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krishna-jay
Member

Broker/ middleman client

A job was posted by a new client in Upwork. Since the project involved extensive 3D programming, so hardly or very few people bid for it. Here is a screen shot below.

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

 

The client did not hire anybody. Now, this project was taken up by a broker (middleman). The broker has no knowledge of technology and posted the job in his own way in Upwork (Screenshot below)

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

 

I took up the project, and now the fun begins.

I ask him questions related to the project, he forwards my message to the original client. The original client replies and asks some questions. The broker forwards the clients message after 24 hrs. to me (big communication gap). This is how the communication goes via this middleman broker. I understand, that under these circumstances the original client will never be happy. In fact, the original client has no idea that this middleman has posted the job in Upwork.

The broker now has problems - the original client does not pay him, so he immediately holds the project for 2 days. Once the client pays him (say) $300, he again resumes the project. Again project goes on hold and continues this way.

Currently, I am a TOP RATED developer in Upwork and working with this client has deeply affected my Upwork reputation. I finally had to refund his money in full 100%.

I am wondering, if this is the way to make money, acting as a mediator, than we all can do it. He is also bluffing the original client, who actually posted the job in Upwork and unfortunately, I did not see the project, so I could not bid for it. He has no money and pays peanuts - if you look into his track record. Paid $3, $18 and so on.

I know I have the option to remove a single feedback, but the damage is already done. I wonder why these type of clients are encouraged in Upwork, who don’t even have sufficient money to pay.

6 REPLIES 6
amohler
Member

You probably shouldn't have taken up the job in the first place, but it sounds like you've been taken advantage of, or at the very least had your time wasted. I would definitely complain to Upwork. If I were them, I would take action against this middleman who is just trying to milk the system and has no business offering fixed-bid projects of this scope without knowing what is really going on with the project. Sorry to hear you got sucked in to such a toxic project.

Next time maybe see if you can negotiate an hourly rate if the project scope seems unclear. Ask as many questions as you can from the beginning. There are still plenty of good clients on upwork, I have no doubt.

Yes, you are correct. But I saw the client had Payment method verified and had paid developers $18, $20 and so on.

The problem is, Upwork automatically removes expired links after a certain period. When I started communicating with the client, I came to know that he has no knowledge about the technology and he is simply exchanging original client’s message to me and my message to the original client with gaps of more than 24 hrs. In other words, he does not even know the scope of the project.

Suddenly he holds the project, because client did not pay him and again resumes the project. This was happening often. This is when I sensed that the client does not even have sufficient money to pay his developers. I understood the project well and I started searching the project in Google and came to Upwork, where I saw this project was posted by a new genuine client, but he did not get much response, perhaps because of the technology (three.js 3D). It was my bad luck that I did not see the project when it was posted.

This middleman/ broker somehow took up this project and posted it again in Upwork.

Since, I know that Upwork will not believe me, because I don’t have evidence, so I took screenshots from Google Cache of both the projects, but Upwork now asks me the links - I told them that the links have expired, but I do have the Screenshots.

Upwork can also see, the clients last feedback - big communication gap. As mentioned above, he does not know about technology and scope of project, simply relays messages to and from between actual client and developer with long duration gaps. Obviously client will also get frustrated.

My only feeling is that, this is just not right to make quick and easy money. Both client and contractor will be in jeopardy.

nkocendova
Member

Hi Jay,

I see that you have been in communication with our support team regarding this matter and I'd ask that you kindly refer to the information shared by that team with you, as we won't be able to discuss details about this publicly here in the Community. If you do have any additional details such as links, screenshots or messages to provide as evidence, please do share them directly on the ticket so that the team can assist you more efficiently, thank you.

~Nina

Jay, the more truthful and derogatory term for broker is farmer.  You will see it used throughout the forums - and never kindly.  Farmers are the bane of job board platforms; they "use one item in everyone's toolkit" (trying to stay within guidelines) and wreck havoc on buyer and provider alike. No one wins except the farmer who is counting his ill-gotten gains.

 

All I know is that a Broker is a person, who negotiates a deal between two parties and takes his commission. There are brokers everywhere and in fact, we cannot do away with brokers. We ned them all the time. Be it finding an apartment or a plot of land. The brokers make money by entering in between, so if a client is looking for a good contractor and broker takes the responsibility of doing it. This is how the game is being played here.

But, my feeling is that - a broker should be professional in his field, but this broker imitating as a client, does not even know his profession well.


@nkocendova wrote:

Hi Jay,

I see that you have been in communication with our support team regarding this matter and I'd ask that you kindly refer to the information shared by that team with you, as we won't be able to discuss details about this publicly here in the Community. If you do have any additional details such as links, screenshots or messages to provide as evidence, please do share them directly on the ticket so that the team can assist you more efficiently, thank you.

 

Nina, this is not the first time this sort of issue has arisen, and it seems like a very serious flaw in Upwork's handling of various types of problems. If the posting has been deleted, then quite obviously the freelancer does not have access to the evidence you are requesting. However, it is equally obvious that Upwork DOES still have access to that information. So, in effect, you are creating an obstacle that ensures that, although the evidence exists and you can easily access it, you are not required to review it or take any action,


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