I'd think that you'd get the idea from the hundreds of complaints here that this is a very unpopular move.
Although I don't think charging a 20% fee is justifiable at all - even personal literary agents don't typically charge more than 15% - it would at least be much more fair if the sliding fee scale were applied to a freelancer's TOTAL amount of billings on Upwork rather than separated by each client. There are numerous clients that I do either one-off projects for, or just occasional small pieces from time to time, on which there is absolutely ZERO chance of my ever reaching the point where the fee for those billings is reduced to 5-10%.
About the only way to ever get down to that 5% level is to luck into a long-term contract, and I'm sure everyone working here knows that those are few and far between. I happened to be working on one when the fee change was initiated, so at the time I didn't bother to complain - but now that that contract is gone and I'm getting dinged 20% for everything I'm doing, it's just a financial nightmare. You're basically faced with the choice of showing prospective clients an hourly or project rate that they - probably rightly - think is too high, or settling for getting paid only 80% of your rate.
When you're working as a freelancer, there's a big difference between making $80 and making $100, and a HUGE difference between getting paid $400 instead of $500.
I just came from another freelancer site and they charged me a fee upfront before I was even paid. Is this the case with Upworks? Will I be charged a fee upfront? i.e. Charge made to my paypal/bank account before I receive any payment from the employer.
Hi Rachele, there are no upfront fees for the Freelancer Basic account which includes 60 connect credits. If you want more account options, you can purchase Freelancer Plus account which does include an upfront fee and costs $10/ month but it includes more connects and more options. For more info visit this page: Membership Plans. The fees for earnings are deducted from your pay automatically before you withdraw. For more info, visit this page: Freelancer Service Fees.
I hope that helps.