I finally found a guy from Pakistan. He had a 4.7 average score (out of 5) over 8 jobs. He had the experience I was looking for, and a fancy degree (MBA from oxford I believe). We talked on skype. He was very professional, spoke perfect english and I felt really good about hiring him.
He was supposed to start work last monday. I didn't receive my leads until monday evening, so there was 1 day delay which was not his fault. Monday evening, very late, I sent him the leads so he could start calling the next day.
Tuesday, I hear nothing from him all day.
Wednesday, he says he will start calling. Some time later I receive an email that the phone number I set up for him does not work on his computer. He called support and it had something to do with his windows. He did not have a repair disk, so he had to reinstall windows. The entire day was lost because of this.
Wednesday afternoon, he sends me another mail asking for a script. I stated clearly in the job description that we did not have a script and would expect the person who would get the job to write one for us. He did not do that yet, even though he had almost a week to prepare. Luckily a friend of mine who is in the same business had a script. But it was in french, so I had to translate 7 pages, but sent it to him by wednesday evening.
Thursday: He says his pc works fine now and will start calling. The number I set up for him is a google voice number. Throughout the day I checked the history to see if calls were being made. And they were. To the area of portland and milwaukee, where I have no business. None of my leads were from these areas. At the end of the day 120 phonecalls were made, 10 to my leads, 110 to numbers that were not on my list.
I confronted him about this. He said he still had issues because there were no funds added to the google voice number (calling to the states is free and I tested this a couple of times). So, he had to use his own google voice number and gave my number to his brother so he could call his leads. But this number is on my website! What if somebody called and got his brother on the line? Very improfessional! I was not happy about that.
He said he had called 95 of my leads. But I had no proof. He also was very vague in answering questions I had (since the beginning of the week). I asked him to send me screenshots of his call history. He did manage to deliver these within 10 minutes, so apparently he did call my leads.
But still, I no longer felt good about working with him. He did not communicate all the things we agreed upon beforehand. His answers were very vague. He was not reachable during an entire day (while we hired him to work 40 hours per week). He gave our phone number to someone else to use. Our leads were called, but I was not sure if he called them, because he could not tell me what the general reactions and objections from the prospects were.
So, yesterday morning I cancelled the contract through elance. I agreed to pay him the hours he put in. You would think that is the end of the story, no?
This morning I check my email and see a message from my hosting provider, all of my websites have been hacked. I check my domains, all of them display a message from a Bangladesh hacker group. At this point I suspect the freelancer. It's just to much of a coincidence, even though I have no proof. First time in 8 years I get hacked is right after I fire someone.
So, I log in to my cpanel and start looking around. I finally remember I created a company email for this freelancer, firstname.lastname@example.org. I want to see if he has done anything damaging with it, afraid that he might have mass emailed my leads talking bad about my company. But I can't login, the password has been changed. My first reaction was to delete that email account. I have asked my hosting support if they can see if there was any irregular activity on this deleted email account, but have not had an answer yet. They are cleaning my server and after that I can restore my backups. I spent the entire afternoon scanning my pc, changing passwords,... so much for my sunday.
If it was the freelancer who did this, I hope he does not do anymore damage, like building spam links to my sites.
So, now I'm looking for a new freelancer, one that will hopefully be a little bit more productive and trustworthy.