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Freelancer has dissapeared so has my 2.5 thousand dollars

I hired a freelancer to do an App for me, he was good with communication, always contactable on skype and provided me updates.

 

Ever since I told him I am getting someone else to do the Andriod version, he has been online less and less and now has gone offline all-together so I am now out of pocket two and a half thousand dollars as I foolishly paid him weekly instead of a fixed amount.

 

Odesk have told me there is nothing they can do about weekly payments.

 

This guys has over 1300 hours on odesk so I did not think he would do this.

 

I am in Australia and he claims to be also although he is from Pakistan.  I have a local cell phone number for him that is now switched off and I also have a photocopy of his passport, if it is really him.

 

Any suggestions on where I can go from here?

 

9 REPLIES 9
prestonhunter
Member

Presumably you have all the work that he did. If you were paying him on a weekly basis, this was a work-for-hire contract, and everything he did belongs to you. It can be frustrating to transition to a new developer, but that is what you will need to do. Hire a new developer to continue the project using all the source code and development files the original developer produced.

I am not sure what you mean by saying your $2500 disappeared, unless you are saying you are not in possession of the source code and files produced by the developer.
0b9c1e91
Member

I would only ever enter into an online contract on a set price and payment plan, I have had no problems using this method.

l_travis
Member

 

Hey Darren, 

Please be looking for an email from Mal, a member of our Client Success Team. Thanks for reaching out, and allowing us to help! 

Untitled

As a client it is a good idea to protect yourself. For hourly work you should always have source code beind developed through an svn or on your servers via ftp. For weekly fixed price work you need to make the freelancer turn in the work they have done before each "milestone" is released to them.

 

Beyond that I am not belittling you, just some advice for the future to protect yourself. This is a very sad thing, and I hate that it has happened. It gives all freelancers a bad name. I hope oDesk can do something for you, however if this was done on fixed prices they have it in their policy that it is out of their hands. However sometimes they will go an extra mile for a client that has been scammed. I hope they can.

 

Good luck in the future, and remember always protect yourself!

Even though this is extremely unprofessional behaviour from freelancer's side, I can see two mistakes on your end as well:

 

Mistake 1: Always work on development projects with goals and Milestones set. So when your programmer completes a certain goal (example: Design phase completed), you can release a milestone and so forth.

 

This way you release payment for only completed work and even if the freelancer does not complete the whole project, you have acquired what you have paid for so far.

 

Mistake 2: NDA!

 

Always sign an NDA or a small agreement with your freelancers. Hire a legal consultant through Odesk for $100 and have him/her prepare a standard agreement and NDA for you. Edit those accordingly and send it to everyone you work with.

 

This way you are legally covered and can raise your voice against the freelancer through different channels. Plus the freelancer will be more careful. We are a company and have a proper legal team but that might not be the right step for you as you seem to a new client.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Good luck!

SY - Ideas Unlimited

regarding NDAs...

If you have a high quality, ethical contractor, an NDAS is completely unnecessary.

I work at a level wherein I have access to clients' core data, and I rarely am asked to sign NDAs. When I am asked to sign them, I do so, but it does not change my behavior.

(Of course, there may be no way to know what type of contractor you're working with until after they're none working with you.)

It seems that Odesk has become a target for scammers. I came across 2.  Here's one that made of with prepayment and disapeared **edited for Community Guidelines** An image search for his picture came up with this **edited for Community Guidelines** In other words he was using somebody else's picture which shows a very suspicious behavior. I wish I had done image search before hiring.  The other one claims to be in US and uses American name, but was actually in India.  This is his post **edited for Community Guidelines**  An image search turns up here **edited for Community Guidelines** He is using this exact picture from the article writer!  The time zone also does not match the location specified.

 

I would like to suggest that clients 1) do image search of the candidate before hiring. You might be surprised what you find.  If it is not the same person, do not hire.  It is likely a scam. 2) if the person has a specific profile but the time zone indicator which you can see from the local time underneath the location does not match the location, it is likely a scam or might be. Do not hire. There is no reason to use a different name and location for professionals seeking jobs. 3) if the candidate asks for Skype ID, beware.  There is little need for Skype.  You can exchange messages under Odesk message.  It is not live, but if both are on it is the same as live.

 

 

"If you have a high quality, ethical contractor, an NDAS is completely unnecessary."

 

... and if you don't it won't really matter because you are not going to chase someone in a legal maze that spans across oceans and continents.

 

 

bb042054
Member

This happening to me as well.. my freelancer is gone not even half way of work.. but with $800 he doing some work and send me process of work.. and he ask can I pay him some of the money so I do, 

then few day later he just dissapear ignore all mail,skype,hangout from me then I contract Upwork then they ask me to wait.. wait.. then here we go almost two month of nothing but the money and idea is gone...

then a couple day ago.. Upwork mail me give me $80(from $800 I spend)for credit..that suppose to be moneyback guarantee person that I hire..

now I just try to get all my money back... and use that to hire new freelancer,what a time wasting.... 

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