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jeremiah-brown
Community Member

Conversations outside Upwork

I have recently noticed warnings that taking conversations outside of Upwork is now a violation of terms.

Previously, I would be able to speak with potential clients about the projects that they were hiring for.  For engineering and design projects this is crucial to success for both the freelancer and the client.  In the past (this year, 2020) I would only receive a courtesy message stating something to the effect of "be careful about communicating outside of Upwork, etc etc".  Now it is a flat out violations of terms.

Normally this wouldn't be an issue, however, Upwork has treated me very poorly in the past when I had a client that hired me and could not pay me for services rendered (method of payment was declined or did not have sufficient funds).  

When I tried to collect payment, I called Upwork's staff and asked if I could invoice the client at their registered business address - Upwork staff told me it would be a violation of terms and I explicitly stated verbally and in writing to the client that they needed to submit payment on Upwork so that all parties would remain in compliance with the terms of service.  Then to my surprise, Upwork promptly hit me with paperwork demanding that I write out a legal binding statement that could be used to sue me later on if they ever suspected me of sending a bill or anything similar outside of Upwork.

Since Upwork has taken such drastic actions in the past (over things that never even happend), I am extremely concerned that Upwork will do the same when a potential client simply wants to have a zoom meeting to dicuss their needs and outline the project.  Is what I am reading true?  That I can no longer have a zoom meeting with a client to be interviewed - and for me to interview/screen the client to ensure that I am not being sucked into some blackhole project or making modifications to copyright or patented items???


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petra_r
Community Member


Jeremiah B wrote:

 Is what I am reading true?  That I can no longer have a zoom meeting with a client to be interviewed -


You can use the integrated Zoom Function in the Upwork messenger and yes, you read correctly that you may no longer communicate with clients outside the platform before a contract is in place.

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petra_r
Community Member


Jeremiah B wrote:

 Is what I am reading true?  That I can no longer have a zoom meeting with a client to be interviewed -


You can use the integrated Zoom Function in the Upwork messenger and yes, you read correctly that you may no longer communicate with clients outside the platform before a contract is in place.

I don't have webcam and microphone capabilities on my workstation - now I have to buy more stuff that cuts further into an already thin margin *rolling my eyes so hard my office chair tipped over*.

It would be nice if Upwork would tell people these things.


Jeremiah B wrote:

I don't have webcam and microphone capabilities on my workstation - now I have to buy more stuff that cuts further into an already thin margin *rolling my eyes so hard my office chair tipped over*.

It would be nice if Upwork would tell people these things.


They did. They told us like 2 months before they put it in place on June 26, and it's been in place for 4 months now. Perhaps you need to check your emails or regularly check the Official Upwork section of this forum. While I am not pleased with this new TOS either, they did give plenty of fair warning and they did eventually get Zoom integrated with their message center. 

 

How did you do Zoom calls before with your clients if you didn't have an integrated mic or camera? 

Then I probably missed the message that they made this change - this was around the time that I was trying to collect from a client that hired me without a way to pay for the services I provided (so there was alot of back and forth with Upwork).

Prior to this I had a way to use Zoom's app on a standalone device.  

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