I had a very negative experience with Freelancer.com and I feel that they are a scam and that I should warn the rest of you on the internet so that you don’t get scammed like I was. This article is purely based on facts, material and conversations with Freelancer.com.
I received a newsletter from Freelancer.com promoting their ad space on their website and thought that it could give my business good exposure, so I replied to the email asking what the prices are and received a response from Alfonso Tan. He gave me quotes but they are ridiculous, ranging from $8,000 to $16,000 per month and more and I immediately decided that this is way out of my price range for our advertising budget. I told him that I won’t be making use of their services and that if I ever changed my mind, I would contact them.
So Alfonso Tan kept harassing me via email basically emailing me once or twice per day, bringing the price down each time and upping the deal as he went along. Eventually he offered me double of what the initial deal would’ve been for less than a third of the price. 2 ads on the Freelancer.com website for $3,000. He promised high and low that we will get so much traffic and exposure that our server will be overloaded and that we’ll be making huge sales, etc. I started believing him eventually and took the deal and paid for it via PayPal. For me, $3,000 is much money. It was my hard earned cash that I work for every single day, almost 16 hours a day.
They took a few days to put the ads up but eventually after emailing them several times the ads were emailed. They never notified me that the ads were published, I had to keep nagging and nagging until they were eventually published and so they answered to one of my emails saying that they are published now. I went to their site to check and they were published after all, we were excited. I had to refresh multiple times to see the banners though. They told me that the ads will be showing together with 2 other banners but there were MANY more. There were about 6 – 7 banners rotating so that was the first mistake. This was Alfonso Tan’s original email to me:
Yes, and it is available for a limited time. Returning advertisers and new advertisers may take the position again soon.
The dimensions are 300×250.
It will display on all projects inside the PHP category and all projects that has a PHP skill on it.
It will rotate with 2 other banners.
Please don’t forget that you will also have Software Testing and you may send 2 different banners and 2 different links for your campaign.
As you can see, it was supposed to rotate with 2 other ads, not as many as there were. Our ads were there but they were hardly visible. Anyways so we took it as it was and hoped that we would see good traffic coming through. Alfonso Said that they had 7,000,000 visits on the site and that the specific banner gets 1,800,000 impressions per month. This was his statement:
The PHP medium rectangle gets impressions of approximately 1,800,000 a month and Software Architecture gets approximately 500,000 a month. That’s why our PHP category is always booked early. You may book this category now so you can start a campaign by April. If you book PHP early, I can include the Software Architecture with your campaign.
Let me know what you think.
Again, not true at all! Let me tell you why. After 2 weeks of running 2 ads, I asked him for a report and he had someone email it through. When I received the report, I thought it was a joke but it was real. 106 clicks in 2 weeks!? This cannot be. We could get that many clicks on Facebook or Google Adwords for $10!? Trust me, it was real, here is the report:
I emailed Alfonso Tan and expressed my concern about the ads and the low exposure for the large amount of money I paid for it. I didn’t hear back and I Skyped him as well. Still didn’t hear back. That was the last time I ever spoke to Alfonso, when he sent me the report. Then his colleague contacted me to assist me with my concern. Her name is Ava Tuazon. She offered to “make me happy” by extending our ads and publishing a promotion of ours in their monthly newsletter so that we can get some extra exposure for our money’s worth. I didn’t want this, I wanted a refund for this ridiculous advertising system. They didn’t want to refund and just neglected to assist me from there on out.
I filed a dispute for half the amount through PayPal saying that I want what is left of what I paid for the ads which still need to run. I also emailed both Alfonso Tan and Ava Tuazon to request them to take down the banner ads immediately and that we have filed a dispute through PayPal. Ava came back, trying to convince me that she could help me and suggested that I create a coupon code so that they can put that in their monthly newsletter going to I don’t know how many million people. I have a figure here on an email from her. So eventually I decided to do it, cancelled the dispute and tried to get the newsletter exposure and the extended ads.
Guess what? Nothing! They never extended the ads and they never mentioned us in their newsletter like they said they would. So as you can imagine, I tried contacting Freelancer.com, Ava Tuazon and Alfonso Tan, both not replying to me at all but rather sending me an automated reply. I get this from all of them:
I am currently out of the country on business. As a result of this, I will have very limited access to voicemail and email during this time.
If your enquiry is urgent, you may contact my manager Ava and her email address is email@example.com.
So Ava says that she is on medical leave and to contact Alfonso. Alfonso says that he is out of the country on business and to contact Ava. This is a joke!
I have all the emails here as proof. Everything in this article is based on facts.
I’m not the only one by the way:
I still want my money back but most of all, I want other people to know and be warned before you lose your hard earned cash like I did. I wasted so much time on them, had to nag them to put my ads up, never got results and never got anything that they promised. Freelancer.com is a real scam, beware and stay away!!!