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ceciliarydberg
Community Member

**Edited**

Hi All!

I am working hard to breathe life into my Upwork profile after not knowing how to use it in 2016, or rather not taking it seriously and now trying to build it up. So I accepted a very low budget voiceover job that took about 3 hours (instead of the 40 minutes plus prep time proposed). The audio is for AI so they need various emotions etc, and I had to create the scripts on my OWN! Anyway, there were 53 files, and today 10 days later she tells me all audio files have been rejected (I am a professional voiceover artist). And she wants me to revise and resubmit. So I just Googled her and the attached screenshot came up - so someone else had a similar experience! I've asked her to cancel the contract and take her money back since she said stated that only accepted rejections will be allowed anyway.  Can anyone kindly guide me how to contact support so that this does not affect my profile. I will not be revising this work as I do not wish to work with this client and do not have the time.

 

Thanks, 

Cecilia

**Edited for community guidelines**

51 REPLIES 51
JoanneP
Moderator
Moderator

Hi Cecilia,

 

I checked your account, and you have successfully submitted a support ticket to our team. Please allow our team time to review, and one of our agents will update you directly on the same ticket to assist further. 

~ Joanne
Upwork
9ee12e00
Community Member

Good evening sirs

I have a question regarding this task, I have already submitted the required material, and there is 30$ in the review, and 10$ in the remaining. My question is what will happen to the amount in the review? will it be converted to my balance after 14 days? or I will lose it? 
e03136ba
Community Member

Hi Cecilia, 

 

Thank you so much for posting this here so that others can find it. I ended up here during a "check-up mission" because I've been having serious doubts about this person, company, and project too! I've had communication troubles with her for two days (the deadline for the project was today and she hadn't formally hired me yet, despite inviting me to the project and sending me all her requests for the work) and have just received her consent form that I am VERY uncomfortable about. It does not even mention **Edited for Community Guidelines**, only Meta, and talks about signing away rights to all sorts of things that have nothing to do with the project at all, amongst other things that made me hesitant. I was also going to accept for similar reasons - I am new here and want to get some projects under my belt, even though the project rate is extremely low! 53 recordings, with scripts written (mine ended up over 3000 words!) for $40-50 nett! That works out to $0-76 per recording and script! I was still willing to perhaps try, until I came across a forum thread elsewhere about **Edited for Community Guidelines**, warning people not to accept any voice recording projects from them because they constantly find reasons not to pay and to reject recordings - without any proof that the recordings are not being used anyway. With the consent form being so sketchy, it feels very much like there is something more going on here and I now have no trust at all for these projects as I cannot spend that lenght of time working for such a low rate, only to have them rejected and perhaps used without payment! I hope that UpWork gets to the bottom of this and we can find out what is truly going on. But again, thank you so much for putting your experience out there so others (like me!) could see that we're not alone in being concerned. I'm so sorry you had your time wasted too and wish you all the best for future projects! 

 

Edit to add - Just came across a LinkedIn profile where she goes as **Edited for Community Guidelines** (recognised the name from the 19pg consent form) and the profile picture is different to the one associated with her on **Edited for Community Guidelines**. However, the LI profile states that she also works for **Edited for Community Guidelines**, noted on her profile as a data collection company, even though it is paraded as a translation company - and the monstrous consent form contains a LOT about personal information being collected and used. All of this has convinced me to reject her project offer because this definitely does not all seem above board. 

dataextract
Community Member
3f2546bb
Community Member

Hi guys, 

 

 

There's so many of us who are waiting to be paid and this client is just running free here on UpWork to exploit freelancers. I'm very very disappointed that UpWork is allowing this to continue. They want to remain neutral but it's making me feel like I don't want to work on this platform anymore. Very bad management of a simple issue. Client says more than 400 people have been paid but what about us who are still not being paid? 

e03136ba
Community Member

Seems it is all coming out the woodwork now, regarding this company. I'm grateful to have found out when I was "only" halfway through the project and paused due to the delay in receiving the contract and additional info. Still terrible to have wasted any valuable time at all on this, but better than wasting more, I guess. I'm going to start a thread too because if we all keep talking about it and commenting on each other's threads, perhaps UpWork will take action and remove them so that they cannot scam any more hardworking people. 

Here are another two: 

 

Re: Can a client use revision requests to del... - Upwork Community

Day 14 Today of None Paying Client In Fixed C... - Upwork Community

And here's another one, where I talk about how a "client" can get work done for them by just paying the Upwork fees, and not paying the freelancers.

 

https://community.upwork.com/t5/Freelancers/Abuse-of-Upwork-14-days-automatic-payment-amp-Upwork-dis...

 

52c500d8
Community Member

I really wish I had seen this earlier. I am so sorry to hear about all the disappointing prospects... They ended up paying me but just to share my story in case it helps:
I was offered a $45 fixed-term contract for a stated 1hr's worth of work with a 1-day turnaround. As an audio professional, this took me about 6/7 hours including the time it took to go through and sign a really long contract. After finishing all my recordings, I had to upload them individually to a very slow-functioning website. It took over 2 hours to convert the file types to their desired format on a bunch of dodgy websites and then upload them to their desired platform. After this, I was told I would only be paid for the audio that was approved by their client. I didn't have any clarity as to how long each audio piece was worth as they all differed in length. After the audio had been approved, I was asked to sign another really long contract as they had since updated it. I found this experience a bit of a slap in the face, especially for my first job on UpWork. Grateful I at least got paid!

Merry Christmas and happy UpWork job hunting 🙂

yurim-parl
Community Member

So glad I found this thread. I am also having the same issue with this 'client'. I submitted all my recordings on Nov 14, and all were validated in their system. 6 weeks later, I received a message from **Edited for Community Guidelines** saying all my recordings were rejected by her client and I had to redo them all. I asked for a reason of rejections, and she gave me a very generic response not related to my recordings. So how should I proceed? There's still a 'submit work' botton active on this contract and I haven't set any milestones. Could someone guide me through what the best step in resolving this is. Thanks in advance.

d4f10d4e
Community Member

Hi Cecilia,

 

Was your issues resolved? I am in the same exact position. I worked so hard on the project, it was time consuming and had tight deadlines. I submitted on 10 December and a few days ago, I received feedback that my audios were rejected. The reason was due to "acoustics". I listen to all and found no such issue. 

No one so far has been paid, and they won't with this scam. It runs constantly on Upwork, with multiple listings per day. The reason for non-acceptance, is fraudulent. There is nothing wrong with any of the work. The scammer is getting hundreds if not thousands of pieces of free work material. They have a track record of hiring, and yet Upwork can never seem to find them and remove them. But if you post them in the forum, it will be removed, and you will be warned not to post them again.

Hi! Jeanne
I was soy happy for my 1st job 2 days ago, but now I read this and I realise I have fallen into this scam... I deliver 2 days ago, so I want to know if there are some I could do? Wait, report, I imagine Upwork knows all cases a read in these postes... There are a lot, but the scam goin on with any restriction. Is to difficult to trust. 

Is to difficult to trust.

 

You shouldn't trust anyone online. The Internet, Upwork included, can be a very dangerous place. No one should believe a client, without heavy vetting of the client and the job. Have a chat or two, and then insist on a video meeting. If they will not or don't, stop all communication.

 

Report to Upwork, and let them know of the scam, (although they know, they need to hear it over and over) and that you have learned your lesson. Before you look at another job, you need to read this post, and follow every link. You will not find legitimate clients until you learn, and have a great profile.

 

The first line is all the clients see in a search. While we all understand the sentiment, "No scam clients allowed, please... 🙏 Im honest and Hard worker looking for my 1st job!!" this is a giant beacon, and an open invitation to scammers. The scammers search for new and inexperienced people, and the ones who will take any job. Form the writing into paragraphs, and remove everything that sounds like desperation. Do not mention anywhere that this is your first job. This is another giant flag waving for the scammers to find you. You have to protect yourself, because no one, including Upwork, will protect you.

 

From what I know of this scam, I don't think anyone has recovered any money, and there is rarely a time you can get your money back. However, if you use Upwork correctly, there is some protection. Learn about automatic hourly tracking and all of the requirements, and fixed price. Also learn about contracts, and how to include every item and aspect of the contract.

 

There is no money coming in these scams. Take this as a lesson learned, and spend time on how to safely use the platform and how to stay in good standing by following all the rules and best business practices.

 

f0f5ff0e
Community Member

Oh how I wish I had seen this thread earlier. Both my husband and I work as voiceovers here on Upwork, and we both were invited by**Edited for Community Guidelines**. My husband submitted his work on the on the 2nd of January, and on the 16th (the 14th day after submission), **Edited for Community Guidelines**sent a message saying that the work was yet to be validated by "her clients", and requested a resubmission in order to postpone the release of the payment. He filed a dispute with Upwork and is now waiting for a resolution. But **Edited for Community Guidelines**is insisting in not releasing the payment. I submitted my work a few days after my husband, and my 14th day will be this Sunday. SHe hasn't sent me any messages yet, but I anticipated myself and also filed a dispute based on what happened to my husband and on the reports on this thread. So if you haven't disputed this yet, I strongly encourage all of you to do it and send Upwork the link for this thread, as this is clearly a scam. How can we guarantee that our first recordings are not being used and **Edited for Community Guidelines**is asking us to do the job again? And we should not pay for arbitration in this case, as what's the point of having an escrow then? There's plenty of evidence that this **Edited for Community Guidelines** people are abusing the system and scamming us freelancers. I do hope Upwork suspend them from the platform and release the payment to us. 

 

Thank you for disputing it and commenting here. I firmly believe that if people do nothing about unethical "clients" the many problems here will only get worse. I've seen so many people just shrugging off unethical and scammy behaviour and saying, "That's just how it is here", but I believe that only contributes to the problems. We have a responsibility to speak up and do our part to warn others! I sincerely hope that you and your husband receive your payments, as well as everyone else who completed this rip-off of a project. I'm so grateful I got suspicious and found this report (and others on other sites about the same company!) before I finished mine so I could cut my losses sooner. The author of this thread has my eternal gratitude for posting this! 

This thread, along with the other ones I've read, has more than enough evidence for Upwork to suspend them from this platform and releasing the payment to us. I'm giving Upwork the 5 days for the dispute to run. 

The client has replied to my husband's message insisting that they are "a honest company". He replied saying that if they're as honest as they claim they are, they will release the payments immediately, as we are doing business with them, and not with a third party. I do hope that Upwork takes this seriously. As I saw someone saying in another thread, we freelancers don't run Upwork, but we make Upwork run. It's unacceptable that this client is inviting literally thousands to be part of this fake project, lots of freelancers are reporting this right here, and Upwork doesn't do something about it. 

That's why I say again, it's imperative that people who are being a victim of this client, that they submit a dispute, even if your 14 days period hasn't run out yet, and share all links with the threads talking about this client. 

marinanasi
Community Member

Hi all, I seem to be the latest victim to this **Edited for Community Guidelines**. After submitting my recordings with no feedback and reading your stories, I freked out and withdrew half of what I had sent (I was uploading my recordings on the messaging system of Upwork, so I just deleted the messages) asking for the first milestone to be paid before sending the rest. Sure enough, she immediately reacted by ending my contract, pretending to pay the first half and then immediately asking for a refund of what she had "paid"! Not happy, she wrote me a bad review. Needless to say that in the meantime I was trying to discuss the situation but she just stopped answering. I did open a dispute and complained to Upwork, I cannot believe nothing is being done AND that this scammer is allowed to go around leaving bad reviews to the very people she is scamming!

The more I look into this I feel that Upwork is complacent with this. If someone from Upwork is reading this and other threads, I kindly ask you to act on this situation. I've seen good clients with excellent communication and payment records being suspended for much less than this. It's not rocket science. Just look at the pattern this client is using, like waiting for the 14th day to request resubmission, not because they actually need anything to be fixed, but simply to stop the automatic payment from being released to us. This is clearly a breach of the Terms and conditions. 

I don't know what to say. I can't seem to find a way to report this person, I also feel quite neglected by Upork on this and I have just had a very unpleasant conversation with this person who literally threatened me with "reporting" to Upwork and even taking legal action against me because I would be "defaming" her. She never addressed the issues I was asking clarification about and kept twisting my words and manipulating the narrative. Very unpleasant.

I'm Evelize's husband. I found out the company's address and her profile on Linkedin. Even though I'm in Brazil I can start legal proceedings in Europe (without paying 300+ for Upwork's arbitration). But I wonder whether Upwork will let this get up to this point. Be clear when dealing with her. Give her a deadline to release the payment (even though she will refuse to do so). Make sure you use words that will show that she's abusing the system and doing this in bad faith. And if you are in Europe (or have legal residency) you can even say that you will start legal proceedings. A bunch of small court claims will certainly make Upwork change their policies against scammers like that. Right now, I've started the dispute process with Upwork ( you can do that too, and I strongly encourage you to do so). I'm on the 3rd day (Upwork says she has 5 days to reply to it. If she doesn't, the money will be released to me). I'm definitely not paying for arbitration, in case it goes all the way there. I'll move to legal proceedings and if Upwork refuse to suspend this "client", given all the amounts of evidence against them, I have no problem including Upwork in the legal proceedings too. So, I do hope someone from Upwork is reading this, and taking this case to their superiors in order to sort this out once and for all. This is not an isolated case. It's a "client" that is hiring hundreds of people, then requests a "revision" of the work, even though there's nothing to be fixed, just to get an extra 14 days of "work in progress". In the meantime, we, the freelancers, have bills to pay and cannot go to our utility company saying "look, the client of the client is still reviewing the submitted work, so can you wait?". I feel extremely frustrated by how Upwork hasn't suspended this client yet, with tons of evidence showing that she is in the wrong. I do hope I'm wrong.

I've asked an Upwork moderator to respond to you. Hopefully, someone will.

 

I would not worry a fraction of a second about being sued. That's an old ploy by scammers and cheats to beat freelancers into submission. Reporting is not defaming. If you publish identifiers here in the forum, that can cause problems, or if you publish accusations without support, and can't back up your claims. Reporting to Upwork is a private matter, and your client is a bully, and wants and thinks she can get, free or cheap work.

 

To avoid another similar scam, please read this excellent post from Wes.

Hi Marina,

 

Thank you for reaching out to us. Since you already have a support ticket regarding this issue and are being assisted by one of our agents, please feel free to update the ticket directly so they can assist you further.


~ AJ
Upwork
f0f5ff0e
Community Member

There you go!!! It happened exactly as I expected and the same as my husband. Today is the 14th day of the automatic release of the payment, and guess what? The "client" has just requested a "resubmission" of the work, even though there's nothing to resubmit, and said that the work is still being "reviewed by her client". She probably has a reminder on her calendar for each person who has submitted the work and when the 14th day will be, so she can keep extending it. This outrageous!!! My dispute is in progress, and tomorrow is the last day of it. I do hope Upwork will take this matter seriously. This is beyond any joke now. 

Hi Evelize,

 

I'm sorry to hear about your experience. I can see that you are already being assisted by one of our dispute and mediation specialists. Please feel free to update the ticket should you have further questions or concerns. You can access your support tickets here.


~ AJ
Upwork

So,  after the 5 day dispute period, support has replied with a non-binding "proposed resolution" to my case against this scammer. They said that there was no evidence that work wasn't done properly, therefore the payment should be released in its entirety to me. Cool, right? WRONG!!!!!!!! SO WRONG!!!! They told me now to try and reach an agreement with the scammer (????) so the payment can be released. If we don't reach an agreement by January 24, the case will result in a "non-resolution", and the next step would be to pay $337.50 to escalate this to a legal binding arbitration. Below is my reply to the "mediator" (note that names were removed because for Upwork it's appropriate to let scammers abuse this platform, but it's not appropriate to mention names of the scammers):

 

"Hi (Upwork support agent's name),

 
You do realise that (scammer's name) is a scammer, don’t you?
You do realise that (scammer's name) will not agree to release the payment, don’t you?
You do realise the amount of evidence that has been provided to Upwork showing that(scammer's name) and (scammer's company) are abusing the 14 day period system, don’t you?
You do realise that any sane person would never pay $337,50 in order to get paid, don’t you?
Don’t you realise that (scammer's name) is literally laughing at this because she knows she can abuse the system and nothing will happen to her in this platform?
 
Your “proposed resolution” is outrageous. We are honest working people. Dozens have been victims of(scammer's name) , and you have the courage to say that “if a resolution is not agreed upon by January 24, the case will result in a non-resolution. 
 
This is a crime. I worked for this money. I delivered the work correctly. Upwork has seen evidence that the work has been delivered correctly and the tons of evidence literally exposing this scam.
 
I would like to escalate this, not into a paid arbitration, but with your superiors, or whoever is a decision maker, as I will not accept anything shorter than getting paid what I worked for, and the suspension of (scammer's name) and (scammer's company) from this platform. 
If anything other than that comes out of this dispute, I will move my business to (Upwork's competitor's name) and I will encourage all clients I work with and fellow freelancers to do the same. 
 
Also, I am writing this in the PRIVATE conversation. So, whenever you reply, do so in private as well, and not copying and pasting the exact same reply in the group conversation. This is so unprofessional. (a little context here, this support agent opened  both a group and a private email for correspondence, but whenever I would write in the private email, she would reply with the whole answer in group email, so the scammer could see everything we talked about, even though it was supposed to be private!)
 
Also, what is unprofessional is having an escrow system that does not guarantee that we, honest and hard working people, get paid. As I said, this is outrageous.
 
Therefore, I look forward to receiving the money I worked for and seeing (scammer's name) suspended from this platform. If you cannot do that, escalate to whoever can. What I’m asking is just what is right, and not vengeance. Clients like(scammer's name) are like a cancer, and trust me, one day they will kill this platform if nothing is done to prevent it."
 
Now, if there is someone from Upwork who is reading this post and can actually do something about it, now it's your chance to prove that Upwork does not condone this kind of behaviour. And feel free to reach out in case you need it. 
r2streu
Community Member

Hi, Cecilia
This is slightly off-topic, but as a fellow voice actor, I urge you to look deeper into the AI voice training thing. There is a fair way to do this -- and to compensate you for it -- and most companies don't do it (some do). 

Beyond Words has a customizable contract for AI cloning gigs, designed to ensure the best and fairest payment options as well as helping you dictate usage terms. https://beyondwords.io/ai-voice-ethics/

Do NOT sign up for an AI gig with a buyout license. Offer a term license or, better still, negotiate a per-use fee on top of your recording fee. This will allow you to decide how and when your voice is used, and allow you to get paid for it. 

Too many of these companies are wholly unethical in the way they handle voice cloning contracts and it unfortunately comes down to us to right the ship. 

tperkinsjr
Community Member

So glad I found this thread. I started working for this client and I was questioning not only the setup (audio quality was awful... who would pay for that?) But also the writing as I noticed typos in the text... made me very suspicious.  I immediately canceled the contract and deleted the work.

I'm glad you did your research and cancelled it. If possible, please flag this scammer (I refuse to call her a "client'). If we can help at least one person by spreading the news about this scam, we are getting our job done. 

jeanpierre8910sp
Community Member

Screen Shot 2024-01-23 at 22.11.52.png

The scammer is now posting under another account, this time not from France, but from the UK. And see in the picture the reason why Upwork doesn't suspend their accounts. They pay to post!!!!! So, money talks when it comes to accepting scammers in this platform.

 

No wonder Upwork won't do anything about them. In one of their accounts I found that they spent over 200k, which we have no idea if it was money paid to the freelancers or money spent paying for posting jobs! 

larokka
Community Member

Well, it seems I've just dodged a bullet here. I was contacted yesterday by this lady - assuming this person is indeed who she claims to be - with the same job proposal as the rest of you all. I got a contract and I accepted it, but something didn't seem quite right both with the messages I received from her - just long chunks of copy-pasted text - and with the Atril website - no real company history, no name of any real person to speak of, no address etc. The fact that Google only gave me back nine results upon searching Atril didn't really help matters. One of these few results was the link to this discussion, so here we are. Luckly, all I have done so far is accepting the Upwork contract, which I am going to end right away.

 

The morale of the story? I should look up prospective clients BEFORE accepting their proposals haha!

 

Thanks again everyone for sharing all these precious information!

 

P.s.: For the record, she has contacted me from her French profile, as you can see from the attached screenshot.

 

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

burkecaitlyn
Community Member

I just had a similar issue with this client. Would highly recommend staying away from.

35237276
Community Member

I just recieved two invitations to interview from this client this week and after I submitted a proposal to one of them just now, I decided I should google them.  The search result brought me here.  Yikes!  Thanks for the warning everyone.  I'll not be working with them but the other 300 people she's interviewing might not be so lucky.  

 

 

78634a0d
Community Member

Hi Cecilia (and other fellow freelancers)!

I've been having a problem with this client. I recorded 21 sentences for her, and she stated they validated my recordings on their side, waiting for their client's feedback before approving the milestone. She said it would take about 2 weeks, and it's been more than 3 weeks, this person not replying any of my messages over the past week. I contacted Upwork Support and they told me to submit my work for payment to get the money from escrow, but I'm scared that the client will get angry, ask for a refund, and give me a low score which will affect my profile. What should I do? I'm so scared of filing a dispute, having my account shut down because of this issue (if that may happen), and spend my time and energy for this problem; I really feel hopeless...

Thank you for your time and care. I wish you the best.

Nehir

Take a deep breath. I understand you are concerned, about everything with this job, but you need to take a step back for a moment.

 

You did the work; you deserve to be paid. You can't let "what if's" to control you. There are all sorts of horrible things that can happen with a client, but there are also wonderful things that can happen with a client. Do not let the "what if's" paralyze you, and that's what is happening.

 

When you have a contract, you complete it and the client is unresponsive, you submit your work, and in 14 days, plus a five-day hold for "security" you will receive the funds.

 

If the client has an issue, they will contact you or Upwork. If the client gets angry, they are not a client but a scammer. No client would be upset over having a complete job, and if they didn't like the work, they would let you know asap. If they leave a nasty review, you may be able to remove it through Upwork, if it is obvious it is retaliation. If they ask for a refund, they have to go to dispute, and you are supposed to come to an agreement. The next step is arbitration, but that costs everyone cash ($333.00) so they aren't going to do that.

 

The ONLY way your account can be shut down is if you violate the Terms of Service and Upwork shuts you down.

 

Don't be scared. Your whole freelance career is not riding on this. This is one client.

 

I suggest you follow Upwork's advice. Submit the work, and don't look back. Continue to look for jobs and your other activities. If the client has an issue, you will be contacted. Freelancing is the same as other issues in life, you can't worry about the "what ifs."

Try to dispel the fear and hopelessness. One job, one client, can make things a little more difficult, but they can't destroy your career or your life.

 

This too will pass, and if the client does have an issue YOU have options and nothing is settled or set in stone.

Thank you Jeanne - I just accepted a contract from this client, then I hit the "search" button just to check on their history, and I was led to this page. When I read all of the above comments, I felt hesitant to complete the commitment although I accepted the offer. This is my first job on Upwork, and was exited to begin the journey, however; all above comments were discouraging until I read your comment, true, it is one client, and this won't affect my whole career, and still I did not technically work with them, so I will take the risk and proceed with the job and see how it goes, I might have a different experience. Thank you!

Just my 2 cents but why would you think your experience would be different
than all the people who have already responded to this thread?

The job is a scam and those people should be banned from ever posting a job
again.

Agreed, the client just "requested changes to the milestone" and did not approve my payment, saying that the recordings have not been validated yet. It was stated that the job would take 2 weeks but it's been already more than 5 weeks. 

Hi,

This is exactly what I went through. It is very likely that the “client” will reject the recording due to quality, acoustics or the like 😩. I hope I am wrong.

All the best!
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