oDesk - Ethical Policies, Fairness and Integrity
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Fairness and Integrity
The same apparent paradox that I pointed out in my discussion of oDesk’s customer service applies to this subject as well. The company is really lacking in terms of policies, procedures and features to ensure that oDesk is suitable for real freelance work, yet it is actually very good about how it interacts with contractors on the site.
So, while I think that while oDesk’s setup often leads to problems for those who use the site, I don’t perceive any lack of integrity in oDesk’s dealings with contractors. I believe the company tries to be fair in its dealings, and it is really problems with its business model—such as poor standards for contractor signups, and the emphasis on low-rate hourly work—that cause difficulties for users, not oDesk’s management or employees.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the most significant action oDesk could take to show that it is serious about taking care of its customers would be to implement an escrow system. Its non-existence isn’t something that demonstrates that oDesk favors clients over contractors or vice-versa—rather, its absence is really unfair to both. If every other site can support escrow, I see no reason why one of the industry leaders in terms of size and revenue cannot.
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