Hope to get some advice and recommendation on which Freelancing sites (odesk, freelancer, guru etc) provides the best protection for Buyers/Employer.
I've had horrible experience in the past with Odesk (http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/showthread.php?987335-Odesk-getting-ripped-off) where I got ripped off by a contractor and only to found out that Odesk does not care about work quality, as long hours are logged properly (screenshots), it does not matter whether what they(contractor) did is functional or not. My website is in a mess, I was forced to make full payment (Odesk doesn't give you control of your own money, crazy right?), it's been a nightmare.
I found Realtyna (realtyna.com) on Elance.com which I might hire for a real estate portal project, how does Elance handles disputes in such case? I know they charge an insane amount of fee for arbitration (For jobs valued under $1000.00 the cost to file is $399.00 to be reviewed by a single arbitrator. For jobs valued $1000.00 and over the cost to file is $750.00 to be reviewed by a panel of arbitrators.)
I've had an agreement with the contractor on the Odesk case in our discussion where in the event that they could not deliver the website as per specification, they will refund the money, the contractor also written back and agreed with the terms. When things gone bad, Odesk told me that the "agreement" I had with the contractor can't be enforced and the contractor won't be held accountable for what they've agreed and promised.