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Hello fellow freelancers, I have joined oDesk on January 2013 and happily worked here ever since, having both good and bad clients. Lately I've been having bad luck with clients meaning they would run off after the project was completed (not yet paid or not fully paid). Most of you might be asking why do I release the files if no payment was made but when you can't get on the same page with a client that keeps telling you "I not pay until you give files" I would comply and hope for the best. Recently, I hit the end of the rope with someone from US which English was so bad but thankfully the job description was clear enough to get my work done. He paid me one milestone upon request at 50% completion (probably to gain my trust) and after everything was ready and uploaded, he took an 180 degree turn and start calling me names after I said that everything was in order and my part was done. Just so I make everything clear, I take pride in what I do and I do love the work which is always double-checked before released to clients, that's why I always give them a little extra which ensures a good review and having then back if they need more work. As I've said, he started calling me names and stating that I didn't do the job and had didn't reply on time. Yeah, this last one is a funny one: for one whole week he would send me emails at 4-5-6AM (7-8PM his time) and would go mad why I wouldn't reply to him. 6-7 emails from 10 to 10 minutes "hello".."are you there".."i need to talk to you"..."please respond"..."i'm on skype". Seriously? I'm sleeping.. take the time to check our time difference, it's not that hard. I've emailed him about our time difference, next night.. same thing. To make the long story short, I have all the files backups from before I started modifying anything and the new files, skype conversations and of course, odesk messages to prove that I did my job and a lot more beyond that and any developer would see that I'm right. Is there any course of action against this type of clients who take the work and then cancel the project/are never heard of or would this just be a case of fixed type projects where they can hide behind the policy "I don't have to pay you for your work, suck it"? P.S: I also let him know about a project he had, where he paid Mouheb $125 for removing inline CSS, and he just took his money and said it was done. Good thing that guy gets paid in full while the employer jerks me around when I actually delivered. I guess "No good deed goes unpunished" Thank you and looking forward to your help.
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Unfortunately, fixed price projects are between you and the client. Clients should use common sense. If they hire international freelancers, they should remember that we're not all in the same time zone. Odesk can't really help with your payment, but you can still report the client for non-payment and because they were abusive. Odesk monitors clients who act this way. You say that he did make a milestone payment, so you can write some honest feedback and mention that he didn't pay you fully and his behaviour was unacceptable.
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Thank you for your reply Gillian. So basically I should be grateful for receiving almost half the payment for a full project's work. Is this what has come of oDesk these days? It's full of employes who would hit and run with the work. Why isn't oDesk preparing some fail-safe for freelancers as well (except hourly-based projects)? They're basically encouraging employers to use these kind of tactics, because it's full of employers with low hiring rate, asking for free samples etc.. Why isn't oDesk thinning the herd? Because that's how money are made. I believe that there are freelancers who do a crappy job or trick the employers but it's not the case for all of us (I just saw a freelancer who had 22 pages of portfolio pages with designs made by someone else. He added to his portfolio even though the images had huge copyright watermarks on it - geez) I'm ashamed to say that working on oDesk is becoming really frustrating. Maybe it's time to consider other, more respectable freelance websites. Any suggestions?
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I'm not saying you have to be grateful. Once you complete the work, you should be paid fully. I'm just saying that unfortunately, some clients are dishonest. Just make sure that you report the client and give honest feedback about your experience. Odesk still has some good jobs and clients, so I'd say stick with it.