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thejddesigns
Community Member

Freelancers losing money+connects on expired job posts & Upwork's unacceptable profiting from this

If a client doesn't hire or close a job/project and allows it to expire, all connects spent by freelancers are not refunded. Put simply, freelancers lose out, whilst Upwork profits from it. 

 

When I reached out to Upwork, their simple answer was: "We ask that you consider the cost of Connects as part of your business expenses." 

This policy is wrong and we need to gather support from the community to change it. We also need Upwork to do much more to protect this expense and reduce unnecessary spending.  

Clients have far too much protection and flexibility on the Upwork platform. They need an incentive to take action on a project, rather than the odd email reminder. Just a few ideas to incentivise clients:

1 - they aren’t allowed to post a new project until an existing project is closed.

2 - existing projects will be put on hold until idle projects are updated/cancelled.

3 - clients are automatically given negative ratings when they don't hire. 

4- future project posts are given less visibility. 

Aside from incentives - when Upwork sends reminders to clients to hire/update/cancel projects, it really needs to be highlighted in large-bold headings that candidates lose money when clients don’t hire. They also need a pop-up banner when they log in to Upwork reminding them of this, along with proper incentives. Freepik and Vecteezy do a good job with a pop-up window that reminds users to provide attribution when downloading a stock image. I’ve attached an example.

 

As it stands, it's totally unacceptable that Upwork profits from freelancers' wasted connects when projects are allowed to expire. Especially since Upwork has no incentives/penalties in place to encourage clients to take action. 

13 REPLIES 13
garyliu526
Community Member

Absolutely agree with all of this. I feel like Upwork has these ideas on a whiteboard somewhere, but is either lacking the spine to go with it or the motivation to do anything about it. It's a lose-lose for everyone, but real accountability is hard to come by in large orgs that have layers of beaucracy. 

nav_designer
Community Member

My Current Frustrations as a Freelancer

 

I'm concerned about several ongoing issues on Upwork:

Finding work feels impossible with little to no response to proposals.
Many clients seem unreliable or seek high-quality work at extremely low rates SUBSTANDARD CLIENTS BECAUSE UPWORK FOCUSING HOW TO EARN FROM FREELANCERS
Platform fees seem excessive, adding further hardship.
Fake profile clicks while boosting profiles are misleading and undermine trust.
The inability to target specific countries when boosting limits outreach potential.
The abundance of irrelevant invites wastes time and creates false hope.

biding is an online casino money-eating machine with no return 

erinvega2016
Community Member

What would you do if the Upwork platform didn't exist and you had to network with potential clients? 

You need to quit thinking that the connects are wasted when, in reality, they are a small investment in your business. They are only seen as wasted connects when you have not been awarded the project. If you were awarded the project, I think, your opinion of the connects would be different, no?

I believe you've misunderstood the post. My various points have nothing to do with losing or winning the bidding process. 

 

Connects are indeed wasted when clients post projects without hiring or cancelling the project themselves. Clients should be incentivised to hire, update or cancel the project within the 30 day limit. Currently there are zero measures in place, apart from a few gentle reminders that freelancers have applied for the role and that the project will expire.

 

I'm at a loss as to why freelancers should be penalised for Upwork projects that do not result in a hire or cancellation. 

I agree with your points. I also add the MONUMENTAL waste of time that expired jobs, spam, and unclear one-line sentence posts (that clutter the job pages) cause. I tailor my proposals to each job I apply for, which is time-consuming and could be saved and used to focus on real job applications.

I am not a newbie and have experience in identifying professional jobs, but due to the limited information offered to freelancers by Upwork about clients (basically the hiring stats, score, etc, on the right side of the page) it's impossible to research the hiring company, or client profile online. On Upwork, it's almost impossible to know with whom you are dealing and what is the real intention of the "potential" client (clients can also post job descriptions for free to test the water on the platform).

 

In the many past surveys, I was invited by Upwork, I (naively thought that their management staff would be receptive to freelancers' feedback.. silly me) gave multiple suggestions, and one of these was to offer a free trial period to new clients on the platform, after that introducing an affordable fee per job posted with also an option for membership model, to discourage spam, scams, expiring jobs, and time wasters, etc., while businesses big and small that are serious about hiring contractors wouldn't be deterred by a small fee. They could reduce the other client fees to balance the extra cost. 


 wrote:

What would you do if the Upwork platform didn't exist and you had to network with potential clients? 

You need to quit thinking that the connects are wasted when, in reality, they are a small investment in your business. They are only seen as wasted connects when you have not been awarded the project. If you were awarded the project, I think, your opinion of the connects would be different, no?


Likewise, you need to "quit thinking" that this is about sour grapes.

 

Proposals, boosted or not, that get sent directly to the trash bin are wasted.  Proposals sent to jobs with no activity are wasted.  Proposals sent to scammers are wasted.  I fail to see any connection to an investment in these situations.  You can believe connects are an investment all you like — and that’s OK.  What’s not OK is to suggest somebody change their thinking when there’s nothing wrong with it to begin with.  

Bingo! Perfectly said 

What if you put yourself in Upwork's position?

 

A decade has almost passed without a single profitable month, despite having a 'high-quality freelance marketplace'.

 

You've been burning investors' money for all these years, and perhaps they're starting to question things.

 

You then change the company vision to 'open the gate as wide as possible' and 'get profits from the enormous number of members', which resulted in the first profitable month.

 

I too don't like it, but I can understand it. So I'll just make sure not to get caught in their game. They can play tricks and milk people all they want as long as they don't break the law I guess.

celgins
Community Member

Several good thoughts in your post. Your sentiments have been expressed in the forums for years, but nothing has moved Upwork to make changes.

 

The four incentives you listed sound like penalities; however, you did mention "incentives/penalties" later in your post.

 

1 - they aren’t allowed to post a new project until an existing project is closed.
2 - existing projects will be put on hold until idle projects are updated/cancelled.
3 - clients are automatically given negative ratings when they don't hire.
4- future project posts are given less visibility.

Every Enterprise client spending $3+ million--or any client with dozens of jobs posted concurrently--would leave the platform. Even smaller clients might have multiple, unrelated jobs on Upwork. Any restrictions would severely limit the client's ability to use Upwork to locate and hire freelancers to meet their needs. Upwork cannot afford this.

 

One possible incentive: Upwork could reduce or remove the contract initiation fee if a client hires within 3 days, 5 days, 10 days, etc. The only problem with this incentive is the client who might feel pressured to hire before they're ready--not to mention lost revenue.

 

This policy is wrong and we need to gather support from the community to change it.

Gathering support from the Community is a good-natured gesture, but it will likely fail. Upwork rarely, if ever, considers collaborative protests from the Community when making revenue decisions, and Connects-spend affects Upwork's revenues.

 

They need an incentive to take action on a project, rather than the odd email reminder.

The biggest incentive occurs before hiring. Clients are allowed to post jobs for free and keep their jobs open until they're ready to take action. This allows clients to "window shop"--especially now since clients must pay a one-time contract initiation fee (up to $9.95 USD) when they hire. Some clients see this fee as a penalty, which means they are more likely to let jobs expire if they're not ready to hire.

 

when Upwork sends reminders to clients to hire/update/cancel projects, it really needs to be highlighted in large-bold headings that candidates lose money when clients don’t hire.

I doubt most clients care about freelancers losing money. I think most clients care about getting their needs met, which means window shopping, browsing, and testing the market to get the best value for their money.

 

Especially since Upwork has no incentives/penalties in place to encourage clients to take action.

The incentives you offered might cause clients to feel rushed or pressed to hire. Also, if Upwork begins issuing penalities for not hiring, many clients will simply stop using the site. Upwork wants neither of these, which is probably why clients are given so much latitude when posting jobs.

 

I just don't see them making a big change regarding this.

af6a90ca
Community Member

I'm new to Upwork and got the Freelancer Plus plan. I didn't realize that I how easily you can blow through credits and even waste all of them. I gave this platform a month and it has produced crap results for me. I'm cancelling my plan next week. I honestly feel kind of scammed by Upwork. 

You don't need the freelancer Plus. Buy connects because they are cheaper directly.

tjmisny
Community Member

When it comes to Casinos, the House always wins 

tjmisny
Community Member

These suggestions are never going to come to fruition beacuse Upwork cares more about making profit off of Freelancers' loss than they care about fostering our personal growth.  (Do I feel this is foolish and short-sighted, yes!  But we're in an age of foolish, short-sighted "visionaries" running companies (into the ground), and Upwork is no different than Twitter, Disney, Boeing, Warner Discovery etc and other examples of malpractice at the executive level) 

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