Tag Archives: arbitration

Project works in the freelancer’s system, but not the employer’s. How do you fix it?

This issue comes up frequently in arbitrations regarding websites. Typically, the freelancer has done the work on their own server, but when they transfer the work to the employer’s environment, it doesn’t work. Usually by the time the project comes in for arbitration, it’s too late to fix it because both parties hate each other and no longer want to work together. Before it gets to this stage, there are a few things on both the freelancer’s and employer’s side that can be done in order to prevent this type of problem.

Both Parties

  • Use a screen sharing service like www.teamviewer.com so that both of you can see the issues at the same time.


  • Make sure that double check that the employer’s environment and your development environment is compatible before beginning work.
  • Many times, these issues are a result of incompatible versions (such as PHP version 4 versus 5), settings, or directory structure.


  • Take a screenshot of the problem, there’s many free way to do this, including Alt+PrintScreen in Windows.
  • Take a movie of the problem. Again, there are freeware programs that will do this.
  • Make sure you are giving good feedback – make sure that you indicate the browser that you are using, the exact error message, and the steps that you took that caused it.


Who wins more in arbitration, the employer or the contractor?

Generally speaking, the employer wins more. This sounds bad for the contractors, but unfortunately the contractor has a greater burden of proof. If a project goes in for 100% testing, the employer has only to prove that the bug exists and the fixing it was part of the contract. The contractor has much more to prove – they have to show that the project works without error.

This isn’t to say that contractors never win, this is far from the case. Employers have to give the steps to re-create the error and show that they had informed the worker about the problem.