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Re: Waiting 14 days for an Escrow Payment Not Approved Is Inefficient/Poor.

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Active Member
Oudin S Member Since: Dec 7, 2014
1 of 28

Why do freelancers have to wait 14 days to obtain an escrow payment for work completed and submitted but not approved?

 

I understand that everyone is busy (clients and freelancers included) however the work created and time spent by each freelancer is valuable. Therefore if a client neglects to review a completed job in 3-5 days (which is reasonable time) a freelancer should not be penalized in receiving their payments.

 

I believe oDesk is promoting prompt and efficient communication to all freelancers, however in return placing little value on the work and time of freelancers. Thus allowing clients to be inefficient/poor in their communication and business dealings.

 

If a client request their funds to be returned from escrow, this is done in 7 days if not approved by the freelancer why not the same 14 days?

 

Is the client more valuable than the freelancer?

 

Where is the balance?

 

oDesk can have millions of clients however it will fail with zero freelancers. Thus freelancers should be treated with the same urgency and priority, prompting clients to always take an active approach in all their business dealing and job posting.

 

Suggestion: Escrow payments should be released in 5 days (same for returns, this is a standard business working week) if no response/approval from client.

 

The above sugesstions should add some urgency  to clients and keep things running efficiently.

 

This will also avoid the problem of having a clients submit change requests on day 13 (when a freelancer may have already taken new jobs) thus granting the client an other 14 days before they are required to approve payments.

 

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Community Guru
Garnor M Member Since: Oct 29, 2014
2 of 28

Hi Oudin,

Thanks for the feedback. We know you want to get your payments as soon as possible so I understand your point. However, we must allow a grace period for clients who may not be immediately available to review work and release payment. We've tightened this up as much as possible (14 days). 

 

You can follow up with your clients after delivering work to remind them of the pending payment. A follow up notice isn't a bad idea to ensure they're being responsive for this important task (reviewing the work and releasing the payment).

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Romeo T Member Since: Nov 28, 2014
3 of 28

14 days client review is long enough for a 3-hour fixed price job.  It only not affect a freelancer's cash flow and time management but losing opportunity as well to attract more clients.  Some of my prospective clients who have stricter deadlines are adamant to commit their jobs simply because they are receiving a wrong notion that I am still busy with the active contract which actually is already under the 14-days review.  

 

In short, the 14-days client review would only give some lost opportunity to a freelancer in winning more contracts due to the aforementioned reason.  In fact, Upwork is also losing some opportunity here.

 

Another flaw that I have observed with the system is when a freelancer "re-submit" an approval request, the 14-days meter will be reset to 0.    I have one experience when I have submitted an approval request 8 days past and "re-submit" the same on the 9th day, the 14 days meter was reset to 0 and started counting again from the day I "re-submit" the request.  This in effect would gave a client a total of 22 days review!  Please correct me if I am wrong on this.

 

I believe the 14-days client review does not treat freelancers fairly.   We should have an ecological balance here.

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Community Guru
Jean S Member Since: Oct 22, 2007
4 of 28

It's not 14 days. Please read the help section for Escrow Payments on fixed price jobs.

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Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
5 of 28

If the client doesn't pay you immediately after you have requested the release of funds, they will be held for 14 days before being released to the freelancer (unless there is a dispute).

 

"Milestone Review & Approval

Once you submit your work, your client will review and either approve the milestone or ask for changes.

  • The client has 14 days from the most recent submission on a milestone to review and approve or request changes. Approval releases the payment from escrow to you.
  • If your client doesn’t respond to any milestone submission within 14 days, the deposit is automatically released to you."
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Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
6 of 28

"In short, the 14-days client review would only give some lost opportunity to a freelancer in winning more contracts due to the aforementioned reason.  In fact, Upwork is also losing some opportunity here."

 

LOL no. I think I have 9 active contracts right now. If someone says "I need this by Wednesday" I just tell them yay or nay on whether I can do it. Manage your customer's expectations and it won't be a problem. Nobody cares if you have contracts open if you're the right dude or dudette for the job.

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Robert A Member Since: Jan 8, 2015
7 of 28

Don't you get it! This is just another way for oDesk to make more money. They hang onto the contractors money longer than they need to. In addition they hang onto the Employers money from the start of the contract. Which from any point of view moves working capital from the Employer to oDesk increasing money held by oDesk making oDesk look great at the bank.

Its not Escrow...thats missleading. If it was it should be held by a legal 3rd party not by oDesk. I think its time to use another Job Site. You know we all have a choice which service we use. I think oDesk have shot them selves in the foot.

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Community Guru
Garnor M Member Since: Oct 29, 2014
8 of 28

Hi Robert,

No, we don't make money from money held in escrow as this is a non-interest bearing account process. This functionality (escrow) is intended to give you more protections regarding payments and we expect it will help more clients and freelancers in managing their fixed-price job payments.

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Keith A Member Since: Aug 24, 2015
9 of 28

I know this is an old thread, but I have to say the time frames alotted for review, responses, etc favor clients more than the freelancers pretty visibly. The comment about the 14 day review being "as tight as possible" just seems absurd. Imagine if we freelancers took even ten days to confirm or decline an interview invitation or a checkpoint on a job. As we speak, I have 16 proposals pending, most of which are over two weeks old.  I have one client who I finished work for within a day of being hired. That was over a month ago, and I have not heard from the guy since.  Still waiting on being paid. A few of those proposals were invitations to interview from the client themselves. 

 

To review, clients that post these jobs are permitted to leave the applicants and their hired freelancers hanging indefinitely. Whether we freelancers require review for our work, a response to a proposal application, or simply a response to a message we sent, I feel no support from upwork unless I prod them for it. We are told to respond quickly to any and all communication, yet upwork seems to allow these uncommunicative clients to proliferate.

 

Why not impose some sort of response time limit from both clients and freelancers? The experience on upwork needs to favor the freelancer more, or I'll be done with this platform.  

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Community Guru
Jean S Member Since: Oct 22, 2007
10 of 28

You say:

 

As we speak, I have 16 proposals pending, most of which are over two weeks old.  I have one client who I finished work for within a day of being hired. That was over a month ago, and I have not heard from the guy since.  Still waiting on being paid.

 

This is NOT possible if you followed the rules.

 

Once the client verifies their payment method, any hourly job you work on will be paid in the normal Upwork time frame and that is not one month.

 

For fixed price jobs, the client verifies their payment method and then funds the project. Once the project is funded and you have completed your work you use the submit button in the jobs area, and your payment starts the 14 day process.

 

On the other hand....if YOU did not ensure the project was funded they you have a problem. It is your responsibility to ensure the project has been funded before you start working.

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