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Free work - this made me really cross

kfarnell
Community Guru

I received an invitation to bid on a project via an 'Upwork Project Success Talent Specialist'. A requirement for the project is to submit a custom sample of work. It's clearly stated in the listing. Although I reported it, the project remains live as it's being 'escalated'.

 

Refusing the project on the grounds that I can't supply unpaid samples makes me look like a whiny pedant. Complying with the request (although I wouldn't) puts my account at risk, especially as it's now been reported. Whilst I can understand that requests such as this appear with monotonous regularity, the fact that it's been referred to me means that a member of staff has already reviewed it and decided it's OK. 

 

Why? In what world is it a good idea for Upwork to recommend projects that conflict with its own terms of service?

 

Irritatingly, in other circumstances I'd have probably bid on this.

 

ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Sorry about the confusion, Kim. That message was sent by mistake. I can confirm that the job has been removed. Please, refer to the newest update to your ticket for more information.

~ Valeria
Upwork

View solution in original post

25 REPLIES 25
petra_r
Community Guru

Complying with the request would categorically NOT put your account at risk.

 

No, I am clearly not saying that you should do the free work, but you could still accept the invite, explain Hat you don't do free samples, but are still interested. Just because a client asks for something does not means we have to do it....

 

 

Of course it doesn't and I have expressed interest but queried the required free work.

 

> Complying with the request would categorically NOT put your account at risk.

 

Doing something that is against the terms of service that I have already flagged up as such would not put my account at risk? It isn't a chance I'd be prepared to take.

 

But that isn't really the point. 


@Kim F wrote:

Of course it doesn't and I have expressed interest but queried the required free work.

 

> Complying with the request would categorically NOT put your account at risk.

 

Doing something that is against the terms of service that I have already flagged up as such would not put my account at risk? It isn't a chance I'd be prepared to take.

 

But that isn't really the point. 


 Ask a moderator to put a note on your profile that stops "Talent Specialists" sending you invites. I did just that and I have not been bothered since.

No, I'm not objecting to being sent invitations for projects. Just those that require me to contravene the terms of service.  That isn't something I should have to request.

 

To forward the request to me in that way, the staff member *must* have read the project post. 


@Kim F wrote:

 

> Complying with the request would categorically NOT put your account at risk.

 

Doing something that is against the terms of service that I have already flagged up as such would not put my account at risk? It isn't a chance I'd be prepared to take.


 There is nothing in the terms of service which forbids a freelancer to agree to give a free sample / test / whatever.

 

I have made many 10s of thousands of Dollars from a contract which included an unpaid testing phase (NOT a work sample) and which was arranged by an Upwork Recruiter (not a talent whatsit) for an Enterprise client.

 

Requesting custom samples used to be prohibited. I hadn't realised the rules had changed. Great. That'll be a project already half done by the current bidders, then.

 

Edited to add:

> I have made many 10s of thousands of Dollars from a contract which included an unpaid testing phase (NOT a work sample) and which was arranged by an Upwork Recruiter (not a talent whatsit) for an Enterprise client.

 

That's lovely for you, but this was not a test. It was also a small project.

 

Kim, requesting that freelancers do free work STILL IS prohibited on Upwork.

 

But Upwork had no prohibition against freelancers providing free sample work, etc.

 

There is a nuanced difference between the rules for freelancers versus clients.

 

That is what Petra is saying.

requesting that freelancers do free work STILL IS prohibited on Upwork.

 

Clearly not as this post has been reviewed and allowed.

 

> But Upwork had no prohibition against freelancers providing free sample work.

 

OK, mea culpa. I can't afford - time or money wise - to work for nothing, however, 

Kim, I do totally agree with you in principle, and would also not do any free nonsense for a small (less than several thousand Dollars) contract.

 

Preston, thanks for interpreting what I was trying to say 🙂

If it helps, I've come across quite a few people who post jobs, ask for samples, then don't hire anyone. My guess is they're just after the samples so they can break copyright laws for profit.

In this case copyright laws are irrrelevant as it wasn't a sample of writing being requested.

re: "Clearly not as this post has been reviewed and allowed."

 

That doesn't mean anything.

 

There are prohibitions in place in Upwork's ToS which are not always perfectly realized in practice.

 

There is no practical way to prevent every prohibited behavior on a platform with as much freedom as Upwork.

There is also a (slim) chance that the free sample bit was added after the Talent person first took it on, but frankly I am inclined to think it was just overlooked.

 

I have won contracts where the job post asked for samples, by just sending in a non-custom sample and explaining that I only do paid tests so if they do need a custom sample they are welcome to hire me to get one....

vladag
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Kim,

 

Thanks for the heads-up, I'll ask our team to review the job post you were invited to and take action if a ToS violation is confirmed. I'll reiterate that requesting free test work is not allowed on Upwork.

Untitled
vladag
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Kim,

 

To follow up on my earlier post, our team reviewed the job you flagged and addressed it in line with our ToS. Thank you for reporting.

Untitled

Thanks for following up. I see the post has been removed. However, the request I've received this morning to send a link and screenshot of the offending post  - clearly showing it has been removed - seems a waste of time.

And now I've received another message saying there has been no violation after all, suggesting the project is to be reinstated. Or it more likely means they can't be arsed to read their own responses and have no idea what day of the week it is, or it's an evil plot to divert me from working and earning too much.

 

At least an evil plot would be interesting.

Sorry about the confusion, Kim. That message was sent by mistake. I can confirm that the job has been removed. Please, refer to the newest update to your ticket for more information.

~ Valeria
Upwork

View solution in original post

Thank you. It has now been acknowledged that the project has been removed.

 

And the remainder of the message, which is lengthy, is about reporting profiles and how and why I should do it. Which has nothing to do with the price of fish.

 

I was tempted to answer in case I got a recipe or something next time. It would make as much sense.

iaabraham
Community Guru

Similar thing with the Talent Agent Program - they've recommended jobs that clearly ask for free work (not samples). I sent feedback to my assigned Talent Agent, asking her not to recommend such jobs (among others such as private jobs), and this is the response I received regarding that point:

 

"These lists are courtesy lists that are sent out to the group as a whole. We can't review the full description we're looking to identify what is potentially high value."

 

Ridiculous.

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