I am putting up a copy of an experience I have just had with a company, and I am very very unpleased. Be aware and keep the eyelids open, I thought I was doing the right thing by taking someone that had more of a commercial and historical presence over others. Sometimes gloss is not all that good.
I would like to share my hell of an experience with these guys with you. As a first time buyer to Odesk I am greatly disappointed in this, it is not Odesk's fault, however having providers like this reflects very badly on them.
At the end of April we posted a job, looking for a developer. We choose one of the w3syntactic staff based on looking at their history, and seemed quite reputable. Ramandeep made the application for the job, we exchanged and email and I was contacted on Skype shortly after. We had a great conversation and I was very confident with them. May 2nd he informs me he will start work on the project, I went through and did the whole Credit Card approval thing here on Odesk, then quickly as promised paid the initial 30%. Now the job wasn't huge, all we are after is a bridge between a piece of Forum software and a Gallery.
A week or so goes by and nothing is produced, promises made etc. Then he disappears for a week, so I send an email and wait. The reply I receive is that he was away due to a family member having an illness etc etc. My response was simply "family first, look after them. If you are unable to complete the work let me know, I will find someone else to do this instead, no hard feelings and we can work again together in the future." I shared with him that I too many years ago due to illness had forfeited quite a lot of work, sometimes you get so deep that you can't get out, you need someone to lift the load off you. However he ensures me he can still do the work and wants too. We hear nothing for another week. Then all of a sudden out of nowhere I get another email from an employee at w3syntactic called Satwinder simply stating he wants my vBulletin customer login and password and he is a colleague of Ramandeep and will complete the work. This was on May 12th and 13th, and I was quite shocked. The development server details he had just been thrown access to by Ramandeep, and now he is asking me for further login details. I put a halt on there until I could be confident he was an actual employee of w3syntactic, and not someone who had just gained access and was now scooping passwords. I arrived home on the 20th and sent an email with the vBulletin details etc that morning.
It is now the 28th of May and we have not heard back. I have asked for a full refund of the initial payment, and will continue to push for this. While that is happening, to save time I will start to work with another provider to get this rolling.
I am extremely disappointed with their service, or actually their lack of service. To provide a service, and be judged on it you actually need to provide something, they have taken the money and not provided a single thing. I checked the dev server login details, and not once have they logged in. I am sure there is a plethora of honest providers out there, however this group of people is extremely unprofessional. I have a copy of all emails, correspondance and skype conversations and will put a full, accurate and descriptive timeline together.