I recently employed a company on eLance by the name of ‘LogoTechs’ to design a logo for a project I am working on.
They claim they are UK based, but I am sceptical.
Initially, I was impressed with their responsiveness. The quality was not on par with their examples, however. True to their word, they offered unlimited revisions.
Anyway, long story short, eventually, we settled on a finished logo. I asked for the source files as we had agreed. Which is where the problems started.
They sent me an AI file, without fonts. ‘Nexa Bold’ was missing – and turned out to be a commercial font.
Refused point blank to supply the font.
We can’t provide you font files as its illegal you will need to get them yourself, we have provided you two files instead of one out of good will the job is complete as we both agreed you would like the final source files and we had given you two, so please don’t threaten us about giving us negative feedback as we are a business and will not risk copyright infringement.
It later transpires, that they outsource (sub-contract) the design work to other freelancers. They obviously use unlicensed pirated fonts, for which ‘LogoTechs’ have no license.
Naturally, once this came to light, I requested a refund, which was met with resistance.
Eventually, after eLance intervened, I received the required refund.
All in all, LogoTechs are very unprofessional – literally just outsource the work to the lowest bidder, and don’t worry about the licensing of the artwork. Never use LogoTechs!
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.
WebHouse (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: [email protected]
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.
New marketplace Fiverr allows you to outsource those small tasks you may have, for a fixed fee of $5 (aprox. £3.30 depending on how the exchange rate is behaving)
Fiverr allows people to list things they would do, for $5. In return, Fiverr takes $1 from the value of the order, leaving the person providing the service with $4. This can be withdrawn from the account, once they have accumulated $40 or more.
As you would imagine, there are plenty of weird and wacky offerings, or “Gigs” as they are called by Fiverr.
However, there are hundreds of potentially really useful things available.
genelors: I will setup a WordPress blog and configure your domain to it for $5
landee: I will be your personal assistant for 1 hour for $5
mzzedithandlucy: I will give you a 1/2 hour Juggling Lesson over Skype for $5
Payment is handled through PayPal, making it nice and easy to use.
When you place an order, you have to pay upfront, and then the order is fulfilled. Just in case, there is a dispute procedure – but it’s unlikely you’ll ever need to use it!
So you can be sure of a timely delivery, there is a handy “number of orders in queue” displayed below the order button.
You can also contact the seller to clarify things before you part with your $5.
I for one, will be outsourcing some of those niggly little tasks to Fiverr. Such tasks as resizing photos, installing WordPess etc… are perfectly suited!