Reply
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Reply

Company asking me to lie

Highlighted
Active Member
Andrea L. R Member Since: Jun 10, 2015
1 of 8

The woman I am doing work for insists that I lie in my communications with restaurants. I am to call restaurants and ask them to email their menus to me. But I have to tell them it's for a dinner or lunch I'm planning, I cannot mention the name of this company or the real reason I'm calling. I've been uncomfortable with this from the start (I started in March), but I'd made an agreement and was doing my best to honor it. Friday night I misunderstood an email this woman sent to me regarding a restaurant I was contacting - I thought she was saying it was ok to tell the restaurant why I was asking for the information. When I told her I'd mentioned her and the company, she was infuriated.

 

Long story short: Sunday night (two days later) I get an email from her, accusing me of stretching out my work so I could overcharge her, insulting my skills and intelligence, and saying I could stay on but at half of the rate I was being paid and a set number of hours a week (four hours).

 

I've had many problems dealing with this woman from the very start, but I've stayed professional with her and have done my best to do a complete and thorough job for her. I did my work for her during a time when my mom was severely ill, I did my work for her the week I was on the first vacation I've had in years. I worked for her the way I have always worked - by doing my best to be sure the job was complete and accurate. To have that thrown in my face and to be accused, for the first time in my life, of being dishonest, unintelligent, and a thief is awful.

 

Can I cancel this contract without it reflecting poorly on me? Can she disparage me on this site, affecting future work possibilities? Can she dispute the hours that went in Sunday that I've not been paid for yet?

 

I need advice quickly because I have to respond to her email and I need to protect myself.

Highlighted
Community Guru
Lyam B Member Since: Nov 3, 2014
2 of 8

Unfortunately, you've gotten one of the bad apples on Upwork. I don't know how Upwork protects freelancers from dishonest, unreasonable and cheating clients. Before, they didn't protect us but I think things have changed.

 

I would suggest documenting all communication with your client. If the contract ends (which it probably will) - she'll leave you negative feedback and it will have an impact on your feedback and Job Success.

 

I know very little about American law. But if your client was asking you to lie to obtain private information, isn't this breaching some kind of privacy act?

 

"Looking for some fast, detail oriented individuals who could help us compile a list of emails. We have the names of the companies, the right contacts, their phone number, their website address but not the email of the person. This is a time sensitive job."

 

I got that from looking at your profile. That's the job I assume you're having issues with. The client's asking you to contact a person to pretend you're a keen customer wanting the menu emailed to you (thus obtaining their email) is surely breaching something, no?

 

 

Highlighted
Ace Contributor
Jaime L Member Since: May 11, 2015
3 of 8

@Lyam B wrote:

 

 

"Looking for some fast, detail oriented individuals who could help us compile a list of emails. We have the names of the companies, the right contacts, their phone number, their website address but not the email of the person. This is a time sensitive job."

 

I got that from looking at your profile. That's the job I assume you're having issues with. The client's asking you to contact a person to pretend you're a keen customer wanting the menu emailed to you (thus obtaining their email) is surely breaching something, no?

 

 


 I think it's the wine researcher job.

Highlighted
Community Guru
Ela K Member Since: Feb 9, 2015
4 of 8

@Andrea L. R wrote:

 

Can I cancel this contract without it reflecting poorly on me? Can she disparage me on this site, affecting future work possibilities? Can she dispute the hours that went in Sunday that I've not been paid for yet?

 

I need advice quickly because I have to respond to her email and I need to protect myself.


 Andrea,

 

That sounds truly dreadful.

I can only offer advice regarding the bit I quoted.

 

As far as I know, if you close the contract, she will be asked why the contract ended which is not likely to be "completed successfully". Which is bad.

On top of that she can leave bad public feedback. Even worse than that (because it will impact your JS Score a lot more) she will also be asked to leave private feedback (along the lines of "on a scale from 1 - 10 would you recommend this freelancer").

 

You might want to read this thread: https://community.upwork.com/t5/Freelancers/JS-score-merged-paused-dead-contracts/m-p/85748#M38768

 

Anyway, if she chooses anything less than a 10 it will affect your JS score; the impact depends on how many jobs you have completed successfully in the past 2 years.

 

I would advise you to contact Customer Service and hope that a moderator will pick up this thread and reply to you soon. I would not end the contract. I have done this when I was relatively new to this platform and suffered the consequences. And my contract was never even executed (no hours worked, no money exchanged). But the client left negative private feedback and probably marked the job as not completed successfully.

 

Take your time. It is already a lost cause.

 

Highlighted
Community Guru
Setu M Member Since: Jan 26, 2014
5 of 8
Andrea, no matter how you respond now your client already seems to be set to leave a poor public and private review. There is not much you can do about that. On the bright side it is a hourly contract so at least your pay should be secure. The client can dispute any period worked, but as long as you have adequate notes and screenshots, that should be fine.

It is always best to have the client close the contract, since you run the risk of "no feedback." But at this point a "no feedback would be better than a "bad feedback" - unsuccessful job.

It is hard, but good luck.
---- easy like Sunday morning ----
Highlighted
Moderator
Valeria K Moderator Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
6 of 8

HI Andrea,

 

I am sorry the relationship with this client did not turn out as expected. In this situation, I would recommend you contact Customer Support. If you have any screenshots of your communication with the client where she accuses you or asks you to do anything that violates policies of other businesses, please attach them to your request. Upwork team will review the information and will do their best to help resolve the situation.

 

Best of luck.

~ Valeria
Untitled
Highlighted
Active Member
Marc B Member Since: Jun 28, 2011
7 of 8

Hi Andrea,

 

I'm sorry to hear about your bad experience with this customer. I've seen my fair share of these kind of customers, and am usually very pragmatic about the approach on how to deal with them.

 

First of all: If you don't want to lie for work, don't lie for work!

 

I once did a large project for a software developer that needed my help to win a lawsuit from a customer. I was supposed to make sure that they were to meet the quality standards, required by their contract with said customer, which they obviously didn't. 

I was bluntly asked to falsify my progress report to make the progress look better. I refused that, litterally saying:"This is my report as I'm filing it. Do with it whatever you want, but my version will tell the truth." And I've always stood by that. Needless to say, I did not extend my contract after one year with this client.

 

Simply report your client with Upwork customer services.

 

I understand the consideration to not terminate the contract to avoid a negative rating. But keep in mind, that you also get to rate the customer. So it goes both ways. As much as a customer can contest your work, you can also report them.

 

Quite frankly, it is very rare for people to have a full 5 star rating. So I also would not have the ambition to always have one during your Upwork career. I know I don't and I've been working in this way for some time now. At some point, we all run into a customer that will simply not give a 5 star rating, even if you did an outstanding job. Such is life on Upwork. Smiley Wink

 

Most of all, don't make too big of a deal out of it. I've ran into the occasional fraudulent client, which I always reported, closed the contract myself, and moved on. We all need to make a living, but we can also do that preserving our own professional honor and integrity.

 

Good luck!

Highlighted
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
8 of 8

Just a general comment that has nothing to do with Andrea's situation.

 

If a client asks you to lie, or if a client asks you to do anything else that is objectionable, that's the client's fault. Upwork isn't asking you to do that.

 

Generally speaking, such things would be handled between the client and the contractor, and aren't really anything that Upwork can control, or something that Upwork has purview over.

 

There's more to Andrea's story than just "a client asking me to lie." The behavior of the client toward the contractor is a major part of her situation, and in many ways that's a different topic, and that does get into areas that are more directly related to Upwork.

TOP KUDOED MEMBERS