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Don't pay double the budget

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Community Leader
André U Member Since: Dec 5, 2013
1 of 11
Dear clients I am a contractor and I have seen many times that I got paid twice for hourly contracts since you, the clients, are not aware of how the system actually works. If you agree on an hourly contract, your contractor will be paid automatically according to the time tracked. Let's say I work for 16$/h and I tracked 2h. At the end of the week, 32$ will be subtracted from the payment method you've provided. You do not need to pay anything manually (except you wish to pay a bonus of course). I have already saved the following message as a template because there are so many clients who pay me twice. Is it so confusing? "Hi *** I have just noticed that you have paid me a bonus of 31.50$. Although I am happy to see extra money, I am not quite sure if this was intended. For clarification: I have tracked 2h last week and you have paid me already 32.06$ automatically via the contract. This happens automatically for hourly contracts. You did not need to pay me manually. In other words: You have paid me twice (1x automatically and 1x just now). If you wish, I can return you the money via PayPal. I do not want to return money on oDesk because it is considered to be "bad behaviour" and my ranking on oDesk would suffer. That is why I suggest PayPal. Let me know how we can handle this situation. I could have told you nothing, but I prefer to be honest since your budget was rather tight and you're a nice client to work for. Greetings, André"
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Community Guru
Reynaldo M Member Since: Aug 4, 2012
2 of 11
And this is how a Professional Freelancer should act.
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Community Guru
Marcia M Member Since: Apr 3, 2013
3 of 11
This has not happened to me even once. Where are all these clients who don't understand how the hourly payment system works coming from?
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Community Guru
Mandy D Member Since: Jul 29, 2013
4 of 11
I think we should track them down and take advantage while we can ;-)
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Community Leader
André U Member Since: Dec 5, 2013
5 of 11
Most of my clients are either Asians or based in Asia since I mostly specialize on E-commerce translations (Chinese products, import/export, IT, ...). The client in this case was a Vietnamese. But I've already had an Italian and a US-American with exactly the same "problem". Greetings, André PS: I've paid the money back and my client was more than happy. She told me that I've probably saved her from getting fired. An interesting way in keeping a good relationship with a client. *More work to come* Smiley Happy
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Community Guru
Dianne M Member Since: Jul 25, 2013
6 of 11
I have over 10 instances of clients overpaying me unintentionally and I have returned their extra payment via oDesk refund. My account did not suffer at all and it has not affected my rankings. More details: When my profile was set to public, I get 3-5 invites a week and now that I have set it to private, I get interviewed for 50-75% of the jobs I apply to. So no, refunding payment via oDesk will not be seen as bad as far as I can tell. Also, you can add a note when you refund, so the oDesk team can check out why you are refunding. I don't think they would take it against you if you are simply being honest about returning the unintentional overpayment.


❄❄❄ Just A Forum Contributor --- This isn't against forum guidelines ❄❄❄
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Community Leader
André U Member Since: Dec 5, 2013
7 of 11
Hi Dianne Thanks for your response first of all! I've read somewhere that refunds are one reason for the hidden applications and I honestly do not want to risk being hidden there among other qualified applicants. Call me paranoid, but I still prefer paying back the money externally than via oDesk. Smiley Happy @public/private. How come? Isn't it paradox to have more interviews while nobody can check your profile? Or am I missing something? Greetings, André
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Dianne M Member Since: Jul 25, 2013
8 of 11
Hi Andre, you're welcome Smiley Happy I'm just worried that someone might report you for disintermediation if you offer to refund outside of the site. I know someone who got suspended by doing that. He refunded his client via paypal and on their next contract when things didn't go well, the client used the oDesk email screenshots to report him. They both got warned/suspended because its considered a first count offense for disintermediation. It means that if someone reports them again, they will be banned forever from this site, which is worse than being hidden. Public profile setting means other people can see your profile and send invites (as far as I know) and private profile means only those who have your profile permalink can visit and see your profile. If your profile is private, like mine is now, the only way clients can invite me is if they access my profile via a past hire or if I send them an application (as far as I know). What I said is that I used to get 3-5 invites a week when my profile was public and now that I have set it to private (so I can prevent spam invites), I only get contacted when I apply to jobs. I mentioned that I get interviewed for 50-75% of the jobs I apply to (and hired too!), proving that refunding didn't hurt my oDesk standing at all. When my profile was public, getting lots of invites means I really was in no way hidden by the system, despite having refunded overpaying clients more than 10 times. I think oDesk will hide your applications if you have a habit of getting contracts you can't fulfill or they see that you are giving lots of full refunds to manipulate feedback scores. If the refund is due to overpayment (which you can place in the notes section when sending a refund), they won't do that.


❄❄❄ Just A Forum Contributor --- This isn't against forum guidelines ❄❄❄
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Community Leader
André U Member Since: Dec 5, 2013
9 of 11
Thanks again for your answer, Dianne! @getting reported: I actually doubt that my client would ever do that since we get along very well. We've had a couple of contracts and she just had some difficulties understanding how an hourly contract works. Damn, she even invited me to come to Vietnam. Smiley Happy @public/private: Hmm, I see that it apparently did not effect your rankings nor your "hidden status". But honestly, I'd never ever trust oDesk. Nobody knows how the system works (it seems even oDesk does not know it either). While it works for some, other report bugs over and over again. Also, I have no idea how the search results are being handled. How come that an active contractor is on page 1 while I am on page 65 or something for my respective field, although I'm online all day long, 56 successful jobs, 4.99 rating and so on and so forth. I cannot quite grasp the system. In this regard, I have never ever received any honest invitation (nobody browses 70 pages of contractors), but my application/hire rate is quite okay (around 20% maybe), so I don't complain about that. I was just curious how you can survive with a non-public profile. Greetings, André
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Community Guru
Marcia M Member Since: Apr 3, 2013
10 of 11
Your client might contact support about some problem with her account and then mention something about getting money from you via Paypal, not realising that there's anything wrong with that. And if you tell purposely tell her not to say anything about it to oDesk, you lose some credibility as an honest freelancer.
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