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oDesk NEEDS to have an Escrow service for fixed price jobs.

oDesk NEEDS to have an Escrow service for fixed price jobs.

It is a basic and simple feature that your less then desirable system SHOULD HAVE.

Get with the program and implement the very simple and basic user protection feature that protects people from getting ripped off.

I joined odesk 2.5 years ago and hoped that would eventually be possible here like it is on Elance and Guru not to mention other sources.

Vote Result

Score: 9.1, Votes: 10

I'm having the experience where I asked for a fixed-price. I laid out ALL the requirements, even had fully designed and layed out pages, listed with functionality, expectations, etc. The contractor and I what seemed like a great exchange (granted via email), he understood the expectations and requirements for being "fired" and has not delivered.

I am btw a rock and a hard place having lost 2 weeks of time and only have seen partial work completed. I don't even have files of partial work, so I would have to start all over with no guarantee that he'll refund my deposit.

A deposit should be held until first deliverable has been met. I don't think I'll use oDesk again. So far I've tried 3 contractors and all 3 have not delivered, gone MIA or some combination.

It's not a simple, or a cheap solution

I would like to see the option of escrow. But to be honest I think people think that escrow will do more than it does, in reality.

With the majority of fixed priced contracts being worth less than $ 100 most potential issues can be worked out without escrow. Escrow is expensive and labour intensive to run.

On Elance, for example, it will cost the client and the contractor $ 99 (each) to take a dispute to arbitration. That money is gone. If the contract value is over $ 1000 the free doubles.

How many disputes are worth spending $ 100 to get decided? And could those disputes have been avoided had people negotiated more sensible milestone payments, for example?

It's one of those things that sound great in theory, and one only sees the restrictions when the fertiliser hits the fan.

Plus, oDesk have made their position on escrow clear. It is not going to happen here any time soon.

However, there is plenty of information here to help people make sure that any potential losses are kept to a minimum. Being in business is not ever risk-free..... I had one "loss" so far and had I followed advice that would either not have happened or the loss would have been much smaller. I am not going to whine about it because I could have avoided some of the loss by following the advice that is being repeated again and again.

Escrow would not have helped, as the value of the contract would not have warranted spending $ 99 on getting it resolved.