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62fd4cb7
Member

Please stop asking me to skype!!

Hi guys,

Do all of the applicants to your job posts ask to skype? 
I always post simple jobs, and lots of the applicants ask to skype without even saying hello!

Are they trying to change the terms of the contract, or do you think this is genuine and they want to discuss?
I have had misex experiences, some have been fine on skype, and others have asked for more money directly.

Would love your opinions!

52 REPLIES 52
dreamseller
Member

From my experience: usually, clients asks for freelancer's skype to discuss the project. 

 

If you're not comfortable, ignore them. 

 

 

kaiserxtrm
Member

Hi April,

 

I usually do not ask for a client's skype. While a bold move, I imagine that might be too assertive, for a first time meet, for a lot of clients.

 

Like Delwar, I am accustomed to the client asking me to add them on skype for further discussions.

 

Regards,

Teddy

April,

I totally agree. It is inappropriate for contractors to do this. It is a bad habit.

 

Contractors should understand that I might skip their application altogether if they do this.

I'm glad you agree it's strange Preston.

I do just skip their applications too, I just find it strange that out of 50 bids, 30 will start with that same sentence...

Maybe it's a cultural thing as they generally are all from India or Pakistan. I am happy to discuss and ignore being called Sir, but I think most applicants need to realise the difference between small quick jobs and larger ones that actually need a skype call initiated by the CLIENT.

Sorry for the rant ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks for sharing April. We generally encourage freelancers to seek out an interview with prospective clients, but really only after an introduction and as part of a detailed proposal. I appreciate you and others on this thread sharing the perspective so we can consider this as we update/modify the tips and best practice info we provide for freelancers and clients.

Thank you Garnor.
Another bad practice I have often noticed, is that freelancers say they will accept the contract after finishing the job (if it's a quick edit).

This initially appears quite nice and respectful, but I am noticing that it seems to be when they are actually not as confident as they appear to be, don't finish the job hours after expected, and then you can't leave them a review if it's not up to standards. 


April: I have had exactly the same experience that you described with these job applicants sending their Skype IDs and asking for mine.

 

Even when I post detailed, brief job postings which include all information needed to comple the job.

 

The applicants send their Skype address and ask to be added to Skype. These are jobs for which absolutely no Skype conversation or interview is necessary.

 

If I contact them to offer them a job, their response typically includes an additional request for my Skype ID. I tell them "no Skype," and ask them to message me if they have any questions. Invariably they ARE able to complete these straightforward jobs without Skype conversations or additional instructions.

Preston, I'm not the only one then!
I also have lots of people just find me and add me directly on skype... I think I need to change my name on here now!

I had a job start today, but the freelancer finished the job before accepting the contract. The job wasn't done perfect, no where near a 5 star review, but it was finished... Now he has said "I m going to accept contract now and request you for 5 star rating and excellent comments"

Any comments or advice on what I should do here? I am baffled by this comment!


@April L wrote:

Preston, I'm not the only one then!
I also have lots of people just find me and add me directly on skype... I think I need to change my name on here now!

I had a job start today, but the freelancer finished the job before accepting the contract. The job wasn't done perfect, no where near a 5 star review, but it was finished... Now he has said "I m going to accept contract now and request you for 5 star rating and excellent comments"

Any comments or advice on what I should do here? I am baffled by this comment!


lol if it's for writing or logos, you better do a lookup on it. It's probably plagiarized. 

whatever you do, don't give it to them. lol they will hound you constantly until you block them.

 

I had to share a google doc when I was hiring for Udemy and the ones that were terrible or farming out would never go away.

re: "I'm going to accept contract now and request you for 5 star rating and excellent comments"

 

This is both unprofessional AND a direct violation of Upwork ToS. A contractor can be suspended for this type of behavior.

April, this comment says it all -

 

"I think most applicants need to realise the difference between small quick jobs and larger ones that actually need a skype call initiated by the CLIENT."

 

I'm a huge fan of using Skype because I don't do one-off jobs unless they are really large ones such as write a full website or collaborate on a book.  Providers would be far smarter to include a line at the end of their proposals indicating they are amiable to a Skype conversation should the client like.

 

I totally avoid adding freelancers on Skype unless I intend to work with them long term. 

 

Most will spam the hell out of you by sending "Hello, need any work done" every few days until you delete them.

 

 


@Charlie E wrote:

I totally avoid adding freelancers on Skype unless I intend to work with them long term. 

 

Most will spam the hell out of you by sending "Hello, need any work done" every few days until you delete them.

 

 


Yep. lol This is what happened to me. Don't add freelancers to Skype unless you plan to block them. It was always the farmers from the typical places too. Then if you answer them they will try to make deals after saying "No, I don't want a farmer I want to work directly with a provider." Ugh. It's terrible. 

62fd4cb7
Member

Jennifer, no it was just some quick coding edits luckily enough!

I am more careful on hiring for design projects, but was expecting his work to match his reviews. I think they must have been false reviews now thinking about it.

I mentioned in my review that he requested good feedback, still didn't give him a really bad scrore though and just got this:

 

"I would request you to change these comments, no client never gave me less then five stars but you."

LOL. No comment. 


Hi April,

 

Thank you for sharing your experience with us. It's very interesting and valuable. Working without an active contract and requesting perfect feedback is both unacceptable and against Upwork ToS. We'll reach out to the freelancer about that. We always encourage clients to provide honest public and private feedback because it's necessary to maintain transparent and professional marketplace. 

 

~ Valeria
Upwork

Hi Valeria,
Thank you for your comments. I don't want him to be suspended though... ๐Ÿ˜• I'll feel bad!

 

I'm hoping my answers and feedback will help him understand the difference, while allowing him to continue trying to make money professionaly like everyone else...

catbill
Member

When I first started here (recently) I read orientation information and forum posts.  I don't know where, but I do remember someone suggesting that you offer to have a Skype call with the client.  

 

It seemed awkward to me but maybe people from other cultures have read that advice and taken it to an extreme.  We take our culture for granted but others may be struggling to understand our strange ways.  

 

 

April & Cathy,

 

I commend you both for showing consideration to freelancers from non-western cultures, but doing work without accepting a contract then demanding 5 star feedback is inexcusable. Also whoever ghost writes copy & paste job proposals needs to learn that requesting a client for a skype chat in a proposal is inappropriate.

 

Earlier I claimed including contact info in a cover letter violates TOS; thank you Natasha for correcting me. It's hard to keep up with changes sometimes. Cat Embarassed

__________________________________________________
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce


John K wrote: Also, including one's skype address or any other contact info in a proposal is a TOS violation, so if that happens it should be reported

It's not a TOS violation.

 

http://screencast.com/t/uPkLFb3w5tI3

 

Anonymous-User
Not applicable


@Natasha R wrote:

John K wrote: Also, including one's skype address or any other contact info in a proposal is a TOS violation, so if that happens it should be reported

It's not a TOS violation.

 

http://screencast.com/t/uPkLFb3w5tI3

 


And this is often used as a door opener to hire outside of Upwork. If you apply to job offers who ask for contact details (and often for CVs) without providing this, very often the client is not interested anymore and you have spent your connects in vain. If you continue observing their activities you can see a lot of interviews and very often no hires. Not to mention a "famous" translation consulting as a good example for this. If clients and freelancers are keen on hiring offside they will find ways to do it but I would not make it so easy for them.

PS: I already hear the outcry of some clients and freelancers...Woman Wink

John,

Yes, agreed demanding 5 star feedback is inexcusable.

I don't really mind skype address being included in proposals though, if it's at the end and as an option, it's more the systematic requests to discuss even the easiest of projects that bugs me.
And even more so the proposals that ask to skype without even mentioning the job or saying hello.

I guess that shows lack of professionalism and helps everyone else who takes the time land the job though!

claudiacezy
Member

"And remember, always conduct your interview via video conference (Skype and Google Hangouts are our favorites)!"

 

Module 3: Vetting Profiles and Interviewing Freelancers


@Claudia Z wrote:

"And remember, always conduct your interview via video conference (Skype and Google Hangouts are our favorites)!"

 

Module 3: Vetting Profiles and Interviewing Freelancers


I'm very glad not every client follows that advice. Cat Very Happy

__________________________________________________
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce

I've NEVER interviewed a freelancer in any form other than through the Upwork messaging system (and even then it's a very informal discussion of the job). Clearly I fail Client 101.


@John K wrote:

I'm very glad not every client follows that advice. Cat Very Happy


Thats true but freelancers make themselves available on skype even if not asked thinking thats what clients want.

I think it has a lot to do with culture clash. Other cultures have quite different sales techniques. I don't mean to ridicule Middle Eastern culture, but this reminds me of the "come into my shop (Skype) and have some tea". Often Westerners end up feeling forced by what they perceive as rather bold sales tactics while they are probably received as just as presumptuous.

There is NEVER a need to do a video on Skype. Even screensharing is easily done without a camera.

Agreed Wendy! Having everything written down makes sure it's also understood properly I find too. On Skype people tend to just agree with what I say rather than asking questions anyway!

I think it's definitely a culture clash, maybe we are just too used to everything being done quickly and efficiently, whenever needed. 

Margarete, I completely agree with you!

 

Bad - and IMO, totally stupid - move on U's part.

jmeyn
Member


@April L wrote:

Hi guys,

Do all of the applicants to your job posts ask to skype? 
I always post simple jobs, and lots of the applicants ask to skype without even saying hello!

Are they trying to change the terms of the contract, or do you think this is genuine and they want to discuss?
I have had misex experiences, some have been fine on skype, and others have asked for more money directly.

Would love your opinions!


Ignore them. I experienced this when posting jobs on Elance. All of the applicants requesting to Skype were from Asia at that time.

God forbid someone would like a better understanding of your project goals and what you do in a more intimate setting than typing responses out.


@Edward W wrote:

God forbid someone would like a better understanding of your project goals and what you do in a more intimate setting than typing responses out.


Edward,

 

If the job description is clear enough there should be no need to use Skype. Especially as most don't want to talk on Skype but just use the chat feature. If people want to use chat, they can also use email. I've always found chat to be extremely time consuming.

 

With regards to the job description, I posted four jobs last year, 2 were a translation from German into Spanish, one was about repairing some scripts in a Joomla! website and one was the creation of a logo. For the two German>Spanish translations I also added the documents and a word count. This leaves no room for clarifying questions, especially as the two translators I hired didn't have any questions, just did the job. With the scripts I added the error message I was sent from the company hosting the website and said that I need someone speaking German. I wanted the freelancer to provide his application is German to make sure he masters the language, I also posted the job description in German. So why were bunch of freelancers asking me in English to Skype, bragging about their knowledge of Joomla! and telling me in their application that they most certainly can do the job, if I just explain to them via Skype what is written in the error message (it was in German).  Time wasters! With the logo I had one company in Pakistan asking me via Elance for some more details, they then prepared a proposal clearly explaining how they would tackle the job. No need to Skype, so why were a bunch of others pestering me to Skype?

 

As a freelancer I've also had clients already posting in the RFP that will do an interview via Skype. In the end, it always was a chat session. All they did was asking questions I had already answered in my proposal or that were answered by reading my profile. We are talking about jobs for 30-50 dollar and chat sessions that lasted for 30 minutes and more, more than the job was worth. The last client asking for a Skype interview - it's some time ago now - I told I had no problem with it provided we actually talk and don't chat. I made it very clear that if he just wanted to do a chat I'd charge the time. Alternatively he might ask his questions by email, I'd not charge for that. 

 

Edward, I'm sorry but with the low prices paid here, I have to work as efficiently as possible, Skype chats are quite the opposite of efficiency.

The need to / not need to discuss a project more in-depth depends on the nature of the job and on the buyer's knowledge and ability to write a fully inclusive RFP.

 

Joachim's examples of translation needs are one side of the coin; the other is when the client needs creative work done but can't articulate their vision nor what they hope to acheive.


@Wendy C wrote:

The need to / not need to discuss a project more in-depth depends on the nature of the job and on the buyer's knowledge and ability to write a fully inclusive RFP.

 

Joachim's examples of translation needs are one side of the coin; the other is when the client needs creative work done but can't articulate their vision nor what they hope to acheive.


Wendy,

 

I fully agree with you here. Alas, then it really ought to be a Skype call and not a chat possibly even with screen sharing. On a more general level I believe that such clients ought to look for some local freelancer and discuss the job in person and over a cup of coffee or tea. 


@Wendy C wrote:

The need to / not need to discuss a project more in-depth depends on the nature of the job and on the buyer's knowledge and ability to write a fully inclusive RFP.

 

Joachim's examples of translation needs are one side of the coin; the other is when the client needs creative work done but can't articulate their vision nor what they hope to acheive.


Totally agree Wendy.

 

I am not refering to design jobs where discussion may be needed, but to very simple projects where everything is described, and the freelancers ask to skype without even reading the project description. 

Edward, when a job post presents a simple 10 minute job for $15 and explains everything as clearly as possible, an "intimate setting" is really not needed and rather than showing an understanding of the project, it tells me I will need to hand hold and lose time on skype when the project would already have been finished with another professional.

 

 

Far be it from me to rule out skype interviews, but in my view this should be entirely at the discretion of the client -- even I were fond of skype, which I'm not, especially with video, I would never ask it of the client. 

__________________________________________________
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce

What I really hope is that two exceptional clients such as April and Jennifer D, remain as regular contributors to the forum.


@Nichola L wrote:

What I really hope is that two exceptional clients such as April and Jennifer D, remain as regular contributors to the forum.


I missed this whole lively debate because it was on the weekend and I had an exam to study for! But I did see this comment, thanks Nichola ๐Ÿ™‚ 

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