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Client and Freelancer Reviews

Community Guru
Ronald T Member Since: Sep 14, 2009
1 of 14

I hate to admit it, but with regard to the on-going oDesk Client and oDesk Freelancer reviews, I believe that by way of the oDesk TOS, numerous help articles available via oDesk Help & Support, and endless posts in the oDesk Community forum (this one included), oDesk has indeed stated their position and practices.

Now, I do not believe that oDesk has stated their position and practices in an organized, readily recognizable manner; however, the needed information does exist -- everywhere, redundantly and in a haphazard display of chaos (chaos due to rapid growth and the inability to adjust).

As a freelancer believing that I too have been negatively affected by the oDesk "mad robots" for more than a year now, I feel I have the right to say that oDesk does not have to go into great detail regarding actions taken against clients and freelancers as a result of the on-going reviews. That is, not on an individual, case-by-case basis.

Nonetheless, I believe that oDesk has a responsibility to its members as a whole to ensure that adequate transparency, interoperability, and functionality exists to ensure that both clients and freelancers have a reasonable expectation that they will succeed when working thru oDesk.

What about "transparency"? Transparency extends beyond the need to disclose policies, procedures, and practices. There is also an absolute need to disclose all information about processes in order for members and oDesk to achieve sustainable success.

One example of the current lack of transparency with processes is the well-known, often publicized process (process aka "mad robots") that results in applications being dumped into a "hidden" folder. OK, keep that stupid practice if you like (yeah, I wrote "stupid"), but in all fairness make it easy for freelancers to determine the true status of applications that they have submitted.

Actually, I highly suggest that oDesk implement some type of system whereby freelancers will ultimately receive some type of reply, whether from prospective clients or automated, that informs them of the outcomes resulting from their applications. After all, the best freelancers spend a lot of time and effort searching and applying to jobs.

Two examples of seemly failed processes are the freelancers' search for jobs features and the clients' search for freelancers features. Both areas are severely lacking in terms of interoperability and functionality. They just don't work as expected -- as-needed.

My suggestions (Like I said, this might be another redundant writing):

1) Refer all posts involving individual case-by-case issues to oDesk Help & Support for review and resolution (Do Community members really need to see all of those posts, again, and again?). Obviously, oDesk Help & Support reserves the right to determine their degree of review and response.

2) Improve oDesk Help & Support services (tighten hiring practices and provide adequate training to overcome the current lack of timely and effective support).

3) If a client account or a freelancer account is temporally suspended, under review, or otherwise not fully operable on the oDesk core site, suspend Community participation as well until all issues are resolved and the account restored (probably just shot myself in the

4) Encourage oDesk Community members, clients and freelancers alike, to work as a group -- as a team; that is, to concentrate on issues that are beneficial to all clients and freelances as a whole.

5) Provide adequate resources to clients and freelancers by expediting completion of the oDesk Community site: 1) review and revise all tags (I believe they are already a mess), 2) review and revise all discussion groups and sub-groups (Community Discussions are inadequate; Job Skill Discussions sub-groups were takne from Elance and do not match oDesk), and 3) Implement features like the Idea Exchange and others so that Community members might have a way to justify requests for changes in a more meaningful and effective manner.




1) Item 2 -- this issue has currently resulted in members flocking to the Community for help and support of redundant issues.


2) Item 5 -- should result in a more meaningful and effective Community forum for discussions and new ideas instead of another oDesk help and support site.


1) Are there budget problems within oDesk that prevent the timely implementation of improvements?

2) Are there staffing problems within oDesk that prevent the timely implementation of improvements?

3) Are there management problems within oDesk that prevent the timely implementation of improvements?

Edited 01/08/2015 RT/lwm

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
2 of 14

Ron touches on many great topics. I am not going to address all of them, but his post prompts me to share some broad questions I have been mulling over in my mind. Note that these questions have probably all been reflected in posts by other forum contributors...


* Should there be two SEPARATE sections or categories in the Forums, one for general discussions of issues pertaining to freelancers, and one for specific requests for help by individuals?


* Should there be a way of MOVING repeated requests for the same type of help into the same "personal request" threads, to consolidate them and make the overall forum easier to navigate? I can flag a post as inappropriate, but it is not so easy to flag a post as simply being in the wrong place.


* Are we TOO NICE to newbies who have done little or no work on their own in terms of research, reasing oDesk guidelines, preparing their own profiles, etc.?


I think it is great to help people, but some people we help maybe aren't ready to be here. If there was a way that repeated newbie questions asking the same things over and over again could be funnelled ito the right "repeated request for personal help" thread, then they could see their questions answered, and forum visitors in the "regular" freelancer discussion forum would not so much time answering.

Community Guru
Ronald T Member Since: Sep 14, 2009
3 of 14

Hi PH!

Regarding "SEPARATE sections or categories...." Yes, most definitely! That is something I suggest be addressed when reviewing and revising all discussion groups and sub-groups. If the Community Idea Exchange feature were available, I might even start that topic myself where members could contribute their ideas and suggestions and possibly make a reasonable case for a request to oDesk for changes.

Regarding "MOVING repeated requests...." Again, yes except that moving them might not be practical. Providing a well-defined set of discussion groups and sub-groups in addition to a well-defined, meaningful set of global tags might encourage members to post their concerns in the appropriate areas within the Community. That's the way is works with most successful forums I have administered and/or participated in. In other forums there was rarely the need for moderators or members to advise other members that their posts were in the wrong place. I have no doubt that several members here have had the same positive expereince with other forums.

Regarding "Are we TOO NICE..." Recall my writing "play nice"? I should have wrote "play nice while biting your tongue." It is not the fault of members, even the newest members. oDesk allowed them to establish accounts here on oDesk. That is why in addition to mentioning "Peer Reviews," I had also suggested in another post the need for "vetting" new members. Of course, in consideration of the number of sign-ups per day, that would be a major undertaking. However, much of the "vetting" process could be automated.

Like the saying goes, "it's not rocket science." Still, "some" seem to have problems with it.

Edited 01/08/2015 RT/lwm

Community Guru
Aseem B Member Since: Dec 20, 2014
4 of 14

Well Ronald has covered almost every point in good detail. And I will like to comment upon the question that he raised: Are there staffing problems within oDesk that prevent the timely implementation of improvements?


I believe yes. And I do not want to point fingers at the forum moderators here but at the QA department of odesk beacuse I think only testing that is being done on odesk new odesk features is Beta testing where we are the lab rats. This point reminded me of a previous post I made regarding why AutoHide and other new features have so many issues that are taking so much time to resolve. I am going to just paste it here:


I have an interesting theory regarding what is wrong. While sorting my job search by "clients that spend most $" , I came across an odesk representative(I could only find one). I went through his job history and noticed only 2 job postings for QA Engineers. Although the job post says that work requires 40 hr/week, I notice that first job in October only clocked in 22 hrs. Second job post that is currently active had only clocked in 34 hrs in month of december. 

I hope odesk has a lot of similar staffing managers and other jobs that are not visible on this profile. If not then apparently  only 56 hours of QA testing had been done in last three months while the developers I see have clocked in hundreds of hours.


I humbly request the QA department of odesk to please pick up their pace and stop such faulty features from being implemented. I think I will apply to some of these jobs soon :smileyvery-happy:


PS: I re-iterate that this is a theory. I do not want to make any acquisitions upon odesk. I just want them to do something about the issues that are being raised in this community and on their support ticket system instead of just being "Understanding" 

Community Guru
Ronald T Member Since: Sep 14, 2009
5 of 14

Hi AB!

I read theories accompanied by freedom of expression written in the most polite manner; no acquisitions whatsoever.

AB, in a similar way, it appears that you (and others) have gathered data and attempted to analize it in a way that I have as well. I say "attempted" to analize, simply because the data is a moving target -- hard to acquire.

Having a background in quality control, quality assurance, software quality assurance, statistical process control, and other related fields of study, I often wonder how oDesk defines those roles. It does make one suspect that their deployment of responsibilities differs somewhat from similar firms.

Just out of pure curiosity, I would really like an opportunity to review their internally established and documented policies, procedures, and processes. Of course, they are not publicly owned; thus, SOX and other requirements do not pertain to their operations.

Edited 01/08/2015 RT/lwm

Community Guru
Ronald T Member Since: Sep 14, 2009
6 of 14

Now, where's Dianne, she's

Community Guru
Dianne M Member Since: Jul 25, 2013
7 of 14

I'm trying not to post as much so those sending me PMs  here, my fb, and my website would stop bothering me.


I don't even know how those people found my website and fb (not linked in my oDesk profile)'s creepy. I always seem to attract stalker types its grrrrr


Anyway, I love this thread! What makes me sad is that the points raised here will most likely be ignored as ramblings of 'troublesome' forum members (that's us -the very vocal/verbose ones! haha!)

❄❄❄ Just A Forum Contributor --- This isn't against forum guidelines ❄❄❄
Community Leader
Manoj Kumar P Member Since: Nov 12, 2014
8 of 14

A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.” -Albert Einstein.

Community Guru
Ronald T Member Since: Sep 14, 2009
9 of 14

Hi Dianne!

Yep, "ramblings of 'troublesome' forum members." Maybe the "mad robots" can dish out penalties for misbehavior. Actually, I have always made it a practice not to participate in any forums if things were going well for me on a site. Nothing to loose, maybe something to gain. I still hope things turn around for the best -- for everyone including oDesk owners, management, and all staff members.

As most are aware, it is usually very easy to find one's FB account, website, and other information on the Web. Employers (clients) do it all the time. Savvy individuals chould turn that "popularity" into positive outcomes. Hey, leveraging an authority site can be a boost to one's social media marketing campaigns. I have no idea how my best clients have found me lately.

Kudos to PH, AB, MK, and DM!

Edited 01/08/2015 RT/lwm

Community Guru
Dianne M Member Since: Jul 25, 2013
10 of 14

 Hi Ronald, 


What bothers me is if they are savvy enough to find me on the web, how come they are not savvy enough to contact the proper oDesk people or to understand I don't work for the site?


It also seems the IGNORE USER button for PMs is not working. I keep getting messages from this one guy here and I'm not sure if he's just stup!d because I stated 4x in 4 separate replies that I do not work for oDesk and I'm just a member like him. He reads my replies (this can be checked in the PM itself which states when something has been read by the recipient) but really, with what he is doing, it's no wonder oDesk suspended and hid his applications. He's a crazy spammer with no comprehension skills (with 4.90 stars and 400+ hours!!!).


oDesk, please give us a forum that works if the main site won't. Why is it that the IGNORE button is useless?


 I don't care if oDesk kicks him out the site just to stop him from sending me the same messages again and again asking for help. I can't believe I'm saying this but he does not possess enough brain cells to continue being here based on how he's acting. This is one person who IMO deserves to be on review despite having a good profile.


I can't believe someone with a profile like his can be so dense and not be able to understand simple instructions sent 4x on how to contact the proper oDesk support persons. He still wants me to lift his suspension despite me telling him 4x that I am not from oDesk and I have no power whatsoever to do that as a freelancer just like him. If zombies attack his place, they would starve with no brains to eat!


Btw, someone even threatened God wil get me if I don't help him. Crazy right? I hope he gets kicked out or ends up run over by a truck sent by God haha Smiley Very Happy


I think this is all about the label community GURU and me being on the top solutions authors list and top kudoed list combined with my surname so they think I'm from where they are...almost all those who contacted me asking for help is from a region in asia where being a guru is taken seriously. GURU = Jedi master = obi wan kenobi + Yoda + Ghostbusters




Oh, and I'm really big on personal space.

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