What can mentors do to help prevent disputes?
It’s possible that a user/client/mentor may dispute the results/payment from a mentorship session or freelance job. Here are some suggestions for preventing and handling disputes.
Before Starting a Session or Freelance Job
- Always be as clear as possible with the rate you'll be charging the mentee including if you're changing your rate for a specific session, requirements, deadlines, before starting a session (agree on the escrow before creating a freelance job/code review). If you’re unclear about any points, clarify them before work is started.
- If you think there may be proprietary information, suggest signing an NDA before starting to prevent possible issues going forward.
- If you might want to take screenshots of a client's computer during remote help to show your completed work, make sure you ask for permission from the client before starting a session, as well as at the time you want to take the screenshot.
- Please note that Codementor does not keep recordings of Zoom sessions, though you have the ability to record a video and save that on your own computer (more on that here).
During a Session or Freelance Job
- Keep in mind software/application versions, incompatible environments, and other factors that may create differences in writing/testing/verifying results. If you believe there might be differences, discuss this before starting.
- During a dispute, supporting details, including screenshots, specific sections from chats, materials, code, links etc, may be requested. Therefore, it’s recommended that verbal agreements be added into chat to show both parties’ confirmation and satisfaction, and screenshots of work be taken to show successful results, as well as errors in work.
- Use the 'Pause' button to temporarily stop the charged time to discuss any points that may be unclear, or if you need to do some work not directly related to resolving the request, such as research, testing etc. Many disputes are caused by the feeling that time not directly related to actively solving the request was charged. When pausing, make sure you ask the other person first, and make sure you unpause the session to continue the charges.
- Mentors should kindly check if the client understands what has been covered, as well as ask if they have any questions multiple times throughout giving live help. Doing this helps prevent unexpected disputes from arising afterwards.
At the End or After a Session or Freelance Job
Though mentors reminding users to rate and review once is acceptable, asking multiple times, especially asking to change a rating/review is unacceptable, as it almost always gives pressure, and can initiate a dispute when there probably wouldn't be the need for one.
If a Dispute Occurs
- Once a dispute has arisen, try to reach out to each other first. In most cases, speaking with each other can help defuse a dispute, which most often comes from a communication issue of not clearly identifying requirements, deadlines, and expectations before starting.
- Please note that supporting details, including screenshots, specific sections from chats, materials, code, links etc, will be requested. Please be prepared to provide these items when requested.
- Please remember that if you receive an email from the support team asking questions regarding a dispute, a reply with answers to each question is required within 5 days, or whatever period is stated, or the other party may automatically win the dispute (more about that in our Terms here).