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natacha-nl
Community Member

About the "connects" and the "bet" function... and other points

Hi there,

I have been a freelancer on Upwork for over 3 years now, and during all this time, I notice that the quality of the site is deteriorating more and more.

 

Fist of all, the fake offers posted by scammers several times a day and for months. It took a lot of effort to eradicate some of them, and the response from Upwork's customer service is always the same: click on the flag to report the scam attempts. There are less such posts now, but there is still some work to remove them all.

 

Then, freelancers who publish their services on the job offers page.  I'm so upset when I see this, it's another proof that Upwork doesn't apply any publication restriction, and that anyone can post anything and anywhere on the site, as long as nobody reports the publication.

 

And finally, the recent change with the new "bet" function when applying for a job. 

What the hell is that, but only a way for Upwork to make even more money on our backs.

Have you noticed that on certain offers, some freelancers are ready to bet 60 connects, sometimes even 80, maybe more !!!! 

That's insane, and the thought came to me that they can't be real freelancers, but that Upwork pays someone to make those bets just for us, the real freelancers, to bet more, and when we don't have "connects" anymore, we have to buy new ones.

 

Why do I think that fake profiles are those who do the huge bets ? Because no one is enough stupid to spend so much money just to apply for a job, without knowing if they will be hired or if they will have the chance to get the connects back if the client remembers to click on "refuse the proposal" (which leads to the refund of the connects to the freelancer).

Maybe some newbies on Upwork think that they have to bet so much and that will lead them to get hired. But it's an utopia, or maybe someone had the huge chance to be hired in that way - ONCE. But clients are not idiots and they don't look only at the proposal with the highest bet, they look at least at the first 5 proposals, until they find the candidate they are looking for. That's a real fact ! 

 

And those who bet so much, if they are real freelancers, they must keep in mind that they have a real and strong competition among talented freelancers who really fit with some jobs, even within those who don't bet so much. You can't apply for a English-French translation job if your native language is Chinese and you are beginner in English. YOU JUST CAN'T !! So, your huge investment can't lead you to be hired, or maybe you will be hired, but when the client will see that you're not that much good for his job, he will just terminate the contract and will contact another better candidate. That happens to me sometimes, clients contact me after having made a mistake by hiring the highest bet, thinking it's a big talent, and then they are disappointed and go chose someone else who really fit with their requirements.

 

This bet thing is only a way for Upwok to make more money !! That's the sad reality, and some freelancers think that it's an opportunity for them to get hired if they bet the more, but it's an utopia !! 

 

Something else makes me feel really upset : the clients who don't make an effort by clicking on "refuse the proposal", so the freelancers can be refund with the connects invested in their proposal. For 100 proposals sent, I can count 1% of clients who click on "refuse the proposal". 1%, that is my general statistic for the last 3 years I am active on Upwork. 

What the hell is so hard for them to click on this button ? And when their offers are expired, what the hell is so hard for the clients to remove them from the platform, so all the freelancers who sent a proposal are refunded with the invested connects.

 

Upwork has a lot of work and efforts to do in order to make this platform more truthworthy. 

In the recent months it became a real circus where the scammers enjoyed going fishing for naive people, and where the freelancers spend connects on fake offers (connects never refunded) and now have to spend a huge amount of connects if they want their proposals to be placed in the top 5, which is also an utopia.

 

Personnaly, I never send any proposal when I see that already more than 20 freelancers applied. That's insane, and I can notice that many of those offers which receive more than 20 proposals don't make any interview, the offer keeps posted, receiving even more and more proposals, and the clients don't make any step towards the freelancers. 

 

My final thoughts is that we can still get hired without investing 100 connects per offer, and so I hope that a lot of you will understand that your skills and experience won't never ever replace any high bet. Use your talent to get hired, not the money you not have yet.

 

I would like to know your thoughts about those points, particularly the "connects" point, but of course, you can freely make your comments and share your opinions about every points I spoke about here.

 

All the best to all of you ๐Ÿ™‚

16 REPLIES 16
alessandrosr
Community Member

Well written!

Finally a fellow translator who rises their voice on such an issue.

I am here on upwork for so many years, even before it was called "upwork". And what a downhill it was. The competition in our business is insane, usually 10/20 minutes and you have 50+ proposals...and I agree with you - curious to see how many of them are genuine. The result is that nowadays I almost stopped sending my proposals - it's a waste of time and energy as you either have a lot of proposals and/or you have crazy people (bots?) boosting with 80 connects, so it's not worth it anymore. And on top of that, we translators are often a one-off commodity, thus we have to suck up the whole 20% fee.

What can we do? Wait and see. Unfortunately I've not been able to find another platform, thus I need to stay on this wicked upwork even if I work less and less here as finding new clients became close to impossible for the aforementioned reasons.

You also said "we can still get hired without investing 100 connects per offer" - I wish it was true! I can't get hired anymore despite I'm a "top rated plus" member and my oldest feedback is dated back to 2011.

d26d5d29
Community Member

After just one month on here, I'm getting the impression I am not wanted here.
My work is worth way more than $5, of course minus 20%.
I see absolutly NO requirements for actual skillsets or quality of work, far too many unskilled low-ball 'freelancers'

So many proposals sent, then clients NEVER review proposals, hire anyone, or close the job. Boosted or not.

I'm pushing 25+ years of graphic design and desktop publishing.

It's not that you're not wanted here, it's the huge competition who is there for a long time and already have top rated profiles.

When I came on Upwork, first of all, you had to have a pro email domain. For instance, a Gmail didn't work. I had one pro, so I used it. Today it's no longer the case. So, then I had a great career behing me, and despite of it and my great CV, the fact that I was new on Upwork meant that I had to fight to try to get the first client to hire me, then a second, etc. It was also difficult to convince them to let me their feedbacks and rating, even if by message they congratulated and complimented me for my job. And rating and feedbacks are so important here !
Be patient, one month here is really short to get a first job. It took me much more time to reach the first job, but at the time I had another full-time remote job and then I was just trying to make my place on Upwork from time to time. 

Today the competition is much bigger than when I came here, but it has increased at once, to me it was like from one day to the next. 

A lot of strange things happen on Upwork since a while, and that's really shame.

I think that the possibility to register on Upwork with an ordinary email address have open the door to anything and everything (even the scammers), and this place became a big circus.

Big shame for Upwork.

sofia2008
Community Member

Here are a few comments regarding your post.

 

RE: the clients who don't make an effort by clicking on "refuse the proposal", so the freelancers can be refund with the connects invested in their proposal.

 

Connects are not refunded when a client does not accept a proposal.

 

RE:where the freelancers spend connects on fake offers (connects never refunded)

 

Connects are refunded when Upwork removes a job post in violation of ToS.

 

Here is the help article related to Connects

Understanding and Using Connects โ€“ Upwork Customer Service & Support | Upwork Help

 

RE: Connects are refunded when Upwork removes a job post in violation of ToS.

 

That hardly happens...

That's strange, Sophie, because whenever it happens that a client refuse my proposal, I receive an email in which it's specified that my connects have been refunded to me. 

I can't find right now such an email, it happens really rarely, and I regularly empty the trash box. 

But I'm sure it's the procedure, except if they changed it meanwhile.

tlsanders
Community Member

"Because no one is enough stupid to spend so much money just to apply for a job,"

 

By this reasoning, no one would ever drive to a job interview a couple of hours away. No one would ever run Google Ads to drive traffic to their website. No one would ever place a paid advertisement for their services anywhere. 

 

You mentioned 60 connects, so let's just use that as an example. 60 connects = $9.

 

Imagine that I bid 60 connects on each of 10 jobs and don't get my connects back for any of them.  I've spent $90. Now, imagine that just one of those clients hires me, and pays me $5,000, or $10,000, or sticks around a little longer and ends up paying me $25,000 or $35,000. 

 

Do you truly believe no one could be stupid enough to spend $90 to make $5,000....or $35,000? 

What you're describing has the same chances of winning the lottery for the new year.

๐Ÿ™‚

๐Ÿ™‚

 

I doubt there are many clients who have $5,000+ jobs who focus on hiring only, or even primarily, freelancers who have paid to have their proposals put to the top of their jobs' proposal lists by Upwork. Employers don't focus on the most desperate job candidates in the real world; there's no reason to think it happens on Upwork.

 

My personal experience with boosting, which is no more likely of being representative of all freelancers' experience with boosting proposals than is any other particular freelancer's experience, is that boosting makes no difference in the likelihood of me being hired. I'd guess that the cost of my proposals for the client and the prospective clients' perception of my "fit" with their needs are far, far more important.

 

Only Upwork knows whom and in what kinds of jobs boosting consistently helps boosting freelancers win more often than freelancers who don't boost, and they're not telling us. Maybe more importantly, Upwork hasn't disclosed whether boosted proposals are more likely to provide quality work for clients.

 

I won't be boosting proposals over the long run, but I'll continue to occasionally test whether boosting makes a signfiicant difference in the success rate of my proposals. So far, it hasn't.

abixbg
Community Member

What you don't understand that freelancers doesn't have a problem here. The problem is for Upwork because clients are leaving the platform. As a freelancer with good reputation I can also find another source of work. Just got honest opinion from a client that was furious that he needed to browse trough all that 50+ boosted proposals just to find mine and another 3.  freelancers with good stats and skills. Not my words! I have hard time to justify managing account here to get 1 invite per week when i get 4-5 daily on LinkedIn. 

That's right, the real problem are this bunch of freelancers, or fake ones, who send their proposal, and I'm pretty sure that no more than 10% of them fit with the jobs offered.

That's also the reason why a lot of clients specified in their offers that they won't even look at the proposals from freelancers which profiles don't fit with the offers. And I understand them, that's surely awful to receive 50+ proposals at once.

I'm also on LinkedIn, but same there, the competition is huge and I still have not got the chance to get hired through there.


Tiffany S wrote:

"Because no one is enough stupid to spend so much money just to apply for a job,"

 

By this reasoning, no one would ever drive to a job interview a couple of hours away. No one would ever run Google Ads to drive traffic to their website. No one would ever place a paid advertisement for their services anywhere. 

 

I beg to differ.  I believe most people would drive a couple hours away for a job interview because guess what?  They'll be seen!!

 

You mentioned 60 connects, so let's just use that as an example. 60 connects = $9.

 

Imagine that I bid 60 connects on each of 10 jobs and don't get my connects back for any of them.  I've spent $90. Now, imagine that just one of those clients hires me, and pays me $5,000, or $10,000, or sticks around a little longer and ends up paying me $25,000 or $35,000. 

 

Operative words here are "Imagine" and "imagine".  This is supposed to be a professional gig marketplace, not a boardwalk game of chance.  But, of course, hindsight being 20/20 who wouldn't gamble $90 at a chance to earn $5-35k if that's what was on the menu?

 

Do you truly believe no one could be stupid enough to spend $90 to make $5,000....or $35,000? 


 

.... ๐Ÿค” .....

Sorry, but on what planet do you live ? 

If you got at least once to have a contract with such big amounts, let me tell you that you must try your chance at lotery.

Seriously, Tiffany, please.... be realistic.

And if you don't mind to spend 90$ per day on proposals, as you wish, it's your money. Meanwhile, you make Upwork even happier ! ๐Ÿ‘

wlyonsatl
Community Member

Natacha,

 

I don't think anyone can dispute that the primary beneficiary of boosting  is Upwork, which needs every penny of revenue it can muster if it's ever going to report operating profitability to its shareholders.

 

Some freelancers might win additional proposals because they've been boosted, but I expect this is primarily true of lower value, lower skill jobs where the clients' expectations of freelancer quality are modest.

 

But there's no reason to expect clients with high cost, high skill projects will pay much additional attention to boosted proposals, which Upwork characterizes as being made by freelancers who are best fits for particular jobs but are just as likely to be made by freelancers who are desperate for work.

 

It will be interesting to see whether clients benefit from selecting boosted proposals compared to non-boosted proposals, which Upwork could easily track by comparing client feedback on boosted proposals vs. non-boosted proposals. If Upwork never makes that information available, I'd assume clients are not benefitting from choosing boosted proposals rather than unboosted proposals.

 

But if clients don't complain (they are more likely to just ignore boosted proposals) then we should assume boosting will continue to be an option for freelancers submitting proposals on new projects.

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