Karlina Octaviany
Karlina Octaviany
10:30 pm on Oct 3, 2012

Today laborers across Indonesia are on strike to fight for their working rights. On the same day, Freelancer.com has opened an opportunity for the workforce in Indonesia to create their own workspace online. Freelancer.com is an outsourcing and crowdsourcing platform for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Here, SMEs could meet freelancers to do jobs that they need. Now Freelancer.co.id is launched with Indonesian language features and support for the local currency, the Rupiah. It hopes to empower entrepreneurship in Indonesia, making it easier, for example, for startups to find designers or coders.

Why is Freelancer targeting Indonesia? This country only contributes 1.5 percent of its four million total users. But the workforce in Indonesia has great potential – because, around 22 percent of the Indonesian population uses the internet.

The vice president of growth for Freelancer.com, Willis Halim, who was born and raised in Indonesia, believes Indonesia is a land where SMEs can grow. The internet should not only be used for Facebook, he says, but also to raise the nation’s economic status. Willis added:

We provide a global labor exchange. We provide the productivity to assist those with a spark of an idea to turn into reality. E-commerce is not just for goods, but it can also be for services. In emerging economies, we empower entrepreneurs to start service organizations.

For its Indonesian version, Freelancer supports Indonesian on its site and for its customer service. It has also established a local team with a regional manager. As for payments, freelancers can bid on projects starting from Rp300,000, which is around the same amount as on the global site: $30.

Before the launch, Freelancer collected success stories from its Indonesian users. One of them is Daniel Pratidya from Jakarta, who has used the international version of Freelancer.com since September, 2011. He worked for additional income for his family as he raised four children. He tried using Freelancer and started off with the low payment of $2 to bid a project. It was only to raise his reputation and reviews for his profile. At first, he says it was hard to win a bid for a project. Now he frequently earns money via Freelancer. He also managed to pay his debts. Daniel said:

There is a lot of opportunity for businessmen in this site. Through Freelancer.com, I changed from a freelancer to an entrepreneur to solve my financial problems.

As for a payment solution, Freelancer is now working to build partnerships with local banks. For now, it’s just HSBC which supports wire transfers for Freelancer in Indonesia. Other methods are still the same as the global site, like Paypal and credit cards. Freelancer is also considering local payment methods such as KasPay from Kaskus.

  • entreprenuer01

    Hi Karlina,

    I’m not sure whether you know freelancer.com well. This company full with scam complaints!
    They don’t have an office outside Australia and they don’t have a contact number!
    They became big because they bought freelancer.com domain. In the past, they were called GetAFreelancer.com and it full with complaints.

    Recently I had a bad experience with Freelancer.com. I was a buyer and I transferred $500 through Paypal to pay the vendor. The job hasn’t started. So I have $500 credit. Suddenly I was being asked to verify my account by sending government issued identity card. All though I was’t comfortable but I still sent it because they have my money. I received another email, this time they asked me to print my identity card, a special number and I have to hold the paper and take a photo with it. Exactly like a prisoner! I was so angry.
    I sent my money and they treated me like a criminal. Even Paypal didn’t do that.

    I refused to do that, since the company looks dodgy and I told them I want to withdraw my money. I couldn’t find any legit contact number or address in the website.

    They freeze my account and refused to refund me. I asked Paypal to help me, Paypal said since it’s a service, I can’t recover it. Even if it’s a credit.

    After one month of nightmare, my friend happened to know someone in Paypal. Finally Paypal took action by sending them a warning. Finally they un-freeze my account. I still couldn’t get a refund but I used it for the project. But it was total waste of time and drive you mad! If it’s not because my friend knows someone in Paypal, my money is lost forever.

    You can google “freelancer.com scam”, you will find many complaints about them.

    Don’t use freelancer.com! Use elance.com or odesk.com.
    Unless you want to be treated like a criminal by freelancer.com.

    With their bad reputation, I don’t know what will they use your ID for …

  • http://www.freelancer.com Freelancer.com

    Anonymous, because there’s money involved we’re required to identify the owners of accounts. It sounds like you opened an account under a fake name?

    We don’t discuss individual customer support issues in public forums, but our staff are more than happy to assist you at support@freelancer.com with your issues.

    John B.
    Freelancer.com Customer Support.

  • Bob J.

    Good to see freelancer.com replying directly. i think sites like elance also get the same shit. i got some myself. but most part good. take it easy pal.

    see, http://jasonlicerioph.hubpages.com/hub/How-to-Avoid-Scammers-on-Freelancercom

  • entreprenuer01

    Hi John B,

    It was a real account. You should put a notification on how Freelancer verify their customer account like a criminal. I wouldn’t even register in the first place. Did I mention I was the one that paying, not the one receive the money?!

    Even Paypal and other big online payments didn’t do that. Since I refused to take my criminal photo, why did you freeze my account and refuse to refund? It was my money and it was unused!

    Why do you need to hide your company contact number? This make you guys look like a scam company.

    Instead of offering discussion, I received many arrogant emails from the support like the one above.
    Basically they asked you to do this sh*t and they will reply.

    I’m not sure if John B is your real names. All the support I contacted came from countries only gods know.

  • entreprenuer01

    Freelancer.com company background is dodgy. How can I send my government issued ID to them? *which I did :( *

    Identity theft is on the rise. With that ID they can apply credit cards on my behalf or access my bank account over the phone.
    The support sounds like an outsource company from I don’t know country.

  • May

    Would love to hear from freelancer.com’s comment. thank you for the headup, Mr entrepreneur01.

  • Ryza

    Hi entreprenuer01, I think you should identigfy yourself so all the readers will know who you are and learn from your story? I know lots of people from other companies attack competitors, so I want to make sure this isn’t propaganda…but I think if you step out and let us know you more people will relate to your story even more thanks! Would like to here your story more

  • entreprenuer01

    I leave it to your discretion to believe or ignore my comments 😉 I have my reasons not to reveal my ID. Did I mention they have copy of my ID? I’m not the only one.

    The reply from freelancer.com confirmed they have a “criminal” photo practice. They didn’t deny it.
    “It sounds like you opened an account under a fake name?”

    Probably they’re improving now. In any case, you always have to do your own research.

    If you want to use them and you think you can trust them,
    Make sure you use your real name from government issued ID and be prepared to take a criminal photo.

    I used my real name, but imagine if you use your casual name, you will never get back your money.

  • oleg

    Freelancer is the worst freelance job site

  • http://test.com TEST

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this write-up plus
    the rest of the site is also very good.

  • http://www.stretchmarkqueen.tumblr.com Rosaria

    Hi! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after browsing through many of the posts I realized it’s new to me.
    Regardless, I’m certainly happy I stumbled upon it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back regularly!

  • Ricardo

    I think that online companies ask for these government IDs all the time and they’re not even financial institutions. Google, Blizzard, are some of the few who ask for IDs as well. Case in point, Blizzard. They told me that my account was compromised and that I needed to verify my identity. I sent my corporate ID but that didn’t do. They asked me to send a government ID. I sent them my driver’s license. Afterwards, they gave me back my account. Google did the same thing to one of my friends when it was time to get his income from Google Adsense. I think they do this to verify the user and to make sure no one’s trying to cheat or commit fraud. If you’re careful who you give your private and financial information, then you’ll be okay. From what I’ve gathered from the ether (read: the Interwebs), this Freelancer.com company is completely legit. You don’t get to have over 6 million users if you’re not trusted, right?

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