re: "I also hope you will appreciate the new flow as directs users to check help articles and Community threads related to their questions, which is something you've always advocated in your posts."
Thank you, Valeria.
I think I'm not the only one who was confused by the change.
But it looks like a good move.
I think that every effort should be made to prevent usage of costly customer support options by newbie freelancers and would-be freelancers who have earned little or no money, when there are ways to help them which are more economical and more effective. Unchecked, it is too easy for Upwork (or any company) to run customer support services at a significant net loss.
The one big issue I see with the current customer support formulation is this:
If a client (or freelancer) is clearly quite profitable for Upwork, then Upwork should make it as easy as possible for her to send Upwork more of her money.
If it was my company's customer support system, then at a certain point, the number of dollars a client (or freelancer) has paid to my company would mean that they are automatically shown an option for live chat support, phone support, etc. Because my assumption is that the reason they want to talk to somebody at my company is so that they can continue to send us more money.
Maybe this is already in place for profitable clients. I don't know. If not, I would be happy to have something like that implemented.
As a freelancer, the best thing about Upwork is the presence of great clients who have money to spend.
@Preston H wrote:
.............. they are automatically shown an option for live chat support, phone support, etc.
AFTER they go through the process of clarifying the type of support they are looking for (which is hardly rocket science) which is designed to direct their issue to the appropriate people first time.
If your client is using PayPal as a billing method on Upwork, it has to be a verified account. If they are using a credit card, Upwork will charge them two small verification amounts. Then they'll need to check their credit card billing statement, find those two amounts and enter them in the verification form on their Upwork account.