Vladimir, thanks for your input.
I am sharing my experience to learn from the replies and someone else's experience in those matters. I have not named the Freelancer, Job number or the job particulars. And clearly didn't break any rules.
re: "Seems a bit odd that something so common in the professional world would be frowned upon on a freelance site where the number one complaint is dealing with unprofessional users."
Corey, I don't disagree with you that this is a practice in the brick & mortar world.
I think there are simply too many "bad apples" and scoundrels among Upwork contractors for it to be a good idea to pay up-front fees.
It IS possible for clients to pay up-front fees, but I think the practice is too easily abused. Unlike hiring somebody in person, who you meet face-to-face, and who lives in the same community that you do, hiring on Upwork entails hiring strangers who can too easily take the money and run.
Keep in mind that Upwork doesn't prohibit paying up-front fees to contractors.
But my recommendation is for all clients to NOT do so.
The escrow program is sufficient. Keep in mind what Upwork funded milestones mean: The money has ALREADY been charged to the client's credit card. The money is ALREADY waiting for the contractor, to be released to her once she finishes the work. This is very safe.
The freelancer WILL get paid unless the client refuses to pay AND the freelancer agrees to that decision.
Preston, whether it is bricks and moror, or otherwise, the ability to charge an upfront work fee should not be across the board, frowned upon. If a clent is comfortable with a freelancer, whether it be as a result of an interview, reliance on the JSS and/or past reviews, it should be totally up to the client whether they pay an upfront or not.
Depending on the nature of work, if the real world practice calls for the ability to get an upfront fee then it should also be an alternative on Upwork. Afterall, isn't the goal of freelance sites like Upwork, to become a real world hiring alternative?
Well, it IS an alternative. It IS allowed.
But why would you want it? I just don't understand why a freelancer would want to have that hanging over their head. The money is guaranteed to be there because escrow is funded.
Is it just fear of not getting paid, even though escrow is funded?
I have no fear of any client trying to not pay me. They want what I produce too much to try to rip me off. I'm much more afraid of not completing a project and owing something to the client.
It is BAD for a freelancer to agree to do a fixed-price project and not deliver. It is FAR WORSE to fail to deliver work you've already received money for.
I don't ask for upfront payments on Upwork but I do insist that the money is placed in escrow (all of the money).
In my work off-site, I require a 50 percent upfront payment before I begin work. I have yet to run into a client who has a problem with this.
@Kim W wrote:
Because it IS the way some of us work in the "brick and mortar" world.
That is because in the "brick and mortar world" neither client nor freelancer have Escrow.
Here they do.
A freelancer asking for up front payments in an environment that has Escrow will set off every warning bell going in an experienced client.
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