Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Clients having a ball at the expense of contractors?

Ace Contributor
Anil N Member Since: Aug 21, 2013
1 of 3

Are clients having a ball at the expense of contractors?


We are all aware about the cost of services dropping drastically over the last few months. Clients and contractors are both impacted. Contractors have dropped rates to stay in contention. With this client is facilitated to meet the current money crunch. In fact with fewer clients and a deluge of contractors available, the client is clearly in the driver's seat, owing to the demand and supply phenomenon. That's okay, but what's not okay, is what this post is about.

I have pointed out earlier on this forum that there need to be safeguards with regard to the balance between the opportunities / advantages offered to clients and contractors by Upwork. I feel the contractors are getting a raw deal. Upwork needs to step in to monitor client malpractices or capable contractors will soon move away to other means of earning.

I feel many clients default in the following manner: (my expertise is photo editing)

- Asking for samples. I believe this is not allowed by Upwork, but if one does not do a sample, the chances of getting the job are remote. Samples should require the contractor to be hired. If Upwork comes down on both contractors and clients with regard to free samples, then one can refuse doing a sample knowing all other bidding contractors would also refuse.

- Some kind of minimum price line needs to be fixed like we had on Elance. Even for the smallest of jobs, there is interaction involved that takes time. I have done $5 jobs that involved more interaction than a $100 job.

- Clients posting jobs and seeking bids without a complete description about the scope and volume of work should be strictly penalized. That is a popular method of playing the system.

- Clients hiring and extending the scope of the initial brief while the job is ongoing / delivered. If not done, that leads to a dispute and a black mark on the contractor's profile in the % job success area. In situations like this, I have refused additional work and not billed the client at all without a dispute, because the contractors word against the client's leads nowhere. One does not want to get into formal litigation because the cost of litigation is more than the money one would be fighting for. That still impacts my success rate as an unfinished job. Should it be this way?

- Harvesting contractor intellectual property and experience - even without hiring:
Post a difficult job.

Get solutions from many bidders.

Hire some with the lowest rate with instructions based on the inputs from experienced bidders.

Or don't hire at all. Just use the knowledge.

This activity needs to be penalized with Up work doing random checks.

I have had numerous experiences on Upwork which call for the need for a better framework within which clients operate. I will not mention them, as I am sure most contractors have faced similar situations.

I would appreciate contractors to append their thoughts to this thread, to draw the attention of Upwork.

Good luck!

Anil Nath


Ace Contributor
Armela C Member Since: Jun 6, 2015
2 of 3

Dear  Anil,


Thank  you for  your post.  It has  raised a  lot  of  issues,  and Ive seen some to improve  the job posting, proposal,  bidding,  hiring and  verification process. 


To name a  few:


1. QUALIFICATIONS posted with the  job.  Sometimes it is so  overdone  posted  for 1  or 2 hires is equivalent to a  team a contractor  usually have.  So a Contractor will technially bid for a Virtual Assitant but is a PROJECT Manager in  that particular  hire.


2.  An Application  has a  capacity to phize  information that otherwise is a normal discussion, even in words, to convince or take the client's  imagination to  a  process , as  an  example,   in using the  word,  "like, for instance if your website need another feature, we can implement an interfacce patch that I have used.. blah blah.  "  These  are  express  professional words  at play, a reply  of acceptance need  a  POSTAL  Fee or  a Reply Fee.  Sometimes, an applicant,  bound by ethics, will have to counter-propose and therefore,  takes  productive  time that  needs  to  be  compensated or shared ,  like  internet costs, subscriptions  that  are regular . 


3.  Some Job  Postings  are  truly  arrogant  in its  creation with a  warning  to  please  submit  the requirements.   At  one  time, I tried  to drop  what I had to  do the whole  day, to submit samples . My samples  are  excerpts  of yet  to be   published  webpage so I send it with a  Privacy clause.   Tone of mutual  respect  is  important. and care  has  to be  used  by the  HR to   trim  down the usual  impatience  of  the Enterpreneur/Businessman/Client, which comes  out  as   arrogance.


4.  UNRESPONSIVE   Clients need to be  sensitive to labor as an intellectual  capital. Application responses require the same  attention and  time   an Applicant/Contractor  gives   a Job Post.  There is  such a thing  as  a  GROUPIE, the political  lobby groups that   get  budgets  to  research and   get  information,  or sometimes  business hire  these  groups to affecct  a certain trend.  HR   and Recruitment  must  be  aware  of the tell tale  signs.   They  tend  to  post  jobs  and  consider  it  as  work  done. So they dont follow  thru.   


There are  many  Exploitative  means that are now employed  and the efficiency  of a Site  is  created  by reputation  thru  standards, work  tools and applications  in  a website and  results.  I hope clients, though  theyare a Bread and Butter  source, can  see themselves  as  attracting a  humble but not a  doormat or a "yes"  person  for their projects.  Thus, while at work,  both client and freelancer  grow together  free in  spirit .


As for the bid and cost  Tip, I posted  on it, but was lost.


Anil, nice meeting you.


As the Engineering Dept said, its  a work in progress!




Ace Contributor
Anil N Member Since: Aug 21, 2013
3 of 3

Dear Armela,

Thank you for taking the time to append your thoughts my post. Your points 1 through 4 are all valid and I agree with what you have pointed out.

Whenever I see a problem, I try to get to the root cause, as against trouble shooting on the surface. This brings solutions that last.

We are in a time where individuals with common sense are labeled as "not cool". How untrue, the abc of life has never changed, not matter what we are told is.

Through various posts on this forum, I have tried to bring up what I see needs to be looked at on the surface, keeping with the popular practice, of problem solving at the surface. Upwork seem to be unable to relate to even that. Sorting out the root cause of what we see on Upwork, does not look likely.

Upwork seems to be driven by numbers with scant regard to quality of service to the customers and clients. Even though clients are in the "drivers seat" I doubt very much that they are marrying up with the best fit contractor for their jobs. If Upwork structured their service with thought, this would not be so. Would it be wrong to say that, Upwork has failed both contractors and clients.

I can think of two dintinct possibilities with regard to what we see on Upwork today.

1. Fattening the corporate image of the company drastically by increasing the number of contractors, clients and job posts, with a view to selling the company at some time in the future.

2. Management without direction and good sense.

(Probably a mix of both)

Upwork has a responsibility towards its large number of users and it has failed.

I wonder when businesses will understand that every human effort, whether for purposes of business or personal, is collaborative, and that all concerned must win. If only we all could see how intrinsically connected we all are with each other, we would not have to see what we see today.

Integrity, compassion and decency are prime directives.

Good luck!