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  1. #1
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    Odesk has been a nightmare, what's a good alternative?

    Hope to get some advice and recommendation on which Freelancing sites (odesk, freelancer, guru etc) provides the best protection for Buyers/Employer.

    I've had horrible experience in the past with Odesk (http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/show...ing-ripped-off) where I got ripped off by a contractor and only to found out that Odesk does not care about work quality, as long hours are logged properly (screenshots), it does not matter whether what they(contractor) did is functional or not. My website is in a mess, I was forced to make full payment (Odesk doesn't give you control of your own money, crazy right?), it's been a nightmare.

    I found Realtyna (realtyna.com) on Elance.com which I might hire for a real estate portal project, how does Elance handles disputes in such case? I know they charge an insane amount of fee for arbitration (For jobs valued under $1000.00 the cost to file is $399.00 to be reviewed by a single arbitrator. For jobs valued $1000.00 and over the cost to file is $750.00 to be reviewed by a panel of arbitrators.)

    I've had an agreement with the contractor on the Odesk case in our discussion where in the event that they could not deliver the website as per specification, they will refund the money, the contractor also written back and agreed with the terms. When things gone bad, Odesk told me that the "agreement" I had with the contractor can't be enforced and the contractor won't be held accountable for what they've agreed and promised.

  2. #2
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    An alternative is to pay your odesk contractor by the hour and do a daily check of what they do. And don't forget to set weekly limits.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by keeping View Post
    An alternative is to pay your odesk contractor by the hour and do a daily check of what they do. And don't forget to set weekly limits.
    I was using hourly contract, that was the problem. As long contractor log their hours accordingly (doesn't matter whether their work functions or not), they will be paid. Also you have no control over your own money either, my project was supposed to be completed in 7 days, the contractor charged me the full sum within the first 4 days without producing any result. When I file the dispute, Odesk says screenshots checks out so the Contractor got paid. When I ask about quality, Odesk told me if quality matters to me I should have chosen a Fixed job contract so I can pay when I see results. What a joke..

    Any recommendation on which freelancing site that protects Employer?

  4. #4
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    On smaller projects and projects where you are not familiar with the contractor, I would recommend only using fixed price projects. The freelance jobsites are all setup so that the contractor doesn't get paid on these types of jobs before the you accept the work.

    If you are looking for alternatives to oDesk, there are elance and freelancer.com.

  5. #5
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    I can't help but wonder if you checked out the individuals ratings before you assigned them to your project. When looking at those ratings, also keep in mind that if they have only had 10 jobs, their rating isn't really that reliable, even if the rating is high. Always, find someone with a high rating, as well as high numbers in completed projects. If you don't, you are putting yourself in pretty serious risk. By the sounds of how Odesk handled matters though, it seems negligent to say the least.

    Quote Originally Posted by Josh Lim View Post
    I was using hourly contract, that was the problem. As long contractor log their hours accordingly (doesn't matter whether their work functions or not), they will be paid. Also you have no control over your own money either, my project was supposed to be completed in 7 days, the contractor charged me the full sum within the first 4 days without producing any result. When I file the dispute, Odesk says screenshots checks out so the Contractor got paid. When I ask about quality, Odesk told me if quality matters to me I should have chosen a Fixed job contract so I can pay when I see results. What a joke..

    Any recommendation on which freelancing site that protects Employer?

  6. #6
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    Yes you are right Odesk does not care about work quality, you have to take care of your work personally Odesk does contractor work.
    But nobody forced you to make full payment if you are not satisfied with work.

    Alternate to oDesk is elance and freelancer.com, vworker.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Member johnlarase's Avatar
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    Hi,
    Newbie here. I've been to Odesk and I don't like their system (sorry). What I could share is this site Staff.com, although it's still growing and it's not that popular like Freelancer or Odesk but their service is superb. Odesk has its own time tracking system and they (Staff) too has a unique time tracker that takes screenshots and tracks your time even if you're on break.

  8. #8
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    For contract work, I think the only one I would recommend other than oDesk is Elance.

    But then, I am not quite sure if they do this:

    Quote Originally Posted by Josh Lim View Post
    Any recommendation on which freelancing site that protects Employer?
    If that is your concern, maybe you should check out Staff.com (the one mentioned in the above comment). They are for full time remote work though. Not sure if that is what you are after. But, since they have dedicated people who would assist you with connecting to an employee, I think that is enough protection.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Member Angelina786's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbjavol View Post
    For contract work, I think the only one I would recommend other than oDesk is Elance.

    But then, I am not quite sure if they do this:



    If that is your concern, maybe you should check out Staff.com (the one mentioned in the above comment). They are for full time remote work though. Not sure if that is what you are after. But, since they have dedicated people who would assist you with connecting to an employee, I think that is enough protection.
    Working on hourly bases on odesk.com I think is safe. On the other hand Elance is a good choice. What I use to do now I take local projects and they pay me fair amount and I am happy. So, I would suggest you can start your website and take projects.

  10. #10
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    Now a days so many people blame to odesk. Yes something going on so bad there . Especially, i dislike their price range . Any one can bid with low and low price. so new contractor try to bid with very low price for get the early jobs and doing low quality work.
    I thing comparatively Elance is the best.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Member blueviolin34bd's Avatar
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    Which freelancing site is more popular?

  12. #12
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    I have solely tried odesk and I felt it is one of the best freelancing sites. Actually, Odesk was my foremost sign up. oDesk is the marketplace for online workteams, with the best business model for both buyers and providers.

  13. #13
    SitePoint Wizard webcosmo's Avatar
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    You should try eLance.com, it has c good buyer protection in place, but for a first time job you should try a provider with a small job.

  14. #14
    SitePoint Member Daisy McCarty's Avatar
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    It's interesting to see how hourly billing can be problematic for clients (I've always been against charging by the hour for my own services for other reasons). I know it's more difficult to do with a web development project than with a writing project, but setting up well-defined deliverables that can be paid in milestones does make a big difference. Breaking things down into "bite-sized" pieces allows the provider to prove that they are meeting their end of the agreement as things progress. They know they will get paid as they go along for achieving each of their client's objectives - which means they must be very sure they can actually do what they claim. This approach will give you better protection than any contract or even the use of escrow (although I advocate using both).

    An "Agile" project management approach might be a good model to use the next time you set up a scope of work. It may lead to early delivery of a functional "product" that can then be refined as much as desired (or until the costs outweigh the benefits). Either way, you end up with something that works.

  15. #15
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    I am a freelancer doing jobs on freelancer and odesk. Most of the clients of mine are more than happy with me. You have to select a contractor after checking other employers testimonials. If you are trying it for the first time you have to try fixed price jobs on odesk. In my experience Odesk is best.
    Last edited by DaveMaxwell; Jun 24, 2013 at 03:51. Reason: removed link...

  16. #16
    SitePoint Member conrey's Avatar
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    That's why we must be very careful in hiring someone from freelancing websites!

  17. #17
    SitePoint Member conrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by munnabd View Post
    I have solely tried odesk and I felt it is one of the best freelancing sites. Actually, Odesk was my foremost sign up. oDesk is the marketplace for online workteams, with the best business model for both buyers and providers.
    i agree with you

  18. #18
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    I don't think it has something to do with the freelancing site. You also have to remember that you are solely responsible for what have been engaging into, especially if it involves money. It doesn't matter which freelancing site or whether you have entered into an agreement with somebody. You just have begin small and know the contractor fully well before going big. What happens to you is that you've met someone not as skillful and honest as you think. If you're not happy with the results, then you've got to stop early on.

  19. #19
    SitePoint Member Love to be neel's Avatar
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    Well, Odesk & Elance are useful for only freelancer who love to work from home. But if you are working in office then you need long term clients...

    Well, I am new on odesk and still not get any project on my profile but as I think they both are helpful way to make money.

  20. #20
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    You can leave a bad feedback to your contractor.

  21. #21
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    Odesk was great. It now has been overrun with huge numbers of people who are not qualified to do what they claim. It is extremely important to screen well and know how to filter out job posts or else you'll be sifting through 100 applicants who aren't qualified.
    My site for law answers and legal information -- I also buy websites you may wish to sell

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnlarase View Post
    Hi,
    Newbie here. I've been to Odesk and I don't like their system (sorry). What I could share is this site Staff.com, although it's still growing and it's not that popular like Freelancer or Odesk but their service is superb. Odesk has its own time tracking system and they (Staff) too has a unique time tracker that takes screenshots and tracks your time even if you're on break.
    Interesting. Does this service cover all sorts of jobs? Is the pay good? I only get into the registration of that site, so I don't know much.

  23. #23
    SitePoint Member johnlarase's Avatar
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    Basically, the platform is similar to Odesk but they're more focused in hiring full time staff as opposed to contract jobs. Just complete the registration so you'll know what they can offer to you.

  24. #24
    SitePoint Member CarlZ's Avatar
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    Not fair to generalize the website just cause of one experience. In fact odesk gives heed to client and contractor grievances. You can give negative feedback, raise a dispute. I use it to get my work done for cheap. Has been a good experience for me.

  25. #25
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    I think it's a luck of the straw on these things.

    It's said that the sellers there care little for your personal requirements and it's more to do with churning as much work as possible for the lowest price.

    This is not to say all experiences are negative, you need to find somebody from an English speaking or developed European nation, and from there you can gradually build trust a repo with your chosen person. It might be good to have 2 to 3 people you can rely on. In terms of what website to use, this is down to you and your personal preferance. I would use one which has a professional administration.

    I used PPH (People Per Hour), and I had one good experience and a very bad experience, so I won't 100% recommend them. My last seller cancelled on me and from there on, they took almost 2 months to give me my money back, not to mention leaving me in the dark during this time, even after I tried to communite with them.

    As I previously mentioned it's a luck of the straw, and is all down to the administration of the marketplace, if you feel the admin is good and fair then you've got a +1 in using them, if they are slow, confusing and you're a little unsure where you stand, it might be best to consider something else.

    Even though the marketplace tries to get the best out of people, you'd naturally find conmen in any marketplace, you just need to be careful.

    So far I have outsourced to America, UK, Indonesia, Malaysia, India and Argentina. The worse was India by far. I outsource to 2 Indian freelancers and 1 Indian company, in all 3 occations I ended up with disappointment. From what I have seen if you demand support and premium aftercare English speaking countries seam to be your best choice.
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