I have been talking to a support person that just copies the rules and regulations and tells me that this is just the way it is. When I ask to talk to the next level of support, several times now, she says, "they will just tell you the same thing."
Not happy with the solution and understand that it is borderline but the problem is not that clear cut and needs someone to look at from a more open perspective. I am not asking for much and have been a long time Upwork/oDesk/Elance user both as a freelancer and a client doing quite a bit of business.
What recourse do I have?
Solved! Go to Solution.
re: "Does Upwork Provide a Forum for talking to a Supervisor?"
The Community Forum. You're in it now.
I understand that talking to Customer Support representatives can be challenging.
You can bring your issues here to the Community Forum and get advice and perspective from veteran Upwork users.
If there are unresolved questions or problems, then odds are good that a Forum Moderator, who is an actual supervisor-level Upwork employee, will help out. It is not their duty to do so. This is, after all, the Community Forum. But your chances are excellent that you will get things resolved here.
My problem is that I worked with a client billing 3 hrs and putting in about another 8 on my own time because of the difficulty of his situation and lack of resources to fulfill his request. However, I saw that at the end of it all it was not going to be a good fit. So, I offered to refund him the time/money and close the contract. I mistakenly closed the contract thinking I could adjust hours or refund money after closing contract. After finding out I could not without refunding or paying him on a job that he had not even funded yet I contacted support and tried to rectify within 30 minutes of closing the job.
I left the customer a positive review and I assume he would me. But I feel if the transaction became cumbersome, I am almost certain - I will get a poor review. Lots of ways for me to lose in this deal even though I have done everything in my power to overcompensate the client.
I understand the "rules" but you would think someone would help out when they don't fit the circumstances. Just sad, when you ask for additional assistance, you get copy and pasted policies back. I know I made a mistake, that was why I was asking for assistance. Not to have the rules read back to me. And disappointing when I ask for additional support or higher level support, I am told, "what I told you is the way it is."
Now there is a dispute over payment. And according to Upwork policies, I am supposed to refund and have money deducted from my account without ever receiving payment. And to top it all off, I will probably end up with a customer giving me a bad rating because of Upwork policies. It is not right and when you ask to talk to another level of support and told "they will just give you the same answer" is silly. I have transacted a lot of business on Upwork as a Freelancer and as a Client and end up with this type of response. Silly, and frustrating.
No good deed goes unpunished, right?
I am certain ther is nothing to be accomplished by discussing this with Customer Support any more. There are a fee basic types of Customer Support systems. This is not a Customer Support system that can accomplish what you are hoping for, which is basically to make an accommodation for which there is no established button on their screen or protocol in the script book.
It is possible that a Forum Moderator may intervene, as they are indeed able to do things that Customer Support cannot do,
They may also offer explanations, though.
As a regular Upwork user such as yourself, I have no power to directly change back-end processes.
I can tell you, however, that getting a bad review is not a sure thing. If you were working well with the client, you may get a very good review.
I think some other forum regulars may be able to offer some additional perspective on your situation.
Amazing, there is not a platform for Freelancers to correct an obvious wrong and leave it to the discretion of a fee-based support person? Are you saying that there is not a way for support to escalate a case?
The lack of a support structure to escalate a case is sort of Service 101 type talk. Obviously, if this is true, they have little regard for a Freelancer's user experience. Talk about feeling like a number.
If the money never entered your account, then it is either pending or in escrow. The client may or may not realize this. I found your post very confusing and hard to follow, I can't imagine CS realizes what your real question is. I'm not sure I do.
Is the client asking for a refund of money he did not pay?
With regard to feedback. There is nothing that CS can or will do about a contract that went bad because of scope creep. You fire the client and take your lumps. So yes, the system is "unfair." Business is transacted every day based on impressions, opinions, rumors and bad reviews. This business environment is no different.
Now, if none of what I have understood about your situation is correct, then please rephrase it. Short sentences, only relevant facts and perhaps a few bullet points would be helpful.
Thanks for your reply. However, I only gave a basic explanation as my question on this thread is not for an explanation of my dilemma. I am not looking for a solution from the community for that or any sympathy. I was just happy to share when asked.
My question is how to engage the next level of support at Upwork? I can't imagine and somewhat flabbergasted that the community forum is the only solution for a freelancer to escalate a problem. A moderator primary job is not even a customer support function.
As a freelancer do you feel that the forum is an acceptable solution for escalating problems?
I think engaging the dispute process is the means of escalation. I have read about other issues being escalated by customer service. However, I've only used CS once and didn't need to escalate so I have no idea what the magic words are to do so. I think many people will respond that unless you have lots of time to spare, the effort simply isn't worth the results.
Thanks for the prompt reply.
My efforts were meant to keep out of the dispute process, which I failed to do. I knew front line customer service could not do anything but I was willing to go through the motions because I understand that is how it is done. But to not have any other option afterward is mindblowing.
This is exactly why organizations get blasted on social media because customers, whether Upwork considers Freelancers customers or not might be questionable, do not have another recourse.
I agree with Tonya's assessment. There is a cost benefit analysis to be done. My time is very valuable, so I do not spend it talking to Customer Support.
I study how the Upwork user interface works and I study how the system as a whole works. Then I use the tools to my advantage in a way that brings me a large amount of profit. The largest possible profit, by the way, comes through using Upwork's core tools as they are intended to be used, while simultaneously avoiding Upwork tools that Upwork hopes people don't really use (but which they feel compelled to provide), and while providing the maximum value possible to clients.
I leave to more philosophical, less mercenary souls then myself the task of pondering how Upwork Customer Support should be in an ideal world unshackled by economic considerations.
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