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rbilleaud
Community Member

Don't know about you, but I'm about to leave Upwork

I've been using Upwork for a about 4 years now, and I'd say I'm only an occassional freelancer. I pick only jobs that interest me, and I have a day job, so this is basically just a side hustle for me. But Upwork is really starting to get on my nerves. First they start charging for Connects, now they want me to verify my identity using some convoluted process that requires me to disclose personal information. One of the nice things about Upwork used to be freedom, but now they're starting to impose all these rules. I've about had it.

30 REPLIES 30
florydev
Community Member

I am curious Robert, why did you post this?  Do you want group validation that other people are leaving, because I can guess that they are (but they may not post it here)?  Or were you looking for someone to tell you not to go?

 

I am personally fine with the changes but I can see why others are not.  I am also ambivalent about you leaving.  If you worked in a category that I do, I still wouldn't care.  Your personal choices are your choices, I just not sure why you want to inform me of them.

Mark, I'm not sure what OP's purpose was, but I find it useful when people make posts like this, because it gives us some indication of whether what many of us believe was Upwork's strategy in making these changes is working. This is a hash mark in the "yes" column--a freelancer who has earned a couple of thousand dollars across four years and just isn't a profitable customer for the company.

Yeah, I am with you.

 

This is not my first time seeing this behavior (or my first forum to see it) and I just don't get it.  If you want to leave, leave.  If you want to quit, quit.  My natural reaction is:

 

21b.jpg

 

I put myself in there shoes...and I would just go.  I wouldn't have to know that it was bad for everyone else, it would just be enough that it was bad for me. 

So, sincerely, I would like to know why they do this...

Just trying to get a feel for how others feel about these changes. I know no one here knows me, nor do they care what I do. Do the people who run Upwork have an explanation as to why they feel this is necessary? I can get charging for connects, I guess. Gotta make that money (although they do take a pretty generous cut of my earnings already). I guess it's this validation thing that was a step too far for me. You have to provide your pertinents when you sign up, and I personally don't have a problem getting photo ID, but I do have friends who freelance in other parts of the world who don't necessarily have access to government services like I do.


Robert B wrote:

Just trying to get a feel for how others feel about these changes. I know no one here knows me, nor do they care what I do. Do the people who run Upwork have an explanation as to why they feel this is necessary? I can get charging for connects, I guess. Gotta make that money (although they do take a pretty generous cut of my earnings already). I guess it's this validation thing that was a step too far for me. You have to provide your pertinents when you sign up, and I personally don't have a problem getting photo ID, but I do have friends who freelance in other parts of the world who don't necessarily have access to government services like I do.


I'm not wild about the identity verification process, especially since Upwork sidestepped the issue of security of our documents by referring us to an irrelevant privacy policy. But, I can certainly understand why they feel the need to verify. After all, they're liable for accurate tax reporting of payments made, ensuring that they're not paying freelancers in countries they are legally prohibited from doing business with, etc. I'm kind of surprised they didn't take this step sooner. I don't know this, but I'm wondering whether the push to do so now has to do with stricter regulations for a publicly traded company.

 

 


Robert B wrote:

Just trying to get a feel for how others feel about these changes. 


I don't think this matters since you're leaving, but since you asked, here's how I feel about this. 

 

Upwork has decided to get rid of free connects which is a decision that many successful freelancers applaud because it's not about money. It's about putting an end to the flow of spam proposals that clients receive. 

 

Upwork has been forced to perform mandatory and additional random video verification because profiles were sold to scammers who were in turn scamming clients. This scheme had to end.

 

Freelancers not happy with these changes will go somewhere else, just like you, and they will be immediately replaced by new ones.

 

And the business goes on.

 

 

-----------
"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   โ€”William Ashbless


Robert B wrote:

Just trying to get a feel for how others feel about these changes. I know no one here knows me, nor do they care what I do. Do the people who run Upwork have an explanation as to why they feel this is necessary? I can get charging for connects, I guess. Gotta make that money (although they do take a pretty generous cut of my earnings already). I guess it's this validation thing that was a step too far for me. You have to provide your pertinents when you sign up, and I personally don't have a problem getting photo ID, but I do have friends who freelance in other parts of the world who don't necessarily have access to government services like I do.


UW hasn't turned a profit yet, and it's a near certainty they never will do so on the strength of charging for connects. The anticipated effect of that change will be to shed FLs who operate on such a small scale and/or with such a lack of business sense that the additional expense makes UW untenable; and FLs who "shotgun" proposals, generating avalanches of unqualified, irrelevant proposals that aggravate clients and drive them from the platform.

Randomly re-verifying identity is a substantial PITA caused by the proliferation of fraudulent profiles. 

 

For anyone earning occasionally and not a lot, and not depending on the income for their living, I can see how it would not be worthwhile.

versailles
Community Member


Robert B wrote:

now they're starting to impose all these rules. I've about had it.


Robert, you made a sound decision. Many realize that Upwork doesn't work (anymore) for them, but they stay here and they complain. You did your math and you decided that the best option is to pack and to go someplace else. I commend your attitude and I wish your logical thinking will inspire others: You are doing what's the best for you.

 

There are many other opportunities out there and things change all the time. What works for one person one day may not work the next day. Adaptability is the key.

 

You may have already closed your account by now and you may never read this, but in any case I wish you the best.

 

 

 

 

-----------
"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   โ€”William Ashbless

I think the original poster's post is a good post.

 

It is good to discuss things like this.

 

Maybe the original poster DOES want to elicit some other opinions on the matter.

Or maybe he is simply providing valuable feedback that Upwork can read and reflect upon.

Sure, I am game.

 

I am not currently planning on leaving.

 

Charging for connects will likely have no real effect for me unless it allows me to find more work.  

 

I did the identity verified thing and I don't even remember how it went, if it was convoluted I already forgot.  I don't remember what personal information I disclosed, it does not concern me that much.

 

Exactly. I went and did the identity verify thing as soon as it became an option to do so. I'll say this, it was easy. 

I'm not about to leave Upwork because it is thus far, useful to me, and it saves me a bundle of accounting time.

 

However, If I am forced to verify my identity several times over, I will have to rethink my position (it will not make the slightest difference to Upwork if I stay or leave). I have already verified my identity once. I will have to do it again if I want the tick of approval. I do not want to hand over my passport details yet again to some faceless stranger without any assurance of security.  And yes, Upwork you can say things are secure, but you know what? These days, they are not. Hackers abound and you are not exactly in the FBI, CIA, or MI6 league and even there - as we all know only too well - leaks are profuse and sometimes, inundating. 

 

Upwork absolutely cannot assure me that its verification system is secure. I want to see the face of my interlocutor and I want to know what country he or she is based in and what system is being used. 

 

What I find incredible, is that Upwork does not correctly verify some fake freelancers who repeatedly make new accounts, who sometimes make money, but on totally false premises. These people somehow fly under the radar and Upwork turns a blind eye. I refer in particular to "Aussie Voices" and other profiles that many of us have reported several times over. 

a_lipsey
Community Member

While the charging of connects is a slight annoyance, I actually appreciate the strategy. I am very selective in the jobs I apply for and accept, and have had a pretty high success rate (although I don't know the percentage) on getting the amount of work I need/want from UpWork. My biggest clients are not on UpWork; I got them through in-person networking. But I currently my two contracts are with two clients who have both said they intend to continue working with me indefinitely. So those are two good scores from UpWork. 

 

I can't even submit 10 proposals in a week, much less use 80 connects in a month. I also get invited frequently. I think this is the nature of freelancers who've built a successful freelancing business and who are actually "experts" or of the highest quality in their fields. 

 

Connects are really only a problem for the nondiscerning freelancer who wants to take any job, regardless of how vague the job description or disorganized the client. 

 

In regards to verifying identity, I'm mixed on the subject, but if it culls the crowd of bad freelancers so I can get to the good clients more easily, then I'm all for it. 

 

You know, if UpWork didn't exist, we'd all be out there wasting time on the networking hustle. UpWork provides a service of putting the clients and freelancers in the same room. Yes, other sites do this, but UpWork does it best (IMO). So yes, they are looking to turn a buck. That's called business. If you don't like it, do other traditional marketing and networking to find clients. Frankly, the bulk of my business comes from client referrals. UpWork does help though, and I consider it a marketing/business expense. 

 

I'm not sure why people seem to think that there are no business costs associated with freelancing or that access to these clients should be free. You don't like it? Go build your own platform. I don't mean that meanly. I'm just saying that if you have a better way then implement it. UpWork will run their business model in a way that maximizes profit for themselves. We are free to leave when we don't agree with it. 


Amanda L wrote:

[..]

 

In regards to verifying identity, I'm mixed on the subject, but if it culls the crowd of bad freelancers so I can get to the good clients more easily, then I'm all for it. 

[...]

 

__________________________________

 

I'm not against identification. I am against its randomness. 

 

I'm so happy to notice that jobs offered by clients that have been getting cheap labour here for years are only getting less than 10 bids.

 

At last some justice! 


Robert B wrote:

... now they want me to verify my identity using some convoluted process...


Oh come on! It takes roughly 10 seconds. I guess that sooner or later it will become mandatory. It's to stop those fake accounts and fraudulent activities. I have been in another platform where the number of fake accounts was beyond words. I couldn't believe how freelancers were allowed to use even pictures of known actors, and freelancers were copying each other work! It's good that Upwork are more serious about that matter. I will applaud anything they do against scammers.

 

The paid connects could be a problem, yes, for freelancers who use Upwork not really frequently. So you got a point there, since you have a day job and you are using Upwork from time to time only.


Sergio S wrote:

Robert B wrote:

... now they want me to verify my identity using some convoluted process that requires me to disclose personal information.


Oh come on! It takes roughly 10 seconds. I guess that sooner or later it will become mandatory. It's to stop those fake accounts and fraudulent activities.


While ID verification may be a quick process, freelancers do not have access to the privacy policy of the third-party service provider handling the verifications. Increased transparency would enable freelancers to make informed decisions regarding the uploading and storing of their government-issued photo IDs.

 

Per Upwork's June announcement, the ID verification requirement will soon apply to all earning freelancers. However, earning freelancers appear to account for a low percentage of the site's total freelancers. In turn, clients will still have significant exposure to unverified accounts when searching the freelancer marketplace and/or exercising their option to contract a freelancer who has not yet earned.


Angela D wrote:


While ID verification may be a quick process, freelancers do not have access to the privacy policy of the third-party service provider handling the verifications. Increased transparency would enable freelancers to make informed decisions regarding the uploading and storing of their government-issued photo IDs.

 

Per Upwork's June announcement, the ID verification requirement will soon apply to all earning freelancers. However, earning freelancers appear to account for a low percentage of the site's total freelancers. In turn, clients will still have significant exposure to unverified accounts when searching the freelancer marketplace and/or exercising their option to contract a freelancer who has not yet earned.


 

Do they not divulge the third-party service? oof. I make too much money here, so it's a no-brainer for me to disregard the risk, but I can def understand why others are hesitant. The bugs alone are frustrating, and all it takes is one little bug to cause some privacy issues. For me, the income outweighs the risk, but I would think they would at least let people know what third-party they use.


Jennifer M wrote:

 

Do they not divulge the third-party service? oof. I make too much money here, so it's a no-brainer for me to disregard the risk, but I can def understand why others are hesitant. The bugs alone are frustrating, and all it takes is one little bug to cause some privacy issues. For me, the income outweighs the risk, but I would think they would at least let people know what third-party they use.


Unfortunately, Upwork advised in this thread that they do not disclose the name of the third-party vendor handling verifications. In addition, it hasn't been confirmed if the government-issued photo IDs will be stored for 30 days as stated in the community forum or for "at least 5 years" as stated in Upwork's Privacy Policy


Angela D wrote:


Unfortunately, Upwork advised in this thread that they do not disclose the name of the third-party vendor handling verifications. In addition, it hasn't been confirmed if the government-issued photo IDs will be stored for 30 days as stated in the community forum or for "at least 5 years" as stated in Upwork's Privacy Policy


oooof. It's there forever. Just have to accept that. The 5 year thing is just corporate speak lol I would just accept your ID is there forever.

Of course, Upwork has value to people and provides a service but that's why it charges money for it (project fees, connects, subscriptions etc).

But when there are concerns regarding the verification, I think that's problematic. They have not been very clear about it. Who will access our personal data, where are they located physically, what will they do with them and where will they be store them?

 

If the safety of the platform is the goal, how can you solve it by only checking one fraction of it? Clients and new freelancers that have nothing to lose, can be fraudulent too.

3231a1fc
Community Member

I am long-term client of upwork,not freelancer.

I have no thorough research on the new account plan,but roughly,I think the strategist of Upwork is quite greedy

but that's not the core issue,the core issue is that upwork even do not intend to build a skills test questions bank,but ridiculously ax this good mechnism to evalute freelancer's proficiency.

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

I know a huge skill quiz bank costs much,but I do think upwork can afford it!

Darryl, from the high-quality professional freelancers' perspective the one glaring fault is the limit of 3 invites only under the free plan for buyers.  (This might now be 5 or 6; no one is sure as we continue to get conflicting statements from U)

 

The skills tests were outdated and multiple guess > neither was a true test of knowledge or skills.


Wendy C wrote:

Darryl, from the high-quality professional freelancers' perspective the one glaring fault is the limit of 3 invites only under the free plan for buyers.  (This might now be 5 or 6; no one is sure as we continue to get conflicting statements from U)

 

The skills tests were outdated and multiple guess > neither was a true test of knowledge or skills.


To add to Wendy's comment, it is very easy to cheat on these tests, with answers being readitly available compliments of Google. Nor are the tests any indication that the person you're hiring knows anything about how to establish a good working (and professional) relationship with their clients ... every bit as important as the end product of the job.

 

Some freelancers lie about what they can deliver, despite what their tests scores might indicate - ending with cries of "I want a refund".

florydev
Community Member

I have actually thought about taking some in my skill areas to see how I would fair before they go but they take like 60 minutes and I would rather do something else.

lysis10
Community Member


Mark F wrote:

I have actually thought about taking some in my skill areas to see how I would fair before they go but they take like 60 minutes and I would rather do something else.


I took one even though I knew they were going away because I don't trust them to take it out of search factors.

 

I did LOL at the thread announcing the deicision. It's flooded with NEETs haha

florydev
Community Member

How did you do?  I am sure, like me, you have taken some of these before and the questions are just so awful.

 

A community that cannot agree on anything all agreeing about something.  I have seen people who have complained, mostly clients who are looking for credibility indicators.  

lysis10
Community Member


Mark F wrote:

How did you do?  I am sure, like me, you have taken some of these before and the questions are just so awful.

 

A community that cannot agree on anything all agreeing about something.  I have seen people who have complained, mostly clients who are looking for credibility indicators.  


yeah I don't think the tests matter to clients, but I think they are part of search factors so I wanted to take them for that reason. I did well on the three I showed. The SEO one had some really dumb, bad questions. Internet security was pretty straightforward. Technical writing I'm surprised I passed because I'm not a technical writer. ๐Ÿ˜„


Mark F wrote:

I have actually thought about taking some in my skill areas to see how I would fair before they go but they take like 60 minutes and I would rather do something else.


They don't, really. I only took a few, but they took a small fraction of the time slated (like four minutes instead of 20-30).

 

That could be a problem, too, though. There was a big scandal a couple of years back when one of our very experienced editors got suspended for finishing an 8th-grade-level grammar test too quickly.

Quote: "That could be a problem, too, though. There was a big scandal a couple of years back when one of our very experienced editors got suspended for finishing an 8th-grade-level grammar test too quickly."

 

Yeah, I remember that. Smiley LOL

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