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Profile photo policy violation - reaction is draconian, without warning and inconsistent

Ace Contributor
Chamira A Member Since: Apr 4, 2012
1 of 11
After working on oDesk for almost 2 years and 900+ hrs using the same profile image, I got an email yestardy saying my profile images violates the guidelines: "The photo you use on oDesk must be a true likeness of you—cartoons, avatars, heavily digitized photos, logos, clip art, images with text, blurred images, long shots, images where the person is partially or completely cut off or any image that isn’t you is not allowed. Additionally, the photo must be of you only." What prompted this, I am not sure, I did updated my profile description and title only the day before - may be a coincidence, but oDesk must have some of triggering system for their Support to have good look you from time to time. I promptly removed my image and marked it resolved - I cannot look for work until it is accepted - it is now almost 24 hours since I responded. There is no indication in their communications about how long these things will take. I have to say oDesks behaviour is very harsh - I was not warned at any time (there have been numerous dealing with Support in the past about other matters , they could have mentioned it then), but immediately prevented from looking for work. This is a severe punishment for a freelancer. I work as a contractor, an agency recruiter and a client on oDesk and I have seen many profiles images and around 25% of them (at least in the areas I focus on: web design/development) would violate these guidelines. There are people using their agency logo, their kid, cartoons (illustrators), funny angles (photographers), plenty of sunglasses, &etc &etc. I would like to think this enforcement of their policy is not erratic, inconsistent and plain random - as it will affect 25% of us. Why did I say inconsistent? If I look for information on profile photos on the oDesk Help Center I am directed to this: https://support.odesk.com/entries/23065871-What-are-the-basic-account-information-guidelines- "Your profile portrait must be your likeness. Additionally: Be sure your picture is appropriate for a professional, global community. You must be the only person in your portrait. If you must use a group picture, please crop out everyone else before you post it. Logos, badges, clip art, landscapes, and any other artwork that is not a likeness of you are not acceptable. The likeness must be of you the person, not just a representation of your profession or personality." And, when I joined oDesk all I found regarding the profile image was this (a document last updated in April 2013): https://www.odesk.com/info/terms/contractor-policies/ "Profile photos should be clear and appropriate for a professional, global community. Logo, clip art, group pictures, or heavily digitally manipulated pictures are prohibited." Neither of these wordings is like the requirements now cited as policy in the email. If I search in Google for the policy wording as per the email - I don't find anything. If I search for the other two wordings - of course I find them. My profile images was appropriate in the light of the online documents, but not for the email specifications. But no one is aware of the new policy until their account is suspended! If these are newer requirements or additional clarifications surely they should have been/should be included on those documents OR communicated earlier. It is fundamentally unfair to take punitive action at the first instance of a policy violation when that policy is not previously disclosed. The whole thing is a shambles.
Active Member
Exp U Member Since: Oct 29, 2014
2 of 11
According to a similar thread, wait time is about 5 days [quote]I promptly removed my image and marked it resolved[/quote] That might be your problem right there. It's not resolved because your account is still shut down. But marking it resolved might mean than nobody looks at the ticket. I'd re-open it.
Ace Contributor
Chamira A Member Since: Apr 4, 2012
3 of 11
Thanks Darren - you are right - I got a bit ahead of myself there! I have re-opened it and it is now 'Being processed' Five days is an astonishingly severe punishment for a profile image not adhering to their policy. And without any warning. I am not even sure if this policy was changed and/or there is a new burst of enthusiasm for enforcing it. What is effective is that it hits hard on the first few people and the message filters across to the rest quite quickly. Beats sending out an email politely requesting to review your profile image I guess! Here is something funny and related about FAKE BEARDS and oDesk: http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2014/01/odesk/
Active Member
Exp U Member Since: Oct 29, 2014
4 of 11
5 days isn't the 'punishment'...it's the support lag. They're a bit snowed at the moment, by all accounts. Personally, I think a warning would be more appropriate with things being the way they are. They used to do a "change it or else" email first. Good luck with it.
Ace Contributor
Chamira A Member Since: Apr 4, 2012
5 of 11
Thanks. I have updated the post with the information I found online, and they are not the same as what is now being cited as policy. So the whole process is unfair.
Ace Contributor
Chamira A Member Since: Apr 4, 2012
6 of 11
Just to keep things updated, I am able to look for work again, the whole process took them 5 days to sort out. And although I explained I why think it is unfair to proceed the way they have done - in fact it is legally unsound to claim a violation/breach of a contractual term that is not disclosed beforehand - I am not sure they took any notice. I like oDesk, with all it's shortcomings, but there are plenty of people quite happy to denigrate it and incidents like these only highlight how unprofessional some of its practices can be.
Community Guru
Misty K Member Since: Feb 5, 2012
7 of 11
I had a picture up they considered too dark, and I had to replace it with one I'd rather not have, as I don't look happy, lol! At any rate, I spoke with someone the very day they notified me of the "too dark" image, and they waited while I replaced it with one that was acceptable. They then reinstated my job applications, and even gave a couple extra for the inconvenience. I thought everyone could access live chat support?
Community Guru
Marcia M Member Since: Apr 3, 2013
8 of 11
I don't anymore
Community Guru
Bojana D Member Since: May 2, 2011
9 of 11
Now you have to be at least bronze level to have it. I got it back after at least 2-3 months without it, had it for a few days and now it's gone again. I'm not even going to bother asking Support why :/
Community Leader
André U Member Since: Dec 5, 2013
10 of 11
I've never had the live chat until recently when it popped up all of a sudden. The strange thing is that I am not even part of the All-Star program of whatever the name is. Bug? Luck? Whatever, it's there and I've used it!
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