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Communicate

ehoose
Active Member
Eric H Member Since: Mar 3, 2013
1 of 2
A lot of the terms of Odesk need to be improved, but for this post I want to talk about the oDesk Guarantee (OG) and how it needs to be revisited. According to the OG, the Freelancer needs to maintain high activity levels in order meet the guarantee, otherwise they lose it for whatever time blocks they have a low activity. This term is very logical, and I can see why it's needed (to prevent fraud). However, there is a problem. This term favors work that requires high user input on the computer. If you have an hourly contract and need to do work off the computer, you have no choice except to forgo the guarantee. I believe that is unacceptable. Here's an example. You have an hourly contract, and the client wants a lot of your time devoted to activities on the phone. They might have a lot of phone meeting that you need to call into, where your expertise is needed on whatever they are discussing. They don't know how long the meetings are so they just sign you up hourly. According to the terms, as a Freelancer you wouldn't want to bother with helping out your client here, because you would give up the hourly guarantee. If the client contested your hourly charges, you would lose unless you save your phone records and can prove you were on a phone line and that phone line was work related. Overall it would be a headache. Or you just bill them normally, join the phone conferences, and hope the client doesn't contest the hours. However, you are taking a risk. Besides phone calls, I can think of plenty other times where you could have low activity while working on a project, such as using a white board to arrange your thoughts to help you solve a problem.
stephenbrightman
Community Guru
Stephen B Member Since: Dec 4, 2012
2 of 2
Freelancing is all about communication and gradual building of trust. You need to "talk" through such matters with your client to reach a mutual understanding of and agreement on how to deal with such cases. If you have no trust in your client, but rely solely on a guarantee of getting paid, then something is wrong IMO. I think the statement "as a Freelancer you wouldn't want to bother with helping out your client here, because you would give up the hourly guarantee" is very telling... as a presumably professional person, why would you not want to bother helping out your client??
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