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Deceptive clients

fergusm1970
Community Guru

It seems that some clients are entering deceptive job details to game search filters. I've just looked at one, for a 1,000 word article with an estimated budget of $100. That's a reasonable rate and I'd be happy to bid on it. However reading the detailed description comes up with this gem:

 

"Bid at or below the $6 guideline"
 

If the client wants to pay $6 for a 1,000 word article then a) he's a cheap *preemptively edited for community guidelines* and b) He should enter an estimated budget of $6, instead of pretending he's willing to pay a proper fee. Is there anything I can report this individual for?

If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.― George Orwell
21 REPLIES 21
petra_r
Community Guru

You could raise a ticket with the link to the job posting, and mention that it is a "bait and switch" technique - which they may or may not act upon because the "true" budget is mentioned, even if hidden in the blurb, and the client could always say that he meant his budget to be for 16 article batches or something equally ridiculous.

 

I occasionally apply to jobs like that at my proper rates to up the average and hopefully discourage others from lowballing ...

 


@Petra R wrote:

 

I occasionally apply to jobs like that at my proper rates to up the average and hopefully discourage others from lowballing ...

 


 That's interesting Petra. I do exactly the same thing, especially when I have extra connects at month end.

I do it a lot on Elance because I inevitably have 100+ connects at the end of the month. It's amusing to push the average bid up to a couple of grand on some cheapskate's $35 eBook project. Then all the lowballers bid just below the average.

If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.― George Orwell

Just heard back on my ticket; it's been sent to the marketplace quality team. The CS rep did say "for fixed-price job, it is the client's sole discretion how much he's gonna pay for the job." Is there a minimum budget for fixed-price jobs or not? There seems to be some confusion on this point.

If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.― George Orwell

I think I saw this guy too.

 

I remember a few gigs on Elance where the guy would put $1000-$5000 as a budget and his entire work history was paying out $5 for jobs. He had thousands of them. I think they finally killed his account because I don't see them anymore. He used to post every weekend for college life articles. 


@fergus M wrote:

 Is there a minimum budget for fixed-price jobs or not? There seems to be some confusion on this point.


 Yes, $ 5.00

 

It's not confusion as such, that's a standard response that is included on many fixed rate contract enquiries when they want to give you extra info you didn't ask for 😉

Note how the rep didn't say "the budget is at the sole discretion of the client!"

 

It will now depend on whether Marketplace Quality consider it a deceptive marketing technique, which I do, but their take on it may differ...

"Note how the rep didn't say "the budget is at the sole discretion of the client!""

 

Yes, well spotted. Unfortunately, thanks to the payment system here, how much they pay is at the sole discretion of the client, even if that happens to be less than the agreed and funded sum. Luckily whether or not I actually hand over the copyright for my work is at the sole discretion of me, so anybody who tries to get clever by releasing $99 of a $100 milestone is going to end up feeling rather stupid. And $99 poorer.

If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.― George Orwell

Fergus M wrote: Luckily whether or not I actually hand over the copyright for my work is at the sole discretion of me,

 Nice thinking.... Unfortunately also "wishful thinking" - Read the User Agreement. You may wish to do so while under the influence of calming herbs and in a soundproof environment...

 

Fergus, I am fairly certain that you will be no more likely to get into a situation where you have to test this theory than I will, but ....

 

Anyway... It isn't quite at the sole discretion of the client any longer. If the client tried to release less thn is funded then you can fight it. Before Escrow it really WAS entirely at the discretion of the client

"Read the User Agreement."

 

Meh. We're allowed to have our own contract terms as long as they don't actually violate the User Agreement. Mine state quite clearly that I retain copyright until the full agreed fee is paid. As it happens, that's exactly in agreement with the UA:

 

"Upon Freelancer's receipt of full payment from Client, the Work Product, including without limitation all Intellectual Property Rights in the Work Product, will be the sole and exclusive property of Client"

If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.― George Orwell

@fergus M wrote:

"Upon Freelancer's receipt of full payment from Client, the Work Product, including without limitation all Intellectual Property Rights in the Work Product, will be the sole and exclusive property of Client"


 Wow- they changed it!! It used to be that once anything was paid the client got all rights even if it was just $ 1.00

 

Great move!

"It used to be that once anything was paid the client got all rights even if it was just $ 1.00"

 

Yeah, well, I can't see that standing up very well in court.

If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.― George Orwell

Sorry Petra, 

 

I have to disagree about the $5.00 minimum budget.  I too thought that was the case and reported a posting for a project that stated they will only pay $2.  I have the closed ticket sitting in my inbox which informs me this is not a violation as there is no minimal on fixed price projects. 

"Fairness is giving all people the treatment they earn and deserve. It doesn't mean treating everyone alike-Coach John Wooden"

@Katrina B wrote:

Sorry Petra, 

 

I have to disagree about the $5.00 minimum budget.  I too thought that was the case and reported a posting for a project that stated they will only pay $2.  I have the closed ticket sitting in my inbox which informs me this is not a violation as there is no minimal on fixed price projects. 


 Clients can not actually post a job with a budget less than $ 5.00

 

They CAN set up a contract and *pay* less then $ 5 which makes the minimum budget for a job posting a nonsense...


Strictly speaking again it could be seen as "deceptive marketing technique" and that *is* a violation but one would have to argue with Support about it and frankly it's just not worth it

Here you go, this is what happens when you try and post a job with a 2 $ budget

 

cheap.jpg

prestonhunter
Community Guru

I agree that the job posting mentioned in the original post is bad and deceptive. But as for what to do about it...

 

I actually don't think we should flag jobs unless there is a specific flag category that applies.

 

If we think there should be new rules for job postings or new flag categories, we should ask Upwork to implement them.

 

What I am saying here may or may not apply to the job posting Fergus mentioned.

 

Speaking generally.... There will always be job postings we disagree with. They may or may not be in violation of Upwork rules. Some jobs we object to might be very much of interest to other contractors. Fergus did not like a job posting... But shortly after he mentioned it, a contractor (who is an attorney) even tried to apply to that job HERE in the forum. (I flagged her post and had it removed.)

Just Fergus. My father's name is Bill.

If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.― George Orwell

@fergus M wrote:

Just Fergus. My father's name is Bill.


 That whooshing sound you just heard was the sound of the joke going right over my little head ....  😉

Yeah, Preston (or his autocorrect) originally wrote "Ferguson". Ferguson = Son of Fergus. Which I'm not.

 

But he cheated, and fixed it.

If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.― George Orwell

@fergus M wrote:

Yeah, Preston (or his autocorrect) originally wrote "Ferguson". Ferguson = Son of Fergus. Which I'm not.

 

But he cheated, and fixed it.


 Sneaky lol ;D - I spent ages trying to figure out what the beep you were on about! Preston, you owe me 10 minutes of my life I will never get back.....

re: "Preston, you owe me 10 minutes of my life I will never get back....."

 

Sorry about that...

I blame the auto-correct on the iPad I was using...

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