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Report a Client (Blackmail/Coercion)


I'm looking for assistance with a current client.  He is seeing a drastic drop in sales at his company due in the majority to the nature of his business.  His sales exploded during the 2020 summer protests over George Floyd and BLM.  Now that that has died down, so have the sales.  He has become increasingly aggressive and hostile --actually yelling and screaming at me and other freelancers-- and rejects any amount of personal responsiblitiy even for things are are solely under his control (such as losing access to his own google search console, facebook busines manager and ads accounts).  I have witnessed him attempting to force other freelancers into continuing to provide support and assistance for him even after the freelancer has closed the contact.  He attempts to coerce them by making up reasons to claim they've performed poorly and threatening to give them a bad review unless they agree to continue to help him figure things out even after they've stopped working for him.  I do have recorded proof of what I'm saying here becasue he specifically asked me to begin recording the Skype meetings and he made these specific statements to me during one of those Sype calls. 

I am seeking help here now because I am now in that position. This client calls at random times throughout the day and goes on rampages, yelling and microscopically picking apart every task I am working on.  Even when he knows that other people have not provided the work and that he and I both have repeatedly requested it, he attacks me because it's not done. Now he is attacking me because I gave a positive review to one of our freelancers when I closed the contract after they finished their work with the company.   This freelancer quit after having been harangued by the client during multiple meetings.  Even though the client's grievance was in fact due to his own blatant refusal to learn how to keep track of his own primary account access details. The freelancer had done everything that he was able to do.  Most of what was asked of him could not be done because the client didn't provide access to the freelancer.  Now, because I did the right thing by not allowing this client to wrongly destroy reputation of another freelancer, I am even more in the crosshairs. 

After a few particularly agressive calls I let him know that I felt it would be best for me to conclude my work with the company.  I am certain that he will give me a bad review because he specifically asked me if I would stick around to work on other projects if he agreed to give me a good review.  That's his ploy.  If you don't bend to his will and let him keep pressing you for more work, he threatens to leave a bad review.  

I would like to know if there is any way I can refute this without destrying my solid record here on Upwork?  Please help. 


**Edited for Community Guidelines** 

Community Member

Nicole, IMO no amount of money is worth putting up with this guy.  Close the contract and leave honest but measured feedback about what went wrong.  If the client leaves terrible feedback, use your Top Rated perk and get the feedback removed.  Life is too short for this kind of struggle.


Hi Nicole,


I'm sorry to hear you've had such a bad experience with this client. I've escalated your concern to the team and one of our agents will be reaching out to you via support ticket to assist. You'll receive an email notification once your ticket is created and you can also access it here.



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