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Connects Change Rollout Update and Frequently Asked Questions

Community Manager
Lena E Community Manager Member Since: Apr 7, 2015
1 of 4,314

UPDATE: The new Connects structure has been rolled out to all freelancers

 

Hi everyone,

 

As we announced last month here we are revamping Connects structure and pricing. Today, we have begun to notify freelancers who will soon see the new Connects experience. When the change takes effect, Connects will cost $0.15 each and we will no longer be providing users with 60 free Connects (or 80 free for agencies) each month.  Once a freelancer is moved to paid Connects, they will have to purchase Connects to submit a proposal to any job (unless they’re on our Freelancer Plus plan or rolled over some existing Connects). As we move everyone to paid Connects freelancers will start to see jobs that require up to six Connects, as under the new system all job posts will require one to six Connects in order to submit a proposal. However, proposals submitted to invites from clients will remain free.

 

Freelancers will be notified via e-mail giving about one week’s notice before the change goes live. Freelancers will also see a message on their Find Work Homepage when the Connects change is live for them.

 

We know that this is a big change, and our previous announcement amassed several questions that are not easy to find amidst the replies. To highlight your questions and concerns we have listed the answers to many of those frequently asked questions below.

 

Can I buy Connects individually?

Connects are not sold individually, but bundles begin at $1.50 for 10 Connects. Regardless of which bundle you choose, all Connects are priced at $0.15 apiece. Here are your bundle options:

  • 10 for $1.50
  • 20 for $3
  • 40 for $6
  • 60 for $9
  • 80 for $12


Do my Connects ever expire?

Thanks for your question. Connects expire one year from the date of issue.

 

Can I buy as many Connects as I want?

As a freelancer, the maximum balance of Connects you can have at any time is 350 (the same as now) *140 (not including the 70 Connects part of FL Plus plan). For agencies, that maximum is 400. It is important to note that you can only roll over 140 Connects per billing cycle (agencies can roll over as many as 160 *400) . We will notify you before your Connects are due to expire.

*UPDATE: The rollover limits have changed since this original announcement, please find the updated information in our announcement from December 18. 2019.

 

If I move to Freelancer Plus during my billing cycle how are Connects prorated?
Since your billing cycle resets on the day you upgrade, no proration occurs. You will receive the full batch of 70 Connects and you’ll be able to roll over up to 140 Connects from your past balance.

Do new freelancers need to buy Connects right away?

After their registration is accepted, a new freelancer receives 20 free Connects to help get them started.

 

I’m Top Rated/Premium. When will I receive my 60 free Connects?

You’ll receive your free, one-time bonus of Connects no later than two weeks after you are moved to paid Connects. For example, if you are moved to paid Connects on May 20, you’ll receive the 60 Connects in your account by June 3.

 

What forms of payment can I use to purchase Connects?

This can vary based on your location, but all Upwork users will be able to purchase Connects with a credit card or prepaid card. If you aren’t able to use a credit card or prepaid card or you don’t have an Upwork balance, in many cases you’ll be able to use PayPal. To see the options available to you, click here.

 

Can I use my earnings balance to purchase Connects?

Yes, if you have a balance on Upwork you can use it to buy Connects.

 

I have automatic withdrawals set up. How do I handle paying for Connects from my earnings balance?

We know many freelancers have automatic withdrawals set up. Because of that, when this change goes live you will be able to set aside up to $20 of your Upwork earnings for Connects purchases, if you choose.

 

How will I be able to tell if I’m on paid Connects?

If you’re currently on the Freelancer basic plan, visit your Membership & Connects page in Settings and scroll to the section that reads “Membership Connects.” If you have been moved to paid Connects, this will say “0 Connects per month.” For those still on the free Connects it will say “60 Connects per month.” You will also see a message on your Find Work Homepage letting you know when Connects is live for you. For those on Freelancer Plus, the price of your plan on the Membership page will change from $10 to $14.99.

 

How do you determine how many Connects are needed to submit a proposal for a job?

Thanks for your question. We calculate the number of Connects needed based on the projected job value -- determined using estimated duration and budget amount --  as well as marketplace demand. A longer-term job with a high budget will require more Connects than a small project.


For example, we currently estimate the following:


Quick jobs for $50 or less - One or two Connects will be needed

Short-term jobs (less than a week) with a budget of $50 to $600 - Three or four Connects needed

Longer-term jobs with a budget of $600 and up - Five or six Connects needed

 

For example, it’ll take fewer Connects to submit a proposal for a job with a $40 budget that is expected to last one day than it will for a bigger project where you can earn $1,000 or more.

 

Clients often post $5 jobs because they aren’t sure about the budget. How does Connects pricing work for these types of jobs?

At times, jobs might require fewer Connects because the client listed a smaller budget by mistake or because they were unsure of the budget. We are looking at ways to more accurately set the Connects needed to submit a proposal to job posts like these (where the client might indicate an incorrect budget or project length). We also recommend carefully reading the entire project description to see if the client shared more information there, rather than determining the value of a job based on the Connects needed.  

 

How do you calculate the Connects price for an hourly job?

When a client posts an hourly job they select an experience level, time requirement and job duration. We use these to estimate the projected budget. If any of these details are not specified in the job post, we use the other info provided to determine the Connects price.

 

How will this affect Enterprise jobs?

Freelancers in Talent Clouds don’t use Connects to submit proposals to Enterprise jobs. However, any Enterprise project posted in the marketplace will require freelancers to use Connects in order to submit proposals to that job.

 

Does Upwork return Connects?

Yes, we return Connects when a client closes their job without hiring or we find a job post has violated our Terms of Service.

 

What happens to my Connects if a client doesn’t hire and never closes their job, will these be refunded?

If a client doesn’t hire and closes their job post, any Connects used to submit a proposal will be returned to you. However, if they do not close the job, no Connects will be returned. We understand this isn’t ideal, and we regularly reach out to clients who have open jobs to encourage them to close them if they don’t intend to hire. Because we know the move to paid Connects has made this issue more important, we have already ramped up our outreach to clients who post jobs and don’t hire, and are looking into other ways to better ensure these jobs get closed so your Connects are returned in these cases.

 

What are you going to do about the quality of job posts/spam job posts/clients who never hire?

We know this is an issue and we are actively looking at ways to solve it. We already look for and remove job posts that violate our Terms of Service. But we understand, for example, that when a client forgets to close a job post and doesn’t hire it is frustrating for freelancers. Once we find a solution, we’ll be sure to announce it. Note: If you see a job that is suspicious or inappropriate, please click "Flag as inappropriate" in the job post so we can review it. Thank you!

 

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Ace Contributor
Tami H Member Since: Mar 16, 2016
2 of 4,314

Oh no here y'all go again! Just got used to the 20% fee increase now this! You are going to lose a lot of people behind your fee raises so much. WOW!!

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Active Member
Elena L Member Since: May 27, 2019
3 of 4,314
Exactly
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Active Member
ZOI I. S Member Since: Jun 27, 2019
4 of 4,314

Exactly my thoughts...I think they gain enough from fees. That's a bit greedy.

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Active Member
Jessica B Member Since: May 22, 2018
5 of 4,314
It's very crass behaviour
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Active Member
Camila R Member Since: Jun 25, 2018
6 of 4,314

True, the platform makes so much money from the fees already. I mean 20% is a lot of money depending on the circumstances. It's indeed extremely greedy to charge for the connects too. This is sad!

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Community Guru
Joan S Member Since: Mar 18, 2019
7 of 4,314

Really, Camila? Then why is Upwork still losing money?

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Active Member
Alvaro B Member Since: May 18, 2016
8 of 4,314

Because they went to the stock market and failed...when the elephants play football, is the grass that get destroyed

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Active Member
Dwight S Member Since: Mar 11, 2015
9 of 4,314

stupidity rules the day, or greed. I am going to move all customers outside of upwork. They don't even ask for feedback from freelancers.

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Active Member
Muhammad S Member Since: Feb 11, 2018
10 of 4,314

This is greed. Freelancers pay 20% out of there money. If upwork give 60 connects it is not a big cost. This is what freelancers return back in shape of comission. I humbly request upwork to take your decision back and reimburse our connects as early as possible.

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