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Increasing Protections on Upwork

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Community Manager
Lena E Community Manager Member Since: Apr 7, 2015
1 of 38

Jeff Chen, head of Upwork’s Trust and Safety team, released a blog post today outlining the steps we’re taking so that Upwork will be the safest, easiest way to do work online.  We encourage you to read through the blog post, a copy of which we’ve noted below.

 

Our aim is to make Upwork the safest, easiest way to do work online. Your security is enhanced when you communicate and pay or earn through Upwork, where you’re protected by our trust and safety programs.

 

Lately, we’ve focused on developing new ways to prevent scams on our marketplace, such as malware scanning and spam protections in Upwork Messages. We’ve also expanded our freelancer verification program to better safeguard against fraud.

 

As we look ahead, we’ll make it even harder for fraudsters to waste your time and cause harm to your businesses. In the next few months, we’ll be rolling out three initiatives to increase protections for clients and freelancers when working through Upwork: 

 

  • Connecting trusted clients with trusted freelancers: We’re updating our search rankings to highlight freelancers who regularly earn through Upwork. Freelancers who work and get paid through the platform will be rewarded for their loyalty with greater visibility. In addition, clients will be able to quickly find proven talent.
  • Increasing protections during interviews: For some jobs, we’ll require interviews to take place through Upwork Messages (using our chat, voice, or video calls), to ensure both clients and freelancers are protected by our trust and safety systems.
  • Reducing SPAM and increasing account security: We’ll continue to improve our own systems and take action more quickly on community-reported fraud. We’re also partnering with third party vendors to improve malware scanning.

 

These initiatives are coming over the next few months and we look forward to seeing them improve your experience and success on the platform.


Every day, talented professionals like you are proving what’s possible in freelancing. Thank you for making Upwork the place where clients and freelancers can work without limits. Please continue to share your comments, concerns, and success stories on our community forums.


Trust and Safety is important for us and as we see from daily discussion threads here in the Community forums, it’s clearly important to you as well. The initiatives mentioned in Jeff’s blog post are coming over the next few month. We all want Upwork to be the safest, best place to work online. We look forward to continuing that effort, together.

Untitled
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
2 of 38

Thanks for this note. All good news.

 

Interesting that for some jobs, interviews will be required to take place on the platform.

 

Along with that, I would like to see some changes in messaging or in the interface that encourage clients to hire without conducting "interviews", when appropriate.

 

Most jobs on Upwork (not all, but most) do NOT require interviews. Interviews for these jobs waste the client's time and waste the freelancer's time.

 

Clients should be encouraged to interview less and hire more. Hire more frequently. Hire a larger number of freelancers. NOT to help freelancers, but to help clients have a better experience.

 

The proper way to vet freelancers is to hire them and see what kind of work they actually do. NOT to interview them and listen to what they claim they will do.

Community Leader
Joshua M Member Since: Nov 8, 2014
3 of 38

Why can't we freelancers with long-term clients get our payments earlier?

 

If you're increasing security for new contracts, why not loosen up on the old ones?

That way, I can still appreciate Upwork from taking a cut from my earnings even though our non-circumvention period has long passed.

I still find it laughable whenever a client excitingly informs me that he/she sent a bonus as a gift and informs me to enjoy it when in reality I have to wait 7 days for the funds to reflect on my account and another 2 days for my local bank to clear. 

Moderator
Vladimir G Moderator Member Since: Oct 31, 2014
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Hi Joshua,

 

Thanks for posting this question. Our team has been looking into different options for shortening the security period while maintaining the same level of protection. A number of freelancers have posted about some of their transactions becoming available immediately after being released, which is part of the testing our team is conducting, but we still don't have any news or immediate plans for updating the security hold.

 

I also want to confirm whether bonus payments your clients issued became available after five or seven days like you posted?

Community Leader
Joshua M Member Since: Nov 8, 2014
5 of 38

Hi Vladimir,

 

Yes, I'm quite aware of this special program wherein the security period is cut short and the funds become available on saturday as I've encountered it multiple times. The first time was around 2015 and it happened twice on 2016 and once this year. The longest was about 2 months but usually only for a month. I was pretty optimistic that the program was going to be rolled out soon and permanently but we're now 2017 and I don't understand whats the delay with the implementation? Platinum clients and freelancers working together for multiple years should atleast have this incentive. 

 

And no, under the program the security period for bonuses does not change. It takes a full 7 days for funds to be available. 

 

Highly appreciate it if we could get more info regarding future programs and their current status Upwork is planning. We could maybe even add valuable insight from a freelancers perspective. 

Community Guru
Douglas Michael M Member Since: May 22, 2015
6 of 38

@Preston H wrote:

 

....The proper way to vet freelancers is to hire them and see what kind of work they actually do. NOT to interview them and listen to what they claim they will do.


Sigh. There you go again, Preston, handing down your personal business practice as a general rule.

Upwork's "interviews," for me, consist of a brief text conversation with a prospective client about defining their needs, and determining whether I can meet them, and at what cost. This is a conversation I would insist on having whatever Upwork chooses to call it. Seems to me it's more efficient to have it before (or instead of) creating a contract than after.

Suit yourself. Not everything that suits you (or me) will suit everyone else.

Best,

MM

Active Member
Antonio W Member Since: Mar 2, 2017
7 of 38

 

Along with that, I would like to see some changes in messaging or in the interface that encourage clients to hire without conducting "interviews", when appropriate.

 

Most jobs on Upwork (not all, but most) do NOT require interviews. Interviews for these jobs waste the client's time and waste the freelancer's time.

 

Clients should be encouraged to interview less and hire more. Hire more frequently. Hire a larger number of freelancers. NOT to help freelancers, but to help clients have a better experience.

 

The proper way to vet freelancers is to hire them and see what kind of work they actually do. NOT to interview them and listen to what they claim they will do.


 

Believe me I so reckon with what you just said here.

As a freelancer, I'm usually put off when a client is asking needless questions in the job posting or interview.

My profile, work history, JSS, everything is matching the job perfectly yet client's still tryna waste my time SMH

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Increasing protections, especially for clients. Most invitations I receive now are from clients with an unverified payment method. I reject them all at once.

Community Guru
Ela K Member Since: Feb 9, 2015
9 of 38

@Lena E wrote:

Jeff Chen, head of Upwork’s Trust and Safety team, released a blog post today outlining the steps we’re taking so that Upwork will be the safest, easiest way to do work online.  We encourage you to read through the blog post, a copy of which we’ve noted below.

 

  • Increasing protections during interviews: For some jobs, we’ll require interviews to take place through Upwork Messages (using our chat, voice, or video calls), to ensure both clients and freelancers are protected by our trust and safety systems.

...

 


 I would like to know what kind of jobs this 'protection' will apply to. It's great you want us to be protected during the interview stage - but what good does that do if people are not equally protected once they've been hired (as in not getting paid for various reasons).

Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
10 of 38

Why is this all written out like a marketing start-up? We (clients and freelancers) are already here. Most of us know the ins and the outs of the site and plan on staying.  We don't want Upwork's self-glorification, but Upwork's assurances that genuine clients and genuine freelancers are protected as far as is possible.

 

It's good that Upwork is verifying freelancers - it can ask for my credentials any time. But other than payment (not always a certainty) how is Upwork "verifying" clients - those "clients" that daily appear and are taken down as scammers thanks to freelancers' vigilance. 

 

All I can see as a freelancer, that potential clients, when they merit this term, are being hidden behind a wall of secrecy that automatically precludes a genuine working relationship.

 

I still maintain that Upwork needs to look at the Dutch model. Stem the flooding.

 

 

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