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Impossible Fixed Job

Active Member
Louella G Member Since: Jan 17, 2011
1 of 7



I seldom accept fixed jobs, but since I had plenty of timeto spare and it was just for 70 calls, I applied for a project and got hired. The client and I talked about what he wanted for his lead generation. I asked him if there is another title to the position of the people he was looking for. He said no. I called 10 companies to look for these people and I always hit a blank wall. So I decided to look at ther profiles only to discover that these are high risk security people. I told him about it and he said, if I don't get results, I don't get paid. I have spent over and hour and 30 minutes trying to get leads. I was wondering why he didn't accept much lower bids from his neck of the woods? Now I know the reason why. 


I have called many states in the US and connected with mayors, city administrators, top raking officials, CEO's or their assistants and can get their phone numbers and email. But logic tells me, with this project this is impossible. I might get into trouble if I persist. Companies do have their security concerns too. With my client's is reply that I don't get paid if I don't get results is not  really a problem for me. My problem is a bad review and poor rating. As we all know our stars are our life and I am protecting that. I fear that this time after all these years working on oDesk that I will get a negative feedback.


Do you think it will be fair if a get a bad review? Can customer support help out on this if ever? Can I dispute it? How? I have a copy of our chat on Skype.


Thank you very much.


Falling Star :-(

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
2 of 7
Hi, Loella!
First off, you posted your question in the wrong section. Coffee break is not for posting serious questions, it is for discussing trivialities that are not actually related to oDesk.

Anyway, the answer to you question is simple. You made a mistake in accepting this job as a fixed rate contract. You will probably never get paid, and even if you do, it will only be after working so many hours that this won't be profitable. You hourly take will be a dollar an hour or something. And your rating will be low which will reflect poorly on your profile.

So what you need to NOW is send ONE note to client with ONE sentence in it, stating you made a mistake in acceptable the job because you are not the right person for the job. ONE sentence. Then you close the contract, refund any money you have received, and block client from contacting you again.

In the future, do NOT accept impossible jobs as fixed rate contracts! And if you realize a job is impossible that you are working on as fixed rate, quit immediately. This isn't your son with an illness you are giving up on. This is a stranger who is NOT paying you, who you do not owe anything to.

There IS a type of contract for impossible jobs. It is an HOURLY contract at a rate high enough to compensate you for the aggravation you are going through and a rate high enough to compensate you for the damage done to you reputation when the contract ends and the client gives you bad feedback.
Active Member
Louella G Member Since: Jan 17, 2011
3 of 7

Hi Preston,


Sorry for my mistake and thank you for the info.


He hasn't released any money yet and didn't contact me today as he said he would. I didn't realize it was an impossble job until I foundout what a Data Contact Manager was. Yes, I am gonna be unpaid and hopefully he won't give me a bad feedback.


Thank you.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
4 of 7


I have good news for you.

If he doesn't pay you anything, he CAN'T leave feedback.


If you cancel contract and make sure he hasn't paid you anything, oDesk does NOT allow him any way to leave feedback on your profile.


Now... there might be ways he can complain to them directly, and he might be able to submit some kind of private response to oDesk, but none of that affects your star rating and none of that appears on your profile.


You just would not want to have repeated use of the option to cancel contracts or issue refunds, because eventually that will throw up a red flag with oDesk and they might review your account.


But in your situation, it's definitely the way to go, and you should breathe easier knowing he can't post anything negative about you.

Ace Contributor
Joseph O Member Since: Feb 4, 2009
5 of 7

Time and time again, it's been discussed here a lot, but if the fixed-price contact you have is not paid with any amount by the employer, then no feedback will be recorded, bad or good. 


And even if he pays, you can always return the money so that it will appear to be unpaid by the employer.

Community Guru
Lyam B Member Since: Nov 3, 2014
6 of 7

Just end the contract and forget about him.


I'm not sure if you can do anything, because I'm assuming the job description was something along the lines of "$X for X amount of leads". If it was, the client's not broken any rules as the job description said you'd only get paid per lead, and that's what fixed price contracts offer. It offers the client not to pay an hourly rate for dead ends, so instead they pay per lead, not for hours works.


However, if the client said they'd pay you "$X for X people contacted, and an extra $X for leads" - then report them when you end the contract.


Don't waste any more time working for an ass.


Good luck!

Active Member
Louella G Member Since: Jan 17, 2011
7 of 7

Preston H: That sounds good. I ended the contract already and I was not paid.


Now I am scared off accepting invites for fixed jobs though I did accept another last week. But at least this guy was honest enough of  what he wanted and I had done a similar type of project before. He gave me funded milestones and feedback last Friday before we move on on the next project. Now I am having second thoughts.


Joseph O and Lyam B...thank you for the feedback.


Now I can breathe...sigh.


Thank you everyone.