[Disclaimer: I am fully aware that what happened is my own fault for not paying attention. However, I still feel that there is room for improving the situation for all parties]
I think that freelancers should be notified if significant changes are made to a job they applied for.
To illustrate my point, let me tell you the story of why I am currently working for 0.02$ per word:
A few days ago, I wrote a proposal to a job offer. Nothing too fancy, a rather simple ‘fixed price’ job that required me to translate one document per week. I was invited to an interview a short while later, the client and I exchanged a few words, they offered me the job, and I took it.
So far, everything was just fine.
However, when I received the first document, I quickly realized that the word count was basically twice of what had been stated in the original job posting. So I went and took another look at what Upwork calls the “Original Job Post” and, to my surprise, the actual word count of the document was indeed listed there. The client was in a huge rush to get his files (as clients tend to be), so I had no time further investigate this issue and started slaving away at what had become a rate of 0.02$ per word.
After finishing the job, I surveyed my options and quickly realized that there’s not a lot I could do, because ending the contract at this point would likely wreck my JSS (I could write yet another rant about the inherent imbalance of power on this platform, but hey, why reinvent the wheel when you can find loads of those here already, right?).
I still wanted to find out what happened however, so I politely asked the client if there had been a change in the job post – and as it turns out, I was right. They changed the job post at some point after I had written my proposal, but before they formally offered me the contract.
And yes, before you bring out the torches and pitchforks, I do realize that I should have taken the time to once again thoroughly read through the job offer before clicking on that delicious “accept offer” button. In my defense: I was on my mobile, desperately wanted a gig because I was scared of the “too many unsuccessful proposals” boogeyman, and I did not expect the platform to allow clients to significantly alter job posts without informing freelancers.
Here’s what I’d like to see: Give me a popup or some other form of notification, let me know that people made edits to their job posts. It’s okay to change your mind, no worries, but please make sure that information finds its way to freelancers that have applied to the original job offer.
Currently there is, as far as I know, no way of finding out if changes have been made to job posts, because what Upwork calls “Original Job Post” is actually “Current Version of Job Post”.
It seems like this would be an easy fix and lead to a better user experience, so I hope you will share this with the team 😉
I've never found myself in David's situation, but do know from first-hand experience that the pop-up indicating a job's parameters (or wording on a RFP) have changed from original posting is possible. eLance had the feature as does Upwork's primary competitor.
This is another reason why I always caution FLers to have a Skype conversation before anything. Make notes and then copy/paste your notes into the message room. If you receive an offer, you and the client can double check every item discussed to make sure it is covered in the final offer.
Plus - there is an actual record should you need or the client need it for CS.