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Genuine questions for the Community Staff

Community Guru
Setu M Member Since: Jan 26, 2014
1 of 12

We have done months of complaining and beseeching, some have done years of pleading. Valeria is overworked and we are still uneducated on mostly everything bad affecting us. Let me check the guidelines again before I post. So someone has to do it, might as well be me.

 

***Edited*** because a Colleague once gave me some advice. Now may not be the right time.

---- easy like Sunday morning ----
Community Guru
Douglas Michael M Member Since: May 22, 2015
2 of 12

Hi Setu,

 

[edited for clarity]

I have the impression that Garnor—with whom I am on friendly terms, though we have publicly butted heads often enough—is sincere when he says he takes issues to management, and that at least sometimes he has management's ear and advocates for providers. I believe he has done so effectively on at least a couple of occasions where he came back with a favorable result (at Elance), and perhaps others where the results of his liaison efforts have not been as obvious. I imagine he also fairly often gets the brush-off, the polite, noncommittal response, or the flat no, and has nothing better to bring back to us.

 

That's all speculation based on several years' worth of observation and interaction.

 

[edited to add:]

Though I've had far fewer interactions with Lena, I like her direct approach, her clarity and her willingness to accept multiple reports of site malfunction as a system problem (a refreshing change from the protocol I'm used to).

[/edit]

 

Though I don't know the particulars of Garnor's or Lena's place in the Upwork organization, it's worth noting that community managers often report within the marketing department.

 

Best,

Michael

Community Guru
Setu M Member Since: Jan 26, 2014
3 of 12

I too will publicly say, I know he has advocated for many changes for providers. And some of them have been successful. The most recent being the additional information on the dreaded JS score. So I am not here to crucify or place any blame.

 

What we need is information. And he is the person I can turn to.

 

What is going on with the platform?

Why are there so many functional problems?

What is our role in the changes taking place?

What is the scope for the future?

Will we (non pro*** or non enterprise) folks be phased out?

Should I start looking elsewhere, like others?

 

The list goes on. Only someone like Garnor can share these answers, or even say they cannot be shared. But a word, any word, would be welcomed. everyone is concerned about how their futures are being affected, one way or the other.

---- easy like Sunday morning ----
Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
4 of 12

The JS score as it stands - is a complete disincentive for any professional freelancer.

Community Guru
Garnor M Member Since: Oct 29, 2014
BEST ANSWER
5 of 12

@Setu M wrote:

 

 

What is going on with the platform?

Why are there so many functional problems?

What is our role in the changes taking place?

What is the scope for the future?

Will we (non pro*** or non enterprise) folks be phased out?

Should I start looking elsewhere, like others?

 

 

Hi Setu and others,

We take the site performance seriously, and we feel the frustration you and others have with some of the issues of late. 

 

In most settings, you're right. I'd be the sole liason to get management attention on key issues. I'd be the only person directing our team's attention to the concerns and pain points of our users. The silver lining is that isn't the case here. Our entire organization is committed to you, our customers. I constantly get messaged by others in our company who have read these forums or talked with you directly. I've mentioned it before, your success means our success, and everyone here realizes that.

 

I digress. Here are some answers to the questions you've posted above:

 

1. What is going on with the platform?

Without knowing what specific issues you're refering to, I will say that unexpected downtime last week and issues with message delivery are isolated incidents that we have done our best to resolve. We will continue to try and move quickly on any future issues that come up. 

 

2. Why are there so many functional problems?

See above

 

3. What is our role in the changes taking place?

You continue to be our valued customers. We're here to help enable the success of your business and the relationships you have with your clients. Your role is to find and succesfuly complete projects with your clients. You help us get better with the consistent feedback shared here in the Community. That's not your role, but it is a huge asset, and we thank you for it.

 

4.  What is the scope of the future?

This and subsequent blog posts give a comprehensive view of what we're looking to achieve here.

 

5. Will we (non pro or non enterprise) folks be phase out?

Absolutely not. As you've seen with our launch of the Top Rated program and as you will see with other similar initiatives in the coming months, we place a tremendous amount of importance (and resources) on freelancers like yourself. 

 

6. Should I start looking elsewhere?

We are investing in technology, support, marketing and all other areas of the Upwork business that should matter for you as freelancers. These investments are bearing fruit and will only continue to do so. I can only say that we are supremely focused on building the best possible experience for online work and as someone who already has familiarity with oDesk/Upwork, you are in a great position to achieve even greater success.  

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

"all other areas of the Upwork business that should matter for you as freelancers"

 

What matters for us as freelancers is a steady supply of good clients, a secure and fast payment system, and a reliable site that doesn't actively interfere with our ability to look for work. Anything else is at best icing on the cake, and at worst a serious impediment to doing business.

 

My most immediate concern right now is the JS score. From what I've seen so far about the way it's calculated I've made the decision not to copy my Elance profile to Upwork until the problems with it are resolved. I can't take the risk of being immediately suspended because repeat clients haven't left me feedback after every single job. This obviously means I can't leverage my extensive list of successfully completed jobs and positive feedback. A friend of mine copied her profile across and, from a 97% recommend rate on Elance, ended up with a JS score of 62. She is not wildly enthusiastic about this.

If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.― George Orwell
Community Guru
Tracye G Member Since: Sep 30, 2008
7 of 12

Garnor,

 

I know you mean well and I am sure your intent is nothing but honest and good.

 

But OUR experience as the freelancer is NOT being heard, nor is it being dealt with...I know you are doing your job with passing on our input...but we still have a broken, inapropriate JS score, screwing every good freelancer it can.

 

We still have no way to deal with any descrepency, or out of our control issues that contribute. We are at the mercy of a robot on steroids and unscrupulous, vindictive, or clueless clients.

 

a. Clients who have all but disappeared = potential bad JS score

 

b. Vindicitve and nasty clients (and if you do not think we don't encounter them, you are sorely mistaken) = bad JS score

 

c. Clueless, uninformed clients = bad JS score

 

d. Lazy clients = bad JS score

 

The deck is 100% stacked AGAINST the freelancer no matter which way you spin this JS score. The client has ZERO skin in the game. Upworks has ZERO skin in the game. And we the hard working freelancer get skinned alive!!!!

 

We freelancers have ZERO recourse and in REALITY have ZERO input...and the reason I say this is because NOTHING is changing with the ONE most feared and hated thing that upworks has instated.

 

I literly get sick to my stomach when a client closes a job....it is like playing russion roulette EVERY SINGLE time you take on a new client. The ONLY clients I can trust any more are my long term clients who I have built a relationship with. I cannot even imagine the STRESS a freelancer who does quick jobs on a regualar basis must go through.

 

The STRESS is wearing us ALL down!!! NO ONE who can make the changes requested or needed at upworks seems to give a rip.

 

Add to this ONE morale KILLER and all the other bugs, broken promises, brush offs etc...and you have a recipe for a ghost of a website.

 

Once we frustrated beyond belief freelancers are able to rebuild our business on another platform....guess where upworks will fall on our priority list.

 

I am still a top rated freelancer...but my qualified job invites have gone from more than I can handle to NOTHING...1 a month if I am lucky. I have gone from making a living wage to barely spending money...and that is only because I have loyal long term clients.

 

PLEASE hear me on this....WE ARE ALL FRUSTARTED AND MORALE IS GONE!!

 

I think I am in good company when I say...we freelancers have been nothing but LOYAL to oDesk and Upworks...and we have been slapped in the collective face for it.

 

I write all of this with the uptmost respect for you Garnor...and I hope you can hear mine and so many others frustration.

 

ALL I want to do is concentrate on my work...I cannot do that now because I am having to scramble to rebuild what I have spent SEVEN YEARS building here!

Community Guru
Krisztina U Member Since: Aug 7, 2009
8 of 12

@Garnor M wrote:

 

In most settings, you're right. I'd be the sole liason to get management attention on key issues. I'd be the only person directing our team's attention to the concerns and pain points of our users.


This is nothing personal, but considering that key issues haven't been given proper attention, this puts the onus on you. It also suggests that you are the sole filter, and whichever issues you don't deem news worthy, will not be escalated. I understand that filters are necessary, but considering that frustration has been increasing not decreasing, filters may be worth revisiting.

Community Guru
James S Member Since: Mar 20, 2015
9 of 12

Hi Garnor,

 

I appreciate the fact that you're now. But what about all the other times? You've answered questions for me in the past and I appreciate it.

 

Sadly I think everyone knows about some of the issues, as others have said, they are getting ignored. There doesn't seem to be clear communication.

 

The standard answer is "We have made our development team aware of the issues and they are working on it" "It will be available in future updates" 

 

I do web development and If I get an email from a client that something is not working or is prohibiting their business, I better **bleep** well get it fixed right away or they'll find someone else. Same here; people are starting to leave because things that are prohibiting them to do their work is failing.

 

So here are a few things: 

 

1. Yesterday the message system was giving out errors, so much so when I tried to send an error report I got an error message that the report couldn't be sent.

 

Ref: https://community.upwork.com/t5/Freelancers/This-is-a-classic-Error-of-trying-to-send-an-Error-Repor...

 

2. The message system is a complete failure. Problem after problem, so much so; most of us are using the old system. It seems to be the only way to get to messages.

 

Ref:  https://community.upwork.com/t5/Freelancers/New-Message-system-your-thoughts/td-p/90042

 

Ref: https://community.upwork.com/t5/Freelancers/The-New-Messaging-System-is-a-JOKE/m-p/83503

 

3. Notification (Yellow Dot)

 

Icon keeps having the orange indicator even when there are no notifications.

 

4. Job Invites totally broken I've read and experienced it myself of weeks without an invite

 

ref: https://community.upwork.com/t5/Freelancers/No-Invites/m-p/85397/highlight/true#M38492

 

5. Communication (Under MyStats) This is still not fixed - Always showing 1 missing reply.

 

ref: https://community.upwork.com/t5/Freelancers/The-Communication-section-in-My-Stats/m-p/77842/highligh...

 

6. Clients (not a bug -well maybe) I've never seen so many new clients that have not verified their payments. On top of that I've never seen so many new clients. Why do we have to verify everything before we bid, but clients can post their jobs without verification?

 

7. I discovered another bug yesterday. (Saved Jobs)

 

When saving a job, then viewing your saved jobs on the Saved Jobs page; it shows all clients with no feedback, even when they have feedback

 

Also when you view a saved job on the job posting itself and you "unclick" to unsave the job, it doesn't remove it from your saved jobs page, you have to go in and remove it again.

 

8. Why are 5-10 day old jobs in my job feed? I've seen some at almost 30 days. Some even have already hired someone.

 

9. When a client doesn't hire me and I get notified by email that they went with another contractor; the job recommendations at the bottom of the email are old and the past few that I have received have either all been the same, the client already hired someone, or they are over 30 days old.

 

10. Why keep messing with the Top Rated badges,colors, etc, when there are so many other issues?

 

I could go on and on. But I would get too tired and frustrated.

 

I'm sure I'm on the radar now and probably won't get a Christmas Card.

Community Guru
Setu M Member Since: Jan 26, 2014
10 of 12

I appreciate the fact that Garnor responded so quickly. I guess it shows, if nothing else, that he is on the ball even when not visible.

 

He is our liaison but ultimately cannot force the changes we clamour for, or provide information that management says needs to be hidden.

 

We still need change and transparency. In the mean time we have to wait and see; while trying to get as many jobs we can find from the diminishing heap.

---- easy like Sunday morning ----
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