I hired thru Odesk a provider with raving reviews and lots of work hours. He wanted payment by PayPal and I paid him and he wanted more later but provided no proof of work. Then he simply disappeared. Odesk won't do a thing and won't even take him off the provider's list. Then told me if I paid outside the Odesk system, it won't protect me. So we resubmitted for another bid and we hired another one and made payments thru Odesk. Supposedly only a 3 month job but it got dragged out to more than a year. Each time they wanted a bit more time and payment. Since we tried to be patient and so much time and effort were invested, we went along. Every time the demo would meet problems and told that the problems will be fixed the next time... and finally, they disappeared. All communication stopped and getting dead silence from them after two weeks. As of now, we got nothing, not even a single code. Told Odesk about it and asked it to reverse my credit card charges. Odesk refused and said it's not their problem. They won't even consider this matter a matter of fraud or even want to investigate. They said they can't do a thing. It's my problem and not theirs. I had to pay them 10% of the amount of contract and they provide no guarantee nor would they investigate and address the issue or resolve the dispute. Fraud is fraud, scam is scam, and there is no resolution to it. It is simply criminal and Odesk doesn't see it that way.
The worst part is Odesk's attitude. They won't even consider that fraud exists or they should investigate and address this issue. They take your money and the fee you paid and leave you all alone.
Odesk system and platform doesn't work and it's business model or practice is unprofessional.
Whether you paid outside Odesk or thru Odesk, beware, you are on your own and Odesk will do nothing for you when there is a scam or fraud.