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Contractor not delivering... any suggestions?


I admit that I am new to Odesk and I was hoping that I could build a business around using this service and the contractors on Odesk. The contractor working on my first project keeps telling me that I will receive updates to my project in a few days, but it has been 4 weeks. My business is depending on this project. Has anyone had similar experiences and what have you done?

Thanks in advance,


Vote Result

Score: 0.0, Votes: 0
As much as I hate to state

As much as I hate to state the obvious, your contract's previous reviews are FULL of comments that directly relate to your issue.

Problem is, working on someone else's code can take a long time to figure out and sometimes it's just better to start over and take the loss. Sorry to say, but it's the hard truth. if you need it done in a hurry now because the deadline is coming sooner and you still don't have a working project... you may need to spend a metric poop tonne of money on a team or someone highly skilled, with good work ethics.

I'd move on if I were you, find a new programmer and cut your losses. lesson learned the expensive way Smile

take the loss and move

take the loss and move on.
Not at all impressed.

Hi Mike, I think that you

Hi Mike,

I think that you should end the contract and should hire a new contractor after a detailed interview. Tell him that you'll hire him for a one MONTH or so, and then you'll hire him permanently.

Ended contract :(

Thank you all for the responses and feedback - this feels like a great community! Well, I terminated the contract today based on feedback from this community and others. I'm hoping that I can find a great Xcode/iOS/Objective-C coder who doesn't have the qualities that I mentioned in the review I left (copied below with names and companies removed).

This is a difficult review to write as I believe [the contractor] is a very nice person and I believe his intentions are good. I only received a small portion of the project which had many bugs, was missing significant functionality, written with poor code quality and the graphics design quality was low. I must now start the project from the beginning with another contractor and I have wasted $720 USD in payments to this contractor.
o [The contractor] and his company [Company name] consistently missed pre-scheduled meetings and updates.
o [The contractor] would tell me that I would have code in a few days and then never deliver - then he would lead me on and say that he would send code in a few days.
o The code quality was poor and I suspect the contractor may just be too junior to be writing programs (not his fault as I am sure he is still learning).
o [The contractor] was impossible to contact or schedule a meeting with and went completely missing for more than two weeks.
o The graphics design quality was very bad.

I'm new to Odesk and have learned a valuable lesson as a client... the hard way!

Thank you again for the guidance - this has been a tough lesson I hope others do not have to go through. I'm sure there are a lot of great programmers/contractors out there on Odesk and that this was an exception!


Sorry it went wrong. A

Sorry it went wrong. A further piece of might want to split the graphics and programming into different jobs. Programmers who do good graphics do exist; but -certainly in my experience- artists don't make good programmers and vice versa as a general rule of thumb.

Great point

That's a great point, Darren. This contractor said that he had a separate Graphics Designer in his company who was doing the graphics. It probably makes sense to contract that part out separately, though, to your point!

Hi, I'm an older oDesk


I'm an older oDesk contractor of about 1 year on oDesk, I welcome you too from the oDeskers side. I have another piece of advice for you.

As I'm a contractor by myself, so I wanna suggest you that for you, don't give the work for more than 20 hours per week initially. *And hire multiple contractors, such as 2 contractors, each of 10 hours/week. By doing so you can compare the abilities of several people in the same time, then hire the best of all for full time position.

If you get a contractor who is experienced and don't have a project recently, then it would be a plus, as you'll be the only client getting all of his/her concentration.


You can't go by "don't have a

You can't go by "don't have a project recently".

More than likely most of us here show many open projects at the same time, even tho we are not working on them.

Some clients want to keep them open for further work without a lot of bother to them.

Wise Advise

Ghufran and Joseph,

This is great advice - I like the idea of hiring more than one contractor for a short period initially. It would be great to have a contractor only on my project : ) , but I also realize that contractors typically have a few projects each in different phases. Sometimes a project is waiting for Apple to approve the app or waiting for beta feedback from users which leaves a lot of down time for the developer.

I'm still learning!

Hi Mike, You are most

Hi Mike,
You are most welcome. We and you and all of the other oDeskers are always here to share our personal experiences with each other for the goodness of each others. Yeah you are right that the contractors have typically more than one project, as I also do have 4 recent projects. But the only point in it was, as he will give you all of his concentration for a while, you can judge him deeply. Later on, if he gets other projects too, no worries then, as you have already known about his maximum capabilities that he could deliver...

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