Freelancer.com: The Virus in Your Life
I am sure most of you who are looking for a work-from-home job have heard about freelancer.com, and you might have even created an account on that website. Unfortunately, that is the biggest mistake you will ever make in your quest for occupational independence. Let me tell you why.
1. Terms and Conditions
At times you may have downloaded some very good software, and in your excitement, you may have 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. I worked on that website for a year as a freelancer and as someone hiring a freelancer, and let me tell you, it screwed me up in both cases.
This happened when I was hiring. 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 it. 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 with the other party.
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've accepted an offer to work on a project only to have the seller vanish 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 hiring party once the project is over, and the freelancer, putting it directly, gets only 30% of how much they actually quote to the hiring party. 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 their “Express Withdrawal” option. 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 heart failure. Was this the immigration control office? 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. It's 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.
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 was like whaaattttttt? I contact the support team, but as I said, they are a joke, and so they told me that as the hiring party had violated some terms and conditions, so his account had been closed. I asked so what about my payment? They told me to contact the seller. Funny. Normally, they don’t allow us to contact the other party outside of the Freelancer platform, 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 eight bids as a free member, and 80% of the hiring parties are just scammers and will never pay you. Ask me, as I have suffered it. If you've faced similar issues or had a different experience, please comment and let us know.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Isaac on July 18, 2020:
I am new on freelance.com and I've had several notified employers to view a demo. Anytime I am to start a project, I am told to pay a security fee. This freelance thing is nothing but a 100% scam and freelancers should avoid the site.
Yashwant on June 26, 2020:
I'm currently facing these isssues too. I had worked with clients who paid me Project money. But the main issue come while withdrawing the money. There so called Express withdrawal is shit. They kept me waited for 15 days and mailed me that your withdrawal request has been cancelled ...Use your own name in Account details of bank. Come man it's my money I should get any where i want. There platform is just a joke with 95% scammy projects
Flash Gaston on May 26, 2020:
Well i am crying too right now,I used to think that they don't want Africans to profit from an international freelancing company as there is no bank connected with freelancer in our country and PayPal is for send only in our country,as if freelancer and PayPal are both the devil's children.
So I tried to withdraw money using my Canadian friend's Skrill account but they told me to use the account with my name and I tried to explain to them that it doesn't work,I was afraid I was talking to a robot maybe just the same answers and now I'm stuck in verifying my address that they aren't accepting
Kennedy Ndany on May 26, 2020:
I think the whole site is a joke
No nothing, no integrity. It's just a mere brainwash
Victor Karush on May 01, 2020:
Reading your post was like seeing through my own reflection. I once worked at freelancer.com but things got bad when they withheld my withdrawal stating that I must verify my account. I told them that wasn't fair since they don't ask anybody to verify when uploading money.
They are just scumbags, the worst. I submitted a scanned copy of my ID, then they said it was fake and closed my account with 70 USD. I had worked for a project for a week and had completed. So I did it for free. I vow to pay some good hacker to bring down the site
Yasser Saeed on November 15, 2019:
What you said is 1000000000000000% correct
Freelancer.com is a TRUE VIRUS and it should be eliminated
Lowitta (author) from Russia on September 22, 2019:
What are your exact issues with freelancing work?
Frank on September 22, 2019:
I am right now struggling with freelancer. Can you Lowitta please give me some advice ?
Lowitta (author) from Russia on February 16, 2019:
There is no issue as such when withdrawing money. It will take almost 15 days but ultimately the money will come to your account. Also a fee might be charged. I think $1 for Paypal. Not sure. So verify ur id. They won’t scam that.
Andi on February 16, 2019:
I'm about to withdraw my money. Then i cancel it because i read a lot of article about freelancer spam. I haven't verify my id. What you suggest me to do to avoid that spam? thankyou
Jerry on November 23, 2018:
Too bad you experience what I have experienced over the years with them. More like a horror story
1 I had projects that the clients cancelled or disappear midway and they still billed me for their fees. I thought they get their commission only after I get paid. And this were projects that were in the thousands. I lost a lot of money.
2.I had my account suspended because a friend used my computer to check his own account and all of a sudden I was suspect for creating multiple accounts. They asked me to turn in utility bills. Take a selfie with my ID and a code( more like a mugshot for criminals) They put me through hell despite my stellar history and I was going back and forth with support for over 3 weeks over image size for the ID’s, pixels and the correct position to take a selfie. It was a living hell.
3. They asked me every now and then to send in ID’s and complete a verification for every withdrawal through wire transfer
4. They drained my money and charged me inactivity fee after My account was dormant because I couldn’t meet their verification requirements and because they were requesting for documents like bank statements which aren’t in English
5. Their have a lot of mentally disturbed people working in their support section. They get you tended and angry with their response or delay and when you react or take the bait. They make your life a living hell by even trying to make it harder for you to do anything on their site. Whether is through verification or whatever.
6. They are always looking for reasons to flag your account. Be it that you inadvertently gave your skype or contact to a client who wanted real time communication or not. They could close your account.
7. The system is rigged on such a way that you are making them money no matter what you do in the platform. Say for example you make $10, you will find out that between 30-50 of the $10 is lost through fees, membership/bids, withdrawals or whatever
8. The platform is filled with bots, fake accounts and to land a gig, you have to navigate through the unsafe waters of freelancer knowing that one wrong step and you are out of money or your work is for nothing.
9. They do not have a loyalty program and therefore no respect whatsoever for people working on there. You either their slave making them money or you get off
10. Freelancer has a bot/algorithm that suggest freelancers the client should hire making the hiring process even rigged against new or starting freelancers.
By the way I was treated like a criminal with all their ID requirements, even immigration , the embassies, the police will never even subject you to such inhumane verification process.
One would think that with the whole ID thing , there won’t be any fake accounts or scammers. But there a tons of them on there.
I had invested a lot and it became my only source of income only for them to mess me up and disorganize me. Lost a lot of revenue and most importantly time.
I really wish there was a class action suit against them in Aussie so they can behave
Lowitta (author) from Russia on October 22, 2018:
Unfortunately there isnt much that you can do. You shouldnt have worked without him creating milestones. I know the feeling. You can try getting in touch with freelancer though which I am sure you already have done.
Orpa92 on October 03, 2018:
Similar stuff happened to me. I worked for a MONTH for this guy and he owes me $700+!
He made two fake accounts on Skype and I never realized it. All he said seemed so legit! He even asked for a spreadsheet file with details of my work and due payment. Then he stopped all communications all of a sudden.
I really need the money but don't know how to go about it now that I know Freelancer.com is full of scams.
Chris on August 05, 2018:
You are right. the site is a joke.
There are so many fake accounts - both 'employers' and contractors.
The fees are excessive and don't you dare withdraw any funds. the process will bankrupt you financially and emotionally.
and to top off their bad service... their customer 'service' seems to filled with very lousy 'chat-bots'.
terrible, terrible, terrible
Renny Windsong from United States. on May 21, 2017:
Oh yes, I took a brief turn as a freelancer with those pricks -- after being constantly asked to upgraded and pay for every little click they wanted me to do on the site, and getting a 'job offer' that was really just wanting me to sign up as a referral link on Swagbucks, I told them where to stuff it.
Lowitta (author) from Russia on May 20, 2017:
True, its better to spend the time learning new skills.
Shey Saints from Philippines on May 19, 2017:
it's hard to really find something that isn't a scam and we all just want to work to get more income. but what's more devastating is when you are wasting your time on something that isn't paying you back, given all the efforts.