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Odesk Service Fee was taken out of my payment... This has never happened before

Active Member
David M Member Since: Feb 18, 2015
1 of 23

I have been freelancing on Odesk for over a year now, and this past week I have a negative balance in my time report. Two transactions saying "Service Fee". Why is this? This has never happened before...

Community Guru
Stephen B Member Since: Dec 4, 2012
2 of 23

Look around the forum - there's a lot going on...

Community Guru
Jeri B Member Since: Feb 15, 2010
Active Member
Jennifer K Member Since: Feb 24, 2015
4 of 23

Why is this all of a sudden happening when it never happened like this before?


Active Member
Ronnahlyne D Member Since: Jul 22, 2012
5 of 23

Yes. They just deducted my earnings last week. And there's another pending service fee for previous week. We should do something about this its freaking 10%!

Valeria K Moderator Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
6 of 23

Hi Jennifer and Ronnahlyne,


The 10% oDesk Service Fee is being deducted from every transaction on oDesk just like it had been before. There have been changes in the way it is displayed though. Please refer to this thread for more information.


Thank you!

~ Valeria
Community Guru
Jean S Member Since: Oct 22, 2007
7 of 23

@Juvy R wrote:

For many, we get paid weekly and that is 10% every week, a total of 40% monthly of our income now goes to upwork. 

 Tell me one thing Juvy,


If you have 1 client and make $1000 with that client in one month, what do you pay?


If you have 4 clients and make $1000 in the month what do you pay?


     1 Job = $250

     2nd Job = $250

     3rd Job = $250

     4th Job = $250


Active Member
Juvy R Member Since: Sep 23, 2015
8 of 23

My bad about. I computed it wrongly taking 100 usd as a weekly income. Added the percentage isntead of multilpying the total deduction in 4 weeks. My apologies. Taking into cosideration for 1000 usd earning, 100 usd deduction is still a lot. Good for those who are earning such amount. But let say small earners e.g earning only 400 monthly at most. 10% of that is 40.  That is too much. I don't quite see why before if say, I earned a total of 100 usd weekly minus .99 if I withraw the amount. I always see the exact amount when I get. At which point was it deducted though?

Community Guru
Bojana D Member Since: May 2, 2011
9 of 23

I needed the laugh, thanks. 


On a more serious note: I see you've been here at least for 2 years, Juvy. Surely you must have noticed that things have always been like this? The only difference is that oDesk never admitted to it and worded it like it was being paid by the client - it never was. Clients have always paid a total amount that included the fee (and not all of them were aware that there's 10% fee, for them it was just the price of the work). Before, oDesk just took their 10% cut from that total amount and never showed it in your balance. The only difference now is that they're showing the transaction in your balance. Nothing's technically changed, aside from the fact that Upwork now admits the 10% cut is paid by freelancers. As it always has been. 





Active Member
Juvy R Member Since: Sep 23, 2015
10 of 23

Thanks Bojana. What makes it more confusing is you can never get a better explanation from upwork support. 

This was the answer I got:

Me: Well, I am seeing you have been deducting me for a service fee?
CSR: Yes, we deduct 10% service fee

Me: What?!!!!
Me: That's a lot!

CSR: That's the fee applied to all freelancers.

Then I had to ask for a supervisor for a better explanation, but I was just advised to add 10% on top of my rate.



I understand the difference now.  Before, you would only see the exact amount of your actual rate in your odesk account. However, the client will be billed 10% on top of that. And from our end, we will only see that in the Total amount billed in our weekly timesheet was more than the number of hours we worked for (your total earning for total number of hours you worked + 10%). But then in the transaction history you'll see that you only recieve the exact amount for the total number of hours you worked for the client. 


I believe, I now understand why the supervisor advised me to add 10% on top of my rate.

This what I am not sure I did before, or maybe I forgot doing. What I think I noticed before was when I put in my rate propsal, I saw that I get 10% less in the "Estimated Earning" box. E.g For $5/hr, your estimated earning is only $4.5. Then I kept raising my proposal for a few cents more until  I get the exact rate that I want in the "Estimated Earning" box.  


My bad was, I never realized earlier that I already noticed it before.

P.S, I did not remember until I get to your comment.



Upwork should educate their support more effectively to come up with a better reasoning so people won't go on forums and shamed themselves by posting nonsese.


But I'm glad I made you laugh. Smiley Wink


And thank you too. Smiley Happy