Importance of Terms & Conditions
28 Feb 2015
Whenever you visit any freelancing website you will find that they will encourage you to read & understand their terms & conditions before blithely bidding on projects in your niche. Like many others I spent 3 minutes or less screening the terms as for me it doesn’t worth the time. But now while doing business on elance (now upwork.com) & other sites I understand that it is very important to read the terms before digging for your first project. The terms are also important because every site will ask you for an orientation test to know if you understand the terms being used on the website.
Terms & conditions can also help you understand what are the dos & don’ts that you need to keep in mind while bidding, for example one cannot share their contact info such as email, phone or skype ID & many new geeks forget to read the terms & share their contact info in their proposal, Well the bad news is, if the client report them to website, they can get their accounts suspended.
One of the most common mistake newbies do on elance is that they don’t confirm whether the job is funded or not & start working on it. Terms can also educate you about how you can get paid for your work & about escrow system. Escrow is the best thing about freelancing website because you & your client are both engaged & committed for a particular milestone. Escrow will save you many measures of grief on Elance (now called upwork.com) and in freelancing in general.
simple words, you cannot get paid without delivering & client cannot run away with money if you have done it right & delivered the job in time. The client can add extra milestone if he/she is happy with the first milestone & want to continue business relations with you.
There are plenty of new buyers signing up on upwork (formerly elance) & other sites daily & they are not sure about the terms like you & they ask for free samples, here again the terms can protect you as it clearly stated that you are not allowed to provide free samples to client without getting the job awarded to you.
So if you are a newbie trying to stand out loud in the freelancing world you must be patient while signing up on freelancing websites & read the help material on each site. Happy working geeks
UPDATE: The elance website going to shutdown in 2016 so we all will be shifting our accounts to upwork.com in few weeks but the importance of terms will remain important.