I just started using this site about a month ago after a friend suggested. So far I really like the amount of activity. There are lots of jobs being posted and lots of people after them. So far I've found a programmer in Sweden to develop my iOS app for me and I've just accepted a position to be a contributing columnist on a website in one of the niches I'm in. I'd say the only drawbacks are that they charge quite bit to process and there are tons of lowball proposals being submitted.
I recently started working on Elance as well. 3rd job and boom. What happened is that I closed the deal for project which value was 1150$, completed it after few days, sent binaries to my client. Client was satisfied and released 650$ milestone, and I was waiting for more than 3 months for 500$ one. Needless to say, I never got 500$ milestone to my account. After several attempts to contact my client, he got banned from Elance due to suspicious activities. I marked project as completed, and told to myself "what the hell, I got 650$/1150$, he got banned, life goes on".
Now, what happened 2 MONTHS after project was marked as completed is that client issued chargeback statement over his bank, and money got instantly deducted from my account by Elance, without any questions asked or rights to speak for myself. Not that only got scammed by client, but Elance provided ZERO protection to me and deducted 650$ from my balance, effectively locking up my account for any further withdrawals, because I had a bit less than 650$ on account at that moment.
So, yeah, those things can happen, which I never thought are possible. 2 months after project completion and getting money on my account, they just locked it up and returned back to client without any questions asked to me. Fully functional project, including sources, full conversation in Elance message board between me and client from which is perfectly clear that he is satisfied with project and is avoiding to pay, and his account terminatin by Elance are obviously not three enough good reasons for Elance to fill proper rebuttal to the bank.
I tried to contact their support, explaining the situation, and I got generic copy/paste message to every message that I've sent to them. I've been working for more than 2 years over various freelance sites, but Elance definitely has worst TOS and support to their freelancers.
So TLDR: BEWARE OF ELANCE SCAMMERS. THERE ARE PLENTY OTHER SITES AROUND THAT OFFER PROPER TECHNICAL SUPPORT AND PROTECTION TO THEIR FREELANCERS.
I had an issue with a vendor I hired and could not get resolution. When I went through the elance process for refunds Elance sided with me but declared that I needed to get my $327 back from the vendor as it had been released from escrow. If you are going to take a fee for referring business you should have some liability for the work.Vendors on this site simply disappear after they pull their scam. My chat dialogue is below. I also called and spoke to them but they were useless. Anyone interested in a class action please let me know. I would be happy to testify against these idiots.
Amy: Hello Philotek , welcome to Elance live chat. Thank you for your patience while we review your information.
Amy: Thank you for waiting.
Amy: Would you wish to refund the funds that is currently sitting in your Escrow?
Philotek : yes
Amy: I see.
Philotek : how do I see my escrow?
Amy: You have the option to edit the milestone by zeroing the amount.
Philotek : What if it was already paid
Amy: You have the option to request your contractor to refund the payment.
Amy: If the contractor refuses then you may file a dispute.
Philotek : I did that and your team said the funds were available to me.
Amy: What do you mean?
Philotek : I did that and won.
Amy: I see.
Amy: May I know the title of the job please and the username of the contractor?
Philotek : Website for Appliance Rental Business sarkarinfotech
Amy: Thank you! One moment please while I check.
Philotek : total value: $327.67
Philotek : Here is the email you sent me... Dear Philotek, The request submitted for the job Website for Appliance Rental Business by Philotek has been automatically processed because sarkarinfotech did not respond within 5 calendar days. Refund Request Refund to Philotek from escrow $0.00 ($0.00 will be released to sarkarinfotech) Refund to Philotek from sarkarinfotech $327.67 ($327.67 total paid amount) Total: $327.67 Note: Funds in escrow will be returned immediately to the original payment method used. Request Description This site was never completed and cut over to us. View Details Need help? Contact Customer Support 1-877-435-2623 (Mon-Fri 8am-5pm, Sat-Sun 8am-12pm PST) Prevent emails like this from winding up in your email spam folder. Put elance.com and elanceonline.com in your safe senders list. Learn More © 1999 - 2012 Elance, Inc. All Rights Reserved ======= Email scanned by PC Tools - No viruses or spyware found. (Email Guard: 22.214.171.1242, Virus/Spyware Database: 6.19750) http://free.pctools.com =======
Amy: I see.
Amy: Are those refunds not yet credit back on your account?
Philotek : no
Philotek : at least I don't know where to look
Amy: If that is the case I will need to forward this to our billing department for further review.
Amy: Kindly give me a moment while I create a ticket request on your behalf.
Amy: Thank you for patiently waiting. I have gone ahead and successfully forwarded the ticket to the said department.
Amy: Kindly wait for their response.
Amy: I hope you are still with me.
Amy: Since I didn't receive any response I will end this session now in order to assist other Elance member. Please do not hesitate to contact us again if you still need further assistance. Have a great day!
Notice: Thank you for choosing Elance. It has been a pleasure chatting with you. Amy exited session.
Philotek : I am not done
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