About Freelancer.com

By HighYa Research Team
Published on: Sep 30, 2013

Based in Pyrmont, NSW, Australia, Freelancer.com is an online marketplace specifically designed for freelancers looking for work, and for outsourcers and crowdsourcers looking to have work completed.

In business since 2004, the company claims to be the world’s largest outsourcing marketplace, with 4.5 million projects posted, and nearly 8 million verified users.

Freelancer.com focuses on a wide variety of fields, including web and software development, design, writing, marketing, data entry, and according to the company, “anything else you could think of, all for the fraction of the cost.”

Freelancer.com Features

If you’re using Freelancer.com as an employer or small business, you simply sign up and post a project to begin. You’ll need to enter the project title, project details, skills you require for all applicants, in addition to pricing options (e.g. fixed budget or hourly). You will also be able to attach files relevant to your project at this time.

Once you’re ready to post your project, you’ll be given the option to further promote your listing by attaching additional classifications, such as Featured Project, Urgent Project, Private Project, NDA Required, and more. Keep in mind that these additional classifications will entail fees ranging anywhere from $9-$200, which Freelancer.com claims can increase your project’s visibility and attract up to 80% more bids.

Employers on the site can also be proactive and browse through freelancers, which can be filtered by hourly rate, location, skills, and work categories, after which they can be contacted directly and invited to place a bid.

After your project has been submitted, you’ll begin receiving bids from freelancers who would like to work on your project. At this point you can review their qualifications by analyzing their portfolio and work history, overall rating, skill sets, and test scores. The hiring process is very personalized and is completely based on your judgment and discretion.

Once your chosen freelancer has been hired, work will begin. If your project is based on a fixed price, you will generally pay the freelancer only after work has been completed. If your project will be billed on an hourly basis, Freelancer.com now offers a “Freelancer Time Track,” which ensures that every hour logged by the contractor is actually worked, by tracking their time via a software program that captures frequent screenshots.

Once the project has been completed to your satisfaction, you’ll be able to provide feedback to the contractor, as well as to rate their performance.

If you are looking for work as a freelancer, you can browse projects based on type (e.g. featured projects, projects with low bids, projects that are ending soon, etc.), and/or based on category (e.g. graphic design, web development, 3D animation, online marketing, etc.). You’ll then only place bids on projects that are relevant to your skillset.

Freelancer.com Membership Plans and Pricing

For those looking for work, Freelancer.com offers four different membership options, which range from no cost to $49.95 per month:

  • Free
  • Basic
  • Standard
  • Premium

The primary differences between these packages are the number of bids you’re allowed, the percentage of the associated freelancer fee, as well as the number of portfolio items and skill sets you’re able to display to prospective employers. This means that if you’re just starting out, you may be able to get by just fine with a lower package.

However, once your portfolio and skill sets grow, you’ll likely need to move up to a more robust package. It’s also important to note that these packages are tailored more toward freelancers since employers will rarely need to showcase work or place bids on projects. For an informative chart displaying all Membership options and pricing, please click here.

Once your account is set up, you can easily switch between the packages and make payment via MasterCard, AMEX, Visa, Paypal, and Skrill Moneybookers.

Is Freelancer.com a Scam?

Freelancer.com is a globally acclaimed company that is backed by substantially large investors and is staffed by legitimate management and leadership teams. As such, there are no indications that the company is a scam.

Having said this, since Freelancer.com has been in business for several years and has accumulated a wide variety of user reviews, the most common complaint is that many freelancers (as well as some employers) have claimed that they’ve experienced payment delays after a transaction has been completed, or that payments have not been processed altogether. They state their accounts are frequently frozen and undergo some sort of “investigation,” at which point Freelancer.com’s customer service is of little to no assistance.

As can be imagined, when freelancers have worked for days or weeks on a project, completed them to their employers’ satisfaction, but then find that they’re unable to withdraw their funds, they become angry and immediately begin throwing around the “scam” word. To the company’s credit, when responding to these complaints, they have acknowledged that this is an ongoing problem and that they are actively attempting an internal restructuring to address the issue.

Should You Avoid Freelancer.com?

Overall, Freelancer.com seems to have a great vision for the freelancing community and is not necessarily a site that you should avoid. However, as a suggestion, if you do decide to sign up, be sure to contact the company directly and undergo one of their “investigations” before you begin hiring freelancers or bidding on any projects.

By addressing the issue upfront, you can proactively provide them with any additional information they may need, which will help to substantially reduce the risk of running into any future problems.

Another suggestion is to be careful who you hire to work on your projects—use your discretion to judge a freelancer’s character and work experience as best you can.

Freelancer.com provides employers with some of the necessary tools to help discern the difference between low and high-quality work, though they do not have the resources to guarantee that all work completed will match your needs. Caveat emptor.

Pros:

  • Large online marketplace for freelancers looking for work, as well as employers looking for work to be completed.
  • In business since 2004, and backed by substantial investors and legitimate management and leadership teams.
  • Wide variety of project types in fields such as web and software development, design, writing, marketing, data entry, and more.
  • Easy to set up an account and bid on/post a job.
  • A good selection of payment options.

Cons:

  • Numerous users have complained of lengthy payment delays as their accounts undergo “investigation.”
  • Customer service has a reputation for being slow to offer assistance.
  • If you're a Freelancer, you are required to pay monthly payments for membership packages just to be able to place more bids on projects and increase your skill-sets

Read 262 Freelancer.com Customer Reviews and Complaints

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Average Consumer Rating: 1.4
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 20 4 star: 1 3 star: 3 2 star: 9 1 star:  229
Bottom Line: 11% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 262
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  • 22 out 22 people found this review helpful

    Dishonest when it comes to money

    • Brunei, Asia,
    • Oct 15, 2015
    • Verified Reviewer

    I am not someone who likes to post reviews around, but freelancer.com did something that really upset me.

    I signed up with freelancer.com long ago, back when they were still getafreelancer.com. For years things had been great, I am an employer who used the website to connect with freelancers. I had a 5-star profile, that is, all freelancers who worked with me in the past gave high remarks. I never leave anyone unpaid, whether the projects turned out to be good or bad.

    It all started few months ago when I uploaded some funds to my account (via credit card), freelancer.com payment system charged me several times for that one deposit. I contacted their support and they kept escalating the issues without giving me a proper response. It seems like they are just not interested to solve it. After a while I got fed up with them and went to my bank to reverse the transactions.

    I thought it all worked out. It is common sense that if I made a deposit of $30, and you ridiculously charged me several times up to $150, I would had to reverse the $120 transaction. But freelancer.com doesn't think so. Once the bank made the charge-backs, they limit my account and asked me for verification (i.e. sending personal documents).

    I told them it wasn't my fault that they made several unauthorized charges on my card and the bank reversed the transactions for me. With an experience like that, can I still trust them with my personal info? Their accountants or finance staff should've liaised with me when I first contacted them, but no, I didn't receive any helpful response. I suggest they run through their accounting statement, by which they would find they had charged me for the same thing multiple times. But no, they refused to hear what I have to say, and they soon suspended my account, that means taking all the remaining money in it.

    It doesn't matter that you took my money, I will forget it in a while. But I will post reviews on here and other websites so everyone can read it for a long time. If your company's credibility is affected, it is karma for what you did. I had been a good customer and never caused any problems for you all these years but then you brought this on me. Today you lost me forever, keep doing such business practices and tomorrow you may lose everyone else.

    To everyone reading this, I do not recommend you use freelancer.com, they used to be good but this is no longer the case. Nowadays there are so many issues of financial dishonesty towards their users. Yes they may be a public listed company, but that doesn't matter if on the ground they treat people like you and me badly, and that somehow our money in their system may 'disappear'. Stay away, there are many better alternatives to go for.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 19 out 19 people found this review helpful

    Complete Crap

    • Boston, MA,
    • May 18, 2016
    • Verified Reviewer

    The support on this site is terrible. Automated response after automated response. Here's my story. Over two months ago I signed up to use this site as a freelancer, I've made decent clients and a decent amount of money, but they won't give me that money. I put in for my first withdrawal, for this they have a 15 day waiting period for new freelancers, I get that, whatever, I waited. All of a sudden 15 days later, without reason, that transaction fails.

    Next I put in another withdrawal, still being patient. 15 days goes by, I'm looking in my account, nothing. Then I'm told I have to wait another 12 days for the withdrawal. If you're keeping count we're at 42 days of waiting to withdraw a small amount of money. All the while I'm trying to explain this to support, asking politely what I can do to expedite the process, receiving these B.S. copy/ paste responses.

    Which brings us to this week, when suddenly on the day my withdrawal was supposed to come through I receive an email telling me that they've chosen to "limit" my account and I'm unable to make withdrawals. At that point I'm pissed, but they still have my money so I do what they say and send a scanned copy of my license, a scanned copy of proof of residency, a photograph of myself holding my ID. Then apparently they are trying to get in touch with my clients to see if I'm a real person. So my clients are getting these messages claiming the person they're working with may be, what, some kind of fake account? Tarnishing my reputation with the people paying me. Wish I had read some of these reviews before signing up.

    Keep in mind I pay the subscription and they've made commission off every one of my projects. Leaving this review up unless all this crap gets resolved.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 18 out 18 people found this review helpful

    It's Getting Worse Every Year

    Freelancer.com gets worse and worse every year. I have been there since 2012 and now it's 2016 and still the milestone reversal is still a thing. The funny thing is, reversed payments should be returned to the employer and it looks like it's not because I talked to my employers if they got it back and they said they don't see it on their account. Here's the thing about freelancer.com, they put up a "terms and conditions" page and if you break any one of it, they will take your money, that's it. They won't refund fees, milestones, and any financial stuff. It's like their "terms and conditions" are a cheap way of getting money out of people. So now it's 2016, my biggest milestone reversal is $250 for all the hard work I did. The rest of the past years I got milestone reversals from $15 to $50. I guess it's time to jump to another platform. $250 might be small to some people, but think about this, it's not just me who experienced this, so you multiply this by the number of other people who experienced this and that's how huge Freelancer.com is making money out of that scheme.

    Whenever you complain about this to their technical support, they will simply copy/paste a text from their terms and conditions to you and that's it. They don't care how hard you work for that money, they don't care about anything. The only thing they care is their terms and conditions which you will have to accept when you use their site so it's like you can't also sue them. What a shame.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 18 out 19 people found this review helpful

    Stay far away, scammers!

    I was looking for someone to professionally photoshop a photo for me and came across Freelancer. It seemed like an easy way to find the right person to do the job. I put in my budget of $25 and described what I wanted done. Right away I received many potential bidders that wanted to do the work. I chose one that had good reviews and would do the work for $20. He showed me a protocol of what he did, and I liked it. I had to pay through Freelancer, so I set up a "milestone" of $13.60. I have no idea why that amount was selected, but it seems like a fair price, so I gave my name and PayPal info.

    Then he comes back and says now he wants $40 for the photo. I said to forget it and wanted a refund. Freelancer said they put the money in my "freelancer account," which I never requested, and to have the money put back in my PayPal account, I would have to make a special request that could take up to 45 days (now I am getting really super mad). Good thing I got notices from PayPal, after that they charged another $3.32 and then another $40.22 without my authorization all within about 15 minutes! All these were weird amounts, so I right away contacted PayPal and told them these charges were not authorized by me. I think PayPal knows about this scam company and has dealt with them before because they were blocked immediately and by the following morning I had all my money back.

    Please do not use them; they are scammers of the worse kind!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 17 out 17 people found this review helpful

    BS site

    • Winnipeg, MA,
    • Mar 16, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    This is true, as I have observed this myself. For almost every project I've made a bid on, the employers NEVER ACTUALLY HIRE ANYONE. That's right, this is at least 90% of the employers who seem to be in need of service, but then totally neglect it and let the projects rot forever.

    All this time, I thought I just wasn't qualified. It turned out nobody was. Because the employers never hired anyone to begin with. I've wasted good money taking measures to stand out among the many other candidates; spotlighting my bid, highlighting my bid, providing what's equivalent to a cover letter in perfect English, all to no avail.

    If you didn't need any help to begin with, then why the heck would you bother posting a job opening about it? Such perfect logic, no?

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 15 out 16 people found this review helpful

    Just stay away...

    • EU,
    • May 23, 2013

    No care for security within marketplace, extorting sensitive private data and disseminating them if they just don't like you. Want to see tons of complaints? Google those: freelancer.com scam

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 15 out 15 people found this review helpful

    Removing money from my bank account for no reason

    • Ireland,
    • Apr 13, 2016
    • Verified Reviewer

    Worst customer experience of my life.

    I did a purchase on behalf of a friend. The total amount was 15 euros. The following days Freelancer proceeded to charge me an additional 62.80 and then 62.81 euros and several other smaller amounts. I immediately contacted my bank, my friend also contacted Freelancer who didn't provide an answer as to why they charged my card, but did refund the money to my bank account.

    A week passed and I realized that Freelancer was at it again, charging several amounts to my debit card. We contacted them again, they returned only part of the money and from that point we were unable to find a solution with their horrible customer care. No excuse as to why they continued to charge my card, although my friend has replaced it with her Paypal account and hasn't asked for their services anyway. They just decided to grab money from my account for no reason at all.

    Three days in a row, after I contacted my bank and their Facebook page, sent them several emails, they are still keeping my money without being able to provide an excuse. They just charge you random sums, return part of it and then sent you to their very unhelpful customer care. I feel that their goal is to force you to eventually give up and allow them to keep your money. Stay away from this site, it's like a plague. No apology so far (although returning the money the first time is admission to their mistakes). They have caused me enormous stress and I will probably have to cancel my current card thanks to them. I would never go anywhere near that website again.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 15 out 15 people found this review helpful

    Keep trying to bring the future, but step over people.

    • Florida,
    • Apr 27, 2016
    • Verified Reviewer

    Freelancer.com seems to be a great idea but the way the system works might mislead people. The portal claims it is safe and offers money back guarantee, but is not true and the customer service really ignores people. They take several days to reply through a ticket base system, always with evasive answers that just protect their abusive policies, and the phone never answers.

    Freelancer.com allows the possibility to offer services all over the world, as well as customers to receive service outside their country boundaries, they just forgot to follow other countries' laws and guidelines. Such company that claims to be the market leader should not mislead and ignore customers this way, and I am pretty sure America is no longer accepting this kind of treatment anymore.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 15 out 15 people found this review helpful

    Full of scammers

    I had tried Freelancer a few years ago and had not gone too far with it because they charge upfront for every project that you get awarded. I didn't get any projects then, so I decided to try Elance, which I was very successful with.

    Elance shut down a couple of years ago, so I decided to try Freelancer again. I still don't have any jobs awarded, although I keep getting jobs awarded by scammers every day. I get at least 2 or 3 messages per day saying I have been awarded a $600 job and that once I accept it, I will be charged $60 by Freelancer. The "client" who has awarded the jobs tell me to contact them via email or hangouts. Anybody who has ever worked as a freelancer knows this is the oldest scam.

    I keep on reporting them, and they continue posting the same job and awarding the same job on a daily basis. I am beginning to think that maybe someone or some people at Freelancer may be in cahoots with these scammers. The reason I say this, is that Freelancer charges the freelancer a 10% fee as soon as they accept the awarded job, and these scammers only target newbies?

    How and why are they allowed to continue posting the same job although it is clear that this is a scammer? I cannot answer, but I have decided I am not paying Freelancer anything and will delete my account.

    You also have to pay for their "tests." Every test (some of which you cannot even submit a bid without) costs $5.00. Why would I want to pay for an English test, and I passed with a 77% while someone with no English skills at all, gets a 90%?

    Something smells real fishy at Freelancer!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 15 out 16 people found this review helpful

    Takes money of your PayPal account

    • Moscow, Russia,
    • Feb 28, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    It simply scams you and tricks you into paying fees. Small fees, hidden fees and unclear situations where you get tricked.

    Just stay away from this site. There are many other useful sites that do a better job.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 15 out 16 people found this review helpful

    Small businesses, don't use Freelancer.com

    • Dubai, United Arab Emirates,
    • Feb 28, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Their system is set up in a way that makes it vulnerable to scammers. Freelancers can bid for projects, win/accept, you pay, then they do not do anything and strong-arm money from you just to get your project freed up to assign to someone who really wants to work or get your money back. Otherwise, you have to set up another project, pay another set of fees/deposits. Then, if you're lucky enough to get anything back in the first, it's just a deposit. The worst part is that you can only review them if the project is completed, so people with good ratings may have only done a few projects to get a rating, then do this to scam.

    For a first timer trying it out, I was NOT impressed.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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