622a4626
Member

Charging me to make a payment? Are you kidding?

I just recieved notice that Upwork wants more money. So I just need to make sure I understand this correctly... upWorks wants to charge me to make a payment?

 

At the same time, I read that upWork is also increasing the fees to freelancers.

 

You do know switching away from upWork is a breeze, right?

 

Did I read this notification correctly?

117 REPLIES 117


@Steve V wrote:

Instead of saying a specious statement like "a growing number" why don't ytou actually give us the percentage? I bet it is less than 5 percent of all jobs. I will no longer post new jobs for freelancers on Upwork.


 Over a third of Upwork's revenue comes from those $ 10k + relationships (source: CEO statement at Townhall Meeting)

 

96% of my lifetime earnings on Upwork comes from $ 10k + client relationships. (though mainly from Enterprise clients so the fee would be the same it is now (10%) as Enterprise clients are excluded from the fee changes altogether. (no 5% benefit, no 20% low value fee) 

animschool
Member

We hire on Upwork and spend lots of money every month, but I feel broadsided by this new 2.75% fee we're being forced to pay. Since we spend a lot, this is a sizeable amount. First you force us to move to this platform from Elance, and we rely on the service for our business. We'll be reassessing our use of Upwork.

lol.PNG

Must be getting pretty bad if they turned off the "Close your account" feature. 

'Close your account feature turned off'. That is amazing. It's kind of like they knew we would all be leaving. So they locked the door.

Hi Thomas,

 

Users can close their Upwork accounts anytime from their Settings. They just need to make sure they don't have open jobs or active proposals. If they need help, they can reach out to customer support for additional assistance. We hope users avoid making an immediate decision like closing accounts until this new pricing takes effect as we believe it will support the community long-term. 

~ Valeria
Upwork
websherpa
Member

Elance and oDesk were passably good services, but obviously not viable as they got absorbed into Upwork, but Upwork has never really worked well (I just migrated because I had to from the other services).  Upwork has a terrible interface, terrible messaging system and task management, poor rating, poor testing and mediation systems, lots of crashes lately and NOW they want to charge a 2.75% fee to Clients and up the small job fees for Freelancers trying to make a start-up??  (Not to mention that the world currencies are suffering under the US$.) Enough is enough. I'm ending contracts in progress and moving my hiring process elsewhere.

 

I think Upwork is also on it's last legs, why else such a drastic move with so little warning. "subsidizing payment processing" my ass.  It's a sinking ship.  I'm outta here with the other rats, and will take my meagre business elsewhere.  😉

 

 


@Wayne P wrote:

Elance and oDesk were passably good services, but obviously not viable as they got absorbed into Upwork, but Upwork has never really worked well (I just migrated because I had to from the other services).  Upwork has a terrible interface, terrible messaging system and task management, poor rating, poor testing and mediation systems, lots of crashes lately and NOW they want to charge a 2.75% fee to Clients and up the small job fees for Freelancers trying to make a start-up??  (Not to mention that the world currencies are suffering under the US$.) Enough is enough. I'm ending contracts in progress and moving my hiring process elsewhere.

 

I think Upwork is also on it's last legs, why else such a drastic move with so little warning. "subsidizing payment processing" my ass.  It's a sinking ship.  I'm outta here with the other rats, and will take my meagre business elsewhere.  😉

 

 


 Actually we had warning that this was coming back in June of last year. They sent a survey out asking if we would pay x amount. Each person got a different survey

 

https://community.upwork.com/t5/Freelancers/Survey-18-fee-Help-us-make-Upwork-Better/m-p/89655/highl...

https://community.upwork.com/t5/Member-Discussions/New-Upwork-Fees-18/m-p/89700/highlight/true#M908

 

 

 


@Suzanne N wrote:

@Wayne P wrote:

Elance and oDesk were passably good services, but obviously not viable as they got absorbed into Upwork, but Upwork has never really worked well (I just migrated because I had to from the other services).  Upwork has a terrible interface, terrible messaging system and task management, poor rating, poor testing and mediation systems, lots of crashes lately and NOW they want to charge a 2.75% fee to Clients and up the small job fees for Freelancers trying to make a start-up??  (Not to mention that the world currencies are suffering under the US$.) Enough is enough. I'm ending contracts in progress and moving my hiring process elsewhere.

 

I think Upwork is also on it's last legs, why else such a drastic move with so little warning. "subsidizing payment processing" my ass.  It's a sinking ship.  I'm outta here with the other rats, and will take my meagre business elsewhere.  😉

 

 


 Actually we had warning that this was coming back in June of last year. They sent a survey out asking if we would pay x amount. Each person got a different survey

 

https://community.upwork.com/t5/Freelancers/Survey-18-fee-Help-us-make-Upwork-Better/m-p/89655/highl...

https://community.upwork.com/t5/Member-Discussions/New-Upwork-Fees-18/m-p/89700/highlight/true#M908

 

 

 


Suzanne we all got different emails depending on our earning level. I was asked if I would be prepared to pay 12%. I can't remember if I answered it or not. Anyway the 12% duly arrived (the +2% only applies to a few people who have to pay VAT).

d05e165d
Member

I got the email too. It is outrageous.

 

If they are paying 2.75% in fees for payment processing, then they really need to find better payment processors. But of course they aren't paying anywhere near that. Some airlines do this, notably AirAsia - who recently wanted to charge me a ridiculous fee for using a credit card. Sometimes we have to suck it up if it's a cheap flight and there is no alternative. But with outsourcing we do have alternatives.

 

Although I'm more pissed off at the hike to providers. 20% is insane.  

 

I was migrated over from Elance, which I liked. I have only just started using UpWork but I won't be sticking around.

 

I suggest UpWork think again about this. The fees for both clients and providers are unfair and downright greedy. 

Posting this to draw some attention to it: the new 2.75% fee on all payments is even worse, because it is non-refundable. Support told me so when I asked:

 

Q: "If you refund a payment (due to cancelled contract), do you refund the 2.75% fee as well?"

 

A: "I have verified that information for you and unfortunately the 2.75% processing fee will not be refunded."

 

In other words, if a freelancer doesn't deliver and the contract is cancelled, you're still on the hook for 2.75% even though Upwork failed as a platform for you...

 

Thanks, but no thanks.


@Vaclav S wrote:

Posting this to draw some attention to it: the new 2.75% fee on all payments is even worse, because it is non-refundable. Support told me so when I asked:

 

Q: "If you refund a payment (due to cancelled contract), do you refund the 2.75% fee as well?"

 

A: "I have verified that information for you and unfortunately the 2.75% processing fee will not be refunded."

 

In other words, if a freelancer doesn't deliver and the contract is cancelled, you're still on the hook for 2.75% even though Upwork failed as a platform for you...

 

Thanks, but no thanks.


Vaclav,

 

May I point out that not Upwork failed in this situation but the freelancer failed. In my experience often enough even the client failed by buying too cheap. 

I can understand a small increase like 2.75%. But I don't understand the need to double a freelancer's fee. Well, I guess I do understand it (mathematically). Freelancers are told by UpWork in this new pricing scheme to charge the client more. So a $100 job will now cost $120. But the freelancer will still not get the full $100 because UpWork is still getting 20% of the new increased price!

 

Standard model:

$100 - 20% = Freelancer is paid $80

UpWork gets $20

 

Now let's say the freelancer charges 20% more to cover the 20% fee:

$120 - 20% = Freelancer is paid $96

UpWork gets $24

 

In order for the freelancer to get the full $100 they need to complete the job and make a decent living they need to charge 25% more:

$125 - 20% = Freelancer is paid $100

Upwork gets $25

 

Now add on top of that the 2.75% (non-refundable) transaction fee the client must pay:

$125 + 2.75% = The client ends up paying $128.43

 

$128 to get a simple $100 project done.

b7c04e24
Member

And the best part is, this payment processing fee is not refunded if you cancel a contract and get a refund (which happened to me twice in the past two months, because the freelancer never finished the job). Quoting support:

 

I have verified that information for you and unfortunately the 2.75% processing fee will not be refunded.  

 

Nice way to profit from Upwork's failure to provide the service they charge for...  By the way, that's the only sentence that addresses my concerns, it was followed by ten or so paragraphs of blatant ad read for how great Upwork is for me. Let's just say I don't see it that way...

odeskstar
Member

Yep - the price hike it ridiculous.  I've been using the odesk/upwork services for several years and have spent thousands of dollars.  I have tolerated the horrible customer service and flaky interface because I appreciate the opportunity to find freelancers and get them paid easily. 

 

That said, it seems they are continuously adding more and more "fluff" that I don't want and won't use but still expect payment for.  I'm thankful that I just closed my last contract for a while and will be looking elseware for future freelancers. 

swakefield
Member


@William H wrote:

I just recieved notice that Upwork wants more money. So I just need to make sure I understand this correctly... upWorks wants to charge me to make a payment?

 

At the same time, I read that upWork is also increasing the fees to freelancers.

 

You do know switching away from upWork is a breeze, right?

 

Did I read this notification correctly?


Charging you something does make sense. After all almost every tool/service Upwork provideds is actually client facing yet you pay nothing while us freelancers have to pay a service fee to fund the tools they give you and also often need to pay the pro membership fee as well.

 

The problem is more that while doing the fair thing and splitting the cost burden between both parties they have then chosen to increase costs for freelancers rather than actually drop the freelancers fee they have made it so all freelancers will end up paying more service fees until they have billed $11k. 

 

6ffcf1af
Member

Notice to UpWork - Actively looking for an alternative


@Russell B wrote:

Notice to UpWork - Actively looking for an alternative


 ............. which is when you will find out that the main competitors all charge clients fees, typically markedly in excess of the 2.75% or $ 25 a month.

 

7885633c
Member

I would love to know specifically where this extra money is going?  I can not find that part in the Email?  Correct me if I am wrong but now the client/my company will pay

 

  • $25/month or $300/year extra
  • Much more per year for all of the freelancers who will simply pass on their extra cost to the client/my company.  This will cost thousands/year to the client.
  • Client will pay $0 in Bonus Payments to the Freelancers who do a great job.  Sorry Freelancers, we love you, but Upwork will be taking the bonus.  

Again, specifics on where all this money is going?      

 

If I get a personal Upwork Robot in the mail this week then I will completely understand Upwork's cost benefit analysis and why this was sent through such a relaxed Email...

 

I do not want to leave Upwork, but that last Email is making it really easy...

Graham Lee Young
PERU › COSTA RICA › PANAMA › USA

In the past, everyone got jobs through employment agencies and many still do.  The client pays the agency a large amount, typically one month's salary for the hire.

 

Many companies now use online payroll services.  I know for a fact that they are billed per transaction.

 

I guess I'm not seeing the difference between what I've written and what Upwork plans for the clients.

Agreed. I'm disappointed, mainly because they introduced this at the same time as they introduced the change to freelancer fees. But I discussed it with my company's accountant and we decided that we're happy to wear it. Of course, I'm in a slightly different situation to probably quite a few clients - I'm part of a medium-sized corporate, not a sole trader or small business.

 

I'm more concerned about the freelancer fees, because I'm worried that my freelancers are going to leave. The nature of the work I use Upwork for (translation) means I have long-term, ongoing relationships with nearly all of my freelancers, so they're all over the $500 lifetime spending mark (and some are over $10,000). And because they're all on ongoing contracts, the 10% fee would be honored anyway. So the amount they are paying on the work they do for me is either the same or less. But I know that many of them are also working for other clients, and several of them do small one-off jobs where their fees will be going up. If they leave, I need to replace them, which I'd rather not do. So I'm watching very closely what happens with this change.


@Jennifer D wrote:

 

I'm more concerned about the freelancer fees, because I'm worried that my freelancers are going to leave. The nature of the work I use Upwork for (translation) means I have long-term, ongoing relationships with nearly all of my freelancers, so they're all over the $500 lifetime spending mark (and some are over $10,000)..


 Jennifer,

 

I doubt you need to be afraid of the freelancers leaving. Most freelances work on several sites anyway. Especially in translations there simply are not enough jobs posted on Upwork to make a living. I myself do English into German translations and after the forced move to Upwork I make half of what I earned on Elance.  My earnings on Upwork don't even represent a quarter of my total earnings. 

99aecc3e
Member

We are a client, and just ended our regular contract with a contractor. We had already surpassed the $500 payment threshhold a while ago to stay at 10%, however the payment fee is just ridiculous. I get it if I was paying via credit card, but if I am paying via bank deposit through ach, there is no reason for there to be a fee.

 

So we have switched to a competing freelance site. Yes, the exodus has begun.

7885633c
Member

We Are the Customer.  We are Your Boss.  Without the Customer Upwork does NOT Exist.  The previous Email clearly confused the 2 roles.

 

BUT lets give Upwork a chance.  Many people are leaving out of emotion without waiting for a response.  I am going to stop working with my Freelancer's until we have an answer.  I have never had a problem with Upwork until now.  I do not think many CEO's get very far if they are not able to forget about their pride and come to an agreement with the customer, especially after reading what everyone is saying.  

 

Our companies new budget for next quarter has changed to the benefit of Upwork.  $16,000 June - September with a $6,000 increase each quarter for the year - $66,000 total - not a lot for Uprwork's total yearly revenue but $66,000 is much better then $0.

 

I am hoping to have a revised Email with a fair payment structure or at least a detailed reason to justifying this sudden exaggerated price increase.  

 

Regards

Graham Lee Young
PERU › COSTA RICA › PANAMA › USA

Without Upwork, Upwork customers don't exist. So I'd say it's more of a symbiotic relationship if anything. We're definitely not Upwork's boss!

"Welcome, humans. I'm ready for you!"
- Box, Logan's Run (1976)

Upwork Customers have the choice of leaving and going to the competition.    If enough go, Upwork goes out of business and they cease to exist as a company as we, the customer are their source of revenue.  This is a common phrase in business as it is true.  That is the great thing about free market!  I 100% admit my customers are my boss and I love it!  

 

Upwork has the power to delete our accounts - but again they are deleting their source of revenue instead of solving the problem.  I am assuming you are being somewhat sarcastic about the actual name "Upwork Customer".  Well you are right about that - the customer - or boss - would have a different name - "xyz company customer", but Upwork would not exist.

 

Anyways I think we are ahead of ourselves.  I am going to give Upwork a chance to redeem themselves before I make the decision for our company to make the move.  

 

 

 

 

 

Graham Lee Young
PERU › COSTA RICA › PANAMA › USA


@graham y wrote:

We Are the Customer.  We are Your Boss.  Without the Customer Upwork does NOT Exist.  The previous Email clearly confused the 2 roles.

 

 


 Graham,

 

In my understanding a customer is the person paying for the service provided. Up to now only the freelancers paid for the service with 

 

- a 10% commission on their earnings

- a monthly fee if they have a paid for account

- a fee of $1 per additional connect, they need 2 connects ($2) just to prepare a proposal

 

No, you are not Upwork's customer. You are the freelancers' customer and the freelancer is Upwork's customer.

Joachim, 

 

You are completely misunderstanding the point of the message.

 

I am looking at it from a client's point of view and you are looking at it from a freelancer's point of view.    

 

You did forget to add that the clients pay the freelancers....which then pay Upwork the commission.  I am 100% on the Freelancer's side but the money you are making that enables you to give Upwork a commission is coming from the clients.  If its not then you are losing money and not quite sure why you would waste your time.  

 

Either way WE are the customers.  You can word it any way you would like, but the point is Upwork is taking advantage of us and if something doesn't change both the freelancers and clients will simply leave.  

 

I have seen posts that most of Upwork's competitions have similar fees and everyone should stop complaining.  A key point Upwork is missing is how this statement actually makes a lot of people think the opposite.  I know for a fact there are at least 3 people currently workng on another site (I am NOT one of those 3+ people so don't put me in the middle of it!).  If I am aware of 3 people I can not begin to think of the actual number of people who saw this crazy raised rate as an opportunity! 

 

It will be interesting to see if these developers continue to work on their new sites if Upwork does decide to listen to their customers.  That will at least prove to me that Upwork cares and actually reading these posts.  You never know, we could be all wrong - Upwork could just start making a ton of money and people will be too afaid to switch.  I am sure they did at least a little research....   

 

 

 

 

Graham Lee Young
PERU › COSTA RICA › PANAMA › USA

Graham,

 

I understood what you were saying very well. It still remains the fact, that the freelancers are paying Upwork out of their earnings. Hence from a sales point of view, strictly speaking, you are consumer on Upwork and the freelancer the customer. From a freelancer's point of view you are the customer. Naturally, in the end you pay as the freelancer has to incorporate the fees into his price. It also clear that Upwork needs both, the freelancer and the clients.

 

With regards to other sites, I work on 3 other sites besides Upwork. I see many of my competitors also working on these other sites, I also see a job postings being published here and on other sites at the same time, mostly it's PPH and Upwork showing the same job posts. The main problem the other sites are having is that they don't attract enough clients for the freelancers. It is also pretty clear that many freelancers will have to raise their prices so at least part of Upwork's raise in commissions will hit you too.

 

At the end of the day I don't think the freelancers really care where their clients find them or where they find the clients. As, at the time of writing the proposal, most sites keep the client secret (Upwork being strictest in this) we as freelancers don't even know the client until the order is finalised, often even not then. 

thanhngo98
Member

Let's look at the pricing policy of some big companies:

 

Ebay never charges buyers to buy products on its website. In addition, Ebay only charges sellers 10% to sell products on its website.  Certainly, we all know that Ebay has always been a very successful and profitable business for a long time. One of the main reasons for their success is that they keep the fees low and reduce the cost for both buyers and sellers.

 

Upwork is tring to find many funny excuses justify the new clients' fee (2.75%), and freelancers' fee (20%).  That is so unreasonble.  

 

I know that Upwork moderators will argue that Ebay and Upwork are in a 2 different types of business.  

 

But, my point is that Ebay is a HUGE (GIANT) company and they intentionally keep their fees low because they know that this is a the BEST strategy to grow their business and be successful.  Keeping the cost or fees low for buyers and sellers if Ebay's BEST business strategy.  

 

For now, Upwork is unfortunately following the business model of other freelance competitors, which is to increase the fees. This may work in the short term for Upwork. But, in the long run, some new freelance websites with a low cost/fee business model, will be launched and will attract most clients/freelancers.

 

Like I've said elsewhere, 2 of my 13 active freelancer relationships are over $10,000. So there's definitely relationships like that around.

 

And comparing to eBay is pointless because they're completely different business models. Better to compare to a rival company in the same industry. The first comparison I made showed that Upwork's biggest competitor charges both Freelancers AND clients a percentage fee of every job, and also charges clients a payment processing fee...And also has extra fees for a bunch of other things as well. So it looks to me like Upwork is simply bringing themselves in line with the industry. Which still sucks for those of us who were enjoying their previous fee structure, but if it's industry standard then where are all these people saying they're leaving going to go? 

Well said, Jennifer!


@Jennifer D wrote:

Better to compare to a rival company in the same industry. The first comparison I made showed that Upwork's biggest competitor charges both Freelancers AND clients a percentage fee of every job, and also charges clients a payment processing fee...And also has extra fees for a bunch of other things as well. So it looks to me like Upwork is simply bringing themselves in line with the industry. Which still sucks for those of us who were enjoying their previous fee structure, but if it's industry standard then where are all these people saying they're leaving going to go? 


 Jennifer,

 

That is something freelancers and clients looking for an alternative will quickly realize. Most freelancer sites remain more expensive even after the new fees will have been implemented.

I don't like the idea of Upwork charging clients a payment processing fee. But I understand the economics and I feel like even with the fee, clients stand to save a lot of money by intelligently using Upwork's services.

 

Ultimately the fees are not a philosophical issue, but an economc one:

 

If I have this service done using an Upwork contractor, I ended up paying $X.

If I have this service done using a local contractor or using a different platform, I ended up paying $Y.

 

Given the quailty and value and cost, which do I prefer?

 

The sum experience and cost and value is how I should evalute this, rather than looking at one or two specific fees.

 

Client SHOULD NOT be "loyal" to one specific source. Client should use Upwork OR another online service OR local contractors OR employees, depending on which one best furthers the interests of their business.

 

I hire on Upwork. But I also hire people using CraigsList and I also hire people based on searching the Internet for local companies that provide services I need.

This true.  This is the 2nd article that Forbes has run in two weeks on the Upwork price increase.  This is going to create opportunities for competiting sites:

 

 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/elainepofeldt/2016/05/07/freelance-giant-upworks-new-pricing-model-spark...

I am concerned with the upcoming charge starting June 2016, paying 2.75% per payment with Upwork? It doesn't make sense. You are charging both the Client and Freelancer.

 

If I will not agree to pay the new charg, what will happen? I want to stick with the old method since I've been with this platform for quite sometime now.

 

I hope that you can reply my message the soonest posssible time, before I get charged for something I don't agree with.

 

Thanks and best regards,

 

Michael Andreas

vladag
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Michael,

 

Thanks for participating in this discussion. It is your choice whether you decide to agree to the new ToS, but Upwork hopes that you will in order to continue being a member of our community. Complying with the changes is a requirement to continue to use Upwork after June 2 when the new ToS become effective. You can view the updated Terms of Service here.

Untitled
ceidauilyc
Member

For posting the 'P' in the Breeze, my post got blacked out. 

Kudos to your write up.

We have to keep guessing upwork's plans. 😄

Its like they want us to raise the rates (in response to the community topic- How can Upwork Help Freelancers with their rates', but the addition should go into their pockets. 

Well, let's see what comes off it.

Geo Maria George
pdestefanis
Member

Hey William,


Have you found other sites? I'm getting more inflamed by the day with UpWork, and I'm considering moving out my most expensive contracts.

 

Thank you

91e3fc34
Member

Yes, absolutely crazy situation.... I am going to be looking for alternative solutions. 


@Lance L wrote:

Yes, absolutely crazy situation.... I am going to be looking for alternative solutions. 


 Just so you know your "Alternatives" will be more. 

"Fairness is giving all people the treatment they earn and deserve. It doesn't mean treating everyone alike-Coach John Wooden"