Less than half of one percent of projects on XPlace require Dispute Resolution. However, in the event that a dispute does arise, it is important to know that there is a well-defined process in place to assist both parties in reaching a mutually acceptable outcome.
What Happens When I Can't Resolve a Dispute?
If a client and an expert are unable to resolve a problem independently, XPlace provides a well-defined process to help both parties reach a resolution. XPlace Dispute Resolution is available only for projects with funds held in Escrow.
How Does XPlace Dispute Resolution Work?
XPlace Dispute Resolution is a three step process. The first step is for both parties to attempt to find a resolution independently by documenting the disagreement and the expected outcome in the Dispute Resolution Request Form. The second step is a dispute assistance call facilitated by XPlace. If a resolution is still not reached, either party has the right to move to the final step of the process, which is Mediation-Arbitration.
For more information on the dispute resolution process, please refer to the XPlace Dispute Resolution Policy.
What is Mediation-Arbitration?
Mediation-Arbitration is an alternative to taking someone to court and a way to receive a final judgment by an independent third party. It is typically far less expensive than court and the judgment is enforceable in a court of law. XPlace will take the arbitration judgment and require that both parties abide by the ruling. If the first two steps of XPlace Dispute Resolution do not reach a conclusion, XPlace will pay 1/3 of the cost for the parties to move to arbitration (up to 1,500.00 ILS).
How Much Does Mediation-Arbitration Cost?
XPlace has established preferred terms with an accredited mediation & arbitration service and a process for the transfer of all relevant case material, such as the Dispute Resolution Request and Response, Workspace communications, any status reports, and terms as negotiated and accepted on the site. The cost for Mediation-Arbitration varies depending on the amount of Escrow funds under dispute. For disputed escrow funds less than 3,000.00 ILS the cost of Mediation-Arbitration is 900.00 ILS. This cost is shared equally by the client, the expert, and by XPlace (300.00 ILS per party). For disputed escrow funds totaling more than 3000.00 ILS the cost of Mediation-Arbitration is 1,500.00 ILS (or 500.00 ILS per party). In both cases, XPlace subsidizes one third of the cost, up to 1,500.00 ILS, and up to 4 hours of third party Mediation-Arbitration services. Any Mediation-Arbitration fees incurred beyond this initial subsidy shall be borne equally by the disputing parties and payable directly to XPlace Ltd.
How Do I Protect Myself in Case of a Dispute?
- Over communicate. Many disputes arise from missed expectations and assumptions made up front. Make sure that the other party is clear on requirements or terms and that you are agreeing on the same thing.
- ALWAYS PAY YOUR PROVIDER USING XPLACE ESCROW. Only release funds once you have had the chance to inspect and accept the work and make sure these release conditions are clearly specified and agreed to up front. Note: by releasing funds from Escrow you are confirming the completion of the project's milestone to your satisfaction.
- PROVIDERS SHOULD ONLY BEGIN WORK WHEN FUNDS ARE HELD SECURELY IN ESCROW. Make clear the conditions under which work will begin.
- Use the Project Workspace: Define very clear milestones as checkpoints on work* quality and progress.
- Communicate using XPlace. This assures your Workspaces have a record of communications that will be referenced in the case of a dispute.
- Require your expert to submit weekly status reports through XPlace.
- Expert, always indicate the current status of the project and highlight any issues that may impede your progress in the weekly status report.
- Keep your Terms up-to-date. If the schedule, scope, or amount changes, be sure to update the client via the Project Workspace on XPlace. Remember, this is the official agreement between both parties that will be referenced in the case of a dispute. If you cannot agree on updated Terms, then it may be an indication that you have a dispute.
I Now Have a Dispute, Where Do I Start?
First, remain professional in all communications. Unprofessional communication will undermine your case. Both parties have already agreed to abide by the Dispute Resolution process as part of the Terms of Service so you can be sure there will be a resolution regarding the funds held in escrow.
- File a Dispute Resolution Request available within the Workspace under the "Experiencing Difficulties?" section in the list of escrow payments. The other party is notified and is required to respond to the Dispute Resolution Request Notice within 5 business days.
- Attempt to reach a resolution regarding the dispute without involving XPlace. If no compromise can be found, XPlace will contact both parties to arrange a dispute assistance call.
- If no resolution is reached during the Dispute Assistance conference, Mediation-Arbitration is the final step in the process. Either party may initiate Mediation-Arbitration. If requested, the other party is required to attend, otherwise, the release condition for escrow funds is met and the funds are released to the party initiating Mediation-Arbitration. If neither party requests Mediation-Arbitration, all funds in escrow will be returned to the client 6 months from the Dispute Resolution Request.
Does Mediation-Arbitration Apply to Projects Where Parties are Located in Different Countries?
Yes. Since both the client and expert have agreed to the XPlace Terms of Service, both must abide by the Dispute Resolution process until a final resolution is reached in case of a dispute, regardless of location. This means that if one party does not fulfill their obligations by participating, then the release condition for the funds is met and escrow funds are released to whichever party participated in the Dispute Resolution process.
My Expert/Client Stopped Responding to My Requests for Communication, Payment or Work. What Can I Do?
If one party becomes non-responsive for a period of more than 5 business days, contact XPlace to get help. In cases where there are funds held in escrow, if the party is non-responsive to the Dispute Resolution process, then the release condition for the funds is met and the funds are released to the responding party.
My Provider is Asking for a Down Payment. Is This Customary?
Yes. Providers often require down payments before they will begin working on a project. When working remotely online, XPlace recommends depositing a down payment into escrow, but not releasing funds until the first milestone has been delivered and reviewed to your satisfaction. Escrow is an important protection for both parties when working online. If the chosen expert refuses to begin work until funds are released from escrow, please inform XPlace immediately - it is a violation of XPlace's terms for experts to request a release of funds from escrow before the work has been sent to the client.
What Happens to Funds That I Previously Released From Escrow? Can I Get Them Back?
It is important that you inspect the quality of work delivered before releasing the funds in escrow. Define your milestones at specific points in the project where you can inspect and sign off on the work performed. Once you release funds from escrow, you cannot recover them.
How can I learn more?
- Terms of Service for XPlace Escrow
- XPlace Dispute Resolution Policy
- XPlace Escrow FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)