Worawan S wrote:
A client sent me a file to work on and later told me that the offer was given to someone else. Is this against the rules or am I protected?
I hope you did not deliver the work. Don't ever do any work for a client before you have an official Upwork contract (that you have agreed to) in place.
You are protectedf if you have an official contract and if your client funded the agreed amount in escrow for a fixed-price job. Or if your contract is hourly but officially tracked.
Luckily, I hadn't begun working for them. They said the other freelancer responded sooner (I replied within 4 hours given the 7-8 hour difference in time zones.) The thing is I wasn't even made aware someone else was given the same file. It never happened to me since I started using this website years ago when it was still oDesk!
No, you are not protected.
If you worked without a contract, you have no protection from Upwork.
You will not be penalized by Upwork. But you won't get paid anything, either.
If you didn't do any work, then you have nothing to worry about.
Clients are indeed allowed to send files to freelancers. Clients may discuss projects with freelancers and send them files to review and then hire somebody else. That is not against the rules.
What clients are not allowed to do is to ask freelancers to work for free.
It would be even more unfair to be penalised by Upwork on top of this when 20% of what I earn go to them. Luckily, I hadn't begun working for the said client, knowing I wasn't given a contract yet. But surely, clients shouldn't go around sending the file to more than one freelancer and saying you get the job (yet hasn't offered a contract) then taking it back and saying well, you didn't respond quickly enough. I did my best to reply given the time zone difference. It feels extremely unfair to receive little support from Upwork when they take so much service fee.
I am sorry if you think this is unfair. But it violates no rules.
I have often interviewed for jobs, and been given files to review and then not been hired because the client hired somebody else. Conversely, I have often been hired by clients who were interviewing and providing files to other freelancers.
I regard this as normal.
If this has never happened to you before as far as you know, then maybe you have been lucky. Or maybe you have consistently been the top pick from among a field of multiple freelancers.
They explained the file over to me. All the message clearly state I got the job, not just one of their shortlisters. I feel freelancers have the right to know they're being put against other candidates.