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Client referral

Active Member
Luke B Member Since: Jan 8, 2018
11 of 23

accidental reply

Community Guru
Mary W Member Since: Nov 10, 2014
12 of 23

What Kim asked - +100.  Doesn't make sense.  Either it's one or the other.

Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
13 of 23

I think the only person who could answer whether the TOS as written prevents satisfied clients from referring you to others off-platform would be an attorney. And, if you put two attorneys in a room, each would probably give you a different answer. 

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
14 of 23

Tonya P wrote:

I think the only person who could answer whether the TOS as written prevents satisfied clients from referring you to others off-platform would be an attorney. And, if you put two attorneys in a room, each would probably give you a different answer. 


Agree, but there are quite a few factors favoring the freelancer here. The first is that as a matter of law, vague terms are construed against the party that drafted the contract and in favor of the one who just signed. Similarly, unclear terms are generally construed in favor of the "underdog" in the relationship--the one with less negotiating power. And, of course, there's the public policy issue regarding the potentially insane level of overreach...a freelancer could work with one client on Upwork who recommended him to two others who each recommended him in turn, and soon his entire roster would be filled with clients who had never heard of Upwork (or, perhaps, the original client) but were obligated to work through Upwork for two years. 

 

Of course, it's not worthwhile for most freelancers to challenge, since attorney fees would be much more than the relevant Upwork fees (which is what big companies count on).

Community Guru
Kim F Member Since: Aug 26, 2015
15 of 23

I was more pointing out that it would be useful if the moderators were singing from the same songsheet than anything.  (Even better if they got CS agents to join in the chorus.) And I get the spirit of the condition, which presumably is what is actually adhered to.

 

Like Scott said, in the real world it's hardly practical. It places you in the wrong even if you don't know that's where you've been referred from. It can only work if freelancers report that they've been offered work by a client's friend, colleague or Great Aunt Agnes (who might not even own a computer). And it introduces the interesting anomaly that a client you've been working with for over two years is no longer obliged to pay via Upwork, but if they have a friend who wants to work with you, they are.  

 

The dubious legality of the condition probably doesn't matter too much in real life, either.  It's extremely unlikely to be challenged, particularly as Upwork has a whole collection of other conditions to invoke if they felt like excluding an individual.

 

But some consistency would be nice all the same.

 

Moderator
Valeria K Moderator Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
16 of 23

Sorry about this, Kim and others. 

 

I'd like to confirm that my reply on this thread provides correct and most current information. We've edited Goran's reply accordingly and merged the threads to make sure anybody who'll be searching for this information in the future come across this thread.

 

We'll make sure to do proper training and get everybody in the team on the same page.

 

Thanks!

~ Valeria
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Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
17 of 23

I guess there hasn't been enough fuss about this one yet for them to run it by their legal team.

 

Vagueness of the terminology aside (and vague terminology is always construed against both the drafter of the contract and the party with more bargaining power) the public policy implications of taking a freelancer's entire future referral chain hostage in perpetuity are staggering.

 

 

Community Guru
Mary W Member Since: Nov 10, 2014
18 of 23

"... the public policy implications of taking a freelancer's entire future referral chain hostage in perpetuity are staggering" .  Yes. That.

Active Member
Andy R Member Since: Jan 24, 2019
19 of 23

Dear Vladimir, 

As an end-user of UpWork freelance services (who trains start up incubators and small business operators), I'd like to be able to refer other business owners to UpWork and be rewarded for doing so (in my case, I'd be just as happy for these rewards to be a donation to my Kiva charity team). Does UpWork offer something like this for existing clients to refer new clients to the platform?

Thanks,

AJ

Moderator
Goran V Moderator Member Since: Mar 24, 2017
20 of 23

Hi Andy,

 

Unfortunately, we don`t have any client to client referral programs at the moment, thank you.


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