I’m Rich Pearson, head of Marketing and Categories at Upwork. The entire Upwork team has been reading your comments. We’re listening and we really appreciate your feedback.
I understand that this is a big change and want to reassure you it was not made with greed in mind. Simply put, Upwork loses money on every small contract. To continue to advertise for new clients and provide payment protection and other services, we need to increase fees for small contracts. And, as a large proportion of our business is delivered by freelancers who work on larger, repeatable projects, we wanted to provide an incentive for those relationships to thrive on Upwork.
Please continue to post your questions and feedback. I’d also like to invite you to sign up for one of our Town Halls next week. Several members of the team, including our CEO Stephane Kasriel, will be on hand to answer your questions in real time. You can sign up here.
The initial post from Garnor yesterday outlined the main questions and comments we anticipated (and are hearing) as a result of this change. I also wanted to address a couple more here that we’ve heard since the announcement.
What services does Upwork provide? I do all the work and create good experiences for clients.
There's certainly a lot that you do to win a client's confidence, get hired, and ultimately deliver great work. We acknowledge that. However, note there is investment necessary to help raise awareness with clients (to get them to Upwork), to get them to sign up on the platform, to offer services and functionality so that you and they can negotiate and agree to a contract, and to give you confidence (through payment protection and our support teams) that if something goes wrong, we'll be there to help. You can read more about the services we provide here.
We believe that the fees we’re putting in place will enable Upwork to invest more significantly in all of these services in the long run, so you can continue focusing on your business and can continue growing your business here.
I don't like this decision and I'm going to one of your competitors. I might just close my account.
We’re sorry you feel this way. We believe Upwork’s new pricing will better support our community long-term. We hope you will continue working on Upwork and avoid making an immediate decision like closing your account until you’ve seen this new pricing take effect.
Will the new payment processing fee for clients make it too expensive for clients to hire here?
We expect clients will continue to see numerous benefits to working on Upwork (including finding and paying talented freelancers efficiently and confidently). Our pricing changes will also enable us to be more aggressive in attracting larger clients including those through our Upwork Pro and Enterprise offerings.
Upwork's response to my very innocuous post was to censor it as I dared to post the website address of the company that obviously heard about unhappiness here and did a little marketing ploy of their own.
I just reread the rules and I did not violate any of them (though I am sure there is some fig leaf of an interpretation that will be used to suggest that I did).
Perhaps the majority stakeholder in Upwork is Chinese and thinks this is China where there is no free speech?
Don't worry Madam Censure, I will never post here again. Good luck to all.
@William G wrote:
....I just reread the rules and I did not violate any of them (though I am sure there is some fig leaf of an interpretation that will be used to suggest that I did)....
The Community Guidelines pinned to the top of various fora forbid mentioning clients by name (website, etc.).
The following are violations that may result in immediate post removal, warning, board sanction and/or suspension from the site....
- Including your own or another person’s or company's contact information and/or email address in a post for any purpose.
- Including names of persons or companies (or other identifying information) in an accusation of misconduct, incompetence or other wrongdoing.
- Posting email content, chat transcripts or other private communication.
I was also censored when attempting to open a discussion regarding the pricing changes on the Upwork LinkedIn page! One of the media managers deleted my post and sent me a message directing me here. Does Upwork value ethics and appropriate behavior from its representatives? It doesn't feel that way.
Below is the message I responded with to
[redacted name]. Consider this an open letter to the Upwork community.
[xxxx], I understand you want to maintain a compendium of information and discussion, but I personally object to the suggestion that my discussion about a very real subject which strongly affects most of the Upwork community is inappropriate on an Upwork community page. I want to make sure I understand correctly. Are you asking me to not discuss this topic on this community page?
[xxxx], I would also like to clarify another thing: did you delete my post regarding this discussion? I am having trouble finding it on the group page. If so, this particularly concerns me that you would delete a perfectly reasonable and appropriate discussion post without contacting the author or explaining that you did so. I feel that to do so is not only highly unethical, but suggests that Upwork is not being forthright about the rules for moderating community pages. Is this a community discussion page, or is this a curated blog that you are maintaining? Please help me understand.
Good luck, folks.
I should have shared this in my note, but I came from the Elance side of the merger and can confirm that Elance did not make money from the 8.75% fee. For those interested, we'll share some more details on where we make money and where we don't in the upcoming town hall.
Elance was not making money from 8.75% fees and Upwork will share more info on this in the next town hall. Very well then. Its going to be clear that Upwork is not going to work for projects less than <$500. Basically this is what I feel Upwork is trying to head to. Bigger players, more money even though it comes at the cost of loosing smaller freelancers like us (and do note that I paid around 10k fees in around last 2 years to Elance/Upwork).
So what is going to be next? Ain't this obvious that another platform that charges less like Elance will attract smaller clients and freelancers like us (and there are few which would be really happy watching all this happen to Upwork freelancers and clients). But then why would Upwork care if they want to focus on bigger clients! Best of luck to Upwork.