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Not getting paid by client in the UK

I knew and I read the warnings, but went ahead and applied for this job because the client spent money before in oDesk, so based on that I thought I could trust him. I believe it's my fault because I'm kinda new to freelancing. I know that oDesk doesn't intervene in disputes, but I was wondering if the more savvy contractors out there have any advice what are the options to try to get paid by a client who is in England. Maybe a debt collector or something. Thanks in advance.

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I am sorry this has happened to you! I thought that I might not get paid once before, and it's a horrible feeling. It's not even just, and all about, the money. It is the feeling of having been cheated and having been taken advantage of! My situation was resolved and I did get paid, but I do remember the feeling well!

How much are you owed?

Have you contacted Customer Support and asked them to contact the client on your behalf? It does not guarantee payment, but many client's do pay up when contacted by oDesk. It also flags up the client's non-payment and if they make a habit out of it oDesk can suspend them.

For future reference: Please try to always get an up-front payment, even if it is small. It "buys" you the right to leave feedback which is a major advantage. When you have not been paid anything you can't even warn other contractors Sad

Having said that: As you have not been paid the work you did belongs to you! That may be a bargaining point as the client should not really use it, although enforcing that is rather more difficult, of course.

Do you have the full real name and address of the client? Getting a debt collector involved across borders is rarely worthwhile.

Let's see how much money is involved, and whether you have already asked oDesk to intervene; then we can see if you have any real options.

Hi, thank you for your

Hi, thank you for your response. I am owed $300.00 and I did contacted oDesk customer support and like you said, they are trying to reach the client. I just think this might not be even worth to recover at another country. To be sincere, I'm not even sure he is the person he said he is because he linked the project crowd funding account to his twitter and facebook profiles and he went from being professional to posting things a kid would do, like the account was hacked. I'm just going to leave it at that and learn from it. I've been lucky here at oDesk so far, because all the jobs I've gotten I always got paid. Working as a freelancer has it's risks. I'm definitely going to be more careful from now on. Thank you again.

Erick Sandoval.

Have you tried posting to his twitter and facebook pages?

I wouldn't give up just yet! Make "not paying" uncomfortable for him! His twitter and facebook accounts can lead to untold avenues to make that client cringe..... if you know what I mean Wink

Is he still recruiting on oDesk? Any open jobs? Any jobs in progress? Any sign of other unhappy contractors? What is his feedback like?

Honestly, doing 300 Dollars worth of work without an up front payment or milestones was not a good idea, as you have probably figured out.

If you can't be sure who that person really is then getting the money is going to be really hard but please don't just give up - what's the worst that can happen if you carry on pursuing him?

What was the job you did for him? Anything you could "find" on line? There is a chance he's incorporated what you did into *his* client's project and you could cause all sorts of issues if you found it..... Until something has been paid you OWN the work, so it can not be bought by someone else as it's yours........

Always ask for upfront if you're unsure

Always ask for upfront payment if you're unsure, but like you said, you saw warning signs. If you feel like there is a red flag of any kind, stay far away and don't apply for the job, even if it seems like it would be good money. If you do still want to apply, or you're applying for a job with a new client that has no feedback yet - ask for upfront payment (50% or more).

If you did graphics for him, run a Google image search with the image you created. If you don't know how to do this, look it up or ask and I'll explain further. See what sites the image returns. If you can find sites that have material you own rights to but are not paid for, you can go after them.

“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” - Inigo Montoya

Very good advice by Jennifer.

Very good advice by Jennifer.