re: "I'm currently having an issue with a freelancer who has gone awol... I also have a deadline with my project and now there's zero communication between the freelancer and myself. I need upwork to intervene asap"
I am sorry that you are disappointed by what happened with this particular freelancer.
But you are incorrect.
You said: "I need Upwork to intervene asap"
You apparently did not understand the nature of Upwork.
You do not need Upwork to intervene.
Moreover, it is not Upwork's intention that you ask them to intervene.
You already have the tools available to you for you to accomplish your goals.
Having the tools to do this yourself is BETTER than needing to stand by while somebody else intervenes on your behalf.
Is your REAL concern your inability to contact Upwork by email?
Is your REAL concern your inability to contact one particular freelancer?
Your REAL concern is your project. You have a DEADLINE and you want to get a certain task done by that deadline. Upwork WILL NOT do that work for you. So contacting them is not really an important goal.
It IS TRUE that in certain situations Upwork can contact a freelancer directly on behalf of a client. But why would you even want them to do that? To do that would simply be wasting your time.
What service does Upwork provide? Upwork allows clients such as yourself a way to find, hire and pay freelancers.
But Upwork does NOT provide project management. You must conduct your own project management, or hire independent project managers. (Which is a type of freelancer you CAN hire through Upwork, by the way.)
You have hired a freelancer, but that freelancer is not communicating with you. Clearly that freelancer is NOT the right person for the job. Why do you even want Upwork to contact the WRONG person and ask her to work on your project? That is not the optimal way forward.
What should you do now?
Hire other freelancers to complete this task.
You should have done that from the beginning.
Personally: I TRULY WISH that it was possible to hire a single stranger on Upwork and specify a deadline and be guaranteed that the task will be completed by that deadline.
But it is not possible. It will never be possible. It is not possible on Upwork and it is not possible on any other freelance work platform.
BELOW is the correct procedure if you have an important deadline:
You will choose between the following options:
a) Hire a freelancer who you have worked with multiple times before, and who you know for certain can do the work you need by a specified deadlline
b) Hire multiple freelancers to perform the task. This way you "hedge" your bets and ensure that you will get the work you need by the deadline.
There are multiple ways to effectively hire multiple freelancers to perform the same task. One of the most effective ways is to use hourly contracts only, and tell the freelancers that this is a group effort: "Once the work is done, the project is over and all of the contracts will be closed."
You can (for example) hire 4 freelancers and give them the same assignment. You will only pay for the time that they log. You hired Frank, Sam, Diana and Sally. Diana is a go-getter. She started the project quickly and finished within a few hours. She submitted the work, you reviewed it, and saw that you had what you need. You thanked all of the freelancers for their time and closed the contracts. Diana logged four hours. Frank logged 30 minutes. Sam and Sally had not yet logged any time. You paid for a total of 4.5 hours. Technically speaking, you did not actually use any of Frank's work. That's fine. You paid a slight premium in order to ensure that you received the work on time.
You can have it fast. You can have it right. You can have it cheap.
If you want to ensure that you receive work by a specific deadline, then you are choosing to have it right and have it fast. You are not "optimizing for low cost." You are "optimizing for speed/deadline."
This is how effective clients work.
re: "I desperately need some point of communication between upwork and myself yet I can't seem to find even a simple support email address."
It is not Upwork's intention that you contact them through an email address.
There are MANY ways for you to communicate with Upwork.
These include Support Tickets, live chat, phone.
But one of the most effective ways to get help is through this very Community Forum.
In fact, you posted a message, and you received a response within only a few minutes.
I do not work for Upwork Customer Support, but I am able to answer your questions and help you achieve your goals.
There are MANY, MANY regular Forum participants who help Upwork users 24 hours a day. Usually the information you receive here will be faster and more comprehensive than what you could receive if you contacted Upwork Customer Support.
Hi Victoria and Riaz,
I'm sorry to hear your freelancers are unresponsive. If you are working with a freelancer and they become unresponsive for a long period of time, it may be best to pause the contract (if hourly) and wait for contact from them. Please check out this help article for some advice on what you can do in this situation. If you'd like to request for us to contact the freelancer on your behalf please confirm here so we can assist you further.
re: "My freelancer is not responding to my messages, and I have a time-sensitive issue that needs to be fixed. Is there another way I can reach her?"
Upwork allows you to use ANY COMMUNICATION METHOD you want to use in order to communicate with a freelancer that you hire.
You are allowed to exchange phone numbers, Skype handles, mailing address. Feel free to use email, Discord, Slack, Zoom, etc.
It is a GOOD PRACTICE to exchange alternative communication contact information if you are working with a freelancer on an important project.
The problem you face now is that you urgently want to contact a freelancer.
The truth is the freelancer you hired is not particularly keen on staying in contact with you at all times.
The freelancer you hired DOES INDEED receive messages that you post using the Upwork Messages tool. But she does not necessarily check these messages all the time.
Or she may no longer be interested in working on your project and she may never respond to any of your messages again. Or she may be dead. Or she may have adopted puppies. I have no way of knowing. Upwork doesn't know either.
If you have time-sensitive issues on your project, then you will want to bring in additional people on your team. It is not even enough to hire the VERY BEST FREELANCER possible. It is not even enough to hire a freelancer who is ALWAYS online, ready to respond to your messages. What if that awesome highly communicative freelancer dies? What if there is a massive power outage in that freelancer's city? What if she spills soda on her keyboard?
Hire some backup.
Hello if you're freelancer has stopped responding, it may be a good idea to find a better freelancer to complete the job. The freelancer does not work for UpWork, so there is not much UpWork will be able to do here. You can leave appropriate feedback to the missing freelancer once the contract is over.
It may be that the freelancer hasn't received the messages because notifications often don't go through or are delayed. There's no indication of how long they've been unresponsive - if it's a day or so, this could easily be the issue and they'll either respond when the notification finally reaches them or when they check in.
If the issue is something like this, a direct email from Upwork will get their attention so it's worth doing what Andrea suggests.