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financemark
Community Member

Client Responsiveness Ratings???

This is a big problem on Upwork: clients are not held to any type of responsiveness & professional-courtesy standards.

 

Twice in one week this happened:

1. Clients asked to talk at a specific time in the future. 

2. I obliged, booked and set-aside time on my calendar (busy calendar).

3. Sent an Zoom invitation via Upwork messenger.  [response time for both clients < 30 mins]

4. Client ghosts me.

 

This is very professional discourteous and unnacceptable - and it occurs mostly b/c clients are allowed to treat freelancers like dirt - with no fall-out or consequence for their rude, unprofessional behaviors.  They should not be allowed here as it really makes the platform an ugly place to work in.  

 

The best I can do is to provide negative ratings on Glass Door and TrustPilot, which I have done.

 

Can we ask UW to improve this talent marketplace by protecting its freelancers from flakey, unprofessional, discourteous clients?

What are you thoughts - please share.

 

 

" We generate revenue from both talent and clients, with a majority of our revenue generated from service fees charged to talent for access to our work marketplace, Upwork 10-K Feb 15 ,2022."

 

 

10 REPLIES 10
the-right-writer
Community Member

You can set up client-paid consults. Then you arrange to meet at a specific time. If the client doesn't show up and gives no notice, then you can still charge the client.

 

I too, talk with clients before contracts and I have been ghosted and wasted my time with clients who want it all for pennies. Upwork is no different from a chat room with random strangers. You have no idea whom you are dealing with or what they really want. It is frustrating, to say the least.  Unfortunately, that is a part of doing business online.

 

Upwork has issues they must address. I prefer to have them deal with the known issues. However, I don't know of any way to protect freelancers from flakey, unprofessional, discourteous clients. What would you suggest?

Jeanne,

What Mykola suggested below is an idea: client ratings related to responsiveness, similar to that of Freelancers. 

The problem arises for clients when they have to deal with 50 freelancer bids - which is daunting I know.  But if a prospecetive client responds to my bid, regardless of the number of bids they receive, they have expressed interest in my services and opened the door for a professional dialogue: hold them accountable to some sort of standard when we reach this part of the sales funnel ---

"follow-up score"

"responsiveness score"

 

You are correct that we are initially bidding to strangers -- no name, only 4.98 to 5.0 ratings, much from what I suggest is from desperate freelancers hoping for more cheap work.  Freelancers, in contrast, are required to pass through many identity verification gates (and rightly so as such add to the legitimacy of the platform), but as has been repeated here, clients can pop in as anonymously as they choose: recve bids and do as they please: ignore them, flake out, hire off-line (hello job recruiters who never seem to verifiy their payment method despite postings activity) ... or go away to Fiverr.  It is a black hole of client nothingness and sould be addressed! 

 

A moderator here suggested that it is the client who brings the $ and who pays Upwork, so they shoud be allowed free reign.  The former is true, but it is the freelancer who pay Upwork.   "We generate revenue from both talent and clients, with a majority of our revenue generated from service fees charged to talent for access to our work marketplace, Upwork 10-K Feb 15 ,2022."

I love (and sometimes loathe) UW, but they need to be reminded where their revenue comes from. 

 


Mark K wrote:

"We generate revenue from both talent and clients, with a majority of our revenue generated from service fees charged to talent for access to our work marketplace, Upwork 10-K Feb 15 ,2022."

I love (and sometimes loathe) UW, but they need to be reminded where their revenue comes from. 


Their revenue overwhelmingly comes from the clients, who are also in much scarcer supply than the current massive oversupply of freelancers. Service fees come out of the money that the clients pay; they don't come out of our own pockets. We only pay for connects/plus memberships.

 


Mark K wrote:

A moderator here suggested that it is the client who brings the $ and who pays Upwork, so they shoud be allowed free reign. 


I've never seen a moderator say anything like this. Link?


Jeanne H wrote:

You can set up client-paid consults. Then you arrange to meet at a specific time. If the client doesn't show up and gives no notice, then you can still charge the client.

 

I too, talk with clients before contracts and I have been ghosted and wasted my time with clients who want it all for pennies. Upwork is no different from a chat room with random strangers. You have no idea whom you are dealing with or what they really want. It is frustrating, to say the least.  Unfortunately, that is a part of doing business online.

 

Upwork has issues they must address. I prefer to have them deal with the known issues. However, I don't know of any way to protect freelancers from flakey, unprofessional, discourteous clients. What would you suggest?


Offline, too.

It's not uncommon for a customer to enter a shop and buy nothing. They are free to "bother" me and "waste" my time.

tjmisny
Community Member

This has happened numerous times to me this year.  What's worse are clients who solicit a meeting, request a detailed proposal and never even respond to recieving the propsal and do not respond to requests for communication.   Upwork seriously needs to invest in client education or the platform is going to collpase.  

 

But a client responsiveness rating is a must for this platform.  The flakes and jerks on this platform are going to drive away the quality freelancers like myself.  

spectralua
Community Member

Ratings without a contract should be added. If the client didn't show up on time, asked for free work, didn't show up, refused to open the contract. It doesn't have to be stars, maybe just an information field that others can read. But it needs to be done.

tomzilla1
Community Member

While in theory I do think this is a good idea, however in practice I think it's not a good idea, here's why:

 

(1). Reduce hiring friction - Clients are busy people, the real ones at least. I have had a few clients who I heard nothing from for a few weeks, then bam, they were on vacation or whatever "reason" they give, albeit they do not have to give any. If you add another rating score to client, some or most of them will probably have a bad rating.

(2). Existing "responsiveness" indicators already exists - before even responding to an offer, look at their hiring rate, when they signed up, how much they spent, what past freelancers say about them and what they say about freelancers. If an offer(invite) comes to me and I look at they spent only $10k but they signed up 2 years ago, and their hiring rate is only 30%, freelancers give them good reviews and they don't bother to spent 5 min to give the freelancer a review, that's a huge red flag.

(3). It takes resources to make this system - with probably millions of client accounts, any new feature is going to require a lot of resources both in manpower and machinetime - think about the database tables, you're adding many new columns to millions of entries...

(4). It may break current systems - As I've seen this year with the rollout of so many features, Portfolio especially, has caused many serious issues for me. For example, I set my consultations to 2 days out, but all the consultations I've had so far, I had at least 2 or 3 bookings that were able to book under 24 hours... (I can't even change or cancel the booking, since Upwork has a 24 hour requirement). Makes me wonder if my projects are even visible. My JSS has been stuck for the past 2 months or so. 

 

So - I'm going to say no to this, Upwork needs to fix current issues first - and have better QA before rolling out any new features.

janaknops
Community Member

I am dealing with the same problem. Client asks for some test work, so they know if you are the right fit (which is common in my field of translation) and you put 1 or 2 hours work in and they never reply. Or client is asking for budgeting and timing and a detailed proposal (directly over message) and you never get so much as a thank you, let alone an answer. It is frustrating!

Asking for free work is a terms of service violation. If a client wants to test you, they can offer you a paid test.

ericaandrews
Community Member

I absolutely agree with this, that freelancers should be able to rate clients they have INTERACTED with not just worked with, because I've seen numerous complaints of freelancers doing 'interviews' with clients who begin behaving rudely - sometimes even using abusive, racist, or offensive language.  Instead of just a 'responsiveness' score, it should be called a client 'professionalism' score where freelancers can RATE their interaction based on how responsive, professional/polite, the client was, or if they asked for free work or inappropriate/illegal tasks, wasted the freelancer's time with weeks of 'run arounds',  etc.  Those ratings should be viewable in the client's profile that shows up on the job post, so that other freelancers have an idea if the client is 'worth' the connects or not.  If a client behaves badly repeatedly, their 'score' will drop so low people will stop bidding on their jobs and they'll leave UW, which is good.

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