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Odesk Corporation / Beware!

1 United States Review updated:
Contact information:

Odesk Scam - Don't Hire Odesk Programmers. Odesk based in California did not lift a finger when we got scammed by oversea programmers. WARNING BEFORE USING ODESK READ THIS. We recently hired Odesk to introduce us to a "So Called" affordable software programmers. Here's the Scam that happened to us on Odesk:

1. We were quoted a large fee (about $10, 000) by a very nice programmer to develop software for us.

2. Midway into the stage the programmer comes back to us and stated he miscalculated his quote and demanded another approx. $5, 000.00 to complete the project.

3. We were so deep into the Odesk Project that we agreed to pay the additional money to Odesk.

4. After the software was 75% completed the programmer came back to us and DEMANDED ANOTHER approx. $20, 000.00 to complete the Odesk Project

5. After we told the programmer we already paid twice and another approx. $20, 000.00 is way out of our budget he instantly turned into a Nightmare! He was no longer nice... he told us we need to pay the other $20, 000.00 or we will basically get nothing for our money that we can do anything with.

6. We contacted Ron Aquino from Odesk about this issue. They basically told us to work with the programmer and there was nothing they could do other than send them an email. They said they would talk to the programmer but instead of helping us they gave the programmers more money.

Ron Aquino told us to pay the money the programmer was asking for... because the programmers was not happy with our solution to make payments for the extra bribe money. Please understand that Odesk gets paid when a programmer gets paid. There's something fishy about that.

Odesk takes a commission every billing hour. It only makes sense that naturally they don't mind a client getting over billed and Price Bait and Switch because the more money the programmers earn the more money they earn... Thus there was no conclusion... or help from Odesk.

Ron Aquino informed our company to stop using odesk. Probably because of our massive complaints. The Odesk Corporation did absolutely NOTHING to help the situation. We have Nothing to show for the thousands of dollars we lost. Our recommendation is if you want to use Odesk to out source your programmers BEWARE of Bait and Switch of the pricing... because the programmers know once you are deep into the job and the work is almost done you will have no choice but to pay what ever they demand to finish the job.

Beware of the Mr. Nice guy routine as first because the first second you tell them you can't afford to pay more... you will experience a living nightmare and will loose your money and time invested.

That was our Odesk experience!

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  • At
      27th of Oct, 2008
    0 Votes

    First of all, why did you posted the same complaint using two different usernames? Secondly, were you sleeping while the programmer was working? Thirdly, you should have posted the job URL in support of your complaint. Anyone can say that RAC, GAC, Elance, Guru all took their money. You had access to the workdiary. Can't you see whether the programmer is working. And oDesk does have dispute system. Programmers account have been closed in some cases who were found to be violating TOS. I am also a programmer at oDesk and have found some of the most wonderful clients of mine. It is the best place for doing freelance work.

  • An
      29th of Oct, 2008
    0 Votes

    Sue The Odesk Corporation

  • Vi
      26th of Nov, 2008
    0 Votes

    I never had any issue with programmers at o desk. Did you hired on hourly basis?

  • We
      4th of Dec, 2008
    0 Votes

    So you are probably the 1 complaint listed at It says Billing or Collection Issues - Company addressed the complaint issues. The consumer failed to acknowledge acceptance to the BBB.

    They are one of many companies I'm researching.

  • Th
      5th of Dec, 2008
    0 Votes

    Here is my communication with ODesk after being scammed for a complex project that was never completed and I paid 70% of the upfront fee instead of the 30%. ODesk did not lift a finger.



    I had hired Kim from Cybinternet/ Cybtechnologies in Belgium and over the past 3 months I'd seen very little progress with my website from poor programming of simple forms like the contact forms and sign up forms to him stating 90% of the website is almost complete when in actually he had only 10% of the website complete with numerous errors.I was so annoyed with his poor workmanship that I decided to go in to the website myself and reprogram the pages to make sure they worked properly.

    I checked the developers profile on ODESK and great to my surprise the profile is no longer active. Additionally, the company had downloaded all my files from my FTP and decided to work on a remote location.

    On numerous occasions the developer stated that he was going to upload my files so we can both test the website. It is now a month later and I have not seen any progress. Also, I had contacted the developer both through email and IM and still I did not receive a response.

    After working on the website he stated that it was unique and hard. However, I am really furious because the concept I was having him work on was not yet seen in the social networking market and I had overpaid him for the job and he is not responding to my emails.

    After the developer demonstrated poor workmanship and poor attention to detail, I decided to reduce the developer's level of work that was included in the fixed price because I did not feel he was qualified to work on a website of this persuasion.

    If I do not receive a response from the developer over the next couple of days, I have no other choice but to contact the federal trade commission to report the company.

    Is there anyway I can request a refund for the overpaid portion? I can provide all supporting emails between me and the developer

    Thank you for contacting oDesk Support.

    Unfortunately oDesk does not offer mediation nor arbitration for fixed price assignments. You will need to contact the provider directly for resolution. Please refer to

    Please let us know if we can be of additional assistance.



    Nov. 21

    Can you please inform me on when Kim deactivated his account. This is very unfair to me. I paid money to have a project completed and I am taking the developer just ran with my money and all my website files, media and ideas.

    Nov. 23

    Dear Victoria,

    Thank you for contacting oDesk Support.

    The provider's account (koptimo) is not deactivated, it is active. Please contact the provider directly for resolution.

    Please let us know if we can be of additional assistance.

    Nov. 24

    I have conducted further research and realized Kim changed his name to Kim C. making his profile harder to find in the search results. I have contacted the developer several times and if I do not hear a response by the end of the week I am going to contact the FTC and submit all supporting documentation.

    Nov. 26

    I have ended the project because I have contacted the developer numerous times regarding with no responses and this project and is way overdue.

    After reading his negative feedback on his Odesk page for a complex project, I realized that he was not equipped to work on a project of this complexity and instead of him stating that when he told me the website was difficult and unique, he had deceived me in believing that he could do the job (after I requested a full refund) and had 90% of my project completed when literally he had only about 10% completed with numerous errors on simple forms that a programmer should be able to program properly and nothing worked properly. I was so frustrated that I had to study his files and constantly go into the forms and correct everythng myself and I am not a programmer--the forms work superbly.

    Yesterday, I had sent him an IM while he was online and instead of him responding he just logged off like he was trying to avoid me. I paid to have a service render and not only didn't he complete my project but he is not responding to my emails. He is obviously taking on more projects then you can handle. On top of that, instead of paying 30% upfront I paid 70% upfront.

    I am filing a report with my credit card company and present all supporting documentation because this is unfair business practice and I will be damned if he runs with my money and didn't complete the job.

    Just because his is located in Belgium does not prevent me from filing a lawsuit and in the U.S we have laws in place to protect us when conducting business internationally and for unfair business practices.

    I am going to first start with filing a report with my credit card company and then file a report with the Federal Trade Commission and present all supporting documentation from the companies he works for to everything I have on you and our communications.

    This is really unfair and I should not have to lose out on money because he could not do the job and instead of him admitting to it, he is making me more frustrated and prolonging the project when I can hire new developers.

    I am a very meticulous and understanding person and I feel as a developer, he should take great care when working on projects. More important, he demonstrated poor attention to detail and poor programming on simple forms that me as a non-programmer had to study his files and correct his mistakes.I even had to program some forms to reduce his workload (they work superbly) that was included in the price and to speed up the process and still the project is approaching its 4th month...well overdue...

    Nov. 27

    Thank you for contacting oDesk Support.

    I will also email the provider to contact you for a resolution. I will give him 48 hours to reply to you and if he does not, please inform me and I will suspend his account for non communication. I will send you a carbon copy of the email.

    Please let us know if we can be of additional assistance.



    Dec. 2

    It is now Dec 2 and I still had not received a response from the developer. I paid to have a service rendered and this developer just ran with my money.

    Dec. 3

    Thank you for contacting oDesk Support.

    The provider's account has already been suspended.

    Please let us know if we can be of additional assistance

    Dec. 4

    I just conducted a search on the provider and Obviously he had already created a back up profile due to his negative feedback. I already took a snapshot of his last bio and I recall the image in his current profile because he uses the same image in his IM. There are a lot of scam artists on this website and I filed a complaint with my credit card company because the transaction was made through a U.S. company.

    The other URL for Kim C. is I am contacting the FTC. I do not know what type of games your company is playing but the username is registered here at the following url and I

    Dec. 4

    This is a serious issue and thank God for search engines because Kim is obviously still working on projects under the so called suspended account. It would be rather irrational to suspend someone's account when he is still working on projects. I came across the profile in the search engine that is still active but just doesn't appear in ODesk's Search results


    Dec. 4

    It seems as if Kim new accout was created overnight to allow him to continue using your services because I checked all the Kim C.s profiles last week and I would have came across this new profile but it wasn't in the search results. Now all of a sudden his old account is removed from the search results but still maintains an active url and appears in major search engines where people are still able to hire him .This new account was created on 10/27/2008. I further scrutinize the profile, all his test scores for the same test are the same. It looks as if he just tweaked his profile a little to try to disguise it. Unfortunately, this is obviously not an issue for your company to handle because you did very little to solve the problem, but rather a problem for the FTC to investigate. You earned money from a project that was not completed and from a developer who ran with my money because he was incompetent to do the job.I have over 20 snapshots of emails and bios, and images because this issue needs to be addressed urgently before it goes haywire. You obviously knew something was wrong when he did not respond.

    I have a section on my new and upcoming website that is going to launch in January( which will be marketed throught several advertising channels) where I am going to spotlight major companies. I just filed a report with my bank because i paid for a service that was not rendered through a and obviously ODesk is a money driven website that lures alot of overseas scam-artists who deceive consumers in believing they can do the job to make a quick dollar in their poverty-stricken countries. It is unfair for consumers and I am very upset.

    My advice to developers on ODesk and other websites that are scamming consumers is that karma is a b******

    Here are 2 new responses from an ODESK employee:

    DEC. 4

    Thank you for contacting oDesk Support.

    I have suspended the provider's account: koptimo
    His profile is still in the database because his account is suspended and not closed. An account suspension means that the provider cannot apply to jobs anymore.

    As for your original complaint regarding an uncompleted assignment which was fixed price, I have informed you on 11-21-2008: Unfortunately oDesk does not offer mediation nor arbitration for fixed price assignments. Please refer to
    You agreed to this when you created a fixed price assignment, right before you posted the job. This is also true in the provider's side. They will need to agree to this before they applied to your job. I apologize to you but I am unable to help you regarding this matter.

    As for provider behavior, I did my investigation and saw other accounts made by the provider. I would like to thank you for this notification. I will need to look into this further and determine what actions need to be done regarding Mr. Kim.

    Please let us know if we can be of additional assistance.

    Thank you for contacting oDesk Support.

    I have suspended Mr. Kim Coppen's other accounts. I will get back with your for more updates.

    Please let us know if we can be of additional assistance.


    My comment:

    It was great to here that his accounts were suspended but Ipaid tohave a service rendered . The transaction was made between me and ODesk and then forwarded to the developer to complete this service. I am pretty sure there are some good and trustworthy developers on ODESK but there are a lot of scam-artists floating around on that site.

    I encountered another experience with a company called who pretends to have a valid office in the United States (lure U.S. citizens) and U.S. Representatives and I confirmed that they were working out of Russia . Additionally, they ran with my money of over $1, 000 because I confronted them about sharing my ideas (not yet seen on the market and I am very affluent on the web) with their Russian counterparts (conducted thorough research) in the U.S who launched a website with all my ideas.Not even the major bloggers/journalists could associate the Founder (stockbroker and backers with a website of that nature or let alone aweb 2.0. They were very skeptical.

    Great to my surprise, hit the bloggers/news sites on January 28 the same date the Russian company was supposed to have my website completed after working on it for about 3 weeks--they could not even present me with the homepage and didn't send me my source files.

    The Russian company claimed that they have never heard of but when I asked to speak with Julia doreefva the manager in Russia, miraculously she was on a 2 week business trip, the same time received 29.6 million in early stage funding.

    They stated was the evolution to social networking and it launched in July 2007 the same month and year I started working with the Russian company.

    I immediately posted against the articles on the news sites/bloggers and great to my surprise those websites immediately removed the articles like they never existed but I kept copies for legal purposes.

    I contacted the counsel at and his response was along the lines of we never mentioned the nationalities of the founders and backers and that is a matter of public records. Based on my military background. I immediately knew Dr. Cotsakos the CEO and Founder of was Russian and I conducted further investigation and discovered that one of the investors were Jewish-Russian.

    I was a young entrepreneur and they probably would have known that by reading through my bio that was included in the written material I had forwarded to them to include in my website.

    I will have full analysis reports, emails, and images on my upcoming website.

    I had great success when working with developers in the United States and Canada.Thank God my website will finally launch in Januaryand it will be marketed aggressively through both online and offline advertising. My goal was take my negative experiences with these companies and turn them into something positive.

  • Sa
      1st of Feb, 2009
    +1 Votes

    I had already filed a complain against odesk this fraud company because they charged me $800 and provider ran away with the money. I contacted odesk but they refused to offer any kind of settlement and also refused to provide me with the service.

  • Fr
      26th of Feb, 2009
    0 Votes

    I was a young entrepreneur and they probably would have known that by reading through my bio that was included in the written material I had forwarded to them to include in my website.

  • Fr
      26th of Feb, 2009
    0 Votes

    We as the Fraud ODC were contacted by K.C. in order to determine if your nameless acusations are right:
    Your website is - Victoria Campbell - MyClique LLC - 1400 East Baltimore Street - MD - 21231 United States email: - - telephone. 212-926-1705 between 9a.m. -12a.m. Eastern Time (US and Canada)
    We were submitted the offer and all communication between yourselves.
    We determined the following: The offer was done on a fixed price. You kept adding demands and additions to the work after the work as quoted was finished without willing to pay the additional fees requested to do the additional work.
    Conclusion: What you are writing is totally false and K was in his right to request an additional small fee to do the additional requested work as this was not quoted in the original offer.
    Final: CLOSED.

  • Ma
      9th of Mar, 2009
    0 Votes

    I have a serious issue with Odesk. I was concerned that I was getting robbed by a buyer. Understand that we need protection on website such as this.

    I chatted with there support. Understand that it was my first attempt at odesk. I typically use e-lance and rent a coder for my projects. I wanted to know if the provider was avoiding me by trying to know if they knew if he was aware that he was awarded the project. I paid 20% in advance. I’m a serious business owner with not much time on my hands so quality of service is important. Obviously support department didn’t want to answer that question and has decided to refund me and close my account. They were frustrated, taugh I might was getting screwed and didn't want to admit it. I’m very disappointed of there attitude and we do not make business that way. There future isn’t big with an attitude like this…

  • Jo
      2nd of May, 2009
    +1 Votes

    Hi every one just check how odesk treat a contest. got the heighest score and they gave us second place and didnt give us first place. DONT DO BUSINESS WITH THAT COMPANY VERY BAD.

  • Si
      4th of May, 2009
    0 Votes

    I feel Odesk is a terrible company to deal with. They know very well that their website is rife with scammers and they also know that working on an hourly basis is a terrible idea when outsourcing as its very difficult to know how much time is really being spent and also to gauge the competency of the person for the task beforehand. Despite this they encourage people to do work through hourly jobs rather than on an agreed upon fixed price.

    It is pathetic that odesk will not mediate in terms of actual work delivered or quality of the work. Their odesk tool only verifies the person is online and using their computer.. thats about it. They are basically running a big scam with this hourly work scheme and getting away with it.

    After getting scammed over and over (with a few good tasks in between) on small hourly jobs I decided I would no longer post any hourly projects and now I will only post fixed price jobs. This actually works a lot better and you can usually get people to work with no money upfront and then they know if they don't deliver to your previous specifications they won't get paid.

  • An
      29th of Jun, 2009
    0 Votes

    Odesk is great. As a programmer myself I can see screenshots of my programmer's work and make sure he is doing what I expect. If I were to require a large project and was not able to monitor the work and argue the effort required then I would use a site like rentacoder where they will mediate the situation. Sometimes flat price for project is the way to go and sometimes hourly wage is the way to go. It really sucks that you got burned and I understand your frustration but I don't think it is fair for you to be upset at odesk.

  • Fa
      12th of Aug, 2009
    0 Votes


    My past experience with oDesk has been good until recently I had an issue and oDesk support proved to be a nightmare.

    oDesk support is non responsive at all. They are useless. On 7th August 2009, they closed my account without any notification. The account was not even in use for so many days as I was on a trip and had limited access to the internet.

    Here is my communication with them. See, how stupid they are when it comes to support. I am 100% sure nothing went wrong with my account and oDesk support is horrible. They wont help an honest person. They only support rip offs I guess.

    When User ID Comment
    08/12/2009 14:15:34 Hello

    oDesk support is being unfair here. My account was not in use during the days it was closed. I am not even being told the reason why it was closed.

    Fahd Murtaza
    08/12/2009 14:04:34 doreenmartel
    (odesk) Your oDesk account has been closed permanantly and will not be reinstated.

    There is no additional information available.
    08/12/2009 10:42:07 I will appreciate urgent response to my last comment. You only told me that it was flagged by your syetm, but I have not been using my oDesk account in the days during which the account was flagged.

    I sure deserve the right to know why the account which I literally worked hard on and which was not used for anything illegal has been closed without any reason and even without any notice.
    08/11/2009 16:01:45 Hi

    I am sure I didn't do anything that has caused the system to flag my account. Can this matter be checked by some human to really understand and let me know what really happened with my account. I have really worked hard to get clients and make a good profile on oDesk and I deserve to know what really happened that made my account flagged by your system.

    I am 100% sure I didn't do anything wrong and I deserve the right to understand what really happened and what I can do to assure that my account is reopened. I am very much frustrated at the moment as I am an honest guy and worked my way up to make a good portfolio and prove myself a good resource to buyers. My buyers hire me on recurring basis and I don't even know what I did wrong to get banned and why my account was closed.

    Again, I am sure that I am following oDesk policies and working on ethics promoted by oDesk.
    08/11/2009 15:09:55 rriccio
    (odesk) Unfortunately, your account was flagged by our system and we had to close it. Your available funds were refunded back to your Buyer for them to pay you directly. You should have received a notice. I apologize if you didn't.
    08/11/2009 05:12:43 I want to know why my account is closed. I was not informed of any reason why my account is closed. I haven't done anything wrong which might be the reason for oDesk to close my account.

    So I will appreciate if I get details about the reason to close my account.
    08/10/2009 20:31:14 rriccio
    (odesk) Thank you for contacting oDesk Support.

    I am sorry but your account has been closed. This is why you are unable to access it.

    Please let us know if we can be of additional assistance.
    08/10/2009 07:40:18 Hi

    I have been working on oDesk as fahd murtaza and my general profile link was

    I think someone has hacked into my account and deleted all my info. Any help asap is appreciated.

    I can't even login to my account and my provider listing on oDesk is gone. I don't know how this happened. An urgent response is highly appreciated.

  • Od
      8th of Dec, 2009
    0 Votes

    ODESK is horrible and I agree with this blog post. EVEN if you post the job url and use odesk's dispute system they will DO NOTHING. I had a person sexually harrassing me on odesk and he left me a very bad feedback bc of his hatred against women...ODESK DID NOTHING ABOUT IT. I am not SUING odesk and I will win.

  • Od
      8th of Dec, 2009
    0 Votes

    I meant to say: I am NOW suing odesk and will win, watch out.

  • Pd
      28th of Jan, 2010
    0 Votes

    I had similar problems with oDesk. I hired a provider for a small research project with a tight 1-week deadline. A month later, I had been billed for one hour, received no work and no correspondence. On oDesk, you cannot close a project unless you leave feedback. In order to make the oDesk system work, I left poor feedback to protect other buyers from this lousy provider.

    Provider sees the bad feedback and suddenly she's available. She says there was flooding in her country, and that she tried contacting me via email and yahoo messenger but I never replied (this is a LIE, I never heard anything from her and highly doubt email and messenger would both fail). She says "let's do this!" ... 3 weeks after the deadline I set passed. I ignore her & let my feedback stand.

    SO, in retaliation the provider left me bad feedback too. This makes me look like a bad buyer, and may discourage others from working with me...even though I am the one who got screwed, I did nothing wrong!

    I protested with oDesk, asking them to remove the dishonest 'retaliatory' feedback she left. oDesk was very polite, but in a nutshell, it became very clear that they have NOTHING in place to protect buyers from providers who are scammers. The one solution they offered was for me to delete both feedbacks...but to me that defeats the whole purpose of a feedback system -- I strongly felt other buyers should know that this provider was a scammer. Didn;t want anybody else to get scammed, but oDesk didn't share that sentiment.

    In conclusion, I closed my oDesk account. Reading these other stories, I feel lucky...I could have lost a lot more money. If you are a buyer, understand that with oDesk you are taking a risk with any service you buy --- oDesk will NOT protect you from providers who are scammers, inept, etc. Why they choose to protect the scammer providers -- but not the honest buyers -- is beyond me.

  • Ya
      1st of Mar, 2010
    0 Votes

    Same boat. Scammed by Bad Programmers and oDesk hides behind it marketplace agreement. Share your story on my website: or follow me on twitter

  • Ya
      1st of Mar, 2010
    0 Votes

    Don't get scammed by oDesk and their pretty interface. oDesk's interest are to keep their marketplace programmers billing. This can't happen if you have a successful project. I got ripped off by oDesk to the tune of $17K with nothing to show for it but a big fact not our problem.

    Check out my story at or follow me on Twitter at

  • Cc
      7th of Apr, 2010
    0 Votes

    This is the worst scamming site I have ever come across. DONT DEAL WITH THEM !!! As far as they are concerned. Customers do not have rights. They are aware they have unscrupulous people providing services, but are not prepared to lift one finger to help. Only happy to steal money out of your credit card.
    If you have a choice, use a real person in the town you live. These people are experts at hiding behind cyberspace walls. STOP MAKING IT EASY FOR THEM.

  • An
      30th of Apr, 2010
    0 Votes

    I will NEVER use oDesk again in my life, even if I could.

    I was permanently suspended on False grounds because of some newbie Client, who also forced me to do 75% of the Job without pay, at the end, leaving my the lowest possible feedback score.

    Then oDesk decided also to Steal my 8 Job Payments that were still in my account, including bonuses that were given to me for doing excellent Jobs.

    Do NOT use oDesk, they are only concerned about getting as much money as they can for themselves.
    I have been on oDesk for years, so trust me, I know...
    I maintained an awesome 5-Star Profile all through that time, and then oDesk had me shut down as soon as they found the slightest disagreement between the Client and myself.

    They have absolutely no concern for the well-being of the Providers who work hard to bring in their money.

    The Providers or oDesk are treated as Slave Dogs.

    Take your chances with some other more reputable Freelance Service.

    Elance, Guru and others are more trusted, and better as a whole than oDesk.

    Good luck with your Business,
    Saddened and Ripped-off by oDesk,

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