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Disallow clients from using feedback extortion.

jenmhutson
Ace Contributor
Jennifer H Member Since: Apr 30, 2012
1 of 21

I've lost count of how many times I've seen posts with the phrase "Apply if you'd like 5* feedback on your profile." Not surprisingly, these jobs almost always offer appalling rates.

 

How is this allowed? This is clearly feedback extortion and takes advantage of new freelancers. Ultimately, it kills the marketplace.

 

Odesk rules are very clear about feedback manipulation and this is no different. Feedback or any promises of a high rating should be completely prohibited in job postings.

 

I implore oDesk to make a rule that disallows clients from mentioning anything about feedback, as this is EXTORTION and MANIPULATION.

 

Please oDesk, do the right thing and stand up for your contractors, for once. You are promoting a toxic, unhealthy marketplace by condoning these atrocious practices and this has gone on long enough.

lyambarreau
Community Guru
Lyam B Member Since: Nov 3, 2014
2 of 21

I think they should look at feedback blackmail too. 

lanwanman
Community Guru
Ronald T Member Since: Sep 14, 2009
3 of 21

Both clients and freelancers have attempted to use "feedback blackmail." As a freelancer, I have received intimidating private emails from a recent client threatening bad feedback and ratings because I had requested to re-negotiate contracts as a result of the client requesting work well outside of the previously negotiated scope of work as documented in the contract (aka "scope creep").

The client had also threatened to report to oDesk and attempt to get their money back via the oDesk Money-back Guarantee" program. Fortunately, in my case, in addition to documenting my side of the situation via oDesk Support, I was able to deploy other measures to thwart that client's unwarranted attempts at what appeared to be extortion.

Edited 01/09/2015 RT/lwm

Ron aka LanWanMan
anne_ginger
Community Guru
Dianne M Member Since: Jul 25, 2013
4 of 21

Talk about extortion, I logged in because I got several invites but they all turned out to be from those who wants to outsouce their homework and someone was even promising 5 stars if he gets an A. I asked for details (reported the client to his university as well and contacted his professor) and then withdrew from the job. These people needs to be taught a lesson.

 

24 hrs update: The professor replied. Someone's in deep trouble now 🙂



❄❄❄ Just A Forum Contributor --- This isn't against forum guidelines ❄❄❄
maverickuk
Ace Contributor
Nick M Member Since: Jul 12, 2011
5 of 21

Hahaha, good job!

lanwanman
Community Guru
Ronald T Member Since: Sep 14, 2009
6 of 21

Kudos for Dianne, she is always ahead of the pack! New issues, humorous results; always something new and often entertaining...lol....

Edited 01/09/2015 RT/lwm

Ron aka LanWanMan
vladag
Community Manager
Vladimir G Community Manager Member Since: Oct 31, 2014
7 of 21

Hi Jennifer, you’re right. Coercing Freelancers to submit free work under threat of negative feedback is indeed a serious violation of our policy. We encourage members to reportany job posts asking for free samples or free work, so we can review and take appropriate action.

 

Our Marketplace Quality team is working hard identifying and removing job postings that manipulate feedback like that, and we really appreciate users’ help reporting them.

Untitled
jenmhutson
Ace Contributor
Jennifer H Member Since: Apr 30, 2012
8 of 21

This has nothing to do with clients asking for free work, and everything to do with clients promising 5-star feedback to freelancers with the lowest rates or new freelancers.

 

Example: "Easy 800-word article on medical niche, new freelancers welcome. Apply if you want some 5* feedback on your profile." Pay rate $1.50.

 

These clients extort new freelancers for good feedback, in exchange for cheap articles. They are crooks and gaming the system.

 

There should be a rule that prohibits clients from posting ANYTHING related to getting good feedback if you apply to their jobs, because that is feedback blackmail.

 

It's utterly ridiculous that they're even allowed to mention feedback at all in job postings. Where is oDesk's interest for its contractors?

kugrin
Community Guru
Krisztina U Member Since: Aug 7, 2009
9 of 21

The freelancer policies state:

 

"The following should not be included in a job application:

  • Any offer of services for the sole purpose of building good feedback."

The client policies have no such provision, so it's okay for a client to do it, but not for a freelancer to offer. Makes no sense.

lanwanman
Community Guru
Ronald T Member Since: Sep 14, 2009
10 of 21

KU, I might agree with that as long as the expression "sole purpose" is included in the text.

I never demand or make any unethical attempts to obtain positive feedback and good ratings; however, especially with questionable, prospective clients (For example, clients with questionable oDesk history, newbies, etc.), I might point out the importance of positive feedback and good ratings for both clients and freelancers. I also go to great lengths to ensure complete customer satisfaction in hopes of securing positive feedback and good ratings.

Edited 01/09/2015 RT/lwm

Ron aka LanWanMan
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