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Client asked for free work, demanding that it is part of the job application

Active Member
Anca D Member Since: Jan 9, 2016
1 of 14

A potential client invited me to apply for his project, then asked for free test work, completely assuming that free work is part of the application. I tried to clarify that this is against Upwork policy, and that test jobs should be paid. He rejected my Proposal to his job with the reason: "Ignored instructions in Job Posting" (which I didn't, there were absolutely no instructions requiring a free test), then responded that 40 other freelancers accepted working for him for free (which is a lie, since I can see how many applied), and I'm the only one not doing so! Now I'm sure he is using this 'technique' to get free work. Additionally, his account was made 2 years ago, but he had no projects accomplished. I don't usually report every person asking me for a free test, but this one is really mean and almost surely doing this everytime he needs work done (for free). In the end, he threatened that he'll report me for "harrasing" and that I am wasting his time and that I should just jog on :-D

My main question is: If you are an experienced freelancer with constant paid projects and a strong portfolio, should you accept free tests? And if not, then should you even try to help these potential clients and clarify that this is not ok?

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
2 of 14

Anca D wrote:

 Additionally, his account was made 2 years ago, but he had no projects accomplished. I don't usually report every person asking me for a free test, but this one is really mean and almost surely doing this everytime he needs work done (for free). In the end, he threatened that he'll report me for "harrasing" and that I am wasting his time and that I should just jog on :-D

My main question is: If you are an experienced freelancer with constant paid projects and a strong portfolio, should you accept free tests? And if not, then should you even try to help these potential clients and clarify that this is not ok?


Simply flag as inappropriate, select reason "asking for free work" and include a screenshot of the request.

Then move on. Why are you even wasting your time arguing with that **bleep**?

Active Member
Anca D Member Since: Jan 9, 2016
3 of 14

Why are you even wasting your time arguing with that **bleep**?

 

That's what I've asked myself really. But then when I saw his answers, I just couldn't help writing back! I felt it's my responsibility to the freelancer's community here on upWork to clarify things for potential employees, and let them know that IT IS NOT OK to use freelancers like this. I flagged him and also reported him, but unfortunately, his last words were a threat and not a "thank-you for your help". Not that I expected it, but it would have really proven professionalism from his side.

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
4 of 14

Anca D wrote:

Why are you even wasting your time arguing with that bleep?

 

That's what I've asked myself really. But then when I saw his answers, I just couldn't help writing back! I felt it's my responsibility to the freelancer's community here on upWork to clarify things for potential employees.


Yeah, but that isn't a potential client Smiley Wink

 


Anca D wrote:

...let them know that IT IS NOT OK to use freelancers like this


He knows.

He just doesn't care.

 

 

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
5 of 14

Anca D wrote:

I flagged him and also reported him, but unfortunately, his last words were a threat and not a "thank-you for your help". 

 

That's not unfortunate. It will help Upwork see what's really going on.


 

Community Guru
Will L Member Since: Jul 9, 2015
6 of 14

Never wrestle with a pig.

 

It upsets the pig and all you get is dirty.

Active Member
Anca D Member Since: Jan 9, 2016
7 of 14

That's a bit harsh, don't you think? Wrestling with a pig would mean that I'd respond to him in the same way he responds to me. This was not the case. I politely gave him facts and pointed to his mistake, suggesting he should re-evaluate his behavior towards freelancers. I couldn't know he'll just continue being mean and attacking, that had just proven that he's unprofessional and unable to work with people. I didn't get dirty in any way, but instead, he got himself reported so he'll have an even harder time getting free work in the future.

Community Guru
Will L Member Since: Jul 9, 2015
8 of 14

Hmmm.

 

Yes, you might want to continue to exchange pleasantries with him and hope to convince him of the error of his ways. By all means, do what you think best in all your dealings with clients of all kinds.

 

I wouldn't give him the benefit of the doubt or give him another thought. But maybe that's just me.

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
9 of 14

Anca D wrote:

That's a bit harsh, don't you think? Wrestling with a pig would mean that I'd respond to him in the same way he responds to me.


It's a saying, Anca. It is not mean literally.

It means it is a bad idea to directly engage with people who are bad.

 

 

Active Member
Anca D Member Since: Jan 9, 2016
10 of 14

Sorry, language barier Smiley Happy Didn't hear this saying before.

 

Yes, true. I stopped engaging after 3 answers anyway, I guess that was as much as I could do.

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