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stiffym
Community Member

Agency account restricted

Greetings, Upwork community!


Recently I've got a very unpleasant situation to happen to me, my client, and the Upwork agency I work in. I want to share this experience with you to get possible clarification/assistance.


Let me breakdown the situation step-by-step:
1. I got an invitation to an interview from the Client.
2. It appeared that the Client has 2 projects that need to be done quite urgently.
3. Together with my team we estimated those projects, and I suggested the Client send one offer to me for the first project, and the second offer for the second project to another developer in my team (who appeared to be agency owner) so we can work simultaneously and complete the projects faster, as the client requested.
4. It was his first contract in a while (since 2015). After we accepted offers and opened the contracts, Upwork has requested to verify the identity from the owner of my agency
5. After a few days after video verification, he got a message about "Irregular activity" on his account and was requested to contact the support team and do extra verification procedure
6. Agency owner successfully passed the verification (he claims that received a message "Your identity has been successfully verified")
7. Within the same day, he got another response from the support ticket stating that his account and the agency account now are permanently banned and the financial transactions are restricted
8. He claims that he hasn't received any further informative responses from Support team. The only replies from Upwork support were saying that this decision is final and his further requests might be ignored


In conclusion:

  • my colleague agency owner got banned without pointing a reason. As I understood, they are not even sure if he violated anything
  • our client wants to receive deliverables for the projects
  • we can't deliver the work because both contracts are opened on the agency. And as soon as agency account is suspended - financial transactions are restricted, and we can't get paid for our job for the current milestones (funds are in escrow)

I would like to raise this question and ask clarification from the Upwork Community managers, and Community users.

  • What should we do in this situation?
  • What should we tell our client?
  • Can we get any reasoning behind the suspension of the accounts? 

 

Thank you in advance.

Maksym Volkov

8 REPLIES 8
bstojadinovic
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Maksym,

 

Thank you for reaching out to us with this concern. I'll follow up with our team regarding this and one of our agents will reach out to you directly with more information. 

 

Unfortunately, we won't be able to address another user's account status or provide details here in the Community. Please, refer them to the notification the team sent to them about the suspension.

 

Thank you!

~ Bojan
Upwork

Hi Bojan,

 

Thank you for your reply. 

The issue is that neither I nor the agency owner is not receiving any replies from Upwork Support in regards to this instance.

In fact, the messages from the agency owner have been ignored for more than 1 week. Furthermore, the reasoning behind this kind of behavior from Upwork Support is not yet clarified. Upwork Support hasn't pointed to any point of ToS that had been violated, and we become uncertain that the rights to suspend the accounts are valid. 

Can we please stop this bureaucracy and help each other to solve this puzzle?

 

We are the legal business and the agency owner has been a loyal Upwork customer since 2015. Can we ask for more positive treatment than the one we currently are getting?

 

Thank you very much.

Maksym Volkov

g_vasilevski
Retired Team Member
Retired Team Member

Hi Maksym,

 

I understand your concern with this and our team will assist you further directly on your ticket as soon as possible.
Feel free to post any additional questions or information you would like to share directly on your ticket. Thank you.

~ Goran
Upwork

5 days since the community post and 15+ days of the agency restriction - still not yet any feedback. 

 

And you call this "as soon as possible"?

Our client is waiting for the deliverables. But we cannot resume working on the project as soon as there are regulations applied to the agency account and the Upwork contract. 

Do you understand how urgent is this case to the client on your platform and for us? 
Can you please read the post, get the awareness of the issue, and act somehow?
We are waiting for the replies of Upwork Support for more than 2 weeks, and yet everything we received is the template-based messages.

g_vasilevski
Retired Team Member
Retired Team Member

Hi Maksym,

 

I`m sorry about the inconvenience this had caused you. I`ve followed up with our team and one of our team members will update your ticket with more details and assist you further. Thank you.

~ Goran
Upwork
petra_r
Community Member

If your colleague and the agency are permanently suspended, get the client to hire you under your account and deliver the work. You are allowed to outsource fixed rate deliverables with the client's permission which is a given here.

 

stiffym
Community Member

Hi, Petra.

Thank you for your advice.

 

What if the part of the funds (for milestones already approved) has been reversed (refunded) to the client for the work already done? 

What to do in this case? Can I ask the client to open a new contract with the same budget?

 

Thank you in advance.

petra_r
Community Member


Maksym V wrote:

Hi, Petra.

What if the part of the funds (for milestones already approved) has been reversed (refunded) to the client for the work already done? 

What to do in this case? Can I ask the client to open a new contract with the same budget?


I would, yes. As long as you have left the suspended agency and your account is not suspended, you'll be fine. try to limit any Avoid any and all Upwork interaction with your suspended pal to keep your own account safe. It may not be strictly speaking in the spirit of things, but you would not be breaking any terms of service working with that client through your Upwork freelancer account. Who you work with on it, as long as it is a fixed rate job and the client is aware, is purely your own business.

 

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