I have been active on this platform for not a very long time but I have found opportunities and good work from very good clients. Before I started on Upwork, I made sure I knew the rules of engaging with clients and I read many posts on clients not cooperating on Upwork. I have a similar issue and I have some questions.
I was contacted by a client after I made a proposal on their job post. The client did not award me the project but started giving out information on chat/messages. As I only take jobs that I can confidently work on, I always get as much details from the client as possible before the contract is awarded. This client shared access to his website's files so I could have a look to see if I could be of any assistance. After I had gone through the files, I came to the conclusion that I could be of help on only part of the issue so I shared that information with this client.
The client did not properly respond to the offer I made and he did not award the contract. But he started asking questions about what changes I had made to his files. When I said I do not work on any changes before a contract is awarded, he started saying things like ".. this issue was not there before.. you only had access to the code.. ". I assured him that no changes were made and told him to check the logs for proof. He kept ignoring that and kept saying if I could be of help resolving this bug. I realized at that moment that he was trying to "blame" me for something that I did not do and he wished to have the issue rectified without awarding the contract (and hence for free). Because he never responded to any of my offers whenever I mentioned to hire me for the work.
I did not find a way to "block" the client in Messages and since I have not been awarded the contract yet, I assume I do not have to worry about him leaving false feedback, right? As I mentioned before, I have not made any changes to his files and I asked him to check the logs if he has any doubts and he ignored my messages. My questions are:
1. Since no contract was awarded, can he affect my rating/reputation on Upwork?
2. Am I right to assume the client was trying to get work done for free?
3. Is it possible to block messages from this client in chat. Or block the client?
4. If he keeps bothering, can I report something like this? I can see that the client has some reviews on his profile, one of which is a very bad one. The rest are fine.
5. Will it make any difference if I Withdraw my proposal?
I do not want to take any steps that will negatively affect my profile. Can anybody please adivse?
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re: "Client has not awarded contract but asked for changes in Chat"
This headline does not make any sense.
Here are some better ways to word this:
"A prospective client has not yet started a contract; how can he do so?"
"A newbie client does not know how to use Upwork properly."
"A scammer is trying to defraud me and defraud Upwork by tricking me into working for free."
Thank you so much for pointing that out. I have changed the title.
EDIT: This is odd, when I click on Edit message, the Subject is the updated one. But on the main topic page, the title remains the same.
re: "1. Since no contract was awarded, can he affect my rating/reputation on Upwork?"
re: "2. Am I right to assume the client was trying to get work done for free?"
re: "3. Is it possible to block messages from this client in chat. Or block the client?"
re: "4. If he keeps bothering, can I report something like this? I can see that the client has some reviews on his profile, one of which is a very bad one. The rest are fine."
EVERY job post has a "Flag as inappropriate" link button in the top right hand corner of the page. You can use that to report clients for asking for free work.
re: "5. Will it make any difference if I Withdraw my proposal?"
How to block a client/Upwork user:
Go to the Upwork Messages tool.
Find the person you want to block.
Click on his name.
This opens up a dropdown menu.
The bottom option lets you BLOCK the person.
Just want to add and to make this clear for others, we need to click on the name of the client in the chat window and not in the left panel that lists all the clients.