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Re: Terms of Service Update 2018

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Community Guru
Samantha S Member Since: Jun 23, 2016
71 of 128

I just want to express my concerns about the new TOS regarding not exchanging contact information before the contract...

 

Some of my favorite clients were new to Upwork and they seemed "cautiously optimistic" about using Upwork. I am sure everyone is aware that there are stories online about freelancers scamming clients and clients scamming freelancers.

 

I feel that establishing a certain amount of trust is usually essential with some clients (especially newer clients or those who were burned by disappointing experiences with freelancers).  The ability to Skype, share portfolios links, or talk on the phone helps.  I doubt I would have won even half of my contracts without the ability to Skype or talk on the phone prior to starting the contract. 

 

Sadly, the Upwork video and voice chat features are not reliable enough. Every time I tried to use them with a new client, it was awkward. They often don't use the right browser or haven't installed the right plugin, or something else goes wrong. I've given up using those features.

 

I doubt this will do anything to prevent scams. Most of the time neither the scammer or "scamee" are following the rules (if they even know the rules). So how will new rules help?  

Community Guru
Tracye G Member Since: Sep 30, 2008
72 of 128

MODS please clarify this

"The update noted in section 4.1 is a process we are considering but have not yet enforce
d. 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."

Does this mean that the no phone calls, no Skype, no emails before hiring is going to be permanatenly REMOVED from TOS???? 

This is IMPORTANT and needs to be clarified and addressed.

That change WILL have a huge adverse affect on my business. Many times, I need to speak with clients on the phone to figure out if I am truly a good fit for their projects. Clients most of the time do not give accurate written details because they do not fully understand what they need...and it is only after me asking questions can I determine if what I do will help them or not.

So PLEASE get rid of this statement in TOS!!!

And please stop treating your top freelancers like we are all criminals trying to scam the system. We are NOT, we have all worked hard to build our businesses and follow the rules. I for one am sick and tired of being lumped in with scammers and cheats!!!

Community Guru
Pat M Member Since: Jun 18, 2016
73 of 128

In addition to the previous quote I posted and all of the well-deserved kudos I've given in this thread at this point I'm simply going to add another quote.  "It doesn't matter how long you work on something, what counts is getting it done right."  Upwork PLEASE get it done right.

Community Guru
Reinier B Member Since: Nov 3, 2015
74 of 128

@Pat M wrote:

In addition to the previous quote I posted and all of the well-deserved kudos I've given in this thread at this point I'm simply going to add another quote.  "It doesn't matter how long you work on something, what counts is getting it done right."  Upwork PLEASE get it done right.


 Here is my thought; were the updates to the ToS and User Agreements written by actual, licensed attorneys? 

Community Manager
Lena E Community Manager Member Since: Apr 7, 2015
75 of 128
Tracye,

That statement is not in the ToS. Nothing has changed in regards to where you can provide contact information.
Untitled
Community Guru
Tracye G Member Since: Sep 30, 2008
76 of 128

Lena,

 

So, CAN WE PROVIDE a phone number or ask the client for a phone number, email or Skype id PRIOR/BEFORE  hiring WITHOUT pentalty  or suspension?????? 

Your answer is still NOT clear on upworks plans for this addition to the TOS!

Please make this CRYSTAL CLEAR as this is a HUGE issue if left ambiguous!

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

+ 1 to Phyllis >

 

"The groundwork for a successful client relationship starts during the interview phase and it cannot be done using only UW's messaging platform.

 

Instead of trying to construct fail-safes for the inexperienced, lazy, and/or dishonest people, which have the unintended but very real consequence of hamstringing the rest of us, UW should be looking for ways to make sure newbies enter the platform the right way, understanding what's expected of them (and filtering out the scammers)."

 

Community Guru
Kim F Member Since: Aug 26, 2015
78 of 128

@  Lena:

 

Brill.

 

However, it would save everyone a lot of time and angst if instead of simply posting both versions there was an easily accessible note explaining what changes have been made. 

 

And the addition of explanatory notes at the beginning of sections is a good move.

Community Guru
Jess C Member Since: Feb 18, 2015
79 of 128

@Lena E wrote:
Tracye,

That statement is not in the ToS. Nothing has changed in regards to where you can provide contact information.

To clarify:

 

The statement that direct contact information was prohibited prior to accepting a contract WAS included in the first draft that was posted as of the original announcement last Friday.

 

Then we pointed it out (see this post), and Upwork walked it back, restoring the original language that contact information cannot be included in a job post or on profile pages, which is how it has been until now.

 

The additional "explanation" that these Terms were not yet in force served to add confusion, since the Terms themselves state that they ARE in force for any new users, but not for existing users until May 20th.

 

But the main point: Upwork apparently has been considering limiting all direct communication, but has not done so yet. Hopefully they will actually listen to reason and shelve that idea permanently.

Community Guru
Mary W Member Since: Nov 10, 2014
80 of 128

Given the instability of the platform and communications through the platform, I will most likely leave Upwork if I cannot communicate with potential clients except through Upwork.  I've already been dinged - albeit slightly - for not responding to invitations within 24 hours because Upwork did not communicate one invitation to me in a timely fashion.

 

I work almost exclusively with attorneys and they want to speak with me directly, on a real telephone, before hiring me.  It's just how they work.

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