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Escrow or Similar Account

Active Member
Chuck L Member Since: Apr 24, 2014
1 of 6
Now that oDesk has merged with Elance, oDesk should look into adding the option of an Escrow account so that the payment process can be a bit smoother for all. The current process makes is dreadful to work on a fixed price job. Waiting 6 days, combined with having to wait an additional few days for oDesk to send the funds to the bank can become a frustrating and daunting task. Sometimes, it takes 10 days just to receive a payment and the client has moved on with their life. I know Elance is also an Escrow company, and oDesk should be able to utilize this same service since the two are now one. This will ease some the frustrations, and make the overall Fixed Price projects run a bit smoother. Another point I wanted to make was oDesk should follow the same process as Elance in regards to payments under $500. With Elance, any payment made that is under $500 is TYPICALLY made available to the freelancer immediately. There are a few instances where the funds will be held, but Elance only holds the funds for 3 business days (if the span covers the weekend, it's 5 days). This too is a policy that oDesk should review and implement into their platform.
Community Guru
Heather H Member Since: May 9, 2011
2 of 6
oDesk does offer escrow on some contracts, but the system is in Beta and not applied to all, at the time of hire, money is given to oDesk and held. When you turn in the work, you can request release, the client can release it, or it will be auto released after 2 weeks, and even after that time, you still have to wait an addtional week to get your money. Elance has escrow the is availble the minute it is released. Also, here, even if you request release, and the client wants changes *according to escrow they can be unlimited*, then the timer stops, and you have to request and wait all over again. Personally, I avoid such jobs. Sadly, I have one right now, i did not pay attention when accepting the offer via my phone, now I am stuck with it, and i think it will be a hell client since I have already turned in the project, and they are not requesting changes, but an addtional 2 days worth of work not covered in the contract before they approve release. Im sitting on it at the moment, since I informed them that I would be happy to do it, but the extra work is not covered under the current payment.
Community Guru
Stephen B Member Since: Dec 4, 2012
3 of 6
True to current form, oDesk has introduced its own version of escrow which is impenetrable, unintuitive, incomprehensible and riddled with flaws and loopholes. They must really work hard at maintaining such consistency - but that's no consolation to the bewildered clients and freelancers who are stuck with trying to find their way around it. Smiley Sad
Active Member
Chris B Member Since: Mar 28, 2016
4 of 6

I am one of the purchased providers from Elance and once I saw they held funds for ten days I logged on to Freelance. If Upwork is not willing to provide escrow services then it is in the wrong business.

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
5 of 6

10 days are for hourly. 1 week for a preview, and then you get paid the following Wednesday. Not that different from Elance.


Escrow is 5-6 days depending on your time relative to UTC time. If you're in the US, you basically have funds in the bank in 7 days after release excluding weekends. I usually don't see funds I send on Friday until Tuesday.

Community Guru
Douglas Michael M Member Since: May 22, 2015
6 of 6

Upwork's auto-release of escrow (2 weeks, plus security hold) is quicker than Elance's at the time of acquisition (30 days, plus modestly shorter security hold).