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ATTENTION - BEWARE OF eLance.com SCAM !
We are small IT consulting company located in Warsaw, Poland. Since
May 2001 we have had an account at eLance.com named
"SkalczynskiNagrodzki" (Account #: EL5923000346755). We have been using
this site for several monthsand finally would like to withdraw money from
our account ($1161,00).
But suddenly some technical problems appeared (input field for bank
account number was simply too short to type in our bank account #). To
resolve them, we have sent around 15 (!!!) e-mails to eLance customer
service. Usually, we did not get ANY response! The only responses came,
when we made phone calls (twice) from Poland to eLance office (and phone
calls from Poland to USA cost a lot, believe me!). Each time eLance
representative was surprised with our case, and each time help was
promised. And each time ... nothing was done! Now it starts the third
month (!) of our battle with eLance.com to withdraw our money. The
amount is not big, but we have earned this money and would like to use
it! What should we do? Does anybody know, where to go with such case?
Are there any organisations/companies which resolve such scam issues?
We would also like to warn You before subscribing to eLance.com. They
will promptly take Your money (subscription, transaction fee), but later
You will have horrible problems to get from them what You have earned.
Unless you have an immense amount of patience and very little respect for
your skills, don't do it. Don't even go near that place. I joined in
February of 2000, back when it had some semblance of a decent opportunity,
but since then, it's gone nowhere but South.
Many projects are either posted by kids or morons, and many are abandoned
after being posted. ELance sits very heavily on the buyers' side of the
deal, in all aspects of the Site, and the sellers are left to finance the
business and catch the brunt of the stupidity that takes place on there. Add
that to the hundreds of talentless hacks that think they're designers, the
buyers who actually BELIEVE them, and assholes who steal work from other
designers and post it as their own... you get the picture.
If you do decide to fork over your cash, expect to charge only a few hundred
dollars, AT MOST, for your logo and website designs, if you expect to see
any return on your investment. Plus, in the eLance TOS, they claim you MUST
reroute any additional projects from the clients you acquire through eLance
for an entire year, thus grazing their 7% commission off any projects you
get from an eLance client, which is silly at best, and illegal, at worst.
They claim that they have the highest number of projects coming through
their system, but when 80% of the damn things never close with anyone
chosen, you have to wonder if those projects are posted just to make it look
busy. They don't require much of anything from the buyer, so just about
anyone can go on there and post a project for anything, with no obligation
to ever follow up. Their customer service blows worse than anything I've
ever seen, and they'd rather pour their efforts into more worthless programs
than fix the ones they've already got to get them working better (sounds
like the government, huh?) On that note, they're very "big brother-like"
when it comes to managing your business. They're brutal about contact
information, and they claim they have the right to two full years of your
financial records after you work on a project through their site, where they
can come in and collect their commission if they think you've cheated the
system. Sounds fun, huh?
What you will find is loads of college kids offering their services for a
'cup of tea' - I get the felling that most of the clients posting in Elance
know that they call the tune and it literally becomes an auction. I had won
a bid on 2 occasions and both times other designers had got at the client
and offered less. That was 2 years ago - never been near the place again.
Save ya dosh
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