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Re: Terms of Service Update 2018

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

Evidently Upwork is unaware of this or chooses not to believe it, but that's how numerous potential Clients work.  Of course as with many items I'm confident that that varies with individuals' fields of expertise. 

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

We discuss highly sensitive issues (medical records, for example) before I am hired.  My clients do not want that type of discussion going through a third party platform.

Community Guru
Joseph C Member Since: Jan 22, 2016
83 of 128

As like Mary W., as a Certified Public Accountant, preparing tax returns and other matters, my prospective clients want to discuss confidential information via a telephone call, not on a 3rd party platform either.

 

Joe

 

 

Joseph M. C. ,P.C., CPA/ABV
Community Guru
Pat M Member Since: Jun 18, 2016
84 of 128

As in Mary's Legal area and Joe's Accounting area, I sincerely can not at all even vaguely imagine potential Clients in my Sales/Marketing area not wanting to speak with me via telephone at least once PRIOR to the Offer/Contract.  Off-platform is the most dependable way to accomplish that.   

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

Given the amount of time it is taking Moderators to respond to specific questions about these new documents, and the number of changes that are not detailed in the announcement post but are only coming to light as VOLUNTEERS do the comparing and contrasting between the new terms and the old terms, I'd like to suggest that you extend the time until the changes go into effect to at least June 20 instead of May 20.

 

This document was very obviously not ready for public consumption and users require more time to determine how the changes will affect how we do business going forward.

 

Questions that have not been fully addressed, just from replies to this thread, are:

 

1. Because this is a hot-button, let's be crystal clear. Though the issue of providing direct contact information between clients and freelancers prior to entering into a contract was quickly walked back, is it likely that this change WILL go into effect sometime in the near future?

 

2. Feedback questions from Stephen E. L posted in this reply

 

3. Questions regarding the "age of majority" requirements from Kim F in this reply

 

4. Definitions of "timely" and "complete" as highlighted by Kim F in this post

 

5. Explanation of trademarking the word "Up" pointed out by Isabelle Anne A in this post

 

6. Questions regarding the sale or transfer of profiles from John K in this reply

 

7. Questions about translating the new documents into other languages, asked by several users

 

8. Clarity needed on the language covering disputes, as asked by Reiner B here

 

9. Serious confusion over new language about hourly sub-contracting, brought up by me and by Ela K, most recently here

 

10. And the apparent omission of explicit rules against account sharing, also discussed in that post.

 

Clear answers and full transparency is REQUIRED when it comes to changes that may fundamentally alter how users do business on Upwork. The initial assertion that this was merely an update, with "no major changes," is simply ludicrous given this relatively small list brought up by, again, VOLUNTEERS.

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

All, thank you very much for your careful reading of the Terms of Service.   Even though we are answering these questions, it’s important to remember that the Terms of Service are the binding contract.  If there is every any doubt, you should go back and read the Terms of Service.

 

  1. Because this is a hot-button, let's be crystal clear. Though the issue of providing direct contact information between clients and freelancers prior to entering into a contract was quickly walked back, is it likely that this change WILL go into effect sometime in the near future?

 

The language is not in the Terms of Service - as I explained repeatedly, we will give you advance notice of this change if we ultimately make the change.  Your feedback on the possible change has been noted.

 

  1. Feedback questions from Stephen E. L posted in this reply

 

None of the language Stephen asked about is new to this version of the Terms of Service.  However, we’ve taken a moment to explain anyway. First, note that feedback may be shown, for example, in search results alongside details from a user’s profile.  

In addition, legally, hiring an employee and engaging an independent contractor are different, so we are comfortable with the language about a “similar decision” being accurate.  

With respect to the point about Freelancers JSS being inaccurate - while many users are not satisfied with their JSS, that does not mean it is erroneous or inaccurate. If users reach out to customer service about their JSS, they will be provided a summary of why their score is the way it is.  

 

  1. Questions regarding the "age of majority" requirements from Kim F in this reply

 

Users must be able to enter into legally binding contracts in order to use Upwork - that is the requirement here.  If anyone on this thread is under 18 and would like to know how this provision relates to them, we advise you to reach out to your own legal advisors.

 

  1. Definitions of "timely" and "complete" as highlighted by Kim F in this post

 

Both “timely” and “complete” are common words that do not need definitions in the Terms of Service.  If you are asked to comply with Upwork’s identity verification process, you will be given information on the process.

 

  1. Explanation of trademarking the word "Up" pointed out by Isabelle Anne A in this post

 

This is not a question about the application of the Terms of Service.  If you have questions about the enforceability of the Upwork Mark Use Guidelines, we recommend you speak to your own advisors.

 

  1. Questions regarding the sale or transfer of profiles from John K in this reply

 

This is not a change. Users have never been permitted to transfer or sell user profiles without Upwork’s consent.  For example, in the older version of the Site Terms of Use, it states that users are prohibited from “Selling, trading, or giving an account to another person without Upwork’s consent.”  

 

  1. Questions about translating the new documents into other languages, asked by several users

 

Upwork operates in English and the English version of the Upwork Terms of Service controls, as stated in the older version of the User Agreement (Section 22.9) and the new version of the User Agreement (Section 15.6).  Although we will consider translating this agreement into other languages, even if we did so, users would be responsible to comply with the English language version.

 

  1. Clarity needed on the language covering disputes, as asked by Reiner B here

 

It’s not clear what the question is in this post about disputes. 

 

  1. Serious confusion over new language about hourly sub-contracting, brought up by me and by Ela K, most recently here

We believe our explanation was clear and, given that we have always had agencies on Upwork that enabled freelancers to subcontract on hourly projects, this is not a change.   If you have questions about how this applies to you and your ability to use sub-contractors, please reach out to your own advisors.

 

  1. And the apparent omission of explicit rules against account sharing, also discussed in that post.

 

There was no omission of rules against account sharing  Please refer to the updated Site Terms of Use: “The following are examples of uses that are prohibited on the Site or when using the Site Services: . . . Duplicating or sharing accounts;”



Again, thank you for spending the time to become familiar with these important documents.  The Terms of Service is a legal document and the terms set forth will go into effect May 20th for all existing users. To allow you to carefully review the terms we are giving you thirty days to read through the document and become familiar with the terms. We believe 30 days is more than enough time. We’ve taken some time to answer the questions Jess outlined as they apply generally, but if you have questions about how the terms apply to your specific situation, or continuing your use of Upwork after these go into effect, please reach out to your legal advisors.

 

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

@Lena E wrote:

All, thank you very much for your careful reading of the Terms of Service.   Even though we are answering these questions, it’s important to remember that the Terms of Service are the binding contract.  If there is every any doubt, you should go back and read the Terms of Service.


 

While I thank you for taking the time to go through this list, you have not clearly answered ANY of the questions asked. None!

 

"Refer to your own legal advisors" is a serious cop out. Upwork employees should be able to reasonably clarify the meaning of aspects of the Terms of Service when asked.

 

We're asking specific questions about the language in this update, and you are merely referring back to the same language instead of clarifying or giving any sense that you care about transparency or users' clear understanding of what is and isn't allowed. This is extremely disappointing, but, unfortunately, not unexpected.

 

I'm done wasting my time hoping for better.

Highlighted
Community Guru
Ela K Member Since: Feb 9, 2015
88 of 128

"Bugger off and ask your own people - we did a great job. It's you, not us" said UW's lawyers.

 

Anyway, my "own legal advisors" wouldn't be native English speakers, so not much help. I am sure somebody is sorry for the inconvenience this is causing.

 

IMHO, neither mod nor the legal people managed to explain the issue in a way that helps lift the 'confusion'. If the new 2.1 talks, indeed, about hourly contracts and agencies - why not simply say so? The language here and in other places is ambiguous and leaves room for interpretation. Coincidence or conspiracy?

 

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

As Jess said....and as usual we get the vague and pandering answers! 

"The language is not in the Terms of Service - as I explained repeatedly, we will give you advance notice of this change if we ultimately make the change.  Your feedback on the possible change has been noted."

I want a simple YES you CAN provide or ask for contact information PRIOR to entering to hiring, is that so difficult??

I am tired of vague, open to interpretaion answers like, it has been "walked back"!! That leaves it open ended and up to some low level under paid support staff's interpretaion.

Upwork track record for interpreting ANYTHING in favor of the freelancer is DISMAL!!! 

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

Tracye,

 

I'm sorry that you're finding our answers unclear. Yes, you can provide contact info prior to entering a contract in private communication, as the process has always been. There has been no change to this. 

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