The vast majority of work on Elance is delivered to the complete satisfaction of both the client and the freelancer. On rare occasions, a disagreement can occur between the client and freelancer that may require some assistance to resolve.
Elance Dispute Assistance is available for Fixed Price jobs managed within the Elance platform that have funds still held in Escrow or released from Escrow within the past 30 days.
Either party can file a Dispute within this timeframe. Elance offers three levels of dispute assistance:
Member Resolution – Available on all jobs with payments made through Elance.
Elance Dispute Assistance – Available on all Elance Escrow jobs.
Arbitration – Available on all Elance Escrow jobs.
If your job meets the requirements above and you need dispute assistance, please follow the steps below to resolve your dispute:
To initiate the dispute resolution process, begin by filling out the online Dispute Notice Form found in the Dispute Resolution Center of your Workroom. In the Dispute Notice, clearly document the details of the dispute. If the job is an Escrow job with funds still held in Escrow, please make sure to clarify your request for release or refund of funds held in Escrow. Once the Dispute Notice is submitted, Elance and the other party will be notified.
You may initiate the Dispute Resolution process by following the steps below:
Click on the Home icon from the top navigation bar.
Underneath the job name you wish to cancel, click the Action drop down and select Refund, Cancel or Dispute link.
Click the File a Request button.
Select the option File Dispute and enter all relevant information on the form.
After you've submitted the Dispute Notice, the other party is then allowed 2 business days to review and submit their good faith response using the online Dispute Response form. The client and freelancer will have the opportunity to respond to each other with the goal of resolving the dispute swiftly and fairly. If there are funds held in escrow and a resolution is reached, the parties can update the Terms to refund or release the disputed funds. Both parties must agree to the Terms change.
Elance Dispute Assistance
In the event the client and freelancer fail to resolve the dispute through the Member Resolution process, the freelancer or client has the right to request Elance Dispute Assistance.
If there are funds still in Escrow, Elance will contact both parties to arrange a Dispute Assistance call. Elance will facilitate the call with the goal to resolve the dispute. Elance will not make a determination or assess blame.
If the first two steps of Elance Dispute Assistance do not reach a conclusion, the case should proceed to Arbitration as a final step. Arbitration lets you receive final judgment on your disagreement from an independent third party. It is typically far less expensive than court and the judgment is enforceable in a court of law. Elance will adhere to the arbitration judgment and require that both parties abide by the ruling regarding the refund or release of funds held in Escrow and any other considerations.
Arbitration is provided by net-ARB and AAA (American Arbitration Association). Each company is an independent third party with an associated cost and payment from both parties is required prior to advancing a case to arbitration. As such, there is no financial benefit for either service (net-ARB or AAA) to side with a freelancer or client. Both companies will use the contents of the workroom as evidence for each case.
Net-ARB is the default arbitration service used unless either party requests AAA (American Arbitration Association).
How are these services different?
See below for how these services compare:
AAA (American Arbitration Association)
net-ARB will decide which of their qualified arbitrators or panel of arbitrators will be suitable for each case.
AAA allows the parties involved in the dispute to select which arbitrator to use through a strike and rank process.
A typical filing can take 3-6 weeks from case submission to receive a final ruling.
However, depending on the complexity of the dispute, it may take longer.
Each filing will receive a final ruling within 30 days from case submission.
The arbitrator may grant an extension if deemed necessary, not to exceed 14 days