I am new to Upwork. My first week was extremely positive in regards to freelancer performance and Upwork customer service. But a week ago today my account was suspended, for allegedly being linked to the accounts of those whom I hired. I was asked to provide documentation to verify my identity. Here are things that I have learned over the last week of repeated denials and resubmissions for verification.
1) Your name on your Upwork profile must match exactly the name on your documentation. If you tried to use initials or nicknames, you need to request that your official profile name be updated to reflect your legal name or your request for verification will be denied. Upwork, please add a statement at the time of registration that says something to the effect of, "Use your legal name here as it appears on official documentation, which you may be requested to submit at a later time."
2) Your documents must not appear to be black and white photocopies of documents. If your bank statement issuer mails you a black and white statement, this will not be enough. You are not allowed to alter the color of your documentation, so if your statement issuer mails your statements in black and white, you must find a different statement to use, or your verification request will be denied. Upwork, please make it clear that you will not accept documentation that uses gray-scale colors, which can be taken for altering the colors or scanning only in black-and-white. Please make it clear that the documents MUST be in color, if that is your actual policy.
3) PDFs are not accepted. If your scanner produces PDFs by default, so either change that setting or create a JPEG prior to attempting to submit your documents.
4) Each time your verification request is denied and you have to resubmit, you may or may not be given all of the disqualifying information about your documentation. The color issue wasn't mentioned in my case until the second attempt. Each time you are asked to resubmit, you start the process fresh and at the back of the line. Upwork, when reviewing verification documentation, please be thorough about all problematic issues the first time. This will save your customers time when resubmitting as well as shorten queues for documentation review, since you will not be so backlogged.
5) After some more research, I have come across people who state their verification was denied because of issues with the photos. One person had his claim denied because the photo on the official documentation appeared to be altered. Another was denied because the photo in the official documentation "didn't look similar" to the photo in his user profile. This leads me to believe that the verification team requires that users upload a photo to their profile, which they will then use to cross check the official documentation. Upwork, if you require a photo in the profile, do not make it optional when registering for an account. It is very misleading to make a photo optional during registration, only to find out it's not optional during verification.
IMO, this is pretty much garbage from the client side of things. I bring the money, I just want to pay for a service. Why do I have to build a profile? My money draws workers, not my looks. But I went ahead and uploaded a photo of myself (against my better judgment, because I enjoy anonymity as much as the next person). If Upwork declines my application again, I may scream at something. Probably my cat, since he's the closest thing to me. Poor cat.
Also, Upwork, I respectfully suggest that, if you require your customers to upload photos of themselves, that you also require the same of your staff. I have been working with a faceless entity on my ticket, and it's very disconcerting that he can see my face but I cannot see his.
Hope this saves someone else trouble. The way this company has been treating me, I don't feel like Upwork really wants or appreciates my business. I will try one more time and then probably peace out.