Elance - Feedback System
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Project Feedback Process
Clients and contractors normally leave feedback upon the completion of a project, but it actually can be done as soon as a payment is made, including a milestone payment. Feedback is allowed for up to 60 days after the final milestone date on the project. The completion date can be adjusted if the project is delayed, but if it is not, this represents a hard limit on how long feedback is allowed—as we’ll see shortly, this can be a problem if a project goes south.
Contractors are only allowed to leave text comments for clients, as I mentioned earlier, and only a small percentage do that. Most of the system is designed to cater to clients rating contractors. Clients are allowed to leave a free-form text comment, and are also asked to indicate how likely they are to recommend the provider to others, and answer specific satisfaction questions.
The recommendation question asks the client if they would recommend the contractor to a friend or colleague, and provides a slider that allows selection of a number from 1 to 10. A rating of 7 or higher is considered a “recommend” answer; the percentage of these ratings received by providers is used in their level calculations.
The client is then asked to rate the provider in the following six areas, each from 1 (“Not Satisfied”) to 5 (“Very Satisfied”). These scores are combined using a weighted average to come up with an overall 1 to 5 rating for the project. The six categories and their weightings are:
Contractors have the option of responding (text only) to feedback received. This is displayed below the client’s feedback and ratings in the contractor’s feedback profile. There is no way for a contractor to hide feedback or to appeal a feedback score, unless they can convince Elance that the client somehow violated the company’s terms of service.
Feedback can also be left for private or invite-only projects. In this case, the client can also choose to hide the name and description of the project from public view.
Neither clients nor contractors can change submitted feedback. Elance will only make exceptions to this policy in rare cases.
Every provider’s profile includes a listing of their past feedback received. For each project, the 1 to 5 rating in each of the six subcategories above is shown, along with the client’s text comments for the project. Responses by the provider are also listed.
An overall provider rating for each contractor, from 1 to 5, is calculated based on the individual scores of the projects completed. It is not clear to me whether this is a straight average of the ratings for each project, or a weighted average by project dollar value.
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