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Re: Client insulted me by e-mail

Active Member
Katrin Z Member Since: Oct 27, 2017
1 of 5

Hello Upwork community,


I'm a freelancer on Upwork since a few months and my experience has been very positive overall! I had the chance to work with great clients and interesting projects which made me very happy.


This week, it was different. I know that not all clients are equally nice, but this particular client has gone to far. 


The situation:

I agreed with the client to schedule a phone call to discuss the details of the project on Monday. We agreed that we would talk again on Wednesday, and that I would start reading a bit about the company's products on Tuesday, I mentioned that I had other projects running but that I could spare an hour. I spent some time reading on their products and was prepared with some basic knowledge for our next call on Wednesday. The client reacted very rude to me and wasn't happy that I didn't acquire more in depth knowledge. He said that I have no idea what I was even talking about (well, I was, but that's another question). I told him that I would read more about the product on Thursday and that we would start with a first day of work on Friday. 


On Thursday evening, I was reading on the client's profile, that he had four 1 star ratings from people and extremely negative comments about his behaviour. For other projects in a different category, he had good feedback though. I didn't want to spend too much time on intensive reading about their projects before even having an offer via Upwork from this client, and all the negative comments on his behaviour shocked. 


Friday, 08.00 at the agreed time, the client wasn't online. At 09.00 he tried to call me (but by then, I was off). I later withdrew my proposal on Upwork and added that I'm no longer interested (without mentioning the reasons which were a bad impression and the bad feedback history he had). 


One hour later, he sent me a mail asking if "I'm still a child", that he "wishes me the worst" and "a very unhappy and short life".


I am speechless! This is extremely rude behaviour which I think should absolutely not happen on this platform! 


What would you do? Would you report this to Upwork? Is this even good to do knowing that he sent me this by e-mail ? (he had my email address to add me to their software etc).


I hope you can give me some advice...I'm really shocked about such an inappropriate and childish behaviour from a client.




Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
2 of 5

Katrin,should you report this to Upwork? HELL YES! Please include screenshots of the abusive messages.


Frankly any client who expects me to spend significant amounts of time learning about their products needs to hire me to do so. That client sounds like a nightmare.... Always check what feedback a client left and received (if any) before even accepting an interview, life’s too short, you know?

Active Member
Katrin Z Member Since: Oct 27, 2017
3 of 5

Thank you Petra for your reply and your encouraging words 🙂  Do you know how exactly I can report a client and if there is something like a client ID to add so that Upwork knows who I'm talking about ?

Community Manager
Valeria K Community Manager Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
4 of 5

Hi Katrin,


We don't allow abusive behaviour on Upwork. You can submit a ticket by clicking "Get Help" button on this page and providing the details and screenshots of the conversation is it happened outside of Upwork. The team will review and take appropriate actions.

~ Valeria

View solution in original post

Community Guru
Pat M Member Since: Jun 18, 2016
5 of 5

Katrin, I totally agree with Petra on all points here.  Also, I'm going to reinforce that I never ever do any research, training...without being paid my hourly fee.  To me that constitutes free work---no way!  Best of luck to you, Katrin.