Several months ago, I started working for an online freelance site, oDesk. It was recommended to me by a family member who is also doing freelance work. She said that aside from very minor issues, oDesk has been good.
I needed it a bit more than others because I used to have cancer. Well, I still do because it doesn't really go away. It's a lifetime of treatment. Just two months ago, the doctor found two blasts in my cell. For anyone who has a loved one who went through this, they would know that two blasts is reason enough for concern.
The doctor told me I cannot expect to live like "ordinary people" because I am not ordinary. I cannot handle the stress of a regular job but I need to finance my monthly trip to the doctor. That's why I went with oDesk and several other online freelance site.
oDesk earns though commission. They get a percentage of your earnings. They also charge you for every withdrawal you make. Since I need every penny I can get, I decided to wait until I have enough money saved to make the oDesk fee worth it.
You can withdraw via Paypal or Bank transfer. The bank transfer takes longer so I decided to use Paypal. When I finally made my withdrawal, it wouldn't allow me. I dug my email and there was never a notification sent to me informing me I can't withdraw. I went to their live chat and the agent can't give me a reason. He just told me my financial account was suspended. Take note, I am allowed to work. I can still earn money but I am not allowed to withdraw. That means my money is in their hands, earning interest for them or whatever.
He gave me the standard "I will escalate" line and promised that I will hear from them in 24-48 hours. This is the third day and I haven't heard anything. I've requested for follow up twice and also went to their live chat again only to be told I don't have a choice but to wait.
I was told to wait and they can't give a time frame. Althea, the agent I spoke with, told me another department handles it and they can't do anything and that she "understands my frustration".
I was told to wait. I was told to wait when I can go to the doctor. I wish I can tell my cancer cells to wait. I wish I can tell the darn leukemia to just pause until oDesk is in the mood to release my money. I wish I can tell mortality to wait until oDesk has time to look into my case.
oDesk is a legitimate online freelance job site. It is not perfect and no one expects it to be. There will always be glitches but this is just a glitch that could have dire consequences for its freelancers.
I am into other online freelance sites and oDesk is the only one that has done this. Elance and peopleperhour were all very meticulous and diligent when it comes to money. They respond in less than 6 hours when it comes to financial concerns and they do it via phone, email and chat.
oDesk should never take freezing a person's financial account lightly. It is the whole point someone is working. They did it without so much as an email.
oDesk should also have a 24-hour turn around period with financial issues. When it comes to this, "I will escalate" doesn't cut it.