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New Fixed Price Deposit Policy

Active Member
Dan C Member Since: Feb 16, 2011
1 of 21
I think this new policy sucks! I will be looking for alternative sites to find freelancers. This puts the client at risk - we pay upfront and then have to fight with oDesk to get our money back. I don't like it. Before I could negotiate with contractors to pay when the job was finished satisfactorily. Based on some bad experiences I have refused to pay anything upfront anymore. Hopefully enough other clients will complain or leave oDesk and they will change it back.
Community Guru
Gillian Michele N Member Since: Mar 15, 2012
2 of 21
If you're talking about milestone payments, the money is held by oDesk and then released to the freelancer's account only when you've approve the work.
Active Member
Prash A Member Since: Sep 2, 2012
3 of 21
Milestone are not easily setup by clients. Even you can't define the number of milestones as well as payment for each one of them. At-least, I can't find any menu option to do it. It has been done very crudely and just make whole experience very bad.
Active Member
Prash A Member Since: Sep 2, 2012
4 of 21
Generally, I post hourly contract but for fixed price this, policy sucks. It is absolutely disgusting for clients. I have created a project for 6 months work and oDesk has charged me the money immediately for whole project. It makes thing difficult for small business. Hoping that oDesk will listen to these concerns.
Community Guru
Dianne M Member Since: Jul 25, 2013
5 of 21
You can choose the initial amount to deposit for the project. It doesn't have to be the whole amount (there is even a message that says this when you are typing the amount you need to deposit). And yes, I'm also a client and hire and pay people here using hourly contracts, the old fixed price system and the new fixed price system. There is no concern needing to be fixed regarding the new fixed price system as long as you read the information on the help tab imho. Maybe the interface can be made friendlier but that's just it. Just needs a bit of getting used to like a new phone.

❄❄❄ Just A Forum Contributor --- This isn't against forum guidelines ❄❄❄
Active Member
Stuart W Member Since: Jan 4, 2012
6 of 21
This is a very careless policy change that has absolutely no positive benefit to contractors. Contractors want to be able to deposit (to either the site/ or freelancer) at will and when the work is done. Forcing a deposit before the project should be only required for contractors that have a history of not paying workers. This new policy seems to have been implemented because of such contractors, but it is not fair to the majority of contractors here.
Community Guru
Dianne M Member Since: Jul 25, 2013
7 of 21
Please use the right terms when posting here. Client = buyer = customer contractor = freelancer = the service/skill provider and while I'm at it, a client is not an employer and a freelancer is not an employee. terms such as 'wages' are not applicable as well unless a client is 'employing' a freelancer, with all the benefits a real employee gets. What I'm trying to say is, please change the word 'contractors' to 'clients' in your post to avoid giving mixed messages, thanks! By the way, I'm a client here and I like the new fixed price system because my freelancers feel more at ease especially for large projects. Happy and secure freelancer = great work = more money for my business. Besides, if you did your part as a client and have read how the new fixed price system goes, you should know that only you can decide when to release the money. It can be refunded in full if you decide not to release it. If you're too lazy to respond within 2 weeks, that's the only time the money gets automatically released to the freelancer. Plus again, as a client, you can choose to deposit whatever amount you want. In the event that you deposited 1 million dollars, there is another option to choose only a portion of that to be released to the freelancer upon clicking the 'review the work' button. As I've said, all it takes is a bit of reading and comprehension and not being a lazy client with poor management skills. Not sure what's the big fuss about unless someone has poor management skills and did not even take the 5-10 minutes it takes to know how the new fixed price system works.

❄❄❄ Just A Forum Contributor --- This isn't against forum guidelines ❄❄❄
Active Member
Andrew R Member Since: Mar 22, 2015
8 of 21

i am hiring someone for first time using odesk. he is requesting 40% upfront. I feel thats too much, as if they dont follow through i am out $40% of money.







Valeria K Moderator Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
9 of 21

Hi Andrew,


With Escrow protection availble for fixed-price jobs you do not need to pay an upfront to the freelancer, instead you can deposit either full budget or part of it into Escrow. In case the freelancer does not complete the work at all, you will be able to request the deposit to be refunded back to you. 


- After you click "Hire" you will end up on the Make Offer page where you can specify the milestones for the project.

- When you submit the offer the amount specified for the first milestone will be deposited into Escrow. 40% sounds like a reasonable deposit for the first milestone, however it is up for you and the freelancer to agree on those terms.

- Once the freelancer accepts your offer, the contract will become active and you will be able to see the details about milestones funded and released if you click on the name of the contract.

- Once the freelancer delivers work for the first milestone you can release funds and fund the next milestone.


Here is more information about fixed-price contracts and Escrow protection.


~ Valeria
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
10 of 21
Andrew, if you are not comfortable paying up front costs, you do not have to. There are many, many contractors who do NOT ask for up front fees. I don't. (I am not available for new work, but lots of other contractors are.)

You can find a contractor who will do one milestone, let you review it, and if you like what you see, pay for the work and continue working with the contractor.

It is a small initial milestone. So if the contractor really did the work, but you don't like his style, the best thing is to pay, and close the contract, moving on to work with other people. If the contractor does not do the work, close the contract without paying anything.