Stef S wrote:
Harassing derogatory emails and DMs they not only violate Up Works TOU they're a crime in the U.S. If I could post the emails and DMs here I would, but let's just say it went beyond a simple cyberstalking incident and since non of us our anonymous here in this community I won't be posting any of it here.
So I have actually been cyberstalked and had to file a police report. If you truly believe it was cyberstalking, and that the behavior has continued beyond you blocking them, then you should call your local PD and file a police report. I'm not sure what you expect Upwork to do though. They do not have control over email or anything the client does outside the site. If they are continuing despite blocking them, then you should file a report. However, if you have not already blocked them and sent their emails to a delete filter, I would do so, and I would also advise you that the police will also not do very much in this instance.
I understand that it's frustrating, but really the best course is to simply block them on all channels, set a filter to delete their emails before they get to you, and move on like they don't exist. Crappy people exist, and there's not much you can do except set boundaries (like those suggested).
Stef S wrote:
Thanks Amanda. Appreciate your words. I'm sorry you had to go thru that as well. It's never a good thing.
I realize the world is full of crappy people. There's no argument there. Just sucks they're on here. This should be a safe place.
As per "suggestions", I wasn't really looking for anyone's advice, more so looking to see if anyone else went is/was going thru this.
I think the vast majority of clients on Upwork would never do that kind of things you are suggesting. It is a large community of clients though, and since it's likely these things get reported, it wouldn't surprised me if there were more than one report of this in the community.
FWIW, I have seen more reports from clients complaining of freelancers doing this kind of stalking than clients doing it. It seems like your gut was right, and this client was not someone you'd want to work with (putting it mildly). Usually, in my experience, people who are doing this kind of baiting behavior (sending emails and DMs, etc.) usually give up once you block them and they realize it's over.
As long as your life isn't in danger, I'd put on all the blocks and give it a day or so. If they somehow go around the blocks, then I'd call the police.
Also FWIW, I recently blocked a client who decided they must have the last word in everything, even though I had fired them months ago. They sent my 1099 to an address I hadn't lived at for over 2 years, and had since known of my new address since they were sending my checks to my new address. They turned into major jerks, trying to again refute the reasons I ended the contract (which actually had to do with them breaking laws and I found out). Anyways, I said numerous times, please only communicate to me about the resissuing of my 1099, and yet the main contact had to continue replying with slanderous statements that he copied others on so finally I just created a filter to delete his emails immediately. Remember these guys are likely so small time it doesn't matter at all.
For my part, I've reported their activity to the IRS (which is the agency that would investigate the matter), and since I no longer have any need for any kind of documentation from them, I will never communicate with any of their team again.
Whatever they are saying and suggesting, I'm sure you are bigger time than they are. Let them rant and rave like the Karens they are. Put on all the blocks and leave it alone, unless they continue to escalate. Hopefully you were able to leave feedback for this client as well and warn other freelancers about them.
Whenever I encounter a situation like this, I take it as an opportunity to remind myself why I always follow my gut. At this point if my gut has any bad inkling, I bow out. I'd rather walk away and be wrong then find out I was right about a bad client, you know?
Stef - You say you agreed to work for someone you knew was the worst of the worst. Why on earth would you do that? And why would you give that person your email and your telephone number?
I don't think it is possible to know that a client will be a terrible client, or a terrible person.
Sometimes, yes. But often it is unrealistic to think that a client will know this beforehand.
I am more of a believer in taking direct action if something happens.
If a client or anyone else has my email address and uses bad language, I can ignore it or I can block them or I can warn them. I can report it to Upwork. There are features built into the Messages tool for doing that. There are "Flag as inappropriate" link buttons on every freelancer profile page and every job posting.
There is no universal standard. Some users will block a client if she uses the E-word. Others will ignore it. Upwork allows me to do what I will with that. Maybe I think it is okay to use the I-word but not the V-word. Someone else might have the opposite stance. Some freelancers might object to the J-word if a client is new, but ignore it for a client who has paid them over $5000 so far. I am fine with that. Some freelancers might not care about a client's salty language, but if the client calls them on the phone on a Sunday, the freelancer will end the contract. Other freelancers might not mind weekend calls at all, but will warn a client if she sends an email message late at night to never do that again.
Upwork is not going to police all of these matters. The police are not going to police all of these matters. The government is not going to legislate all of these matters. Nor do we want it to.