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FAQs about Removing 5-Star Average Feedback

Community Manager
Garnor M Community Manager Member Since: Oct 29, 2014
1 of 63

Hi all,

We’ve received a lot of reaction to our announcement about 5-star average Feedback no longer being displayed on freelancer profiles.


In our main discussion thread here, we’ve been doing our best to keep up with your questions regarding this change, but given the size of the discussion some of our answers are easy to miss. We’re finding many of the questions repetitive at this point so we’d like to highlight the main ones in this new thread, along with our responses.


If you have other questions regarding Job Success, in particular about its merits as a measurement of work and reputation, I encourage you to visit this blog article and this Help Article for details.


This discussion thread here is intended to address the common questions we’re receiving in light of the announcement that 5-star average Feedback will no longer be displayed beginning Sept. 15th.


Other resources to learn about Job Success and what it means:


Q. Will the Top Rated badge stay?

A: Yes. We’ve seen great results for those of you who have achieved Top Rated status and a big factor in achieving this status is a +90% Job Success score. The Top Rated program isn’t going anywhere, nor is the badge on your profiles.


Q. Are you keeping average star rating for the clients?

A. Yes.


Q. Are you considering JSS for clients?

A. No. The factors that are important in considering a client’s work history and reputation on Upwork are much different than those for freelancers, so the same/similar Job Success Score won’t work. That said, the Upwork platform is a place for professionals, and that means both clients and freelancers. We’re going to continue to address clients who aren’t living up to their commitments on the platform. Clients are expected to pay, treat freelancers fairly and work with their freelancers to manage their projects. If this isn’t the case, let us know (through Customer Support or the report link on a profile) so we can address it.


Q. Why remove information that was useful? Keep both JSS and the average star rating.

A. True, average 5-star Feedback could be useful, but so could a lot of other views on activity (e.g. cancellations, disputes, etc.) With Job Success we’re providing a single measurement that takes into account the important elements of your work history. Giving clients one, comprehensive view, of activity is going to make it easier for them to find you and distinguish your activity and reputation from the rest of the competition.

Q. There is no way for freelancers to know why the Job Success Score changes. It’s an “obscure” measurement of activity.

Your My Stats dashboard is intended to provide you visibility into the Job Success Score and we’re continuing to explore ways in which we can shed even more light on your specific score. In the meantime, this Help Article shares more information on why Job Success scores change and this Hiring Headquarters post gives you some specific tips on how to make it better.

Q. With Job Success, freelancers are punished for unresponsive clients and No Feedback. It's unprofessional to ask clients to leave feedback.

The Job Success Score accounts for occasional projects without ratings. If this happens to you every once in a while, it’s okay. However, if not receiving ratings on your projects is a trend and happens on a regular basis, it can negatively affect your score. Furthermore, we find many of the most successful freelancers on Upwork do remind clients to leave final ratings after a job is complete. This isn’t unprofessional, it’s a best practice.


Q. Clients don't understand how much the private feedback matters. They don’t understand how it's calculated in JSS.

We actually find the opposite. That is, clients find private feedback affords them the opportunity to be more honest about the freelancer they’ve hired. Do they know how it’s factored into JSS? Probably not, but that isn’t their responsibility. We’re asking clients to be honest about a freelancer’s performance on their project. Yes, we want them to understand how to leave a rating, and that leaving a rating is important. That’s why we prompt clients to leave final ratings at the end of a job and why we’ve simplified this process as much as possible.

Q. Clients should be able to change private feedback if enabled by the freelancer.

It isn’t in our plans to allow clients to change private ratings. Final, private ratings work because they are an unbiased, honest reflection of a client’s perception of the freelancer. The finality of that rating is important because it helps remove any possibility of after-the-fact manipulation by some less-scrupulous freelancers.

If you’re a freelancer who regularly delivers strong results for your clients, leaves your clients satisfied, and builds relationships with clients that mean long-term projects or repeat hiring, then you’re in great shape. This change to remove average 5-star Feedback is only going to help you stand out even more. 


We hope this summary helps address some of the common questions we've been hearing. 

Community Guru
Suzanne N Member Since: Aug 15, 2012
2 of 63

I posted this in the other thread, but would like it seen here. I also would like to add to it on a couple comments Stephen made.


Can one of the mods clarify something for me. I recently hired someone and when the job was complete I gave him good feedback. He did a great job and quickly, but when I gave feedback it was based on the five star system and one question of Would I recommend..... and a question on was there anything I thought Upwork could improve.


So if you take away the 5 star feedback that leaves only the one question to base JS on. There is nothing else. Unless you are marking freelancers down for remarks made about what could be improved on Upwork.


I really would like to know how you can seriously base a huge chunk of the JS system on a question that was designed for companies with a product and on 1 question that should be related to your company and your employees, and base it on an individual person (which by the way we are the product here) not the employee.


I think this is going to self implode. I wanted to be supportive for a long time in what you were doing, but you are just sticking it to yourself every time you turn around a corner.


I wish you good luck, but I doubt your numbers are going to continue going up because you are treating freelancers like employees and low employees at that.


I worked for a company like that once. You know what they closed up shop in x amount of states because their grand ideas which did not include feedback from the employees blew up in their face.


The comment you made Garnor on clients being happy with the JS and knowing what they were doing and it being unbiased is bunk.


I have had several clients who didn't have a clue that anything under an 9 would hurt their freelancers scores and thought that 7 - 8 was a good score. You are basing it on what? My JS dropped due to nothing but one guy not wanting to hire me again as the job changed and him and I agreed that he needed to find someone else. But I got the brunt end of it because he thought I didn't have skills. Well duh! I don't do videos or editing and it was no where in the job description when I was hired. And then I was told I was going to do it. Well no I wasn't as I don't do videos.


So why is it a freelancer is punished for what a client does? This whole system is just as messed up as the star system.


You say no one can game the system. It is already happening. Jobs being posted stating they will give them top rating and feedback, if they take the low ball job. Easy job get great feedback. Same bunk that went on with the star system.


There is nothing for them to figure out .. Give them 9-10 take a lower paying job give them good feedback. Walla you you have gamed the system. Feedback blackmail can go right along with that. And you are setting freelancers right up again to fall into that. Because if the client doesn't understand and mine sure didn't that if the freelancer doesn't get 9 or 10 on that question their score is going to drop big time.


So where is this better then the star system?

Valeria K Moderator Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
3 of 63

Hi Suzanne,


We do not take away star ratings for each individual contract. Users will still be asked to provide star rating on any contract as long as there were money paid on it. That feedback will display in the Work History and contribute to the freelancers stats. Only the average star feedback is being discontinued. Unlike the average star rating, the Job Success score it is more complete metric that includes information about all contracts the freelancer has worked on.

~ Valeria
Community Guru
Wassim T Member Since: May 29, 2015
4 of 63



I think you answered pretty much everything except for one question: Why are you taking out the 5-stars average rating from freelancers profiles? This has been a key factor in every single freelancing platform as far as they existed!

Community Manager
Garnor M Community Manager Member Since: Oct 29, 2014
5 of 63

Hi Wassim,

Check out my reply to Natasa below. 

Active Member
Raitis S Member Since: Jun 26, 2015
6 of 63

I believe that it will won't simplified anything, especially, because this JSS doesn't says anything at all, e.g. someone got it like 86%, what does it means? Maybe it's because big money client ran away or isn't responsive or maybe didn't wanted to pay and You auto closed job after some time, so in this case new client most likely doesn't cares about it, but he could assume JSS is lower, because of bad performance. For him is interesting different information, especially 5 star rating, not some calculation which, let's be honest, no one really understands, and could include in it some for client very non-interested things. You all the time send links to 2 posts, but if You read it carefully, it's same thing as with the support and every other worker of Upwork lately - plenty of information, but said is pretty much nothing. For me feels like those two articles You sent links to, is written by some lawyer. Sorry, but Your style of communication and attitude to freelancers is just miserable.

Active Member
Corneliu M Member Since: Sep 4, 2015
7 of 63

Upwork,you should get this : It is not my fault that a client does not rate me . If a client doesn't rate me is because he doesn't care about it or he doesn't know that it's important, or don't have time for it. You punish me for my clients actions . I came here to provide my services and get paid instead, what i found ? i find myself working hard and after that to beg my client to give me a feedback . I find Upwork platform starting to be unprofessional about how it's freelancers are treated . Just my thoughts .

Active Member
Arthur G Member Since: Sep 17, 2015
8 of 63

Agree 100% with Corneliu.
I will also add that I myself provide a very specific service. As far as I know in my niche, I am the only professional provider on Elance.

Yet, in last 12 months I only had 2 Elance customers with 8 project, all 5 stars.
Now, outside of Elance, I have hundreds of active subscribers Worldwide but here, due to a low demand I only get to bid 2-3 times per year. There isn't even a skill test available for what I do.
As I understand, new rating system will often de-rate my job profile due to low-activity. How is this my fault?
Should I bid or take on unrelated projects in order to stay active?

Active Member
Mark Anthony C Member Since: Jun 22, 2015
9 of 63

My account dropped from top rated to trash profile, and It is not my fault it is the Upwork's inability to defend the backbone of their industry , Time to pack up and move to other platforms. 

Ace Contributor
Nassoro C Member Since: Nov 11, 2014
10 of 63
    1. Here is the fact! I know there're other Clients who promise 5 Stars in exchange to low price! But no matter how cheaper a freelancer will charge such Client, I don't expect that Client to offer the promised 5 Stars! So, I can bet stars represent a nearly actual rating a freelancer deserves.
    2. Calculation of JSS is a total mess as no one is 100% sure on how's calculated. I still remember when 2 weeks ago I had 100% but after the next evaluation, I dropped from 100% to 80%!!! With such drop, I had no any addition bad rating apart from the existing one, I had no any account hold... almost everything was normal but JSS dropped at such big rate! The only thing which was new; I entered a new contract with a new Client. But before starting any assignment and while we were only chatting, the Client raised the issue of my English, saying it's wasn't good. There, he proposed a deal. He'd either give me 5 Stars and end the contract instantly OR continue with the contract and expect the consequences in case my poor English still exists in my task. I told him to end the contract instantly because the faith between us has gone but I told him not to give me any Star because I can't take something I don't deserve; something I didn't work for! So, I am not sure if my JSS dropped from 100% to 80% because of that or there's something else not well known!

    So, basing on above facts, the whole of JSS thing is a nightmare!