I was hoping to reach out on the forums, since CS has not been helpful so far.
I recently accepted a $50 fixed-price job from a client, but we quickly agreed that the initial rate was much too low, and raised it to $250. I closed the existing contract (I didn't charge anything and nothing was payed, and no feedback on either side was given), and accepted the new contract that the client posted for $250. The job was completed successfully, I got 5-star feedback and everything was A-ok. However, my JSS recently dropped from 100% to 92%! I am nearly certain that nothing else could have caused this drop, since I have completed all jobs successfully, have great ratings and my recommendation level is at 100%.
It seems very unfair that I was punished this harschly for closing a contract for which no money was payed, no feedback was given/received, and the actual job was in fact later completed successfully. I asked CS for help, but all I got were more-or-less automated answers that many factors enter the JSS, etc. I kept writing, but eventually they didn't answer anymore.
I hope somebody can help me or at least give me some insight!
Hi Thomas, unfortunately the same thing happened to me. In my case, the client decided to hire someone cheaper and close the contract before anything started. No money was exchanged, no work done, no feedback but my JSS dropped 7%. This has been pointed out to the powers that be but unfortunately nothing seems to have been done about it.
you had that other contract where the public feedback was only 3 on skills and quality, so private feedback probably wasn't that great. So it could have been that one that pulled down your JS score.
I would try to avoid closing contracts or contracts where no money is exchanged. These are viewed negatively towards the JS score.
In your scenario the client should have done the necessary changes (why a new contract in the first place and not just change the existing one?).
Maybe do a bit of reading in the forum on JS score? There is some good info buried all over the place.
thanks for the help! Wouldn't very poor private feedback (the recommendation question the client gets) show up on my stats page? I guess with hindsight it would have been smarter to let the client make the change, but since I'm new I didn't expect something like this to affect my JSS so strongly.
It would be very interesting to know what exactly the cause was...
the recommendation score on the my stats page only gets updated every so often, so you won't really be able to see which client gave you the bad rating. I think this is meant as the mechanism to ensure that freelancers don't pester clients about the private rating.
You can't say for sure, but after a few jobs and observing the score for a while, and reading in the forum and compiling a list of Do's and Dont's, it's not rocket science to figure out the main principles.
Also, you are fairly new. The score is calculated for a 6, 12 and 24 month period and the best of those 3 is chosen for each upgrade. So once you've been around longer and done well, you can also sit back a little and rely on these a bit.
8% wouldn't be huge for me, something like 20% would, but I am bit more relaxed about the whole thing.
Unfortunately Thomas, it is a hard price to pay for ignorance re this JSS business.
All contracts that are ended will count towards your score, regardless of payment, or even if the client just chose to cancel the project without a word.
In your case, the client would not have chosen the option "Job Completed Successfully" since the job was not even started. The result is that your score suffered for this. So in the future you will have to try and avoid these circumstances, though some are unavoidable - unless your client intends to lie to the system.
One of the many flaws of the JS system.
I'm pretty disappointed by how unfair the JSS seems to be towards freelancers. Based on your remarks I'm guessing it has been like this for a while. Do other sites have similarly bad conditions for freelancers?
Do you top freelancers have a union or something?
Setu is right, the client marking the job as "completed sucessfully" is sort of a must have.
Freelancers get too easily excited about an offer and sometimes/often click the accept button too quickly. I've done the same mistake a few times myself.
Make sure to collect as much info as possible beforehand, make sure you see the actual work (e.g. the audio file for transcription along with details on style and rules; or the source file for translation, editing, etc.). In my experience having to renegotiate after accepting an offer already makes for a rocky start.
Sometimes it feels like I might not get the job if I keep asking questions, but actually things went wrong whenever I didn't, and there have been quite a few jobs I said no to after having collected all the info.
There are a lot of threads where freelancers talk about things that happened after they accepted a contract, the client did this, the client did that. There are definitely clients that are difficult in this aspect, some on purpose, some because they don't know any better, but in many of these cases the trouble could still have been avoided if the freelancer had investigated the job and everything attached to it better beforehand, imo.
This is how it has been since the JSS has been implemented, with a few changes. The best thing to do is follow Sandra's excellent advice. And not to worry, you are off to a good start - many contracts in little over a month.
The law of averages will soon 'kick in.' As long as you provide good work all the time, one bad step will not ruin your score because you will have many good scores - that simple. I may sound like Upwork, but far from it, trust me.
I also came to appreciate that principle over time. Ask as many questions as possible - you are also interviewing the client about the project. Unfortunately this comes with experience, and burns from a few poorly chosen projects in order the win the contract over someone else.
Take your time with the interview process. If the client flakes, then you probably just saved yourself a headache.