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New Payment Processing Fee Complaint

Active Member
Joshua R Member Since: Jul 23, 2016
1 of 25

April 12 I listed an ad to seek freelancers.

May 3 I got a message about the new processing fees.


Only if that I knew of the new fees on April 12, I most likely would adjust my offer to meet inital budget. For example: listing for $1,000 on April 12. If I knew of the fees, I would list for about $970 so that there is about $30 room for processign fees.


The above was an example. I listed $7,000 on April 12. The fees increase.


Anyone stuck in my situation should not need to pay for the new processing fees during the project. Of course, any project listed after May 3, they should pay the processing fees because they were notified about it.


I request to be free from being charged the 2.75% processing fee during my listed $7,000 project that will be paid out over a few months including any additional payments necessary.


Having clients like myself in such situation is like Upwork saying, "Pay up or you can't work with your freelancer."

It is like the client is forced at will to obey or be required to no work with the freelancer anymore, when money and time was invested in them already.

It is cruel.


I request immediately that all people all over freelancer who is in my situation to be an exception for paying the new processing fee if they listed a project before May 3 and is still active in that project.


I have deliverables to pay, so I reqeuest kindly that I am immediatly free from paying such fees.


Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
2 of 25

lol yeah that's not gonna happen. They were pretty clear that the processing fee was gonna hit on June 21st.


Unless you're a high roller with a history, you're gonna have to suck this one up.

Active Member
Joshua R Member Since: Jul 23, 2016
3 of 25

Wow, you are not helping.


I assume you didn't read anything.


The message for the processing fee was listed May 3rd. Anyone who listed before May 3rd didn't get that message.


With that said, it was NOT clear to all of those people who listed before such date.

Community Guru
Scott E Member Since: Jul 26, 2015
4 of 25

Did every qualified proposal bid exactly $7000? I'm sure you got quite a few $7000 proposals, quite a few more than $7000 proposals, and quite a few less than $7000 proposals... some propobably quite a bit less.


I can't see dropping your stated budget by 2.75% as having a massive difference in the grand scheme of things.


Worst comes to the worst, negotiate with the freelancers you like the look of, explain the most you can spend is $7000, and that includes the transaction fees which werent around when you posted your budget. They'll go for it or they won't. I appreciate it'll be pretty annoying if your chosen freelancer doesn't go for it, but the thing to keep in mind is that if the freelancer in question was so set on $7000 for the work, they wouldn;t have submitted a proposal in the frst place if you set it at $7000 minus 2.75%. Whatever that is... can't bo bothered to 'do the math'!  

"Welcome, humans. I'm ready for you!"
- Box, Logan's Run (1976)
Community Guru
Wendy C Member Since: Aug 24, 2015
5 of 25

Joshua, Scott's advice is what I would have said as well.  Look at it from the provider's point of view - we got hit w/ a 20% fee.  Yeah, it decreases over X dollars but most definitely not as low as 2.75%.

Active Member
Joshua R Member Since: Jul 23, 2016
6 of 25

Wendy C,


Look at the client's side.


They can simply "cancel contract" and continue with the freelancer with a loss of about $700 that Upwork could make. This can happen by any other client. Secondly, I am sure this can be fought in court, since this is concered a force payment or lose service. The part that can be fought is the under the table service. Best if Upwrok spend $200 and keep $500 in profit.


In such my situation, these things can happen. Cancel contract with freelancer through Upwork is fine. Then we can decide to hire the freelancer again, from outside Upwork, since we will not be using Upwrok platform. By no means can Upwork prevent anyone, even with contract, from hiring such freelancer during our lifetime. And in such situation that we were placed under, the force payment while we were in active project, this should be able to be fought in court and my case should win.


I am trying to work a deal with Upwork. In other words, if I refuse to pay such percentage, then I cannot work with the freelancer anymore. That means that the client's last option is to cancel such contract and go under table.


My situation is simple to fix. It is ethical to stick with such proposal to allow the client to continue without paying the 2.75% fee.


I am a contract follower. But if Upwork will stop me from my freelancer because I followed the inital rules when posting such listing, then I have the right to continue on with my freelancer.


Wendy, new rule says to pay up $1,000,000 or else you cannot work with your freelancer anymore after investing $500,000 in the freelancer thus far in the project stage. What do you do?

Community Guru
Jennifer D Member Since: Feb 15, 2016
7 of 25

The Terms of Service, which you agreed to when you created your Upwork profile, pretty clearly state that they can change their fees at any time and also change the ToS at any time. They also state that you can't just take a freelancer offsite without paying an exit fee.


They gave over a month's warning that the fees were coming in. You could have chosen to stop using Upwork at any time. The fees have now been in place for over a month. Why should they give you a discount on your $7000 project? I've already paid nearly $200 in transaction fees since they were introduced and I'm not complaining because I know its pointless. It's a cost of doing business. Either you accept it in return for the service you get, or you go elsewhere. But every competitor I looked at had worse fees, worse service, worse freelancers, or a combination of the three.

Active Member
Joshua R Member Since: Jul 23, 2016
8 of 25
Haven't you read what I said? The notice came about 20 days after the listing was up. In your case, you don't complain because you posted your listing on May 3 or after that date, according to your quote, "I've already paid nearly $200 in transaction fees since they were introduced."

If your project was active and the notice came in and you are happy to pay additional amount, that is you who is willing to spend extra money. Good for you. Be happy. Send me $200 if you are all that happy so that I can be happy to.


According to their contract, I am certian that they meant to imply that their fees will change accordingly. That is fine! What is not fine is to fluctuate with fee changing during an active project. That is not fine.


Why not they say to you, "Jennifer, pay up $100,000 or else you cannot work with the freelancer you already invested $50,000 into."



Community Guru
Jennifer D Member Since: Feb 15, 2016
9 of 25

Actually, the vast majority of my contracts are long-term contracts that have been in place for *years*. I meant my "nearly $200" as an example that I'm in the same or worse position than you, paying as many fees. When they announced the fee change, more than a month in advance, I reviewed my accounts to figure out what my average fees would be and investigated other freelancing platforms. I came to the conclusion that it was better to stay on Upwork and pay the fee.


If they said to me "pay up $100,000 or else you cannot work with the freelancer you already invested $50,000 into" then I would of course walk away. That's not what they're saying though.


If you are not happy, you have the option to go to a different platform. Upwork are providing a service. If you think that the service you receive is not worth the 2.75% fee, then you can walk away. I think it is worth it, so I stay.


And like I said, the ToS say it *is* fine. If you weren't happy with the ToS, then you shouldn't have joined the platform.

Active Member
Joshua R Member Since: Jul 23, 2016
10 of 25

ToS, it don't matter.


You can have a ToS that says, "You can never during the liftime you are alive work with the freelancer again unless through Upwork." Things like these are not ethical and can be fought in court.


So, with the ToS saying about what you think of the fees, the ToS in such situation poses a risk on all clients if Upwork decides to force all clients to pay $100,000 or else lose their ability to work with the freelancer again. Of course, it is not ethical, and it can be fought in court.


Moral of story, people don't join a service knowing they will get screwed over. The situation of such fee addition was ethically wrong to force someone to pay extra when they came in knowing they will pay X amount. Ethical CEO's know for any good business practice is that when a change occurs, those who are remaining near the end, dies out. In other words, those who are still remaining will not need to abide to such change until the service is complete.


Upwork posed a bad ethical business practice which can lead to loss of profits, loss of clients, and potiential lawsuits.


If I were in their shoes, I would do what is good business practice and that is to let the client to continue in the project without paying such processing fees to make the client happy, to keep the freelancer happy, money still will come in my pocket (as CEO of Upwork) and no lawsuits. Simple. They don't really lose anything, since they are gaining $500 out of the $700, simply for providing a platform that they did for years to those others who didn't pay a single penny for processing fees. Simple really. They did it for a very long time, just let it die out until everyone who was already in active listing to pass with no pay of processing fees. Then, of course, if they decide to do projects after May 3, they eaisly can adjust their listing to accomindate the processing fee... no problem.