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Ethical Policies, Fairness and Integrity
(Page 1 of 2)
We all want to be treated fairly.
Some of us more than others, though. :) I am sometimes told that I have
an “overdeveloped sense of justice”, and I’ve been
known to tilt at my fair share of windmills. I really do try to do my
best to be fair and consistent with those I deal with, and I tend to
demand the same of my business partners. I give credit to companies that
have a coherent, consistent set of policies for ensuring fair behavior,
and who then follow up by enforcing these policies in a reliable and
You can learn a lot about what a marketplace
site considers important by the sorts of ethical policies they put in
place. I am not talking here about mundane policies that are designed
to protect the site itself, but rather those designed to protect the
integrity of the process of matching up clients and contractors, which
is every freelancing site’s raison d’etre.
The connection of freelancers and
outsourcers is, in its own way, a game. By that I don’t
mean that people aren’t taking seriously what they are doing, but
rather that it is a competition. Like all competitions, there are
rules that are put into place to ensure that all of the participants
compete in a way that is fair to everyone. Without such rules, certain
clients or contractors can either manipulate the system to give themselves
an unfair advantage, or to exploit their counterparts.
This still probably seems a bit abstract,
so here are a few examples of the sorts of rules I am talking about:
- Rules against circumventing transaction fees by
taking projects “off-site”.
- Minimum bids that dictate the lowest amount of
money for which you can offer to do any project.
- Policies that specify transaction fees for placing
- Special communication rules, such as the requirement
to use the site’s own messaging system.
- Prohibitions against contractors doing work for
free or in exchange for positive reviews.
- Policies that specify under what circumstances
samples may or may not be provided to clients.
- Restrictions against the posting of projects that
involve unethical business behavior (such as intellectual property theft).
- Rules for the proper use of feedback systems to
avoid fraud or abuse.
And much more. Again, every site is
different, and many have a large number of these policies, so I’ll
try to focus on the ones that are particularly important or unique.
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The Online Freelancing Guide (http://www.FreelancingGuide.net)
Last Site Update: October 21, 2011
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