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  #1  
Old 20 Jun 2012, 02:27
RSNF's Avatar
RSNF RSNF is offline
 
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Getting Scammed?

I understand Vbulletin.org has sticky threads and warnings to read before taking on someone to perform either a new site design or regular maintenance on ones site. What if we follow those guidelines and warnings by Vbulletin and get screwed? Is it fair to other potential victims to not be made aware of someone still able to promote his bogus services for others to fall victim to? For example I had a custom design designed I paid $500.00 for it when it was supposedly completed "The design was done on his site with none of my mods from my site shown in the demo". It took almost 6 months from my initial contact to completion with this person. Now although I only got a partially finished product I was still able to get it completed none the less. Now there are 2 to 3 others whom have used this same designer but had to pay up front I did not pay up front I paid when he said the design was completed and installed on my site. I had several template issues from various mods which needed fixing and he abandoned me after payment. Shouldn't there be some sort of way a new potential client could be warned against this type of stuff? Should this person who is doing the scamming here be reported? Will Vbulletin.org do anything such as take action against the person who is doing the scamming? Maybe I am just wasting my time writing this but I think it's very sad when I get 2 to 3 private messages saying they were screwed by the person who designed my site. With today's economy $500.00 is not a drop in the bucket for most!!
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  #2  
Old 20 Jun 2012, 02:33
HobbyStiller HobbyStiller is offline
 
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+1.

We should have some way of saying "this guy stole my 500 bucks" that isn't in a forum where, within days, user's wont be able to see it without trawling through old posts.

Last edited by HobbyStiller; 20 Jun 2012 at 03:07.
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  #3  
Old 20 Jun 2012, 03:50
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BirdOPrey5 BirdOPrey5 is offline
 
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Originally Posted by HobbyStiller View Post
+1.

We should have some way of saying "this guy stole my 500 bucks" that isn't in a forum where, within days, user's wont be able to see it without trawling through old posts.

If you posted a paid request here you can do a follow-up on your request and say "BirdOPrey5 did a great job" or "I was unhappy with BirdOPrey5's work and will not use him again."

It's up to the buyer in the future to do a search for a potential coder's username if they want and see what people have said about them.

There will never be a forum where unhappy customers can just "flame" coders or vice-versa. The majority of the time when one side feels cheater, both feel they were wronged and no one here is in a position if knowing who was right and who was wrong- and more likely a bad deal was a failure on both sides to make clear expectations and requirements.
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  #4  
Old 20 Jun 2012, 03:58
HobbyStiller HobbyStiller is offline
 
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Joe - and in the case of people who take your money and run? There's no 2 sides to stories like that, but it does happen. If there was a way to actually leave some lasting feedback, maybe users would feel there was an incentive to get in touch and deliver the goods they say they will. Since posting my feedback in the Paid Services thread, I've had emails from other people - saying they too have had their money stolen. But will people still end up going through this guy in the future? Probably.

If you don't think allowing stuff like that to go on in your forum is irresponsible as an admin - you're dreaming.
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  #5  
Old 20 Jun 2012, 04:06
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BirdOPrey5 BirdOPrey5 is offline
 
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If I asked the other side I seriously doubt they will admit to taking the money and running. Even when I've had people PM me "their side" in the past and they claim to have had someone run off with their money I've had the other guy PMing me too claiming they did not run off the customer was just not happy...

Point is I have no way of knowing who is being truthful. No one here does.

It is the BUYERS RESPONSIBILITY to make sure they are hiring someone trustworthy. Even better is - Never give money upfront! If you don't pay until you have something you can see you will never get scammed.

And for every story you can tell me about someone who was given money and "ran off" with it there is someone on the other side telling me someone hired them to do a project, they agreed on a price and a timeline, and when the coder completed the project the buyer stopped returning his emails and basically stole "time" from the coder.

The risk goes both ways. The buyer needs to trust the seller and the seller needs to trust the buyer.

The Paid Requests forums exist here as a courtesy and in my opinion are of last resort. There are dedicated sites like freelancer.com where buyers and sellers are vetted far better than they ever will be here. There are other forums that take an active part in tracking buying and selling- they have the resources to do so, we do not.
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  #6  
Old 20 Jun 2012, 04:29
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ForceHSS ForceHSS is offline
 
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There needs added to profiles a feed back section like eBay has and only the ones who say buy or in this case use there services can give the feedback
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  #7  
Old 20 Jun 2012, 06:06
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JacquiiDesigns JacquiiDesigns is offline
 
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A system such as iTrader should have been implemented on vB.org years ago.

J.
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  #8  
Old 20 Jun 2012, 06:17
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Shazz Shazz is offline
 
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Originally Posted by JacquiiDesigns View Post
A system such as iTrader should have been implemented on vB.org years ago.

J.
Yes, it's been talked about many times. I don't see vB.org ever having such a feature.
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  #9  
Old 20 Jun 2012, 15:33
setishock setishock is offline
 
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There are good and bad in every walk of life. Having said that, in an ideal world, getting services for a forum would go down like this.

The person requesting the service should already have an idea of what they want. Putting pen to paper is one way to assure you know just what you want and are able to communicate that to the service provider. In your minds eye you see what you want. On paper you fine tune that image. You tweak it until what is on paper matches what your mental image is about.
That becomes your project roadmap.

The person providing the service looks at your roadmap and decides 3 things:
1> Can it be done
2> How long will it take
3> How much should I charge
A 4th one could be added> Do I have the skills required to do the job
Being honest with a prospective client is paramount to running a good business. If a service provider knows they are in over their head they can go 3 different routes.
1> Point the customer to someone they know that has the skills to complete the task
2> Discuss making changes that are inside their skill level
3> BS their way through the job

Once a project roadmap has been agreed on and the cost factor set, the service provider should pour themselves in to the job and complete it as agreed. Providing the client with updates and peeks at the ongoing job helps to keep them in the loop. (and off your booty)
When you starve a client information-wise, they begin to have doubts.
If a service provider should happen to run in to an issue and it's going to take longer than agreed, they need to be in contact with the client and fill them in. Leaving them hanging is a serious no no. Also if the service provider finds while doing the job there are some undesirable side effects from doing it like the client wants it, LET THE CLIENT KNOW!!!

When the project is completed and delivered, and provided the finished product is as agreed, the client should pay for services rendered. When I ran my alarm company I would ask for 60% up front and the 40% balance on completion. Something like that should work here also.
Communication between client and service provider is the key to being satisfied on both ends with the job.

But it's not an ideal world and people have to be careful. Do your homework. Get online and check reviews. ASK QUESTIONS. Doubt everything...
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  #10  
Old 20 Jun 2012, 16:37
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New Joe New Joe is offline
 
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More info like this might help
http://www.vbulletin.org/forum/showt...42#post2339642
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  #11  
Old 20 Jun 2012, 17:23
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Attitude5ire Attitude5ire is offline
 
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Thought id give a different perspective as a vBulletin services provider, we have a good track record and during our initial years we relied a lot on "Paid Services Request" to get our name out and try to get new clients. Eventually now we have our niche and we dont just rely on vB.org for our clients but majority still finds us through vB.org. Most of them, about 90% have had their luck of "unfortunate" experiences through vB.org and thats not at all surprising since its anonymous and not moderated.

Im not really sure if vB.org would overhaul their system when it comes to these 3rd party services, i mean i havent seen vB.org change in last 4 years which has a debate of its own, but vB.org definitely should NOT wash its hands off saying, members should do their research and not blame it on vB.org staff, i dont fully agree with that, you guys are giving a platform where people can be scammed and duped, of course lot of them get their work done but eventually people say i was scammed through vB.org.

Either the forum should be totally removed or at least there should be some moderation or governance. I mean even if each thread was followed up by saying XX did a great job, not everyone who posts a job is going to sift through each post and see whose the ideal one or whom to avoid. Even if there is no itrader type of system to score each person, there should at least be some indication of people to completely avoid, some strike system to keep the repeat offenders easier to spot.

Now as members posting job or looking for services, you have to understand since this is an free-for-all forum without any watch guards, if you hire someone new and fresh, i dont think its fair to blame vB.org, its a risk you take in an online business relation, hiring a freelancer is always risky if you havent worked with that person, you would definitely have to do that extra bit research, if you are going to invest upto 500$, you can spend some time checking possible application out. Just few pointers trying to find services provider.

- Are they active around the forum
- Have they submitted Styles/Mods/Articles or contributed in vB.org
- Do they have a website for services they offer.
- Check how active it is and how long has it being functional.
- Check their portfolio and see what kind of work they have done.
- Just search their 'name' in forum , what kind of chatter is there on forum about them, is it positive or negative.
- Never pay full upfront for any project.
- Open proper channels of communication before and during projects,
- Social network can be helpful too, you see what sort of online contribution activities are associated with the person/company you want to hire, i mean Facebook, twitter, gplus etc.
- Try to have a online call or some sort of more personal interaction, sometimes it helps.
- Test their knowledge about the product, dont just hire them because they know PHP or Photoshop, they can make it work. Ideal service providers would be fluent about product and its history.
- Do they give feedback or own suggestions to improve your idea of project or do they just blindly accept whatever you say and assure it can be done.

Just few things which help filter out or at least narrow the list of possible service providers.

Eventually, you have to accept the fact that you are taking a risk of hiring someone new and any liability from that risk also belongs completely to you, vB.org gives platform for new people to start vB services and lot of people find good services/freelancers for their community work. Not ideal or perfect but i think it does help a lot than harm.
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  #12  
Old 20 Jun 2012, 17:24
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socialteenz socialteenz is offline
 
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Real name: Arun
People with good feedback in digital point have scammed for $xxxx! So, it is easy for people to gain good feedback & start scamming. That's why i ask most of my clients to pay me when their job is completed. In some cases once their job gets completed, they don't respond me either & i get scammed.

No system can stop people from scamming. You are taking a risk when you pay upfront. If you don't trust the person don't make any upfront payment.

Here is my suggestion for vb.org:

I know it is not your duty to involve in 3rd party disputes, at-least you can close the scammer account if you receive strong evidence from the buyer.
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  #13  
Old 21 Jun 2012, 13:39
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BirdOPrey5 BirdOPrey5 is offline
 
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Originally Posted by socialteenz View Post
Here is my suggestion for vb.org:

I know it is not your duty to involve in 3rd party disputes, at-least you can close the scammer account if you receive strong evidence from the buyer.
There is NEVER going to be "Evidence" - Evidence must be collected using proper procedures so it can't be tampered with. Anyone can write out a message and claim it is from a PM or email or IM log- it means NOTHING. That's the problem- we don't ever get "evidence" all we get is one side's accusations and have no power to investigate. Truthfully I have no desire to investigate either, I'd rather be working on my own forum or making mods then wasting time investigating a deal where someone shouldn't have paid up front in the first place.
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Note - I no longer making new VB mods, sorry.
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  #14  
Old 21 Jun 2012, 14:07
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New Joe New Joe is offline
 
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So what should the average guy do when a Skin guy says he won't start the Skin without money up front?

A guy you have seen what great work he can do, been in contact with him for a few months, he says the right things, then finally he scams the money and you end up with no Skin.

There are at least 2 people who have said this, and even the guy from the Skin which was finally made saying never use this guy, it must show something to you, that this guy scams money from honest people from the Org.

I think you were a bit harsh in your above post BOP, but that's just my opinion.
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  #15  
Old 21 Jun 2012, 15:06
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Sage Knight Sage Knight is offline
 
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IIRC, RSNF vouched and recommended the designer [Who seems to be a great guy and really talented] when he won the BOTM comp, I could be completely wrong though.

I normally give the client all the balls, since I really have nothing to lose but gain a lot more knowledge about vBulletin. Heck if I ever get screwed I'd just release the work for free and let the community develop it.

And most importantly don't expect custom addons to be compatible 100%, especially if you're seeking something extremely custom.
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