๐Ÿˆ Community

Client claiming he never worked with me. I have hourly proof, payment @ work to prove otherwise!

This is too weird!!

Back in end of May, early June of last year I worked for a client, creating graphic ads for his Amazon page for a product he was selling. It was a super-fun project, it was hourly and I cranked out quite a bunch of advertisements for him in just 10 hours total. It was a great relationship, or so I thought. 

After the last thing I turned in, I asked if he needed anymore and he said that he had an issue with Amazon, so hold off for now. Well, I never heard back from him, several months later. So just yesterday, I got a ping from Upwork saying that he closed the contract. OK, no problem. And then I was asked to rate him. I did,..I gave him 5 stars! I had a great time, he paid on time and I got some awesome samples to show for it! Win, Win!!

Cut to today, I see that he rated me as only 3 stars, claiming that he "never worked with this contractor". WTF??? Why would a client do that? What can I do about it? I've messaged him and showed him proof of the work, as well as screen grabs from his Amazon product page with my creative ads right on it!!! Is there an official complaint I can report this client to? Can someone at Upwork intervene on my behalf?

I'm just gobsmacked that a client would do this to someone whom they lavished praise on and PAID!!!

Interested to know what to do about this and if it has happened to anyone else?

I have a link to the Amazon page and backup.

Thanks -- Jenny


35 REPLIES 35
lysis10
Member

Dementia is a hellavu drug.

 

Welcome to the internets where everyone is a model and a millionnaire entrepreneur. xD

wlyonsatl
Member

Jenny,

 

That's clearly unfair, but it's yet another reason for freelancers not to let dormant clients stay dormant for many months on end.

 

Upwork ought to notify client and freelancer after a period of complete inactivity on a project and notify them that the project will be closed if both client and freelancer don't show interest in any further work together.

 

Until that new feature is introduced by Upwork, you'll have to take charge of a situation like this before a lazy/clueless/forgetful client does such a thing again.


Will L wrote:

Jenny,

 

That's clearly unfair, but it's yet another reason for freelancers not to let dormant clients stay dormant for many months on end.

 

Upwork ought to notify client and freelancer after a period of complete inactivity on a project and notify them that the project will be closed if both client and freelancer don't show interest in any further work together.

 

Until that new feature is introduced by Upwork, you'll have to take charge of a situation like this before a lazy/clueless/forgetful client does such a thing again.


I have an ongoing contract with a client that requires some updates every few months. I would hate the get messaged all the time because of an inactive contract. I seriously hope there won't be a new feature spamming my clients.

Good point. I've checked in with all my open clients recently and they all responded kindly, saying no work needed at the moment, but I'm still on their contract if they need anything. 

 

But I've checked in with this client a few weeks ago and never heard back.

 

I'll tell clients that they should just close up.

prestonhunter
Member

It seems entirely possible that the person who wrote "I did not work with this contractor" is telling the truth.

 

You may have worked with someone else using the same client account.

 

I'm sorry about the 3 star rating. But in all honesty, the comment itself ("I did not work with this contractor") doesn't really seem "bad" per se. It just makes it seem like there is some sort of disconnect.


Preston H wrote:

It seems entirely possible that the person who wrote "I did not work with this contractor" is telling the truth.

 

It seems entirely possible and more than likely that it isn't.

 

You may have worked with someone else using the same client account.

 

I'm sorry about the 3 star rating. But in all honesty, the comment itself ("I did not work with this contractor") doesn't really seem "bad" per se. It just makes it seem like there is some sort of disconnect.

 

No the comment doesn't seem so bad, but the rating does. If the client hasn't worked with the freelancer, what justification do they have to leave such a poor rating? 'Hey, I've never worked with you before, but you suck at what you do!'...with all the implications for the freelancer's JSS.

 

But that's all ok apprently.


 

Why is everyone against this freelancer? The client clearly does not remember who she is and gives her a 3/5 feedback which seems pretty poor in relation to her input. 

 

If the OP was paid and received (eventually) feedback, the client cannot deny her existence. It is my feeling that the client fell foul of Amazon and is trying to cover his tracks. 

 

 


Nichola L wrote:

It is my feeling that the client fell foul of Amazon and is trying to cover his tracks. 

 

 


Good point!

re: "Why is everyone against this freelancer?"

 

Nobody here is against the freelancer.

 

Thread participants are simply trying to figure out what happened.

Thanks. I have an extremely large message thread from when we worked together and proof of my timesheet and payment. As well as my graphics on his Amazon product page!!

 

**edited for Community Guidelines**

And I did the work and the proof is still up on the Amazon page too!

 

He posted a few of my designs on the side:

**edited for Community Guidelines**


Nichola L wrote:

Why is everyone against this freelancer? The client clearly does not remember who she is and gives her a 3/5 feedback which seems pretty poor in relation to her input. 

 

If the OP was paid and received (eventually) feedback, the client cannot deny her existence. It is my feeling that the client fell foul of Amazon and is trying to cover his tracks. 

 

I don't think anyone is "against" the freelancer, but it seems the most likely explanation is that there was a staffing change and the person now handling the account is unfamiliar with this freelancer (happens all the time). The client likely chose 3s thinking of them as neutral since he/she had no basis for rating the freelancer, and made the note "I never worked with this freelancer" to explain that he/she didn't have that basis.

 

Because on Upwork anything less than 5/5 reads as "worst experience of my life," it's unfortunately damaging to the freelancer. But, the client likely doesn't know that. And, there's no reason in the world to assume that the person who wrote that comment was either lying or incorrect. 

It really hurt because I did a good job for him and he praised me with each piece of work I turned in for him.

atreglia
Member

That's nuts.

If you didn't work for the client why is the project there?  How was he able to rate you?  And how did he arrive at 3 stars?  How did the 8 hours add upr?  I'd be most concerned if a new client, unfamiliar with the platform, were to see that, it certainly looks like something is wrong with the freelancer.

 

I dont care if the client actually worked with you or not.  Someone is in charge of that account and they need to change that feedback.  If not, at the very least Upwork needs to remove it.  It's false.

If I was asked to rate a freelancer that I couldn't remember, I would leave the written feedback blank, and just leave all 5-star ratings, without thinking about it.

 

As someone familiar with the Upork system, I don't see any justification for doing otherwise.

 

But I can imagine a scenario in which a client receives a message asking to leave a rating, and isn't very familiar with Upwork, and doesn't remember the freelancer (or never worked with her), and figures that the best way to leave feedback is "split the difference" by leaving scores right in the middle of the available range.


That doesn't mean it was the right thing to do, and such imaginings don't change the original poster's current situation. But it strikes me as a possible explanation for what happened.


Preston H wrote:

If I was asked to rate a freelancer that I couldn't remember, I would leave the written feedback blank, and just leave all 5-star ratings, without thinking about it.

 

As someone familiar with the Upork system, I don't see any justification for doing otherwise.

 

But I can imagine a scenario in which a client receives a message asking to leave a rating, and isn't very familiar with Upwork, and doesn't remember the freelancer (or never worked with her), and figures that the best way to leave feedback is "split the difference" by leaving scores right in the middle of the available range.


That doesn't mean it was the right thing to do, and such imaginings don't change the original poster's current situation. But it strikes me as a possible explanation for what happened.


____________________

So that's what you would have done - so what? The OP finds this client's behaviour weird and so do I. 

However, you do have a point about not allowing any contract to remain open for too long.

 

One does wonder about this client's alarmingly short-term memory - so short that he has no recall whatsoever of this FL's existence. It shouldn't, surely, have taken too much effort on the client's part to have checked the message rooms in order to redress  this alarming lacuna? 

Upwork should remove this feedback as proven by the paid contract and logged hours, it's obviously not true. 

Thank you for this!

Is there a place I can report this, with all of my messages, proof, graphics, links as backup!

I really don't want this 3 star thing on my profile. It will hurt me.

And I messaged him this morning asking what was up. I have heard nothing back from him.
It seems so weird, because we got along great during the few days I worked for him. 

At this point don't message the client anymore.  You're just making the situation worse.  If Upwork won't do anything about the feedback you have the opportunity to respond to the feedback.  It won't change the rating but it may make you feel better to be able to respond publicly. 

Yes, you're absolutely right. He's obviously ignoring my messages from this morning. I need to go to Upwork.

Is there a place to report the incident so I can get this removed?

aocumen
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Jenny, 


I'm sorry to learn about your experience with this client. I will go ahead and look into this, and if things need to be escalated to another team, I will do so. Please know that I may not be able to come back here with more information about this client to comply with our privacy policy which I hope you understand. 


~ Avery
Upwork

Awesome, 

So is there another place to contact you about it? Or is there a place I can report it with all my backups, messages, files and links to prove that I did indeed work for this client?

 

Thanks -- Jenny

Hi Jenny, 


If we need any of these information, we will contact you directly. Thank you!


~ Avery
Upwork


Jenny G wrote:

Awesome, 

So is there another place to contact you about it? Or is there a place I can report it with all my backups, messages, files and links to prove that I did indeed work for this client?

 

Thanks -- Jenny


Upwork doesn't need reams of proof to know whether you worked for the client or not. This isn't an issue of proof. If you didn't work for the client, they wouldn't be able to leave feedback. The issue is whether a client can leave feedback saying they did not work with you.

Now, it is entirely possible that even though you are communicating with someone named X, they account is currently being managed by someone named Y. In which case, when asked for a review, Y might legitimately say, "I did not work with this person." And Y may choose to give you a mid-range rating because they don't know if you were great or terrible.

It is also possible that no matter how much you remind the client that they worked with you and loved your work, they don't remember. So, you might be able to get the comment about not working with you removed, but it won't change your score. In fact, the client could say, "Oh yes, I did work with her. But I'm now changing my score to 1 star." If that were to happen, you would have zero recourse. Clients can give you any rating they want regardless of how many messages you have where they said they loved your work. 

I am going to predict that Upwork at the most will remove the written feedback, leaving you with the star rating. 

This is probably one of the rare times I'd respond to that feedback. I'd probably point out that it's impossible to charge a client if they didn't open a contract with you, so perhaps the client misremembers since it's been a while since you two worked together.


Tonya P wrote:

Jenny G wrote:

Awesome, 

So is there another place to contact you about it? Or is there a place I can report it with all my backups, messages, files and links to prove that I did indeed work for this client?

 

Thanks -- Jenny


Upwork doesn't need reams of proof to know whether you worked for the client or not. This isn't an issue of proof. If you didn't work for the client, they wouldn't be able to leave feedback. The issue is whether a client can leave feedback saying they did not work with you.

Now, it is entirely possible that even though you are communicating with someone named X, they account is currently being managed by someone named Y. In which case, when asked for a review, Y might legitimately say, "I did not work with this person." And Y may choose to give you a mid-range rating because they don't know if you were great or terrible.

 

If this is the case, is it possible the client didn't transfer the account ownership properly and Upwork could ban them? 


Miriam H wrote:

Tonya P wrote:

Jenny G wrote:

Awesome, 

So is there another place to contact you about it? Or is there a place I can report it with all my backups, messages, files and links to prove that I did indeed work for this client?

 

Thanks -- Jenny


Upwork doesn't need reams of proof to know whether you worked for the client or not. This isn't an issue of proof. If you didn't work for the client, they wouldn't be able to leave feedback. The issue is whether a client can leave feedback saying they did not work with you.

Now, it is entirely possible that even though you are communicating with someone named X, they account is currently being managed by someone named Y. In which case, when asked for a review, Y might legitimately say, "I did not work with this person." And Y may choose to give you a mid-range rating because they don't know if you were great or terrible.

 

If this is the case, is it possible the client didn't transfer the account ownership properly and Upwork could ban them? 


Goodness, I hope not. 

I don't think there is a prescribed process for a client to hand off to a colleague or peer. Maybe there should be, but honestly, the client UI is clunky enough. If they tried to create that kind of guard rail, it would probably make things worse instead of better.

 

After reading the whole thread, I think Jen and Tiffany and Tonya probably have called it accurately. That means there are two takeaways:
(1) Any time a message makes you think, 'What the actual f is going on, is this client suddenly demented?' then it's a good idea to back up and read it a few more times with different intonations and see if an alternative perspective emerges. 
(2) Don't leave jobs sitting open for eons. (I'm bad about doing it, but that doesn't make it good practice.)

 

Also, to the OP: If the whole fb can't be removed, then I'd leave the comment because it sort of accounts for the 3 stars, i.e. the client was somehow mistaken/confused. 

 

Thanks for the perspective. 

 

It sucks that I'll be stuck with this 3 star rating due to no fault of my own. It's hard enough to get work. 

 

And yes, I do want the comment to remain if the rating must remain. The comment shows that the client is confused, especially since right above it is my comment about how fun the project was. 

 

This is just absolutely frustrating. Smiley Frustrated

Can anyone answer what steps I need to take and how?

 

I really want the unfair and untrue rating and comment removed. It shouldn't be there and it's just not right for a 3-star rating with the "I never worked with this contractor" comment to be blaringly at the top of my feedback list on my profile. It's going to be extremely detrimental to my ability to get more work.

 

I'll take any help I can get.


Jenny G wrote:

Can anyone answer what steps I need to take and how?

 

I really want the unfair and untrue rating and comment removed. It shouldn't be there and it's just not right for a 3-star rating with the "I never worked with this contractor" comment to be blaringly at the top of my feedback list on my profile. It's going to be extremely detrimental to my ability to get more work.

 

I'll take any help I can get.


You received several suggestions, there isn't much point in going through all the options one more time.

Make up your mind and stop contradicting yourself:

 

And yes, I do want the comment to remain if the rating must remain. The comment shows that the client is confused, especially since right above it is my comment about how fun the project was.

I think you misread my comment. I'm not contradicting myself. I'm saying that I want the entire comment/rating to be removed. But if the ratings must stay, then the comment should stay as well. 

I apologize for upsetting you. You seem personally angry about my comment requesting how to report this and who to contact. I won't respond on this post further. I'll do my own research.

 

Thank you. Have a wonderful day. And best of luck to you.


. I'm saying that I want the entire comment/rating to be removed.


Not going to happen.

 

Upwork very, very rarely interfere with feedback, for a variety of obvious reasons.

 

One of them being that otherwise every freelancer who ever gets poorer feedback would waste Support time trying to have it changed or removed.


Simply respond to the feedback, briefly and professionally.

Then move on.

 


Jenny G wrote:


I apologize for upsetting you. You seem personally angry about my comment requesting how to report this and who to contact. I won't respond on this post further. I'll do my own research.

I saw no indication that she was upset or angry. What you may be misinterpreting as anger is likely just the mild frustration that regulars here feel when several experienced freelancers volunteer their time to provide answers, and to rephrase and present those answers in several different ways, and someone simply refuses to accept facts they don't like. 

 

If anyone in customer service responds to you at all, they will tell you the same thing, with one exception: they will likely tell you that you can make the rating disappear by making a full refund. They will likely NOT tell you that this action will make the review disappear from your profile, but won't mitigate the damage to your JSS. They will likely not tell you that zero payment contracts in and of themselves are bad for your JSS. But, experienced freelancers know those things, and so do not make that "here's a quick way to get rid of you" suggestion. 

Great! Thanks.