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Freelancer.com is destroying my life (medium.com)
262 points by davidbarker on Apr 27, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 139 comments

In the future, you should stop using freelancer sites, because the customers on them are substantially worse than you'd get otherwise. You will also want to note that not getting paid on time is actually quite common in freelancing. This is one of the reasons why, in the future, you will charge a lot more than you currently do, because you need to essentially self-insure against nonpayment in a way that W-2 employees mostly do not.

More immediately useful to you: you currently have a receivable against freelancer. That receivable has value and can be sold or borrowed against. The terms you get for it would typically not be that great, because they have to factor in both risk of non-collection and the costs of doing business in comparatively small dollar amounts. Still, that's likely the easiest option to make cash appear on Monday, unless you have consumer credit you didn't mention. (Get it if you don't, after passing the immediate issue. Cash flow issues happen frequently and consumer credit is often the cheapest remedy for solo freelancers.)

The magic word for selling receivables is "factoring."

> You will also want to note that not getting paid on time is actually quite common in freelancing.

Really, really common. I've started offering 10% discounts for payment upfront—even some of the larger, "corporate" clients can get pre-payments through their strictly-net-45-billing department. And I'd rather have, say, $3,600 today than the possibility of $4,000 two or three months from now.

(I also generally only extend these up-front payment discounts to ACH or wired payments, not checks. Avoids other common scenarios: "yep, your check is in the mail" or "Hello, this is your bank, we've placed a hold on your deposit for 5-10 days because we felt like it, sucks to be you”)

Given the current situation, I'd recommend a full-time job to save your sanity (I speak from personal experience as a freelancer/consultant for ~10 years). But if you're looking for immediate or additional income, your lowest risk bets are maintenance retainers. These clients generally have money (because their product has customers), and urgency (because their product has customers), and want stability (because their product has customers). $2K-$3K paid up front each month, and you just have to log your 20-40 hours, write up a report, and you're home free. No scope creep, no delayed payments, and you know the song will repeat again on the first of the month.

I'd actually recommend against giving a 10% discount for payment up-front. 10% is a lot of money. Giving it up because of cashflow issues is not a winning move most of time. And while non-collection happens to everyone, if you're regularly working for clients that you fear won't pay you, you're not in the best situation anyway.

What I would recommend instead is: 1) charge more money. This will get you better clients. 2) save up some of that money, so that you're no longer in a situation where not getting paid this week is a big deal. 3) stop extending a huge discount for cash up-front.

Another reason not to insist on cash-upfront is that some customers are not going to be able to bend to this. Corporate clients might be able to pay with different terms, some of the time, but you shouldn't rely on this. Instead, get enough savings to give yourself flexibility.

Generally, I agree with you, and yes, you described exactly how you want to run a business long-term, but when your wife is in and out of the hospital and you were just served an eviction notice, $3,600 now is way better than $4,000 in 2 months. And saving up 6 months salary doesn't happen overnight. Reality is reality.

On the other side of the coin, it's just numbers. If you can justify, say, a $4K/week rate, charge $4.5K standard or $4K for upfront. If the customer is in a position to bend payment terms to save $500/week, they can, and you're now in line with market rate but more favorable payment terms. If they're not in a position to do so, $500/week probably doesn't matter one way or the other to them, anyway. Either way, you win.

Most customers will ask for a discount, as a rule. Hinge that discount on something you want (faster payment) instead of just giving it to them. Then they can make the decision. Either way, they feel good about it. Either way, everybody wins.

Yes, life situation matters, obviously. I recommend people don't think of themselves as freelancers, but rather managers of a company that happens to currently have one developer. But I digress.

That last piece of advice you gave is golden: "Most customers will ask for a discount, as a rule. Hinge that discount on something you want (faster payment) instead of just giving it to them."

Agreed 100%. And it doesn't just have to be faster payment, either. There's plenty of things you can do to change the rate.

Also, if you haven't read this, here's tptacek's briliant advice on why your "rate" isn't everything: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=848685

I feel for the guy, and freelancer.com seem to have terrible, appalling customer service. But this brings up another point, which is that freelancing often isn't a good way to get money quickly. You can't live paycheck to paycheck freelancing.

Your clients will pay you late. They'll pay you the wrong amount. Your freelancing agency will delay the payment. You'll get a check, but it'll bounce. It would not be unusual when freelancing to start receiving your money for a gig two months after you started it (30 days for your client to pay your agency, 30 days for your agency to pay you).

Freelancing and needing money fast are, in my experience, mutually exclusive. One of the (many) reasons a freelancer charges a comparatively higher day rate than his or her salaried counterpart is there's risk involved with freelancing. If a company fails to pay their full-time, salaried employees at the end of the month it's a big deal. If a company fails to pay their freelancers on time...that's not out of the ordinary.

>> "But this brings up another point, which is that freelancing often isn't a good way to get money quickly."

Although I agree with most of what you've said it all depends on how you structure the milestones. On every job I work the first milestone gets paid immediately. In other words if I win a job, I immediately get some money. If they job is small I use two milestones:

1. Project started (50%) 2. Project completed (50%)

For larger projects I split the job up further and reduce the amount required in the first and last milestone. But the result is the same - money up front as soon as you win a job. It's also a good way of gaining some trust the client will pay. I didn't do this for the first 18 months I freelanced and got screwed several times. That happens rarely now.

You are probably one buying work on freelancer websites? I don't have any experience in this area, but what the author in his blog post says is that the transaction itself did not start. So the client had already paid, and the website would have probably showed him that the first milestone is paid, but the freelancer didn't receive his money in that instance. Even if everything goes as it should it would have taken a few days till his money would have arrived.

>> "You are probably one buying work on freelancer websites?"

No, I sell my services. My main point was that if he took money immediately he might have got these issues sorted out sooner. No guarantee though. I've been stung by freelancer.com's 14 day wait for the first payment too + they used to only process withdrawals once per week.

> You can't live paycheck to paycheck freelancing.

This. Experienced freelancers have a couple of months of financial buffer. You need it. A client might refuse to pay over some totally fabricated dispute, you might have an accident and be unable to work for a while, you might not be able to find any suitable project for a while, etc.

Anything could happen, and as a freelancer, you carry your own risk. You need a buffer, and you need sufficient margin to keep replenishing that buffer.

Freelancer/oDesk are terrible middlemen that don't achieve what they promise to. Businesses tend to go there looking for cheap labor rather than value. It's the white collar version of a boss driving up to the Home Depot parking lot, except with more bureaucracy.

Another thing that freelancers should learn is that the business is high risk, and if you're one late payment from doom, then you have to go get a job, go on welfare, sell plasma, sell hair, or whatever until you can afford the business risk again. It isn't a safe or easy thing and the people who tout the 'gig economy' as if it is should be fed to zoo animals because it leads people like this down ye olde primrose path to penury.

If your wife has some kind of weird medical issue and you're being evicted, you are loaded up with too much risk to freelance. Stupid things like this happen all-the-time and it's not unique to this website. It happens all the time when you sell directly to clients. You either sue to collect, demand contracts for larger numbers that you can sue for, or eat the loss.

There is this concept of balancing risk and reward that is painful to learn because risk isn't easily perceptible or measurable ahead of time.

Also we should beat people over the head with Poor Richard's Almanack repeatedly. Expecting people to read it is probably a little much, but some lessons may be transmitted through bludgeoning according to the experts.

> Freelancer/oDesk are terrible middlemen that don't achieve what they promise to.

A quick look through Freelancer.com's recent Twitter mentions reveals that the author's position isn't unique. Freelancer.com is basically the PayPal of freelancing.




I agree with this comment the most. Freelancing or any kind of direct client interaction is a lot riskier than a normal work contract. If you have a wife with health issues it is not something you should do, even if the alternative is to code in a cubicle for a McDonnalds rate.

Since, I am probably missing some cultural subtext: what do you mean with the "Poor Richard's Almanack" line?

I tried looking it up but it would seem a generic almanack. While I find those entertaining, I'm confused by how they relate to the topic.

It was a book written and updated annually by Benjamin Franklin extolling the practical virtues of prudence, saving, hard work, humility, and so on and so forth.

You can read a rambling summary of his views in this essay 'The Way to Wealth': http://itech.fgcu.edu/faculty/wohlpart/alra/franklin.htm

>If you would be wealthy, says he, in another almanac, think of saving as well as of getting: the Indies have not made Spain rich, because her outgoes are greater than her incomes. Away then with your expensive follies, and you will not have so much cause to complain of hard times, heavy taxes, and chargeable families...


>Great estates may venture more, >But little boats should keep near shore.

Ben Franklin is known as one of the 'founding fathers' of the United States. He's remembered as an inventor, natural philosopher, publishing magnate, political propagandist, capable diplomat (to France), and orator.


I am the Chief Executive Officer of Freelancer.com and I have personally investigated this situation.

While I sympathise with Dustin's situation, he has failed to complete our Know Your Customer (KYC) process, which involves the provision of bona fide photo identification. We take the security of our marketplace and the protection of our users very seriously and have robust checks and balances in our anti-fraud procedures.

I have looked at all the details for this case, and our support team have done exactly the right thing in this instance.

We have decided to refund all funds associated with the project back to the employer's credit card (who is also located nearby in New York) as well as all fees associated with this. The employer has been called and informed that he will need to pay Dustin directly.

We will also be investigating the nature of this project further.

Thank you also to those of you that took the time to email me to bring this personally to my attention. My email address is matt@freelancer.com and I am happy to receive emails about any issue, even if it is to just drop me a note saying hello.

Regards Matt

EDIT: Let me add that we accept driver's licenses as identification: http://www.freelancer.com/news/articles-verification-309.htm...

I appreciate that you're here to answer questions, Matt. Two questions if you're still around:

1. Are you saying that Dustin lied about submitting a drivers license? His blog post clearly states that he submitted a drivers license. So are you saying he is lying?

2. Why do you allow clients to pay you before you've properly identified the freelancer? That process seems completely backwards and asking for trouble. I would expect that a freelancer would need to verify their identify before they are allowed to even be listed in the marketplace, way before you would accept funds on their behalf.

Hi Angilly

1) I cannot comment on the specifics as I hope you can understand. 2) We don't ID check all the accounts at signup. That would be logistically impossible. We have 11 million users.

Regards Matt

That's a very poor answer, Matt. The audience here is a hell of a lot smarter than that (and right now, very skeptical of your business). Showing up here was a nice gesture, but if you're not going to answer questions thoughtfully, it's not going to help you.

Poor indeed. While I kind-of appreciate the privacy/legal issues involved, why did Matt say anything at all then? He's already claimed a specific customer didn't meet KYC requirements, has named the locale of the employer (New York), the customer's claims and their responses are quite public on the Facebook page and the OP, so dodging this question just looks like they have something to hide. If the customer didn't exist or was completely misrepresenting the situation, I think it'd be fair game for them to protect themselves by denying his specific allegations. Saying "The customer didn't complete our KYC process" doesn't help at all, when the customer is claiming the KYC process is impossible to complete because of contradictory and unreasonable requirements from the company!

As it stands, I'm not really seeing any other reasonable explanation than that Freelancer.com's customer service is clueless, their KYC department is confused, and they're more concerned about form-letter damage-control responses on social media, than about helping their customer.

By specifying exactly what the verification issue is they likely break trust with users and potentially expose themselves legally.

The customer is claiming their "verification process" is not possible to satisfy, and customer service is non-responsive. If the customer's story is true, the only issue is stupidity on the part of Freelancer.com. All the CEO said is the customer "failed to complete our Know Your Customer (KYC) process" -- ignoring the customer's claims that the process is completely broken and customer service is not providing a way to meet the requirements. If there were more to it, I think Freelancer.com could get away with something like "The customer has not submitted what he said he did." In the absence of that, I think it's reasonable to assume the customer's story is correct and honest, and Freelancer.com has really bungled this and is only digging their hole deeper with form-letter responses on social media.

As for privacy and legal liability, he's already confirmed that someone is a customer, revealed the location (New York) of an employer of said customer, and divulged details about their response to the employer, so ducking behind "privacy" when the crux of the issue is questioned, rings hollow to me.

If there is anything truly wrong about his application details [1], they shouldn't publish that on the open web but deal with it privately. If he publishes his application details that's fine, but if they do they might be liable.

Their real mistakes are: 1) hanging onto his cash and dicking him around because they can't afford to give good support to all 11 million users who depend on their site for income and 2) having such an opaque process that it takes posts to HN to sort his issue out. By comparison, refusing to post his (supposed) application errors when doing so would absolve them doesn't exactly look like a smoking gun.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7657942 hints that there might be more to the story. If the support person screwed up, just accept the ID and send him his money. Instead they reversed the transaction, are 'investigating the project further' and are being cagey about details. Assuming they're not idiots, why would they not post the specifics?

More information here[1]. It's interesting that they're giving out so many details now. They indignantly state, "We don't subvert [anti-fraud] processes because a post makes its way to Reddit or HN", yet they apparently don't mind blaming both customers and publicly providing more details about their transactions, when it becomes clear Reddit/HN anger is going to hurt their bottom line.

It seems to boil down to OP possibly oversimplifying in his understandable frustration, and essentially his word against theirs (they say there's a "good reason" his documents were rejected, he says all communication was contradictory and unresponsive, with no reason given for his documents being rejected.) If the communications OP quoted are legitimate, Freelancer deserves the outrage, no matter the exact reason OP couldn't get verified.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7663726

By specifying exactly what the verification issue is they likely break trust with users and potentially expose themselves legally.

What could possibly make this form of authentication special in that the process cannot be audited due to "trust," or legal issues?

Audited is fine. Published on the internet, less so. E.g. if there's something wrong with the ID. I can imagine a story "website posts details of user's false identification, user sues because can't get a job".

I'm not defending what they did [1], just saying it's not clearcut that they should publish the specifics of what they were unhappy with about his ID process.

[1] See where I'm obviously against their behaviour here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7658177

You're bending over backwards, why would the OP make up a story about sending in their driver's license? If, as speculated, the ID was photographed poorly, the support person could have just said "we need a clear scan" straight off. No muss, no fuss, no disclosure of sensitive details.

I think it's apparent that the CEO is lying in their excuse here.

You're doing it wrong, and we're not going to tell you what you're doing wrong.

You're doing it wrong but we won't publish what you did wrong on an online forum.

For this subthread about posting online, I agree, but you realize OP couldn't get an answer on this in private, either?

I have to agree with what you posted, even though I'd like to know why the provided ID wasn't valid. A voice of reason like this is what the internet needs more of. Unfortunately the majority doesn't seem to understand the concept of objective reasoning.

Matt, I refuse to use Freelancer or endorse it until the murky issue regarding the drivers licence is cleared up. Why was it not accepted as valid identification?

You have written this several times but the empirical evidence is that you don't accept them, you seem to have vehemently and repeatedly refused to accept this client's drivers license. Do you not acknowledge that the client's DL was refused? Do you not see how saying "we accept DL's" several times has not helped your reputation at all?

Can you generalise the solution so other Dustins don't have to resort to online fora in future? You seem to have many reasons to hang onto cash while people can't pay their rent. If the customer is happy with the milestone the money is no longer yours and your TOS are now an impediment to reasonable business.

He provided a driver's license, obviously, and you obviously are pretending to "answer" without addressing that. I believe based on this case and many other cases coming up in Google and similar threads that there is a large amount of evidence that Freelancer.com is systematically and deliberately defrauding freelancers and/or outright stealing their money. Or in some cases withholding it long enough to accumulate interest on the money if it can't be stolen outright.

Based on the outpouring of responses to this case, I am certain there will finally be a number of very serious lawsuits.

I am quite glad you decided to come out in the open and expose your fraud to the Hacker News community directly. It will make the litigation much easier.

you matt you lying * of





Whitewhidow. I looked into your situation and it has been resolved at our end now.

Thank you for taking the time to take care of this issue, Matt.

How exactly did he handle this issue ?

Form-letter reply to a form-letter response.

Contact Freelancer's CEO. It won't hurt to try, I guess...

CEO, Matt Barrie email: matt@freelancer.com

Alaister Low twitter.com/@AlaisterLow Director of Customer Experience @freelancer.com: alaister@freelancer.com

This DP forum post says they received an email from the CEO after many unsuccessful tickets from customer service: https://forums.digitalpoint.com/threads/yet-another-freelanc....

For what it's worth, point them here. I'm not doing anymore business with freelancer in the face of reading this. Maybe I'm making an uninformed decision but at this point there is little reason for me to stick with them over their competitors if this is even possibly a fair summary of the transaction.

> It won't hurt to try

This minor shitstorm will probably convince them to release the money, and maybe someone from Freelancer will even reach out to him.

Thanks Elle. I have responded in this thread.

Regards Matt

link doesnt work for me

Excellent comment, and truly helpful. I think we all should email the CEO and get him to resolve this. He'll be hearing from me.

Good point- I have also emailed matt@freelancer.com. I have spent a good amount of money with freelancer.com, but never again.

Edit- got an email back from Matt in about 20 minutes, saying they are looking into it. Fingers crossed, OP - we are behind you.

I really want OP to get paid for his work. I feel bad for everything he's going through with Freelancer and what they've gone through the past two years and most importantly, the stress in which his wife is going through. Thanks for emailing on behalf of OP, glad to hear Matt was able to respond to you quickly.

He did respond a second time and basically said nothing helpful (see his response down thread - he copied it into the email)

They've lost my business, and I trust the rest of this community will respond in kind.

Penny wise, pound foolish, as they say.

Update: I've emailed several times now with Matt, and he's definitely on top of the situation. I get the impression that he's being vague in his responses to respect OP's privacy (and the others involved). I appreciate that, and he's done a stellar job of responding in general.

Anyway, I think there is more than meets the eye here, and I should have given Freelancer.com a bit more benefit of the doubt. I do hope that eventually more information will become available, as this is a serious issue.

Two thoughts on this:

1. Any time you're in business for yourself and you don't have a buffer, you're basically out of business. (I keep re-learning this one.)

2. Using a site like this turns you into a commodity. It's structured to be a race to the bottom. There is no substitute for finding your own clients and building relationships with them. That's hard to do and takes time and energy. See #1.

> Using a site like this turns you into a commodity. It's structured to be a race to the bottom.

There's a difference between "I can't negotiate a higher price" and "The middleman stole the money I negotiated"

This happens all the time, unfortunately. Google Groups bans me because I open too many tabs at once and they think I'm a robot, there's no one to talk to about this. eLance refuses to close a job where a contractor has done no work at all, but keeps billing me. I call their support numbers and just get told the department isn't open no matter when I call. I used AirBnb for years then one host refused to let me come to the address, said they would pick me up, never picked me up, and happily charged me. I finally get her to agree to cancel the stay and she tells AirBnb to refund but they never do.

All these companies just have atrocious customer support because they don't want to pay for customer support. This guy's problems are probably due to support being outsourced to some foreign country not familiar with the fact that most people in the US have no passport or national ID other than a driver's license.

In one experience I had with oDesk it was determined that blackmail wasn't considered a high risk activity by a contractor, and therefore wasn't removed from the platform - no action was taken. Fun times.

I have sympathy for the guy.

- He has faced some hardships.

- Obviously the Freelancer.com customer support team is giving him the runaround.

- It's hard to see anybody in trouble and not feel bad for them.

I do wonder though, why doesn't he plan better? Having found himself in a tough situation a couple of years ago:

- Why didn't he build some savings before becoming a freelancer? Doesn't he understand that is a really bad idea?

- Why didn't he test the waters of Freelancer.com with a much smaller project? Any time you have some middleman between you and your money it seems like you want to know that they are not going to jerk you around.

At this point, it seems like he should go to one of those "work for cash" places and do some quick manual labor to get at least some of his bills paid off. And then learn how to avoid this sort of situation in the future...

Most of his savings were probably wiped out when his house was stolen from him, and the legal fees for the house battle and medical bills from his wife's illness probably ate up the rest. As he mentions in the article, it's hard to plan for a series of catastrophes.

It's not clear that manual labor (probably at close to minimum wage) would get him the money he needs faster than finding another freelance job.

He's in direct contact with the client. I'd just explain that he can't (not won't) continue to work on the project because Freelancer effectively stole the client's money.

I'll bet if he's doing as well for them as he indicates, the client will hire him outside of freelancer. It may violate some TOS, but I'd call that bridge burned already anyway.

All funds have been returned to the employer's credit card and the employer has been called to inform them to pay directly.

Thats why you shouldnt do any larger jobs over these sites. Do smaller scale projects over them to build your profile and reviews, and each larger project should go directly through wire or any other kind of payment processor, without freelance sites being middleman.

Just a tip, but maybe you should try to put public pressure on them. I had a case once when I got scammed for $1200 on Elance by a guy doing chargeback frauds, and Elance locked my account because I didnt had enough funds loaded to cover up the scam cost (they wanted to minus my balance by $1200 to cover chargeback, which I had no right to appeal to). I was locked out for a months, until I found a relatively popular blog post about Elance (over HN too, coincidentally), and an Elance representative who commented on it in comments. I replied to his comment and asked him why they did what they did to my account, and got account unlocked in less then a day. He probably figured out 1k$ bucks is less worth than negative publicity.

What I wouldn't give to have a freelance site that paid instantly. oDesk takes 5 business days to release funds (plus another day for the bank deposit to go through), so I often find myself paying rounds of bills, all with late fees (my gym's is $20!). Due to various financial struggles in the 2000s, I have not used a credit card since early 2008. So even though the amounts of money I'm dealing with are small, not having them can be expensive.

This country comes down hard on people who choose self employment. But there is an honesty to humble living that I’m not ready to give up. I remember back to the vacuous state I was in while working for other people, fighting every fiber of my being to simply get up in the morning and face people that I vehemently disagreed with. It’s like racing with the pedal to the metal but the transmission is stuck in first gear. To me, underemployment is a wedge between the life I have and the one I wish I could lead. Even though it’s hard at times, liberating myself from other people’s expectations was one of the best decisions I ever made.

So why backpack around Europe when you can experience everything life has to offer right here in the US? Become a freelancer today!

I realized that my comment was disingenuous because I just got a $500 CareCredit line for my pet. So the first time I used credit in 6 years was for a medical emergency. I'm not sure what that means for my overall life, but the one reason I would probably take an office job at this point is because the prospect of being powerless to save someone in an emergency is unsettling.

What really sucks is that so many services nowadays use the similar tactics to postpone the payments, effectively keeping the millions of dollars that don't belong to them. And they know that no one will sue them for a few thousands, so they're getting away with this bullying...

Be glad you're not living in Europe. Bank transfer from bank A to bank B (e.g. your paycheck).

Day 1: transferred from source account into internal bank-owned account. Day 2: transferred from internal bank account into internal bank-owned account dedicated to the destination bank (e.g. ING has an internal ING->FORTIS account). Day 3: transferred from interbank account at ING to interbank account at FORTIS. Day 4: transferred from interbank FORTIS account into internal account. Day 5: deposited into "target" account. Day 6: you can actually spend the amount. (confusingly, this is not day 5, it needs to wait for your card to be updated)

Needless to say, the amount is deducted from the source account at the exact moment you give the transfer order. So this is really done so the banks can avoid paying 0.15% interest on the amount transferred for 2-3 days.


Freelancer.com is a joke and shows no respect for its freelancers.

This has happened to me also, the other reason I switched to Elance was that ridiculous (we'll pay you only once a week) payment deal.

Stay away from freelancer.com

This is incorrect.

If you can supply me your username I will be happy to personally look into your issue.

It sucks this guy has to go through all this. I used freelancer for a few years but it consistently got worse and worse. Eventually I had to move away from it. Customer service was one of the big problems and from reading the responses in that post it's got even worse. I'd highly recommend not using them. I use Elance an although I've had minor issues with them they've always got resolved. They still aren't great but they are 100x better than freelancer.com.

As a side note, and out of curiosity, is there a mechanism on HN I've missed? Soon after I submitted this link, it was around #3 on the front page, but when I refreshed 2 minutes later, it'd dropped to #25 and didn't rise again even though it was still quickly gaining points.

As an example, right now, this post has gained 199 points in 5 hours and is at #49, but the submission directly above it at #48 was also submitted 5 hours ago but has only gained 6 points. What am I missing?

Hacker News submissions and rank are definitely moderated and manipulated. First and foremost the site is here to promote the investment portfolio.

When using Freelancer.com for the first time is a pain, i faced something similar when setting up documents, withdraw limits and so on. My suggestion not related to your main problem is:

1) you mentioned you were charged 1000USD because of service fee, because when you accepted the project they charged you. I assume your project was for a total of 10k and you are paying 1000, means you are in a basic plan where they charge you 10%. Suggestion: before to accept any big project, make sure you at least sign for the 25USD membership plan, on that way they only charge you 3%, so instead of pay 1000USD, you pay 300USD.

2) The customer service is horrible and schedule payments may fail any time. Make sure you have at least two methods to receive the money, my suggestions are: Moneybookers.com account and a Payoneer card. Both are fast and safe.

I know you are facing a very complicated situation, just keep moving forward and dont let you get down on this. Talk to your customer so may he be able to help you with a direct deposit from his side, i asked that once while ago and it worked. You can agreed with him to transfer back frunds from freelancer to freelancer account. Some fees apply but is better than nothing,

best of luck.

He shouldn't need a passport but the cost is $110-135 (depending on if first time) not hundreds of $. Of course it does take up to 6 weeks.

In Canada there is an option to get it in 24 hours if you pay more, is there something like this in the States?

You can get a passport the same day in the US. Most but not all State Dept. “passport agencies” [1] require proof of international travel in the next 2 weeks.

I know, because I had one made in Atlanta, the day before a trip to Europe.

[1] http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports/...

You can get it in 2 to 3 weeks rather than 6 with an expedited processing fee of $60.

A passport is not required.

We accept driver's licenses as identification: http://www.freelancer.com/news/articles-verification-309.htm...

Didn't Dustin submit a driver's license?

Yeah "HUNDREDs OF DOLLARS" bit, was a tad over dramatic.

I'm not much clued up with legalities of these kinds of situations, but is there any law that allows him to threaten legal action? Surely if they're holding money owed to him due to lack of ID and they're violating their own policies by not accepting it, then something is legally applicable to the situation?

From Wikipedia's entry on them (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freelancer.com), which helps explain their lack of clues with US types of ID:

"Freelancer is a global outsourcing marketplace, founded in 2009. Its headquarters are located in Sydney, Australia, though also has offices spanning Vancouver, London, Buenos Aires, Manila and Jakarta."

Looking at their web site, I see no sign they have a US office, unless they kept some of the people in their two acquisitions of US marketplace firms. For stakes this small, it sounds like they're essentially judgement proof in the US. Which is no doubt why they can get away with such tactics.

Australia has no form of national ID though (beyond a passport). Driver's licenses here are state-specific as well, which means even the most naive operators would expect a drivers license to be state-specific.

I suppose passport holding might be more common though but everything about this still sounds ridiculous.

Oh, geeze, how could I forget the Australia Card debacle! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australia_Card

(OK, that was 3 decades ago and I live in the US, but it was significant, a somewhat akin nation's people zapping such a proposal.)

So right you are.

On the other hand, I suspect a lot of the tech support is in cheaper places than Australia.

There's been similar controversy in the US from time to time. And there was a real tug of war between a few states (notably Maine) and the federal government over certain common standards for drivers licenses more recently, e.g. http://www.pressherald.com/opinion/drivers-license-controver....

Viewed rationally, it's mostly silly but "national ID" in some countries (including the US and, apparently, Australia) carries a lot of emotional baggage with it.

Any company that does business in the US is obviously subject to the US legal system. That they don't have an office in the US can be used to your advantage (to obtain judgements in absentia is a lot easier than facing a lawyer for obvious reasons).

US courts will assert jurisdiction about any business transaction that took place in the US, whether or not the participants have an official address or not.

Keep in mind that the organization needs accounts with organizations that can transfer into and out of US bank accounts. So freelancer.com must have a US bank account, which will be subject to US court orders.

There is no such thing as "judgement-proof". Thankfully.

"Keep in mind that the organization needs accounts with organizations that can transfer into and out of US bank accounts. So freelancer.com must have a US bank account, which will be subject to US court orders."

But to collect from one of those US bank accounts, you first have to find it. You'd either need to get info from another US freelancer ... and supplying that might get in the way of his continuing to get paid (I guess using social media you'd try to find someone who's not going to use them again), or you'd have to gotten your first payment.

A default judgement obtained in absentia also means the judge has no leverage to pry this sort of information out of the company's representatives.

> But to collect from one of those US bank accounts, you first have to find it

True. Buy a $0.05 gimmick from them and check your bank statement.


They're not a products company and they don't seem to have any bling you can buy, but I noticed a small writing job they're highlighting on their web page for $50. You could have a friend or two do a minimal transaction through them, although you'd want to use ACH (warning!!! on an account with little money in it!) instead of a credit card so you don't have to try to squeeze the bank info out of a card company, but, yeah.

Still might be expensive to collect from an out of state bank, don't really know how that works.

I'd imagine there is, but for a payment of 4 figures I doubt litigation is a realistic method of obtaining payment. In any case, you should never have to threaten to sue a freelancing site to get the money that is owed to you. This is a minor issue amplified into serious fuck-up by the lack of half decent customer service. I hope it gets figured out soon for the author's sake.

> for a payment of 4 figures I doubt litigation is a realistic method of obtaining payment.

This is what the small claims courts are for - although it is unclear whether Freelancer.com have any kind of presence in the US, which in this case is what seems to be the real blocker.

>> "although it is unclear whether Freelancer.com have any kind of presence in the US"

According to their about page [0] they are register in Australia. Couldn't he just file in the Australian small claims court though?

[0] http://www.freelancer.com/info/about.php

Hi there. I am the CEO of Freelancer.com.

We accept driver's licenses as identification: http://www.freelancer.com/news/articles-verification-309.htm...

Update #2: The CEO has called me and notified me that the first wire was held up at an intermediary bank in California, and has been resent. They have also refunded the $ 1,000.00 project fee back to the client so that he can pay that to me as well.

After numerous emails and support tickets and live chat conversations that didn't provide any answers, Matt Barrie finally gave me an explanation at 10:30 pm when he called me.

The explanation given for why my driver's license was rejected was because their manual states that potential counterfeit ID’s would have a brown background in the photo section of the driver's license instead of a white background. When I renewed my license a few months ago the DMV gave me the option of using my recent license photo or take a new one. I opted to use the old photo. It's a black and white photo as far as I can tell, but according to Matt Barrie the background of my driver's license photo appeared to be "brown." I think it's a rather ridiculous reason for why they rejected my ID, it clearly does not look like a brown background photo and is in fact my valid New York ID issued from the state. Regardless, they should have told me this immediately instead of giving me the runaround for days and holding up my payment. They also should have done this verification process before I began working on the project and before I waited for 2 weeks for the first wire. They also never requested that I do a keycode verification where I hold a sign using the unique keycode they give me and holding up my ID. I am displeased with their handling of this, but thankful that my client is dependable and professional and has opted to continue this project off of freelancer.com.

I regret that these are the actions I had to take in order to get freelancer.com to clarify why they were holding my payment and rejecting my ID. I am lucky enough to be working with an understanding and motivated client who has gone out of his way to help clear up this situation. He was gracious enough to advance me a payment this evening even though he is still awaiting his returned funds from freelancer.com

In the future, I hope that freelancer.com will be more direct with their customers when issues like this arise. I also hope that everyone who is having a similar issue gets it resolved ASAP without it having to come to this ugliness.

My wife and I cannot thank all of you enough for your support. When companies won't do the right thing, it's good to know that the power of social media can help keep them accountable.

"They also should have done this verification process before I began working on the project and before I waited for 2 weeks for the first wire."

While we can see from your case many problems of their waiting, I don't think it's economic for them to do a Know Your Customer (KYC) process until there's enough money on the table.

Surely many if not most if not the vast majority of freelancers signed up on the site will never receive enough money to require this. They'd have to not only get hired for a project, but also not get stiffed by the client.

The inexcusable thing is of course is that once they had thousands of dollars in their hands (albeit since it was from a credit card, subject to a charge back, which I'm sure is one of the reasons they resolved this in your and your client's favor), their KYC "process" (not sure their's deserves such a grand name) was so bogus, inconsistent and opaque.

There's a slight excuse for the opaqueness, implicitly telling you to Photoshop your "brown" photo section background into something more acceptable would negate that metric's usefulness, but ... well, they could have told you something that would have prompted you to go to the DMV and get a new license with a new photo (you could tell them you lost your old one).

E.g. "your photo on the license doesn't pass muster, why don't you get a replacement with a new photo" ... although that wouldn't necessarily work in my home state of Missouri, they have metrics for when they'll take a new photo and refused to the last time I renewed it (and for what it's worth, it has a deep blue background, one would hope that's OK by them...).

"They also never requested that I do a keycode verification where I hold a sign using the unique keycode they give me and holding up my ID."

There are two issues here: sending money to the right person, which I suspect was never in serious doubt, and sending money to a legit person, which is what the "Know Your Customer" words of art are all about: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Know_your_customer

these guys are the biggest scammers ever, i completed a project for +6000 dollars on freelancer, and after beeing payed by the amployer, and the project beeing completely finished, THEY WONT LET ME WITHDRAW THE FUNDS !!!

they now claim that the employer of that project is under investigation, but when i contact them, they know nothing about this ..

note that at this point in time, the employer has no reason whatsoever, to spend anymore time fixing this matter, as his work has been delivered, and he has already made payment to freelancer, released the milestone, and finished the project.

but now, I have to tell me employer, to ask freelancer whatsup ?

so freelancer told them they didint trust that the account was china based, yet logins where made from other locations. so my employer explained why they needed a vpn in China, DUH

they then proceeded to request pictures of documents a copy of his id, AND a photo of him holding a printed out code wich they provided !! so he complied, but they them also needed a copy of hi's ENTRY STAMPS ON HIS PASSPORT? showing that he entered china ...

so my employer complied again .

(note that i knew all this from communicating with my employer at this point, as freelancer was ignoring me completely)

but now freelancer needed more documents, in english, wich my employer cant seem to get hold of in China (if i go to my Dutch bank and request chinese docs they wont comply either, duh)

anyway, so now we are stuck, beeing ignored, with +600 dollars in my account, wich they wont let me withdraw

notice the whole trivk here,

if you DO manage to get money from your employer into your account, they will simply refuse it when you try to wothdraw . at wich point you have to go haras your EX-employer, wich has not time for taking selfies, days on end, scanning docs, rescanning docs, over and over .

so their whole plan is simply for the employer to get sick of it, and stop trying, THEY HAVE NO REASON OTHERWISE, THEY PAYED AND GOT RESULT, DONE. and freelancer goes of with the money ..

Whitewhidow, I have looked into your account and the limitation has now been cleared.

I prefer using oDesk over all other freelancing sites as it is very straight forward. And plus clients there prefer quality and are ready to pay high prices rather than choosing the cheap bids. I remember a customer paying me 400$ for a 10 line python script as he wanted it done quickly without problems.

Wish We could do something to help you, like may be bombard freelancer's facebook page to resolve your issue.

Either this guy is unluckiest person in the world, or he is extremely poor in money/project management. I cant find much sympathy where you promise your lenders payment based on possible payment from Freelancer (you didnt even knew it takes few days to process wire for them which you would knw after quick Google search). You proved you are not doing your research properly and you are getting in situations like that. Previous lessons didnt teach you much imo and you are failing to research basics and you are putting all your eggs in one basket affecting you and your wife.

If you are good at what you do - contact guy you work for and ask him to send money directly. If you are really valuable to him - he will do this.

If you have time to write this piece - you could as well use your skill and do some content writing jobs that would pay you fair money while waiting for other payments/jobs.

I am not trying to defend Freelancer as they did a bad job here, but man - protect yourself, learn how to avoid sucky situations you are in constantly...

>If you are good at what you do - contact guy you work for and ask him to send money directly. If you are really valuable to him - he will do this.

That will not work for an already paid money, because now it is stuck in Freelancer's account.

sent them a rant on facebook.

their response: Hi, Kiwee. We're already on the user's case and we're absolutely keen on resolving it at the soonest time possible. We appreciate your concern on the matter.

hope all the attention is doing something for you.

This behavior is exactly the same what online poker sites did some years ago. (FTP, Absolute poker, etc. ) They can't "pay off" everybody because they use that money somewhere. (or just "borrowed"...)

No, it's not the same. The poker sites you mentioned did try to pay (albeit with some delays); what did them in was that they spent their customer money on running their business, among other things that are in hindsight completely incredible.

They did have a lot of payment delays later in time, but that was not because of ill will, but because of issues with payment processors. Those processing companies were getting shadier and shadier as time went on, often getting their bank accounts seized, processors running away with tens of millions, et cetera. The lack of decent payment processors was what caused most of their delays by far, and incidentally also what caused them to resort to things like miscoding credit-card transactions and semi-bribing banks, which in turn resulted in them getting indicted in the US.

There's some other companies that did leave players waiting for months for their withdrawals because they were short in funds, but that wasn't the major issue at FTP or AP before their government-triggered collapse.

Source: I intimately know the business.

I have had terrible luck with Freelancer.com as well. One and done for me. In fact, the majority of freelancing sites miss the mark on making developers interest top priority as well as what they are supposed to do as the curator of a freelance site - to ensure projects are completed successfully.

Gun.io (http://www.gun.io) has been the only freelancing site that take that extra step to ensure that both sides are satisfied.

Sorry, to hear about your awful experience with Freeelancer. :(

Can someone explain how OP's house fell through? I'm trying to understand what happened and how the builder managed to steal his down payment and kick him out.

I guess you usually commit to paying for the house and then pay a downpayment that is non-refundable if you then cannot pay for the house. This way the money will be a safety net for the builder, since he could have found a different buyer during the time that the house will be empty.

This is starting to sound like how Paypal is today...

I see a qualitative difference between the two:

When Paypall's fraud detection flags an account, their repeated demands for more and more "documentation" are clearly not in good faith, they have no intention whatsoever in immediately unfreezing your account, they want you to do one of two things that will address their risk of chargebacks:

Refund all the money in question; this can work for charity efforts, which look suspicious, a whole bunch of money flooding into an account all of a sudden. In that case, the donations can quickly go back and be funneled to another charity.

Or wait 180 days to get your money.

Of course you have the third option of appealing to social media et. al., which can work particularly well in the charity situation.

For Freelancer.com, they obviously don't turn the crank on their Know Your Customer (KYC) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Know_your_customer) process until there's money on the table. Many, probably most freelancers who sign up will probably never reach this point, either because they don't get a job, or the client stiffs all concerned.

However, once that necessary action was triggered, if we are to believe Dustin, Freelancer.com's KYC unit was grossly incompetent. Heck, they might be lying to the CEO about what happened ... but he's ultimately responsible for all this.

Both my site (Freelancer.com) and Paypal have similar issues. Both are subject to fraud on a daily basis, and we have to weigh up the security of our marketplace and the protection of our users versus customer support issues that become public very quickly in today's world.

I just posted link to your article as comment(page posts are disabled) on all major posts on freelancer's facebook page, they will probably block me but hope it will help in some way. :D


One mistake, I noticed was

> They pretend to resolve the issue in private, hoping to shut you up in public, only to continue the run around in private, offering absolutely no solution

I think you meant public instead of private.

This was reposted on /r/programming so I have copied here my reply to that thread:


Hello everyone.

This is Matt Barrie, Chief Executive of Freelancer.com.

I see this has been reposted again in /r/programming. I think that we are being treated a little harshly here when the facts behind this case are not fully known, and nor are we able to provide them to you due to privacy issues.

Dustin did successfully withdraw funds the first time only a few days before. This has been omitted from his article.

On Thursday 24/4 he queued a substantially larger withdrawal for processing which was queued according to our normal timetable for Monday 28/4. This larger withdrawal triggered our KYC process (Know Your Customer) which required provision of identification. Documents were provided on this day but did not pass our process. I personally looked into this and it was for good reason that the anti-fraud team rejected them.

On Sunday 27/4, further documents were provided (still not completing the KYC process), but at the same time Dustin posted his article on Medium.com which blew up both here on Reddit, and HN.

By this stage it was early Monday morning here in Australia, and this issue was brought to our attention (thank you to those of you that emailed me). I personally looked at the accounts and was present when the team called (at about 7pm NY time) both Dustin (who didn't answer) and the employer to resolve the matter. The employer told our team "he does not wish to cooperate or assist us in any request" along with several expletives. We informed the employer on that call that in that case we were likely to refund the payments back to his credit card and that he would have to pay direct.

Our team then investigated the project itself- and became concerned enough with the nature of the project (which was against our Terms of Service) to cancel it, refund all the fees- for both Dustin and the employer- and refund all payments back to the employer's credit card.

I hope that you all understand that we have robust anti-fraud procedures in place designed to protect you in the event that your credit card is stolen. We don't subvert those processes because a post makes its way to Reddit or HN.

Over 5.8 million projects have been posted on Freelancer.com. We are a public company listed on the Australian Securities Exchange. We are not in the business of "actively delaying payments to contractors". This is a ridiculous assertion from OP.

NO payment was delayed in the above process with Dustin. We process withdrawals for Monday EDT. We were attempting to resolve this issue Sunday evening EDT.

Both Dustin and his employer were, to say the least, unhelpful in getting this resolved.

Regards Matt

> Dustin did successfully withdraw funds the first time only a few days before.

Those funds still have not been transferred to my bank account. I didn't omit anything. The article has two paragraphs detailing that the wire was sent and that I was informed that it would take 3-5 days to reflect in my bank account.

> Documents were provided on this day but did not pass our process. I personally looked into this and it was for good reason that the anti-fraud team rejected them.

Do you ever plan on emailing me the reason? I've only asked a dozen times for an explanation.

> I personally looked at the accounts and was present when the team called (at about 7pm NY time) both Dustin (who didn't answer) and the employer to resolve the matter.

It has been four days of that runaround. I emailed you personally the day before and didn't receive a response. I called the phone number you had listed on your whois for your personal blog, got your voicemail, left a message, and received no response. You still have not responded to my email.

> The employer told our team "he does not wish to cooperate or assist us in any request" along with several expletives. We informed the employer on that call that in that case we were likely to refund the payments back to his credit card and that he would have to pay direct.

My employer accomplished in one phone call something that took me a week. Clearly, I was being too nice about it.

> Both Dustin and his employer were, to say the least, unhelpful in getting this resolved.

I complied with every request you asked. The only requests I did not comply with were unreasonable ones such as "get a national id".. The U.S. has no such thing, and "get a passport", which would have taken weeks to obtain.

Dustin and I just spoke on the phone and hopefully all remaining issues are being resolved.

Are there any actually-good sites for finding freelance work? Maybe something curated?

We are working on a multilingual platform for freelancers that will be curated and we hope will solve some of the problems most of us are experiencing. Curation will probably lead to problems with scalability, but that's not something of concern to us at the moment. As a startup, we have more important issues to worry about. Here is a link to the landing page for those of you who would like to check it out - http://galilea3.com

in Argentina a passport costs ~$150 (ARS) but you have the choice of paying 10x (~$1000) and getting the document on the next working 24hs.

> The builder ended up stealing our down payment and evicted us from the house.

i'm now in my 30s and many of my family and friends own their own property or own rental property. having been personally involved in and witness to many, many real estate deals including ones that have gone completely south and/or had extremely tenuous goings, i am wondering how exactly this is possible.

the entire system is regulated to prevent this sort of thing from happening unless you just fork over a bunch of cash directly to a seller, in which case - that's your problem.

the older i get, the more skeptical i am of these cases in which the protagonist finds himself in financial trouble over and over again. being a victim is incredibly addicting because nothing is ever your fault.

sorry if i come off as an asshole but those are my thoughts on this matter. he posted it publicly on a blog and it ended up on HN and i'm offering feedback.

This was my first reaction as well. If you're having a house built you have to prove you can get a loan before they start construction. Then you have to go through the closing process on the house before the builder will let you move in. No builder that I'm aware of is going to give you the keys to your new house without going through closing with a title company. Something does not add up in the story.

The impression I got from his statement regarding prior owners is that the "builder" was not building them a house, but build a small development or single home to then be sold. Often a general contractor will get a loan for a plot of land and construction and develop it into 1-4 homes for sale.

Well, yeah, this guy is desperate, and it's because of a series of events and decisions, some of which may have been his own fault. He basically says as much. But the point here is that freelancer.com is taking advantage of desperate people with this ridiculous runaround. Reading it, it's clear that this is not even a situation like you get with Google where you can't find a human being to take a look at your problem. They wrote bunches of emails to him and about him, and there seems to be a deliberate kind of obtuseness running through it all. Hard to believe it's not deliberate - and that's not something that I conclude often.

Looking at his larger picture, it's kind of hard to believe that the $1500 wire or even the $5000 from the project will make this night and day difference in his whole life... but that's not a reason to withhold it from him.

The real estate situation there sounds pretty sketchy to me too. I've bought and sold several properties, and never seen or heard of anything like that. I think a lot of issues are wrapped up in his "dream home" and "save the house" statement. There is no property that is so great that you should ignore basic principles to get it. Trouble getting a clear title sounds like a reason to run away fast. You can generalize it even further to say that you should never allow any business deal of any kind to reach that level of importance. Always find alternatives and keep them available, and if there don't seem to be any alternatives, then there is probably a serious problem with the market that you're in.

There are still 2 real take-aways. If you're going to freelance, be prepared for cash flow issues. Have a buffer, charge more, structure deals to get money sooner in the process, and walk away if there are any problems with the money. Also, don't use freelancer.com. Not that I had ever heard of them before today anyways.

Actually, I see "but I liked the project and the client" in there too. Does this guy have a history of accepting business deals that any reasonable observer can easily see are bad ideas, and making up reasons why he's doing them anyways? Is there maybe something in there about having a tendency to being taken in by con men? It seems pretty clear that, if you're having cash flow issues, you should look for a full-time W2 job first, or if you have to freelance, find a client who will pay you directly, up front.

My understanding is as follows: he put in a large down payment but because of problems caused by the builder the bank refused to issue the loan. He also neglected his customers because of stress with wife etc., so he ended up with a cash-flow problem, no loan, no way to get one and a builder asking for the rest of the money. He didn't have them so he's out of the house and loses his down payment.

It's totally believable, although for the life of me I would not sign a contract that makes me loose the down-payment if I'm unable to contract the loan - who knows what can happen and what the morons employed by the bank will do ?

All in all, a cautionary tale about the effects marriage can have one one's life, rather than being about freelancer.com "Our dreamhouse" part sounds exactly like a wifey's wet dream.

It could happen with a good faith deposit.

here's a tip (seriously). if you're ever talking real estate and someone even so much as hints at a "good faith" deposit, walk away.

absolutely NO money (zero, zip, nada) should be exchanged directly between the buyer and seller in a legitimate sale. there should be at least two outside parties (generally a bank and a licensed escrow company) involved in proxying the transaction. some people even buy additional protection on top of that.

if you decide to throw all these protections out the window, that's nobody's problem but your own.

Not sure what area you're in, but standard real estate practice in Houston is that the potential buyer pays 1% or so in earnest money, escrowed through the title company, up front, with various contractual conditions for who gets it if anything goes wrong, and an option fee, usually around $200, paid directly to the seller, in exchange for the right to have 10 days or so to inspect the property and walk away from the deal if they find something they don't like.

I would regard anything outside of that as very suspicious, though.

In Connecticut, when I bought my house. We paid some amount into some type of independent escrow account. A copy of the check went along with the offer if memory serves me.

The amount was small relative to a house purchase, in the range of $200 I think.

My real estate agent told me if the deal went sour, we'd have a hell of our time getting the money back from the escrow folk. I assumed such an approach was common everywhere.

> My real estate agent told me if the deal went sour, we'd have a hell of our time getting the money back from the escrow folk

i don't mean to sound short, but what is the point of escrow in your state then?

At least it didn't go to the buyers?

I honestly I have no idea if this was just the real estate agents 'approach' or if it relates to CT laws or something entirely different.

Please add Guru to this list. Actually all the commodity coding marketplace is destroying us in North America. What we need is a marketplace that isn't so greedy and doesn't let just anyone with $50 to create the next Facebook in. It also should be limited to citizens of Canada and United States.

Doesn't this guy know how to use Google?

There are tens of blog posts about Freelancer.com's customer support and their shady payment tactics.

That is a very unreasonable expectation. This is the first time ever i have personally seen any criticism of freelancer.com online and i read a lot of online tech news and work as an online freelancer myself. Without an ongoing history of negative press about them, there is no reason for someone to suspect that their business is fraudulent and to go looking for such information.

? Having worked for freelancer in the past, it is pretty obvious that their site is a scam, meant to extract money from freelancers as much as from buyers.

If you really want to work on a site like that, go ahead. I'd warn you though. You're going to lose money if you take them up on anything.

Desperation makes one do many things they wouldn't normally do. He thought he'd do some quick jobs and get paid with days of payment submitted. Reasonable enough

Hello campuscodi

With 11 million users you are bound to get a few complaints about something, however we are very proactive about finding these issues and resolving them. I personally am dealing with this issue and I have looked at the circumstances and I stand 100% behind my anti-fraud team.

Regards Matt

you mean your fraud team right ? please go lay in the middle of the road, AFTER you release my money out of my account, wich you WONT !!!

Whitewhidow, can you please email your issue to matt@freelancer.com and I will personally look into it?

> Two years ago I had multiple mortgage commitments to close on what seemed to be our dream house.

They live above their means.

> We managed to get one and a half truck loads

They have too much stuff.

Freelancer.com is barely relevant to their problems.

We didn't take on multiple mortgages, we had multiple to chose from. We were only getting one mortgage.

I had savings at the time, but it was a combination of the real estate mess and my wife's health issues that my income stalled, and it still took a while before our savings ran out.

As soon as I receive payment for this project I am caught up on everything I was behind on, and it would take one more project equal to this one to get a couple months ahead.

I started working full time two months ago. It's not taking me long to catch up on something that took years to happen.

If freelancer did the right thing, I would be caught up already.

Depends on the size of their dream and of the size of their trucks.

No matter what size is the house, if they got multiple loans in order to buy their dream house - they live above their means.

> size of their trucks

"we were up for two days packing" indicates that the truck was not small.

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