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Frequently Asked Questions on TOS changes regarding information sharing and interviews

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Active Member
Daniel C Member Since: Mar 21, 2020
901 of 933

Client tries to send me a zoom meeting, I explain I cannot due to Upwork TOS. They say there are a few people I must talk to for this job and they're all in different locations (eg Hong Kong and their partners in Germany) and the German partners do not have nor want an Upwork account but they'll do the inital call with me over Upwork and we'll see where we go from there, client asked me what should he do and I have no idea **Edited for Community Guidelines**

to suggest

 

Client finds my LinkedIn using my name, I say sorry but we must keep things on Upwork and if we open a $5 contract then we can talk wherever. Client eventually relents and opens a $5 contract to make this process with less friction

 

1) At least the Upwork calling system worked this time, although my video did freeze at one point even though sound quality was good

2) Client opened $5 contract and now if they don't hire me I have to close a contract without any earnings, thus hurting my JSS

3) If I took the $5 what sort of feedback is the client going to give if they decide not to hire me? Will they give me 1 star because of this rule?

4) Clients are now far more determined to try to find my in other places (LinkedIn) than they ever were before, clients will start wondering why they should pay through Upwork at all and can you imagine how much Upwork is losing due to more dishonest freelancers this way?

5) Why am I having to educate clients on this rule anyway?

 

I've made money here, I'm top rated and I've made my peace with the fees but this rule is surely hurting Upwork far more than it helps? It's making clients go behind Upwork and find me elsewhere which I have *never* had before?!

 

So now what? Do I deacticate my LinkedIn and all my other social so clients cannot just type my name into Google?

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Community Guru
Vivek K Member Since: May 28, 2016
902 of 933

I have not hired recently on upwork , so if rules have changed then I can't say.  But communication was always allowed outside upwork.

Freelancers  were not supposed to provide your contact details on profile  and/or on proposal. Similarly clients could not put a job post asking to be contacted on communication system outside of upwork.

But you could provide email or skype or whatever in the message you sent to a client or prospective client.

I have emails/ phone numbers of many freelancers. 

The only rule was payment should be made through upwork system, which isn't actually unfair because that's how they make revenue.

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Filip K Member Since: May 22, 2017
903 of 933

Vivek K wrote:

I have not hired recently on upwork , so if rules have changed then I can't say.  But communication was always allowed outside upwork.

 


Yes, Vivek, it did change and is now forbidden before a hire. 




I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion.
I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.
All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.
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Community Guru
Vivek K Member Since: May 28, 2016
904 of 933

 


Yes, Vivek, it did change and is now forbidden before a hire. 


Ok.

I stand corrected.

Just saw the thread change in ToS. I find it dumb but that's the rule as  long as one is using this platform. 

 

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Ace Contributor
Adam P Member Since: Jul 3, 2015
905 of 933

Vivek K wrote:

 


Yes, Vivek, it did change and is now forbidden before a hire. 


Ok.

I stand corrected.

Just saw the thread change in ToS. I find it dumb but that's the rule as  long as one is using this platform. 

 



Hi Vivek,

I'm sure if you had access to the data you'd find a lot more off platform deal making being done via alternate platforms outside of Upwork vs through upwork messenger.  

Since these convos happen off site, there's zero way of Upwork holding any control.  I've had offers to work outside the system more times than I can count.  I've had requests from freelancers to work off the system more times than I can count. 

I think a simple answer to fix would be to alleviate those channels where MOST of these TOS violations were mostly coming from.

I'd then try and figure out what people needed from those outside platforms and try my best to build them and incorporate.

Upwork is doing that it seems... so I don't find it dumb at all.  

On the contrary, I would find it extremely dumb to allow people to use their system who make it a habit of syphoning work off their platform.  

Most of the people writing on the message board and this thread are NOT these people. Just because you aren't doing it, doesn't mean it doesn't happen. The reality is it happens en masse, and this one tool to help curb it, and I'm actually enjoying this workflow better.

If you need help let me know.  

Cheers! 


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Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
906 of 933

Adam P wrote:

Since these convos happen off site, there's zero way of Upwork holding any control.

Upwork has no control over what is said on a video or voice call conducted via the Upwork software either. So the point is?

 


Adam P wrote: Upwork is doing that it seems... so I don't find it dumb at all.

 You're missing the obvious point:

The honest freelancers who stick to the rules would not communicate with clients outside the platform now.

They are losing out to those who do not stick to the rules, which just also happen to be the ones most likely to take work off the platform.

 

So instead of curbing the unwanted behavior, Upwork are encouraging it.

 


Adam P wrote:

If you need help let me know.  

Huh? What "help"`?

 

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Ace Contributor
Adam P Member Since: Jul 3, 2015
907 of 933



"Upwork has no control over what is said on a video or voice call conducted via the Upwork software either. So the point is?


I think they're now trying hard to keep the convo on the system instead of going on a different system. There's information other than the actual conversation that can help the platorm eco-system and understand the particular client / freelancer relationship.  

We call this "QUANTITATIVE DATA" in the biz.  

Also, by keeping it on the platform, the assumption is there's less likelyhood to continue doing things off the site. 

Example:

If you were leaving your house, there's a higher likelyhood of you being outside. And if you went outside, It would actually take more effort for you to go back inside, so there's a chance you may just stay outside, even though you intended (or didn't) to go back inside.  

These are all fairly easy predictions/ assumptions/ logic statements to make, even though it doesn't apply to you.  

 

Unless you have access to widespread data, that proves more than your own anecdotal evidence, or feeleings, I would defer to Upwork, since they have access to ALL OF THE DATA -- except of course the data when people use other platforms.  For that they don't have the data. 

This is obviously important to Upwork, since they're making this change.

 "You're missing the obvious point:

The honest freelancers who stick to the rules would not communicate with clients outside the platform now.

They are losing out to those who do not stick to the rules, which just also happen to be the ones most likely to take work off the platform."

I know you think that I'm missing your obvious point.  And I think you're missing my obvious point.  The fact is, if people are trying to pull people off the site, there's now more ways to detect patterns -- and they'll eventually get purged. 

You would have to either....

1. Jump on a video call using the upwork system, only to tell client/freelancer you want to use another system, even though the call is going fine, which would be redundant and very stupid. I wouldn't hire you for sure.

2. Write out that you want to hop on another system and get flagged. 

3. Take a token job, only to hop on a call on a different system to avoid a system that works fine. This will leave a track record of you doing $5 jobs and this will eventually blow up in your face, by probably flushing your JSS down the toilet.

Upwork, doesn't want anonymous gig churners anymore like 5r.  They want long term relationships. Hourly contracts! For people that support this, these changes are welcome.

"Huh? What "help"`?"

Yes

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Community Guru
Filip K Member Since: May 22, 2017
908 of 933

Sorry, but asking for a five dollar project just so you can communicate outside of Upwork seems ridiculous.

That is not a normal client. A normal client will follow the rules, that are not THAT hard to fulfil. 

All the client needs to do is to invite his German partner to Upwork chat via their email.

If the client can't share three minutes of their time to comply with a simple rule, do you think they are a good partner to work with? 

I mean it's very easy, and I didn't have any issues by now.

I dont think any legit client will object because he needs to do a ten minute call via Upwork app before they hire you.

After all, it's a rule. So your client can easily explain his German partner they MUST join the Upwork if they want to interview the candidate.

After all, I try not to spend more than 15 min with a client before they hire me, as it leads to long unfruitful interview, usually without the hire.

I will make an exception and give them a little bit more time if I can see the contract can bring me at least (at very least) 1000 dollars.




I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion.
I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.
All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.
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Active Member
Daniel C Member Since: Mar 21, 2020
909 of 933

It's a very long term project that will net me far more than $1000 if I get it and a sustainable income each month, of course I'm going to bend over backwards to remove the blocks to hiring me including opening a $5 contract

 

I imagine dishonest freelancers would have just spoke to them on LinkedIn and said screw it Upwork will never know, so why is this rule here in the first place if it encourages clients to try to find my offplatform?! It's doing the exact opposite of what it's supposed to do

 

I do wonder why it's not possible to just invite people into an Upwork call with an email on the client side, then the client could just enter the other interviewers email and boom everyone is happy

 

Right now it's not even possible to have multiple people in a conference right?

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Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
910 of 933

I think Upwork is going to drive clients off the platform with this new hassle. 

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