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Re: Terms of Service Update 2018

Ace Contributor
Brittany J Member Since: Jul 11, 2016
11 of 128

This makes no sense to me. 

 

Rules already exist about how people should conduct their business and not accept payments off Upwork. The ones getting scammed know they are not suppose to get paid outside of Upwork, and they do anyways. So how is adding more rules going to help the people that don't follow rules? 

 

I don't see how Upwork is going to enforce this either, are you guys planning to screen every proposal sent? 

 

Community Guru
Douglas Michael M Member Since: May 22, 2015
12 of 128

@Brittany J wrote:

 


....I don't see how Upwork is going to enforce this either, are you guys planning to screen every proposal sent? 

 


They already do. Many people have reported pop-us or more intrusive interference by Upwork in response to links within proposals.

Ace Contributor
Brittany J Member Since: Jul 11, 2016
13 of 128

There is no way that Upwork can possibly screen every single proposal being sent out to clients. They can't even screen the job posts properly without the help of freelancers flagging them. 

 

I include my portfolio link in every single proposal I write and have NEVER had a client contact me that way or had interference from Upwork. 

 

Aside from that, if someone was trying to scam me and wanted to contact me off Upwork, all they would have to do is search my name in google to get to my website. If someone wants to scam, they will find a way to do so and they will prey on those that allow it. 

Community Guru
Douglas Michael M Member Since: May 22, 2015
14 of 128

@Brittany J wrote:

There is no way that Upwork can possibly screen every single proposal being sent out to clients. They can't even screen the job posts properly without the help of freelancers flagging them. 


The way is called automation. As your intended counterexample suggests, it produces both false negatives and false positives. Congratulations on not having been flagged by the proposal screening process.

Ace Contributor
Brittany J Member Since: Jul 11, 2016
15 of 128

Well there's no reason I should be flagged for sharing a better looking portfolio than Upwork can provide and examples of web designs I have done. What's the difference in adding links to the portfolio projects like we are allowed to do?  

 

If automation is going to include flagging every proposal with a link, I just can't see how that would work for freelancers that do web design and development. It certainly won't deter scammers and dishonest people from finding ways around it. 

 

I would much rather see Upwork put their time and effort into screening clients better and cleaning the job board up. I honestly can't wrap my head around why people think it is a good idea to take payments off this platform to begin with, the payment protections are Upwork's best feature.

Community Guru
Douglas Michael M Member Since: May 22, 2015
16 of 128

@Brittany J wrote:

 

....I would much rather see Upwork put their time and effort into screening clients better and cleaning the job board up....


And there’s the rub. Once you automate something—at least so Upwork’s thinking seems to go—neither time nor effort is required. It’s not really either/or from their point of view. They have a corporate mentality that everything that can be automated should be; and what can’t be automated should be provided, most often, by workers with the lowest wages and least training possible. So we get the clients and listings that we get, while Upwork looks at its internal statistics and deems their systems successful at some threshold percentage.

Highlighted
Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
17 of 128

@Douglas Michael M wrote:

@Brittany J wrote:

 

....I would much rather see Upwork put their time and effort into screening clients better and cleaning the job board up....


And there’s the rub. Once you automate something—at least so Upwork’s thinking seems to go—neither time nor effort is required. It’s not really either/or from their point of view. They have a corporate mentality that everything that can be automated should be; and what can’t be automated should be provided, most often, by workers with the lowest wages and least training possible. So we get the clients and listings that we get, while Upwork looks at its internal statistics and deems their systems successful at some threshold percentage.

____________________________

It's a very blinkered way of doing business however, and can only be short-term. This could possibly work in a B & M company where workers and apprentices are encouraged to remain loyal to the company by taking courses and working upwards.

 

It does not work for freelancers, however low on the scale, because it is an each-to-their-own business - even for those freelancers, who have an "employee, corporate mentality" and who swear eternal gratitude to the site. This could rapidly change if another site  that offered a better deal came along. It is not the moment for Upwork to sit on its laurels.   

 


 

Community Guru
Wendy C Member Since: Aug 24, 2015
18 of 128

Lena, by 'not' allowing Skype, email, etc. contact with a potential client will make it impossible for all but the most basic 1-step type of jobs to be completed.  Only a fool (either or both client and freelancer) would enter into a contract sans discussions.  

 

Please do not tell us that the message room is adequate > it is not.  And don't even try to convince any of us who have tried to use U's phone system that it is as efficient as Skype, GotoMeeting, or anything else available.  Put bluntly - that would be akin to comparing the original tin can  +  wire to an iPhone.

 

Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
19 of 128

@Lena E wrote:

Hi Jess,

 

The update noted in section 4.1 is a process we are considering but have not yet enforced. By not allowing contact information to be exchanged before entering a contract, we believe this will help deter users from being victimized by many scams which happen outside of the platform and help prevent circumvention.  Unfortunately, this is a constant issue we hear in the forums.

 

As stated previously, this has not yet been enforced and before doing so we will be making an announcement informing users of this change.  To avoid confusion, we’ve updated the Terms of Use that will become effective on May 20 to omit this change.


 ______________________________________

 

If this has not yet been enforced, why is it there at all? Lena, one  UK platform  had this hard and fast rule and went down faster than the Titanic. They have since reversed this rule, but now have the smallest cut of the outsourcing pie. Upwork is going to have to find another way of preventing circumvention. 

 

One way is to monitor clients. A small subscription fee could go a long way to deterring scammers and chancers. 

Community Guru
Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
20 of 128

@Nichola L wrote:

@Lena E wrote:

Hi Jess,

 

The update noted in section 4.1 is a process we are considering but have not yet enforced. By not allowing contact information to be exchanged before entering a contract, we believe this will help deter users from being victimized by many scams which happen outside of the platform and help prevent circumvention.  Unfortunately, this is a constant issue we hear in the forums.

 

As stated previously, this has not yet been enforced and before doing so we will be making an announcement informing users of this change.  To avoid confusion, we’ve updated the Terms of Use that will become effective on May 20 to omit this change.


 ______________________________________

 

If this has not yet been enforced, why is it there at all? Lena, one  UK platform  had this hard and fast rule and went down faster than the Titanic. They have since reversed this rule, but now have the smallest cut of the outsourcing pie. Upwork is going to have to find another way of preventing circumvention. 

 

One way is to monitor clients. A small subscription fee could go a long way to deterring scammers and chancers. 


 Another way would be to qualify FLs before they are allowed to jump in. Introduce an additional qualifying step, after a new FL has completed and received approval of their profile and before they are able to submit a proposal: require them to pass a quiz covering the fundamentals of contracting and payment. 

 

Yes, the forums teem with FLs crying about being scammed, and in the vast majority of instances, the FL was too lazy, careless or naive to read the ToS and get oriented before jumping in. Don't shape policies and procedures in an attempt to protect those people from themselves (and/or protect clients from them). It can't be done. But you can protect the platform--and the rest of us hardworking, diligent professionals--from them, by making them demonstrate some minimal level of diligence and professional engagement before they start using the platform, getting into trouble, and creating needless congestion in CS.

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