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Why am I being punished for speaking out and for being Honest

oluwakemi
Active Member
Oluwakemi B Member Since: Mar 26, 2013
1 of 10
I was chatting with odesk support yesterday about my profile not being updated until I thought to ask odesk about a client that I have not heard from and I thought they could contact her and let her know the weekly salary which happened to be part of my contract is still being paid. Just want to be sure if she is okay because I was a little worried about her silence. I woke up this morning to be told I am a thief and my account are being suspended for collecting a salary that was part of my contract and for speaking out and asking for their help to contact a client. The salary is part of my contract and I can go on for a year to collect it as long as the contract is still open. My innocence in asking for help and thinking odesk will have a number to call or something unlike I who just have her office email but instead of doing that my hard earned money was suspended and I am being told that the salary which happened to be part of my contract has to be refunded. I do my best to follow odesk rules and not get on their bad side but my gullibility in thinking the world is fair, and odesk has a responsibility to help out their freelancers has turn my impeccable record to something else overnight. I am now being told my account will be suspended until they hear from the client who happened not to be around, so I can go for years waiting for the client to answer odesk while my account will be suspended. I have learnt my lesson though in the hard way that trusting the odesk authorities and speaking out is not the best, I just want my account to be released and I promise not to make the mistake of being honest to odesk again. Oluwakemi B.
t-hall
Community Guru
Tony H Member Since: Nov 10, 2011
2 of 10
At first glance, I could vision many people here would rip you a new one for taking money if you're not working - BUT - how long has the client been unreachable? Maybe something happened. If you haven't been doing any work and are still collecting money, I'd be ashamed to add hours for doing nothing. However, if you have been doing work and submitting things your client normally asks for... it's kinda a double edged sword. The client may come back and wonder why you haven't been able to complete work without supervision ( I had a client like that once ), or they may come back and scream at you for continuing work and submitting stuff they don't nee or want... or doing nothing at all. So... what kind of work have you been completing during your client's absence and how long have they been gone? For example, I have a permanent contractor right now who submits articles each week. I personally don't want her to ever stop if she doesn't hear from me for a while. If she did, it would actually hurt the business productivity greatly. If I go missing, I'd absolutely want her to continue working. BUT she's also providing me with work that our contract requires and she understands that. If she sat on her thumbs and was waiting for me to give her the next assignment because I have been away and we agreed on a salary.. I'd personally feel bad that I screwed up and would pay her anyways. Most client would not want to pay and would be very angry though... so really, it's a situation that may be independent of the relationship you have with your client. For oDesk to call you a 'thief' however is very unprofessional, but my gut tells me by the wording of your complaint that they may not have used that exact word. In this case, I do think it's absolutely fair for oDesk to suspend your account if you cannot provide clear written proof about your salary arrangement and work expectations to oDesk during their investigation. I also had a client who would go missing for a couple weeks at a time, and he was paying more per week than many make here per month. This was going on and off for months, and I still booked the hours and did work that I thought he would need. HE wanted this though. If I hadn't just 'figured it out' on my own and worked on his projects without supervision, he'd probably have fired me.
mistykeith
Community Guru
Misty K Member Since: Feb 5, 2012
3 of 10
Are you just manually logging hours for a contract you aren't even working? Was this something that was agreed upon with you and your client? I can't imagine any client forking out money for you doing no work and just sitting there. That isn't logical anywhere in the world. As hard as most work for their money they wouldn't just squander it away for nothing but empty air. So, hopefully you can explain exactly what it is you mean? Are you working or aren't you? Or, (God forbid) you're simply putting in time and getting paid for nothing? If the latter is the case then it would be the exact reason why Odesk would suspend your account. Unless your client gave you precise instructions to keep putting in manual time and get paid for nothing--you shall be fine; but I don't think anyone would do that. Can you clarify?
zoomconcepts
Community Guru
Bojana D Member Since: May 2, 2011
4 of 10
Actually, in theory they could have a retainer agreement with monthly payments in place. Although that would have to be manually paid by the client, so it's not that likely.
oluwakemi
Active Member
Oluwakemi B Member Since: Mar 26, 2013
5 of 10
If I am putting in time manually as most of you think, then why am I going to odesk to investigate this very bad thing I did.When the contract was open,the client who happened to be a very nice lady,one of the best on odesk decided to put me on a salary every week, 5 dollars whether I work or not so that I will be on her employee list or something and she will be able to come back anytime she need work done to me, so its like a commitment. Anytime she needs work done, I am always there no matter how busy I am, this salary I don't put in hours, it comes in automatically from odesk, I just see it on my pending every week without any question or asking, because it is a salary. I know some of you may find it unbelievable but salary exist on odesk, my sister who is also working on odesk have a current client who allows her to put in 30 dollars every week whether she works or not, its part of the contract and not part of the work we did and we are two freelancers collecting this salary from this client. So the salary comes out from her account every week so when she was not responding, I thought she traveled because she does that a lot since she is a medical specialist, she has a lot of clinics she goes to but I was not worried about collecting the salary since it is part of the contract. The only thing that got me worried is that she has being gone for so long and I need to know whether she is alright and if she still knows the salary is being paid. So I am not putting in any hours or putting in unnecessary work, and I will have closed the contract which was what I decided to do when I did not hear from her and why I want odesk to contact her before doing that but I really want a feedback from her because she is one of my best clients.
mistykeith
Community Guru
Misty K Member Since: Feb 5, 2012
6 of 10
I guess it is logical. These are very small amounts of money, but added together it would be $35 a week. Personally, I wouldn't want to give that to two contractors who weren't currently working, but if your client has it set up that way then so be it. She apparently has the funding to afford it. On that note, I can't understand why Odesk would suspend your account unless there was some suspicious activity on the client's account maybe? That is a possibility. Have you had any funny job interviews, or worked or any chancy clients currently? Other accounts that you're linked too can sometimes cause yours to get suspended as well. Though that isn't fair. Hope it gets worked out.
natacharodriguez
Community Guru
Natacha R Member Since: Aug 2, 2010
7 of 10
Twice I got this from 2 clients, I was hired on hourly contracts but they added weekly payment too. There is no such thing as adding manual hours, it is paid automatically, the only way to cancel weekly payment is by ending the contract.
ladyelexia
Community Guru
Heather H Member Since: May 9, 2011
8 of 10
It is not very well known that you can have weekly payments set up by a client that are automatic. I had 4 liek this in the past, and 2 now. Similar to the OP, I had a client that did an auto $300 payment every week for a certain amount of work. There came a time when I finished the massive list they gave in advance, by about 5 months. I emailed the client, I got one message back, informing me that his list was done, but make my own and just submit. I told him that I would have less output, but he said he would rather pay regardless to keep my services engaged. It went fine for 3 months, then He stopped replying, normaly he would check back after submissions, so, another 3 months went by I never herd from him again. Payments continued, I worked, but then I had some personal issues to attend to so I messaged him that I would not be working for 3 weeks and to pause the payments. He never ever got back to, payments kept on. I was not online those three weeks, I came back, still no reply, but pending earings. In the end, I heard from him 4 months after this, said he had been busy, and everything was fine. I asked about refunding the 3 weeks, again never heard back, but he ended the contract a week later, with 5 stars and a really nice message. I don't think he has been back on odesk, perhaps he closed the business or moved to something else, you never really know. Keep reaching out to your client, keep and unused funds thay paid in reserve for refund, and be careful talking to support, they dont know very much about their own rules, and just react with threats to avoid doing any work.
oluwakemi
Active Member
Oluwakemi B Member Since: Mar 26, 2013
9 of 10
Thanks Heather and everybody else that gave me their support and advice. I have learnt my lessons about contacting support. They are treating me as if I did something wrong, I wont make the mistake again of asking for their help. I just want them to open my financial account, I still can't believe I put myself into this just by asking for their help. I don't know what to do to correct the mistake I have already made.
margaretphillips
Community Guru
Margaret P Member Since: Jul 7, 2007
10 of 10
Customer support here has a very hard time understanding what anyone is saying their ticket. They misinterpret pretty much every ticket I have ever sent in and usually have to go back and forth many times before I can finally make myself clear. Just keep replying to the same ticket and explain and explain that you did not cheat the client, she authorized weekly payments. If you have anything in writing from her please attach it to the ticket.
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