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Elance-Upwork migration trouble. Help! Help!

Active Member
Mutembei K Member Since: Sep 24, 2015
1 of 2

I need help guys... intercessory help. Intercede on my behalf to Upwork upper management. Here is my story:
I'm Kevin, a Kenyan. I had a thriving oDesk profile for about 5 years and had garnered great ratings from clients. Things were going really well.

Then came a job for which I was paid via Paypal. At the time, there was no way to withdraw money from Paypal for Kenyan users. After sweating it out and completing the project, a nice pay package came in but the idiom 'smiling all the way to the bank' could not apply to me. My money was stonewalled away in Paypal and I completely had no means to access it.

After lots of head scratching an idea came to me: if I had a way to get that Paypal money into my oDesk account, I would be able to wire it to my local bank account. So what I did was create an employer account within my original account, then I hired myself as a contractor on that account. The Paypal monies? Easy. I used Paypal to top up the employer account and paid myself as a contractor. After that, it was possible to withdraw and the money finally entered my pocket.

I had not properly familiarized myself with oDesk user rules by that time, and honestly those are the days when I just clicked 'Next, Next, I Agree' when signing up for accounts on the Internet without too really knowing what I was agreeing to. And as you can probably imagine, it didn’t take long for trouble to come.

I was locked out of my oDesk account for 'endangering other users in the marketplace' and all that good work I had done to put all those rave reviews on my profiles simply went down the sewer. All money paid to me by oDesk clients that I had not withdrawn was returned to the clients that had paid it, and I was instructed to stay away from the oDesk platform and make my own arrangements to receive payment for the work I had done without involving oDesk.

Thankfully, my main client, with whom I had done towards $5000 worth of business was a honorable one, and when the oDesk problem arose we agreed to switch to ELANCE. She repaid me the money oDesk had returned to her via Elance, and our work relationship survived the bump and continued.
Fast forward another 6 YEARS down the line.

Now older and wiser, I have read and internalized all Elance user rules, making sure never to cross the line at any turn. I have racked up more great reviews. Work is still ongoing with the client that had me move to Elance, and towards $15000 has changed hands for a number of separate, successfully completed projects.

Suddenly, oDesk buys Elance and becomes Upwork. We are told to copy over our profiles to the new platform. It's got more work, a more streamlined look et cetera, we are told.


So, I do as instructed. With a few clicks I am logged on to Upwork, and all my hard-earned feedbacks have been copied over. I tell my client, 'here's my profile link on Upwork... you can hire me afresh and work will continue!' She does and for a while I'm thinking, 'mmmh this ain't too bad... I can work with this'.

But then, tragedy strikes. After like two days, a banner flashes on the top part of my Upwork account: 'Your account is suspended'. Apparently, after my client rehired me on Upwork, the management made the connection and realized: 'Oh, this is the same guy we banned from oDesk a while ago!'

So now I'm back to square one. They are about to close Elance down completely, and I'm not welcome on Upwork. And there's really no other platform I'd rather use to work. And if there were, establishing another profile to start registering reviews afresh is... well... not something I'd look forward to. Talk about a bummer.

My bottom line is this: I'm not denying that I broke oDesk rules that long time back. It was my responsibility to fulfill the user agreement and I messed up. But I never broke a single Elance rule. For my over 6 years using the platform, I always followed all directives. Should I really have to lose my Elance profile when they eventually close shop? I work as a freelance writer fulltime and when Elance is finally taken down, I don't know what I'm gonna do.


Anyone know a remedy for my situation? Anyone please? Perhaps an admin here?

Community Manager
Valeria K Community Manager Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
2 of 2

Hi Mutembei,


Unfortunately, due to the policy violations associated with your account, it can't be reinstated. Also, please refrain from creating other accounts on Upwork as they will be closed.

~ Valeria