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Frequently Asked Questions on TOS changes regarding information sharing and interviews

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Community Guru
Rafsun S Member Since: Feb 10, 2018
131 of 913

In 3 days, 103 Pages had passed on this original post. There are lots of Freelancers and Clients shared their opinions.
Maybe more than 95% of people just shouted against it as a bad decision. Here, you didn't change anything except the NDA process which was the funniest force to both Freelancers and Clients. But it's good that you have changed it and permitted it before accepting a job.

In a word, you have restricted all kinds of communication ways...even sharing an e-mail address during the interview for the reason of your insecurity. And today I installed UW mobile app. That was horrible. I even can't enter the messages there and everything was too slow...like a snail. Also, I didn't find any video call options neither from desktop or mobile (I failed to enter in messages from the mobile app) I uninstall that and was thinking, how come a company can have such a bad App! Even any unknown company has a better app than yours.

As a Freelancer of Upwork, I never contacted any UW clients or any UW clients had never contacted me outside of Upwork. Yes, sometimes, I might need to talk/chat with them via Email, Whatsapp/Skype especially when I was outside of my studio. But we were always contracted through Upwork and as a commonsense, it's safe to get the money from the clients via Upwork. Personally, I can't even think to get money from the outside of UW...simple reason...there is no guarantee to get payment from outside of UW without a milestone. So I can't even think about that. So whatever the media we choose for the communication, we must have to come here for the deal...for getting the money guarantee. Upwork will never miss a 20% commission.

Honestly, I can manage it without using other communication media. But I really have a major problem if I can't share my email address during the interview if a client is not able to share their Gdrive/Dropbox links without email ID. Though I am not clear what do you mean by "We also have Dropbox integrated already in Upwork Messages". Please note that there needs to create a link for GD/DB and there are many clients who are not able to create and share properly the GD/DB links. I taught many clients how to create GD/DB links. At the same time, I failed to teach them this simple thing. The client asked my E-mail ID and I needed to share my email ID in the UW message in those cases. I can't accept any job without checking the client's sources. Avoiding those clients or Flagging them as Inappropriate only because of asking an E-mail address can't be a good way. This thing will make the process harder and you might lose potential clients. This is a very major thing UW should think about. Please don't submerge yourself in your imaginary insecurities.

Again especially when we are at the outside, your app or browsing from Mobile Chrome is not comfortable. your app is useless and browsing from chrome or others is a long process. You should have a Mobile App which can show a notification (messages/offers/invitation) after turning on the internet connection like messenger, WhatsApp or other media have. It's okay when we are on the PC but it's not okay when we are outside... on the mobile.

I am not sure but I guess, you are suspecting the clients who are posting jobs but not hiring. I guess you are thinking those clients perhaps hiring from the outside. They might or they might not...who know? But blocking everything will not give you anything positive. You will lose Freelancers and clients.

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Ace Contributor
Adam P Member Since: Jul 3, 2015
132 of 913

Hey Rafsun,

I don't think Upwork has a problem with you contacting actual clients off the platform.
They have an issue with you sharing and communicating off the platform with potential" clients.

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Ace Contributor
George S Member Since: Jun 2, 2011
133 of 913

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
134 of 913

 

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
135 of 913

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
136 of 913

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
137 of 913

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
138 of 913

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
139 of 913

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
140 of 913

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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