An open letter to elance and the client who shafted me over

Subject: An open letter to elance and the client who shafted me over
From: anonymous
Date: 17 Aug 2015

This is a shout out to the guy who won't pay me for my work and the crappy platform supporting him.

I write for a living and obviously it means that sometimes I'm busier than others when it comes to work. On a particularly quiet period I took to glance - an online freelancer site - that puts you in touch with clients who need work doing.

Now I should have known from the off that a lot of the clients weren't exactly going to be trustworthy, after all a host of them are people asking you to write their university essays and the like for them. Anyway I pretty much found work immediately and was excited to get going on an hourly contract that would see me earning some good money.

I largely contacted the guy through Skype for convenience as he was located out in America and immediately felt as though the elance platform had no more relevance. I hadn't initially planned on writing his name or anything but I don't want this to happen to anyone else, he's called Ben Roy and went under the name Crianjobs. The guy felt odd when communicating through Skype and all I had to go off was the picture of a seemingly harmless nerdy looking guy as a reference.

The time comes in for me to hand in my first online timesheet and I do so. I wasn't 100% sure of the whole process and it is nearly impossible to find information about payment dates and clear explanations. So apparently the timesheet has to be approved and then it gets paid a week or so after, it used to be quicker but apparently elance hold onto it for a bit now probably to try and make money on the interest.

So I continued working for the guy waiting whilst waiting for the payment to come through. I must say I was pretty excited to get going with the work and looking forward to being paid for it. Except when it came time for the money to come through it hadn't, this was mid week and the guy said he'd contacted glance and there had been an error on their end and that the pay would come through on 11.59pm Friday. I contacted elance and asked if this communication was true...they said they couldn't divulge client confidentiality and essentially didn't answer any of my questions, leaving me in the predicament of not being paid but also unsure of how to progress in my work relationship...the guy explained obviously it wasn't an 'ideal start' but if it would be sorted and I should continue working for him. Not wanting to create an awkward environment and needing the money so I couldn't just sit around for a week waiting meant that I continued working for him.

This was my big mistake, I assumed he would be true to his word and that I could continue working and elance would have my back. Of course when it came to be payed the second time and now I was expecting $ guessed it, nothing came through. Warning alarms were playing with me constantly and I contacted the guy, he said he'd check and worst comes to worst pay me direct through paypal, then asked if I was ready for my next article...I finally said what I needed to and that I'd rather wait till the payment is sorted and he said 'ok, give me a few minutes'.

As you might imagine I hear nothing back and then he appears offline on Skype...this is the first time he's been offline and I genuinely thought the guy didn't sleep or something because he'd be asking me to work at all times of the day.

Now I'm sat at my computer trying to contact elance but know there's nothing they'll likely be able to do or want to do. So I've gone from a position of needing money, getting the work to earn it for 3 weeks, but essentially working for free and now I'm worse than back at square one!

It always played in my mind that there is a big potential for you to get screwed over but I assumed this Ben Roy would've had to have the funds I was earning held on elance so they could be released upon the approval of my timesheet. I don't know if he ever even had bank account details on the system and elance don't seem to care.

All I can think of is that he should be having some seriously negative karma coming his way and I hope he gets what he deserves. It amazes me there are people out there like this that are happy to pray on the good will and strong work ethic of others and they're the ones who get away with it. I now have 2 weeks to earn enough money to pay rent and I'm not going to be doing it through elance that's for sure.

So to Ben Roy and elance, you're both made for each other. Thank you for allowing him to screw me over and effectively support him in doing so by offering me no genuine assistance, rather just spewing out the generic terms and lifeless messages.

I hope you can all live with yourselves