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xahntra
Member

Declined Invitations

Hello,

 

For some time now every time an invited freelancer declines the invitation I just get a simple message saying that it was declined. As I am also a freelancer, I know that you have to provide a reason to decline the invitation and this would be very helpful for clients to know. Sometimes they are just busy and I'd like to know if it would be alright to contact them again in the future. Sometimes the budget is too low, and if I can't offer more then I know I can't contact them again, but if I can offer more if the freelancer is really experienced, I would like to still contact them and ask them for a quote or consider them in the future.

 

Before they changed again the platform, I could at least go to the freelancers invitation (aftr following a series a steps) and find out what option they had chosen. But with the new platform this is impossible. I only get the message that the freelancer declined the interview.

 

Marissa

68 REPLIES 68

Hi Marissa,

Your post is very interesting...

 

I'm a freelancer - when I decline I always tick a reason and include a small message, - I expect the Client might read it.

 

Are you saying that Clients don't have the facility to read my explanations?

 

Can a moderator advise on this please.

If I remember correctly, there's a little message from Upwork that says something along the lines of 'We will politely let the client know you've declined the application.'

 

On recent invites I've gone into more detail about why I'm declining, which isn't always kind to the client. My message is more to Upwork - as in, stop allowing clients to post these jobs/not provide adequate information/post in the wrong section/ask for free work/etc.

 

Maybe Upwork doesn't want to pick and choose when it should give the whole reason or just a partial reason to remain 'polite', so it is sticking to a standard 'freelancer declined' message for everyone.

Lisa,

 

If you put this message next to the "other" option, then it won't arrive to the client. But if you out it in the box below then it will be sent to the client.


@Marissa A wrote:

Lisa,

 

If you put this message next to the "other" option, then it won't arrive to the client. But if you out it in the box below then it will be sent to the client.


 Is this just something that you've observed or is there an official Upwork explanation for this procedure? That would be very interesting, because many times my message is strictly to Upwork. For example, I got an invite from a client a while back that required an unpaid 'test job' as part of the application.

 

I eventually declined for 'asking for free work' but in messaging with the client I explained that free work was against the TOS. He claimed that Upwork told him a small sample test job was acceptable and didn't fall under the free work category. So when I declined the invite, I wrote a message to Upwork in the box below describing the situation and telling them to clarify the policies because people were obviously confused.

 

It would be unfortunate if these messages actually went to the client when it's the Upwork TOS that I was really criticizing in my response.

I say this because of my own experience as a client. Only sometimes I get a detailed message from the freelancer saying why they have declined the invitation (in their own words).

 

The only message box when you decline says:

Include a Message (optional)

 

So I believe that's where they input their message and that's what I receive as a client.

 

It doesn't say anywhere the message is for Upwork.

 

As a freelancer I always assumed the message was for the client and that's what my experience as a client has proven.

I never give a reason unless the budget is really low. Then I choose budget too low. I don't trust the algorithms to stop sending me invites if I choose "too busy" or something like that. I'm always up for contracts if the price is right.

 

So, I always choose "other" and just put letters in there if it's not for me. Keeps any algorithm confused so they still keep sending them regardless of my current workload.

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences. Iโ€™d like to address your remaining questions and feedback:

  • Your availability settings can only be changed by you, and are not affected by declining a job. However, if youโ€™re consistently declining invitations we will evaluate this information do things like show a pop-up window recommending for you to change your availability settings, again we wont do this for you. 

  • The reason you choose for declining an invite wonโ€™t count against you. It is useful informatiion for us to collect regarding the job. 

  • Lastly, we are considering a change on how the decline page is displayed to make it clear what information is and is not shared with the client. Thanks for your feedback on this page.

-Lena

Untitled

Hi Lena,

 

Why did Upwork decide it isn't relevant for the clients to know the reason why their invitation is being declined? Why will this information remain hidden? As I mentioned before, if you decline using the app then there's no option to send a personalized message, you just select a reason and that's it! I guess your idea moving forward will be to get more and more people using the app as well and add more features, but if this is just going to stay like this, it's going to be a hassle for clients to know the reasons and to know if it is ok to reach the freelancer for future projects (for example if he/she is busy at the time) or not (if the job is not a fit for their skills).

 

Marissa


@Marissa A wrote:

Hi Lena,

 

Why did Upwork decide it isn't relevant for the clients to know the reason why their invitation is being declined? Why will this information remain hidden? As I mentioned before, if you decline using the app then there's no option to send a personalized message, you just select a reason and that's it! I guess your idea moving forward will be to get more and more people using the app as well and add more features, but if this is just going to stay like this, it's going to be a hassle for clients to know the reasons and to know if it is ok to reach the freelancer for future projects (for example if he/she is busy at the time) or not (if the job is not a fit for their skills).

 

Marissa


Just curious Marissa, does this only apply to the app?

I'm wondering because when I decline a job (on my laptop, not the app), I always try to write why I'm declining and add a nice 'best wishes' type thing. If I'm going through all this and the client isn't receiving it, what's the point of me writing a nice decline note, yaknow?   

Hi Mariska,

Valeria has replied outlining what the client sees earlier later in the thread.

 

Only the message is sent to the Client, which I was glad about, because I usually use the message box to expand on the reason I declined  - and I too sometimes send best wishes in finding a more suitable freelancer. We're too nice aren't we : )

 

EDITED:

I wish new replies and posts were added to the end of a thread. It's getting very confusing.


@Chris M wrote:

Hi Mariska,

Valeria has replied outlining what the client sees earlier in the thread.

 

Only the message is sent to the Client, which I was glad about, because I usually use the message box to expand on the reason I declined  - and I too sometimes send best wishes in finding a more suitable freelancer. We're too nice aren't we : )


Ohhh okay. Thanks Chris.

 

Nice? Yes. But to me, it's  more like class - which has never gone out of style in my world. ๐Ÿ™‚  

"However, if youโ€™re consistently declining invitations we will evaluate this information do things like show a pop-up window recommending for you to change your availability settings"

 

Really? I should change my settings because Upwork can't figure out how to send relevant job recommendations and invites? I'm always available, yet I consistently have to decline because I'm not a realtor, nor an English linguist.

 

"Licensed Realtor or Broker to buy real estate online for our company"

"Need an English linguist competent with English history and evolution"

Why some client infest contractors on upwork? I have faced 2-3  clients .. We peoples work hard all the day & night to earn some money and make good releationship with clients but they don't care about it ... they can do what they like because they are client and have a power. I have not worked with some clients because they their expectations was very high once they hired me also told me that they can have more work for you in future but nothing happened sometime. I think end contract with those client who are trying to infest contractors or force them to work on my low budget and if done they do not recognise the work you did.. Recently happened with me. I had almost done the job and asked client(**Edited for Community Guidelines**) to need some rest and will be back in 4-5 hours then will do the rest task. What happend when i came back.. i shocked .. when i knocked him he said what you did with the theme .. its showing its default version like you did nothing ... even i have worked with him according to the instructions. I was very upset at that time and thought i will have to fixed it . But when tried to logged in . shocked again .. wp credentials was not working. I rudely talk with him in a long conversation. Then he paid me a partial amount like $5 and asked to refund rest amount. I said i dont need your money i need an investigation on it .. Then he told me that i can give you 5 out of 5 .. i gave you 3 star. I said WOW! you'r a great man. You blaimed me and now paying me a partial amount for the job i have done almost. I am confused what should i do now. He game me $5 with a bad feedback so i cant accept that payment and he knew it. I had a very good profile and 100% rated last month but now my rating gone disappeared. I don't know why?. Sometime i faced same kind of problem to get some good rating from client and now when i have a good profile and suddnely went down just because of some stupid clients behaviour so tell me what should i do? Should i quit?

When you decline an invitation as a freelancer and you add a personalized message, this is sent to the client. This is the only way I know what are their reasons. If you only mark one of the options they give you, I only get a message saying the freelancer declined the invitation.


@Marissa A wrote:

Hello,

 

For some time now every time an invited freelancer declines the invitation I just get a simple message saying that it was declined. As I am also a freelancer, I know that you have to provide a reason to decline the invitation and this would be very helpful for clients to know. Sometimes they are just busy and I'd like to know if it would be alright to contact them again in the future. Sometimes the budget is too low, and if I can't offer more then I know I can't contact them again, but if I can offer more if the freelancer is really experienced, I would like to still contact them and ask them for a quote or consider them in the future.

 

Before they changed again the platform, I could at least go to the freelancers invitation (aftr following a series a steps) and find out what option they had chosen. But with the new platform this is impossible. I only get the message that the freelancer declined the interview.

 

Marissa


 I submitted a ticket about this 20 days ago, and this is the response I got:

 

Natasha, I have asked this issue to our Engineering team and they were able to confirm that the reason of withdrawal has been removed, or it is no longer visible on the Client's end.

Anonymous-User
Not applicable

Some time ago I have seen emails on the email-fake platform where emails from Upwork freelancers to "bogus clients" were visible. When a freelancer chose the option "other reasons" and explained in the box that he suspected fraud, the "bogus client" could see this info and other freelancers have been suggested to him. Since I have seen this I avoid other reasons at least in case when I distrust the client and prefer to report him to CS.

Natasha wrote, "Natasha, I have asked this issue to our Engineering team and they were able to confirm that the reason of withdrawal has been removed, or it is no longer visible on the Client's end."

 

Talk about a wishy-washy answer, "removed, or it is no longer visible"? Sounds like they're not sure why it's not there.

 

I almost always choose "Not interested in the job" (or whatever the exact phrase is), and naturally assumed clients would be so informed. Now maybe I have to add in writing, "Thank you for the invitation but I'm not interested in this job"? And do I still choose the "Not interested' option, or do I have to choose 'Other'? It would be nice if a moderator would comment about all this.

__________________________________________________
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce

I think you always have to chose one of the reasons they give and then if you want to actually tell the client you need to fill in the message box below where it says "(optional)".

 

Sometimes I get freelancers who decline the interview and when I ask them they tell me something really basic like they don't speak the language I am requesting and they were suggested by Upwork!!!!

 

Sometimes I need people from a specific region or country and I add that special request in my job post and then I get suggested freelancers from anywhere but the country or region I needed.

Hi John,

Yeah - would be good if a moderator could tell us exactly what happens to our declined invitation info and how it is presented to the Client.

 

I always tick a relevant reason or 'other' and write a short message. It's the polite thing to do.

 

I assume the declined info is for the Client, not Upwork. As far as I'm concerned it's a private communication between client and freelancer - I hope Upwork isn't privvy to it.

 


@Chris M wrote:

 

I assume the declined info is for the Client, not Upwork. As far as I'm concerned it's a private communication between client and freelancer - I hope Upwork isn't privvy to it.

 


 I definitely wouldn't assume that!

 

I choose "other" because algorithms.

 

I once had a gig where the client offered $5000 as a budget. When I read the invite further, the budget was actually too low. Chose "other" because I didn't want $5k registering as "too low" since there is no way for the algorithm to know what type of work is involved with a budget that's set as too low when the actual price is higher.

This thread is just confirming my whole cynicism about Upwork. Since the tiIe i was banned for a week, and one of the reasons given was for being "consistently negative", I've really really really tried to be positive - but it's really really really hard to keep it up.

 

"Natasha, I have asked this issue to our Engineering team and they were able to confirm that the reason of withdrawal has been removed, or it is no longer visible on the Client's end."

 

This is scandalous - we're asked to tick a reason, and the client doesn't even see it!! and freelancers aren't told that this is the case.

 

One option I never tick is "too busy". Why? - because the supernosey interfering Upwork mad robot then changed my availability without telling me.

 

As usual, there are a lot of questions beimng asked on this thread; and freelancers and clients are comparing notes to try and get to the truth. Where are the moderators in a thread like this which is crying out for an official response??


@Stephen B wrote:

This is scandalous - we're asked to tick a reason, and the client doesn't even see it!! and freelancers aren't told that this is the case.



 That is my new question via ticket, what's the point in given us all these options http://screencast.com/t/JCg7WQJ9K


@Jennifer M wrote:

@Chris M wrote:

 

I assume the declined info is for the Client, not Upwork. As far as I'm concerned it's a private communication between client and freelancer - I hope Upwork isn't privvy to it.

 


 I definitely wouldn't assume that! ...

 

 



HI Jennifer,

I did assume that the tickable options would be seen by Upwork (after I got a reminder to check my availability when I ticked 'too busy' once). But I automatically assumed my message would be private - I assume all messages between a Client and Freelancer are private.

 

Moderator please to confirm the message in a declined invite is private.


@John K wrote:

Natasha wrote, "Natasha, I have asked this issue to our Engineering team and they were able to confirm that the reason of withdrawal has been removed, or it is no longer visible on the Client's end."

 

Talk about a wishy-washy answer, "removed, or it is no longer visible"? Sounds like they're not sure why it's not there.

 

I almost always choose "Not interested in the job" (or whatever the exact phrase is), and naturally assumed clients would be so informed. Now maybe I have to add in writing, "Thank you for the invitation but I'm not interested in this job"? And do I still choose the "Not interested' option, or do I have to choose 'Other'? It would be nice if a moderator would comment about all this.


 

It doesnโ€™t matter what you choose, the client will only see http://screencast.com/t/mdQDAqgA

CS:

That's correct, Natasha.

 

I think this is really bad, itโ€™s helpful to know why the freelancer declined.

I'd like to add my support in clients being able to see/understand reasons a freelancer would decline an invitation.  Some clients are new to this type of interraction and could benefit from knowing if they could improve their offers/working styles/other behavior.  This business platform, as well as the relationships formed through it, is still quite new and evolving.  Adequate and clear information about how and why we do what we do makes all of our interractions more successful. 

Email-fake platform? What's that?

Anonymous-User
Not applicable


@Marissa A wrote:

Email-fake platform? What's that?


You can find it via Google. Last year and also beginning of this year bogus clients opened accounts with fake email addresses they generated there. As some of them were not very cautious their emails could be found via Google. At the moment I cannot find much. Maybe those "clients" are more cautious now or operate from somewhere else. 

Stephen wrote, "One option I never tick is "too busy". Why? - because the supernosey interfering Upwork mad robot then changed my availability without telling me."

 

I did that just recently, so I'm going to check my availability right now. Thanks for the heads up.

__________________________________________________
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce


@John K wrote:

Stephen wrote, "One option I never tick is "too busy". Why? - because the supernosey interfering Upwork mad robot then changed my availability without telling me."

 

I did that just recently, so I'm going to check my availability right now. Thanks for the heads up.


 I checked the "too busy" option a few days ago. The system didn't change my availability but it did show a pop-up message saying that if I'm too busy, I should change my availability setting.

It might not change it any more then - but even that message is unwarranted interference IMO. I even get that if I accept a couple of contracts at the same time. I wish they'd just let us get on with it. 


@David G wrote:

 I checked the "too busy" option a few days ago. The system didn't change my availability but it did show a pop-up message saying that if I'm too busy, I should change my availability setting.


 This happened to me too back when I was a weee Upwork noob. On Elance, I don't think it mattered. When I got the popup, I thought "oooh, I think this was a mistake." lol So I don't choose that option anymore. 

mjdurston
Member

As a freelancer, I never assumed that the message involved was for the client; after all, there is that saying: "Assuming just makes an - out of ...". You get the picture.

 

I, however, was always curious where my message was going, to whom the message relayed to, and whether or not this would affect my status or availability in some way.


Maybe it's 'Freelancer Paranoia' as I've seen a few threads discussing clients having too much control over the platform and the functionalities of each contract. 

 

If Upwork is using these messages and our chosen options as a means to dictate our availability (Option: "too busy"), determine our preferred job rates (Option: "Budget too low"); I'd like to know about it, I'd like to, at least, have them acknowledge their use of these algorithms, because our profiles and success as freelancers, highly depend on it. 

 

When searching the community and support articles, all I was able to find was this. Quickly note, that it does not state what happens after the Freelancer declines (or accepts).  It just indicates you receive the declination and doesn't specify what reason was selected. 

 

I would suggest, as a client did with me previously, to send a message directly to the freelancer along with the invitation. When a previous client did this, I was able to see the offered interview as well as to respond through Upwork Messaging as a means of letting the Client know why I declined. For freelancers who are concerned about Upwork Algorithms and how this affects their JSS, this scenario may suit your needs; as you can then choose Option: "Other" and just relay why you are declining through message-form. 

 

 

- Melissa

 

kochubei_valeria
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi All,

 

We are following up with the team in order to get complete information and answers to your questions about the decline reason.

 

We'll update this thread as soon as possible.

~ Valeria
Upwork

So why bother with the box for  the nicey-nicey-letter, if it is not going to the client? 

 

I nearly always put 'other' (for the same reasons as Jennifer)  - and unless the job is seriously off track or badly paid - I nearly always reply to the client. Now I just feel like a nmad fool because I have written cozy words to the denmad I'll go rhythm. Cat Frustrated 

Nichola, did you leave the message in the message box underneath or next to the word "other" in the part where you select a reason?

 

If you selected other, and wrote a message in there, that's not reaching the client.

 

If you wrote your message in the message box underneath (optional) then it reached the client.

 

I believe only the reason part (including other) is what clients are not able to see, because like I said I still get some freelancers who send me a message specifying their reason.

Marissa, thanks for clarifying that. Yes I do use the optional message box when I click 'other', and it's the one time when it's not optional - you have to write something, I usually write a  quick note of thanks and an explanation.

 

Edited to add: However, if I get an invitation where the budget is too low, I just check that option  without using the message box.

 

 

 

 

I have an invitation that I haven't yet decline, so I just checked it to see what you mean when you say that leaving a message is no longer optional.

 

-------------------

When you decline it says the following:

 

We will politely notify the client you are not interested.

Reason

 

Job is not a fit for my skills
Not interested in work described
Too busy on other projects
Client has too little Upwork experience
Proposed rate or budget too low
Spam Client asked for free work
Client asked to work outside Upwork
Other
 
Include a Message (optional)
[TEXT BOX]"
 
5000 characters left
 
Block this client from sending me any future invitations
 
-----------------
 
When you click "other" another box appears right below saying "Enter a reason".
 
Whatever you put in there won't be seen by the client. It's just another reason and as I have mentioned before, clients are no longer able to see this.
 
However, if you write a message in the text box below "Include a Message (optional)", then the client will receive whatever you write in there.

Marissa, I hope I have got it right, I think I have been replying in the second box, but I'm not 100% sure. I hope I get another invitation tonight (that I don't want to accept), and then I will be able to confirm.

 

I cannot understand why this refusal procedure is so complicated - and so secretive! Upwork seems to have developed into an arcane society, made up of sinister hidden elements, that freelancers and clients alike only seem to discover by accident.

 

Edited to add:

 

I have been using the correct message box to send messages to the client, but I was wrong about it being mandatory, it is optional (as they all are) but if one checks 'other' then you have to put a reason in the first box and that is obligatory.


@Valeria K wrote:

Hi All,

 

We are following up with the team in order to get complete information and answers to your questions about the decline reason.

 

We'll update this thread as soon as possible.


 Hi Valeria, Thanks for responding.

For clarification - we want to know exactly how and what is presented to the Client when we tick reasons and / or fill in the 'other' box and / or the message box. And also I want to know if the message box is private between Client and Freelancer.