oDesk - Dispute Resolution and Arbitration
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oDesk’s payment policies flatly proscribe dispute resolution for a range of transactions, and make it largely irrelevant in some others. As a result, there’s remarkably little to discuss on this subject: the only dispute resolution mechanism at oDesk involves conflicts over paid hours on hourly projects.
oDesk provides no dispute resolution, mediation or arbitration services at all for fixed rate projects. Simply put: if you agree to work on a fixed rate project and you run into a problem with a client, you have to try to work out the problem on your own. And if that “problem” is that you did the work demanded and the client now refuses to pay, well, too bad. The same applies to clients who make advance payments to contractors who disappear or do a bad job.
The lack of dispute resolution services for fixed rate work follows directly from oDesk’s general poor support for these projects, including the lack of an escrow service. I consider it unconscionable that oDesk is willing to collect millions of dollars in fees per year from flat rate projects, while providing no safeguards or assistance related to them whatsoever. Since I already went into substantial detail about my objections when I covered escrow, I’ll spare you a repetitive rant here.
The only tiny bit of protection for fixed rate projects is related to chargebacks, as discussed at the end of this topic.
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