worthless. I feel that there should be ratings and feedback comments for each milestone or payment made instead of a single comment for whole project as I have experienced some client's mood and mindset to vary extremely with time. 

"Data Mining / Data Scraping - 10,000 posts (or more)"


Like someone who wants that done is going to be the epitome of honesty and professionalism...maybe choose your jobs a bit more carefully

Stephen, did you see the job description? The fact that oDesk allowed the job to be posted in the first place.....


Hi Stephen and Marcia

I know we are shifting off the topic but I just got curious about why this job description is being termed inappropriate? Is it against any odesk policies? Because I see a lot of similar postings on odesk.

Just to be clear this job did not involved cloning any copyright content or blog post content. The job was actually to scrape data from business directory listings. Like business names, contact address etc which is to be reformatted and posted on new website as a directory listing. I can see a hundreds of active jobs with keywords data mining and data scraping.

Relax, Aseem. Data mining and data scraping are not against oDesk policies nor is there inherently anything wrong with such practices. Stephen is presumably referring to a specific type of client which posts jobs with this or similar headlines. Or he is referring to one specific job or one specific client. He did speak out against all data mining or data scraping. Google is primarily a data scraping company, after all, as is the NSA. There is white hat data scraping and there is black hat data scraping.

And just speaking generally, it is not oDesk's responsibility to be the morality police. They have certain broad guidelines which you need to follow, but there are within those guidelines jobs from companies which do not measure up to your personal standards. Maybe Company X forces workers to work on a Druidic holy day, or maybe the CEO does not pet his dog enough or does not pay his nanny enough. Maybe it is a sanitation company that does business with Spain and you don't like Spain. I don't know what your standards are, and oDesk does not either, but I am one hundred percent certain that oDesk does not force Stephen or anybody else to take any job they find objectionable.

Nothing in Stephen's note suggests to me that he wants a particular company banned, or that he is saying Aseem worked on a project that violated oDesk policies. He is just pointing out that certain types of jobs and certain clients should be handled carefully when it comes to how much trust we place in them.

That certainly is not limited to data scraping jobs. A company might ask me to draw original sketches of my three favorite nuns, and I would eye them with submission if they did not have any previous contracts and had no verified funding for the project.

Actually, placing a website link on a directory without the website owner's consent is unethical. If it's not a directory with a good reputation, it can cause Google to penalise the website, on the assumption that the website owner paid for cheap directory links.


I've had to deal with this with my own websites. You disavow the directory links, but the directory owners keep putting them back.

It is not oDesk's intent nor is it their job to block every potentially unethical job from appearing on the platform. Nor is there any practical way for them to do so. There is not even one job posted in the platform which would not be considered unethical based one some people's deeply held beliefs.

The primary responsibility for not doing unethical jobs resides with the individual contractor.

What about all the job posts guaranteeing 5 star feedback in exchange for a very low rate - in violation of oDesk policies - or the loads of academic fraud jobs? oDesk allows you to flag jobs as fraud so, allegedly, they care.

What about this type of job or that?

I routinely flag jobs for oDesk to take down because the job is spam or because the job clearly violates oDesk policies.


A job which guarantees 5 star feedback in exchange for a low rate is a violation of oDesk policies.


A job which is unethical according to my principles or Marcia's principles is not necessarily in violation of oDesk's policies, and neither I nor oDesk should flag or block such jobs based on my personal standards and principles.


There are things which Marcia and I would never do or say, which oDesk should absolutely allow to be part of their platform. There are things which both Marcia and I have no problem with whatsoever, but which some people and groups regard as very inappropriate and offensive. ODesk should allow those to be part of the platform as well.


Hi John,

As noted by Dianne in this thread, we do not edit/remove Feedback unless there's egregious cases of abuse. You can see more about our policies here and here


You can contact and work directly with our Support team if you feel there is a case of abuse here and we will do our best to help.

Hi Garnor

Can you please specify whether feedback can be disputed if the client had been abusive and racist in his messages on odesk because of which the project is ending but not on the feedback comment particularly.