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Clients not bothering to give feedback via private message or close contracts

Active Member
Hannah C Member Since: May 6, 2015
1 of 18

I  don't know if it's just me but I feel that clients on Upwork have less and less regard for freelancers as professionals or even as human beings.

 

Recently I've had a number of jobs where the client has pushed repeatedly for the work prior to the deadline, gone silent as soon as it's submitted (no acknowledgement of receipt), paid a week or more later and then failed to close the contract despite multiple (very polite) requests. I always take the time to thank them for their cooperation and mention how much I'd appreciate it (and what a positive difference it would make to me) if they took a moment to leave feedback.

 

What is the thought process behind this?  Do they really have so little regard that they cannot find 30 seconds to do this over a 3-week period? If the problem is that the work is not satisfactory, why don't they tell me?

 

Of course, then, I am stuck with load of annoying $15-20 contracts on my job list that just have to sit there until they are closed automatically by Upwork several months later, usually several contracts at a time so that I have a preponderence of unrated jobs at the top of my work history.

 

I've also noticed an increase in clients who either give extremely positive feedback (or no feedback at all) via private message, then end the contract (sometimes several weeks later) and rate my skills or quality as less than 5/5. Of course, these people are also perfectly happy to ignore my (again, polite) requests for clarification, as if I am some kind of sub-human robot who does not deserve basic human courtesy. Often, these clients do not even appear to have very good English, so I'm at a loss as to how they are qualified to judge the quality of my translation negatively.

 

Just for context, not at all meant as boasting: I'm serious about my work. The majority of my contracts are $100+ in value and end successfully, with excellent feedback. I have a 30% rate of repeat clients and maintain long-term relationships with several prestigious clients outside of Upwork, so without trying to appear big-headed, I'm pretty sure that my work is not the problem. Indeed, if my work *is* the problem, I would be more than happy to take criticism on board - but I am definitely NOT happy to be ignored!

 

Sorry for the rant, I am just feeling pretty jaded by Upwork these days. Freelancers are people too!

Ace Contributor
Juan C Member Since: Nov 21, 2013
2 of 18

I think the new UpWork interface added too much hassle to communications between clients and freelancers, to the point where many clients can't be bothered with anything else after a job is completed. That wouldn't be so bad if it didn't affect the job success percentage.

Community Leader
Ivan S Member Since: Oct 24, 2015
3 of 18

@Juan C wrote:

I think the new UpWork interface added too much hassle to communications between clients and freelancers, to the point where many clients can't be bothered with anything else after a job is completed. That wouldn't be so bad if it didn't affect the job success percentage.


Fully agree with that. At the end of the day, there are no incentives for clients to leave feedback. For small transactions it is a bit like leaving a feedback on Amazon - there is simply no point in doing that. You also might consider that for introverts, like me, communicating to a wider audience will always require extra effort. 

Active Member
Hannah C Member Since: May 6, 2015
4 of 18

Thanks for responding. I think that's sort of my point - clients shouldn't need an incentive - I kind of find it sad that they can't do it as a matter of courtesy, especially if I politely request them to do so (after having put thought and effort into an assignment, and often after being asked to compromise on price or meet a tight deadline).

 

I think the point regarding small vs large projects is not that relevant. Regardless of the size of the project, if the client does not bother to rate, the freelancer ends up with an inactive contract they can't close and eventually an unrated job on their profile, which implicitly communicates that the client was not satisfied with the work or was  sufficiently uninspired to not bother commenting. This is bad for the freelancer whether the job was worth $10 or $1000.

 

I also think that the introvert vs extrovert point is irrelevant. I would by no means consider myself an extrovert - I wouldn't usually post on a forum like this - but if you are sufficiently socially capable to use the platform in the first place, then you are capable of leaving a simple star rating.

 

As I mentioned to another poster, I think it's also slightly selfish that clients rely on previous feedback to select their freelancers but don't bother to contribute in the same way.

 

 

 

 

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
5 of 18

@Hannah C wrote:

Thanks for responding. I think that's sort of my point - clients shouldn't need an incentive - I kind of find it sad that they can't do it as a matter of courtesy, especially if I politely request them to do so (after having put thought and effort into an assignment, and often after being asked to compromise on price or meet a tight deadline).

 

I think the point regarding small vs large projects is not that relevant. Regardless of the size of the project, if the client does not bother to rate, the freelancer ends up with an inactive contract they can't close and eventually an unrated job on their profile, which implicitly communicates that the client was not satisfied with the work or was  sufficiently uninspired to not bother commenting. This is bad for the freelancer whether the job was worth $10 or $1000.

 

I also think that the introvert vs extrovert point is irrelevant. I would by no means consider myself an extrovert - I wouldn't usually post on a forum like this - but if you are sufficiently socially capable to use the platform in the first place, then you are capable of leaving a simple star rating.

 

As I mentioned to another poster, I think it's also slightly selfish that clients rely on previous feedback to select their freelancers but don't bother to contribute in the same way.

 

 

 

 


I think that one of the reasons clients choose a platform like Upwork is that simply choosing someone within the system, setting up funding and moving on allows them to invest very little time in the hiring and management process.

 

Most are unaware of the importance of ratings to freelancers, as the whole world is a sea of invitations to assign stars to every experience and interaction, and in most cases declining to do so has no impact.

 

To me, a large part of the problem is the Upwork algorithm. I don't believe that a lack of rating implicitly communicates anything to a prospective client; when hiring contractors I certainly don't read it as meaning anything other than that the client didn't bother to leave feedback. However, Upwork seems to assign a negative value to the client's decision not to leave feedback (or the fact that the client simply forgot to do so), turning no response into a negative response for JSS purposes.

 

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
6 of 18

Yep, it's part of the game. As long as I get paid, I'm kinda meh don't care.

Active Member
Hannah C Member Since: May 6, 2015
7 of 18

I understand what you're saying. Of course, getting paid is more important than anything else (chasing clients for payment is a whole different issue, and way more of a hassle than the issues mentioned above). But still, continuing to get hired (and thus paid) is basically dependent on feedback, and it's annoying when clients don't recogise this. I also find it slightly selfish, since I'm certain these clients rely on other clients' feedback to select their freelancers, and it's a pity they can't be bothered to contribute to the platform in the same way.

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
8 of 18

You have to understand that most people are just busy and don't care. Like Ivan said, there's no incentive.

 

I rarely ever leave feedback for all kinds of transactions. I find it annoying when people ask me to go to yelp or remind me about their feedback that will get mailed to me.  You got paid... leave me alone. If I hired someone here, I would give all 5 stars unless something was horribly wrong, but that's because I understand the system. Clients just see it as buying a service and then going along their merry way.

 

I have a lot of no feedback too, and I think it's bad logic to assume that no feedback is negative but so does every freelancer who posts here. Maybe they will change it one day. I'm focusing on the money not the stars. And I don't think JSS/stars do much in the eyes of the client unless the JSS is incredibly low (like 50%)

 

Maybe it's just me but I don't take very many things that others do personally. That's just a lot of unnecessary stress. Focus on what you can control.

Community Guru
Olivier P Member Since: May 25, 2015
9 of 18

I fully agree with you . Customers dont even want to close contracts so dont think about giving feedback .

One customer replied me when i asked him to close one contact : " do it if you want...have too many to do and it changes nothing for me if i close or not " .... I think this rule of closing contract is a bad way of thinking from upwork

Community Guru
Stephen R Member Since: Jun 19, 2015
10 of 18

Clients often have a had time finding feedback page. Sounds weird but i often have to talk them thru it. They really dont care. Sad.

 

Recently had a job with fast deadline, on a weekend and even on my vacation ( I had my Mac with me.)

The clients was happy and gave me a 4.60. Knocking me for skills and quaility. HUH? You can't just give me a 5.00 when i bust my butt on a weekend for you? You sounded happy on the phone. I guees you werent happy and lied to me? Who knows.

 

Anyway glad you made you Monday deadline and I got paid.

 

 

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