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Worker disappeared

Ace Contributor
Shahzad Y Member Since: Mar 29, 2015
1 of 24

One of our workers (**Edited for Community Guidelines**

) just disappeared, moved to a different location, changed his phone numbers and is no longer answering our team on any platforms.


Even though, our company does have the means to go after him if we wanted, I wanted to know what are our options via Upwork?


I know that we can inform Upwork and after analysing everything, Upwork can suspend their account but I find that some of the workers who plan to do such things don't really take this suspension seriously as they have many other ways to work on Upwork via another profile. Please correct me if I am wrong as the sole purpose of this post is to get more insight on this.


Thank you

SY - Ideas Unlimited
Community Guru
Pablo V Member Since: Dec 16, 2014
2 of 24

Is a too ambiguous situation that you ask. There are several details here that we don't know.


A freelancer is not your employed. If she/he was working for you and billing for hours and dissapears, just close the contract, pay the worker for their past work done until that, and move on. If you are not satisfied with their work, fill a ticket and ask for a reinbursement. If no work was done, you don't need to pay it.


No need to "I know where you live" claims. This sounds to me like "Boy, I would never, ever will work for this creepy client". She/he could have their reasons to avoid working for you anymore in the future and, in principle, is perfectly in its right to act like this.

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

What an odd question.


You don't own "workers."


A contractor can stop working for a client at any time, with no reason at all, and that's just the way it is.


Likewise, a client can close a contract on a contractor at any time, with no reason.


The client-contractor relationships on Upwork are totally at will.

Ace Contributor
Shahzad Y Member Since: Mar 29, 2015
4 of 24

Preston: This was not a one-time development project. I do understand that everyone has the right to terminate their work commitment at any time but don't you think it would be better if it is done professionally.


Have you ever tried disappearing on your client after the client hired you, trained you, gave you his/her information (pertaining to the project) and was counting on you on an important deadline?


I will wait for your answer. Thanks

SY - Ideas Unlimited
Ace Contributor
Shahzad Y Member Since: Mar 29, 2015
5 of 24

Hello Pablo,


I understand your opinion; specially looking at the fact that you have done only one job on Upwork (with all due respect). I am pretty sure your opinion and response will change with time and experience.


Commitment is a key factor on both ends in any work relationship (be it employment or independent contracting). After you invest your time and money in hiring and training someone, the last thing you want is for the worker to disappear without saying anything.


The worker obviously has the "right" to end any commitment at any time. However, most companies in the world would probably want their full-time workers to resign professionally with at-least a curtious letter and after submitting all the work related files.


Thank you

SY - Ideas Unlimited
Community Guru
Pablo V Member Since: Dec 16, 2014
6 of 24

Well, I really appreciate your opinion, but I'm worried that after hundreds of perfectly happy clients in decades of working as professional, researcher and teacher (yes, out of upwork), is unprobable that I will change my arrogant opinion in the future.


You claim that you spend money and time "training" this freelancer. This is a common error of some clients in my opinion.


When I gave a speech or teached someone, I was paid for my time so, perfect and thank you.


When I volunteer I'm perfectly fine also. Even if I'm not being paid, I enjoy the experience, and how and where I want to spend my time is my problem.


But,  when I hire someone I don't want to educate her/him. I want the best people that my money can buy. Period.


Ready to do the job right now and able to solve the problems by themselves without needing my guidance as ducklings every minute. And don't want this people to pass a random group of tests, psychological charades, jumping trough fire hoops, or any form of stupid useless entertainment that only makes the client to feel smart, whereas losing their valuable time and money in the process as an idiot.


So If there was a lesson to learn here for clients could be this: "Unless the main purpose of your company is to fight against illiteracy in the world, don't try to be Mother Teresa's School and put your focus in hiring better next time".

Vladimir G Moderator Member Since: Oct 31, 2014
7 of 24

Hi Shahzad,


I understand your concern and would encourage you to contact Customer Support so we can reach out to the freelancer in question. Our ToS prohibits creating duplicate accounts and we do address accounts that violate this policy.



Ace Contributor
Shahzad Y Member Since: Mar 29, 2015
8 of 24

Appreciate your response buddy and I have escalated this to the Upwork support team.


I also appreciate your reassurance - I just wished that there was a more in-depth way of controlling the commitment level of some of these workers but I also understand that this is not as easy as it sounds.


Thank you

SY - Ideas Unlimited
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
9 of 24

Shahzad Y wrote: I just wished that there was a more in-depth way of controlling the commitment level of some of these workers

 You are still mixing up employees and FREElancers - "free" being the pertinent part here. That also means "free to walk away" if accepting the consequences ( such as bad feedback.)


It is unprofessional and inpolite to just vanish, but on an hourly contract the freelancer can say at any point in time "Thanks, no more" and walk away. On a fixed rate contract any commitment goes as far as the deliverables for any given funded or paid milestone.


You have every right, and I would encourage you to, leave appropriate feedback when you close the contract.


Unless the freelancer has actually broken any Terms of Service I very much doubt Upwork will do anything if, as it sounds like, all they've done is walk away from a contract that didn't work out. Provided you have what you paid them for SO FAR there is nothing to be done.


Close the contract, leave feedback, hire someone else.


By the way, are you talking about a freelancer you HIRED (as a client,) or a freelancer under your agency?


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

Shahzad, the disappearing act you describe is very unprofessional on the part of the contractor.


I have no argument with you about that.


But there is nothing Upwork can do or should do about it. This simply is not a matter for customer support or anything.


Nor should you pursue the contractor. It is not beneficial to your interests to do so. You gain nothing from working with a contractor who has no desire to work with you.


Your own interests are best served by being ready to stop working with any particular contractor at a moment's notice. Because your infrastructure and staffing practices are nimble and resilient to turnover... Which may occur if any one individual contractor is killed by getting hit by a bus, or wins the lottery and decides to stop working, or simply disappears for reasons unknown.