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Client soliciting proposals without intent to complete project

Ace Contributor

I recently sent a proposal for a job posting for received 10 proposals.  The client interviewed 9 people and closed the job without completion.  Now, the client has posted a new job with more comprehensive requirements for the same project.


The client did a poor job of specifying the work to be performed, and I'm sure everyone that responded had the same types of questions that I had seeking clarification and details.  So, the result was:


  • The client made freelancers pay money for the opportunity to discuss the project.
  • The client never intended to complete the initial project posted.  Instead, the goal was to get free scope definition from experts.
  • The client posted a new project with a more detailed scope with a higher budget, but it's obvious that it's the same application that needs updating.

I think this is deceptive.  Anyone like me who sent a proposal now feels duped and blatantly used.  Why couldn't the client negotiate and pick from the 9 freelancers they interviewed the first time instead of resubmitting a whole new project that we freelancers have to pay for to submit proposals again?


At minimum, I think that a) the original proposal fees should be refunded and b) the client should be penalized for gaming the system this way.


If clients are allowed to do this, it undermines the good faith expectations upon which the Upwork platform's success is built.