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Updates to Upwork Messages

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Employee
Selina L Employee Member Since: Sep 8, 2018
31 of 41

While we continue to iterate on the video calling experience based on your feedback, we would like to introduce a new way to join video calls. As of last Friday, all users now have an option to join or initiate a call in Upwork Messages by dialing a phone number. Local phone numbers are available in some countries. When joining by phone, you will be asked to enter a pin code, and we will connect you to the call. Each user will have a unique pin code and the pin code will be used to identify you when you join a call. This alternative way of joining calls is easy and convenient. Check out the announcement posted here for more information. Try it out and let us know how it works for you.

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Active Member
Robin S Member Since: Jul 24, 2020
32 of 41

Overall, I love the Upwork platform. As a freelancer, it gives me access to clients that I would never have otherwise. My freelancing business has profited as a result. There is one thing that is beginning to put a drag on my business though. 

 

Since the new communication rules went into effect, I have had multiple attempts to use the video or audio call to talk to a client and none worked. I did get audio to work on one of them (on the third try), but no video.  This is frustrating clients, and based on the number that would not contact me after pointing out the rules I firmly believe it is costing clients. 

 

Question: Where should I be reporting these failed attempts? 

Is there a status on getting this fixed, since it is required for us to use pre-contract? 

 

Giving the call 1 star and listing everything that goes wrong has given me no feedback and no indication that anything is being done. 

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Moderator
Valeria K Moderator Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
33 of 41

Hi Robin,

 

Sorry to hear about the issues you experienced with recent calls. I will share your feedback with the team so they could look into it and identify the problem. In the meantime, please check the tips shared in this Help article. A lot of reports of issues with calls we see are caused by the permissions settings. Feel free to share this article with your clients if you experienced a similar issue in the future (the article link is already available in the call window.)

Also in the call window, you'll see a way to contact Customer Support to receive direct assistance with call issues. Finally, we recently introduced a dial-in option in Messages, which can be used when experiencing connectivity issues. 

 

(Note: Your post has been merged into a related thread.)

~ Valeria
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Community Guru
Wendy C Member Since: Aug 24, 2015
34 of 41

Until (and IF) Upwork's messaging system can prove as reliable, consistent, effective, and user-friendly as Zoom - or even Skype - trying to coerce or intimidate buyers and/or freelancers into depending on a faulty system is insane.

 

Silly a it sounds, fix the darn system (and no blathering about check this, that, or the other > we've all been around that block more than once) and try trusting those of us who have played straight with you for years and many many dollars.

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Active Member
Robin S Member Since: Jul 24, 2020
35 of 41

Please note, I am DESPERATELY trying to follow the rules, but this is just not working. 

 

Thanks for the help article, but to be honest it was little help. The help article directs me to look for icons that only exist in a call ... a call that I cannot establish. They are working fine in Zoom, so the assumption is they are not blocked. That is the only thing it told me to check.  As such, I will provide the results of the calls hoping this will help your troubleshooting team. 

 

For the record, I am using the latest version of Google Chrome, on automatic updates. 

 

When I tried the calls it went like this: (Provided to assist in troubleshooting)  

First client

- First attempt: Client cannot hear me. Hang up try again. 

- Second attempt: Client can hear me, but I cannot hear client. 

- Third attempt: We can hear each other, but video will not engage on either end. (Note: My camera and audio are not blocked as I had just used Zoom and Skype for calls.) Conducted interview view voice, but could not share screens which client wanted to do. 

- Note audio works on alternate calls: Translation: Not blocking from Google Chrome. 

 

Second client: 

- First attempt: I cannot hear client. Hang up, try again

- Second attempt: Client cannot hear me. Hang up and try again

- Third attempt: neither side can hear ... give up. 

- Note audio works on alternate calls: Translation: Not blocking from Google Chrome. 

 

Third client

- First attempt: Client initiated: Client can hear me, I can not hear the client over the incredibly loud static coming from my speakers (which should be coming from my headset earphones). Hang up, try again. 

- Second attempt: I initiated: Client can still hear me, but nothing but static on my end and still on my speakers. Gave up. 

- Note: Audio came through ... so not blocking by Google Chrome. 

 

NOTE: on this one, I did not have the ability to chose my microphone, sound system or camera and it makes a difference on time of day in my house, as one camera is blinded by the sun. It also came out my speakers, vice my headset. Actually, thankfully on that as the static would have blown my eardrums in my headset.  

 

Add to that, I have had several clients that when I pointed to the rules that we have to use the system, they ghosted me. No comments. No returns on the text. Never called. Would not answer my call.

 

Some useful features to add to the system: 

- Ability to call a dummy location to check your hardware and practice on the equipment instead of bugging clients. It is also unprofessional to be learning the software as you are talking to the client (so how do you share screen? )

- Ability to check your equipment before entering a call (for example, see zoom). 

- Abilty to choose your equiment before entering a call so you are using the best equipment for your environment. 

 

Please note: My comments are purposeful to help troubleshooting and not as a slam on the system. They also go to show the reputation your communication system has (losing clients). And lists 3 options that would REALLY HELP us as we are forced to use this currently broken system (not a slam, a statement of fact ... 1/9 attempts at audio and then only on the third try, 0/9 attempts on video). 

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Community Guru
Pandora H Member Since: May 11, 2010
36 of 41

Robin S wrote:

Please note, I am DESPERATELY trying to follow the rules, but this is just not working. 

 

Please note: My comments are purposeful to help troubleshooting and not as a slam on the system. They also go to show the reputation your communication system has (losing clients). And lists 3 options that would REALLY HELP us as we are forced to use this currently broken system (not a slam, a statement of fact ... 1/9 attempts at audio and then only on the third try, 0/9 attempts on video). 


The fact that you even include that last statement proves that your not trying to circumvent, and you SHOULD be HORRIBLY upset that we are being forced to use such a buggy tool to avoid being banned.

 

Also, thank you for posting all that. Might want to send in a ticket to the CS department too. 

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Active Member
Robin S Member Since: Jul 24, 2020
37 of 41

I would love to ... how? 

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Community Guru
Pandora H Member Since: May 11, 2010
38 of 41

Robin S wrote:

I would love to ... how? 


Go to: https://support.upwork.com/hc/en-us

From there, you have to be patient and navigate the Bot, which you can access via the bright green button on the lower right of the help page. 

 

Treat it like a stupid Phone AI and you should eventually get the ability to submit a ticket. Before you ask me why Upwork makes it so hard to submit a ticket: Because they would rather WE, the freelancer userbase, provide support from within the Upwork Forums. Yes, really.

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Moderator
Valeria K Moderator Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
39 of 41

Thanks for sharing this information, Robin. I'll have one of our agents reach out to you directly and help troubleshoot.

~ Valeria
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Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
40 of 41

Valeria K wrote:

Thanks for sharing this information, Robin. I'll have one of our agents reach out to you directly and help troubleshoot.


To be honest, there is little point troubleshooting individual users' issues.

At this point in time, the tool does not work reliably or consistently for a significant number of users

 

I am now at a point where I simply decline any interviews where the client wants to talk over a call. I am not ever putting myself through that stress again.

 

Fix the tool or roll back the changes which hugely favour cheats and put those of us who stick to the rules at a huge disadvantage.

 

 

 

 

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