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Frequently Asked Questions on TOS changes regarding information sharing and interviews

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Active Member
Paul C Member Since: May 26, 2020
71 of 639

Valeria K wrote:

Hi Anastasiia,

 

Yes, you can use sharing tools and code services that allow for sharing out links to the files without requiring an email address.


Thank you for this update, Valeria.

So, do I understand from this that I can give a prospective customer my Github ID so that they can invite me to share a repo by Github User Name (not email address), and can ask for their Github ID?

And, it looks like a prospective client can share data from their google apps, provided they send the link rather than adding me by email as an additional user. That, too, is helpful.

Also, according to these rules, it seems like we can use Calendly or other solutions, provided that we set them up in such a way that they do not disclose our email, and the meetings are scheduled to take place via Upwork conferencing.

Assuming this is all correct, then from my perspective it is livable-with.

Pointless, frankly - people who want to scam and circumvent will still scam and circumvent - and also demonstrating an offensive lack of trust, but at least I will still be able to engage prospective clients in a professional and consultative manner to develop projects.  And I suppose we can still jump over to Zoom whenever Upwork's conferencing is not working properly.

 

Thank again Valeria.

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Chris A Member Since: May 26, 2020
72 of 639

Hi - according to the new TOS, we can only communicate with clients through Upwork before a contract is started. I have just received a question from a client asking if we can do a Zoom call because she has a team member that would like to join the call. Since this person is NOT on Upwork, and I cannot use Zoom or any outside calling methods, how can I complete this call with three people (myself, the client, and her co-worker who is not on Upwork)?

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Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
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Chris A wrote:

Hi - according to the new TOS, we can only communicate with clients through Upwork before a contract is started. I have just received a question from a client asking if we can do a Zoom call because she has a team member that would like to join the call. Since this person is NOT on Upwork, and I cannot use Zoom or any outside calling methods, how can I complete this call with three people (myself, the client, and her co-worker who is not on Upwork)?


The new TOS do not come into effect until the 26th

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Active Member
Chris A Member Since: May 26, 2020
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Sure, but this is obviously a question about how to handle this once they do come into effect...

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Moderator
Aleksandar D Moderator Member Since: Mar 23, 2019
75 of 639

Hi Chris,

 

Thanks for your question. As part of ongoing improvements, we have been looking into giving Upwork account holders the option to invite non-account holders to join a call. We will keep you posted.

 

Thank you.

~ Aleksandar
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Active Member
Chris A Member Since: May 26, 2020
76 of 639

This sounds like a long "no" we can't have that call happen. Doesn't that hurt me and the client? What is the timeline for the ability to do/change this? 

I understand Upwork has shareholders to please now, but it seems really shortsighted to have done all these sweeping changes so fast without figuring it out entirely beforehand. 

I would appreciate to know a more clear answer to this, when possible. 

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Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
77 of 639

Chris A wrote:

This sounds like a long "no" we can't have that call happen. Doesn't that hurt me and the client? What is the timeline for the ability to do/change this? 


The whole thing is a joke.

 

Those clients and freelancers who want to stick to the rules are inconvenienced and have to dance on eggshells while bending over backwards so far their head scrapes the ground and those who want to take the relationship out of the platform simply call each other on the Upwork messaging app and say "Call me on my phone, my number is (XXX) XXXX XXX" and my skype ID is jehfrj.333hfh and my email is joe@fhfgfgfgf.com...."

 

This entire harebrained "this is forbidden unless that is the case, in which case you may do X, but remind Y that W applies" and all the grey areas will lead to absolute pandemonium.

 

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Community Guru
Rafsun S Member Since: Feb 10, 2018
78 of 639

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
George S Member Since: Jun 2, 2011
79 of 639

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
80 of 639

 

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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