Over two weeks ago, I reached out to Upwork about a client not fulfilling their part of our agreement. I also shared screenshots of the few interactions between myself and the client. Upwork reached out to the client (who had been quite unresponsive throughout the assignment) who in turn, finally contacted me. I informed Upwork that I much rather resolve the dispute through them as communication with the client had been inconsistent.
Since then, Upwork has stopped responding to my messages and the issue remains unresolved (though the request remains 'open,' it's been over two weeks since I've heard anything from them). I've been a freelancer for years and have been hesitant to join a platform like Upwork despite their promises to ensure freelancers are protected. Unfortunately, this was my first assignment on Upwork and thus far, they've failed to live up to their promise.
Has anybody ever been ghosted by Upwork? What should be my next steps?
You were not ghosted by Upwork.
The word "ghosted" means that a person with whom you have a close personal relationship, particularly a boyfriend or girlfriend, suddenly stopped communicating with you via electronic tools.
This is not what happened to you.
Neither Upwork as a platform, nor any of the clients who you were communicating with, are close personal friends or paramours.
As a general principle, you should plan to never reach out to Upwork in order to enlist their help on dealing with a client relationship. It is not Upwork's intention that they do that. Instead, learn how the tool works, and use your knowledge to your advantage. Post questions in the Forum if you want advice for how to manage difficult client situations.
re: "I reached out to Upwork about a client not fulfilling their part of our agreement."
Clients may back out of a contract or end a contract at any time. No rule is broken a client ends a contract without informing the freelancer or if a client ends a contract earlier than a freelancer had expected.
Clients are expected to follow Upwork ToS rules, but clients are not necessarily required to "fulfill their part" in an agreement that they had with a freelancer. Upwork does not police or enforce promises or outside agreements.
re: "What should be my next steps?"
Stop waiting for Upwork Customer Support to help you with this. They are clearly not particularly enthusiastic about you doing so. Talk to us in this thread and we can advise you.
Ashley W wrote:
Over two weeks ago, I reached out to Upwork about a client not fulfilling their part of our agreement
What exactly happened? Were you properly hired on Upwork with a contract?
Was the contract hourly or properly funded fixed rate?
If so, it isn't easy for a client to "not fulfill" anything.
Ashley W wrote:
despite their promises to ensure freelancers are protected. Unfortunately, this was my first assignment on Upwork and thus far, they've failed to live up to their promise.
There is protection available, provided you used the platform correctly.
Ashley W wrote:
... I informed Upwork that I much rather resolve the dispute through them as communication with the client had been inconsistent...
Based on the limited information you have shared, this seems inappropriate. You are an independent business owner and have contracted with someone you met via this platform. That doesn't mean that Upwork is obligated to negotiate any problems you are having with your client. If you have completed work and not been paid or the client has violated an Upwork policy, the corporation may become involved. Otherwise, any issues are yours to resolve.
Hi, Tonya. Though I understand what you're saying, I would have appreciated a response from Upwork. Abruptly stopping communication with somebody is both rude and unprofessional particularly for Upwork, who repeatedly addresses this type of behavior in their own policies. If they believe that there is nothing more that they can do and stated as much, I wouldn't have posted.
I 100% stand by not addressing the client as I had attempted to address the client about the situation in the past. At this point, I don't feel the need to entertain them as that is exactly what it was becoming which is why I contacted Upwork.
Relax, Preston. "Upwork stopped responding to my dispute" work better for you?
You wrote to "post questions in the forum" and "talk to us on this thread"... am I not doing just that?
Upwork literally has a "tool" freelancers can use to resolve disputes. I am using it and have not had much of a response.
**The tone in your response was condescending and unnecessary.**
**Edited for community guidelines**
re: "Upwork stopped responding to my dispute" work better for you?
That is much better.
This is not just about a word. The more important reason why I advise freelances to aoid using the word "ghosted" in this context is because it represents a different philosophy.
If a client or the host platform itself stops communicating with us, then that is what they did: They stopped communicating with us. It is better to think of it in business-oriented terms rather than implying a personal relationship that doesn't exist.
re: "You wrote to 'post questions in the forum' and 'talk to us on this thread'... am I not doing just that?"
You are doing that, and it's the right thing to do.
Nothing in what you said in your original post suggests to me a situation that you ever should have contacted Upwork Support about.
I apologize for the delay in receiving an update. I’ll go ahead and follow up with the team handling your case and you can expect to receive an update on your ticket directly.
Thank you for your patience.