Lately I was through the next flow:
It's more than 2 weeks neither my freelancer or myself cannot get the money I have sent.
Am I asking for too much?
I apologize for the inconvenience and the delay. I have followed up with the team about your ID verification and account suspension. Could you please submit a statement for the payment method you have added to your Upwork account?
Thank you for your answer
Of course I can and that document I have already attached in the previous 2 attempts - it's an Isracard (Israeli credit card company) statement connected directly to the card used as payment method in our paypal account...
Maybe what you need is a paypal statement? But there is no paper statement of paypal... Only digital reports...
Sent both of them in the private message to you.
Thank you for your help.
It's disappointing that clients are treated this way. I have not found my experience in the verification process to be positive or reasonable thus far (my bank statement was deemed unacceptable because it was not in color--but it was a color scan of the exact black-and-white statement I received in the mail).
Very disappointing, when we're the ones bringing our wallets to the service.
Everything in blue is kind of ranty backstory. You can skip it to get to my point!
I've been lurking through the forums looking for places to complain about my current suspension. But really that doesn't accomplish much except maybe entertain myself for a minute at a time. So here's my ordeal.
I started my account two weeks ago. The first week was great. Most of my freelancers were doing excellent work, and the one time I needed CS help, I got it super fast. Carlo was kind of amazing in how quick and effective he was in addressing my issues. Like a bawss. But I digress.
A week ago, my account was suspended. A couple hours after, I got a notice about the suspension and the reason why. Upon review, my account appeared "linked" to 11 other accounts (those belonging to people whom I had hired for my job). I was confused by this term, and requested clarification. I got silence. But it's okay, because I'm a resourceful lady and figured out they meant my account appeared to be owned and/or controlled by the same person or people who owned and/or controlled those other accounts. The T&C does not use the term "linked" to describe instances of owning multiple accounts, but hopefully Upwork will address that to make the language more consistent in their correspondences with customers. I digress again.
It took me a while to figure out what was meant by "linked" and in the meantime I tried explaining every other possible infringement I could have done. I explained that I only pay and communicate with my freelancers via Upwork, insisting that my CSR check out our messages. I also cleared Upwork with my bank, as I believed at one point that the issue was suspected card fraud. I assured my CSR that it was taken care of, but he was still silent. Finally after a few days, he asked me to explain why my account appears linked to those other accounts. I'm still not sure if I made my case well enough, because the best I can do is point out that Upwork brought our accounts together and linked us that way. I had never met my freelancers before connecting with them on Upwork, and I do not access anyone's account but my own.
Anyway, my CSR (Eli) requested I complete ID verification. At this point, I was already frustrated, because IMO, contacting my card issuer to assure that Updesk gets paid is all the verification really needed. But fine. I submit a color scan of my passport and a student loan bill (I don't have utilities in my name, and I share a joint bank account with someone who is not comfy with me sending bank statements to Internet people).
My first attempt at ID verification was declined because the name on my profile did not match the name on my documents. Again, this is frustrating, because I feel like as long as the name on my documents matches the name on my METHOD OF PAYMENT, all should be good, no? No. I had enjoyed a degree of anonymity my first week by using initials. I was very sad when Upwork said No to that. But fine. I resubmitted my the same documents after requesting my profile name be changed to reflect the name on my documents.
My second attempt at ID verification also failed. This time it was because the student loan bill was not in color. I looked closely at the language of the ID verification guidelines. It says you must not alter the colors of the documents, but it does not say the documents must be in color. My statement issuer mailed that statement to me in greyscale and I scanned it just as I did my passport, using color settings on my scanner. I don't even know the actual tones the statement is supposed to come in. My frustration rose because, for the address verfication component, that seemed like such a petty reason to deem a document unacceptable. Especially one as legit as a student loan bill. Student loan holders don't play. You can even see the folded lines where the statement was stuffed into an envelope for postal delivery!
Anyway, for my third attempt, I submitted a color scan of my DL and a color sort-of-printout statement from my card-issuing bank. I think this will be acceptable this time, because even if the statement doesn't pan out, my DL has my address printed right on it. But I worry that some other undisclosed flaw will result in my request being declined.
I want to make sure all my little ducks are lined up in a row before my ID-verify request is reviewed again. To this end, even though I really hate the idea of having my name AND my face here for all the world to see, I have uploaded a picture to my profile. I read somewhere that one guy got declined because his profile picture wasn't "similar enough" to his official ID picture. I didn't even have a picture uploaded for my first two attempts, and I suspect this would have become a problem for attempt 3, even if it hasn't been mentioned so far in my communications with the ID-verify team. They really need to look at documents closely the FIRST time so they can tell you ALL the problems they see in one shot, rather than play this game of back-and-forth. Such a waste of everyone's time.
Anyway, I want to know if there is ANYTHING else I need to do with my profile to make sure the ID-verify people don't toss back my request with another bunk delay? A third denial, given everything else I have done and the very sensitive documentation I have submitted in good faith for scrutiny by these strangers, would be extremely disheartening, and likely make me give up, close shop and request my money in escrow back.
But assuming my ID verification will go through this time, I went ahead and compiled screenshots of ALL communications (interviews AND ongoing discussions about the job) between mine and the other accounts in question. I read somewhere that this may become another request. I took screenshots of 11 conversations (some of them lengthy) and submitted those in my ticket. Not having this requested of me yet, I don't know if there's a format I should have followed, but I uploaded them anyway. What would have been super helpful is if Upwork in that first suspension email had given me instructions about everything I'd need to prepare and how to prepare it. Maybe if I had Carlo on my side, I wouldn't feel like I'm fumbling in the dark here. I miss Carlo. Can I have Carlo?
I'm very tired of these delays, especially when the team requests that I follow through with their procedures quickly, but are themselves sluggish in getting back to me. I am super frustrated and feel I am not being treated as a valued customer. Why is Upwork making it so hard for me to give them my money?
So this morning I got news that my ID has been verified finally. Only took 3 attempts.
I notified the CSR in my ticket. If he gives me a hard time about submitting message screenshots (which I've already attached to the ticket) and delays lifting the suspension any longer, my frustration may reach its tipping point.
But hopefully CSR Eli will come through for me.
Come on, Eli. You can do it!