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Abuse, Clients & Disputes Who's Right?

serafindesigns
Active Member
Stef S Member Since: Feb 8, 2020
1 of 27
I was recently involved with a client that took advantage of my generosity and my work set. After pleading for me to work for him after I turned him down 3x I stupidly agreed to help him.

I felt bad for him, but knew he was the worst of the worst. Ugh.

After getting his site squared away and hours upon hours of work he told Up Work that I over billed him by one hour. Which isnt correct. I added manual time honestly and was allowed 2 hours per week.

Aside from all that I was verbially abused as well as in writing and harassed with over 10 emails.

How are we, as freelancers, protected from people like this on UpWork if UpWork won't take these things into consideration when a dispute is in play?

Has anyone ever filed a police report? Does doing so go against any UW terms of use?

There needs to be accountability for clients like this that warp the system to get their way. I want to ensure others don't get hurt like I did. Up Work needs to do better in not only protecting both sides when it comes to pay, but also our sense of dignity as freelancers. Regardless if they don't protect against manual time or not.

prestonhunter
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
2 of 27

re: "Has anyone ever filed a police report?"

 

There are very few police departments anywhere in the world who want to police what happens on international freelancer work platforms such as Upwork.

 

Most police departments would tell you straight up that they don't deal with this sort of thing and refer you elsewhere. Or if the did take down your report, they will do nothing with it other than to pass it around their department so they can get a good laugh.

 

After carefully reading your post, I can affirm that there is nothing there that should be reported to the police. Nothing that can be reported to police. And nothing that can or should be reported to Upwork.

 

As a freelancer, you made many mistakes. You already realize that. The things you described are either mistakes that you made, or things that were your responsibility to handle directly.

 

Sorry.

serafindesigns
Active Member
Stef S Member Since: Feb 8, 2020
3 of 27

Up Work has a location in San Fran. The client is in Maryland. I'm in both Cali and PA. I hardly find this an international issue whatsoever. You can't do business in the United States without recognizing certain laws. If this was an international matter I wouldn't have even moved forward with this comment.

Secondly, I didn't make many mistakes.... the only mistake I made was feeling sorry for this guy and agreeing to help him out.

Lastly, your sarcasm of the police having a good laugh isn't funny or professional whatsoever. If you don't have any advice, keep that **Edited for Community Guidelines** to yourself. Otherwise you're just as bad as he is. Being kind is priceless.



feed_my_eyes
Community Guru
Christine A Member Since: May 4, 2016
4 of 27
If you knew that this client was the "worst of the worst" then I don't understand why you took the job? And when you did take the job, why not use the time tracker to protect yourself? It sounds like you knew what you were getting into, so how could Upwork have "protected" you? We're all adults here who can make our own decisions.

If he's only disputing one hour, then I'd let it go if I were you. I don't see any point in escalating this. (Has the deadline passed for him to potentially dispute all of your manual hours?)
prestonhunter
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
5 of 27

re: "Upwork has a location in San Fran. The client is in Maryland. I'm in both Cali and PA. I hardly find this an international issue whatsoever."

 

None of that matters. What happens on Upwork stays on Upwork.

 

Upwork matters are not police matters.

 

re: "You can't do business in the United States without recognizing certain laws."

 

It is not your responsibility to recognize laws on behalf of Upwork, or tell Upwork how to be in compliance with laws.

 

You may:

- learn how to use Upwork effectively

- make recommendations to Upwork about things you think they can change

 

As an Upwork user, I do those things. I don't tell Upwork that they need to do something differently or that they are doing something wrong based on my understanding of some law somewhere.

 

re: "Lastly, your sarcasm of the police having a good laugh isn't funny or professional whatsoever. If you don't have any advice, keep that **Edited for Community Guidelines** to yourself. Otherwise you're just as bad as he is. Being kind is priceless."

 

This was not sarcasm. You asked a question. I provided you with helpful, accurate information.

 

I do have advice, and shared it with you. None of what I said is **Edited for Community Guidelines** . You are correct: Being kind is priceless. I was being kind to you by answering your questions and providing you with information that can help you succeed as an Upwork user.

serafindesigns
Active Member
Stef S Member Since: Feb 8, 2020
6 of 27
Preston, are you a lawyer?
serafindesigns
Active Member
Stef S Member Since: Feb 8, 2020
7 of 27

I think you're focused on the wrong thing Christine. The issue here is the abuse, derogatory, degrading comments. Both in DM and email.

And I didn't know he was the "worst of the worst" beforehand. I just had a bad vibe. All I knew is he was cheap. I gave him an hour of my time for free to train him. I went above and beyond and then some. I did my two hours one week and then he wanted more work. So I did another 2 hours. I put my additional two hours in.

I don't care that he won a dispute. The argument is how do we feel safe and protected! If a client can email you, call you and DM you filthy derogatory comments?

Up Work took none of that into consideration. Whatsoever.

Being an adult is one thing, being a **Edited for Community Guidelines** is another. I don't think that belongs on any online community. Especially one where we work.

prestonhunter
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
8 of 27

You are making a mistake if you think that Upwork can protect you from clients being rude, crude, foul-mouthed, etc.

 

You CAN report Upwork users for such. Maybe something will come of it. Maybe nothing will. But Upwork can not "protect" its users from such ever happening.

 

The person who can do something about that is YOU. If another user uses a word that you don't like or says things that you don't like, then YOU have the ability to block that user in all communication tools that he is able to use to contact you.

 

Moreover, YOU can decide for yourself what is acceptable and what isn't. You are not beholden to anybody else's opinions on that matter.

 

You are mistaken if you think that Upwork employees will take that into consideration when making a decision about a client's dispute of a freelancer's manually logged time. They will not. The criteria they use are very simple. If a client disputes manually logged time, during the narrow five-day dispute window, Upwork will remove that time

serafindesigns
Active Member
Stef S Member Since: Feb 8, 2020
9 of 27

You love that word "mistake". Let's slow the use of that word. It's a discussion, not a decision. 

 

An online community will not grow by blocking people. Sorry, but I disagree with that. That's why we're seeing a huge movement in country to change the way things take place online.

 

Simply blocking a user does nothing. Especially when they have your email. 

 

With regards to manual time; I will say this, it is and should be protected in some way. I personally cannot have the camera snapping desktop shots as I work government gigs and have other stuff going on all at the same time. That in itself is a stupid way of logging hours. I get it. We have to see if the person is doing their work.  But it's dumb.

 

Again, I don't give two sheets about this dispute. I care that I can work and know I work in a safe environment. And if Up Work won't do anything about that then I'll take it to the legislature to make it happen. 

 

 

 

a_lipsey
Community Guru
Amanda L Member Since: Jan 23, 2018
10 of 27

What crime do you believe the client committed that you would call to file a police report about? 

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