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PeoplePerHour uses an asymmetrical feedback system: clients provide numeric ratings and text comments to contractors, but contractors can only leave text comments for clients.
Contractors are rated from 1 to 5 stars in four metrics: Work Quality, Expertise/Skill, Timeliness and Communication. These are averaged to get a score for the project, and the scores for all projects are averaged, weighted by project value, to come up with an overall ranking for the contractor. These rankings are shown in profiles and bids.
Contractors and clients can both respond to feedback that is left for them. Reply comments appear next to the feedback for which they were entered.
PeoplePerHour is somewhat unusual in its policy of allowing contractors to request the removal of feedback that they consider onerous. However, the company makes clear that it will agree to remove feedback only in rare cases.
As always, the typical issues with numeric feedback systems apply here. I have also noticed upon examination of many client profiles that few contractors seem to leave feedback for clients, which makes it difficult for contractors to identify and avoid problematic ones.
PeoplePerHour provides support by email or by phone. The phone support is a nice touch which many sites don’t provide, though since this is a British company, support hours are based on UK time: 9 am to 6:30 am Monday through Friday. Email support is via a web mail form, which you can access by hovering your mouse over the word “Support” at the top right corner of any page, and then selecting “Contact”. PPH promises a response within one business day, but I have not yet had an opportunity to test this personally.
Unfortunately I cannot really comment on this area due to a lack of experience. I can say that I have not heard of any complaints about the company and how it runs its business.
PeoplePerHour provides some interesting data about its freelancer community on its PPH Economy page. Most notable is the statistic on bids awarded by country, which says that 70% of projects are awarded to providers in the United Kingdom, 12.5% to contractors in India, and the remaining percentage are split among a variety of other countries. PPH is of course based in the UK, but despite that I am surprised to see such a large percentage of project awards to British providers—this is certainly atypical of freelancing/outsourcing marketplaces. As the site grows, my guess is that this will change over time, with more contractors joining the site from outsourcing hotspots, especially India, Pakistan and the Philippines. I would also expect to see the current award rate of 1.5% in the US to increase.
PeoplePerHour doesn’t provide statistics of the number of freelancers in each of its work categories, but I was able to dig up some data by using the freelancer search function. It shows approximately 25% of contractors working in the IT category, a little less than that in graphic design, and roughly 20% in each of writing and administrative/secretarial. The design and admin sections seem to be particularly overrepresented relative to the number of jobs, resulting in particularly fierce bidding competition. I’ve also heard complaints from writers about too many bidders for too few projects on this site.
PeoplePerHour does not appear to have a peer-to-peer forum.
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Last Site Update: December 13, 2011
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