Consider this scenario:
1) You post a project on Elance and select a provider.
2) You deposit money into Elance's escrow system (as recommended by them) and start the work. Most providers will insist on an advance - you deny that and play safe.
3) A few weeks later, the project deadline passes and provider has not delivered.
4) They don't deliver even after couple of extension and you decide to cancel the project.
5) You ask for a refund of money in Elance's escrow (which you thought was a very safe place).
6) Elance tells you to go to an arbitration website to start a dispute.
7) They tell you to pay $200 fee before they can start a dispute and you have no luck if other party doesn't respond to a dispute.
8) Meanwhile Elance will NOT do anything to intervene and will simply absolve themselves of any responsibility for your misfortune.
Now for the interesting part:
The arbitration website doesn't have any information on the company on their About Us page nor does it have a contact us page. A whois query lists an individual and not a company (specifics removed
This is NOT even a company but just an individual and Elance is asking me to send $200 to this guy who will decide whether Elance should release Escrow money or NOT?
Is it just me or you find it strange too?
[edited by: LifeinAsia at 2:00 pm (utc) on May 31, 2011]
[edit reason] specifics removed [/edit]