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New oDesk Contract Changes

Community Guru
Misty K Member Since: Feb 5, 2012
11 of 18
But, I had no idea today that this new job I have started had an hourly money back guarantee. Right now I'm just doing the preliminary (haven't clocked time to it yet) but it will go on the hourly contract to be paid for. With this money back guarantee in place for hourly jobs, I'm a little nervous about it, especially when I didn't opt in to be a part of that. Odesk just targeted me with this title for any hourly job I get hired on I suppose. I thought I got the job based on my interview through Skype today, but it could have been more because of this hourly money back guarantee? How does this impact us again? I'll be so stressed the client might not like my end work, more than ever before now. Oh, and I've noticed to that the Hourly jobs money back guarantee seems to land more work, but on what costs? I wonder....
Community Guru
Bojana D Member Since: May 2, 2011
12 of 18
I already turned down two of those - Money Back Guarantee hourly invites by brand new clients, 1st job posted here. Of course not solely because of the MBG - the main reason is I just don't have enough time to take on new work anyway. But it does make one wary - no client history, promises of big bucks and the purple badge. The only contract I have with MBG is with a repeat client where I've never had a problem before, so I don't think it matters at all. I did notice a bump in the invitations for hourly jobs though - before the MBG I used to get less hourly and more fixed-price.
Active Member
Cristina G Member Since: Feb 19, 2011
13 of 18
I also landed a contract which has 'guarantee' badge on it, I only found out about it after accepting the job. However, I am fortunate that this new client is a legit one--not only did he give me a perfect feed back, but also a nice bonus Smiley Happy. I am currently working second project for him. Though you were right in saying about getting more offers because of the new program, but I'm more cautious now, I can't be that lucky all the time.
"No man was ever wise by chance" -- Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Community Guru
Vesna M Member Since: May 15, 2012
14 of 18
Yeah, it's the third excitement this year, after hiding applications and putting a guaranteed mark to the profiles.
Don't correct my grammar!
Active Member
Rico E Member Since: Aug 15, 2010
15 of 18
I received another offer with the 10% again included in what should be paid to me. It got me thinking about this whole idea of removing the part to be paid to the freelancer and by the client. I'll keep the math simple: let's say a $10 (sample only, don't include in cheap jobs) Old model: 10 + 1 = 11 total contract price New model: 9 + 1 = 10 Freelancer complains; client changes offer with the mindset of 10+1. So he puts in 11 as contract price. oDesk charges 10% to the whole amount and gets $1.10; ten cents more than the previous and the computation becomes: 9.90 + 1.10 = 11 If freelancer chases the 10 cents, oDesk will still get a higher amount based on the percentage. That's what you call earning at the expense of both freelancer and client. Whoever thought of this did not consider its long-term implication.
Ace Contributor
Chamira A Member Since: Apr 4, 2012
16 of 18
Thanks for highlighting this - I noticed a discrepancy on a job offer yesterday from a regular client, I thought he had made a mistake. And Dianne M's link to the new fixed price system is also useful. It's just amazing these things are not communicated to everyone - simply a message/notification on the oDesk account would be enough.
Active Member
Daryl W Member Since: Mar 22, 2013
17 of 18
First a big thank you to Heather for this post, and to others as well, for joining in. I thought I was going crazy. For my fixed price contracts in the past week, the upfront payment button wasn't working, the oDesk fee went wonky, and suddenly there were strange messages about milestones. Like others have commented, I certainly did not get an email from the powers that be at oDesk announcing this not-insignificant change. Again to be clear, this has just cropped up for me in the past week. How can that be, you ask? I didn't see this thread until just now, so I called the oDesk help desk earlier today and the nice man explained that a) an email message was sent out sometime in January (which I didn't receive) and b) it's being rolled out in phases. I must be one of the freelancers in the second or later phases then. For anyone who couldn't locate it, here is the link to the new policy: Please note, everybody, that it has been styled the "New Fixed-Price System for Clients"--that's for sure! While I understand the risks for clients and I don't object to the removal of the upfront payment, I find the new process cumbersome, not to mention heavy-handed and overly-complex for small value contracts. The 14-day waiting period seems excessive for small projects, and is downright ironic when clients are requesting a fast turnaround time (although that is something they can invoke rather than something that is automatic, unless they exceed the 14 days and then the payment is released). I also don't know what the client is "seeing" on his/her screen, but from my viewpoint, the screens are not user-friendly and the new system is not intuitive. One of my experiences has been anything but smooth and I might even qualify it as a minor disaster. The client clearly had difficulty interpreting the policy: the client did not build in milestones; added one when I identified that a milestone would release a payment; added a second milestone that involved a whole new set of tasks outside the original scope of work; and finally has invoked a "15" day review period drawing my attention to "the contract" (I can see no "contract" and the only place one finds the waiting period is in the policy.) It is my great hope that the bugs will be worked out sooner rather than later. Thanks again to Heather and other posters.
Active Member
Audrey T Member Since: Nov 14, 2008
18 of 18

I just discovered this new change on a flat rate job and I'm with you - I'm not happy at all.


You don't just go around messing wtih people's money w/o telling them first. In the 6 years I've worked via oDesk, I have never seen this ill planned procedure. There has always been some kind of notice, at least 30 days or more.


Now I have to hope my client will agree to pay the $20 I was shorted.  That may not seem like much to some people, but to many of us $20 makes a difference in eating.


I am not happy.