I've been working here in oDesk since 2011 and I was really satisfied because I consider it as user-friendly. However, these past few months, I have observed that there were some ne features that are quite unfair for some freelancers who have better oDes credentials than the others who received the better treatment.
1. Money-Back Guaranteed. If I'm not mistaken this is a badge which give someone (who has it) the opportunity to be listed and considered on top of those who don't have it. Someone told me that it's a BETA version. However, the ways I see it, it's quite unfair because some are given the privilege to be considered by the clients first. Given the case, if someone who has the best credential applied to a specific job but without the badge and another person applied, less competent than the former yet with the Money-Bac Guaranteed badge, the latter will get ahead. If the client is in rush, of course he/she will no longer take time reviewing other applications especially when there's a lot.
2. English Fluency VERIFIED. This is only, again, available to some fortunate freelancers because those who have sell-assessed their fluency in the language can no longer change it. Again, this feature favors some over the other who have better English profecieny than the favored.
3. RECOMMENDATION. I guess this is a new feature because according to my friend who's hiring through oDesk, there are now an existing RECOMMENDED feature. oDesk recommends some over the other to the client. This feature actually deprives those who are new to oDesk to prove their competence.
4. My personal problem is this one, I have been applying to series of job post these past few weeks and UNFORTUNATELY my application is not listed IN ALL THE JOB POST I APPLIED. I contancted customer support and here's an excerpt of the response, "Unfortunately, you’ve had at least a few clients who have not been completely satisfied with your work. Therefore, relative to other freelancers applying for jobs, your application is not as strong and may be listed below those with stronger histories, or hidden."
I have accepted this reason, however (again), according to my friend client, when he posted a job and I applied to the job post, he was notified about my aplication but when he tried to search for my application manually and even in the HIDDEN application, I was not found. This is very depriving on my part because I've been exerting effort on writing cover letters and answering questions but my application cannot be seen. I've actually tried checking it myself in the APPLICANT list in the job post and I was really not in any of the jobs I had applied in.
They told me that my visibility will soon become stronger if I receive good inputs or feedback from clients. How can I do that when I my application cannot be seen by anyone?
I genuinely applaud oDesk for being a very nice website to work in, however, I hope it could be fairer in its new features. And at the same time, in answering qeries, I hope they could be more speicific.
Thank you so much and I hope you can help me with my personal problem.
Miguel, from what you have described, your account is probably under review.
Many, many contractors (including myself) had their accounts put under review and set to a status that lets them apply for jobs just like before, but does not present their job applications to the clients.
The job applications aren't in the "hidden" section. They're not forwarded to clients at all.
This happened without any notification to the contractors. But if you contact customer support and ask them about your inability to be seen by clients, they should be able to confirm your "under review" status.
ODesk representatives have posted official statements on the forums stating that they have improved this system so that contractors will receive warnings and notifications. As far as I know, that is the case, and I have read multiple postings from contractors recently who have stated they received notifications and warnings.
So take this is good news/bad news thing.
The bad news is: your account is under review, probably due to an automated algorithm that locked up your account status (or sent it for a quick manual check to be approved for client blocking status).
But the good news is this doesn't mean you're suddenly a bad contractor or that there are no longer clients who will hire you. They simply aren't seeing your applications at all.
And the further good news is there is something you can do about it, if you follow the instructions from the support team after you contact them.
Be aware that after your account is re-instated, there will probably be no notification. You might need to contact support once per week to check to see if yout account status is back to normal, or you can try applying to a few jobs each week and seeing if they show up in the applicant list.
Having the money back guarantee badge to me is not an honor to have. It gives me a terrible feeling at any time a client could ruin my reputation because they decided they wanted thier money back for the heck of it.
I would prefer to have an option not to have it. I would prefer to be hired for my skills, not because I have the money back guarantee next to my name.
English fluency from my understanding is only for those who have taken a test. It is not self assessed. I could be wrong. Unless you are speaking about something else.
I have not had the problem of my job posting being hidden, although I have not been applying for work as of lately. I have noticed less invites, but it could be the time of year, it could be a lot of other reasons.
Thank you for letting me know some of your observations too. I apreciae it. Though about the English fluency, I have taken tests related to it and even topped two of them, yet again, my English Fluency never changed to VERIFIED.
It is just sad to see so many freelancers posting about how odesk had degraded in last year. Most of the points that Miguel has mentioned had been raised by many other members of this forum but odesk had not taken any step towards it.
I will like to clarify on one point that OP had raised about English fluency. I think anyone can take the DuoLingo certification test and add it to your profile. This is based on a recent forum reply that I saw by Valeria(Odesk Moderator). I am pasting her reply here(There is no quote system):
Here are some details about the verification process for English language proficiency that was discussed on this thread previously:
You can have your level of English verified by taking the new English Certification Test, by Duolingo. You will be taking the test on Duolingo, but can post the results on oDesk! Here are instructions to take the test:
1) Go to http://testcenter.duolingo.com.
2) Take the English certification test. It's 20 minutes and free for users, but you'll need a valid photo ID and a webcam. It's available in Android, iOS and Chrome desktop.
3) After taking the test, you can add it to your profile by clicking Share Certificate > oDesk. Please see this screenshot for more information:http://cl.ly/image/1i1x0X1W0E3e
Once done, you'll see a "Certification Badge" on your profile and your English language proficiency will be marked "verified."
Hope this helps, and please let me know if you have any questions. I'll do my best answering them.
oDesk Forum Moderator