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8f1de97a
Community Member

I hate Upwork as freelancer cause it unfairly lowers your JSS if you have 1 non-responsive client.

I came to Upwork in August 2017.
I made few jobs, trying to fulfill every client's need to get some nice Job Success Score. So my first 3 jobs get excellent feedback with 5/5 stars. I took the jobs, which no ones wanted to complete in case of low price, cause I didn't have any reviews (I'm totally new in programming). So I took one work, which I started to make. It cost just 10$, but I took it for the nice feedback reason. So all is ok, I worked on it on client's PC, but it took a lot more time than expected. So client tells me, that he can't wait and need to turn off his PC. After it, I asked few times this client, about when I can finish work. He always answers "later".
This time, accidentally, I found some client in the real world and worked for him for next 2 month, until the beginning of December. Then I returned to Upwork, and I see JSS is 75%, and my job is still unfished.
Ok, I thought that it's because the job is unfinished. So I write to client again, and now he didn't response. I wait some time, write again, he is still unresponsive. Ok, I asked upwork's support, what I need to do, in case of the unresponsive client. So they just closed my job. Without any feedback from my client. And it calculated as 0/5 stars feedback! What the **bleep** is this!?
Ok, I calm down, take a deep breath, and write to the support again. They tell me that it's just because I have too less completed jobs and I need to make some new and wait 2 weeks. Okay, now passed 1 month, I completed 1 little job, again with 5 stars, and working now on another which I again expect 5/5 star. And now I have only 80% JSS, cause I have 4 jobs with a 5-star rating and 1 with no rating. So, after finishing current one, I will have JSS 83,33%, and to get to 90% (which most of the clients asking in requirements) I need to complete at least 9 low-cost jobs. Oh, and Upwork always answer on this "we can't tell you how JSS is calc". I'm not so stupid, it's clear that if you have only 5 stars feedbacks, and 1 uncompleted job, you will have JSS 100%/(n) * (n-1), where n is total numbers of jobs.
In the end, in case of that stupid system, I again need to work as an unqualified worker and take some low costing jobs only to raise my JSS. Exactly 3 more jobs to make total numbers of jobs 10.
Or I need to wait a half year from the close of that unfinished job and then start to take some low-cost job, cause you know "The Upwork system takes snapshots of your six-, 12- and 24-month history in the marketplace and calculates a score for each. The bestscore out of these moving time windows is displayed on your profile and updated about every two weeks."
So, in the end, I lose my money or lose my time. And all is not because I make some bad job, or clients are not happy after working with me. No, it's just because one client didn't respond.
I think it's really bull**bleep**. I will finish my current job on Upwork and will try really hard to find any work in real word or use any other freelance platform. That's really unfair to low my JSS just in case of the unresponsive client. It doesn't show my professionality at all. It will be fair enough for me, if this just doesn't show at all, you know, something like "We don't have enough feedback to give you JSS, cause you are suspicious, cause one of your clients didn't close the job, so just work little more to be able to get 100% JSS for all the 5-star ratings you get". But lowering my JSS from the beginning and pulling me to keep making some low-price jobs it's just really unfair.
I don't ask any help, I just want to pay other freelancer attention to this situation. So be careful, cause there is no justice.
And I will continue speaking about this on any other possible sites. I will find any other freelancers, which get the same situation and I will rise they story up.

ACCEPTED SOLUTION
tlsanders
Community Member

Vladimir, it is not clear at all, because you are overlooking the role private feedback plays. You may have only 5 star feedback publicly, but you have no idea how the clients rated you privately.

 

It's also worth noting that no feedback contracts don't, in fact, calculate as zero stars. They only hurt you when they make up a significant percentage of your contracts (they don't tell us that percentage, but I think it's about 20%). So, the impact of that contract may diminish much more quickly than you realize. I have about 13% no feedback contracts, and my JSS is 99%.

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33 REPLIES 33
yitwail
Community Member

Vladimir, you're not the first or last freelancer to disagree with how Upwork computes JSS, but discussing it at the beginning of your profile overview is unlikely to help you win jobs, making it harder to improve your JSS.

__________________________________________________
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce
8f1de97a
Community Member

Yes, it does not help me, but it will increase the probability that someday this system will change.

Well, it does help you, in the sense that you are very probably wrong about how long it will take your JSS to recover.

 

It's very unlikely that it will change. There have been literally thousands of posts here complaining about the way JSS is calculated, and specifically about the treatment of no feedback contracts.

I hope sometimes Upwork will react to all these posts and change the way it working.

tlsanders
Community Member

Vladimir, it is not clear at all, because you are overlooking the role private feedback plays. You may have only 5 star feedback publicly, but you have no idea how the clients rated you privately.

 

It's also worth noting that no feedback contracts don't, in fact, calculate as zero stars. They only hurt you when they make up a significant percentage of your contracts (they don't tell us that percentage, but I think it's about 20%). So, the impact of that contract may diminish much more quickly than you realize. I have about 13% no feedback contracts, and my JSS is 99%.

Tiffany, thank you for your answer.

It's easier than you expect. Look: I have only public feedback, and every client tells me that he is fully satisfied. I never close job without asking is client fully satisfied or not. If not, I will make all that he wants and needs.

About your situation. I copied the text from Upworks rules. So it depends on how these "no feedback" contracts spread in time. You JSS calculated for 3 periods: half year, one year and two years. From this, it took the max of your JSS, and show it. So yes, this problem is only for new freelancers like me. But more those freelancers it's really unfair.

If you read some of the other threads about JSS, you will see that quite a lot more is known about how it's calculated than you think. One thing we know is that very, very often, clients say they are satisfied and leave 5-star feedback in public, but leave less-than-perfect private feedback.

 

It isn't only new freelancers who are impacted by the no feedback issue. Many longer-term freelancers complain about this, as those who tend to close their own contracts or work with low-end, one-off clients often have a significant pattern of no feedback contracts that is pulling down their scores.

So looks like it's really big problem. I think JSS system "as it" is bad. And the fact that there is a lot other comments about it only support my opinion.

 
aocumen
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Vladimir, 

 

Please know that you should still be able to submit proposals to jobs that require a Job Success Score of 90 or higher despite you not meeting the requirements. You will only see a notification on your proposal, but your client will still be able to see your proposal among the other proposals he/she receives. 

As Tiffany has stated, both public and private feedback are included in the Job Success Score, as well as long-term relationships, repeat contracts, excessive lack of feedback, or jobs without activity. You may read more about the Job Success Score calculation here.

 

I checked your account and I was unable to identify which client gave you a 0/5 stars. So far, it looks like you're on your way to a better job success score, just keep doing great work for your clients, and bidding for jobs within your job category. 


~ Avery
Upwork
8f1de97a
Community Member

No one gives me 0/5 star rating, it's just one non-responsive client, which calc as 0/5. My topic is exactly about it.
Thank you for the answer.

petra_r
Community Member


@Vladimir O wrote:

No one gives me 0/5 star rating, it's just one non-responsive client, which calc as 0/5. My topic is exactly about it.
Thank you for the answer.


 You are missing the point. The problem isn't so much the fact that the contract had no feedback, it is the fact that the contract had no earnings and no feedback.

As far as Upwork is concerned that does indeed count against you.

yitwail
Community Member

OP orginally wrote, "And now I have only 80% JSS, cause I have 4 jobs with a 5-star rating and 1 with no rating." If JSS was that simple, there wouldn't be thousands of posts concerned with JSS. It's purely coincidence that your JSS is an even 80% with four 5 star jobs and one job with no payment. You're ignoring among other things private feedback, which probably has greater influence on JSS than the public star rating, and can be at odds with the public feedback. That's why private feedback exists, to let clients tell Upwork what they really think, without scaring away freelancers by leaving low public feedback or being harassed by freelancers begging them to change feedback.

__________________________________________________
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce
8f1de97a
Community Member

I think you are right when you talking about some big amount of feedbacks and client. In my situation it's simple. I know, everyone thinks that I can't be sure in my client's private feedback, but in reality, I can: I'm talking with one of the clients until now, he asked some stuff related to my job, and we always talked in free and un-formal style, so I'm sure he doesn't lie to me. Another client gave me a job second time, and the last job was with the unresponsive client. All these 4 jobs give me 75%. Then I complete 1 job for the new client, where I worked a lot to help him overall(worked 2 weeks for 10$), so he was pretty happy in the end and give me pretty nice public feedback with 5 stars. My JSS changed to 80%.

So it's obvious, that in my situation JSS is simple. And I can simply see, how much my one non-responsive client affects to JSS. It's unfairly big effect right now.

I don't know why you want to find any complexity in this situation, or trying to create suspicion to my client's feedback. You know, there is Occam's razor concept. If you find a simple explanation, which works nicely, then no need to create any other explanation. And I have more reasons to trust my clients. It was a simple task, the payment was low, nobody takes it, I make all requirements, and clients were agreed to it. It's strange to find meanness in this situation. You must be a very suspicious person to think so.

And my topic is about exactly this situation: there is no reason to down freelancer's JSS so much when you have not so much completed jobs. That's need to be changed.

8f1de97a
Community Member

Thank you for the answer, Petra.

Even if Upwork looks more to no earnings, it doesn't matter in mine situation. In fact, my client just disappeared, so it's not my fault. Why my JSS downed so much? You know, JSS must show how the freelancer work.  I think the way JSS working on unresponsive clients, which give no earnings, should be changed. Look from my point: you get work, make something on it, spend a couple of days, then client tell that he will look at result later, then he disappears and stop to respond, and then your job calculated as 0/5 star job! And now you need to work hard 10 times more and lost a lot of money, or you need to wait a half year, and only then make some work, and wait 2 weeks to your JSS changing. How do you feel yourself? Do you feel it as pretty fair situation? Will you like Upwork and JSS system after this?

And now, from this situation and this point of view, what you think, does it needs to be changed?


@Vladimir O wrote:

I think the way JSS working on unresponsive clients, which give no earnings, should be changed. Look from my point: you get work, make something on it, spend a couple of days, then client tell that he will look at result later, then he disappears and stop to respond, and then your job calculated as 0/5 star job!


 Hi Vladmir, I am afraid that you are not using Upwork in the correct way, and that's likely what caused your problem. If the client disappeared after you submitted the work, you will get the milestone released to you after 14 days. In this case, even if the client never close the contract, your Job Success Score would not be seriously affected, certainly not as serious as a very bad feedback.

Thank you, Hiu Chun L. 

Yes, maybe that was my problem, and I needed to tell support that I completed work, but client disappeared. But make only half, and I didn't have milestones, it was just "fix price". 

But you give me some nice advice for future. 

petra_r
Community Member


@Vladimir O wrote:

And now, from this situation and this point of view, what you think, does it needs to be changed?


What I personally think is completely irrelevant, as my situation is completely different. For what it's worth I actually believe that the JSS as it is now (not perfect, but nothing is) works as it was intended to work, and I make it work for my own business.

 

I think you have two choices:

  • Work with the system and make it work for you
  • Abandon the platform and find one which suits you better.

Get some more contracts under your belt and keep going.

 

 

8f1de97a
Community Member

I think I will make some in the middle: find some nice work outside platform, then return to Upwork after half year and make some simple work with 5/5 rating (again), which must rise my JSS back to 100%. 

Your obsession with JSS is very misguided. You are going to leave the platform and stop earning money here so that you can come back later and get a better digital number on your profile?

 

Little secret: the goal here is to win contracts and do the work and make money, not to get the nicest number on your profile page.

Tiffany, your position sounds great: "don't look at numbers, just make good work and you will be rich". But you forget that these numbers show to the client how good are you as a freelancer, and what your previous clients think about you. That affects to how they make a decision, when they choice freelancers, which send them proposals. So, to "win" this comparing with other freelancers, you need to be more attractive than others. It can be JSS, price, your message, your feedbacks, your profile, etc. So if you have lower JSS, you need to compensate it with something else, for example, price. Of course, it depends on jobs type and quantity of proposals and other factors. Also, this means, that you will get declined more proposals, so you will need to spend more time to find clients.

In the end, it's Upwork, you never know, how good is this freelancer, till you don't start to work with him. Clients are forced to make decision founded on your JSS, cause it's a way to understand, how nice you worked with previous clients. You can't just say "JSS means nothing, just work". From JSS depend your time to search job, your price, which you will get from jobs. I don't want to waste my time and money.

Besides, there is one more reason to do it: I feel that Upwork treated unfairly with me, and I'd rather wait until justice is restored. It is unpleasant for me that with all my hard work to get a good JSS rating, I was given only 80%. It's rude and ugly. I feel offended.

You can tell that Upwork doesn't bother about my opinion, my feelings don't help me to get money, and etc., but you forget, that people sometimes can sacrifice money, time and anything else, what is needed, to restore justice. Our society is based on this principle, and you can't just simply tell, that it is a stupid.


@Vladimir O wrote:

Tiffany, your position sounds great: "don't look at numbers, just make good work and you will be rich". But you forget that these numbers show to the client how good are you as a freelancer, and what your previous clients think about you.

 

Nope, I'm not forgetting anything. I'm only telling you what works for me and a great many other freelancers on this platform who have earned tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

 

I'm not arguing with you to be contrary--I'm trying to stop you from cutting your own throat and help you succeed here!

 

That affects to how they make a decision, when they choice freelancers, which send them proposals. So, to "win" this comparing with other freelancers, you need to be more attractive than others. It can be JSS, price, your message, your feedbacks, your profile, etc. So if you have lower JSS, you need to compensate it with something else, for example, price.

 

This is the wrongest possible thing you could ever think. If your JSS is low and you offer lower prices to "compensate," what actually happens is that you ratify the clients' belief that you're not very good. Your low rate matches your low scores and combines to tell the client that even you don't think your work is worth very much. 

 

And, your JSS is in greater jeopardy, because bottom-of-the-barrel clients tend to be impossible to please, meaning that your ratings will probably drop if you land bad clients with your low prices. 

 

Of course, it depends on jobs type and quantity of proposals and other factors. Also, this means, that you will get declined more proposals, so you will need to spend more time to find clients.

In the end, it's Upwork, you never know, how good is this freelancer, till you don't start to work with him. Clients are forced to make decision founded on your JSS, cause it's a way to understand, how nice you worked with previous clients.

 

Many don't, though. Many clients look at star ratings and never pay any attention to JSS. Some have appeared in the forums complaining about how they were "misled" by the freelancer's profile, and there's a JSS of 30% or 50% clearly visible that the client never even noticed while reading the past client reviews. 

 

You can't just say "JSS means nothing, just work".

 

I can, though, because there are a lot of freelancers here who have had their JSS drop into the 80s, or even 70s, and recovered just fine. Many have even said that being in the 80s did not hurt their chances at all, and they landed just as many jobs as they had in the 90s. 

 

From JSS depend your time to search job, your price, which you will get from jobs. I don't want to waste my time and money.

Besides, there is one more reason to do it: I feel that Upwork treated unfairly with me, and I'd rather wait until justice is restored. It is unpleasant for me that with all my hard work to get a good JSS rating, I was given only 80%. It's rude and ugly. I feel offended.

 

Okay, that's a different issue. If you don't like Upwork's outlook and you want to leave the platform forever, that makes a lot of sense. However, justice will never be "restored." If you want to stay away long enough for that bad contract to stop impacting your JSS, that date will be two years from the time the contract closed or canceled or whatever terminated it. So, if you want to work here and won't do it until "justice is restored," then good luck to you and we'll see you in early 2020. (When, of course, justice won't have been restored at all, because the low score will have had a significant impact on you that won't be undone by refraining from working here for two years.)

 

You can tell that Upwork doesn't bother about my opinion, my feelings don't help me to get money, and etc., but you forget, that people sometimes can sacrifice money, time and anything else, what is needed, to restore justice. Our society is based on this principle, and you can't just simply tell, that it is a stupid.

 

Okay. I think it's a futile gesture, since Upwork won't notice or care that you're gone and your choice will have zero impact on "justice" for you or anyone else, but if that's your choice, it's your business. I was under the impression that you were looking to work and make money here. If that's not something you're interested in, then you're right to disregard everything I've said.


 

sgoble
Community Member

Vldimir wrote ...  "Tiffany, your position sounds great: "don't look at numbers, just make good work and you will be rich". But you forget that these numbers show to the client how good are you as a freelancer, and what your previous clients think about you."

 

And what does a potential client see first when they glance at your profile?

A tiny blue bar with the JSS at 80%.

The big block of words you wrote trying to explain away the tiny blue bar. Most of them would not have noticed the score or the bar if you had not mentioned it.

 

If I were looking for a Python programmer, I would not be inclined to click the "More" button to see if you have anything of interest in the rest of the text. Your first words make you sound defensive and whiny and as if you would be an unpleasant person to work with.  That also means I would not scroll down and see the 5-star feedback and nice comments from clients.

 

You can't control how the JSS is calculated, and you can't control client feedback.  But you have 100% control over whether you present yourself with a negative or positive attitude with your words.


@Stephanie G wrote:

Vldimir wrote ...  "Tiffany, your position sounds great: "don't look at numbers, just make good work and you will be rich". But you forget that these numbers show to the client how good are you as a freelancer, and what your previous clients think about you."

 

And what does a potential client see first when they glance at your profile?

A tiny blue bar with the JSS at 80%.

The big block of words you wrote trying to explain away the tiny blue bar. Most of them would not have noticed the score or the bar if you had not mentioned it.

 

If I were looking for a Python programmer, I would not be inclined to click the "More" button to see if you have anything of interest in the rest of the text. Your first words make you sound defensive and whiny and as if you would be an unpleasant person to work with.  That also means I would not scroll down and see the 5-star feedback and nice comments from clients.

 

You can't control how the JSS is calculated, and you can't control client feedback.  But you have 100% control over whether you present yourself with a negative or positive attitude with your words.


 All true.

 

But as I understand his position, he's aware he's hurting himself by opening his profile that way, but he's willing to pay that price in order to take a stand on principle in his fight for justice.

Craig, that would make a lot more sense to me if he didn't seem to be describing justice being restored as waiting until the impact of that contract naturally scrolls out of his calculation window to work here.


@Tiffany S wrote:

Craig, that would make a lot more sense to me if he didn't seem to be describing justice being restored as waiting until the impact of that contract naturally scrolls out of his calculation window to work here.


 .... which, of course, it won't as no new contracts means there will never be enough contracts in the most recent calculation window so the JSS will first stay the same, then get worse as GOOD contracts fall out of the maximum window until he loss the JSS completely or his account gets closed for inactivity eventually.


@Tiffany S wrote:

Craig, that would make a lot more sense to me if he didn't seem to be describing justice being restored as waiting until the impact of that contract naturally scrolls out of his calculation window to work here.


Well, making sense is a whole other matter.

 

But I believe he's also saying that if he and enough like-minded people protest on their profiles and here in the forum, then eventually the pressure will force Upwork to cease what he sees as its malicious policy of randomly punishing innocent freelancers like himself for no reason.

petra_r
Community Member


@Vladimir O wrote:

I think I will make some in the middle: find some nice work outside platform, then return to Upwork after half year and make some simple work with 5/5 rating (again), which must rise my JSS back to 100%. 


 I would agree with Tiffany that this is a really silly idea, and it won't work anyway because you need enough completed contract in a calculation window for that window to be used.

 

This means "going away for 6 month and doing one job" is not going to raise your JSS to 100% because it would mean that there would be only one job in your 6 month window and your JSS would still be calculated from your 12 / 24 month windows.

 

Why not just keep doing contracts now because every new completed contract makes that one weigh less, and by the time the negative factor is outside your 6 month window you'll have enough completed contracts with hopefully positive outcomes for your JSS to be calculated from your 6 month window.

jr-translation
Freelancer Plus


@Vladimir O wrote:

 That's really unfair to low my JSS just in case of the unresponsive client. It doesn't show my professionality at all.


At the moment your profile does not show your professionality either:

Low JSS because of 1 non-responsive client (unfairly counted in JSS as 0/5 stars). Support didn't help me. All other 4 clients give me 5 stars (can show screenshots), that's why now it's 80%.

Yeah, I don't think an unresponsive client counts as zero stars anyway. I think if the JSS lowered it is because one of the clients actively indicated a bad experience. So, it is an accurate reflection of the OPs performance and he just doesn't like it. 

cupidmedia
Community Member

If you have (by your reasoning, and applying your Occam's Razor principle) 5 jobs, and only 4 of them were successful, then isn't your 80% Job SUCCESS  Score exactly right? 1 of your jobs was NOT successful. So you got dinged for it.

 

You seem to be suggesting that contracts like yours, where the client ghosts, shouldn't count at all, because it's "not your fault". Let's extrapolate from there with some examples, shall we?

 

  • Freelancer 1: They have 10 contracts, they completed those 10 contracts, the jobs went great, the client gave them 5 stars.
  • Freelancer 2: They have 100 contracts, they completed 10 of those contracts, those 10 went great, the client gave them 5 stars. The other 90 contracts, the client ghosted.

By *your* reasoning, these 2 freelancers should be rated exactly the same. They both completed 10 contracts with great feedback!

 

By *Upwork's* reasoning, of course the second freelancer is much less successful. They clearly have some issue with client or contract management.

 

Upwork's position is that a *pattern* of jobs with no feedback indicates poor client and contract management, and as a client I tend to agree. This is why JSS is negatively impacted if a freelancer has a *pattern* of jobs with no feedback. Of course, because you are new and have less contracts, your JSS is much more brittle and will be affected more by 1 "bad" contract, because it's a higher proportion.

There is more to being a successful freelancer on Upwork than just winning a job and delivering the finished product. Client and contract management is an important skill for all freelancers. It starts before you even bid on a job (does the client have a great history of feedback, both given and received) and doesn't end after you have delivered the finished product.

 

Jennifer D is correct.

 

Vladimir, I also dislike the way JSS works, so do many of freelancers here. I have completed 10 jobs, and yet I have only a 75% score. Yes, lower than yours even. 

 

I completed all 10 jobs to the highest quality. I put in all my time, and all my effort, and was so very kind and professional throughout each and every job.

 

But, unfortunately for me, the last job I had, was a very difficult customer. He asked for iteration after iteration, so many times until the point where I had spent an extra week (unpaid, as it was a fixed rate) on what should have been a 3-4 hour job. Because of this, the job was nit โ€œapprovedโ€ and โ€œfinalisedโ€ until after the due date. It was due to the customers constant requests for changes that made the deliverables late. However he had the nerve to rate me poorly, as well as leave a comment saying how it was completed late which is unprofessional. 

 

So, I ended up spending over a week in hell working for someone who paid me for 3 hours, who then left me two stars and a review saying Iโ€™m late and unprofessional. 

 

My other 9/10 jobs have been rated 5 stars with positive feedback, and now I sit here with a 75% JSS. Am I pissed off? Of course, but I refuse to let that stop me from trying to get a job in the field I want. 

 

I believe if your work is good enough, you just need to prove it in the proposal. Make sure you nail it, and thatโ€™s what matters most. I just got a new job here, even with my low JSS. Why? Because I showed him my experience in the proposal, and sold myself. I am good at what I do, and I told him each and every reason why. So he gave me the job.

 

dont give up because of something beyond your control. Whether itโ€™s here or somewhere else, there will always be something like this.

Thank you for your support and story.

Fortunately, I found a lot of job out of Upwork.

 

Great that JSS show only successful jobs, and an unresponsible client is unsuccessful. Great because there is some logic in it.
But even now I feel it as bad practice.

So now I still feel that I don't want to work on Upwork until they change something in this system. It's not a big principal position, but I have other work, and I can choose.

 

Thanks to all for your explanations and time, it's now more clever to me how it all works.

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