Update #2: The CEO has called me and notified me that the first wire was held up at an intermediary bank in California, and has been resent. They have also refunded the $ 1,000.00 project fee back to the client so that he can pay that to me as well.
After numerous emails and support tickets and live chat conversations that didn't provide any answers, Matt Barrie finally gave me an explanation at 10:30 pm when he called me.
The explanation given for why my driver’s license was rejected was because their manual states that potential counterfeit ID’s would have a brown background in the photo section of the driver’s license instead of a white background. When I renewed my license a few months ago the DMV gave me the option of using my recent license photo or take a new one. I opted to use the old photo. It’s a black and white photo as far as I can tell, but according to Matt Barrie the background of my driver’s license photo appeared to be “brown.” I think it’s a rather ridiculous reason for why they rejected my ID, it clearly does not look like a brown background photo and is in fact my valid New York ID issued from the state. Regardless, they should have told me this immediately instead of giving me the runaround for days and holding up my payment. They also should have done this verification process before I began working on the project and before I waited for 2 weeks for the first wire. They also never requested that I do a keycode verification where I hold a sign using the unique keycode they give me and holding up my ID. I am displeased with their handling of this, but thankful that my client is dependable and professional and has opted to continue this project off of freelancer.com.
I regret that these are the actions I had to take in order to get freelancer.com to clarify why they were holding my payment and rejecting my ID. I am lucky enough to be working with an understanding and motivated client who has gone out of his way to help clear up this situation. He was gracious enough to advance me a payment this evening even though he is still awaiting his returned funds from freelancer.com
In the future, I hope that freelancer.com will be more direct with their customers when issues like this arise. I also hope that everyone who is having a similar issue gets it resolved ASAP without it having to come to this ugliness.
My wife and I cannot thank all of you enough for your support. When companies won’t do the right thing, it’s good to know that the power of social media can help keep them accountable.
Update: Freelancer has returned the funds to the client and I will be working directly with the client, outside of freelancer.
As of now, freelancer still has not given a reason why my drivers license was rejected as a valid form of identity verification.
I want to thank everybody for pressing this issue and helping to get it resolved. It was unfortunate that this is what it took. I wish luck to everyone else in a similar situation.
The path that led me to this point in my life started two years ago. One extremely bad circumstance after another, and everything I worked for the previous 8 years was taken away.
You can plan on surviving one or two disasters, but it gets exponentially difficult to deal with multiple catastrophes that occur one after another for two years straight.
Two years ago I had multiple mortgage commitments to close on what seemed to be our dream house.
The dream house became a nightmare when we realized the builder was a con artist. He couldn't get a clear title and our mortgage commitments expired. We began hearing multiple horror stories about what he had done to other buyers. It suddenly made sense why the previous owners had moved so fast after putting so much money down.
The stress mounted while we tried to figure out how to save the house. The stress was too much for my wife and as a result she began getting sick. The constant stress caused her to experience menorrhagia. She had to get her first blood transfusion nine months ago, or she would have bled to death.
Because of all this, I was unable to dedicate enough time to my clients. I had to start declining most offers because I could not split my time between the problems I was dealing with and meeting the deadlines my clients required.
The builder ended up stealing our down payment and evicted us from the house.
It was the middle of January, we ran out of oil for heat, and we were up for two days packing. We managed to get one and a half truck loads before the sheriff arrived. When the sheriff came, our cat panicked and ran off. The sheriff moved our belongings to the porch. We came back the next day to get more of our belongings, and before we were even finished loading the truck, the builders friends were parked waiting for us to leave, so they could go pick through whatever we couldn't load.
After we left, the builder moved an excavator in the driveway to ensure we would not be able to get the rest of our belongings.
We still went back to look for our missing cat, but I was unable to search for long because they were waiting for me. My attorney already advised me these were violent people and to use caution if I planned on going back to the house for anything. We had to leave again in a hurry.
It is hard to describe the rage you feel inside, when someone takes everything from you, including part of your family.
My wife and I had to spend a night in our car in sub zero degree weather because things happened too fast for us to make moving arrangements.
My wife’s aunt offered to let us stay with them until we could find a place. We had to sell the things we managed to get into storage, and it was just enough to get us into an apartment before we overstayed our welcome at her relatives.
A month later my wife was in the hospital again and needed another blood transfusion.
This whole ordeal was physically and mentally exhausting, but I was determined to get our life back.
Edited for clarification: I had reservations about including the real estate situation in this post. I felt that the context was important, but I also didn't want most of the post to be about it, and I didn't want it to come across as a pity party. I summarized a lot of the details. To clear things up, it was a long drawn out series of events, it wasn't something that happened in the span of a few weeks, it happened over the course of two years. I spent months going back and forth in courts and ultimately lost. There is still a lot more to this, but the goal of this post is to warn people about freelancer.com and to put the pressure on them to resolve my account issue.
Getting back up
Today I am back in a position to work full time.
I started networking through freelancer sites, and continue to network through forums and social networks.
I found a great client on freelancer.com. It was a challenge since I was competing with many others who were willing to work for far less than I was. I didn't let this deter me though. I bid what was worth it to me to do projects, and sent proposals explaining why I was the right choice for the project.
I had lost the first dozen bids I submitted. I was short listed for about 4, and ultimately awarded one. It was the biggest project I had bid on, and the largest bid.
Freelancer.com immediately charged $ 1,000.00 when the project was awarded to me. This consumed almost half of the first milestone.
Because I already chose to invest my time in the freelancer.com project, that also meant I would have to endure their 2 week hold for the first payment. Other sites do not have these rigid wait periods, and I certainly didn't have the time to spare, but I liked the project and the client, so I committed to it despite it not being the fastest way to generate income, but it did seem the most reliable.
There is no such thing as multi-tasking when it comes to programming. You must focus 100% on the project at hand if you want to be effective.
My financial obligations would have to be put off until I received the first wire. This meant more pressure for the next two weeks.
I put it out of my mind the best I could and focused on completing the project. I pulled all nighters and worked 18 hour days. By the time the first wire was due to be sent, the project was 90% completed.
The next day I noticed the wire had not arrived. I checked with freelancer.com and they then informed me that their wires take 3 to 5 business days. I have never seen a wire transfer take this long, and I have received wire transfers from all over. This means that I will now be even later with payments on the dates I promised to pay.
It’s getting a lot harder to deal with these problems. I inform my client that I have not been paid anything by freelancer.com yet, and he offers to send another milestone to ensure that all my bills are covered when the next wire is sent. The deadline to lodge a request for the next wire is less than 24 hours and he sent the milestone payment while he was on the phone with me. I immediately submitted the next wire request, thanked my client, and got back to work.
Nails in my coffin
The relief from the second milestone payment was short-lived. The following morning I received notification through email that my account is now limited, and freelancer.com is demanding further information to verify my identity.
I immediately take a photo of my New York driver’s license as requested for the Government issued identification.
I also took a photo of the letterhead of my electric bill, as requested for the proof of residential address.
Later that evening, I get an email that both documents were rejected.
The drivers license is rejected because:
Please submit another form of id other than your passport.
I didn't submit a passport…
The utility bill is rejected because:
Please submit the document in its entirety, ensuring the edges are visible.
I take and submit a new photo of my id, and then I submitted a bank statement scan I already had available.
The following evening I am notified that the bank statement is accepted, but again they rejected the drivers license. This time stating:
Please submit a different form of id, such as a passport or a national id.
Now they are contradicting themselves. First I submit a driver’s license they mistake as a passport, and tell me they cannot accept my passport. Now they are requesting I submit a passport?
Why? The form states that a driver’s license is an acceptable form of government issued identification:
Provide a scanned copy of a currently valid government issued ID, driver’s license or passport which includes your photo, signature, name and date of birth.
My drivers license meets all the criteria requested. It has my photo, my signature, my name, and my date of birth.
I submit a ticket explaining this. I also submit another photo of my id.
I receive yet another rejection email the following morning. I don’t think they bothered to read my ticket. Again, I submit a digital photo of my driver’s license and respond to the ticket explaining that this should be adequate.
While I am waiting for this response, I also receive a three-day eviction notice from my apartment for non-payment. Freelancer.com is currently holding a $ 5,000.00 USD milestone payment, and I still have not received the $ 1,500.00 USD wire that was requested at the beginning of the week.
Just these payments alone will get me caught up with everything I am behind on. The final milestone will pay most my bills for next month.
Life is so close to getting back to normal again, and now freelancer.com is putting the brakes on all of it.
There is no way I am going to let them stop me when I have fought so hard to pull myself back up.
I quickly realized that freelancer.com’s customer service is a joke. If your ticket is read at all, you get either a canned response or a response telling you a different department is handling the issue.
Posted on: 24 April 2014 07:41 PM
I was just notified that my government issued ID was not acceptable. This is my drivers license from New York State, and is the only government issued ID I have that is available.
How am I supposed to verify my identity if you are rejecting the only form of government ID available for people in the United States?
I did not submit a passport or a national ID, I submitted a drivers license.
It clearly states that a drivers license is an acceptable form of ID.
Couple more tickets later..
Posted on: 25 April 2014 08:12 PM
Hello, I wanted to know how long it normally takes to see a response when a support ticket is submitted. I’ve been waiting since last night for a response.
And finally, a response!
Posted on: 25 April 2014 09:03 PM
Thank you for writing to Freelancer.com Support.
If you are referring to Ticket ID KPC-182-34715, it is already endorsed to the proper department. We recommend that you just wait for an update on this. We do not have any time frame on this. Rest assured this will be answered the soonest possible time.
Should you need any further assistance, feel free to contact us again.
Very frustrating. My wife is stressed out about the eviction notice we received earlier, her bleeding is getting heavy and she’s complaining about a headache and dizziness and looking pale.
I already knew they wouldn't care, but I vented anyway.
Posted on: 25 April 2014 09:28 PM
I have a 3 day eviction notice pending and if my wife loses any more blood from her medical condition I will have to take her to the hospital and we won’t have a place to come home too. All because freelancer is giving me a run around about my identity.
If I follow your recommendation, I am going to lose everything.
This needs to be resolved, and it needs to be resolved right now.
I was surprised they actually responded faster to this..
Posted on: 25 April 2014 09:38 PM
Thank you for mailing us.
Please refer to the latest response regarding your issue in the Verification Center. Hi,
For your convenience, the link to the Verification Center is:
Your understanding and compliance is greatly appreciated.
Not what I wanted to hear, not what I was in the mood to hear…
Posted on: 25 April 2014 09:46 PM
You rejected my new york drivers license again. This is a perfectly valid form of ID in the United States. There is no reason to demand another form of id.
There is no other form of government issued id available that a U.S citizen can provide you. It is ridiculous if you can’t accept a drivers license as a form of id.
No response for 10 minutes, so I added to the ticket…
Note: I was extremely frustrated while writing this ticket, of course there is another form of government id available to U.S. citizens (passport). But it isn't an option for me at this time.
Posted on: 25 April 2014 09:53 PM
Most U.S citizens do not have a passport. It takes weeks and hundreds of dollars to acquire one.
U.S citizens do not get a passport unless they need to leave the country. I do not have any reason to leave the country any time soon, so I do not have a passport.
There is also no such thing as a national id in the United States. A state issued drivers license is the only form of government issued id available.
It is beyond unreasonable to demand anything more than my drivers license, especially considering most U.S citizens will not have anything beyond that as identification.
12 hours later they respond with…
Posted on: 26 April 2014 09:08 AM
Thank you for mailing us back.
Freelancer.com understands your concern with regard to the issue at hand. However, in order to lift the limitation on your account, you will need to submit the document that is being requested from you in the Verification Center. Thus, you are encouraged to obtain a passport or a stated ID to move forward with the verification process. Once you obtain the document, please update the Verification Center immediately. For your convenience, here’s the link to it once again:
Your cooperation and understanding is highly appreciated.
So now they are telling me I have to do something impossible given my current situation, so I try to clear it up further…
Posted on: 26 April 2014 12:08 PM
A drivers license IS A STATE ID.
I am not spending six weeks and HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS to obtain a passport.
That is ridiculous.
Another rejection email, so I add another ticket…
Posted on: 27 April 2014 01:07 AM
I have submitted my drivers license again. This time I included both the front and back.
A state issued drivers license is the standard form of government issued ID in the United States.
If I wanted to get a passport, I would have to show my drivers license to the post office clerk.
If I wanted to open a bank account, I would have to show my drivers license to the banker.
This is the same form of ID any other United States resident would submit to verify their identity.
Your form clearly states that a drivers license is an acceptable form of ID. The form says “Provide a scanned copy of a currently valid government issued ID, driver’s license or passport which includes your photo, signature, name and date of birth”.
My drivers license meets every criteria requested for identity verification.
An hour passes, I decide to ask point blank why they will not accept my driver’s license.
Posted on: 27 April 2014 01:53 AM
Please inform me how my New York State drivers license does not meet your verification standards?
I, like many other U.S. citizens, do not carry another form of ID other than our drivers licenses.
Explain to me why a drivers license is not adequate, even though your form explicitly states that you accept drivers licenses as forms of ID?
And finally they respond with…
Posted on: 27 April 2014 01:53 AM
Thank you for mailing us.
We understand where you are coming from. However, this issue is being handled by the Verification Center and they are the only one solely and fully authorized to resolve KYC issues. Thus, we are referring you to them to move forward with your case.
For your convenience, the link to the Verification Center is:
Your understanding and compliance is greatly appreciated.
Should you have other concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us
As you can see, this back and forth will go on forever. There is no end in sight.
If they would reject something as cut and dry as a drivers license, I have no reason to believe they wouldn't reject a passport even if I obtained one, and demanded I submit a national id that does not exist in this country.
I attempted to move the matter to their Facebook page, but this was also in vain.
What you see here is a common tactic freelancer.com will do in public. They pretend to resolve the issue in private, hoping to shut you up in public, only to continue the run around in private, offering absolutely no solution.
I tried one more time to get the issue resolved through their Facebook page, and they repeated the same tactic.
And that is why I have written this long post explaining my situation, and freelancer.com’s role in it. Why I am so frustrated with them.
My wife and I have suffered unimaginable circumstances for two years, and this was our chance for it all to come to an end, and get our lives back.
We could not have asked for a better client. I was very fortunate to have been hired by a client with a project that was so interesting to me.
We could have had payments on the way and assured that we would finally be fixing everything.
Instead, we are facing homelessness for the second time this year, because freelancer.com won’t release our payment to us.