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Asking for Work Before A Contract

Community Guru
Kathy T Member Since: Jul 17, 2015
11 of 12

Chrys C wrote:

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,




You are correct. If Clients ASK for free work, that violates Upwork's TOS. but a freelancer can give free work and that doesn't violate anything. BUT.. when a freelancer comes on here complaining and upset that they didn't get paid and wants Upwork to compenstate them because of that. .... Well, hopefully you get the point. 


So, go ahead and give free work, don't expect to be hired, don't expect to be paid, don't explect more work in the future, don't expect Upwork to pay you and don't expect flowers and rainbows when you come here complaining about it. 

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
12 of 12

Abinadab A wrote:


It's a violation of Upwork TOS to

- offer free work

- ask for free work

Wrong. It is only a violation of the terms for a client to ask for free work. It is not a violation to offer it.


Abinadab A wrote:


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 will never suspend a freelancer for it because it isn't a violation.


Abinadab A wrote:


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

Most unlikely unless the client had a long history doing naughty things.


Michael S wrote:

If asking for free work is not allowed, it should then be inferred that providing free work is not a good idea either.

In most cases, it is not a good idea. In some cases, it *is* a good idea. Telling the difference between when it is, and when it is not, is the tricky part.


It never ends well for the one doing the work.

I wouldn't say that. Done sparingly, rarely, in only the right circumstances, it can end perfectly well.

In fact, one thing I *never* do anymore is paid tests...


Obviously first doing free work, and then whining about not having been paid for the free work, is ridiculous.

This thread shows that in the OPs case it was not a great idea. That said, had the OP been paid for the sample, given how much the client hated it, it would have resulted in an unsuccessful contract, poor feedback, and a drop in his JSS.


Sometimes it is far better to find out that a client is a pain in the proverbial before you are stuck in a contract with them because without a contract you can (politely) tell them to go to hell with impunity...