The moment that something is listed becomes an active project. Truth.
It is like me telling you, after such investment in searching after 20 days and wanting you to be my freelancer, that you have to pay $200 for the processing fee. Chances are, you won't. In other words, reduction of offer by $200. Then I lose a good team because of such new fee.
Active project starts the moment the listing is public.
Not only that, forced to abandoned such investment in searching and time, as time is at essence? 20 days is almost a month. Who can afford spending 20 days to the trash and starting over? Investment, money, time. All starts when the listing is made public.
Tell you what. Each time that you list something, me, Upwork, I am going to every few random days while your listing is open, change the fee. That means every few days you gotta pay up the new fee to accomindate your offer or abandoned your current search if the team don't want to pay for it so that you meet budget. You already invested $50 in contracts and plenty of hours drafting with your team and speaking with your investor that the team is ready to join and etc, to have all of that stripped from you due to the fee change in the middle of the listing. Um... no. It was an active project, time, money are already invested. Choice is yours.
Any wise CEO and business owner knows that the moment they seek employees is the moment of activity for a business. Employers need to go through various stages, such as cost for advertising, recruiter fees, stages of interviewing, inter buisness interaction relations, contract drafting, and plenty of time before an employee signs a contract. So, Yes. It is active once a job ad is listed.
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Joshua, unfortunately, we will not be able to make an exception to our policies regarding the new payment processing fees.