Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Review of Dragos’s Behavior in Arbitration

Account Review of Tanasie Dragos Constantin

This account is being reviewed due to the worker's behavior in the arbitration of the project CellarTraks II. The purpose of this review is to determine if the worker should have their account closed due to their behavior in the arbitration.

As documented in the Worker’s Agreement:

Inappropriate Behavior. Should the Worker demonstrate poor or inappropriate behavior (to be determined at the sole discretion of Exhedra), Exhedra reserves the right to publicly document such behavior via a rating and comment in the Worker's profile. Such behavior includes (but is not limited to) losing an arbitration, refusing to cooperate with an arbitration, and sending abusive communications to the other party or to Exhedra staff.

Summary of Arbitration of CellarTraks II

This project was brought into arbitration as a contract dispute in a pre-deadline situation. The employer stated "My worker, Dragostanasie and I are in conflict over payment as the project is almost done but he will not transfer the code to my server without me releasing 75% of the funds." In Arbitration Response Id: 1,518,091, Dragos confirmed that the work uploaded to vworker meets the project requirements 100%. However, the work had not been installed on the employer's environment and had not been tested. There was still time to complete the work and the goal of the arbitration was to determine the remaining pending items to be completed, set a new deadline, and then the worker would be given the opportunity to complete the work.

There were issues of trust between the employer and worker regarding where to test the work and whether changes had been made before testing. The arbitration got sidetracked with multiple issues. Rafeek (the arbitrator) held a conference call with both parties in order to get both parties to work together. A summary of the conversation is in Arbitration Response Id: 1,541,457. During the conversation, a plan was developed to setup a testing environment. Once the environment was setup, Nashoba would test the software and create a list of pending items that remained to be completed. With the list of pending items, Dragos would be given the opportunity to fix any remaining items and then the work would be complete.

After Dragos installed the code and database, Nashoba began testing, without approval from Rafeek. Dragos complained that this corrupted the database. Nashoba apologized and Rafeek believed this to be a misunderstanding and asked Dragos to re-install.

Tuesday Feb 22, 2011 10:11:43 AM (Arbitration Response Id: 1,550,100) - Dragos complains that the rules were not followed.

Thursday Feb 24, 2011 1:08:10 PM (Arbitration Response Id: 1,551,809) - Dragos again complains that Nashoba was not following the rules and there was a script that he needed to install

Monday Feb 28, 2011 8:39:55 PM (Arbitration Response Id: 1,554,286) - States not script has been developed.

Tuesday Mar 1, 2011 10:56:35 AM (Arbitration Response Id: 1,554,628) - Again states that the database script is not part of the contract

Wednesday Mar 2, 2011 9:48:35 AM (Arbitration Response Id: 1,555,367) - Agrees to provide the script. Asks about forfeiting the arbitration.

Friday Mar 4, 2011 5:27:17 AM (Arbitration Response Id: 1,556,579) - Confirms that the testing can proceed

Monday Mar 7, 2011 9:48:29 AM (Arbitration Response Id: 1,558,023) - Dragos responds with information. Asks more questions about forfeiting the arbitration and complains that Nashoba is going on leave.

Friday Mar 11, 2011 3:24:12 AM (Arbitration Response Id: 1,560,795) - Dragos responds with information.

Thursday Mar 17, 2011 6:36:56 AM (Arbitration Response Id: 1,564,054) - Dragos responds. Also, more questiosn about forfeiture.

Friday Mar 18, 2011 9:41:07 AM (Arbitration Response Id: 1,564,667) - Dragos responds with information. More questions about forfeiture.

Monday Mar 21, 2011 1:55:01 PM (Arbitration Response Id: 1,566,232) - Dragos agains responds with more questions regarding forfeiture.

Tuesday Mar 22, 2011 3:23:18 PM (Arbitration Response Id: 1,566,953) - Accuses Rafeek of not being neutral

Thursday Mar 24, 2011 2:39:05 PM (Arbitration Response Id: 1,568,377) - Replies to Rafeek, another comment regarding that testing can be done indefinitely

Wednesday Mar 30, 2011 4:51:48 AM (Arbitration Response Id: 1,571,313) - Dragos replies about the neutral comment, that it "was a trick to make me give the customer the database."

Monday Apr 4, 2011 5:34:29 AM (Arbitration Response Id: 1,574,068) - Response to self-mediation

Monday Apr 4, 2011 5:37:34 AM (Arbitration Response Id: 1,574,070) - Requests a new feature - confirm message option

The entire process of the work to be tested (as explained in the phone call) should have taken approximately 3 weeks. However, it was nearly two months until they both agreed to self-mediate and end the project.

Worker's Behavior in the Arbitration

Worker constantly waited until the last day (of three) to post. Dragos noted that there were personal reasons that he would not like to share that caused him to delay responding. Dragos never missed a deadline. However, if the arbitration needed him to respond sooner, he could. Also, he appears to have no issue responding quickly on the blog (often many times in a day). If this was the only issue regarding the worker's behavior in the arbitration, this would certainly not be a reason to request a review and certainly not a reason to review closing his account.

As the arbitration progressed, Dragos' behavior in the arbitration became much less cooperative. Instead of working with the employer and arbitrator to determine the remaining work to be completed, he questioned nearly every item he was asked to do and constantly brought up forfeiting the arbitration, and accused the arbitrator of not being neutral. While not being outright hostile, his attitude was not one of working to complete the work and get paid, but one of belief that he was being taken advantage of. If he had spent his time finishing up the project and not arguing over every detail, the project could have been completed and completed successfully and the arbitration would have completed itself much faster than it did.


The behavior in this arbitration indicates that Dragos did not respect the arbitration process. Should Dragos find himself in arbitration again, he would be unlikely to respect the arbitration process and end up unfairly delaying the arbitration for a future employer.  Since vWorker knows this in advance, it would not be ethical to allow him to continue on the site, and victimize future employers.

Additional Important Information

-          In the beginning, Dragos wanted a partial payment. Michael explained that he would get paid, but I do not see where it was explained that he is not allowed to ask for partial payment.

Dragos, you are not allowed to ask for an advanced payment before the work is accepted. From the Worker’s Agreement:
Advance Payments. (Applies to "pay for deliverables" projects only) Worker agrees not to ask for any 'Advance Payments' from employer. An advance payment is a risky transaction where the employer releases funds from escrow before the delivery of the work (or percentage of work being accepted) is completed. Doing this completely circumvents and nullifies all the built-in employer protections of the site 'safe escrow' system, and often results in the employer losing part or all of their advance payment. Workers who go against the wishes of Exhedra and receive an advanced payment from the Employer are considered guilty of 'fraud' and will be treated per the terms of 'fraud' below.
This is the original reason that the employer brought the project into arbitration. If you had read the worker’s agreement, you would have realized that you could not ask for a payment up front and you would not have been in arbitration in the first place. You asked for 75% payment up front before installing the software to the employer’s server. This is a violation of the Worker’s Agreement.

-          Working on items that are not in the contract.  You mention several times about extra work he did.
When an employer requests a major change, you are fully within your rights to politely inform them that what they are asking for falls outside of what you bid on. Explain to them why this is the case and why it will involve so much extra work. Then attempt to negotiate a higher price and/or extended deadline based on the extra work.
If you are successful, then simply document it all on the site (and get them to agree to it). If you've negotiated a higher price, ask the employer to contact us to have us escrow the additional funds from them.
If you are not successful, then either the employer will decide to drop the change (and things will continue as normal), or they will decide to pull out of the project. If they decide to pull out of the project, then this is considered to be a breach of contract by the employer. If you've done work already, such a breach will result in a partial or full payment to you to compensate you for the percentage of work done. Additionally, it will NOT reflect negatively on your rating, although it usually will do so on the employer's rating.

As per the conclusion above, your account is being closed.

If you have any questions about this process, please let me know.

Tim Yates (vWorker)

Full arbitration record