cupidmedia
Member

Freelancer asking for 5 star review

I recently had the very rare experience of a job going poorly. At the end of the contract, when submitting final files, the freelancer twice asked directly for 5 star feedback. After the second time, I reported them to Upwork but it seems like nothing happened. We did not leave them 5 stars. They did not leave us a review at all (I think they knew they were going to get less than stellar feedback from us).

 

After the 2 weeks had passed and our review was visible to them, they again messaged us directly and asked us to change their feedback to 5 stars. Now that they were directly asking for feedback to be changed, I thought surely that was a violation of Upwork terms. So I reported them again. This time I was told that unless they are either threatening me or extorting me, that is still not a violation of Upwork terms.

 

Each request from the freelancer has been politely worded. There have been no threats or extortion. But I still feel very uncomfortable that this freelancer is asking for this. 

 

Any suggestion on how to respond to the freelancer's message asking for their feedback to be changed? Or should we just ignore?

21 REPLIES 21
mystudiomke
Member

Blocked them > move on

Lila
kat303
Member

Any suggestion on how to respond to the freelancer's message asking for their feedback to be changed? Or should we just ignore?

 

Yes, agree to change the feedback. Then change it to a LOWER feedback then your original one. 


Kathy T wrote:

Any suggestion on how to respond to the freelancer's message asking for their feedback to be changed? Or should we just ignore?

 

Yes, agree to change the feedback. Then change it to a LOWER feedback then youir original one. 


Kathy, my colleague that I worked with on this contract wanted to do this. They felt like we were too generous with our initial feedback as it was. And I think that is always the risk a freelancer takes with this kind of request - they certainly knew that the job had not gone well, so pestering us about increasing the feedback is a huge risk. But like Will said, I don't want to be vindictive. I work really hard to maintain a good client reputation and I don't want to risk that.


Jennifer D wrote:

I work really hard to maintain a good client reputation and I don't want to risk that.

If the 14-day period has passed, there is nothing that they can do to damage your feedback even if you do lower theirs.

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"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless


Jennifer D wrote:

But like Will said, I don't want to be vindictive. I work really hard to maintain a good client reputation and I don't want to risk that.

 

Regardless of what you decide to do, you won't be risking your client reputation because it's too late for the freelancer to leave feedback about you. I would consider whether your feedback is helpful to other clients.

Heaven, Rene: you're right, and I'm definitely not under any circumstances going to allow them to add feedback now that they have seen our feedback. But they can still reply to our feedback on their own profile. And also I know freelancers talk to each other. I don't want them to go around badmouthing us as a "difficult" client who leaves horrible feedback.

If the feedback on your profile is very good as I think it is, no amount of badmouthing will ever affect you. And if it is true that there are networks of Upwork freelancers talking to each other, they are generally small (I know firsthand).

 

You worry too much. You would to Upwork and the other freelancers a disservice if you leave a feedback that is not accurate on one provider's profile.

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"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless


Jennifer D wrote:

Kathy T wrote:

Any suggestion on how to respond to the freelancer's message asking for their feedback to be changed? Or should we just ignore?

 

Yes, agree to change the feedback. Then change it to a LOWER feedback then youir original one. 


Kathy, my colleague that I worked with on this contract wanted to do this. They felt like we were too generous with our initial feedback as it was. And I think that is always the risk a freelancer takes with this kind of request - they certainly knew that the job had not gone well, so pestering us about increasing the feedback is a huge risk. But like Will said, I don't want to be vindictive. I work really hard to maintain a good client reputation and I don't want to risk that.


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I don't think my response was vindictive but that's my opinion. A freelancer who asks a client to change feedback, is extremely unprofessional. And again, IMO I think it sort of brings down the professionalism of this site.

 

Clients have the right to give whatever feedback they feel is indicative of the work and other things of the freelancer. To change it so it "looks" good but doesn't reflect the true value misleads other clients. And to some clients, a 5 star review may mean pronominal work, while to other clients a 5 may mean excellent.

Anonymous User
Not applicable
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Rating them down even further just because they are annoyingly asking for higher feedback will be a reflection on the client's professionalism, not the freelancer. Vindictiveness is much more unprofessional than bugging a client for higher feedback. 

 

Leave fair feedback, then block the person. There are better freelancers - don't put your energy toward the bad ones. And it's a two-way street - vindictive clients get blocked, too. 

Take the high road.


Cairenn R wrote:

Rating them down even further just because they are annoyingly asking for higher feedback will be a reflection on the client's professionalism, not the freelancer. Vindictiveness is much more unprofessional than bugging a client for higher feedback. 

 

Leave fair feedback, then block the person. There are better freelancers - don't put your energy toward the bad ones. And it's a two-way street - vindictive clients get blocked, too. 

Take the high road.


I disagree. Requesting a change of feedback is incredibly unprofessional on the FL's part, and repeated nagging is exponentially worse. If a FL I hired went above and beyond to help me out in some way, after the contract had closed out, I would certainly think about trying to amend my feedback to reflect that, if I could. So it should cut both ways. It's not a matter of being vindictive, it's a true reflection of the FL's professionalism and quality. I don't believe in dwelling on things but I think every FL and every client operating on this platform should be held to a minimum standard of professionalism. When any of us can contribute to that overall effort, we should.

 

Jennifer has an impeccable reputation and this flake's feedback isn't going to do her material harm, in any case. As I said earlier, in her shoes I would think seriously about giving the FL a choice of letting the feedback stand or the changing it to the lower score that some of the client team members had originally suggested. Then I would block him/her.

wlyonsatl
Member

There is no reason to be vindictive, so just ignore them.

The original poster has every right to be annoyed.

 

This is always inappropriate behavior on the part of a freelancer.

 

As a client, I have encountered freelancers like this. They will go on and on and on, back and forth, if you try to reason with them. Explaining that the score isn't going to hurt them much, or that it is a valid score, or that asking somebody to change their score could lead to a lower score... none of that will quiet them.

 

So for somebody who doesn't want to possibly feel guilty later on about lowering a freelancer's score... the best thing I can recommend would be to block them.

Either ignore them completely or tell them that your team members were not unanimous about the feedback and they are lucky it wasn't even lower.

Upwork terms of use, section 4.1 includes the following under prohibited uses of the site:

Attempting to or actually manipulating or misusing the feedback system, including by:

  • withholding payment or Work Product or engaging in any other conduct for the purpose of obtaining positive feedback from another User;

Perhaps a lawyer would see it differently, but isn't asking for 5 star feedback "engaging in conduct for the purpose of obtaining positive feedback"?

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

re: "Perhaps a lawyer would see it differently, but isn't asking for 5 star feedback 'engaging in conduct for the purpose of obtaining positive feedback'"

 

LOL... Who knows what lawyers think?

 

There is another thread active right now in which lawyers are apparently trying to get all lawyers kicked off of Upwork. Maybe there won't be any more lawyers using the site as freelancers?

Thanks John, that was the section I was looking for that I couldn't find! That would have been my interpretation, as well. I thought the initial "please close the contract and give me 5 stars" kind of messages were probably borderline, but then asking us directly to change the rating we did give to 5 stars seemed to go further than that and would fall into this category, I thought. But apparently not, according to Upwork support.

Why all this back and forth if the work is not good for you just ask for refund and see another freelancer, when i don't do a job correcty i simply return the money and that's it, no need to reach review step, if you don't do a good job don't ask for money this is the policy i use, just perfect job and you got your money and review.

or simply let client score you and if the review isn't good just ask upwork to remove it as top rated perks
allow that.


Khemiri M wrote:

Why all this back and forth if the work is not good for you just ask for refund and see another freelancer, when i don't do a job correcty i simply return the money and that's it, no need to reach review step, if you don't do a good job don't ask for money this is the policy i use, just perfect job and you got your money and review.

or simply let client score you and if the review isn't good just ask upwork to remove it as top rated perks
allow that.


Your JSS will be affected even if you refiund in full, mainly because a client invests more than just money into a job. You cannot refund their time, the missed deadlines, or the costs of other resources involved. That's why a client may still choose to use your work when you did a less than stellar job - but they may also warn others through the rating they give you.


Khemiri M wrote:

Why all this back and forth if the work is not good for you just ask for refund and see another freelancer, when i don't do a job correcty i simply return the money and that's it, no need to reach review step, if you don't do a good job don't ask for money this is the policy i use, just perfect job and you got your money and review.

or simply let client score you and if the review isn't good just ask upwork to remove it as top rated perks
allow that.


Except this freelancer obviously thinks they did a good job, because they are asking us for 5 stars. I didn't bother asking for a refund, because I knew they'd say no, and I would lose a dispute because they provided what they were contracted to do and Upwork does not arbitrate on quality.

 

I'm curious Khemeri if you've ever actually taken your own advice? Have you ever taken a job, completed it, and then said "you know what, I did a bad job, I'm not going to take this client's money"? How often does that happen, if so? Because that is not a great way to do things either...

I always figured some of these freelancers that tank their JSS and come here saying OMG EVERYONE LOVED MY WORK JSS SUCKKKKKS did this crap. This is why I leave clients alone about this stuff. Well, that and I don't care. lol

 

I'd be annoyed by this too.

Jennifer, you darn well should be annoyed.  Your understanding of the ToS section John copied is identical to mine.  

 

You have a sterling reputation on U; I wouldn't worry about one out-of-line FLer.   Just like clients, FLers do not expect to see all 5 star reviews - and when we do unless there are ample written comments to back it up > we think it is just as 'fishy' as a client might. 

 

Clicking on stars is easy.  Writing a line or two less so.   And far more valuable.