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Sue Upwork

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Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
21 of 60

Not referring to any specific situation, but speaking generally:

 

Ultimately, the biggest problem with any attempt by a client to sue Upwork because the client is disappointed in work that a freelancer has done is this:

 

The client's efforts will fail, and the client will have wasted her time and money.

 

Upwork has millions of users and processes billions in payments. Its ToS and legal contract language that its users agree to are not accidental.

 

Aside from that, the other major problem with such a mindset is that it is antithetical to the client's success. Not just the act of suing, but the research about suing, and even the thought that suing might be a way to dig out of a hole... all undermine a client's success.

 

Any time you see a successful website or mobile app or other development project... you can be assured that it was created by thinkers and doers and developers and creative people. It was not created by lawyers suing people.

 

Effective project owners know that the success of their project must not hinge on the work of a single freelancer. They plan accordingly. They remove underperforming members from their team and they continue working with the team members who provide the most value to their project.

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Community Guru
Varun G Member Since: Dec 11, 2019
22 of 60

What I fail to understand is why this went on for so long. You worked with this freelancer for several months, that too, on an hourly rate basis... Why did it take you so long to realise what he was doing? If (and that's a big if) the freelancer is genuinely incompetent, then this should have been evident from the start. 

 

If he was truly a con artist and managed to scam you, then that honestly sucks, but I feel that to some extent some of the blame falls on you for allowing yourself to be billed thousands of dollars without actually checking the quality of the work. I haven't hired on Upwork before, and if I did, I'd hire a veteran, but if I did choose to hire someone new, I would probably be up their ass cross-checking their every move.

 

All the best with getting your money back. Also, if push comes to shove, sue the freelancer, not Upwork. One has a team of lawyers and have probably covered all of their liabilities. The other does not.

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Ace Contributor
Martin S Member Since: Nov 5, 2018
23 of 60

Varun G wrote:

What I fail to understand is why this went on for so long.

...


When it comes to complexed software development it's very hard to know if the developer knows what he is doing.

 

He built some sort of good-looking, non-working software and kept on telling me that it's not working because of x, y, z, and it should be fixed tomorrow.

 

For example, he told me it's not working because of my hosting provider, so we spent weeks setting up and testing the application on several different hosting providers - from shared hosting providers to dedicated hosting to AWS and got nowhere, then he said oh I see, we just have to change this and it will work which took another few weeks.

 


Varun G wrote:

If he was truly a con artist and managed to scam you, then that honestly sucks, but I feel that to some extent some of the blame falls on you for allowing yourself to be billed thousands

...


Without getting stuck on my namings... He billed me for a service he did not provide. Period.

 

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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Community Guru
Varun G Member Since: Dec 11, 2019
24 of 60

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.

 

I hear where you're coming from, I really do. Unfortunately, Upwork doesn't work like that. With a fixed price contract, you can clearly set out your expectations, and the freelancer is only entitled to a payment after the stipulated conditions are met. Granted, this has a higher chance of leading to shoddy / lower quality work, but it guarantees that you get exactly what you need.

 

Hourly projects don't work like that. Even if you have mutually determined an end goal with the freelancer, you will be billed on an hourly basis, and if any point you choose to terminate the freelancer, the project basically ends there. I think this system certainly leaves a lot to be desired - I believe that the end goal should be taken into consideration, too - but that's just how the cards have been dealt. You weren't scammed if the freelancer was actually making an effort to meet your required end goal during those billed hours. Whether he ends up actually meeting that goal or not is irrelevant in these types of contracts. Nonetheless, good luck.

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Ace Contributor
Martin S Member Since: Nov 5, 2018
25 of 60

Preston H wrote:

Not referring to any specific situation, but speaking generally:

...


My end goal here is not to sue anyone.

 

It's insane and unacceptable that Upwork doesn't have the minimum responsibility to tell the freelancer: "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".

 

My goal is to wake up the masses to what is going on here and keep Upwork responsible for their actions no matter if they are or aren't "technically" responsible "according to some hidden, unknown ToS".

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Ace Contributor
Martin S Member Since: Nov 5, 2018
26 of 60

In case you wondered what Upwork's response was, see this discussion: https://community.upwork.com/t5/Clients/Upwork-does-not-care-if-you-get-scammed-See-Support-screensh...

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Ace Contributor
Martin S Member Since: Nov 5, 2018
27 of 60

In case you wondered if Upwork will help you in case you get scammed on their platform, here's their response in a so-called 'Support' chat regarding a case where I was scammed thousands on Upwork:

 

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

 

This is in regard to this case: https://community.upwork.com/t5/Clients/Sue-Upwork/td-p/680223

 

It's about time Upwork clients should stand up for their rights and demand basic protection.

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Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
28 of 60

Martin, I am sorry if you have been disappointed by some of your experiences while using Upwork.

 

The problem is that you want Upwork to provide certain services that is simply does not offer.

 

Like all of us, you will need to choose to use Upwork based on the services and functionality that it does offer, or choose to not use it. It is not fair to you, and it is not fair to Upwork, to desire to hold Upwork accountable for not doing something that it does not claim to do.

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Ace Contributor
Martin S Member Since: Nov 5, 2018
29 of 60

Preston H wrote:

The problem is that you want Upwork to provide certain services that is simply does not offer.


Simple client protection is not 'some different services' that I should get somewhere else, it is the basics that every company, in every industry out there provides.

 

If Upwork does not care when people get scammed on their platform and instead reply like the ugly screenshot I provided above, they should be called out for it in public. Period.

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Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
30 of 60

Each company offers different goods and services.

 

It is not clear to me why you are saying that every company offers the same type of client protection. Has not Upwork itself demonstrated that this is not a true statement?

 

Upwork has consistently applied its posted rules and policies while dealing with you.

 

It seems to be your preference that if you spend money while working with a freelancer that has been hired using an hourly contract, that Upwork will guarantee some specific outcome, or get you your money back. That is not a service or guarantee that Upwork offers.

 

 Nor do most companies. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Freelancer.com and other major companies offer no such guarantee.

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