oDesk - Escrow Services, Work Tracking Systems and Payment Guarantees
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Payment Guarantee for Hourly Projects
The payoff for contractors willing to use the Team application is a payment guarantee: if you do the work, you get paid for it. In order to qualify for the guarantee, though, you must not just use the application, but use it the way oDesk requires; you must also meet certain other qualifications. The full list of requirements:
Furthermore, oDesk will not guarantee payment for work where the Team application detected that you were idle, for work done in excess of the hours limit set by the employer, or for any periods of time in the work diary where the reported data indicates that you were not working on the project in question.
Most importantly, the payment guarantee also doesn’t apply to “offline time”, which is time for which a contractor submits a manual claim, as opposed to that which is recorded in the work diary by the Team application. Payment for offline time is entirely at the discretion of the employer, who can simply decide not to pay it, leaving the contractor no recourse. This is a big deal, because as I said earlier, some types of work are not well suited to computer-based monitoring. Even if using the Team application is “optional”, by not using it, you’re risking not being paid.
oDesk’s payment guarantee for contractors also represents a complementary guarantee for clients: that they will only have to pay for work actually done on their project. This, of course, is the reason for oDesk making the requirements above in order for the work payment guarantee to come into effect.
In the event that a contractor and client disagree about payment for hours logged in the work diary, oDesk has a dispute process that comes into play. What’s interesting, though, is that this process only covers hours worked and paid, not quality or deliverables. There’s more information in the dispute resolution topic.
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