Report: #403935

Complaint Review: Elance

  • Submitted: Mon, December 22, 2008
  • Updated: Fri, August 31, 2012
  • Reported By: Dallas Texas
  • Elance

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

Elance is a supposed freelancer website.

Elance is nothing but a scam. They post false buyer jobs to improve their numbers. They do not adhere to any of their policies. They allow buyers to post multiple non-awarded jobs which service providers pay to bid on. They LIE and say buyers are automatically stopped from posting jobs if they award less than 20% of those jobs - however anyone can see that there are tons of buyers who've posted 10, 20 and more jobs that are never awarded.

Elance offers an escrow service but this is a scam as well. If you are a buyer who puts money into escrow it will ALWAYS be paid to the service provider NO MATTER WHAT. If you hire someone to setup a website and they upload a chicken soup recipe, Elance WILL release ALL of your Escrow money and say, "we can't be responsible for the quality of work".

Elance does not tolerate dissent. They never answer their phone, rarely return emails and their website is full of bugs. Many service providers and buyers who have complained on their forums have had their accounts banned.

I could write pages on the schenanigons going on over there. I learned my lesson the hard way (after they stole my money).

Elance has to be the worst scam out there.

Hyter g.
Dallas, Texas
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/22/2008 11:56 AM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Consumer Comment

Your List of Allegations Against Elance is just the tip of the iceberg

AUTHOR: Ryheena - (United States of America)

Elance is about a rotten company as they come.  In addition to the above stated problems, I was the victim of their Net-Arb Arbitration scam.  If you have any problems with your workers deliverables or lack there of they tell you that your only recourse is to pay Net-Arb $200 and argue your case to a panel of judges.  The arbitrator that I had work on my case was a complete joke.  I could tell from the get go that he had no intention of listening to the facts and had already made up his mind.  Net-Arb is strongly encouraged by Elance to always land of the side of the worker so that Elance does not have to repay the fees that would have otherwise been returned to the buyer.

The worker I hired completed less than 30% of the requirements that had been laid out quite clearly in the initial documentation he was provided.  Net Arb's decision was to give the worker 100% of the funds and he wanted me to pay his arbitration fee!

Not only that but after posting my experience Elance and Net-Arb are writing complete fabrications in response to try to discredit me.  This is a truly devious company.  I would stay as far away as possible.  I will be reporting them to the Better Business Bureau and post my experience on as many boards as possible.
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#2 Consumer Comment

That's Interesting Ken

AUTHOR: Paul - (Australia)

Hi Ken.  If Elance is so good, how come I hired you earlier this year, via Elance, to write a real estate manual for us.  You agreed to make the manual available by April 11, 2011 so I foolishly paid you $1,500 in advance.  The result; after many stories about a sick daughter, you have produced absolutely nothing and now you're un-contactable.  Not happy Ken.
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#3 REBUTTAL Owner of company

So far so good

AUTHOR: TobinSmith1972 - (United States of America)

My experience has been like Ken and Kristine's so far.  As a provider, I have had decent success the past 18 months with my buyers and made a fair some of money too.

The original post sounds a little like an unfocused rant. If used probably, escrow protects both the buyer and seller.  The key is not to pay your contractor until you review and approve the work, which is how escrow is supposed to work. 
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#4 UPDATE Employee

Elance is Getting a Bad Rap

AUTHOR: Kristine M Smith - (United States of America)

I make my living at Elance and am a Premier Provider there. If you use Escrow it protects both buyer and service provider to a large extent. If a buyer or a provider disappears utterly, Elance will try to track them down. If a buyer disappears, Elance will pay the provider for the work they provided IF Escrow has been funded; they can't if it hasn't been funded so providers are encouraged not to begin work until escrow has been funded.

Of all the freelance writing website out there, I prefer Elance. It's the safest, it provides accounting services, and it has been very good to me.  If you'd like to visit my profile page at Elance, you're welcome to do so: (((ROR redacted)))

It's true that I have been burned a few times, but not by Elance. I have been burned by buyers who disappeared or went bankrupt.. but very, very few. Most are reliable and pay promptly.

Please provide proof that Elance has ever told you they aren't responsible for the quallity of the work. Escrow makes it possible for Elance to intervene if a buyer is dissatisfied or a provider runs into a troublesome buyer; in the first case, the provider either refunds the money or wroks until a satisfactory project is provided; in the second case they have an arbitration councel that looks at the project and makes a determination as to whether the work is adequate.


CLICK here to see why Rip-off Report, as a matter of policy, deleted either a phone number, link or e-mail address from this Report.
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Elance is My Best Friend!

AUTHOR: kdoylesd1 - (USA)

I have used Elance for about a year now and had wonderful results outsourcing various administrative tasks, writing projects, web design work, and illustrations. I had a situation where the provider I worked with did not do what was was mutually agreed upon in our agreement. So when I contacted Elance to be refunded my escrow amount of $200 after following the process, they refunded me...quickly. I am not sure why or how this person had such a bad experience. Even in the event of me getting my money refunded for the project that was un satisfactory, every one I dealt with was extremely polite. Elance always returned every email and phone call. I thought there customer service was great. But I guess everyone has a different experience!
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#6 UPDATE Employee

Elance is not a rip-off

AUTHOR: Wordsoflife - (U.S.A.)

While I can't address every allegation made by this individual, I CAN state that as a service provider on the website I have had nothing but the most positive interactions with the company.

While it is true that there are people who have posted projects or jobs that are not awarded, that is also true of classified ads as well. The difference is, Elance provides project posting stats disclosing the percentage of awarded and paid jobs that anyone posting on Elance has had. Do service providers pay to bid on projects/jobs? Yes. Is this a legitimate company? Absolutely.

I've been a service provider for more than two years and I have been awarded dozens of high-paying projects/jobs and have earned tens of thousands of dollars from these jobs. I would recommend Elance to anyone who has a marketable skill that a buyer could potentially utilize. The key to earning money on Elance -- or anywhere -- is that you have a good track record, that you provide good service, and that you be among the very best at what you do. If you can't market yourself effectively or you have no experience at all in a particular field, it will be more difficult to attract clients -- and it should be. Just ask any recent college graduate that has nothing but a diploma and a willingness to work how difficult it is to land an entry-level job when competing against other candidates with a proven track record of success.

Elance utilizes an escrow service which is designed to provide mutual protection -- for service providers and buyers/employers alike. If a buyer/employer is dissatisfied with the quality of work that a service provider has given, they always have the option to refuse to release escrowed funds to the service provider. In the very rare case of a dispute, Elance offers a FREE mediation and arbitration service. If the arbitrator finds in favor of the service provider, the funds will be released to the provider. If not, they will be refunded to the buyer/employer.

Elance does allow dissent, but if that dissent takes the form of abusive or profanity-laced commentary -- or Elance employees are treated disrespectfully -- Elance can and should take steps to protect their employees by banning anyone who violates these Terms of Service.

I've never had an issue with Elance failing to return a call or responding to an email inquiry. In short, Elance is an excellent resource for service providers and buyers/employers.

While Elance can't guarantee that everyone hoping to earn money will be satisfied with the results they get, they do provide the same opportunity to everyone. What an individual makes of that opportunity is entirely up to them.

In my view, Elance is a hands-down winner.

Ken Speegle
Hamilton, Illinois
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