I used to freelancer.com to hire a freelancer that was recommended to me by an employee at my company. I had not used the freelancer before and recommended he sign-up for freelancer.com, so that we can use the site to work on the project. I already had about $300 in my freelancer account. After he created his profile, I added another $225 for his job. Located his profile and hired him to complete a video logo reveal. The freelancer complete the work well and on time. I submitted payment to him after all fees where withdrawn and paid to freelancer.com. The next morning my account is suspended. I also found out that the freelancer's account was also suspended due to security risks.
I emailed customer support because they won't contact you, why would they, they have your money. The reply I receive basically stated that because I knew the freelancer I hired, or at least was able to contact him that we can circumvent their system and not pay them their fees.
However, anyone with a half a brain over there, would realize that fees were withdrawn when I added funds, and fees where taken when the freelancer was paid.
To make matters worse, I brought this freelancer to freelancer.com, just in case there was an issue with him. Not in a million years did I think that I should have been more wary of freelancer.com. So now they have the balance of my funds, plus holding the freelancer's payment. I'm not going to screw over this poor freelancer and will pay him again. That's what responsible companies do.
Who know who this will get resolved, but my company is out anywhere between $500-$700.
Heed the warnings here - run don't walk to guru.com or elance.com. These are reputable companies, with phone numbers and easy way to get issues resolved.
Oh, the most important thing to be aware, if you use paypal, they will automatically authorize your account for re-occuring payments. So basically they can withdrawn money from paypal account at will. You manually have to go into paypal and cancel the payment structure. Nasty, shady business. This is why people are so skeptical of everything. The internet is rife with companies out to screw you of every penny and hide behind their bogus terms and conditions. Stick with reputable, proven companies that have PHONE NUMBERS.