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Re: Freelancer kicked from Upwork for mid contract for "security reasons" refunds & re

Active Member
Patrick M Member Since: Apr 29, 2019
1 of 10

Hey all,

So I had a freelancer working on a longer IT project. Some ~4 weeks in the upwork platform informs me that the contractor had ended the contract. I end up getting a message from my freelancer (off of the platform) that he had been banned, that upwork had taken his money, and that I should pay him off platform for the work that he had already done. Getting spooked I rotate all the server credentials and contact support. I find out that upwork had refunded me for the previous weeks work, and they say that he was removed from the platform for a security reason (but won’t elaborate).

I am now being harassed by the freelancer that I owe him money, he is starting to issue threats and has attempted to log into my servers after this all started to unfold.

 

My issue/questions here:

-Anyone have a similar experience and have any suggestions on how to proceed here?

-Since Upwork wont/can’t tell me what the details of his perma-ban are I'm a bit skittish as to if he left anything malicious on any of the hardware he has access to in the previous few weeks. In this case since I’m assuming Upworks TOS disclaims them from any liability what are my options for getting my previous 3 weeks back assuming I just trash everything he ever touched and roll back backups from before he had access to anything?

 

Community Guru
Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
2 of 10

Hard to tell, but they usually kick people who misrepresent themselves, who take work off-platform or after some wrongdoing. They cannot disclose the specifics for obvious reason, but that one smells rat.

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"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
Community Guru
John K Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
3 of 10

Rene K wrote:

Hard to tell, but they usually kick people who misrepresent themselves, who take work off-platform or after some wrongdoing. They cannot disclose the specifics for obvious reason, but that one smells rat.


Fair point, but it would reassure the client in such case to be notified that the suspension was not for conduct directly detrimental to the client.

__________________________________________________
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce
Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
4 of 10

@Patrick M

 

This is tricky. Were you happy with the work the freelancer did for you? If you were, I would suggest asking Upwork if you can pay him via the platform despite his being banned. 

 

You are between a rock and a hard place because if you pay him off site, you would put yourself in the wrong. 

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Active Member
Patrick M Member Since: Apr 29, 2019
5 of 10

The problem I have here is not the quality of the work (it was ok) but if I should trust anything he did.

 

Upwork saying he was kicked for a security reason and not just for soliciting off platfrom or something administrative has me concerned for my data's security. If upwork has reason to not trust him that makes me concenred that I could be putting my clients future data at risk if I run it through code he developed.

Moderator
Bojan S Moderator Member Since: Mar 9, 2018
6 of 10

Hi Patrick,

 

I apologize for the delay in receiving an update. I've followed up with our team about your concern. One of our team members will follow up on your ticket to assist you further as soon as possible.

 

Thank you for your patience. 

~ Bojan
Untitled
Community Guru
Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
7 of 10

Maybe worthwhile to go lurk around that Reddit thread and see if he's over there griping about how UW abused him. Maybe you can get a clue as to why he was banned.

 

As for the money, IMO you don't owe him anything because thanks to his transgression (whatever it was), you now have to deal with the fallout. As far as I can tell, it's not that easy to provoke the permabanhammer (I'm picking up lingo from Jennifer!), so whatever he did must've been pretty dire.

Community Leader
Andrei T Member Since: Aug 30, 2016
8 of 10

You should have some measures in place for checking the work performed by any freelancer, not just in this situation. You don't know what Upwork means by 'security reasons'. He may have lied about his location/country but that alone won't make him a security threat for you.

You must explain to the freelancer you did not request Upwork for the refund; you don't want to keep the money, but and the only way to pay him is through the platform. He needs to clear the situation with Upwork first, then contact you again to request payment.

 

It may (or may not) be possible to pay him off platform, if he's ok with waiting for the two-year period of exclusivity to pass.

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
9 of 10

Not saying this should be done in this case, but there have been cases where Upwork have allowed clients to pay their suspended freelancers off the site in specific cases and at their own risk.

 

Let's not forget that a client does not own the work until it has been fully paid for so this goes further than just an angry freelancer who was (for whatever reason) kicked off the site.

Community Guru
Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
10 of 10

Petra R wrote:

Not saying this should be done in this case, but there have been cases where Upwork have allowed clients to pay their suspended freelancers off the site in specific cases and at their own risk.

 

Let's not forget that a client does not own the work until it has been fully paid for so this goes further than just an angry freelancer who was (for whatever reason) kicked off the site.


Yes, but if the FL's banishment for 'security reasons' is sufficiently alarming for a responsible client to roll back their server and discard everything he did, should they have to pay for it? I don't know. I'm glad it's not me.

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