Elance.com sucks. Here’s why : if you have funds in your account and you didn’t had any activity for 5 months , they will start taking 5$/months as an “inactive account fee”.
It’s not something hidden, there is a full page about it ( at http://help.elance.com/entries/101221-inactive-account-fee ). I had some money from some freelancing work I’ve done around nov. 2011, but never withdraw them as it was a small number, yet I never though they would do such thing. So from may 2012 they started to take 5$ … in the end , they took me 40$. I mean , it’s not a big sum , but – still – enough to get drunk in one evening.
How I discovered ? I get from time to time invites to projects, usualy not following them , but today clicked on one to see what’s about, then I remembered I had some dolars there and surprise. I was like WTF.
Interesting , checked Odesk.com , which I used more extensive, to see if they have same thing. Well :
How long can I leave my oDesk earnings in my account?
You can leave your oDesk earnings in your account as long as you want. Your funds can remain in your finance account without any type of penalty or fee.a
So seems Odesk are good guys. They don’t have any penalty for “inactive account”.
I also checked Vworker.com ( now owned by freelancer.com). I have 40$ there from sept. 2011 untouched! Not sure if that will change after the transaction to freelancer.com will complete, but I’ll check.
So if you did works on elance.com, make sure you withdraw your money, otherwise elance will make sure to take a cut 🙂