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Developer did work, got paid but wrote code to spoof google bot

Active Member
Steve T Member Since: Aug 3, 2013
1 of 10

Recently, I have had an upWork developer work on my website to do some web site optimization. There was a before/after check using google pagespeed and gtmetrix. Everything went well & the speed numbers looked good. I have a different developer looking at the site and he found that there was code that 'spoofed' or affected the results of services such as GTmetrix & Google PageSpeed. For example, for Google PageSpeed bots, all loadable styles and scripts were disabled, in other words, this service is given a primitive text page, and for normal users, it's normal.

 

I paid the first developer around $300 for the hack job. Is there anything I can do?

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
2 of 10

re: "Is there anything I can do?"

 

Steve:

If you want additional work done on your website, then you can hire other freelancers to that work.

If you have reviewed the original work, and you feel that there are better ways to handle the task, then you can specify that when you hire other people. Specifically tell them that you do not want them to use the first freelancer's techniques.

 

One thing that it is important to understand is that Upwork does not provide web site optimization services. It does, however, provide opportunities for clients to hire freelancers to various types of work.

 

All of the technical issus and techniques you are describing will not mean anything to Upwork Customer Support personnel. You can't tell Upwork that a freelancer used a specific technique and expect to recognize that a freelancer used the "wrong" technique and that therefore some type of action should be taken.

 

If you feel that the original freelancer you hired provided work that did not meet your expectations, then I strongly advise you to not hire that particular freelancer again.

 

In fact, his level of skill and expertise may not even be sufficient to allow him to work on your site even if he offered to do so for free.

Active Member
Steve T Member Since: Aug 3, 2013
3 of 10
For clarification, I hired a freelance developer from upWork. His work was a scam and unethical. I would like to contest with upWork. Is this possible?
Community Guru
John K Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
4 of 10

Steve T wrote:
For clarification, I hired a freelance developer from upWork. His work was a scam and unethical. I would like to contest with upWork. Is this possible?

Steve, it's the weekend so might take a while for an Upwork rep to respond, but I happen to be a developer and what your freelancer did is outright fraud. I assume this was a fixed price job and you approved the milestone, so under normal circumstances, you won't recieve a refund, BUT, I sincerely hope Upwork bans the freelancer because his behavior is criminal.

 

ETA: for anyone curious about the technical aspects of what the freelancer did and some of the ramifications, here's an article discussing the very subject: https://pamannmarketing.com/is-your-web-developer-spoofing-your-pagespeed-insights-score/ 

__________________________________________________
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
5 of 10

re: "For clarification, I hired a freelance developer from Upwork. His work was a scam and unethical. I would like to contest with Upwork. Is this possible?"

 

Steve:

This is a more readily understandable way to express what your concern is.

 

In your original post, you mentioned terms that are very specific to a single type of technology or endeavor ("GTmetrix" and "Google PageSpeed", etc.) Most Forum participants are not going to be familiar with these things. If you talk to Upwork Custome Support representatives, they will probably not be familar with these things, either.

 

Upwork and its employees are NOT going to evaluate the quality of work that was done by individual freelancers.

 

In your original post, you did not use the words "scam" or "unethical." It is good that you provided clarification.

 

Nobody at Upwork and none of us who are regular Forum particpants want any client to have a negative experience while using the site.

 

You should become aware of what your options are.

 

Read

"Get an Escrow Refund"

or:

"Request a Refund"

 

If the work was done using a fixed-price contract, then after the contract has closed you have 30 days within which you may file a dispute. Specifically: "Dispute assistance is available from Upwork Customer Support if the last payment on a contract was within the previous 30 days, or as long as funds are held in escrow on a fixed-price contract."

 

You should understand that because Upwork follows arbitration rules, there are extreme limitations regarding the degree to which they can "decide" anything about the disbursement of funds.

 

It is theoretically possible that you could talk to Upwork representatives and cause them to understand that you believe the freelancer committed fraud, and that such an understanding would lead to them taking direct action rather than using the normal channels of dispute/mediation and possibly arbitration. But it is very rare for that to happen, even in cases which seem "obvious" to a client.

 

Even if I understand completely what happened with that freelancer, I certainly can't guarantee that you would be able to get anybody at Upwork to take this matter outside of the standard channels using "more direct" action.

 

The simplest way to get your money back would be to send a message to the freelancer and ask him to refund the money. It costs nothing to do that.

 

You could, for example, write a short note to the freelancer stating that the work he did was not at all what you intended. You could offer him an opportunity to refund the money he received, and point out that if he does so, the matter will be over with.

 

If doing that achieves the result you desire, you will not need to file a dispute. If that doesn't work, the next step would be a dispute. A dispute does not cost any money to file. If a dispute does not resolve the matter, then the next step after that would be arbitration. Arbitration will ONLY happen if both the freelancer and client agree to pay $291 each (non-refundable).

Moderator
Avery O Moderator Member Since: Nov 23, 2015
6 of 10

Hi Steve, 


I'm sorry for the delay in getting back to you, and for your experience with your freelancer. I checked your account and wanted to confirm if you are referring to the contract that was closed last December (Contract ID 23279070)? Please let me know so that I can look into this further.


-Avery
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Active Member
Steve T Member Since: Aug 3, 2013
7 of 10
Yes, that is the correct Contract ID, 23279070.
Thank you
Active Member
Steve T Member Since: Aug 3, 2013
8 of 10
Correction on the amount paid out. It was $225.
Community Leader
Varun G Member Since: Dec 11, 2019
9 of 10

This isn't just "bad work", this is a scam. You should fight this case as far as it goes, and I hope you get your money back.

Moderator
Avery O Moderator Member Since: Nov 23, 2015
10 of 10

Hi Steve, 


I'll go ahead and share your concern with the appropriate team so that they can get in touch with you and assist you further. 


-Avery
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