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One thing about the new bidding system is the amount of clients who post jobs simply to get free advice or samples, chat about their work, or try get freelancers to work for unfairly low amounts. outside odesk, or under conditions not mentioned in the original job posting.


The problem is that, unless you apply in the first place, you don't know if they're legitimate or not. Currently, if I get a sense that they're not, I withdraw my application. However, with only 2 applications now available a day, I will have to be very careful, as many will otherwise simply be wasted on oddballs, timewasters and frauds.


Ramon, you make a good point here.

This is a tricky situation. If a client posts a job which looks exactly like a legitimate job, but the client has impure motives, there is no way that oDesk cab proactively ban that job listing. This makes it even more important for contractors to be vigilant and to help enforce oDesk policies in how we interact with clients. Contractors must be the knowledgeable, experienced professionals who guide clients in using the platform properly.


Banning free samples completely might be a good first step, as would limiting the amount of interviews the clients are allowed - Odesk's new policies are entirely geared to the convenience of clients. I'm not completely against what they're trying to do, but merely removing 10,000s of small freelancers from develping countries is not going to magically improve the quality of some of the people posting jobs here.

re: "Banning free samples completely might be a good first step"

Ramon, oDesk's policies for clients clearly and unambiguously ban clients from asking for free work and ban asking for free samples. I'm not sure what more you expect them to do. At this point it is the contractors' responsibility to abide by these policies and be polite but firm in enforcing the policies with clients.

I'll stop doing them then. I aways hated it anyway

One of the best clients I've got had 2.3 rating. I went for the job anyway, and he turned out to be brilliant. Now it will just be the same 20+ editors going for the same jobs all the time, and loads of people will not have access to any decent proofreaders/editors at all because nobody will want to waste their precious bids.


If a client is truly a scammer, we need to report them and their job listing. If a client is simply unaware of how things should be done, we need to guide them.

We need to be able to tell a client: "I really appreciate the time you took to interview me. We want to be careful about oDesk's rules preventing free work. So since we are talking so specifically about your project now and making some real plans, let's take a break and set up an hourly contract to cover our conversation properly as consultation time. That way we'll be doing things the right way and all of our discussion and ideas will belong to you and will be covered by oDesk's confidentiality agreement."
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