Hidden Truths About Freelancer.com
Freelancer.com: The Virus in Your Life
I am sure most of you looking for a work-from-home job have heard about freelancer.com, and you might have even created an account on that website, but that is the biggest mistake you will ever make. Let me tell you why.
Terms and Conditions
At times you may have downloaded some very good software, and in your excitement, forgotten to read the terms and conditions and just skipped to the button that says “I agree.” Well honestly, I never regretted clicking that button until I joined Freelancer. Its terms and conditions are a trap, and you should know exactly what they mean before you sign up for it. I worked on that website for a year as a seller and a buyer, and let me tell you, it screwed me up in both the cases.
Story Number 1
This happened when I was a seller. I hired a person to make a website for me. It turned out that the entire profile of the person was fake: the picture and the name were of a girl, but when I communicated with the person I understood it was an Indian boy. I was shocked that this popular website would allow anybody to make a profile on the website without any verification. Well, that is when I knew something was fishy.
I was new to the website, and so I released the milestone payment to the freelancer. The freelancer took the money and stopped all communication. I filed a dispute and wasted three weeks pursuing my dispute. Finally, I won, but due to the terms and conditions of the website, the company told me they couldn’t take any money back from the freelancer and I had to contact him directly. Seriously! I wasted three weeks and won my dispute, only to finally be told that I should communicate directly. I cried that day. I really did. My frustration and irritation poured out in tears. But that was not all; they went ahead and suspended his account before completely closing it. Now what? Their support team stated that I should contact the freelancer directly and that due to their "terms and conditions,” they couldn’t do anything. But how could I contact him if his account was closed?
2. Payment and Fees
Freelancer robs its users. Literally. They charge 10% of each payment you receive, and as if that isn’t enough, they charge a $5 fee for every project you accept. Many times I accepted an offer to work on a project, and the seller vanished without making a milestone payment or even explaining the work. I had to pay over $20 just because I accepted the project. They charge the seller once the project is over, and the buyer, putting it directly, gets only 30% of how much they actually quote to the seller. The imaginary Freelancer fee is worse than that of Paypal.
Their withdrawal system is a joke. I was withdrawing my money for the first time and I chose to withdraw using Express Withdrawal. They converted my $193 in earnings to rupees, as my bank account was in India, and then once I filled in the details, guess what message I got: “As it is your first withdrawal, it will take 15 days”. I laughed. So this was “Express Withdrawal.”
I waited patiently for the 15 days to be over. When the day finally came, I get the message: “Verify your identity to withdraw your funds.” I was shocked. When I gave my money to Freelancer.com, they didn’t ask for any verification, just charged me a hefty fee. When they allow frauds to make accounts on Freelancer.com, they don’t ask them to verify their identity. But to withdraw my own money, I have to verify my identity, and, so conveniently, the verification has to be done on the day I was supposed to withdraw my money.
I vowed to give up Freelancer.com after that—but first I still had to verify my identity. They asked me for bank statements, utility bills, and a driver's license with my address. I nearly had a heart failure. Was this the immigration control office that I should provide these documents? My profile was of Saudi Arabia, where I was residing at the time, and so all my documents were in Arabic. They rejected all the documents, firstly because they were in Arabic, and secondly, they said that my name wasn’t mentioned on the utility bill. Well I was living in a rented apartment, so obviously, the utility bill would be in the owner’s name, but no, they wanted to make sure I suffered. I had almost verified my details when they canceled my withdrawal and asked me to submit the request and wait 15 more days. I cried again, this time for three hours. I never got the money. I just gave up.
3. Customer Support
It’s a joke. The best joke ever. Have you ever had a doll that could speak? Well such dolls repeat the same sentences whenever you press their belly; the same is true with Freelancer.com customer support. They just repeat the same sentences over and over until you finally give up and cancel the chat. They will start with a nice “Hello,” followed by “Read the terms and conditions,” and that translates to "We are just robots here, we can’t help you. Our salary is only $3 a month and so we don’t want to help you…EVER."
I have a story for this too. I was hired for an hourly project, which was to be billed every Monday. So I worked for a week without payment, assuming the seller would pay me Monday; I was relying on Freelancer to have verified the identity of the seller. So I worked for four hours using the freelancer.com app, earning almost $70, when I saw that the seller account had been closed along with the project. I am like whaaattttttt? I contact the support team, but as I said, they are a joke, and so they told me that as the seller had violated some terms and conditions, his account had been closed. I asked so what about my payment? They told me – contact the seller. Funny. Normally, they don’t allow us to contact the seller or the buyer outside Freelancer, but when an issue occurs they tell us to do exactly that.
Long story short, Freelancer.com is not worth the energy. You don’t get paid the amount you bid for, you get only 8 bids as a free member, and 80% of the sellers are just scammers and will never pay you. Ask me as I have suffered it. In case you have faced similar issues, do comment and let us see if what I say is true or not.