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  1. #1

    Any plan on protecting WHT members from contest scam?

    Greetings!

    I think the title speaks for itself. It would be nice if the admin or mods find a way to protect the members from scams that arise out of design contests in general. Is there anyway for you to guarantee if a contest is "valid"?

    I understand that this request may already be too much considering that this is "web hosting talk." But, let's face it design preceeds hosting. You need a website designed (plus logo, banners, etc) before you even host one.

    This is a special request that I had been requesting eversince but to no avail. I believe it is high time that we have something like a validated design contest where the contest starter has been verified and has deposited the prize for the contest and the mods have certified that a contest winner will be chosen at the appointed deadline.

    Thank you very much for reading and considering this seriously. I am airing the sentiments of some if not all design artists here.

    Take care everyone.

    I help entrepreneurs develop online branding. I value my clients and build relationships. I am a friend.
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  2. #2
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    IMO, good idea, but this would tie up too much of the mod's time, with activities that are not directly related to the moderation of WHT.

    Basically you seem to be looking for the mods to not only validate a contest, but also manage it, til the end of the contest. That's more like a brokerage service, than forum moderation, imo.

  3. #3
    I certainly agree with you Bob. How about this? :

    1. A certain person (trusted mods or anyone) secures payment/prize for the contest.

    2. Contest holder sets the deadline and outlines clearly the requirements.

    3. At the deadline, contest holder announces the winner citing the winning design.

    4. If the contest holder failed to announce the winner within 5 days after the contest deadline, the person who holds the contest prize awards it to the design artist whom a majority of the participants agree to be the winner. Contest holder porfeits his/her right to choose the winner by reason of default.

    5. Contest winner pays for a fixed processing fee (say $5 to $10) to the admin/mod or any person who acts as an escrow.

    6. Contest winner delivers the winning design (source file, etc.) to the contest holder.

    EDIT: 7. The person who has the contest prize remits the payment to contest winner.

    This will surely remove undecided contests and would ensure that a winner is picked and received the well-deserved prize.


    That will be very good if somebody from the respected mods volunteer to take care of the escrow.


    What do you think? What do others think?
    Last edited by Ganah ALLAN; 03-17-2004 at 11:48 AM.
    I help entrepreneurs develop online branding. I value my clients and build relationships. I am a friend.
    Let me assist you with your website design, logo design and other graphics needs.
    Ganah Solutions, a brand creation agency. Solidify your brand. Connect your business.

  4. #4
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    In my opinion it's buyer beware. This would not be much different than asking the mods to verify whether or not hosting offers are legitimate.

    If the contest is being offered by someone unknown to you, don't enter.
    If you do choose to enter, make sure you never send un-watermarked material.

  5. #5
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    I agree with everything consul said.

    These contests (we know which ones) have become a joke lately.
    Contest holders vanishing and designers sitting there with all the time and efforts spent for nothing.

    Unless some kind of deposit/escrow system has been implemented, i don't think i will enter any contests on WHT anymore.

  6. #6
    I personally would never want to be in the middle of a contest or transaction. Just wouldn't be fun. I wonder if an escrow service, like can be used on eBay, would be willing to work with a buyser and seller on a contest? Basically, if you don't trust the seller then don't enter their contest. I used a contest here last month to get our new site design and feel it turned out quite well.
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  7. #7
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    I don't think WHT will get involved in things. It's a major liability issue.

  8. #8
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    Originally posted by JTY
    I don't think WHT will get involved in things. It's a major liability issue.
    Yep, and WHT would then have to charge for such an escrow service.

  9. #9
    A minimum fee for an escrow service provided is justifiable. You can check my point number 5 above.

    Thank you.

    Originally posted by Aussie Bob
    Yep, and WHT would then have to charge for such an escrow service.
    I help entrepreneurs develop online branding. I value my clients and build relationships. I am a friend.
    Let me assist you with your website design, logo design and other graphics needs.
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  10. #10
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    Originally posted by consul
    A minimum fee for an escrow service provided is justifiable. You can check my point number 5 above.
    I guess that's up to INET to see if they want to facilitate a paid escrow service. I don't think it would be worth their time and effort in managing such contests, and let's face it, we're not dealing with big $$ with most of those contests anyway.

  11. #11
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    Well, a system like that could be implemented say only for contests above a certain minimum like at least $200 or whatever.

    And yes, it can be done.

  12. #12
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    I do not think WHT or iNet will agree to acting as an escrow service. I know of only one forum that holds money upfront and moderates the contest. Most forums just have guidelines or required/verified contact information. We could discuss guidelines and requirements for contests.

  13. #13
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    Originally posted by beatz
    Well, a system like that could be implemented say only for contests above a certain minimum like at least $200 or whatever.

    And yes, it can be done.
    An escrow service requires a huge backend to support the process. Not to mention the lawyers you would need to have involved to write the escrow contracts and enforcement of such.
    Then you have to setup the monetary facilities to enable the transactions.

    Just curious why WHT would need to setup a new escrow service when there are plenty out there that you could use now if you wished.

    It is up to the people participating in the contest to make sure it is valid. You always have the choice of whether you want to participate or not. If you are concerned about the legitimacy of the user, ask them to use an escrow service to facilitate the transaction. If the user refuses, do not participate.

  14. #14
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    Contests are a waste of time. I only undertake projects on commission. That's what portfolios are for.

  15. #15
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    Well at least on WHT they seem to be a waste of time.

    Deadbeats all over the place.And don't tell me there would be any *real* decent way to determine if a contest holder is ligitimate.There is no unless WHT holds the contest prize til end of contest and then pays to contest winner.

    Period.

  16. #16
    Thank you for the reply Matt.

    I do agree in some of your points. But, here is what I don't get. If some fora are able to do it out there (examples: designoutpost, designcontest), how come WHT can't do it here?

    Maybe INET should consider this? Is anyone from the management looking at this thread?

    There are talented design artists hanging out here at WHT who can do great designs. Why not INET tap these people to further enhance WHT's features?

    Thank you very much.



    Originally posted by Matt
    An escrow service requires a huge backend to support the process. Not to mention the lawyers you would need to have involved to write the escrow contracts and enforcement of such.
    Then you have to setup the monetary facilities to enable the transactions.

    Just curious why WHT would need to setup a new escrow service when there are plenty out there that you could use now if you wished.

    It is up to the people participating in the contest to make sure it is valid. You always have the choice of whether you want to participate or not. If you are concerned about the legitimacy of the user, ask them to use an escrow service to facilitate the transaction. If the user refuses, do not participate.
    I help entrepreneurs develop online branding. I value my clients and build relationships. I am a friend.
    Let me assist you with your website design, logo design and other graphics needs.
    Ganah Solutions, a brand creation agency. Solidify your brand. Connect your business.

  17. #17
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    I know that "management" keeps a close eye on this forum in particular so I am sure they are aware of it.

    My question I guess would be, even if an escrow type service was in place, would it affect the quality of the contests?

    I personally do not like the contests at all. You should be able to choose a provider based on their portfolio. By utilizing a contest, you are asking people to complete work they may or may not earn $$ for. Add to that the chance that the user will take some of the examples without paying (luckily most participants in these have realized to protect their work before payment).

    For the designers, I just don't see where the contests are beneficial. When I need design work done, I base my choice on the designers portfolio or previous work if I have ordered from them before.

  18. #18
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    Well said Matt.

  19. #19
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    Actually Matt, there is a lot of competition out there so one way of building that portfolio is to enter these contests.

    Usually the contest is held because the person doesn't have the money to go with a professional firm. Usually the people who enter, don't have the portfolio to go professional.

    It can be helpful for both parties if both sides are honest.

  20. #20
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    Originally posted by blue27
    It can be helpful for both parties if both sides are honest.
    That's the problem. All too often one side is not...and it's usually not the designer.

    My comments were just my personal opinion on the matter. I don't like contests, but I also understand that for some...they are beneficial.

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