One idea in the future might be to use milestone payments. So for a book, set up 5 milestone payments. the first four are for 25% complete rough drafts, and the last milestone payment is for the final proof reading and editing. That way they can only scam you out of 20% of your payments.
As a new user, this is very concerning. I've been lurking on here for a long time, coming over from elance. I've been worried to take the plunge because I am not convinced that, as long as I do the work, I will be paid for my effort, skill and time. Now I'm hearing there's a good chance I won't. If a client is in the wrong but gets away with it and is able to cheat others, more of these types of clients will be drawn here. In the selling market, it happens on sites like eBay and Poshmark, where the "buyer" is sided with by the company, leaving the "seller" shortchanged or empty-handed and asking, "Why bother?"
It would be nice to hear a statement directly from the powers-that-be at Upwork. I was looking at jobs this week with the intent to submit proposals. Now I'm not so sure. Thanks for sharing this with us.
@Melinda S wrote:
I've been worried to take the plunge because I am not convinced that, as long as I do the work, I will be paid for my effort, skill and time. Now I'm hearing there's a good chance I won't.
I don't think it is correct to say "there is a good chance" of not being paid.
There is always a small level of risk, and the lower the class of client you choose to interact with (the cheap bottom end of the market) the bigger that chance becomes.
HOWEVER, it is still a small risk, and frankly deciding to not even try just in case you MIGHT encounter such a situation seems counter-productive.
If you don't give it a go you'll earn $ 0 here. If you do give it a go there is some small chance that you might end up not getting paid but it really is small.
I've been here for years and have completed over 180 contracts and I've never not been paid in full for anything.
It wasn' really a low-class project. It was $300. Had it been $20, I'd have just let it go. Whatever amount you are doing a project for though, playing fair on both sides seems to me something that you should aim for.
I've been paid on all of my projects too, besides this. But, for a freelancer to be paid, it seems that they have to rely on the client to pay. In other words, if the client refuses to pay and disputes it, then the odds are in their favour of winning. For two reasons, with my experience, Upwork seems to side with the client. And secondly, the client is more likely to afford taking the dispute to arbitration.
In other words, if you're a freelancer, you have to accept what the client either offers or refuses to offer in dispute. Really, disputes are a lose/lose for freelancers, as even if the client is proved wrong, like in my case, you are still penalized.
Petra R, that makes me feel much better. I've been scoping out job postings and was surprised at some of them. I can tell that some are not legitimate...most of these request that you download software on your computer or phone without explaining why. Upwork didn't seem to be reacting to these. Then I came on the forum and read this post.
To be honest, it's been a rough few years. It seems everything I try to do to improve my situation backfires, so I admit I am somewhat gun-shy. I have put in a proposal, and I've answered an invitation to try and get my feet wet. If I see more that suits me, I'll offer up my services and hope it works out. Thanks for the response.
I've been working on Upwork for years, I've never experienced anything like this. I agree it is concerning. It feels to me that a client can get out of not fully paying you, by falsely accusing you of something.
It seems to me that clients are favoured over freelancers. That, there is little to none protection for freelancers. What's the point in freelancers doing work fairly, when they can get ripped off like this, and Upwork (it seems) thinks that is okay.
Plus, if there isn't any punishment for when a client does something wrong, they have no incentive to play fair. If they know they can get away with it once, then they can go onto other freelancers and do the same thing. Now I'm not so sure about working further on Upwork and may look for an alternative. Somewhere that represents both freelancers and clients fairly.
I had a similar incident earlier this year. I had written everything from scratch but a client still told me the book was 35% plagiarised or thereabouts. In the end, I bought a copyscape account to check it myself. It turns out that the only I had plagiarised were a group of short sentences (less than 5 words). If you'd like me to check your work on my copyscape account to see if it genuinely passes the test, let me know.