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My commnets on the issues with feedback section and its resolution

To Whomsoever It May Concern

Hello community,

This open letter is in response to a false comment I received by a freelancer in my feedback section as Upwork doesn't allow me to respond within the feedback section itself. This open letter also shares my efforts to get this issue resolved with help from Upwork's support & Executive Escalation Desk (EED) and to share their response I got. It seems, it can not be resolved and reasoning behind this conclusion leaves me completely dismayed.


I will welcome your suggestions on what to do next so hopefully I can resolve this issue for good.


As it happened...


Some months ago, I got in contract with this freelancer to complete a project in three milestones (initially there were two but first one was further divided into two). First two milestones out of three were paid in full as agreed. Third and last milestone was not completed by the freelancer even after repetitive reminders so we mutually agreed that I can end the contract if the freelancer fails to deliver the work until a certain day and time. He failed to deliver the work until the agreed deadline and I ended the contract as discussed with him earlier. After my ending the contract, system prompted me to leave the feedback, so based on my experience working with him I left feedback for him. I can support each sentence I wrote for him in the feedback section with proofs from our chatroom.


A few hours after my ending the contract, the freelancer dumped a file in our chatroom without my permission and/or having any prior discussion about dumping the file and asked me to release the payment. I refused to release the payment because

  1. I had very clearly warned him against dumping any file without my permission during the first milestone itself because of certain circumstances during first milestone.
  2. I have no clue what is inside that file because I am not qualified to verify that and he knows about it. For this reason, I had also hired another freelancer on this platform to review his work of first milestone. So from my perspective, this file could have incomplete unuseful information, and I did not want to waste my money on its review.
  3. Ending the contract simply means I am not interested in his work anymore and need my money back. I think, this is also Upwork's policy as they claim something similar to "any party can end the contract any time they want, no questions asked". So ideally, the freelancer should not have dumped the file arbitrarily at the first place.

Anyways, upon my refusing to release the payment to him, he to took the matter to Upwork's Dispute Management Desk where he lost the case because he could not show any proof of submitted work and I got my refund because of Upwork's dispute resolution desk's judgement.


At this point, he leaves a nasty comment on my feedback section where he has made false allegation of fraud against me.


Naturally, I approached the Upwork support and the matter eventually got escalated to their EED which, I have been told, works directly with the company CEO. I made a request to delete this comment from my feedback section, they replied they don't know whats the truth so they cant take action. So I requested them to investigate the matter find the truth and deliver justice. They informed me their current ToS doesn't allow them to investigate feedback barring certain exceptions and my situation does not fall into those exceptions. They also rejected my further suggestions to write a comment as a neutral third party or allow me to write a rebuttal within the feedback section.


At this stage, I asked EED some fundamental questions related to objectives of policy frameworks and what Upwork does when injustice happens. They unfortunately, chose to ignore answering those questions. I am now left in total disbelief that EED acknowledged the problem but would not take corrective measures. They prefer to hide behind their current ToS document and escape from their moral responsibility to deliver justice to their community members. After all, how hard it is to investigate the chatroom content which is accessible to them on their own platform?


Further, I requested them to amend their ToS so that they can investigate selected cases/ situations, I find their answer even more baffling as the rejected this suggestion too and preferred to give more importance to someone's "Subjective Views" as they like to term the comments in feedback section, over and above facts and evidences. "Subjective Views" trumps the truth and justice at Upwork. That's the message I got.


Moreover, I did not find EED serious enough to resolve this issue, they were not well read about my case when I pointed out they apologized, in a saperate incident they stopped responding to my email and closed my ticket arbitrarily. Upon my reminders, a new ticket was raised, I received apology for the closing my ticket but they refused to take corrective measures.

They are not willing to defend their own colleague's judgement from Dispute Resolution Desk, I doubted they care about what I have to go through.


At this point, I wrote to Upwork CEO Ms. Brown, hoping for her direct intervention. I received an acknowledgement from EED as a response but still they chose to hide behind their current ToS document.


To Upwork's credit they offered me two solutions

  1. To reach out to the freelancer on my own and negotiate with him directly, in case both parties agree to delete the comment they can take action  - This makes me feel as if I have done something wrong therefore I believe I wouldn't and shouldn't do it. Also, in my response, I shared a story from a funny video clip I saw where a crime takes place next to a policeman outside a shopping mall but policeman behaves like a mute spectator during the incident. After the incident, the victim approaches the policeman for protection and justice, the policeman suggests the victim to directly negotiate with the criminal and to settle it on his own. The policeman was permanently suspended from the service in later part of the video. EED did not comment on it.
  2. To approach a court for legal remedy. Ultimately, I will have to consider this option but isn't it something like travelling via spacecraft between two cities? So tomorrow someone else will write something objectionable and I am supposed to keep on running to the courts leaving my work aside?

So to conclude, I do not feel safe on this platform even after following all the rules and regulations laid out by Upwork. I even asked them how could have I conducted myself better to avoid getting such feedback? I got no response, they chose to ignore this question too. I am deeply concerned about what kind of questions I might have to face from freelancers during my future projects on Upwork? Their silence/no response will be even more disturbing. A couple of my projects have already been stalled, Upwork doesn't seem to care about that, for them someone's "Subjective views" are of the highest importance. That is the irony.


I don't know if anyone else is going through such experiences on Upwork? I hope not.


Moreover, I will be happy to have a fair investigation into this matter by Upwork as a neutral third party and hope that this comment gets deleted from my profile based on the available evidences. I will appreciate any valuable suggestions on how to resolve this issue especially from qualified lawyers in this community.




The list of some fundamental questions related to policy framework I had asked, which remained unanswered during my interaction with EED

  1. I hope you agree that one of the primary objectives of framing the policy framework is to create a just and safe working environment for all parties involved?
  2. What do you do when your policies deliver injustice to one or more parties?
  3. What do you do when people start taking undue advantage of the loopholes available in your policy and harm one or more parties based on false claims?
  4. What do you do when your policy makes you stand on the wrong side of the fence?
  5. What do you do when your policy rules fails to achieve its stated objectives with the changing times and circumstances?
  6. What do you do when your policies are not completely in sync with what you publish/advertise on your webpage?

Some more questions which remained unanswered during my interaction with EED

  1. Does it matter to you if someone on your platform is suffering harmful consequences because of your policies, in spite of having valid facts & evidences, following all your rules, without having any fault. And are you OK to deliver injustice to your community members?
  2. Can you please help me understand, as per your policy, what exactly could I have done different from what I have described above to avoid such a false allegation? Is there anything or there is none?
  3. Imagine if someone makes false allegations against you, and you are asked to leave your job, your friends and colleagues are looking at you with suspicion, avoid talking to you. Ironically, you can not do anything because your company policy doesn't cover your situation. You have to walk out of the company door with an unwanted tag. What will you do? How will you feel?
  4. You may be neutral party but when you are not only aware and understand about something wrong happening but also you are in a position of power to stop it, still fail to take necessary action, that is immoral on your part and place you on the wrong side of the fence. Agree or disagree? 
Community Member

I would advise you not to waste time on these negotiations, Upwork will never remove this review. But you already understood that. I don't advise you to continue, it's a dead end. You will receive useless template responses from bots or be ignored. Unfair reviews here remain for both clients and freelancers.

Your options:


Go to third-party methods, such as court, if you think it's worth it.


Hi Vinit,


Thank you for sharing your concerns with us. I am sorry to hear about your experience with the freelancer and your situation with the reported issue. I want to assure you that we are committed to providing a safe and fair platform for all of our users.


I see that our teams have already investigated your case and reviewed the feedback left by the freelancer. You can refer to the support ticket for more information if you wish to pursue a claim against the freelancer. You can access your support tickets here.


- Pradeep

Community Member

I have the same problem. It is even worse because top-rated freelancers can edit their already posted reviews about you the client. Yet, clients do not have that opportunity. I think Upwork should be fairer in this issue of malicious and nasty reviews.

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