Scammed in Elance? Noooooooo!

29 replies
Some Aussie guy submitted a job on eLance. The job was to write a short (15 minute) presentation on 'global village.'

I submitted my proposal and was awarded the job for $50. It was my first ever eLance gig, and I was thrilled to have it.

I did a couple hours research, wrote up something, then revised several times it as he requested, and now he's just sent me a message, after all that work and revising, saying, "Im sorry i dont think this will workout. im sorry but i will have to hire someone else." That's a direct, copy/past quote.

So now he's got MY work that I spent time writing, for FREE.

Lesson learned. Always ask for 100% upfront payment.

Man, I wish I hadn't had to learn the hard way . Scumbag scammers suck.
#elance #noo #scammed
  • Profile picture of the author Joseph Then
    Originally Posted by jrjohn View Post

    Some Aussie guy submitted a job on eLance. The job was to write a short (15 minute) presentation on 'global village.'

    I submitted my proposal and was awarded the job for $50. It was my first ever eLance gig, and I was thrilled to have it.

    I did a couple hours research, wrote up something, then revised several times it as he requested, and now he's just sent me a message, after all that work and revising, saying, "Im sorry i dont think this will workout. im sorry but i will have to hire someone else." That's a direct, copy/past quote.

    So now he's got MY work that I spent time writing, for FREE. Where's my $50? Doesn't eLance have some sort of 'safe' escrow system like Fiverr?

    Is there any way I can get my money? At least some of it?

    Lesson learned. Stay off eLance. Only deal 100% directly with customers and ask for 100% upfront payment.

    Man, I wish I hadn't had to learn the hard way . Scumbag scammers suck.
    The lesson you should learn is, insist Escrow funding BEFORE you start your work. Elance has advised you to do so also but I think you didn't read that.

    There's nothing wrong with Elance, the fault lies with you.
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    • Profile picture of the author JRJWrites
      Originally Posted by Joseph Then View Post

      There's nothing wrong with Elance, the fault lies with you.
      Thanks Joe. Could you direct me a tutorial on how to do that? I'm an eLance newb, thanks.
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  • Profile picture of the author Joseph Then
    Login -> Resources -> Elance University
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  • Profile picture of the author cferfland247
    Elance has an Escrow facility which makes your payment secure
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  • Profile picture of the author Startingstartup
    Elance tutorial

    haha never thought of that.
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    • Profile picture of the author JRJWrites
      Originally Posted by Joseph Then View Post

      Login -> Resources -> Elance University
      Thanks, Joe. I really appreciate it

      Originally Posted by cferfland247 View Post

      Elance has an Escrow facility which makes your payment secure
      Thanks for the input!
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      • Profile picture of the author Steve B
        If you see your content published to the web (there are easy ways to check) you can always go after the publisher since you retain the copyright now that the buyer backed out.

        Steve
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        • Profile picture of the author JRJWrites
          Originally Posted by Steve B View Post

          If you see your content published to the web (there are easy ways to check) you can always go after the publisher since you retain the copyright now that the buyer backed out.

          Steve
          It's not going to be published on the web; he's using it for some class presentation. It's basically an outline + researched information.
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    Elance has escrow. You don't do a job before it's 100% funded. Period.
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  • Profile picture of the author PerformanceMan
    Yes, always get the money UP FRONT! The lesson you got will keep you doing it right from now on. Be grateful you got scammed so it doesn't have to happen anymore!
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    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
      Banned
      Originally Posted by PerformanceMan View Post

      Yes, always get the money UP FRONT! The lesson you got will keep you doing it right from now on. Be grateful you got scammed so it doesn't have to happen anymore!
      It isn't necessarily a scam at all. The OP didn't require the escrow and the buyer may have been unhappy with the product.
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      • Profile picture of the author Bimmer
        Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

        It isn't necessarily a scam at all. The OP didn't require the escrow and the buyer may have been unhappy with the product.
        +1, I agree with this. What if the work was poor quality, so why should a buyer lose any money? I'm not saying that the OP's work is poor (we haven't see any of his samples), but even buyers can get scammed these days from losing a deposit and getting crappy work in return (ie. web design, freelance articles, logo design, etc.)
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  • Profile picture of the author xenter
    Always use escrow. Only consider doing work upfront when you've already built a relationship with them.
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  • Profile picture of the author SaraHendren
    Ahaa. Happened to me on freelance.com with some SEO articles. The guy asked for some samples, i provided and he just said "Very poor English". After a while he said he wants to give me "another chance". I was so aroused...what a scumbag.

    I was so dissapointed...
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    • Profile picture of the author Jeff Lenney
      Banned
      Originally Posted by SaraHendren View Post

      Ahaa. Happened to me on freelance.com with some SEO articles. The guy asked for some samples, i provided and he just said "Very poor English". After a while he said he wants to give me "another chance". I was so aroused...what a scumbag.

      I was so dissapointed...
      You were arroused?
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  • Profile picture of the author createyouwealth
    Just know that you have learned your lesson. Never do work before accepting an upfront payment. Or if you want to you could require 80% of the payment upfront.

    Sorry to hear of your bad experience, don't get discouraged though.

    All the best
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  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    I get 100% payment upfront. If people ask for samples, I refer them to my site where I have a few samples already written. Some ask for samples related to their niche. That always rings alarm bells. They usually want to use the freebies and never pay.
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    Cheers, Laurence. Writer/Editor/Proofreader.
    Website / Blog for more info.

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    • Profile picture of the author EllenMoore
      Originally Posted by laurencewins View Post

      I get 100% payment upfront. If people ask for samples, I refer them to my site where I have a few samples already written. Some ask for samples related to their niche. That always rings alarm bells. They usually want to use the freebies and never pay.
      I do offer short, custom samples fr free and it got me a lot of clients. Unfortunately, it seems there are also a lot of scumbags out there. I stopped using Freelancer after getting fooled twice, on one occasion, even with the money deposited.
      With these sites, it seems that the one who sends more money their way is always right, because I actually had the PM from the client, saying that the articles were good.
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  • Profile picture of the author nicelife
    Always take every safety measure you can when performing work online.

    But maybe he didn't like your work, that's always a possiblity.
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  • Profile picture of the author onegoodman
    I know this might come as a shock for some, but the freelancer work is not always perfect. He simply could be really disappointed at your work.

    You should actually follow up with him to see what he didn't like about your work.

    Over the years I worked with at least 100 freelancer, and I really can count the one worth recommending on a single hand. Most freelancers biggest issue is how can I make the money, not how can i deliver quality, or deliver what the client want. I hired writes before to write articles about how my business works, and they ended up writing articles about another business model, simply because they couldn't put the time in to find what the business do. Yet, they wonder why I am not happy with the work ?

    I just interviewed a freelancer today, i ask her question, and she answers me a different question, she didn't even understood the job but really really want the job ?! middle of the interview started offering me all type of services. Do you want facebook likes ? twitter fans ? visitors for your website ?

    You will be shocked the interview has nothing to do with any of the above, and yet I tried to go along with her to see where is this going, how you will bring the fans ? HOW you will promote the page and she wasn't able to answer, her comment is people always want to get the fans and traffic but not how I am gonna bring it !!!

    Now this may or may not be really applicable in your case, but it always worth slowing down and consider the possibilities before screaming that you got scammed.
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    • Profile picture of the author manishak
      First, always ask for escrow before starting work.
      Second, if the client feels your quality is low, you can always do revisions (which you already did).
      Third, in case the client refuses to pay, open a dispute.

      This happened with me. A client asked me to write 50 articles. After a lot of research and hard work I submitted 40x500 words within 10 days! Only the last batch of 10 articles was left and when I submitted that 3 days later, the client refused to pay for the last 10! So I opened a dispute. Thankfully the funds were lying in escrow.

      Elance support went out of their way to compensate for my efforts. They not only gave me my due, they also returned money to the client also, (which I didn't understand). But its their way of dealing with things so why should I question.

      Overall, Elance guys are genuine. You need to be careful while dealing with clients, and it is possible that they may scam you since you are a newb!
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      • Profile picture of the author JRJWrites
        Originally Posted by manishak View Post

        First, always ask for escrow before starting work.
        Second, if the client feels your quality is low, you can always do revisions (which you already did).
        Third, in case the client refuses to pay, open a dispute.

        This happened with me. A client asked me to write 50 articles. After a lot of research and hard work I submitted 40x500 words within 10 days! Only the last batch of 10 articles was left and when I submitted that 3 days later, the client refused to pay for the last 10! So I opened a dispute. Thankfully the funds were lying in escrow.

        Elance support went out of their way to compensate for my efforts. They not only gave me my due, they also returned money to the client also, (which I didn't understand). But its their way of dealing with things so why should I question.

        Overall, Elance guys are genuine. You need to be careful while dealing with clients, and it is possible that they may scam you since you are a newb!
        Thanks, Manishek! That's great advice; thanks for sharing your personal experience .
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  • Profile picture of the author clever7
    Elance is a dangerous place. I had many problems with many dishonest service providers.

    There are also many dishonest customers.

    I simply hate Elance and Odesk. Their rules are obscure and they delete bad reviews. Nobody is protected. They simply work like online banks.






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  • Profile picture of the author Fantastic
    Not to be too harsh but IF you get scammed on eLance...

    It's your own fault.

    In fact, its an eLance guideline that you have the escrow funded first.

    If they refuse to do so and the client gets mad...

    eLance cannot and will not penalize you in the event they open a dispute.

    Sure, you might lose the job but it's better than working for free.

    After all, that's what the escrow is there for.

    Have it funded first or don't do the work.

    And this is coming from someone who makes $500+ a week from eLance alone.
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    • Profile picture of the author JRJWrites
      Originally Posted by onegoodman View Post

      I know this might come as a shock for some, but the freelancer work is not always perfect. He simply could be really disappointed at your work.
      Yeah, that's possible. But the thing is that the first time I sent it to him (the draft) he said that he considered my writing to be very good, and he just wanted a few minor changes. I did the changes, and then he asked for more customizations. The last time I uploaded the article, done. He's gone. Asks for cancellation and 'wants to hire someone else.'

      Like everybody said, I'm glad I only got scammed out of $50 rather than a bigger order. Lesson learned. 100% upfront, ONLY.

      Thanks everybody else for the input!
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  • Profile picture of the author Gama Seva
    Just pretend that you just bought an ebook tutorial on "how to make money as a freelancer writer on eLance".

    Learning is expensive... At least you've learned something and you paid for it. Be proud

    Gama
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  • Profile picture of the author TerryX
    I have heard of this sort of thing happening on fiverr also.
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