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Frequently Asked Questions on TOS changes regarding information sharing and interviews

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Ace Contributor
George S Member Since: Jun 2, 2011
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I haven't read all messages so not sure if this has been mentioned, but one further thing that comes to mind is that this new rule makes it impossible to perform any due diligence / know your client (KYC) on prospective clients that must be done before entering a contract. This is potentially illegal in some countries or circumstances. I have personally been asked on a number of occasions by both my bank as well as anti money laundering authorities to provide both my due diligence procedures for prospective clients and certain due diligence reports on my past clients. So next time that they ask me I'll have to say that I'm not allowed to get identification details about the client before entering into a contract?! My bank won't be happy about that for sure. Do you even realize the gravity of this? Are we supposed to enter into a long term contract with a client and not be allowed to fully identify the client beforehand?

 

As I think has also been mentioned by others, there is also the issue of Tax. When I work with fellow EU clients, I need to ask for the VAT status and if they are VAT registered I need to check the validity of their VAT number (which includes identifiable details) before starting the contact as that will determine whether my rate should include VAT or not.

 

Does it seem that with the new exceptions you are now allowing identification details to be shared? ..I really cannot make any sense out of this. By the way, you can write as many exceptions as you like in this forum but unless they are specifically written down in the Terms and Condition document these exceptions don't really apply. So hopefully there will be a clear list of exceptions in the ToCs

 

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Community Guru
Wes C Member Since: May 3, 2019
122 of 895

 

Re the calling functionality:

Giving the continued reports of issues with video / audio call function that I see in the forum and the inability to test the call functionality without involving a client, waiting on customer support when there's an issue is not a reasonable solution. We need the ability to fall back to a proven, working system when Upwork's fails.

 

Also, can you confirm that this system is supported in every country that Upwork supports? I've seen reports in the forum that it does not. If it isn't, then exceptions need to be made for communicating with potential clients in those regions.

 

Re Dropbox integration

Is it really integrated? I don't see it in the list of services in the website's Messenger configuration page, and I don't see any option to link it in the apps. How do we access this integration?

 

Re Calendly

I said it before, and others have as well. It is generally not possible to quickly coordinate calls over Messenger or any other system that requires back and forth. Most of my client communication is asynchronous, especially for clients on the side of the world. Even for US-based clients, conversations can take place over hours or days due to the parties' availability. We need an exception to be able to use Calendly and similar services until your solution is in place (and functional).

 

In short, Upwork is forcing policy and workflow changes without the technology in place to support those changes. This is going to result in frustrated clients, lost contracts, and lost revenue.

 

If Upwork is going to insist on going down this path, please allow the exceptions needed for us to continue to effectively do our work and communicate with potential clients.

 

 

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Moderator
Valeria K Moderator Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
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Wes C wrote:

 

Re Dropbox integration

Is it really integrated? I don't see it in the list of services in the website's Messenger configuration page, and I don't see any option to link it in the apps. How do we access this integration?

 


 

Hi Wes,

 

Dropbox option is available in Messages under the attachment button. Here is a screenshot. 

~ Valeria
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Community Guru
Wes C Member Since: May 3, 2019
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Valeria K wrote:

Dropbox option is available in Messages under the attachment button. Here is a screenshot. 


Thank you, I didn't think to look there on the website version, since it's not on the attachment button on the desktop or mobile apps. Will those apps be updated to support the Dropbox integration?

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Moderator
Valeria K Moderator Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
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Hi Wes,

 

It is available on mobile apps as long as you have the Dropbox App and are logged into it on your phone as well. Then you can click the paper clip button, then click Browse and click on the Dropbox icon. 

~ Valeria
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Community Guru
Wes C Member Since: May 3, 2019
126 of 895

Thank you, Valeria.

 

The concerns about the reliability and availability of the audio/video calls and the scheduling functionality remain. We need exceptions to use scheduling tools and for when calling isn't working, please.

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Active Member
Anita N Member Since: Sep 27, 2017
127 of 895

Wes,

I think you are being too kind - We don't need exceptions for when calling isn't working. This would require us to waste time with a non-working call first, frustate the client, and only then be able to use some other means?

Upwork does not seem to understand that the freelancers on this site are, at their core, service providers. Service providers need to make sure that everything is as easy as possible for their clients. We should not have to jump through hoops just to make sure we have a trouble-free phone call!

 

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Community Guru
Wes C Member Since: May 3, 2019
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Anita N wrote:

Wes,

I think you are being too kind - We don't need exceptions for when calling isn't working. This would require us to waste time with a non-working call first, frustate the client, and only then be able to use some other means?

 

 


Anita, I understand what you're saying and agree. What I'm asking for with the exceptions is the same thing we have with the products we use today. Skype is having troubles? I'll spin up a Zoom or a Google Meet, or just share my cell. Today we have options.

 

I'm ok with using their calling functionality during an interview if it works (granted, I've seen no evidence so far that it does since we have no ability to test it without involving a client), but we need the option to fall back on something else. 

 

Without that option, the freelancer looks like an amateur who can't be bothered with setting up a professional set of tools to work with. It doesn't matter that it's not our choice - we're the face.

 

It's the same thing with scheduling tools like Calendly. Tools like that are part of the professional work environment now. If UW provides a functional tool for asynchronous calendar scheduling, I'm happy to use it. But it doesn't exist yet. Until then, we need to be able to use the tools that are available, or, again, we look like amateurs.

 

 

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Active Member
Anita N Member Since: Sep 27, 2017
129 of 895
All I'm saying Wes is that we shouldn't have to rely on a fallback if or when something fails. We should be free to use any form of communication that is most comfortable for us and our clients.
As you correctly note, this just makes us look like amateurs, not professionals who are being treated like children since the forum we are relying on to do business doesn't trust us.
Also, if I were a client being told I can't speak on a regular phone until I actually hire, I frankly would look elsewhere.
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Ace Contributor
Dana K D Member Since: Aug 16, 2018
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Anita, you have 100% summed this up in a neat little nutshell.  What other business entity in the free world dictates that people cannot use the most common and universally available communication tool (a telephone) to determine whether or not they wish to exchange $$$ for goods and services?

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