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I recently applied for a fixed-price review writing job for $20 wherein I will be submitting my work in .doc format. However when the job was offered to me, the contract was hourly (for 10 hours, $2 per hour). This is only my second job on oDesk and I have no experience with hourly contracts. My question is how are the hourly payments guaranteed? Because from my understanding, if my hours are not logged (and since I will not be working on Time App) then oDesk cannot guarantee payment from my client. I'm kind of paranoid as I read quite often on the forums of people getting ripped off.
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It is my understanding that you must use the team app in order to qualify for the guarantee. Is there any particular reason why you are not going to be using it? Here's the link to the guarantee info: https://support.odesk.com/entries/23116462-What-is-the-oDesk-Guarantee-for-freelancers- I hope this helps.
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You can use manual hours too, if you have an understanding with your clients, though that is not guarantee. I have never use the tracking to record any of my hourly contract, I always input manually and I have never encountered any problems so I don't think there is any risk in it, but it may be I have been so lucky with my clients.