On January 2nd I was awarded a project on freelancer.com. My employer seemed legit – he was email verified and payment verified – and I was in a desperate need to make money. So the next day I started to work, to track my work through the time tracker offered by freelancer.com and to wait for my first payment for the invoices generated through the freelancer.com app. But the first payment was late and my employer said it is because freelancer.com has procedures that are delaying him.
At the first sign I got that I might be ripped off, I went to the Live Chat Customer Support offered by Freelancer.com. I asked if my employer’s arguments of why the payments are late make any sense and if there are any site policies in place that could justify the payments being late. They did not offer any real answer. Their only reply to all of my questions was to ask my employer for explanations. I explained in vain that he offered me explanations, but I want to understand if they are plausible or not. “Contact your employer” they said.
I said to myself I have to trust a giant platform like freelancer.com to have my back cover. Big mistake. The work I did on my contract amounted to over 1400 dollars and there was no payment. When I contacted Live Support again, here is what they said:
04:25 Please wait and one of our Customer Support Agents will be with you shortly.
04:26 Brenda A.: Thank you for contacting Freelancer.com Support. My name is Brenda.
04:26 You are now chatting with Brenda A. (CX Specialist – Live Chat Support). Let us know if our Customer Support Agent assisted you well by answering the survey at the end of the chat.
04:26 Brenda A.: Hello, I. How may I help you?
04:27 I: Hi! I contacted you earlier this week because my hourly project employer postponed my payment. Now he deleted the project and deleted his account and I have more than 1000 USD unpaid for work I did on the project
04:27 I: What can I do in this situation?
04:28 Brenda A.: May I ask for the project ID so I can check?
04:29 I: Let me search for it
04:30 Brenda A.: Okay. I will just be here.
04:31 I: #12669145
04:32 Brenda A.: Thank you. Let me check this for you. Please give me a couple of minutes.
04:32 I: Ok. Thanks
04:32 Brenda A.: Thanks. I am still checking. Please allow a few minutes more.
04:35 Brenda A.: Thank you for waiting. It shows that the project was deleted since the employer’s account was closed for violating the terms of the site.
04:36 I: And how does this leave me and my unpaid invoices?
04:37 Brenda A.: The project was already deleted in the site. If you want, we can send them a communication request so they can contact you to discuss the payment outside of the site.
04:39 I: He will not answer. I want to know if freelancer.com can take additional measures, this being a project that was acquired through your platformed, tracked through your app and invoiced by your app
04:40 I: You take no responsibility whatsoever in cases like this? When I started this project, he was payment verified by freelancer.com.
04:40 Brenda A.: The employer’s account was closed for violating the terms of the site. In this regard, all the projects they made were deleted and all the transaction they made are reversed. This is in accordance to the terms of the site under Section 24 that we have the right to refuse offering our services.
04:41 Brenda A.: With regard to the payment, you will have to discuss this with the employer.