Is freelancer.com a scam? Why you should stay away from sites like freelancer.com
Working on freelancer or any popular sites like these ones sounds cool. You tend to trust them because of the number of freelancers working online. They seem like the legit ones, right? When starting out online everyone needs a website where they can work and make an earning. But again, most of us never actually read those terms and conditions, until they come to bite you. This will cause you to give up working online. But again, these are the sites most people trust, but without proper knowledge you can have a bad day in office like I did. This is why we need websites that are friendly to the freelancers especially the non-experienced ones – freelancing websites where the priority you. The freelance websites of the African Market.
Here is what happened.
I started working on freelancer.com and as a *fresh freelancer, I was willing to work on small or low paying projects just to build my portfolio and get some good reviews to kick off my online career. I got my first client who wanted a ghost blogger, still with low pay I obliged, then worked with another who wanted a website and a couple more. I got very good reviews and was very delighted to get started. I knew it wouldn’t be long before I landed one cool project.
One day, I open my freelancer.com account only to find a pending project award. I had sent a bid on one of the projects and here was a calling client. The project amount was $1000. I get excited and immediately press the Accept button. I see the client type, “Sorry, I clicked the button by mistake. I am still considering.” ☹. That broke me down. That was not enough. I went on to professionally reply, “I’ll be here should you reconsider the decision.” The client never replied back again.
Then I see a negative balance on my account. – $100. I almost thought I had received a payment but it actually was a fee for accepting a project which the employer was not willing to give. So? I was supposed to pay the $100. I tried emailing freelancer.com to explain how this had happened but they wouldn’t help citing the terms and conditions. That ruined my online career with freelancer.com. The reviews I had built became meaningless to me. How do you pay $100 in fees for a project you were not actually awarded? It wasn’t even my mistake! Freelancer.com is definitely aware of this and they like it. They make money from these kinds of mean ways, right?
I desperately moved to another website where I’m happily not getting *screwed. I am now happily creating a thriving online career. Trust those foreign websites at your own peril. Honestly, I have had both success and failure working online and sharing some of these can only be helpful to someone looking to begin working online. Choose the right sites – sites where freelancers are priority – not the company.
We talked about this among my fellow freelancers and thought this was part of the system. There had been reports regarding the system “playing games” on unsuspecting freelancers and this was just one of the ways they do it. This is still ongoing. You can read more details here of complaining freelancers LINK as well as this one here for Quora users https://www.quora.com/Is-freelancer-com-legit. So, steer clear of such sites and should you choose to use them, please be careful otherwise you’ll remember this post.
Apart from that, some of these sites have massive restrictions on the bidding system. You are not allowed to bid for more than 10 bids a month. You have to pay to bid and this can be tough especially for new freelancers. How do you convince the employers as a new freelancer when you don’t have any reviews and you’re limited to a few bids in a month unless you pay? Upwork is another website that used to be great back then when it was known as Elance. Today, they have fees everywhere. What happens to the freelancers now? We build ourselves our own? Do we boycott these? Do we write articles online about these issues?
The big question – should you be charged for a project you just accept whether the client chooses to work with you or not? Please share your thoughts and online experiences below. I had to share this because it really put a dent in my online path and would be happy to know if anyone had experienced similar things with freelancer.com or any other sites.
This post was shared by a frustrated guest freelancer.com user