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I received a warning email

Why did I received this notice?

Elance enforces its Terms of Service (“TOS”) in order to provide a safe and trusted online workplace in which freelancers and their clients can hire, invoice, pay and receive contracted work with confidence.

You have received a notice that your account may be closed in 30 days because Elance has become aware of a possible violation of the TOS. Elance likely became aware of the issues due to your low level of client satisfaction. Low client satisfaction indicates a violation of Elance’s TOS for a number of reasons. The TOS requires freelancers to fulfill their contractual obligations to their clients by delivering high quality work. In addition, the TOS requires you to accurately describe your business, your skills and qualifications, and the services you offer. If your client satisfaction score increases, Elance will understand, in most cases, that you have corrected the issues.

Does this notice restrict my account in any way?

No, this is simply a notice. We value your business and hope you will take this time to re-evaluate your business practices to improve your clients’ satisfaction. Your account will be checked in 30 days and may be closed at that time if we continue to see that you are not fulfilling your obligations to your clients, the Elance community, or Elance.

What can I do now?

  • Contract obligations come first: When you enter into a contract with your client, make sure you understand what obligations you are undertaking. This is key to your clients’ satisfaction. Failing to meet client expectations inevitably results in low client satisfaction and/or payment disputes.
  • Only take projects you are qualified for and can deliver on budget and time: When you accept a contract with your client, you are promising to deliver certain work at a certain cost and by a certain time. Successful freelancers make sure they can deliver on those promises by investing time in planning and clear communications with their clients well ahead of the contract. These freelancers typically accurately list their skills, qualifications, and availability on their profile and proposals and only submit proposals for projects when they have the necessary skills and capacity. These steps will allow freelancers and prospective clients to determine whether they are a good fit for the project and to avoid unmatched expectations.
    Additionally, if the scope of the work changes at any time, professional freelancers make sure they update the deadlines in their agreement with the client to consistently remain on time and under budget.
  • Good communication can be key to good client-freelancer relationship: Clients value good communication. Successful freelancers never use abusive or inappropriate language and always behave professionally in their interactions on the website.
  • Send relevant, specific, and tailored applications: Great freelancers land more contracts by investing in their proposals. Individually tailored communications that are specific to the project and client are almost always more successful and effective. Clients see proposals with copy-pasted templates as spam, and spam is always bad (not to mention a serious violation of the TOS). Even if a client accepts your proposal, such communication may be confusing or misleading in the specific circumstances and can result in lower client satisfaction or other issues.

I have 5-star feedback! Why did I receive a notice?

Public feedback is just one of many factors we consider. We also look at disputes and other client concerns and complaints, along with a freelancer's entire history on Elance.

I had one or two contracts where I didn't receive feedback. Is this why I received this notice? Should I make my clients provide feedback about my business?

We know that you don’t always have control over whether your clients provide feedback. Contracts that end without feedback will not be the only reason you receive a notice.

I had one or two bad contracts because the client with whom I was working was bad. Why am I being punished for conduct of another website user?

We understand that bad outcomes can arise from poor client behavior and take this and other factors into consideration.

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