vWorker - Bidding, Client Interaction and Project Award Policies and Mechanisms
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Expert Guarantee System
This feature, unique to vWorker, is sufficiently interesting to warrant its own discussion. The expert guarantee is a system that allows clients to more effectively separate the wheat from the chaff on important projects, by challenging contractors to actually risk their own money to guarantee that they’ll fulfill their proposal promises. By making the guarantee, contractors are literally putting their money where their mouths are!
If a client wants to use the feature, he or she specifies a percentage of the project value to be guaranteed, and a deadline by which the work must be completed. Once specified, all bids on the project must include a commitment from the contractor to meet the guarantee, putting up at least the percentage specified. For example, suppose a client lists a project with a 20% expert guarantee requirement and a deadline of 14 days. If a contractor submitted a bid on this project for $1,000, he or she would be required to put up at least $200 in advance as an expert guarantee that the work would be completed within 14 days.
Contractors can also offer to make an expert guarantee even if the client doesn’t request it. This, again, shows their confidence in their ability to estimate the project and complete the work on time.
Assuming the project is completed properly and by the stated deadline, the expert guarantee is refunded to the contractor when payment for the project is made. If the contractor fails to meet his/her end of the bargain, then the expert guarantee that was put up is forfeited when the client’s escrowed money is refunded. If there’s a disagreement about whether or not the guarantee was met, this is resolved using the dispute process. vWorker demonstrates its integrity via a policy that all forfeited expert guarantees are donated to charity: if the site kept such funds, it would represent a clear conflict of interest (since vWorker itself conducts arbitrations that determine whether or not a guarantee is forfeited).
The advantages of the expert guarantee to clients are obvious: making this request will lead immediately to a severe reduction in junk bids from unserious freelancers. But there’s also a big benefit here for contractors as well: qualified people and companies can greatly increase their chances of getting work by making this guarantee. Of course, as vWorker itself warns, making a commitment like this should not be done lightly, or there’s a real chance of losing your money!
This discussion only covers the basics of the expert guarantee. vWorker has an extensive set of rules that explain how the guarantee works, how special circumstances are handled, and so forth. All of this is spelled out in detail in the site’s terms of service.
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Last Site Update: May 18, 2011
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