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How long should I wait before filing a dispute claim (fix price)?

Ace Contributor
Diana S Member Since: Jan 27, 2015
1 of 10

Hi guys,

I submitted a voice over track 3 days ago, as per the client's instructions, for a fixed-price job. He messaged me almost simultaneously as when I submitted the work, responding to a question I had asked (I assumed he just hadn't seen the submission)?
But now it's been three days and I haven't heard back from him at all or recieved any payment. I figured I would wait until Monday (if he was doing this through work or something, maybe he was away for the weekend), but now it's Monday afternoon on his time and I still haven't heard anything.

How long should I wait before filing a dispute under oDesk's escrow dispute instructions? I've been reading the page -
but it's very confusing. 

Thanks for your advice!

Community Guru
Aseem B Member Since: Dec 20, 2014
2 of 10

Hi Diana

If you have submitted the work properly by attaching it to the milestone(Instead of just sending the work on email or something like that) you will get your payment within 14 days even if client is dormant. Refer to point 3D for this.


That being said escrow is relatively a new process and there may be some issues with this. So you can also open a Help and Support ticket to get any questions clarified from odesk customer support.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
3 of 10


Aseem is correct.


If you set up the fixed price contract properly, then you will automatically be paid after 14 days.


There is no need for you to do anything but wait.


As for filing a dispute?

My personal policy is this: Never file a dispute. For any reason. Ever.


How would filing a dispute help you?


My belief is that filing a dispute will only lead to your account being put under review, which will interrupt your ability to work.


I look at the dispute filing process as something set up for clients. Only.


Keep in mind that this is my personal opinion and in no way represents the view of oDesk or other contractors.

Ace Contributor
Diana S Member Since: Jan 27, 2015
4 of 10

Thanks very much, guys! Yes, I did submit the word through the system. I just haven't heard even a peep from the client. 
I'm glad you guys told me, I didn't see that 14 days thing on the escrow page... maybe I missed it. I have to say, that page is quite confusing!

And I will keep that in mind about the dispute. Hopefully it will just be funded at the end of the 14 days and I won't have to worry about it... I guess I'll come back here for more advice if something goes wrong in the meantime!
Thank you all very much!

Valeria K Moderator Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
5 of 10

Hi Diana,


Aseem and Preston explained it quite well here that if the milestone had been funded and you had submitted the work through the system, the money will be released to you 14 days later even if the client never responds. 


I would also like to clarify the dispute process for Fixed-Price contracts. If there are funds in Escrow and the client ends the contract and requests the money to be refunded back to him from Escrow and not released to you, you will be notified about it and have a choice to either approve the refund or dispute it.


I hope this information helps.

~ Valeria
Ace Contributor
Jeff M Member Since: Jan 19, 2012
6 of 10

I am glad to know about this automatic payment after 14 days, but if you look at the "help" page referring to escrow it doesn't say this at all.  In fact, it says that you have to get the client to release the funds and that oDesk can't guarantee fixed-price jobs.  There's either a big discrepancy or that page needs to be changed.

Community Guru
David G Member Since: Oct 6, 2011
7 of 10

The whole escrow thing is new and they probably haven't updated the the help files.

Ace Contributor
Diana S Member Since: Jan 27, 2015
8 of 10

Hey guys, just thought I would get back to you all on this.
I sat tight for like 12 days (heard nada from the client, no payment released) and then this morning got a message saying he'd been out for the week with a 'mild flu' and he would release payment this week...
Geez. I mean, I haven't been here that long, but my experience so far on this site is that people are expected to pay pretty promptly. Us freelancers obviously are not working 9-5s, so I feel like it's a bit weird that being out with a 'mild flu' meant he couldnt even send me a message letting me know what was up for 12 whole days! I mean, he had asked for the work to be delivered on a Friday, I did so, and then heard nothing. That seems like a pretty lame excuse to me, with two weekends and a whole work week in the middle - and I was even more surprised that he didn't just release the funds when he messaged me today. 

I dunno. Does this sound normal to you guys? Should I consider giving a negative review over this? I normally try not to because I don't want to put people off, and I know how important good reviews are on this site... but yeesh. 

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
9 of 10


who knows?


Mild flu, golf game, or just didn't feel like getting around to it.


Doesn't matter.


Don't analyze it.

He is going to pay you. You did have to do extra work.


It all works out in the end.


By the way, kudos for getting back to us with "the rest of the story." I always appreciate hearing how things end.


(By the way, don't pressure him or even ask him about the payment now. At this point, you only need to wait 2 days to receive the full amount, if he does nothing. So why tempt fate?)

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
10 of 10

>>Should I consider giving a negative review over this?


Totally up to you. I probably wouldn't say anything negative about the incident.


Negative reviews are a lot less important to clients than they are to contractors, but I wouldn't want to say anything, especially when maybe he really was sick.


For me, though, I think if a client asks me to do something, and I do it, and he pays me what he agreed to pay me without asking for extra work... well, that's a pretty good client.