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*Edited* Freelancer without professional ethics (1)

Active Member
Jude A Member Since: Nov 10, 2017

Hello all, it is important I share this experience and hope that freelancers here take note. I will not relent in posting my experience with a certain**Edited for Community Guidelines**. After recruiting him to develop a mobile app and paying into escrow, we struggled to get him to accomplish the task. We finally were over 2 months behind schedule when he delivered the app. But it was plagued with several issues that we saw immediately fit to release updates to fix the issues. After 2 updates which were not professionally done (no version numbers so we were blind to what we were asking clients to download, we insited for version numbers to be a part of his releases). We then had to commission him for a full set of changes we consolidated from user feedback. We agreed on the fee as well as fee for an ios version. My organization then ran into an internal crisis which saw our CTO resigning and theft of NGN 1 Million (about USD3,000 equivalent) by an employee who had only spent 2 months working for us and quit. To put things into perspective, it will thake us working as a company 8.5months to set aside USD3,000 so we were had actually lost 80% of our trading cash and were loosing clients by the minute and I had to declare a CRISIS operating mode in my organization.  With no fallback position, we were unable to provide immediate responses to **Edited for Community Guidelines** who said he now needed an API to complete the update. I appealed to him to simply hold on for us to get a new structure in place for handling development works as no one left in our startup organization was a developer. I finally signed a contract with a local developer in Nigeria last week and connected **Edited for Community Guidelines** to them, describing the workflow and asking them to be in touch to share and collaborate to deliver the update. He simply insulted my ability to schedule tasks (read screeshots in subsequent posts of this message as I am limited to 2 atachments per post). I am actually a skilled project manager and there was nothing wrong in my sharing of tasks between the 3 teams including Saurabh, that I was working with in 2 geohraphical locations.


Unfortunately, all through these discussions, **Edited for Community Guidelines** was soliciting undercutting Upworks from their 20% comission by trying to divert the work and his pay offline from Upworks and suggesting PayPal for his payment. I stalled on this and never agreed cause this was very unprofessional. He would never have met us but for the good work of Upworks to create this collaborative platform and network. As a startup company ourselves, I found this rather puzzling that people will seek not to pay for a service that actually gave them an opportunity to earn and will actively seek not to pay for the services rendered. He also csolicited using his brother to get us some additional service we were needing. I simply led him on so he would continue to work on my project since he was negitiating a higher fee than what I had posted in upworks with payment milestones defined. In the end, he decided he was no longer working on my project because of my "silly attitude". Please refer to attachments of our conversations in Telegram chat. Besides suffering from a poor communication ability and lack of feedback, we were now being acused of being silly by a developer who had caused us lost time. I have email exchanges where he was profusely appologising for setting me back. He now decides to quit the project mid-way without delivering a single taks or achieveing any of the milestones and was requesting 80% of his proposed contract sum. 


I made it clear to him he will get zero USD as he did not complete the job and did not attain any of the milestones. I warned him that my review of him will be bad for his reputation but he laughed and told me he can block any review so even if I tried, No one will see the review. I warned him of alternative routes available to get justice and he should simply complete the job woking with my new development team but he chose to continue insulting my person. He later closed the job with the comment that "Client Refused to Pay". This is an outright lie. We are a reputable Nigerian startup with high performance standards. We pay for everyservice we get, have never owed our employees salaries and have declared financial statements as well as settled our tax obligations for all the 4 years we have been in existence. We did not refuse to pay him as evidenced in our Telegram exchanges attached. We paid him in full $900 through upworks for his 1st version release with us. He did not accomplish any milestone so his asking me to compute "80% of the agreed sum" and suggesting I was so dumb I need to reaffirm to him I could do the maths. I am an acomplished Chemical Engineer and serial entrepreneur. I and sole financier of the startup company he was working for and have 25years post qualification work experience and a holder of a PGD in Business Administration from the University of Liverpool. So I feel gravely insulted by this developer who has no inkling as to my pedigree to want to judge or rate my level of intelligence or competence. 


I am therefore hoping that Upworks will bar this guy from further works so as to save clients the trouble of dealing with someone so unprofessional. He has again further set my comany back a further 3 months and caused my firm to cancle a marketing roadshow this year which would have  been headlined by the apps he was working on. We have, since his abrupt and unprofessional and unethical action, secured a new developing firm, SMARTWARE Solutions, to start afresh the development of a new Application. We cannot support even the initial package he developed for us since his code was full of errors pointed our by another developer we had wanted to use for the development of another product with similarities with our new mobile app.


To all other freelancers, the attitude potrayed by this developer is one you must never show to any client of yours!




Valeria K Moderator Member Since: Mar 6, 2014

Hi Jude,


Sorry you had negative experience working with a freelancer. Unfortunately, we can't allow identifying information and chat transcripts here in the Community. However, I've passed the information you shared to an appropriate team and they will review it against Upwork ToS and take appropriate action.


You can also go to the contracts that the freelancer closed recently, click on Terms & Settings> Provide End Contract Reason. That will allow you to leave private feedback on the contract.


Thank you.

~ Valeria
Active Member
Jason C Member Since: Feb 12, 2018

I have to call a spade a spade...the point of the short story you wrote had nothing to do with sharing information with other freelancers, it was simply to gripe.  There are two sides to every story and we've only heard one.  At the end of the day you are responsible for your own success and you will gain more by focusing on the cues you missed during the hiring process than gossiping behind someone's back.