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Discussion : Internet Fraud by Freelance Websites

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1-15 > 16-30 > 31-45 > 46-60 > 61-75 > 76-90 > 91-105 > 106-120> 121-135 > 136-150 > Total 140 comments

2006-08-02 18:02:37 - Sergey

> I provided a $1K deposit, and placed $2K in escrow,
> to a developer by the name of CodeRover
> on Getafreelancer for a web-based app.

Escrow service doesn't works without arbitrage service. Your "So in closing:" is actual for GetAFreelnacer, because GAF lack of arbitrage service.
When arbitrage service exists - buyer can ask about arbitrage and get all your money back. If coder at fault - he will receive appropriate rating (like "horrible"). Coder can ask about arbitrage too.
For example:
(Arbitration/mediation result):
CoderNameHere (the seller) agreed in their Seller Contract to upload all deliverables to the site by the deadline or they would forfeit the project. CoderNameHere did not do so. All funds in escrow were returned to BuyerNameHere (the buyer).

You describe how coder can cheat buyer at GAF.
I can describe how buyer can cheat coder at GAF. Even when all money escrowed:
1. Say, I am GAF buyer.
2. I employ a GAF coder. I put money to escrow.
3. Coder complete my task. And send me whole source code.
4. Buyer doesn’t complete escrow transaction, but send to coder "Last thing I forgot to ask you".
5. Each time coder complete "last thing", buyer will send new "last thing I forgot to ask you".

In result:
GAF buyer has full source code. GAF coder can't touch money, but ordered to work for free.
What coder can do without arbitrage service ?

Btw, this is link to CodeRover's profile

2006-07-31 20:19:31 -
Bellingham Wa Real Estate,
Internet Online Advertising,
Airt Bed Online,

2006-07-29 07:59:37 -
Round Baby Crib,
Vertical Air Conditioner,
Air Bed Gbuy,
Baby Up For Adoption,
Cheap Hearing Aids,

2006-07-28 20:56:07 -
You completely missed to mark when you mentioned I've been working there for many years and it's completely fair. You either don't know what your talking about, or your bunching them all together based on a few bad apples.

2006-07-27 16:48:16 -
Banker Floricda Mortgage,
Banker Calicornia Mortgage,
Banker California Mogtgage,
Association Banker Tflorida Mortgage,
Association Banker Florida Mordtgage,

2006-07-24 11:49:43 - Natalie
I agree the point of not issuing a deposit to developers, and I have to say that in the case of Getafreelancer, they are biased toward the developer, not the buyer.

I provided a $1K deposit, and placed $2K in escrow, to a developer by the name of CodeRover on Getafreelancer for a web-based app. The developer completely misrepresented his skills and was unable to deliver what our specs required. I had lost my deposit, which was OK with me because I knew that was a possibility, but here are the things that did shock me:

1) Buyers cannot cancel escrow - if you're scammed, it's up to the developer to "release" the escrow back to you, they can keep it even if they don't deliver.

2) GAF will not automatically reverse the escrow, they will try to mediate it so that the coder releases the escrow but will not get your money back UNLESS the coder just disappears and doesn't respond. If the coder contests, good luck getting your money back unless they're good and ready to let it go.

3) In my case, GAF negotiated my escrow back but in order to do so, the coder asked that GAF cancel the project as if it never existed. Why? So that I couldn't leave feedback warning future users of my experience with this developer. If the project never existed, you can't go in and rate the coder.

And what did do? They canceled the project, so other buyers potentially continue to purchase services from this coder and maybe lose their money as well.

In fairness I'd like to state that #1, the developer insisted until the last second that despite the poor quality code he provided, he was highly capable and wanted to continue the project. This is why I couldn't get the escrow back. If he "SAYS" he can do it, then I must just be trying to cancel the project for no reason. I must have *wanted* to give him $1,000 and lose six weeks of productivity.

To represent all sides, it is GAF's position that they canceled the project "for me" because it was a faster way to reach a compromise and get the coder to release the escrow.

What I guess I do not understand about this is, why does the coder have so much power. The escrow, I thought, protected both the buyer and the coder. But this is not the case. As a buyer, the burden of proof is on you. You have to PROVE this programmer is incapable, or the programmer has to fall off the face of the earth, for you to get your escrow back.

So in closing:

1) Ratings/feedback scores aren't always what they seem.
2) Escrows do not protect buyers, only coders.
3) Do NOT issue deposits unless you are prepared to lose the money.
4) The coder is protected by not having to release the code until you have paid, that's a fair enough trade. Do not escrow - pay AFTER you have seen the code.

2006-07-07 11:21:06 - Sergey
john alen,

"Someone was working on a project, to help him feel more safer, I pay him some money to start."

Coder is enough protected by escrow system. If coder asks about prepayment I suggest to choose another coder.

"there are many other good freelancer websites out there."

These websites lack of arbitration and escrow systems. For example I can show typical response from GetAFreelancer:
"According to our terms of service we do not arbitrate, but can give recommendations.
If there's a dispute it should be solved between buyer and provider."

2006-07-07 11:06:20 - Sergey

Please, show an example of "totally unfair" arbitration. I hesitate - you can't show one.

2006-06-17 11:48:36 -
They do not take 40% fees, but the true number is 15%.

However, I have to agree that their arbitration is totally unfair and biased towards the buyers, of which most are from the US.

2006-06-17 09:24:26 -
I have been a buyer on RAC for more than 3 years. I have been thru a few of these dispute which I had won, simply because the coder didn't deliver what was promised. Period.

The basis of RAC is upkeeping of what is promised by the coders in return of what is expected by the buyers. If somehow this is not met, then the buyer has every right not to release payment.

My advise to coders is to always ask specifically what is required, and not assumed.

As for this case of marketing research report, it is in my opinion the fault of the 'coder' for not firstly stating up front how the research will be conducted.

All research has processes and methods which are documented, so that the results can be verified.

Dear Amir, if you lost money. I think you deserve it. Stop whining and putting your country men to shame.

2006-06-16 17:24:31 -
Greetings All,

Rentacoder is a rip-off. I have used it a couple of times and lost alot of money and recieved ABOLUSTLY nothing.

Someone was working on a project, to help him feel more safer, I pay him some money to start.

No after a while he decides to stop, rentacoder won't give me the money I gave him (I understand if they can't, but they could easily shut her off tell she pays up), but no I lose the money. I was going to make a chargeback to rentacoder but decided hay, maybe I might use the account some time later.

there are many other good freelancer websites out there.


2006-06-16 15:21:25 - Eric
I've used RentACoder for years and had nothing but positive experiences, even in the single arbitration I had for missing a deadline.

2006-06-16 15:17:03 -
I think it is very irresponsible for your website,, for publishing vague, non-specific, generalized allegations against any individual or organization without properly investigting. It is bad journalism.

RentACoder's arbiration process is as fair as it could be. Coders very commonly loose arbitration for various reasons including not completing job at all, not meeting established deadlines decided in writing ahead of time, providing code that "does not do exactly what the buyer had specified", providing third party non-licensed and non-royalty free ActiveX and other controls in place of their own work, etc, etc WITH ADDITIONAL COST of licesing, royalty and lack of code for those controls. Many of them take projects that they do not even understand and waste buyers time and resources by back and forth communication and code testing using buyer as a guinea pig of their own experiments which can be so off the track. This has happened to me personally tyring to get USB communications project done!

RentACoder on ther other hand would actually benefit by siding with the coder than with the buyer because it would be very quick for them to make money. Buyer would be obliged to pay and RentACoder would get to keep their commision as well as it would enormously reduced thier "COST OF ARBITRATION". It costs RentACoder "RESOURCES" to get all the jobs posted, allow intercommuncation and then ARBITRATE and after all that COLLECT NOTHING! I feel sorry for them as well as the buyer whose time and resources was wasted and now his/her project is further delayed. That is COSTLY in itself.

2006-06-16 14:56:24 - Someone
I am both a coder(rank < 2000) and a buyer at rentacoder. i found the arbiteration quite fair.

Long live RAC

2006-06-16 14:43:06 -
This is simply not true in my case. I had a coder who submitted unoriginal works. In the project description I clearly stated I needed original works for SEO purposes, the coder even replied that he understood what I was asking for. The coder was days late in delivering the articles, then when he finally did he basically copied stuff from the web. RAC was investigated the matter fully getting descriptions from both me and the coder, until the coder admitted to the unoriginal works (how could they lie, I could provide proof thanks to Google).

In most cases things never need to go to arbitration and everything works out great. When they do RAC investigates the matter fully. It appears articles like the one above are written by coders who probably are not very honest in the first place.

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Total 140 comments
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