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Negative Feedback as a Result of a Dispute

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Active Member
Joey R Member Since: Nov 19, 2016
1 of 20

I disputed a contract and won the dispute. The reason why I won was because the freelancer made claims the lack of requirements were the reason for their lack of progress, which I proved was not true. The agency freelancers used the same claims in my feedback, and it has resulted in my feedback score being very poor.

 

I want their feedback removed. I've been told to contact them and mediate the feedback, but they will not respond as they are very upset about losing the dispute. Upwork's dispute process is what I followed, and it resulted in a bad feedback score for me. I shouldn't be penalized for using Upwork's dispute process.

 

I have tired to hire several freelancers since my rating went from five stars to 2.3, and now nobody will accept my work.  I've spent well over $100,000 on Upwork, and it not appears I'm going to be forced to change providers due to a dispute process that Upwork initiated, managed, and resolved.  I just can't believe that they would allow either party to post feedback after a dispute has been filed.  Unbelivable.

 

I've tried to contact the freelancers, but both refuse to change their feedback as they are mad because they lost the dispute.

 

Thoughts for how I can resolve it?

Community Guru
Christy A Member Since: Dec 30, 2015
2 of 20

Do you mean your overall rating went down to 2.3 stars? It seems odd that, after spending that kind of money, a couple of low feedback scores would result in that large a decline.

 

Ultimately though, I'd suggest that you continue to work with customer service and it's possible a mod may reply here to clarify the situation.

Moderator
Valeria K Moderator Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
3 of 20

Hi Joey,

 

I am sorry the contract didn't turn out well and resulted in negative feedback. Both clients and freelancers are encouraged to rate their experience working with each other and share it in their feedback. Upwork team won't be able to remove or edit feedback unless it violates Upwork’s Terms of Use. You can respond to feedback or enable changes and ask freelancer to edit it.

 

Please, check out this post for more information about how available options.

~ Valeria
Untitled
Active Member
Joey R Member Since: Nov 19, 2016
4 of 20

This is Upwork's process, in your own words:

 

1) Hire one of our Freelancers and pay us fees

2) Try to work with the Freelancer to work out disagreements before you file a dispute.

3) File a dispute and we'll decide who is right

4) If you win our dispute, we'll allow the Freelancer to leave feedback on you and not allow you to have it removed, even if it isn't true.

5) We believe our freelancers leave honest feedback all the time - even when a disagreement between a client and a freelancer elevates to our dispute process.  We believe our freelancers will leave change their minds after our dispute feedback and leave appropriate feedback that represents our final disposition.

 

Yeah, that makes sense.  This is the most ridiculous process, and is totally unfair for both sides of a dispute.  A good policy is to not allow feedback if a dispute is filed.  Feedback has to be the result of both parties terminating the relationship without mediation.

 

I'll be leaving Upwork after my projects end.  Why?  Because my feedback has dropped to 2.4 stars and now highly skilled talented freelancers won't apply for my jobs.  Time for me to go.  I've spent well over $150,000 this year alone.  Unbelievable.

Community Guru
Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
5 of 20

@Joey R wrote:

 

5) We believe our freelancers leave honest feedback all the time - even when a disagreement between a client and a freelancer elevates to our dispute process.  We believe our freelancers will leave change their minds after our dispute feedback and leave appropriate feedback that represents our final disposition.

 

 


Joey, you could rewrite this paragraph by switching the words freelancer and client, it would still accurately describe the situation.

 

So I guess we lost a client on Upwork's ridiculous processes...

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"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
Active Member
Joey R Member Since: Nov 19, 2016
6 of 20

Hi Valeria,

 

Thanks for the response.  I tried all the options, but Upwork's response always leads to the same message: Work it out with the Freelancer.

 

I don't mind the "work it out" response when the problem is initiated by either party.  I do mind it when the problem is initiated by Upwork's process.  In other words, Upwork encourages both parties to engage their mediation process, and then dumps the resulting feedback option back in our laps.  This is a terrible situation as it is expected that one of the two parties will not agree with the results, thereby resulting in future disagreements on the feedback.

 

When a dispute is initiated, feedback should not be an option for either party.  Protecting reputations inside your platform should be paramount, which is why I don't understand this process?

Moderator
Valeria K Moderator Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
7 of 20

Joey,

 

We encourage our users to resolve any misunderstanding and conflicts between each other and contact our dispute team only if they are unable to do it on their own. Often as a result of the dispute or mediation process the freelancer and the client are still able to part ways amicably. 

 

When it comes to feedback, we believe that users have the right to share their honest experience working on a contract with the Community as long as it doesn't violate Upwork ToS. An option to dispute a contract to hide feedback would open room for abuse.

~ Valeria
Untitled
Community Guru
Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
8 of 20

@Valeria K wrote:

An option to dispute a contract to hide feedback would open room for abuse.


This is a valid point Valeria. But in this case, you would have to win the dispute in order to avoid or hide a feedback. And if you win the dispute, then the no feedback makes perfect sense.

 

I'm failing to see any easy way to abuse the system if it was framed this way.

 

But abusing the system as it is designed right now is definitely doable. You perform badly, the other party disputes the payment, you threat them with a poor feedback and If they stand their ground, you retaliate. Period.

 

Yes Valeria, Upwork encourages people to resolve their disputes in a friendly manner. This is very nice, but if your freelancer behaves in a dishonest manner what friendly resolution can you reach? In this case, the best way is just to abandon the money to the dishonest provider and to move on. Any dispute may result in a strong retaliation against you. Ask Joey.

 

I understand that Upwork doesn't love disputes. It costs you money and in the case of a refund, you lose your fees. But see, Joey is leaving. What's the shortfall when such client leaves?

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"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
Moderator
Valeria K Moderator Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
9 of 20

Rene,

 

Could you please clarify if you are suggesting that only the party that won the dispute would have feedback hidden on their profile but the party that lost the dispute would have it displayed?

I would also like to add that a lot of disputes are not caused by dishonesty of the freelancer or the client but by misunderstanding between them.

 

It looks like Joey's average feedback is 5 stars, so his case is probably an example of how misunderstanding could be resolved between the client and the freelancer.

~ Valeria
Untitled
Community Guru
Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
10 of 20

@Valeria K wrote:

Rene,

 

Could you please clarify if you are suggesting that only the party that won the dispute would have feedback hidden on their profile but the party that lost the dispute would have it displayed?

 


I would allow only the winning party to hide/block the feedback, in order to avoid retaliation. I would actually let the winning party choose whether they want ot hide/block or allow the feedback. It could prove useful if a misunderstanding is dissipated after the dispute and if both parties end up in good terms.

 

It is unfortunate that disputes are triggered by misunderstandings. But id doesn't excuse a retaliation feedback after the dispute.

 

I understand that the disputes can arise from many different situations and that there is no one unique solution that fits all the possible cases. But in the limited cases where you are stuck with a dishonest provider/client, the fact that they can still leave a feedback after a lost dispute is hard to swallow.

 

It never happened to me, but I wouldn't love being in this situation.

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"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
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