Certificate level lower than it was 2 weeks ago.Answered
I Just wanted to ask a quick question regarding the certificate levelling system.
A couple of weeks ago I was regularly using the site on a few small projects and my level was just under becoming level 5. I've had a large project with a client over the last 2 weeks and not visited PPH in that period, nor looked for or proposed on projects through the site in the intervening time.
When I returned, I noticed that my Level 'metre' is slightly lower than it was before. It is now about 3/4 through 4 rather than just becoming 5. Odd, I think.
Has my inactivity caused the metre to slip or is this due to another reason? A change in the algorithm? A random occurrence?
Time and time again people make this same complaint, me included! My score is low but only because I am successful outside of PPH, therefore I do not often need the extra income or have the time for work through here. However when I have used the site I have only ever had 100% feedback and my work, without wanting to sound big headed, is clearly of a better quality than many of my competitors. I can only imagine this is to encourage people to use the site for external clients, with the attraction of there being a 0% fee for work of this nature, but without meaning any disrespect to the site I would rather not go down that route as it would seem odd to my clients that I wished to do so when I can work more efficiently through emails and my own invoicing system etc. It would also be unprofessional to have my business correspondence covered in another company's branding.
I really do think this system needs looking at more carefully. Unfortunately all it seems to only really favour high volume, low price, sellers who must often work for even less than the UK minimum wage. What is such a shame is that this site built it's reputation on good quality sellers who charged the fees they deserved without sacrificing value. To be honest I have had old buyers contact me privately saying that they no longer wish to conduct business through the site because they get inundated with unrealistic and over ambitious bids that are impossible to differentiate from those that are serious and from sellers who can actually deliver what they promise.
I've just received a bit more clarification on this.
With regards to your CERT changing, your CERT is not a steady and long lasting score. So for instance, Luke, you have said that you haven't visited the site for a few weeks and on your return, you found that your CERT score is lower. This is normal since there are other users who are working and passing you in the scoring system. Your level drops with certain inactivity and your position will drop if other users are doing better and passing you in the rankings. They will take your place and you will drop.
I hope this makes sense!
Thanks, Kelly, but the point we're making is that it shouldn't be this way. Isn't the CERT rating supposed to be an indicator to give buyers some idea of the quality of the work we do, and the level of our clients' satisfaction? If so, why should it drop because of recent inactivity on PPH? Why would that be of any interest to the buyer?
The whole CERT thing is clearly just a trick to try to get us to 'play the game', i.e. to help PPH to make more money - it doesn't reflect how good we are at our jobs.
"Isn't the CERT rating supposed to be an indicator to give buyers some idea of the quality of the work we do, and the level of our clients' satisfaction?"
Yes, so if another member is doing better, their CERT score should increase to show buyers that their level of work is of high quality and of high standard. When their CERT score increases, other people move down the ranking as they are not of the same standard as the seller who has just moved up.
Clearly that isn't a fair way of deciding who has thea better quality of work, it is only who earned more money.
It is up to the buyer to decide what they require in terms of who they think could do the best job for them on the basis of ones portfolio and testimonials , so the earnings of the freelancer shouldn't even be a notion for them to even entertain. In fact I find it really offensive that that is even an issue at all.
I do very well inside and out side of PPH, I don't wish my business gain through PPH to suffer as the result of a badly thought out system.
So, for example, they may be getting more jobs, resulting in receiving more feedback. They may also be gaining more enquiries/ contact from new members (members they haven't dealt with before, not necessarily new to PPH) and their response time may be quicker... There's lots of reason why they could be doing better.
Take a look at our Top 10 for example. There's only 10 places available. Freelancers dip in and out of the Top 10 all the time. This is because sometimes, for whatever reason, one user may do better than another user, resulting in the user gaining better results and their CERT score increasing. Meaning they then enter the Top 10 and another user drops out of it.
Really the Cert system is a reflection of how many jobs people are getting and thus the amount of income activity. If you're on a long job for someone, your Cert is likely to dip because you're not actively bidding on other jobs and bringing in regular streams of income.
To say someone is "doing better" is misleading, surely. It means they're "more active" not "doing better". The term "Cert" gives buyers the wrong impression and leads them to think they're getting better quality the higher up the Cert level you are, when in fact people of 2 and 3 may be some of the best around but simply aren't as active. In fact, that's clear from the way we're urged to go higher up the Cert level because "Cert X freelancers earn X times more". It's all highly misleading.
I have worked my ass off to get to certificate 4 and because I have been involved in a few big projects I have not been looking for other jobs. Surely the certificate system works on the work you get and the feedback you get so others users can see that you are a good worker.
Why penalize us, the people, because sellers do not accept our proposals??????????????? Very very unfair for us who do the work while PPH sit and get their cut...........this system needs to be re-thought awful unfair system
As an afterthought, the Cert system could be seen to favour cooperatives over sole traders. If you have a number of people working, and you continue bidding regularly to keep the workload up for your team, your Cert will soar. If you're a sole trader, taking on long jobs, your Cert will stay low.
It clearly is used as a way of attracting clients, otherwise why would PPH offer access to Cert 5s and above in the drop down menu? Yet they say clients can't see the Cert number on our profiles. Makes no sense.
Cutting your rate is not a good way to boost your CERT. I don't know for certain how the CERT calculation works, but in my experience (I'm CERT 5), what really seems to push up your level is charging a lot through the site. So the more you charge on jobs, the higher your CERT will go.
And in response to the comment above, clients can see your CERT number on your profile. What they can't see is your CERT dashboard indicator that shows exactly where you are on the CERT scale - that's private.
PPH is a great site - but its primary goal is to make a profit! I have no objection to this: it is a business, after all. Nevertheless, CERT should not be lowered for any reason: THE LOWERING OF CERT IS JUST A DEVICE TO KEEP FREELANCERS SLOGGING AWAY ON PPH: ACCEPTING RIDICULOUSLY LOW PAID OR UNINTERESTING WORK IN ORDER TO PROTECT THEIR CERT. Personally, I have been lucky: I have only worked for four clients and reached the middle of CERT 4 with a 100% feedback, but if PPH think I am going to slog away working for slave wages and on boring tasks just so that I can retain my CERT 4, they can think again.
CERT SHOULD BE BASED ONLY ON THE QUALITY OF THE FEEDBACK RECEIVED FROM THE CLIENT - freelancers should be free to decide when and where they work without being penalized. That's why we are freelancers.
Not in rebuttal to Frank here, as I am referring to the BIG picture, for freelancers who obtain work on their own as well as from other sites -- also, I should add, I have invited former and ongoing clients to join here at PPH. This, in case it is not obvious, benefits... PPH.
Meanwhile, I have, as of today, 1) gained a Top Endorsed award for my previous and recent endorsements from former clients I have invited TO the site (that's free PPH advertising, people).
2)added a new hourlie, AND paid to feature it. Paid. For. It.
Shared my hourly listing to Google+.
Also, listed my hourlie links on Pinterest!
Not only is that a ton of exposure and free advertising for PPH, I also had to pay for it. Moreover, I am a Top Endorsed provider. Yet...
...after all of this, my CERT level DROPPED from a CERT2 to a CERT1??! My CERT level should, rather, have gone UP! ~ Or are we punished for our achievements and advertising the PPH name in the world??
Lastly, I was doing all of this stuff to get my Cert level UP so the SuperTasker site would get their show on the road and 'proctor' my offered tasks so I could get more work then I do here (the delay re: bids and payment turns me off, but I have lingered. As for ST, I signed on several weeks ago and nothing has happened; they have not 'proctored.'
I do not care if the "algorithm" is outdated, takes time, or what-not, the system needs to be revised so that people with the skills, proven track record, and links/references from assorted sites and clients to prove it, can be "CERT"ed accordingly as soon as those things occur.
Frankly, I am beginning to think about leaving both sites if no changes are made. After finding/keeping my own clients after 20 years:
I find the CERT algorithm to be VERY misleading;
the bid ending date to be just wacky/unreasonable in its duration; and,
the clients' payment process requiring too much time and too many hurdles.
I sure hope someone in management replies to this -- I really DO like some of the prospective work I see on the site... but compared to my own client procurement endeavors and the ease and functionality of other freelance sites I've been with, there is work to be done here, as with SuperTaskers (not even adding my bank info. til they rectify the delays in provider acceptance and the silly CERT stats from here.
Sorry to vent, but the system really does need to change before I convince those I've referred here to join... I look forward to hearing from people, but especially the programmers and management. You have the makings for a fine site here, but it needs to benefit the providers as much as the site... and to do so, some things need to be modified :-)
All the best,
Taskmasters Editing, Writing, & Marketing Services
TOTALLY AGREE WITH EVERYONE ON HERE! I EMAILED PPH TO SAY THEY REALLY NEED TO REVEIW THIS POLICY. I'VE JUST HAD MY CERT LEVEL DROPPED FROM 4 TO 3. I'D JUST WON TWO JOBS AND YET THEY SAY IT WAS DUE TO INACTIVITY ON MY BEHALF. HOW DID THEY WORK THAT ONE OUT???!!!! I AGREE WITH A PREVIOUS COMMENT ON HERE - THE CERT LEVEL SHOULD BE A REFLECTION OF HOW GOOD YOU HAVE BEEN ON PREVIOUS COMPLETED JOBS.
It is obvious that, in order to reflect the true nature of the quality work we do as freelancers, that the algorithm does need to change. Once we achieve a certain level, we should REMAIN at that level, unless -- and only unless -- our feedback scores change to drop it down. I have over ten endorsements, have completed jobs, have bid on jobs, invited others to join the site, AND have advertised via links on Facebook, LinkedIn, and even Google+. In other words, I have done all of the things they ask for to get to a 4 or 5 -- and, instead, I was dropped down from a 2 to a 1 ?!
They cite the algorithm -- and the algorithm needs to change: the life of a freelancers necessitates that we seek job in MANY places, (even in the real world, lol). For even that simple reason, their current algorithm needs to change. We can not stay actively all getting jobs on here simply because there are not enough of them in each of our categories to a) win as bids and b) put enough food on the table.
Also, riddle me this? Since the window even for client acceptance of provider bids can run up to 4 weeks (which also should change), how does that negate our algorithm score? Oops, "inactivity." ~ That factor alone should be a clear sign that the algorithm is faulty to some degree in terms of showing our merit as freelancers in any of our advertised fields.
BUT, I do think that Xenios, Giorgios, Kelly, and others at PPH need to know all of this. The asked-and-answered feature in this support arena also could change for the better. My reason for adding that? As this thread was 'answered' months ago, they may simply not even be AWARE of all of us in here stating our dissatisfaction with the algorithm. I do hope that if they at PPH become aware of all the activity on this thread, they would be inspired if not highly motivated to address the system so that it better suits or needs and desires as quality freelancers.
That being said, as this thread was "answered" in May (it appears), one or any of us should open a NEW thread to support citing the link to THIS thread. That way, they'd be sure to read all of the above -- and, hopefully, take action.
Kindly, and hopefully,
OK, in the efforts of fairness to all, I just sent the link to this thread via Support. I hope my message was respectful to all above, and thus will attach it here:
Due to the overwhelming number of responses I'm see on a thread from May re: the inadequacy of the CERT level algorithm for us freelancers, I thought it best to cite a link, as you at PPH may not be aware of all the activity there.
I think we are hoping, as a collective, that once aware of all the factors involved -- and all of the frustration in the current algorithm's inadequacy at expressing your multi-facted providers' skills, expertise, experience, AND efforts to share PPH with the world -- that the algorithm will be amended. As with any newer venture, there are always kinks to work out of the system. As freelancers, we work where there is work. Just because we may have to find work elsewhere during times when there is not enough for all of us here, does not negate our skills, experience, testimonials, etc.
The link is here: we think it should be re-opened. I have mentioned that the caring folks at PPH may simply not be aware of the activity there, and that a new thread sending you the link may help us providers reach our goal of getting the algorithm changed... to best reflect what we offer, have offered (in the big world, not just here), and have to offer.
Thank you -- we look forward to progress :-) Link: http://support.peopleperhour.com/entries/62256836-Certificate-level-lower-than-it-was-2-weeks-ago-?page=1#post_26773356
They didn't post it, BUT at least they now have the link to here. Meanwhile, I've completed two jobs on here this week AND done every single thing required to boost my Cert to a 5 (see below). Every single one of them, and I only went up to a 2...? Seriously? There is nothing else I CAN do to raise the score. It is unfair, especially with a ton of endorsements. We, many of us freelancers, work outside of PPH at other sites as well as in the 'real' world, simply due to the supply and demand factor. Also, there ought to be some points, like an entire LEVEL, for the fact that most of us are 'verified' through other sites, liked LinkedIn, Viadeo, Google+, Pinterest, etc. -- where PPH has us add links to PPH, but doesn't give us any credit for doing so. Please, guys and gals, update that algorithm to be more indicative of the rest of our freelance world?
Build your earnings and feedback
Bill more through the site. If you have clients outside PPH, you can bring them in, work with them at 0% service fee and build your feedback and earnings.
Keep in mind that CERT is a dynamic algorithm and there is a decay factor for old earnings. Meaning, in order to maintain your current cert score, and eventually raise it, you need to continue billing as much or more then you used to.
Complete your profile
Add your professional photo, upload your portfolio, write a few things about you
Get endorsed by your friends
Reach out to your network and ask them for an endorsement. This will help you build reputation on PeoplePerHour.
Invite your friends
Reach out to your network and invite them to join PPH. This will help you build reputation on PeoplePerHour and also earn £10 for each successful referral.
All of them... done. And, I am at a mere 2.
I agree with the comments above relating CERT to client feedback.. And as one person pointed out, there are jobs out there asking for 3D for $30, and a website for £100.. That's well below UK minimum wage, for the time it takes to do the work. If I'm constantly inundated with jobs paying ridiculously low rates, and I choose not to accept them out of principle and also as its just sheer exploitation.. No matter how good I am, my CERT falls.. Therefore CERT is not a fair representation of what a customer can expect, when working with me..
The wider issue here is that sellers are proposing absurdly low unworkable rates, and ppl with experience who work hard, just can't justify the time it takes to do those jobs at the ridiculous rates.
My suggestion would be for PPH to strat charging buyers a fee.. Or setup a section for free/low pay jobs, where ppl who want placement students, or someone looking for an internship can meet, and another for professional jobs. And keep the number of jobs (volume) out of the CERT equation. Its nt fair to link it to volume. It devalues the work we do, and encourages exploitation. (Ppl will purposely bid low to build volume.. and everyone knows, once you justify £10 for a logo, nobody will be willing to pay market rates even when you're experienced.. Its a lose lose scenario)
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