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Is there anyway to Alert Freelancers to Scum Bag Clients

Ace Contributor
Pat P Member Since: Nov 26, 2013
1 of 12
I'm still pretty new to oDesk, but I used to work for ad agencies so I have dealt with scum bag clients before and I think I have managed to do free work yet another one—which I know is my fault but I would like to alert others to this guy. I took on a project yesterday to do a banner ad. They said they were going to hire a few people (they interviewed 7 out of the 8 that applied) and pick a few people to design and see which they liked best. Already seemed odd, but I liked the project and I thought I'd do well so I said yes, I'd like to still do the job. I did not have a contract so I sent an email asking where they were with their hiring process and they promptly responded saying they would hire me but couldn't at the moment, but I could start the work and they promised to pay. I said no, I could not start work without a contract. A few minutes later I had a contract. Again, seemed odd because they told me they could not hire at the moment. I did the project then got an email this morning saying they did not like the work and it was not what they wanted. Instantly thought "sh*t I have to refund or I'll get a bad review" Then it hit me. They hired multiple people for this project and wanted to see which they liked best, then write everyone else saying they hated the work in order to scare them into a refund. I am getting sick of these scum bag clients on here and I want to alert everyone to this client. And the fact that only 8 people applied to this job tells me other people thought something was up since it was an hourly job at $$ experience and those always seem to get huge responses. So is there a way to alert other freelancers as to who to stay away from on here?
Active Member
Kristin H Member Since: Jan 7, 2014
2 of 12
With all of the changes occurring here at o'Desk I would be very tempted to keep the money and leave the client a bad review. I know that they will probably leave you a bad review as well, but the way things are looking, refunding may not prevent this for long. It seems that many freelancers have been complaining in the forums that refunded contracts are now showing on their profiles and effecting their ratings. I have no idea whether or not this is just a glitch but if it does become a permanent feature, there doesn't seem to be much point in refunding to avoid bad feedback. At least you could leave feedback for the client that could warn off other freelancers. It is certainly a tricky situation and I'm sure you won't make your decision lightly. Best of luck.
Ace Contributor
Pat P Member Since: Nov 26, 2013
3 of 12
If I cancel the hours work does that count as a refund? It's only $50 so I'm not beating myself up over it.
Active Member
Kristin H Member Since: Jan 7, 2014
4 of 12
I don't think it's actually a refund until it has been paid. I could be wrong on that though. According to this link: https://support.odesk.com/entries/23141928-What-is-the-Work-Diary-How-can-I-use-it- Under "To Delete Time", it looks as though you can cancel the hours before the review period without it being a refund (It doesn't say that specifically though). If you did that you could just end the contract and it wouldn't count against you because they haven't paid anything.
Active Member
Exp U Member Since: Oct 29, 2014
5 of 12
[quote]Then it hit me. They hired multiple people for this project and wanted to see which they liked best, then write everyone else saying they hated the work in order to scare them into a refund.[/quote] Actually, they probably wrote to everyone and told them that. The new feedback system should make people like this stand out a mile after it's been running for a while.
Ace Contributor
Pat P Member Since: Nov 26, 2013
6 of 12
I'm so tempted to write on this guys FB, Yelp and any other social media property I can find. I want to emails him this thread as well so he knows I'm onto his game.
Community Guru
Krisztina U Member Since: Aug 7, 2009
7 of 12
[quote=Pat Pope]They said they were going to hire a few people (they interviewed 7 out of the 8 that applied) and pick a few people to design and see which they liked best. [/quote] [quote=Pat Pope]I did the project then got an email this morning saying they did not like the work and it was not what they wanted. Instantly thought "sh*t I have to refund or I'll get a bad review" Then it hit me. They hired multiple people for this project and wanted to see which they liked best, then write everyone else saying they hated the work in order to scare them into a refund.[/quote] Perhaps I'm misinterpreting what you wrote, but it seems they did exactly what they said they would do: Hire a few people and decide who's style they like best. [quote=Pat Pope]I am getting sick of these scum bag clients on here and I want to alert everyone to this client. [/quote] You're assuming the worst before it even happened. I usually hire several people for a few hours/days just to see who is easiest to work with and end the contract of the others. I never left someone a bad rating for not making the cut, and like your client, communicate that strategy upfront. So before going on your social media vendetta, why don't you find out what happens first? Should you receive an unfavorable feedback, you could always respond to it or do a refund but none of that has occured yet based on what you wrote.
Ace Contributor
Pat P Member Since: Nov 26, 2013
8 of 12
I'm not really going to do that to some ones social media properties—unless he uses the work. And I even said it was my fault for taking the job. I had a bad feeling when he said I could do work and he would offer me the contract later and pay. Here are some more red flags I got from this guy: 1) Only 8 people applied and he interviewed 7. I've noticed clients who interview a lot of people tend to be the ones to stay away from—in fact, I have even read that in the blogs on here. 2) Why did only 8 people apply? I've noticed for jobs that are hourly, and are looking for a mix of experience and value draw a big pool of applicants. 3) He said / tried to have me work without a contract and "promised" to pay. Big Red Flag. 4) I went back and read the directions he provided, and I really do not think I'm off strategy. Unless I suddenly forgot how to read directions. 5) His email was by far the harshest I have received on oDesk, and just in general. It honestly scared me into cancelling my hours instantly. Which makes me think that this is his strategy. Write something really harsh to scare people into thinking they'll receive 1 star if they do not return the hours. Plus, maybe it's ego, but I don't think what I developed was that bad. Especially for having only 3 hours. So, yes, I do genuinely believe he is up to something. From reading the blogs on here on how to stay safe I think this scum bag is a textbook predator client. Again, it's my fault. I should have rejected the contract. But I would like others to know who this guys is.
Community Guru
Krisztina U Member Since: Aug 7, 2009
9 of 12
I think the problem with the forums is that we only get to read the horror stories, barely do we hear about all of the positive experiences people make on this site daily (bugs excluded). Based on some of the stories I've read on here, I can see why you would be concerned, but I believe in the law of attraction. If you're convinced it ll end bad before it did, chances are it will. [quote=Pat Pope]1) Only 8 people applied and he interviewed 7. I've noticed clients who interview a lot of people tend to be the ones to stay away from—in fact, I have even read that in the blogs on here.[/quote] This doesn't necessarily need to mean anything, interviewing 7 people is not that high of a number, especially not for something urgent and especially if none of the candidates stuck out as THE perfect candidate. [quote=Pat Pope]2) Why did only 8 people apply? I've noticed for jobs that are hourly, and are looking for a mix of experience and value draw a big pool of applicants.[/quote] Does this mean that you believe that most contractors on here are mindreaders and knew something that you and the other 7 who applied didn't know? Smiley Happy Unlikely. Smiley Wink I've posted well paying long-term projects on here and got 0 applicants for reasons that are beyond me. [quote=Pat Pope]3) He said / tried to have me work without a contract and "promised" to pay. Big Red Flag.[/quote] This is a bit of a red flag but not when you see how many ongoing contracts the client has (at decent rates!). Could also be that they were simply busy and didn't want to bother in that particular moment assuming it would be fine. One of my clients is like that. [quote=Pat Pope]5) His email was by far the harshest I have received on oDesk, and just in general. It honestly scared me into cancelling my hours instantly. Which makes me think that this is his strategy. Write something really harsh to scare people into thinking they'll receive 1 star if they do not return the hours.[/quote] Was the email harsh or honest? And could it be that you're just reading more into it because they didn't like it and you're convinced something is up? [quote=Pat Pope]So, yes, I do genuinely believe he is up to something. From reading the blogs on here on how to stay safe I think this scum bag is a textbook predator client.[/quote] And I genuinely believe you're wrong. If I look at the job post, I see that the client has been here since Oct. 2013, has 3 ongoing contracts between $20-$33/hr, and spent $6k. The only concern I would have is that they might give a 4.6 or 4.8 instead of a 5 star for a job well done. But there are a few clients like that. Think positive and wait and see what happens (and hope that they don't read the forums Smiley Wink). Good luck!
Ace Contributor
Pat P Member Since: Nov 26, 2013
10 of 12
Maybe I am wrong. But could also be that people refund him work which is why you do not see negative reviews. Once again, I had a bad feeling when he asked me to do work without a contract. And when I said I needed a contract I thought "this could be taken the wrong way". I should of called it off right there. To your point about no one ever posting anything positive. No one does. Out of the 20 or so jobs I have only have had 2 been negative (this being one). Everyone else is super nice and cooperative and wants to get great work done—client and contractor alike. And I'm sure this is growing pains and learning to trust my instinct and turn down a job, aka money.
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