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Asking for Work Before A Contract

Active Member
George E Member Since: May 31, 2019
1 of 12

Hi All! I applied for a freelance brand manager role - they asked me to do a performative task (i.e. Critique our brand; and she warned it could take 2-3 hours - which it did - and I did it because I wanted the contract.). I did the requested 5-page company brand-based critique and now she has come back solely focusing on grammar errors and none of the actual content. I checked over my work, and there weren't the density of errors she said (i.e. her claim was that it was strewn throughout all my work. She never addressed what I wrote.

And so, I am unpaid for work I did, and they now have 5 pages worth of work. Does Upwork have a compensation plan in place for this? Could they verify the brand is not running a scam (I know they are a legit brand).  I have attached the conversation for proof.  Any help/advice would be great.  Can Upwork make a it a policy for brand to pay for time used? 

 

**Edited for community guidelines**

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
2 of 12

re: "Asking for Work Before A Contract "

 

Is a violation of Upwork ToS.

 

A client could have her account suspended for doing this.

 

A freelancer should report (Flag as inappropriate) any job posting that does this.

Community Guru
Abinadab A Member Since: Sep 26, 2016
3 of 12

Hi!

It's a violation of Upwork TOS to

- offer free work

- ask for free work

In this case both you and the client have violated Upwork TOS, but Upwork typically won't suspend your account for this, especially so freelancers don't feel afraid to report bad raps like this.

Upwork can only hope that you've learned your lesson.

As for the client, like Preston said, their account could be suspended.

Importantly, they have ripped Upwork off and action would be taken against them if you report them.

Moving forward, do not expect any compensation from Upwork. Unfortunately, Upwork will not pay for your ignorance.

Moving forward, be sure to carefully read the Upwork TOS here, before using the site any further.

Active Member
George E Member Since: May 31, 2019
4 of 12
Okay, I appreciate the comments. But an indirect more concise/(i.e. your
ignorance) response is valued above others. Thanks,
Active Member
Chrys C Member Since: May 31, 2019
5 of 12

That doesn't seem to be the way here, George. It took them 30 seconds to move my thread of similar topic to the moderation queue.

 

Funny enough, the Terms of Use do not explicitly state that offering free work is not allowed, only that asking for free work is not allowed.

 

But apparently even talking about free work is not allowed, or you will get rudeness.

Community Guru
Michael S Member Since: Aug 29, 2017
6 of 12

Chrys C wrote:

That doesn't seem to be the way here, George. It took them 30 seconds to move my thread of similar topic to the moderation queue.

 

Funny enough, the Terms of Use do not explicitly state that offering free work is not allowed, only that asking for free work is not allowed.

 

But apparently even talking about free work is not allowed, or you will get rudeness.


You seem to be conflating directness with rudeness. And this question usually gets a brief, direct answer because it's been asked dozens of times by dozens of freelancers, who likely should have fully read the ToS before even bidding on a job.

 

If asking for free work is not allowed, it should then be inferred that providing free work is not a good idea either. Why would you want to provide free work to someone if they're not allowed to ask you for it? It never ends well for the one doing the work.

Active Member
Chrys C Member Since: May 31, 2019
7 of 12

So, a legal document, which is otherwise excruciatingly detailed, excludes specific information relating to an entire group of users so that we can draw our own conclusions? Sounds legit.

 

There is directness, and then there is directness with decorum. A new user has a question for the community and treating them respectfully is important to community retention. A new user has not been here to see the dozens of similar questions come and go. New users are what make Gurus possible.

 

Also, it is one thing to be generous and offer someone something for free. It is an entirely different situation to ask someone to give you something for free. If you can't understand this, I mourn for any community you support.

How was that for directness?

Community Guru
Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
8 of 12

Chrys C wrote:

So, a legal document, which is otherwise excruciatingly detailed, excludes specific information relating to an entire group of users so that we can draw our own conclusions? Sounds legit.

 

There is directness, and then there is directness with decorum. A new user has a question for the community and treating them respectfully is important to community retention. A new user has not been here to see the dozens of similar questions come and go. New users are what make Gurus possible.

 

Also, it is one thing to be generous and offer someone something for free. It is an entirely different situation to ask someone to give you something for free. If you can't understand this, I mourn for any community you support.

How was that for directness?


One might ask how much respect is due people who cannot even be bothered to familiarize themselves with the site's ToS before bidding on projects. Not to mention OP's question about a "compensation plan" for FLs who willingly and knowingly perform work without a contract and then expect to be paid. Where would the funds come from to support that, I'd like to know?

 

Any new user who can't bring themselves to read the ToS docs can always search the forum to see if, by some odd chance, their question has been answered before. The questions don't "come and go", they are preserved unto eternity, or so it appears. Searching "work without contract" brings up reams of threads about the perils.

 

In any case, community retention is not an issue of particular concern. If half of UW FLs left the platform tomorrow, it would still be well supplied. Those who find value in the forum use it, those who don't, don't.

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9 of 12
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There is a whole section of information that new freelancers and clients alike somehow always ignore. It covers everything.

I highly recommend reading it thoroughly before accepting another contract so you understand what rules you must abide by as well. Such as, your profile pic could get your account placed on hold. I would change it to one showing only your face.

Finally, you must be new because Preston is a top rated, seasoned professional. He's one of the first to always help on the forums. Take note of those people. They've been here for years, they've already been through the problems you will face and it may be tough to hear, but you'll always get the truth.

P.S. You'll need to remove your personal website address from your profile as well. As you strategically (deliberately?) placed it as the very first thing after your name, your profile is a red flag.
Active Member
Chrys C Member Since: May 31, 2019
10 of 12

I appreciate you taking the time to review my profile, over a year after it was approved! I read everything, btw, but nothing specifically states that I cannot offer free work.

 

No worries. I fully intend to delete my account and no longer associate with Upwork as a result of this community's social mistreatment of new members.

 

Best Wishes,

 

Chrys

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