Guru.com / Do NOT trust Guru.com!
Stacy Norman, about whom there is another complaint here, canceled my service provider account on Guru.com one fine day after a somewhat deranged former client decided that he wanted my services for free.
On Guru.com, employers post freelance projects they want done, scour through the responses and bids for the best deal, typically, and often attempt to avoid paying transaction fees passed on from the pro by bypassing the system and contacting the pro directly, claiming that this is how they found them. They will also reject the idea of doing their project on Guru.com because they find that the system is too cumbersome, or they don't want to pay the fee, etc. So, even if the client admits they found the pro on the site, they may not be willing to do the project via the system set up on the site itself. After actually consulting these idiots at Guru.com on their usability, I can understand why. Regardless, I had just such a client who found me on Guru.com, but contacted me directly and never mentioned Guru.com explicitly, set up and paid for his project, and we were off. Promises regarding the payment arrangement were broken by the client, the project scope was reduced after payment of the initial sum, and the project became less than what it was intended to be originally. I fulfilled my end of the project, using my associate to help with aspects that were tacked on only after the paltry money down was paid. The client began calling frequently to change the project scope and details, until it became sheer chaos. By the time I began to realize the client had some psychological problems, it was a several weeks later. I tried to resolve it, but eventually, I had to wash my hands. I had actually LOST money on this client, by having spent a ridiculous amount of time and effort on a single project that paid no more than $500, as opposed to $2000/mo marketing deal this was supposed to represent.
Stacy Norman at Guru.com revoked my account, after 6 years of being a PAYING member, after the founder, Inderpal Gugliani actually went so far as to ask for my consulting advice on their own site several years into my membership, and after I had doubtless made them lots of money in transaction fees and member dues. Even though my use of the site was selective and somewhat sporadic, I had made them several thousand and had brought TO them many, many clients among those that used me on their site. That's right, I had brought THEM the clients in many cases, instead of them bringing ME the client. Why? Because I sought to help my clients to feel more secure when they expressed hesitation about starting their projects. I was the perfect, the ideal service provider for Guru.com, though I did not bring in 10K a year for them, I was bringing in 1-2K,m which is still pretty good for a member site.
When my account was ended (Norman said that I had threatened them by saying that I would take actions against them if they canceled my account), I reported them to the BBB and asked for my money back for my membership dues and transaction fees, since the online verification source I was paying for to build was now simply erased completely, nothing left, and basically, this was for something a client did to me, not something I did that would have violated the terms of my use of the site (I stated that I did not know the client had found me through Guru.com, and that was absolutely true, and yet I lost my investment of 5 years and thousands of dollars and all my hard consulting work down the drain) simply because of being the target of the wrath of Stacy Norman and her staff regarding a breach of site terms which was COMPLETELY ASSUMED, against all burden of proof, of which there was zero on the client's side, and many emails from the client on my own side to back up my story (I guess a phone call from an 'employer' who used their site to find a pro and yet skirted their transaction fees intentionally was worth more than the word of a loyal, seasoned veteran member service provider with numerous (over 40), extremely high client reviews??...).
In sum... I would recommend that pros who get dropped by Guru.com for the egregious actions of their clients, and not for their own conduct, report Guru.com to the Better Business Bureau and everywhere else they can online. Guru.com is NOT a reputable or even sensible company, and they do NOT represent a good choice for the freelancer seeking to build his resume in his or her chosen career path.
Above all, do NOT trust Guru.com with your money or waste your time attempting to build up a reputation via their site. Guru.com has a habit of chewing up their pros and spitting them out with nothing to show for their time, effort and money paid down. What you will end up doing is kicking yourself for wasting so much effort and time on something that can and will be taken away at the drop of a hat, at the word of a lunatic client who could not be pleased, or who broke the rules and then blamed you.
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