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  1. #1

    Has any1 ever used elance.com?

    Has any1 ever used elance.com?

    For those that are not familiar, elance.com is a freelance website that brings together buyers and sellers. (that's the short of it). I've used this site before for small projects in the past (5-6 projects) and had a wonderful experience with the professionals.

    I recently posted a project for a little project of mine that I really wanted to do but didn't have time to develop myself (a website). I listed that price is a consideration since I dont want to spend too much but that experience on the site and feedback greatly matters.

    I got many bids in the $500 range and a couple for $300 and one for $180. That should've been my first warning I reviewed the profile of the $180 bidder and they had completed numerous projects through the site. Had an average of a 4.8/5.0 rating and really good feedback praising their work. I clarified some of the project details with them on the Private Message Board and they assured me that I will have a good experience and they can do EVERYTHING I asked for within the bid price. I then selected them and made the $90 deposit payment. 3 days later, today, I get this message:
    --------------------------------------------

    hi,
    we are finalising the updates. actually there were weekends so we could not do any work.we are giving you the updates ASAP. donot worry after the first updates, you will realize that how fast the rest of the updates will come leading to completion.

    there is however, some problem which is that we have realized that the project cost is tooo less we will not be able to cover our cost. you can imagine that with the bids you have recieved in your project they are all above $ 500. We, however, can do the project at a price of $330 still quite less but so that we can cover our cost, it does not include any profit as it is our mistake that we bid with too low amount....please let me know so that i can continue with the work. Also you donot need to pay anything more right now and the remaining bid amount (330-90) you will have to pay once the project is complete.

    ...........work in progress...........

    waiting for your reply
    best regards
    ------------------------------------------------
    I find this totally unacceptable. They had ALL the details beforehand and assured me it will be within the bid price. I sent a message back saying:

    Hi *****

    I'm sorry. That is unacceptable. I am not going to pay any more than the agreed amount. I explained all the details regarding the project VERY clearly BEFOREHAND. Please do not work on it, and refund my $90 advance payment. I do not wish to continue any further. I realize the other bids were higher but I do not believe in changing the terms of the project after the advance payment has been received and the terms agreed to. Save both of us some time and please refund me so that I can work on this project myself. I will leave good feedback and say that I had changed my mind on the project.

    Thank you,
    Haider
    ----------------------------------------------
    I have sent an email to elance regarding this matter and asked them what I should do if they do not refund my money. They have some sort of "Squaretrade dispute resolution" thing they tell you to use in situations like this.

    Has any1 had a similar experience on elance.com? I could use the advice!

    I guess if it doesn't work out through elance, I do have the option to dispute the charge through my credit card company since i used my cc to pay for it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1,544
    Do you know if it's just one guy? If so, then his exuse doesn't make sense...as there aren't usually and hard costs involved with making a script. If he has a staff etc, then he should've talked to his employees first and found out how long it would take.

    As you said, you provided full discolsure. I'm sure they will sort it out.

  3. #3
    I'm not sure but I think it's more than 1 person. I hope they help me sort it out.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    4,028
    Putting all excuses and such aside, you're either going to get the website for $180 like they stated or you'll get your money back. I've used elance a couple of times and from what I know, their resolution process is quite fair. Seeing as you provided all details up front, this would definately make you in the right.

    I'd bet my left hand (useless anyways) that this company likely bids these low amounts and changes price for more then yourself. As you know, bidding the lowest generally results in getting the job

    On a side note. Not sure what your project was for, but if you ever just have programming needs, visit scriptlance.com (I'm not affiliated in any way). Although the website doesn't have that professional impact that elance does, I found my programmer on their and I use him daily. Some talented people lurking over there!

  5. #5
    Jeff,

    Thanks for the response and the suggestion! I have heard of that site but have not yet visited it. And yes, I do suspect that this is their regular tactic to bid low on something, secure it, get the deposit and then raise the price. I don't even want to continue and work with someone like this, I just want my money back. I dont know how they managed to get such great feedback on their profile!

    --Haider

  6. #6
    Well it looks like he might actually be professional in this matter. I just got a response from him saying that he will "talk to the team again to see if it can be done at the original bid price, or ask elance to refund the money to me".

    I responded and said I would rather just discontinue the project and be refunded. I would really have no excuse if I went forward and then had problems again...better to take my money and run at this point!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Montreal, Canada
    Posts
    5,282
    Originally posted by Mekhu
    I'd bet my left hand (useless anyways) that this company likely bids these low amounts and changes price for more then yourself. As you know, bidding the lowest generally results in getting the job

    On a side note. Not sure what your project was for, but if you ever just have programming needs, visit scriptlance.com (I'm not affiliated in any way). Although the website doesn't have that professional impact that elance does, I found my programmer on their and I use him daily. Some talented people lurking over there!
    I agree 100% on both points with you, sir.

    I also have the feeling this is their regular practice with most users that end up paying them a little more, but still lower of what the next bid is worth. Common cheating system.

    And your second point is also a good one. I also use scriptlance.com for most of my projects and if you don't choose the lowest bids, but fair bids, you get to work with very nice people who do the job just fine. However, at the same time it is filled with no-good kiddie designers and programmers who bid $1 at everything and make it hard to even filter the bids. I guess you get what you pay for.

    Best,
    Hosting Discussion - web hosting community for grown-ups.

    Is your company represented?

  8. #8
    I've also used scriptlance before and have found great and professional designers and programmers. You should go try it out

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    houston
    Posts
    98
    I think it is best that you decided not to give them your business at all.
    Politics and debate for serious people.
    www.seriousdiscussion.com

  10. #10
    Ya I've spent over $20 grand on elance. Some providers are great, some simply suck. Most are from India (I think the people who run elance are in India). From my experience, most providers from India I've worked with like to pull bs "tricks" like that on you because they think "hey, they are American, it's just a few bucks and they won't care". In India the diff between what they bid and what they changed their price to is like the diff between a corolla and a lambourghini (okay maybe I'm exaggerating a bit). I hope you get the point. They will always do things like:

    - delay delivery
    - ask for money up front no matter how many times you tell them no
    - ask for bonuses
    - ask for money up front again
    - deliver partial projects that they think are "good enough"
    - I can list a thousand more things like this

    I've stopped using elance ever since I found a good provider. You do not know what a good provider is if you ONLY use elance. It's like living in a closet your whole life, you don't know what else there is out there.

  11. #11
    yeah, elance is certainly not the ONLY place I use.

    But I disagree that *most* Indian providers are like this. I know quite a few people who have used elance and had positive experiences.

    I myself have used it 5-6 times before and it was a very good experience.

    I just went back and looked at the feedback of the provider in question, and 2-3 new reviews were added that weren't there when I made the decision to hire him , and they were all negative reviews hehe. If I had waited just a bit longer and these people's reviews had been visible I would not have selected this provider.

    I've worked with one group of Indian providers for the last 4 projects and they have the best customer service I have ever seen. I guess in a freelance marketplace you always run these risks...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    1,435
    Originally posted by derek1622
    (I think the people who run elance are in India).
    Actually that is incorrect. They are located in Sunnyvale, California, as I have visited their offices before.

    Regards,
    Mark

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Adelaide, Australia
    Posts
    405
    Originally posted by Artashes
    I agree 100% on both points with you, sir.
    hehe - I have a policy of not doing business with anyone who refers to me as 'sir' and spells more than 5 words per sentence wrong. Always trouble... :p

    The descision really is on your part though. Taking the lowest bid (in general) is a VERY bad idea. Pay peanuts, get monkeys is the term I beleive. I know people who choose the higest bidder because they know they'll get a quality product. Then again, a lot of people will will chose a bid around the mid-range.

    Hate to say it, but you shouldn't have been too surprised that you had trouble with the cheapest bid...

  14. #14
    Right, but as I mentioned there were other reasons that led me to believe this wouldn't be the typical "cheapest bid sucks" case - Good, strong portfolio, good rating, very good client feedback through elance.com

    Had they had no portfolio, no feedback/bad feedback, no rating/bad rating, I would have selected a higher bidder with better credentials

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