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Far too many sketchy clients on Upwork

Active Member
John S Member Since: Jul 23, 2015
1 of 12

I recently switched from Elance and it seems like there are far more sketchy clients on Upwork, although there were still plenty on Elance as well.... There really needs to be more oversight, or at least an easy way to report these clients.... Examples: I've had two unsolicited work requests asking me to contact them via a private email. Neither of them have ever paid anyone on Upwork for anything.... Someone from Holland wanted Photoshop work done but wanted people to do 3 of his pics first as a "test", not submit a portfolio, but do advanced Photoshop work on his pictures as a "test". He has posted 12 jobs but has never paid anyone.... Then there are lots of people wanting people to do work for almost no pay, such as writing 500 words of original material that requires research for $2 (yes, two dollars)..... If there isn't some oversight or an easy way to report sketchy clients, Upwork will not be able to keep quality freelancers or attract quality clients in the future.

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Community Guru
Ronald T Member Since: Sep 14, 2009
2 of 12

Welcome to Upwork John. Maybe Elancers can help convince management that significant changes need to be made to make Upwork a better place for freelancers--and their investors.

Ron aka LanWanMan
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Ace Contributor
Brian E Member Since: Jul 21, 2015
3 of 12

Joke's on you. I passed his silly picture test and my check is coming in the mail he said. Guess someone missed the easy money bus. Now excuse me while I feed my unicorns.

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Community Guru
Olivier P Member Since: May 25, 2015
4 of 12

i dont know how it was on elance but i have learned that i have to be very selective on customer : i never give free test work now ....and i am very careful with customet with no past history

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Community Guru
Joachim M Member Since: Mar 23, 2015
5 of 12

@John S wrote:

I recently switched from Elance and it seems like there are far more sketchy clients on Upwork, although there were still plenty on Elance as well.... There really needs to be more oversight, or at least an easy way to report these clients.... Examples: I've had two unsolicited work requests asking me to contact them via a private email. Neither of them have ever paid anyone on Upwork for anything.... Someone from Holland wanted Photoshop work done but wanted people to do 3 of his pics first as a "test", not submit a portfolio, but do advanced Photoshop work on his pictures as a "test". He has posted 12 jobs but has never paid anyone.... Then there are lots of people wanting people to do work for almost no pay, such as writing 500 words of original material that requires research for $2 (yes, two dollars)..... If there isn't some oversight or an easy way to report sketchy clients, Upwork will not be able to keep quality freelancers or attract quality clients in the future.


Apply common sense! A client asking for free work is not a client. A client attempting to cheat Upwork is likely to cheat you too. Prices too low? Don't quote. It doesn't make sense to spend $2 in connects to apply for a job worth $2.

 

Will Upwork do something? IMHO not likely. I'm also coming from Elance and Elance always tried to balance the interestes of Elance, client and contractor with a slight bias towards the client. I don't see this on Upwork. 

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Community Guru
Ramon B Member Since: Jan 11, 2015
6 of 12

The Articles you will have to write is "How to" articles and you will be given the topic to research.  you $ 0.80 per article of 550 words. APPLY ONLY if you can write on the given rate and produce at least 15+ articles per week as there is no limit of work. Please forward sample of previous work if you have written articles before.

 

What more can I say? Absolutely disgusting, and shameful to be even tangentally associated with modern-day **edited for Community Guidelines**. 

 

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Community Leader
Cristian F Member Since: Jun 21, 2015
7 of 12

re: "The Articles you will have to write is "How to" articles and you will be given the topic to research.  you $ 0.80 per article of 550 words. APPLY ONLY if you can write on the given rate and produce at least 15+ articles per week as there is no limit of work. Please forward sample of previous work if you have written articles before."

 

That's a shame, how clients treat writers and content generation. No wonder that most stuff on the Internet is garbage.

 

A few weeks ago I went to a networking event in my local area and was talking to a potential client about creating some web project which was going to be a .com website. He didn't know that freelancing is a complimentary activity for me. At some point I asked this potential client how is he going to manage the content creation since he was thinking of some blog area that needed constant fresh content. He said something like "That's not a problem, have you heard of freelancing platforms? You can get articles for 2$." This person actually never hired somebody on freelancing platforms but that's how they associate this type of work and most likely freelancing. 

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Community Guru
Fergus M Member Since: May 23, 2015
8 of 12

"You can get articles for 2$."

 

You certainly can, but they'll be rubbish. There is no way anybody can write anything worth reading at that price.

If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.― George Orwell
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Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
9 of 12

Let me point out that the relative proportion of "sketchy" clients varies widely with job category.

 

This is clearly a problem with the writing category, which is heavily commoditized. 

 

But out in my job skill area, I simply don't run into these kinds of problems with clients.

 

This level of difficulty in running into bad clients is not universal across the board on Upwork.

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Community Guru
Robert James R Member Since: Apr 17, 2015
10 of 12

Yep. My side of UpWork is like the backyard of a big city. There are talents but most are just trying to make a decent living even if the pay isn't enough to live on.

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