May 9, 2022 07:36:41 AM Edited May 9, 2022 07:44:01 AM by Christine A
This is going to be a long rant, so apologies in advance.
I’m facing an issue where I have an urgent project with an Enterprise client, which unfortunately has now been delayed by almost a week. The problem was initially caused by the client’s error in hiring me for the project but putting the wrong start date. She contacted the Upwork rep for the project to ask if she could edit the date, but got no response for three days. We both then contacted live chat instead, who told us that it was impossible to edit the start date (I won’t go into this now, but it seems ridiculous that clients can't make changes like this), so the client needed to start a brand new project and go through the hiring and onboarding process all over again.
The problem is that for some reason, Upwork needs to “approve” Enterprise projects before freelancers are allowed to start logging time. Unfortunately, the Upwork rep who’s supposed to approve the new project is the same unresponsive woman who ignored questions from both me and the client last week. Three more days - and counting - have now gone by, and the project STILL isn’t approved, with radio silence from the Upwork rep. The client and I have further contacted live chat support to see what’s going on, and they promised to follow up and do something about it, but still nothing. The client is really frustrated and annoyed - it's not just me! I actually started working over the weekend without a contract in place, because I don't want to let the client down. (I've so far logged 8 hours, with no way to get paid yet.)
The onboarding process is kind of pointless anyway; in this case, the task was to download the client’s branding guidelines, but I wasn’t even sent the correct guidelines for this particular project, and the Upwork rep never actually asks me any questions or does anything to ascertain that I’ve actually read them (I’ve been through this exact same onboarding process multiple times, since this is my sixth or seventh project with this client). In any case, I’ve already been vetted by Upwork - isn’t that why I’m being referred to Enterprise clients in the first place? I know how to discuss project requirements and what materials to ask for, and I definitely provide much more attentive customer service than Upwork does; unlike the Upwork rep, I respond to clients within an average of half an hour during weekdays. In my experience, forcing projects to take place via an Upwork liaison does nothing but cause delays and put roadblocks in the way. Why not just let me and the client get on with it, instead of getting in the way?
This is actually the second time in as many weeks that I’ve faced delays like this. The previous week, I was hired by a different Enterprise client - one of the biggest companies in the world - and I set aside three days to complete the project. I completed the onboarding tasks first thing on Monday morning, but by Wednesday, the project still wasn’t approved. Again, I contacted the Upwork liaison but got no response for 24 hours, and had to contact live chat to give them a push. By Thursday afternoon, the project still wasn’t approved, so I was forced to cancel, because there was no longer enough time for me to complete the job.
The irony is that Enterprise clients pay a lot of money to Upwork to supposedly get better service, whereas if these had been clients with normal, free memberships, they wouldn’t be facing all of these delays, so would actually be getting much better service! Can’t anything be done to expedite this process, especially when I’m doing a repeat project with a client and already completed the exact same onboarding process multiple times?
May 9, 2022 08:09:29 AM by Phyllis G
Following this post and hoping for enlightenment. I have also experienced unexplained and problematic delays and mis-steps on projects with Enterprise clients, directly caused by the UW people whose roles are ostensibly to ensure things run smoothly.
May 9, 2022 08:30:28 AM by Renata S
That's a complete horror show! Managers are supposed to facilitate interactions with enterprise clients, not get in the way of freelancers getting their jobs done. If they can't do that in a professional manner, they shouldn't be there.
The worst experience I've had with them is an Upwork manager closing out a contract instead of the client, so my client didn't have a chance to leave feedback and there was no rating. I felt that was interfering with my client interaction in a way that didn't support me, but it's nothing compared to what you're going though.
I'll definitely be paying keen interest to this thread.
May 9, 2022 08:51:10 AM by Christine A
Yes, the auto-closing of Enterprise projects has also caused problems, but I only have time to rant about one thing today. 😉
May 9, 2022 09:57:39 AM by Renata S
The nonresponse from the Upwork rep is unconscionable. This not only casts Upwork in a bad light with the clients the company seems to want most, but also threatens freelancer relationships with clients that could provide them with high-quality projects. This is a lose-lose scenario.
Also, it's quite demeaning for successful freelancers to basically be told that they can't interact directly with their own clients, especially when the people they are forced to rely on to facilitate the contract lack basic communication skills let alone insights into what the work actually involves.
May 9, 2022 09:37:33 AM Edited May 9, 2022 09:39:23 AM by Douglas Michael M
A recent Enterprise client seemed surprised by my having been dinged on quality on a job she had described as "fantastic." She was under the impression that she still had the opportunity to review me. To all appearances, some third party (who might that be?) had stepped in to review work they were unlikely ever to have seen, let alone be in a position to evaluate.
May 9, 2022 08:30:44 AM by Nichola L
I would have thought that the question raised in the two posts above would have been important enough to have elicited a rather faster response from a moderator.
May 9, 2022 09:35:45 AM by Maria T
Christine A wrote:
What you are telling is a real big disaster. No wonder you're about to explode.
How can Upwork treat big clients like this?
I have never worked with Enterprise Clients, but from what you are saying, I would be very afraid to do so
May 9, 2022 09:49:38 AM by Valeria K
I'm sorry to hear you've experienced delays. We're following up with the team on the status of your case and will have an update for you shortly.
In general, clients on Enterprise Membership have access to configurable contracting features that allow them to align their Upwork contracts with their internal policies and make sure they are compliant. That's why contracts with Enterprise clients work differently in terms of onboarding, contract updates, closures, etc. Still, we do want to make sure there are no delays.
May 9, 2022 03:56:29 PM by Christine A
But why does it take the Upwork rep such a long time to respond, especially when I've already done the onboarding tasks for several previous projects with the same client? I've had it take up to 5 working days for a project to be approved, and in the meantime, they don't give you any updates or provide answers to questions from either the freelancer or the client.