Trust and Safety Team

Is this another new thing from oDesk? It seems like there are a lot of posts lately about how this "team" is putting people's accounts under review and I've never heard about it before. From reading the posts, most freelancers claim that they don't have a lot of negative feedback or given any refunds. One post even states that support keeps telling him to complete his open jobs in order for the review to start even though he doesn't have any open jobs. Apparently, this "team", although it sounds like it might be another mad robot, will make you finish all your jobs before they get around to looking at your account. I assume from this that you are also not allowed to pick up any new jobs during that time. Does anyone know how the "team" picks which accounts to put under review? They seem to claim it's because of refunds and bad feedback (according to the posts) but all the freelancers who are posting here claim that this is not happening. Is oDesk arbitrarily picking accounts to review or do they have one of their perfectly programmed algorithms do it for them (which sounds very scary given oDesk's track record)? I actually find this a bit worrying and is giving me another reason to start exploring my options elsewhere.

All I know is what I see in this link in the footer that says Trust & Safety. https://www.odesk.com/info/trust-safety/ They are a few other things that they look at too but it is still kind of fuzzy. Maybe they elaborate more on that page.

I looked but it doesn't really say much. I would really like to hear how they pick people for review and how do they explain the people under review whom claim that they have never done anything wrong (i.e. no refunds, no disputes, good feedback and yet are being placed under review). Of course, I can probably write the response by myself: We at oDesk strive to ensure that everyone can work in a safe and trustworthy environment. We take a number of factors into account when deciding who to place under review not just feedback, refunds and disputes. We cannot address individual concerns because of privacy issues but rest assured that each account under review will be investigated as quickly as possible in order to resolve any problem. Maybe I should ask oDesk for a job. ๐Ÿ™‚

Their response was basically a generic canned response which did not address any of the issues raised in the forums. The post states that "We evaluated the entire work history of freelancers who had multiple contracts that resulted in client concerns, poor feedback and disputes." And yet, we have freelancers here saying that they have not had any difficulties with clients and have still been targeted by this team. I wonder if the "evaluation" was done by actual people or one of the badly programmed routines that oDesk seems to love.

[quote=David Gregory]And yet, we have freelancers here saying that they have not had any difficulties with clients and have still been targeted by this team..[/quote] That is their story, it may or may not be the case. It also says this in the help section that they link to: "Public feedback is just one of many factors we evaluate. We also look at disputes, private feedback, and other client concerns." Lord knows I am not a fan of a lot of oDesk's actions, it is just that there are 2 sides to all stories and we are only hearing the freelancer side. Obviously oDesk is never going to come onto the forums and say exactly what these people did to get their accounts put under review. There is the private feedback which goes to oDesk. I recently filled it out when I ended a contract for a freeelancer so that may very well be the issue in some of these cases.Who knows, we can speculate all day. I do think that between the blog and the links provided in the blog, they have given a fair amount of information. I am happy to see finally they are doing some QA on the quality of contractors and just because they are under review does not mean they will be suspended or anything like that. The freelancers can continue to work, if they end the current contracts they can just get rehired and all the review will start. When signing up for oDesk everyone signs an I AGREE to the Terms ofService and the fact that oDesk may perform a review on their account is one of the things they agreed to. Maybe they did not read the TOS? I think people are making too much of this particular issue. The issue of continued bugs in this site is lot more of an issue to me than this one.

Could you answer my question please. I have 7 jobs in progress. Six of them are already paused and one job open that is going to pause in 2 weeks time. And I do believe that this all paused jobs would not finished in 2-3 years time as i requested to end the contract many times. What should I do this 2 years then. what is the difference between suspension and without any work for 3 years. Support team advised me to finish all existing jobs and get feed back, and then they will review and give the decision. You got private feedback from client, but did you ask contractor to defend it. If the contractor cant defend it, then you can take any decision on their profile. Otherwise,It should be treated as partial and unlawful decisions. Did you tell the fact at terms and conditions when your account is under review, you are not allowed to apply new jobs? Thanks ruhul

I have a 5 star rated profile and got excellent comments & feedback from each client along 5 star rating on each job. I never being into any disputes, refunds, poor feedback, rating or anything but still got my account under review. Now odesk customer support and trust & safety board is not willing to answer or give proof of why did they put the account under review. The team wants me to end my current jobs in order to have final review by trust and safety. My current clients are valuable customers of odesk not even me they are getting disturbed due to this as well as I will have to stop working for them. My question here is where should we take our clients for that period of time during the account is under review by the trust and safety team who dont even bother to reply back on any support tickets and always get a canned response from the support team..

Well, this guy was told he had to complete his open jobs, and he doesn't have any open jobs. https://www.odesk.com/community/node/34950

I find this new thing very disturbing. As a freelancer, I am on the process of finishing all the needed content for a home improvement website (just 60,000 words more!) and in the middle of ghostwriting a book plus a few bits and pieces from regular clients who only need my services a few times per month. If the 'bug' hits me; and if it insists on me finishing ALL my existing projects, the 'bug' will have to wait for 3 to 6 months before it can 'review' my account since I will never leave a client hanging in the middle of a long-term project. As a client here (hiring people to do things outside of my areas of expertise), where will I go if one of my freelancers gets told that they are under review? I really want to hear what oDesk has to say about this and why is it that no one has announced about this on the forum (except Valeria when answering posts from 'hit' freelancers). For something like this, shouldn't there be an official announcement? I've been lurking on the forum almost everyday for months now and this thing has disturbed me out of my lurking. I hope oDesk clarifies what parameters it uses to decide who needs to be reviewed. Maybe Valeria or Garnor will provide an answer but we all know they just repeat what is told to them by whoever is in-charge of the weird 'bugs'. Sometimes I actually feel sorry for the community manager (Valeria) and the PR guy (Garnor) plus the chat support agents I've been talking to a few times a week due to the numerous 'bugs'. The big guy upstairs knows how b!tchy I sometimes get when reporting 'bugs' because it is causing me to lose time and all I am getting are copy-pasted responses. I'm sure the frontliners are getting drained too trying to calm people down as I imagine they themselves don't know either what's going on but are tasked out of duty to do their best to provide answers (no matter how irrelevant or untrue). Can we 'trust' the Trust and Safety Team? or better yet, are we 'safe' from the Trust and Safety Team?

โ„โ„โ„ Just A Forum Contributor --- This isn't against forum guidelines โ„โ„โ„

"Can we 'trust' the Trust and Safety Team? or better yet, are we 'safe' from the Trust and Safety Team?" Good questions, but it depends on what the team are. Are they humans making decisions based on a thorough search and analysis of freelancer history? or a new bunch of mad robots randomly identifying transgressors based on a poorly defined mix of two or three parameters? or a bunch of humans mindlessly reporting and acting on the results of the mad robots. Hiding applications was/still is universally reviled by clients and freelancers alike, and has seriously impacted livelihoods. Heaven (or insert your own perfect place) forbid that this will have an even worse effect. It already looks like it's affecting hard-earned livelihoods randomly...

You cannot trust them because their work is not transparent. They may close any account without reasonable explanations. Even if you follow oDesk rules and receive 5 star feedback this does not stop them from suspension. My agency contractor account was closed after years of good reputation. In worst case you could even loose your hardly earned money: https://www.odesk.com/community/node/34881.