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Charging me to make a payment? Are you kidding?

Community Guru
Joachim M Member Since: Mar 23, 2015
51 of 118

@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.



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. 

Active Member
Thomas A Member Since: May 3, 2016
52 of 118

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.

Active Member
Vaclav S Member Since: May 4, 2016
53 of 118

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...

Active Member
Peggy S Member Since: Mar 21, 2015
54 of 118

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. 

Community Leader
Simon W Member Since: Mar 7, 2008
55 of 118

@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. 


Active Member
Russell B Member Since: May 5, 2016
56 of 118

Notice to UpWork - Actively looking for an alternative

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
57 of 118

@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.


Active Member
graham y Member Since: Nov 4, 2015
58 of 118

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
Community Guru
Mary W Member Since: Nov 10, 2014
59 of 118

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.

Community Guru
Jennifer D Member Since: Feb 15, 2016
60 of 118

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.