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Sue Upwork

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Ace Contributor
Martin S Member Since: Nov 5, 2018
1 of 58

I spent thousands on Upwork for a con-artist freelancer who claimed he could deliver my project as described in the project description.

 

The project timeline was 1 to 3 months with clear, detailed deliverables. It's now a year later and they did not deliver a working application.

 

We were going back-and-forth for months - he tried claiming it works and when I showed it doesn't work with explicit screenshots, etc. he told me after a day or two that it should now be fixed while it was never fixed.

 

I contacted Upwork support over two months ago to get my money back, I showed them exactly what was going on with supporting evidence, they confirmed I was scammed by being charged thousands by freelancers who can't and don't plan on delivering the project deliverables, and to my surprise, all they offered was to pull me around the past couple of months just like my con-artist freelancer.

 

They kept on telling me something like: Oh, I see, let's contact him again and ask him again to fix it again...

 

I was fed up from playing these endless games and replied:

image.png

 

Their response though was something like: I can understand the frustration, wasted time, money and effort only to receive a non-working software bla, bla, bla... but we will do nothing to help you get your money back because this was an hourly project and according to Upwork term of services they are technically just a payment processing platform and they take responsibility what so ever.

 

I asked them a simple question: So I can technically go onto Upwork, claim that I build satellites, get a client to pay me $40 Billion for my so-called work and just walk away without doing my job if I do it on an hourly basis and Upwork will do nothing to help the scammed client get his money back?

 

Their response was nothing short of assuring that I'm 100% correct, I could scam Upwork clients without paying any consequences as long as I do it on an hourly basis.

 

I'd like to sue Upwork for:

  1. Allowing freelancers to scam me on their platform.
  2. Doing nothing to help me get my money back - thus, supporting the con-artist freelancer.
  3. Still allowing the freelancer's agency and its employees to operate on Upwork without refunding my stolen money - thus, being able to scam new clients.
  4. Falsely marketing itself as a secure freelancer marketplace and dispute mediator in case it's needed and hiding the real face of Upwork in the terms of service.

Big tobacco firms were sued because of marketing smoking as a luxury while it is dangerous and not displaying a large, clear, bold warning message even though you were able to find a health warning in some legal terms and conditions fine print.

 

If you were involved in a recent lawsuit against Upwork please let me know how you went about it, attorney references, etc.

 

If you were involved in a similar dispute with Upwork, please let me know your story to join me in building the case against Upwrok in my lawsuit.

 

P.S. Upwork, I've shared this discussion link in other online networks, doing anything to try to remove/disable/hide etc. this discussion will only hurt.

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Active Member
Davis H Member Since: Nov 28, 2019
2 of 58
Hi Martin.

I have no relation to upwork, you or your rant. However, I do believe this.. if you spent as much effort towards creating your software as you are attempting to complain with hot air, then you’d already be more successful in your endeavors.

Best of luck!
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Ace Contributor
Martin S Member Since: Nov 5, 2018
3 of 58

@David H. I definitly spent hours upon hours for the past months working on this project...

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Moderator
Avery O Moderator Member Since: Nov 23, 2015
4 of 58

Hi Martin, 

I'm sorry to learn about your experience with this freelancer. I looked into this and can see that a member of the team has reached out to you through Ticket #27058002 with more information about your issue. If you have further concerns that you wish to discuss with the team, please feel free to reply on the same ticket thread so that the team handling your case can assist you further. 


-Avery
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Ace Contributor
Martin S Member Since: Nov 5, 2018
5 of 58

@Avery O.

 

I've been geting these answers from Upwork support for the past couple of months as explained in my initian discussion message and I'm fed up.

 

There is a reason I started this discussion. Those long, pointless answers does not help anyone.

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Community Guru
Christine A Member Since: May 4, 2016
6 of 58

I'm sorry that this happened to you, but I think that a lawsuit would be a further waste of your time and money. All Upwork did was to connect you with this freelancer - they did not recommend that you hire him (that was your decision) and they didn't make any claims about his abilities nor guarantee that he would successfully complete your job. So I don't think that you'll be able to claim false advertising or misrespresentation (BTW, hundreds of individuals sued the tobacco companies for decades, and didn't get a dime). 

 

What I don't understand is, why did you work with this freelancer for such a long time? If I hired somebody and we agreed on a 1-3 month deadline, I wouldn't continue working with them and giving them money for a whole year.

 

But if what you say is true, then I wish you success in removing this freelancer from the platform. 

 

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Ace Contributor
Martin S Member Since: Nov 5, 2018
7 of 58

@Christina A.

I can understand that a complexed project could somtimes take a little longer than initially expected and I didn't start to be concerned untill month 4 but he kept on telling me all sorts of excuses, why it doesn't work and why it will work tomorrow so my only option was to try to get them to complete the project as completion was always just one day ahead...

 

Once I noticed they are taking me on a ride and they don't have the means to complete the project I contacted Upwork support who simply took me on a similor ride.

 

Upwork should have the basic responsibility to ensure this does not happen and help scammed victims in case anything like this happens.

 

Upwork simply has the option to tell the freelancer and his agency: You were involved in charging a client thousands without delivering the deliverables, we cannot have this happening on our platform and we will have to close all your agency's operations to ensure other Upwork clients don't get scammed as well unless you (the freelancer) refunds the whole project so we know we could trust you and you won't do this again.

 

If Upwork does not do this they are complicit and an active partner in this fraud by supporting a freelancer who scammed me and keeing him on the platform where he can scam other vulnurable clients.

 

Wining the lawsuite is not my olny priority here, I'm also diong this to A) bring Upwork to the table as they are simply playing games with me and B) to let the world know the real face of Upwork.

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Community Guru
Maria T Member Since: Nov 12, 2015
8 of 58

Martin S wrote:

@Christina A.

I can understand that a complexed project could somtimes take a little longer than initially expected and I didn't start to be concerned untill month 4 but he kept on telling me all sorts of excuses, why it doesn't work and why it will work tomorrow so my only option was to try to get them to complete the project as completion was always just one day ahead...

 

Once I noticed they are taking me on a ride and they don't have the means to complete the project I contacted Upwork support who simply took me on a similor ride.

 

Upwork should have the basic responsibility to ensure this does not happen and help scammed victims in case anything like this happens.

 

Upwork simply has the option to tell the freelancer and his agency: You were involved in charging a client thousands without delivering the deliverables, we cannot have this happening on our platform and we will have to close all your agency's operations to ensure other Upwork clients don't get scammed as well unless you (the freelancer) refunds the whole project so we know we could trust you and you won't do this again.

 

If Upwork does not do this they are complicit and an active partner in this fraud by supporting a freelancer who scammed me and keeing him on the platform where he can scam other vulnurable clients.

 

Wining the lawsuite is not my olny priority here, I'm also diong this to A) bring Upwork to the table as they are simply playing games with me and B) to let the world know the real face of Upwork.


In the hourly jobs you pay freelancer time, not the quality or amount of work done.
As you have already been told, it is strange that, if the work was not being done, you would continue to work with the same person for so long.
Once you've seen part of the work, you review it, ask for corrections and these are not done, I'm afraid you should have closed the contract, requested a refund (total or partial) and sought another freelance.
Keeping the job for a long time without results is nonsense.
Now, you have neither the money nor the work done.

 

I am very sorry for what happened to you. I think you learned the hard way, but there are many quality freelancers here.
Just look for them.
I hope it solves, if not all, much of your problem.

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Ace Contributor
Martin S Member Since: Nov 5, 2018
9 of 58

Maria T wrote:

In the hourly jobs you pay freelancer time, not the quality or amount of work done.
As you have already been told, it is strange that, if the work was not being done, you would continue to work with the same person for so long.
Once you've seen part of the work, you review it, ask for corrections and these are not done, I'm afraid you should have closed the contract, requested a refund (total or partial) and sought another freelance.
Keeping the job for a long time without results is nonsense.
Now, you have neither the money nor the work done.

 

I am very sorry for what happened to you. I think you learned the hard way, but there are many quality freelancers here.
Just look for them.
I hope it solves, if not all, much of your problem.


Although this was an hourly project, it had clear defined deliverables in the project description to be delivered within a budget cap and a 1-3 month timeline. The only reason I did it hourly is that the freelancer told me he only wants to do this hourly.

 

The freelancer accepting the project essentially agrees to the project description and gets paid for doing his job which is delivering the project deliverables - even though the payment type was set up to be hourly.

 

I did not pay the freelancer once he reached the project budget cap which was at about 4 months into the project, still too early for me to determine that he won't end up delivering the project deliverables and filing a dispute. The past 8 months I was only trying to have them fix their broken application to no avail.

 

When it comes to software development it is very hard to know if the developer knows what he is doing, he did build some sort of non-working software and kept on telling me that it's not working because of x, y, z, and it should be fixed tomorrow, etc.

 

For example, he told me it's not working because of my hosting, so we spent weeks setting up the application on several different hosting providers - from shared hosting providers to dedicated hosting to AWS and got nowhere.

 

When you hire a painter to paint your home and he ends up scraping the walls in preparation to paint and does not end up painting them he essentially scammed you no matter if he was paid on an hourly basis or project-based.

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Moderator
Avery O Moderator Member Since: Nov 23, 2015
10 of 58

Hi Martin, 


I understand how this can be frustrating for you. However, our team is unable to discuss this here to comply with our privacy policy. It would be best to discuss your concern further with the team handling your concern so that they can assist you further. 


-Avery
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