Freelancer.com - Project Quality
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Project Screening and Approval
Like most sites that emphasize quantity over quality, Freelancer.com generally does not screen its projects. The company relies on contractors to report project violations, which Freelancer.com then reviews, taking action as appropriate. Since Freelancer.com has a refundable project listing fee that is withheld in the case of abuse, this is also a small ($5) theoretical disincentive against chaff projects.
As mentioned above, new clients can list trial projects without having to pay the project listing fee. For many years, clients abused this feature routinely, making disposable accounts and flooding the site with the most wretched projects you could possibly imagine. The folks who run Freelancer.com appear to have wised up to this at some point, and now pre-screen trial projects before approving them. This has cut down on some of the obvious chaff (though of course, some of the clients who want to post junk just now do it with non-trial projects).
When you start a new project listing at Freelancer.com, a fairly sophisticated page is displayed that includes pop-up help to guide you through the process of posting your project. However, absolutely no guidance or assistance is given to help in the description of the project itself—there’s just a big empty box. There’s no project template, and no information on what makes a good job description.
There is also no information about what constitutes an “invalid project”, as described above. In fact, the list I showed earlier is not even in the site’s Terms of Service; it is buried deep within a “frequently asked questions” document that is likely read by only a tiny percentage of Freelancer.com users. This, combined with the poor client quality and lack of screening of most projects, leads to a lot of projects of dubious value.
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Last Site Update: February 1, 2012
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