elm1302
Member

Can you make complaints to Upwork about rude clients?

I've encountered some rude clients over the last couple of months and it's making me consider distancing myself from Upwork completely as I find it really discouraging. I encountered a client recently who became rudely dismissive and began making bitchy comments about my abilities. This only came about when I started to question her payment method and rate that she promised, which she also misled me on. There doesn't seem to be a way to pass on feedback or complain about clients when they are only interviewing you. Does UpWork consider feedback about a client when you haven't been hired by them? I would like to pass on feedback on their professionalism.

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kochubei_valeria
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Emma,

 

We do want to make sure Upwork is a marketplace where all user treat each other professionally and with respect. If any of your clients or potential clients make an inappropriate comment, please report them by flagging their message or by sending a request to customer support.

~ Valeria
Upwork

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18 REPLIES 18
prestonhunter
Member

You are 100% welcome to leave Upwork due to rude comments by a few clients.

 

The remaining freelancers will be happy to continue working with the 99+% of the clients here who are professional and polite and not at all rude.

 

To answer your question, yes, you are allowed to report rude comments by clients to customer support. You do not need to have had a contract with a client in order to go to customer support to tell them your experiences.

Really? That's your reply? I don't know if you just take things personally or have missed the point or both. I was asking for advice in supporting freelancers better in dealing with clients because it can be very discouraging encountering such behaviour over and over again, being misled over and over again, and I didn't know if there was a way to help make the place more respectful. Your reply says it all really, doesn't it?

 

Edited: I see you edited in the last part. Thanks for the advice.


@Preston H wrote:

 

The remaining freelancers will be happy to continue working with the 99+% of the clients here who are professional and polite and not at all rude.


 I suspect this is a very optimistic estimate. The vast majority of my clients are polite and professional, as apparently are yours. But, each of us works in only one field, and in a segment of that field that includes only clients with the ability and willingness to pay a certain rate. That is not a representative sample of all Upwork clients.


@Tiffany S wrote:

@Preston H wrote:

 

The remaining freelancers will be happy to continue working with the 99+% of the clients here who are professional and polite and not at all rude.


 I suspect this is a very optimistic estimate. The vast majority of my clients are polite and professional, as apparently are yours. But, each of us works in only one field, and in a segment of that field that includes only clients with the ability and willingness to pay a certain rate. That is not a representative sample of all Upwork clients.



I once had a translating job on oDesk, that was quite well paid, and the client was polite, but after a time, although he kept sending and  accepting my work,  he started to put me down in a sneering manner (almost impossible to pinpoint if I were to have complained), to the extent that, after a few gigs, I simply became unavailable. TG there was no such thing as JSS at that time. 

kochubei_valeria
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Emma,

 

We do want to make sure Upwork is a marketplace where all user treat each other professionally and with respect. If any of your clients or potential clients make an inappropriate comment, please report them by flagging their message or by sending a request to customer support.

~ Valeria
Upwork
petra_r
Member


@Emma M wrote:

 Does UpWork consider feedback about a client when you haven't been hired by them? I would like to pass on feedback on their professionalism.


 It depends on whether what you consider to be rude is a violation of the terms of service. If they called you names, used obscenities etc, yes, feel free to report them.

 

If it didn't cross that line there isn't much point.

 

The best reaction when encountering a (very rare in my experience) client like that is not to argue with them, politely thank them for their time but "No Thanks", end the conversation and block them.

 

Be the better person.

 

Almost all the clients I talk to or work with are absolutely lovely. Freelancing is running your own business. In any business you will encounter disagreeable people. Just decline to work with them and move on to the next (nice) person!

Petra is right.


For the most part, this is something a freelancer handles in a professional way with a client.

 

I can assure you that Upwork doesn't want freelancers to go running to them with complaints about everything a client says that a freelancer doesn't like.

 

Over the course of long collaborations with some clients, sometimes stretching for two or more years, I have experienced rough spots with clients. Sometimes they have said rude or disparaging things about me. About half the time they were wrong!

 

But we weathered our differences and figured things out and continued to work together in ways that made their projects more successful and led to me earning more money from them.

 

And with clients who I don't even have a contract with? I think any kind of rudeness is rare, but it happens.

 

I am always polite to clients. That maximizes the possibility that they have a positive experience with Upwork and continue to use it. Maybe they will hire you, Emma, even if they don't hire me.

 

Of course I know that you're extending the same courtesy to clients.

 

It is important to maintain a double standard on this issue. Freelancers should always be polite and professional toward clients, even if clients are sometimes flawed.

Thanks Petra. I did exactly that, politely declined, thanked, moved on. It can just be discouraging when it happens, especially when you're about to agree to the contract and then it goes wrong! But thanks for the advice on if considering if it violates the terms. I'll have a look into it. Onwards and upwards!

tlsanders
Member

I suppose you could, but why?

 

Upwork is here to enforce TOS, not to monitor people's attitudes. We're grown-up professionals, and generally don't need a hall monitor to slap someone's hand because they said a mean thing to us--and, there's no rule or law against being a jerk, so it's probably wasted pixels.

This isn't about crying because someone was 'mean'. It's about disrespectful and abusive behaviour from clients which prevents freelancers from being able to agree to contracts. When clients turn hostile because you are asking for clarity on payment before agreeing to a contract, that's a problem. It's a massive waste of the freelancer's time and effort which could be spent elsewhere with a more reputable and professional client.

Hi, Emma, I understand where you are coming from. I had been trying to get Upwork to assist me with a client for nearly a year, Not only was he verbally abusive, he demanded work without setting up a milestone, suggesting that he would "find a freelancer who would do it if I could not."

 

At the time I was an inexperienced freelancer so did not know what to do, and could not afford to lose the job. So, I continued to work chasing the client for milestones. Upworks only advice to me was, to end my contract, although at the time that seemed a daunting thing to do.

 

I have since withheld my services and received a torrent of abuse for which no worthy support has been forthcoming. The client owes me money; however, I have no choice but to write it off.

 

 

Sounds like the client made you his beta. 

I doubt it; he is a big spender on Upwork. I believe that is why he can get away with treating freelancers so disgustingly.

oh and a big spender

 

he def made you his beta

 

I like it.

 

tbf, I'm prolly rude too cuz I like to make them my beta.


@Darren w wrote:

I doubt it; he is a big spender on Upwork. I believe that is why he can get away with treating freelancers so disgustingly.


 From what you've related, it seems like he got away with it because you chose to ignore the system and protections offered by Upwork because you were eager enough to get work that you were willing to roll the dice. You're definitely not the first to have done so, but your own story suggests that you willingly chose to gamble and it didn't pay off. Upwork can't help you because you didn't manage your job according to the system that would have allowed them to help you, and nagging them about it for a year won't change that.

 

You made a bad deal with a bad client and didn't take advantage of the safety net available. There's nothing to be done except cut your losses and make better choices next time--just as you would have to if you were working with a client outside Upwork under the same circumstances.

Hi Darren,

 

I'm sorry to hear the contract with this client didn't turn out well. Unfortunately, Upwork Fixed-price Protection covers only milestones that have been funded. You can find more information about it here. If you have any evidence of your the client using inappropriate language, please attach screenshots of your communication with them to the open ticket. The team will review and take actions accordingly.

~ Valeria
Upwork

If you have a rate that is considered very high by a particular client sometimes that makes the client feel disadvantaged and / or inferior.

 

I have had conversations with that kind of client and I can (in a way) empathize (if clearly not agree) how that makes them feel. They can't even hope to afford what they want, so they have to stop wanting it, or it makes them feel bad about not being able to have it. That is why they react like that.

 

They are generally not bad people, and whilst it makes sense not to waste time on them, they need not upset us either.

 

 

Every client who comes to Upwork starts out somewhere on a scale of professionalism and gentility.

 

The important thing is:

Do they have money?

 

If a client has money to spend, Upwork clients can work with the client, which may include helping the client improve their manners and attitude.

 

When you see a TV show in which sophisticated people in tuxedos and evening gowns interact at a fancy event with wit and manners, do you think those people all started out that way?

 

No, not at all. Some of them began as uncouth barbarians who said the wrong things, insulted their staff, and generally were just horrible. But they hired patient, capable freelancers on Upwork who worked with them and helped smooth our their rough edges.