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carlosangione
Community Member

Account suspended

Hi,

I had a dispute process with a client, who claimed having received a file as per one of the deliverables with mistakes, which, in the mediation process, I proved mistaken. Since the client constantly said that the file had mistakes, even though having proved him the other way round, I asked him to changed the feedback received on my account (in which he stated that I had delivered a mistaken file). The mediation process did not move further than this, having received an email from UpWork saying I had violated the terms of service of the platform by trying to manipulate the feedback received (even though I asked the feedback to be changed once having proved the client being mistaken). I'd very much appreciate if you could support me on this.

 

Cheers,

Carlos

13 REPLIES 13
AndreaG
Moderator
Moderator

Hi Carlos,

I can see you were able to reply to your support ticket with our team regarding this. Please allow some time for our team to review and they will update you directly via ticket as soon as possible.

~Andrea
Upwork

Hi Andrea, thank you for your response.

 

I'd appreciate if someone could reach me regarding this topic, since it appears there are no further instances for me to explain about the suspension of my account

I have been working for a client who did not want to check one of the delivered files I sent as part of the project. He constantly said the file I sent had errors, without even attending to the explanations I gave to him regarding this, telling him that I had to write a script -which automatically calculated values-. I became exhausted by his attitude, telling him I did not want to move on with the following deliverables, given that he had no intention at all to check that what I had delivered had no mistakes. By letting him know I would end the contract, which I ended up doing, he left a feedback in which he stated that what I had delivered was incorrect. He rised a dispute with this matter, for which I proved him mistaken in the mediation process. By explaining step by step how did I end up with that output, he did not prove this mistaken, reason why I asked him to change the feedback left on my profile. The mediation process did not move further on, and, by the way, with a more than obvious unbalanced -justice?-, I got my account suspended for "violating the ToS".

To sum up: the mediation process, which does not include making any judgments about the quality of the delivered work, ended up closing my account for proving that the delivered file was ok.

Any thoughts about this? Are the clients always right? What does the mediation service work for in this terms? 

Carlos,

 

If the client were always right here on Upwork many of us would have to soon find other platforms to work on because we'd end up doing too much free work.

 

Keep in mind that mediation is provided by Upwork personnel. I have only dealt with them a couple of times over about 350 projects and found them to be fair. If you don't want to hassle with proving to an Upwork mediator that the work you have done for a client fulfills your obligations under an Upwork contract you should use hourly contracts. If you correctly use TimeTracker to track your work time, there is much less basis for a client to dispute paying you.

 

Arbitration, on the other hand, is an independent third-party service where the interest lies in finding reasonable solutions based on facts and information provided by both parties to a dispute. Arbitrators have no interest in making sure either party is happy with the final resolution of a dispute.

 

Of course, under either type of contract the client always has the ability to leave feedback for the freelancer. That is unavoidable and is probably the best reason to achieve Top Rated status as soon as possible, so you can occasionally have Upwork delete a client's incorrect or abusive feedback. 

 

I don't think Upwork should allow feedback from client or freelancer following a mediated or arbitrated dispute, as the "losing" side, if not also the "winning" side, is bound to leave claims or very negative other feedback, which may be largely or completely untrue. Just providing a public count of how often a client or freelancer has been involved in mediated or arbitrated disputes would be feedback enough to show a pattern of problematic behavior that no one outside Upwork currently has any access to.

Hi Will,

Many thanks for you reply.

 

The mediation process, even though it should not, asked me if there was a way to modify the delivered file. Having proved that the file was actually okay, I did ask the client to modify the feedback left on my profile, moreover when the client did not argue against the delivered file being correct. I ended up with my account being blocked because of violating the ToS, having received an email in which it was stated that I had been sanctioned for this before (no, I have not!). I am not getting any replies from any member of UpWork, to whom I did let know that I had very possitive feedbacks left on my profile, with more than happy clients to work with. Where do we stand on the "justice"? The freelancer is found guilty just because the client does not have the minimum intention to prove that the delivered file was actually mistaken? 


Carlos A wrote:

I ended up with my account being blocked because of violating the ToS


This has nothing to do with the dispute or the deliverables. Upwork do not decide who is right and who is wrong in a dispute over a fixed rate contract. They also do not suspend freelancers for proving the deliverables were right.

 

You are leaving something out here.... I would hazard a guess that it may have something to do with the way you asked the client to change the feedback they have left, maybe it could be seen as feedback manipulation or extortion.

 

 

Hi Petra,

 

Many thanks for you reply and your assumption. I did ask the client to change the feedback left on my profile, once having proved, step by step, that the delivered file did not have any mistakes, as the client stated. Given the client did not argue against the explanations I gave, nor he did not explain the other way round (why was the file delivered incorrect and how would it was supposed to be), I asked the feedback to be modified.


Carlos A wrote:

Many thanks for you reply and your assumption..


A guess is not an assumption. 

 


Carlos A wrote:

I did ask the client to change the feedback left on my profile, once having proved, step by step, that the delivered file did not have any mistakes, as the client stated. .


How did you ask the client, and where? Was there any suggestion of a refund in exchange for changing the feedback, or any conditions attached to either the feedback being changed or not changed, or anything that could be seen as being anything other than polite and professional communication?

Hi Petra,

Many thanks for your reply and for your guess.

 

I asked the client in the mediation process to change the feedback left on my profile, given that the output did not have any mistakes, as he stated both in the feedback and in the mediation process. Regardless of where, when, and other "wh" questions, if you, client, rise a dispute for having a "wrong file", the mediation process shall not involve itself into the quality of work delivered, if not mistaken. I prove, in the mediation process, that the output was correct. Client does not have a reply to it, for which I ask him to change the feedback left. Does the mediator have any way of proving that what I had delivered is incorrect? Why would the mediator involve the mediation process into the quality of work delivered, if it should not. The "freelancer" gets "punished" because of proving that his work was correct?


Carlos A wrote:

Does the mediator have any way of proving that what I had delivered is incorrect? 


No, they do not, and you are still conflating the deliverables and your suspension,

 


Carlos A wrote:

Regardless of where, when, and other "wh" questions


It is likely that one or more of the answers to the where, when, how and other "wh" questions are at the root of your suspension. I had my reasons for asking them, just as you have your reasons for not answering... 

 


Carlos A wrote:

the mediation process shall not involve itself into the quality of work delivered, if not mistaken


Not in hourly disputes, no. This was a fixed rate contract. So, you are mistaken,

 


Carlos A wrote:

Why would the mediator involve the mediation process into the quality of work delivered, if it should not. 


Because it was a fixed rate contract.

 


Carlos A wrote: The "freelancer" gets "punished" because of proving that his work was correct?

You're clearly trying to play some "smoke and mirrors" trickery here. You were not suspended for proving that your work was correct. You know this as well, which is why you are dodging questions...

Hi Petra,

I have the feeling that the point of the initial topic is being lost. Anyhow, I would very much appreciate if you could read an extract of what the mediator wrote in the first email sent as per the mediation process:

"(...) As part of our review, please remember, Upwork may only facilitate the discussion and may not make judgments regarding work quality, quantity, or usability (...). 

There are no specifications regarding the type of contract signed (hourly or fixed-price) as per the quality, quantity or usability of the delivered files.


Carlos A wrote:. Anyhow, I would very much appreciate if you could read an extract of what the mediator wrote in the first email sent as per the mediation process:

"(...) As part of our review, please remember, Upwork may only facilitate the discussion and may not make judgments regarding work quality, quantity, or usability (...). 


The mediator doesn't "make judgment". Nobody says that they do. Arbitrators make the judgment if a dispute is escalated to arbitration after all parties have paid the arbitration fee. 

 

HOWEVER, the mediator is supposed to mediate and try to find a mutually acceptable solution, before making a non-binding suggestion, and in the course of doing so, they do indeed look at the deliverables. They just can't make a binding decision.

 


Carlos A wrote:

I have the feeling that the point of the initial topic is being lost.


No. In both your threads, yesterday and today, you keep making claims as to the reason for your suspension. You are quite clumsily conflating things that you clearly know have nothing to do with each other and are trying to mislead the people who read your posts by leaving out vital info and flat-out refusing to answer questions that would clarify the matter...

 

We both know why you are doing this.


You claimed that you were suspended for proving that your deliverables had no mistakes. That is not true. You also know that it's not true, which is why you are dodging, ducking, diving and wiggling the way you are.

 

 

Okay, Petra, many thanks for your time and responses.

The dispute did not escalate to arbitration, neither party paid an arbitration fee.

I did not come here to further argue about this topics, nor being judged or being tagged as "misleading people", as well as being called a liar? ("That is not true").

 

I delivered a file, the client said it was wrong. I explained him many times how did I reach to it and kept saying it was mistaken. I got exhausted for the insistance of the client, since I had to explain many times how did I get to the output. The client did not show any intention at all to cooperate with the work but to say it was mistaken. I close the contract, previously having told him about that. The client rises a dispute claiming that the delivered file was mistaken, I prove him the other way round in the mediation process. The client does not show any further arguments about the delivered file being mistaken. I ask him to change the feedback left on my profile, I get suspended because of violating the ToS -withouth having to get anything in exchange, since I had delivered every single file which was included in the agreement-.

 

Cheers,

Carlos.

 

P.S.: Again, many thanks for the time taken to respond to this topic.

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