I believe almost everyone had this experience here at odesk.
You are applying for a job and the client demands a free test or sample.
With all the competition there is, the only way is to give the client what he wants.
I´m sure that, in many cases, the client post a job and gets the work done without actually hiring anyone at the end. With this sample test the job can be done!
If it was just one case... but it isn´t!
This is becoming general practice here at odesk.
In my case I´ve retouched many many photos for free.
There were this situations that the client gave us ( me and other candidates ) not one but 6 samples to retouch! and at the end canceled the job!
of course...it´s so easy this way.
This situation shoudn´t happen.
I think tht odesk has resouces enough to bansih this type of situations.
So, my sugestion is : a new rule for free samples.
The sample tests should be payed. Or, the alternative is : not permited.
What do you guys think?
It is already against oDesk Policy to as for free work.
- Requesting free work of any kind is prohibited, including contests in which freelancers submit work with no to very little pay, and only the winning submission is paid the full amount.
I would suggest next time somone ask you to do something free that you politely tell them you would be happy to do a sample job if they want to set up a contract, but it is against oDesk policy and point them to the link
As far as redoing work I would also set limits up front about how many retouches you will do. and then explain it takes you time to do this so there will be additional cost if they want more then say 3 retouches.
Yes, I agree. But we probably won't be seeing this any soon because oDesk has a major problem with basic functionality.
in the meantime, you can put some watermark over your samples. So they are useless.
@Suzanne N wrote:
It is already against oDesk Policy to as for free work.
Once I asked customer support should I flag a job post because of asking for free sample, and they told me it's not a problem if client asks for sample (he/she had many jobs paid already).
Don't correct my grammar!
>> Once I asked customer support should I flag a job post because of asking for free sample, and they told me it's not a problem if client asks for it - I should provide it.
I absolutely believe this story! And I wouldn't be surprised if this kind of thing happens often.
I think there is a fundamental misunderstanding on the part of many oDesk contractors regarding the nature of oDesk Customer Service. There are some basic economic principles at play here, and contractors would do well to realize just how finite and limited a resource customer service really is.
There is no demonstrable rationale for expecting oDesk customer service to provide consistently accurate information, but I think that is what many contractors expect.
Thank you for your helpful and heartfelt post.
You are 100% correct in your sentiment.
But I'd like to point out a few things...
There does not need to be a new rule about this.
The rule that you ask for is ALREADY the policy that in place.
You say that oDesk has the resources to banish this type of practice (asking for free samples).
Well, yes and no. The "resource" that oDesk has is YOU, the contractor.
That's it. There is no other practical way for oDesk to prevent clients from asking for free samples.
YOU, the contractor (and me, and all other contractors) need to be the ones who prevent this practice. This is the only practical way to really prevent it.
The only thing oDesk can really do is to increase efforts to make sure that contractors are educated about the policy, educated about how to politely enforce the policy, and educated about the reasons this policy is in place and how it helps us all.
Suzanne, I may be wrong, but I believe that when the original poster mentioned doing photo retouches, she wasn't talking about retouching a photo that she turned in as part of a photography assignment or something.
She meant tha the entire job was doing the retouch.
If that's the case, there is no acceptable number of retouches that should be done for a client.
The client didn't pay for a photo and then ask for a retouch.
The client asked for a retouch (or 6 retouches) and paid nothing for all the work that was done.
(Although maybe I'm interpreting this incorrectly.)
The client was completely wrong an the contractor was wrong to provide this service for free.
The correct response to this request would have been to refer the client to the contractor's portfolio, in which there are displayed ample examples of before-and-after sets of photos, which show the high level of skill and proficiency the contractor brings to the task of retouching photos.
The portfolio doesn't contain the photos that the client needs retouched, but it gives the client enough information to see that the contractor can perform the task well.
My point Preston is when doing work for someone, graphics or anything else there will be those clients who want changes to something multiple times. What needs to be expressed up front is I am happy to make changes x amount of times, but if you need more changes there is a fee for my time.
I have done graphic designs in the past and had clients that would tell me exactly what they wanted and then 20 times decide it wasn't right or the color wasn't right or something else wasn't right. Part of any job whether it is photo retouching or graphics or any other job is making oneself clear up front and expressing what you can do and cannot do. This would help considerably in preventing an issue with not being paid if one was clear about what they can and can't do for the client upfront.
I am not sure with some clients it will make any difference I know as they are looking for free work no matter what you do.
Thank you for your answers.
Dispate there is a rule, believe me, I see this everyday at job posts.
That´s the reason why I´ve suggested a new fee or something similar.
Next time, I´ll flag the client.
However, I´m sure that many will still work fo free when they are fighting for an opportunity.
For me, it was a lesson, but it´s really unnfair to learn this way.