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Community Member


Somebody has to say this. 
I have been part of Upwork for a long time as a freelencer, and I  have had too many encounters with clients who don't read, don't pay attention, and wh try to use the platform as a "payment portal" only. Maybe it's just my industry, as I work in Event Sponsorshiip. 
I have encountered clients who ask me to work for commission only when I clearly have a rate posted. I encounter clients all the time who want me to provide them information on "how I do what I do" without paying for that informatiion. 

Most recently I came across a client who copy/pasted my own proposal as milestones. My proposals are open-ended so that details can be defined. The client sent me my own proposal, offering to pay me $1550/month (on my offer to do the job at $2500/month). I accepted b/c I believed there would be more work with this client. She turned around a set milestone payments at $750/month, extended them over 4 months (when I proposed 2) and then never funded them.How is this acceptable?

I asked the clinet if she wanted to send invoices as record so that she could fund milestones. She asked for an alternate payment method, then messaged me via Upwork, accusing me of seeking payment offline. The milsestone ran 15 days past due and remained unfunded. The clientasked me if we could connect and discuss progress. I refused, reminding her that Upwork was not just a payment portal, and that we could review when she funded her milestone. Sche cancelled the contract.
I've been doing this long enough to realize she was never going to pay, or she was hoping that I would close something quick so she could pay me. Sponsorship doesn't work that way. I don't work that way. 

This is an ongoing issue with upwork. Clients claim that they cannot trust freelancers, but they don't uphold their side. If you don't pay me...if you don't at least fund your milestone...I stop work. Clients have the option to simply abandon contracts & offers. Freelancers can never recoup the man-hours lost on projects, nor do they have recourse.

"Support" is offered as a chat-bot, and that chat is designed for clients. The entire process is designed for benefit of the client, yet I have to pay to not only apply for work, but then I have to pay the 10% "convenience fee" (which amounts to my funds being held in escrow for an additional 10 days). After this, my tax rate ranges for 25-33%. That means I lose 40% of every job...if they don't try to talk me down on rate.

I just cannot see where the benefit lies. Maybe it works for programmers or something like that. For my industry, all I encounter is a bunch of low-level deadbeats who disappear at best, or waste my time. At worst I encounter clients like the one above, who try to get free work and gaslight you if you challenge them.
There has to be a better way.

Community Member

Start with Consulations first and avoid all of the above issues.

Community Member

I strongly agree, Jim.  The percentage of clients who hire and are respectful... compared to the percentage of people who are just collecting quotes, hoping to get free consultations, aren't remotely able to afford any services, don't show up to planned meetings, disappear without a trace not to mention outright scammers and thieves.... the quality clients are like diamonds in the rough here.


And yet Upwork continues to not vet clients and profit from the imbalance between quality freelancers and rare quality clients.

Community Member

I am pretty sure that pretty soon there will be a contra movement or contra reaction because, (semi) legally speaking, creating an environment favorable for scam, fradulent or unethical behavior is in fact a fradulent and unethical behavior itself.

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