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3 Inherent Biases of Upwork's Platform

Community Guru
Setu M Member Since: Jan 26, 2014
1 of 15

I am so upset to the point my head hurts. I will avoid a lengthy post.


Dollar ($) Weighted Review

1 x $600 job > 10 x $60 jobs

This is utter rubbish. If I can reproduce 10 x 5* performances repeatedly, how would I not be proven more competent than someone who got 1 x 5* from winning a large contract. This lack of logic is overwhelming.


Heavy Weighting of Long Term Contracts

1 x 6 month contract > 10 x 2 day contracts

There are many disciplines here that the task will never require 6 months to complete or repeated tasks, but only a few hours. As fate would have it, these are generally the <$50 contracts. So we have suffered twice.



Private Feedback

1 x 10 point private feedback > 10 x 5* public feedback

It is customary in a court of law in every* country that you must know what you are being accused of and your accuser - how else could you defend yourself. A freelance cannot make changes because his/her JS score has changed, because we do not know what inspired the change. Once again - illogical.


This came about not because I am complaining about my JS score, but because I happened to read a post showing improvement from 83% to 97% with just 2 x 5* completed jobs since April compared to my 10 x 5* completed jobs since April and only an increase from 89% to 90%. Both profiles are less than 2 years old so no removal from the calculation. One major difference is with 1 x $600 contract vs 10 x ~$34 contracts.

---- easy like Sunday morning ----
Community Guru
Iftikhar I Member Since: Mar 10, 2015
2 of 15

--- easy like Sunday morning ----




--- Difficult like Monday morning ----

Community Guru
Setu M Member Since: Jan 26, 2014
3 of 15
It is quite difficult because I am always at a disadvantage.
---- easy like Sunday morning ----
Community Guru
Setu M Member Since: Jan 26, 2014
4 of 15
Still waiting on a comment from Garnor, Valeria or Lena. Actually I would like some form of reason to prevail, logic to prevail, and change to be made. I cannot just accept that there is no room for change in a man made system.
---- easy like Sunday morning ----
Community Guru
Jean S Member Since: Oct 22, 2007
5 of 15

I'm in the same position. As a resume writer for individuals I don't get long term contracts. I get a LOT of clients who come here for the first time, don't understand the system and rarely is a job over $200. I did have one long term client who I wrote articles for but had to ask him to close the job because he's had no work for the last month and if Upwork closes the job then I'm in real trouble. He was shocked that I had to do this and shocked at the things that are affecting our Job Success scores. I now constantly check other sites for jobs before I even consider a job here.

Community Manager
Valeria K Community Manager Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
6 of 15

Hi Setu,


The three points you have mentioned have been in place for a while.


- Feedback is dollar weight but it has nothing to do with comparing you to other freelancers. It simply means that feedback for a job that you did and got paid for more contributes to your feedback more than a job you did and got paid for less. You did put more time and effort into it so it should be reflected in your feedback score.


- Returning clients and long-term clients mean that their experience with a freelancer was so good that they want to continue working with this freelancer. We must encourage this. That being said, we understand that in some fields long-term and returning clients are not common. Therefore, not having long-term or returning clients does not count negatively for your Job Success score.


- Private feedback provides valuable information about freelancers' performance. There are certain things users are not willing to share publicly or unable to when no money was paid of the freelancer refunded everything. We turn this feedback into percentage and add to the Job Success score to let the freelancer know that there is room for improvement and help clients with hiring.

~ Valeria
Community Guru
Tony H Member Since: Nov 10, 2011
7 of 15

Feedback is dollar weight


The problem with this is, you can work for 2 years with one client who has been happy enough to keep you on. Then, things go bad and the contract ends... with the client being in a bad mood because of whatever happened in their personal life or whatever the cause. Gives you a 3 star feedback and your Upwork profile is trashed. You could have 100x $50 clients who all gave you perfect feedback, front and backend. Then that one 2 year contract overshadows them all.


I understand the basic logic of dollar weighted rating, but it doesn't work. I had a client like that once on another platform. He had business tress and was basically A.W.O.L for 3 months. Our relationship weakened and he left 3 star feedback. After close to 2 years together, my profile was destroyed by one guy in a bad mood.


I wish the Upwork peopel could understadn just hopw incredibly frustrating it is for both clietns and freelancers, when they create all kinds of functionality that greatly affects everythgin we do here.... and then just says 'Good enough, let's do it".


What kind of rating would Upwork get for their "Good enough" approach to a multimillion dollar business, wit hundrfeds of thousands of clients? What would Upworks JS look like with all these complaints? We are each a very small drop in the ocean... but if our complaints were weighted the same as Upwork rates our profiles... what do you think Upwork's rating & JS would be?


Like I said many times before... create a professional platform for us to use, and you'll get professionals working on it!


Without proper execution , great ideas mean nothing.

Community Guru
Tony H Member Since: Nov 10, 2011
8 of 15

And BTW...




My commetns are not directed to you personally. I know you are just the messenger.

Community Leader
Chad R Member Since: Mar 19, 2015
9 of 15



I found out about this the hard way.


I've been griping about the client happiness score calculation and found out about the weighting the other day.


A client payed me me a substantial sum (or what I consider substantial) and my client happiness score jumped quite a bit, when none of the other multiple 5 star + ratings made a dent, and one even caused the score to decrease.


This system has never been fair apparently, and they probably introduced the client happiness score in order to ameliorate the weighted (read: erroneous, misleading, nonsense) 5-star ratings.  However, client happiness falls victim to the same weighting nonsense apparently.


Unfortunately there are always people who are hostile to Math.  The world suffers for it.


Long live Galileo!



Community Guru
Stephen B Member Since: Dec 4, 2012
10 of 15

What is the client happiness score?