Review of nightmare with Elance provider (WebHouse)

I’ve used eLance for various outsourcing projects for a number of years.
(Great for small tasks, and an extra pair of hands until the 25th hour in a day is discovered!)

Sure, I’ve had my fair share of problems, however, all have been amicably resolved, talking with eLance and the contractor.

(Md. Zakir Hossain Dakua)

Recently, I had a small requirement for a WordPress theme to be slightly customised.
Unfortunately, I was heading off on holiday, so needed to outsource it, to meet my clients timescale.

I posted the job up on eLance, and had the usual 30 or so bids.

One of those, was from WebHouse (Zak D.), from Shabujbag, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Real name – Md. Zakir Hossain Dakua.
Just in case you’ve had contact from him directly, his email address is:

I’m usually pretty good at spotting the “bulls*t” in the initial communication (typically, they’ll just say “yes” to everything")

The fixed price work was completed, and he immediately began pressuring me to release the escrow.
He also changed the job to “complete” which meant escrow would auto-release.

Due to my holiday, I didn’t have chance to review the code, was just able to check the basic functionality.

Later, when more data had been added, it was apparent there was a problem with his code.
I asked to get him to fix his own bugs, and here is where the problems started.

A contractor can create a job on your behalf!

On eLance a contractor can create a paid hourly job on your behalf, without you authorising it!
This is what happened. I asked him repeatedly to tell me how long in hours, it would take (and therefore how much) Obviously I got no reply.

WebHouse offered no reply, until he submitted a time-sheet for over 7 hours (at $20/hour) to fix these bugs.

I rejected this, however, but, was on vacation when the “review period” deadline was.

I had emailed eLance to state that I do not authorise them to charge my card.
Heck, I even cancelled my credit card before I went!

However, eLance ignored all of this, and charged my card anyway (damn pre-authorisation must of kicked in!)

Since then, I’ve had nothing but bad news from eLance support who refuse to help.

But why should they? They get their 10% commission from the $150 odd I have been scammed by.
They claim that their “WorkView” process is bullet proof, and that I could review the screenshots… etc…
This is all true, but the work he was doing, was to fix bugs he had created, on work that had already been paid for!

WebHouse has been very unhelpful, right from the start of my dispute.
Stating that the work was done, it was quality work etc…
He even started getting rude, calling me “mad” for doubting the quality of his work (all in hard to decipher, broken English)

I’m using this blog post to drive home how poor his work really was!

I just hope a prospective client stumbles across this post, and choses to decline his bid, before being let down in a similar way to me!


Elance finally agreed (after many emails) that there was a problem with the way WebHouse worked.
Although, unfortunately, they wouldn’t take the money back off him, they did credit me with $75.

So, moral of the story, I guess:
Don’t use eLance WorkView, or eLance at all for that matter!
I’ve since moved to oDesk. Far more reliable.

4 responses to “Review of nightmare with Elance provider (WebHouse)”

  1. Jane avatar

    Thank you for this post!
    This provider applied for my wordpress development job on eLance
    I’ve now declined his bid!

    Thanks for saving me! 🙂

  2. Charlie B avatar

    Same story here. I hired a contractor to do some lead generation at $5/hour. They hadn’t produced much of anything after 20 hours of work, so I cancelled the job, paid them for the work done, and looked for others to help instead.

    Lo and behold, a few months later the contractor came back and created a job on my behalf… at $50/hour and authorized for 30 hours/week, then went ahead and immediately submitted time sheets, for a nice chunk of change of several thousand dollars. Elance was all set to auto-approve, but I was able to go in and dispute it before it was paid. I am now going through that process now.

    This lack of control is a serious problem.

  3. Thomas avatar

    It should’ve been a different way if we tried outsourcing jobs through other freelancing sites. I have encountered that situation too before but it ended when I started contracting workers from Check their list of jobs through this site and hire your best bet from them.

  4. Martyn Hughes avatar

    I am in the process of disputing work with an Elance contractor..

    This guy was logging hours, 25 – 30 became 55+ and when I disputed the hours and asked for a 3rd party to assess the work, the work dissappeared.. although he blamed me for that.

    I was STILL getting emails for hours logged, AFTER the contractor told me he was actually away from the office.. he then retracted that (all was in writing) saying he was there but not working on my project, and yet Elance’s “bullet proof” as someone else put it, workview system, was still logging hours and trying to charge me…

    How many other people would not have realised they were being deliberately overcharged and having hours logged that were not valid work on their projects.. this is fraud, out and out fraud…

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