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Community Member

What happen to upwork and quality freelancers? :/



I used to be able to post a job description and within 4h I would get a few solid freelancers offers & start the work. 

Now 99% I get is spam**Edited for Community Guidelines**

Upwork some quality control maybe? Some anti-bot measures or something? This is ridiculous. 

Community Member

From another perspective ... I'm a freelancer, and the amount of spam/scammy job proposals showing up is extraordinary. Too much of the day is being spent sorting through the crap and not enough time actually working and talking with real prospects.

Yes, and many of those are the same ones that appear over and over even after having been flagged, reported, and removed.

I would hope that Upwork would "silently" hide these scammers profiles/ip/mac id tag them from the general public 😕 I've gotten way too many applications of people pretending to be in Europe but upon call I'm talking to some1 from definitely not Europe 😕

I'm not sure how you'd be able to tell that someone is definitely not in Europe - there are lots of immigrants and refugees. But if you suspect that someone is lying about their location, you can flag their profiles and Upwork will look into it. They don't "silently hide" anyone - they'll ban them if caught.


You can tell if they have Native profile pictures and sound very.... different... or cant speak the Native language... 

Upwork should shadow ban them, if they know they are banned they will just recycle/make new accounts. It would explain why 90% of the calls I had in the past few days were all fake ;/

If you're a recent immigrant/refugee, then you wouldn't be able to speak the native language very well. I'm not defending people who lie about their location, but given the rampant amount of discrimination on Upwork ("I had a bad experience with a freelancer from country X, therefore I'm never going to hire anyone from country X again") I can't really blame them, either.

Community Member

Higher quality freelancers don't have to bid on projects very often (if at all) because they get all of their work through invitations, so you might have better luck if you do a search and invite freelancers who look like they know what they're doing.

This is exactly how it works for me and I have to hide my profile because I get too many invites. Applying for projects doesn't even work very well. The people sending invites are willing to pay for quality work, jobs I apply to seem to be more interested in getting a low quote.

Community Member

While I agree that scamming seems now to be controlling Upwork on both the client and freelancer sides,  "third world" used pejoratively, is offensive. Not all good freelancers from countries other than Europe are scammers, or are bad workers.  Sometimes bad clients only want to pay bottom rates and will attract unqualified or unsuitable candidates.  


As Christine has suggested, try doing a proper search and discovering the sort of freelancer you wish to work with - regardless of where they come from. 


Community Member

I do agree with Nichola, using "third world" pejoratively may sound little offensive. But practically, there are some good talents with high skills comes from third world or developing nations. Like for example the current CEO of Google who was born and raised in India or the man reinvented electric cars and the owner of Tesla, Twitter, Space X, considered the smartest and richest in the world was born and raised in South Africa. There are many examples, but anyway…


Upwork could be struggling to filter the legitimate talents and actual clients at this stage while trying to fill the gap Russians have left behind like many other businesses and industries in the world right now. However, there are services available where Upwork can pick a list of options or send invitations to good freelancers on your behalf.

Community Member

Although I dislike the term "third world countries," especially when it is associated with incompetence, I agree that the number of people on Upwork who have no idea about freelancing is causing irreparable harm to the platform.

Basically, it's a lose-lose situation.

1- Because of the overwhelming number of inadequate proposals, clients decide not to hire anyone. The number of jobs that are being closed without being filled is increasing rapidly. 

2-In a sea of spam, good, qualified freelancers (regardless of nationality or location) struggle to get their proposals noticed.


As a result, both clients and freelancers looking for quality work will eventually look elsewhere, and the only people who will remain on the platform will be scammers, predators looking to take advantage of desperate people, and people looking to make a quick buck even if they end up getting banned after a while.


Upwork needs to find a solution to that, urgently. 


Community Member

HeyThanks all for your replies.

Perhaps using "Third world countries" was a bit dramatic, yet at the same time I did not want to specify any specific country... Perhaps you can suggest a better phrase? 


My main point with it is that I don't want people working 6/10h ahead/before of my time zone thus not being able to talk to them during "normal - stretched - working hours" I don't care where they are from as long as I can talk to them at normal times.


I've had 3 calls since yesterday, all European, all pretending to be who they aren't. When I started talking in native language and not English, suddnely the microphone broke. 


Other than that, searching does not really help. I've gone 20 pages deep, and when I need Sofware Developer... I ended up with people doing Writing and books and wtf were they even doing on my list. Regardless, I found no1 to fill the job, most applicants are either located too far away or are pretending to be who they are not ;/


Time to find another better-managed-platform I think 😕 

The fact that Upwork does not do proper verification etc, and allows for this to happen just damages the platform 😕 


There is no better phrase. As much as it is a freelancer's responsibility to spot scammers and to make sure he or she knows what it means to freelance, it is also the client's responsibility to know exactly what he or she is doing and how to choose good contractors to fulfill the requirements for their business. A client should also be prepared to pay to get the results that will take their business to the next level. 


All you need do when you tallk to a potential freelancer, is to ask them what time zone they are in and why you want them in the same zone as you.  When you say"native"  it is not quite clear what you mean by that. Native to which country?


While Upwork's search system is not perfect, I don't think you can be using the filter system correctly.  I have just done a search for a software developer (to test the system), and to me, the choice seems endless.  Perhaps it would be better if you tried to find someone away from Upwork and  local to where you live - a good student perhaps. 









Why is there so often a mismatch between a client's (and freelancer's) stated location and there timezone? Seems easy enough for Upwork to catch this and verify. If they don't match, somehing is fishy about them.

Community Member

I understand Dariusz's frustration very much, and as a freelancer, I am also suffering very much.


I recently started working actively on Upwork again and found because of spam proposals, the jobs I applied by writing thoroughly getting expired or the client did not do an interview at all. In 10 minutes there are 50+ proposals for most jobs now!


I wonder when Upwork will fix this.

Community Member

Hi Dariusz,


I'm sorry to hear you're not seeing the value you're looking for among proposals to your jobs. I'll share your observations and feedback with the team. While hiding proposals that may not fit the job requirements set by client is something we've tested in the past, those tests have been discontinued several years ago based on feedback and other data we've received and there are no plans to do that again. 


We routinely ask earning freelancers to verify their identities to help protect our community and ensure that Upwork stays safe and secure. If we find any inconsistencies on their profile, rest assured that proper actions are taken based on our internal processes. We also routinely ask the users to re-verify their accounts to maintain safety in Upwork and continue expanding out ID verification program to more users. If you see encounter any inconsistencies or suspicious activity, you can also report it for the team's review.

~ Valeria

Perhaps it is time to ask non-earning accounts for verification. 

"I'll share your observations and feedback with the team."  I’m sorry, but does that mean that you are a part of the developments team or do you mean that you will report it to the product manager (something like that).


I’m just new and trying to understand this customers feedback page. Are customers paying the website in any forms (subscription, service fee, etc) allowed to share comments on the quality of service here for you to report it? Or do you have other roles in product developments?



Community Member

> What happen to upwork and quality freelancers?

They are possibly spending their time more gainfully elsewhere.

Unfortunately Freelancers have been complaining about the increasing number of fake clients of late, & the time that is wasted filtering through all of their spam job postings.

This, combined with the swage of very low paid (i.e. less than 1/3 of minimum wage here in the UK), & poorly written 2 line supposed "genuine proposals" that end up with 50+ applicants but being closed with no hires has certainly reduced the time & money I'm prepared to spend on the platform.

I certainly think if clients, as well as freelancers, are suffering, & potentially looking elsewhere, then Upwork should seriously consider implementing a more robust verification & validation process for all parties & submissions, & seek to plug the leaks & fix the ship before it is too late.


e.g. Here's an example from earlier today. I was looking to hire someone, however I wasn't even able to play their Upwork hosted portfolio samples because of an invalid "odesk / upwork / amazonaws" SSL certificate warning, so I just went elsewhere. It's not the first time either.



Thanks. I agree with and second everything you said.

It's tricky. I don't think it's just Upwork. I've recently posted on Freelance and people per hour.
The same issue. 
No matter what job budget I set, say a junior, or professional, rate 10-20$ or 30-60$ etc. I always get the same spammers/proposals. 
I made a rule now that unless I can talk to the person, I straight out kick him off my list of candidates. 90% of calls so far were ... "oh my microphone is breaking I can't hear you, can we just chat?" sort of experience. Its scams left and right.
Alternatively, if I get guys from Poland, or Ukraine, or UK or something like that and I speak my native language. It's like instantly... "silence" like they pretend to be from PL/UA or I talk to UK guy who lived here for his entire life and he's just breaking down each sentence... like wtf.

When I post a job with questions and then get proposals with the same keywords as in questions it's like instant auto bid bot stuff. Why is there no-bid verification ?! Or is there? It's not very good... Sorry.

Just horrible. 

When I posted a job, the people in search for the job postings are mostly from... well not near me let's put it this way, 6-12h ahead of me time zone. Why are they being recommended as top candidates?!  
Then if I add exclude words & type countries. I get something a little better but then I tart calls and it's like, nope are not whom u say you are 😕
I never did "Massive" projects on Upwork, so I'm not a big client. But it never was that hard to find some1 genuine to talk to and get a project done.

I think upwork/freelance/pph just let this bot thing grow for too long and now these platforms are useless 😕


Also even if I pay for the "premium" support from Upwork to find talent. In past, I did it 2-3 times and I got really good results, and then to my surprise when I replied to Upwork chat - as I thought it was a bot - NOPE! A real Upwork person replied and I had a chat with her. There was actually a person helping find freelancers. It was amazing! But now when I bought it, nope! No1 was there to help & no good results. 


Its like Upwork dropped the ball on their match making system, stopped improving it, let bots overtake the platform and its now a mess of a service 😕 

Yes, I think the situation has become serious. Perhaps it is time for all job platforms like Upwork to stop basking in their initial successes and to start thinking of ways to rejig  their business model. Unfortunately, technological advances are not just working for hardworking people who have embraced the gig economy, but also for the thousands of scammers who know how to use it to their full advantage.   


I don't think finding ever more bandages to cover what are fast becoming open wounds is going to be effective for much longer.  It's a depressing thought. 

Community Member

I speak both as freelancer and as a client. The platform lately seems invested by a huge wave of:
- fake profiles- Upwork is not capable or is not willing to at least do a correct match. If you see someone in a timezone that states they are instead on  the other side of this globe... IP or no IP, just common sense...
- fake employers - jobs that should not even be on the board . How Upwork filters the clients? They don't ... unfortunately they don't. It is impossible for Upwork to say they filter as long as jobs listing every  possible contact , phone, mail  down to  whatever you can imagine, such jobs are  present.
- the freelancer protection hourly system  is the only solid mechanism that still works. Milestone or other? they are  a gamble. Unfortunately.

It is understandable that clients come on the platform looking for a bargain for tasks that otherwise would cost them double.

If Upwork is not capable of making and imposing certain rules and minimal bids for tasks, leaving this to freelancer choice  then we are facing a situation of stale.

Same  downfall is seen in most of the platforms before they split and create an elite section discarding  dumping contracts in the  basic  platform area.

This is what I see around. And I don't believe much  will be different in Upwork's evolution. Mostly because there are already 2 other levels for quality organised as platforms  accessible to only the best ( or the "wise" ones)

Community Member

I said it before, but I seriously think Upwork should implement some sort of progressive access system so that newbies get access only to a certain level of jobs (job value, client history, and similar criteria), and get gradual access to better opportunities as they progress and put their skills to test.


This would solve a lot of issues, like serious clients becoming overwhelmed by irrelevant proposals and closing their jobs posts without hiring anyone. 


Also, I think clients (with high-paying jobs, proven platform history, and so on) should be able to choose to completely hide their job posts to groups of their choice, like people who are on the platform for less than 6 months, with a JSS of 80% or less, and so on. 


They need to find a way to get rid of all the noise, urgently. 

A problem with this idea is that it could actually drive away high-quality freelancers. It would amount to treating someone with 20-30 years of experience in their field on the same level as someone with 3-6 months. Not all newbies lack experience.

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