Exactly because, as you mentioned, this is a virtual space and we don't offer physical labor work, the rules are different (or at least more strict) than those of on-site work.
Since we never physically see or meet the clients, nor do they, or, even Upwork (neighter of these three sides can have physical contact), rules must be more strict to ensure the protection of the client and of the freelancer. Yes, freelancers can get scammed now and then, because they never learned their rights on the platform called Upwork in this case. Even in court you need actual proof that a crime has happened, but then the state is in charge. Since the thrid-party right now is not the state, but Upwork, we all must comply with Upwork's procedures and rules first! If the offence is larger or more serious, who knows... maybe even the state may be employed. I honestly don't know. In your case, wherever you go to seek the help of the law they will tell you one thing - did you read the rules of the platform? Did they state 'Don't work without an active contract' (or similar)?
It's clear that there are many things you don't know yet about Upwork. I am surprised that you accuse a system you don't know. Also, don't compare Upwork or any other freelance platform for not being exactly what you want it to be. It's not the state, it's not another freelance platform, it's nothing else but Upwork. Like I said before, I can only imagine your frustration, but the fact is, you won't find the help you seek without having complied with the rules of the current virtual third-party system called Upwork.
@Krystal C wrote:
@Petra, oh, I was suspended temporarily. I've accepted the job offer without a contract and agreed to be paid through PayPal. Like Preston stated, you as the Freelancer get in trouble. Not really the client. Never again.
Actually, clients are often suspended for just mentioning the word Paypal in a message, even if they haven't made an offer of payment outside the platform.
If you and the client both agreed to violate the rules, why wouldn't you both be penalized? Since you tried to steal from Upwork, a permanent ban wouldn't have been out of line.
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