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Re: IMPORTANT! - Time tracker calculation costing clients extra $$$ ?

Community Guru
Tony H Member Since: Nov 10, 2011
1 of 47

Noticed today that the time tracker is booking in 10 minute intervals AHEAD of the work done.


Notice the image below actually charging and extra 10 minutes even before that 10 minute block has even started.


At the 29 minute mark, my client is being charged for 40 minutes.


Multiply this by how many contracts are open on Upwork and one can easily see God knows how much extra $$$ being charged to clients for work that never happened.


Kinda a really big issue.



time tracker reporting issue.png

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
2 of 47

No, unless there is a new nasty bug it does no such thing.


Chances are you worked 10 minutes on that contract earlier in the day (UTC)


The green number at the top is the current session. Every time you stop and restart the tracker it resets to 0.


The lower number is the total of the day (day being midnight to midnight UTC)


So if you tracked anything (another 10 minute block)  earlier that would explain it.


Go to your work diary, set it to UTC and see where the 4 segments are.



Community Manager
Vladimir G Community Manager Member Since: Oct 31, 2014
3 of 47

Hi Tony,


Clients are not being charged ahead of time and there isn't an issue here. I've checked your Work Diary and do see four screenshots which support the total time you logged today, as shown in the Team App. The first screenshot was taken at 7:29am, at the very end of the first segment, which would account for the low activity level of that segment.


Petra explained the rest.



Community Guru
Tony H Member Since: Nov 10, 2011
4 of 47

You are right that there are 4 blocks, and this is where the issue comes from as far as I can see it.


I only turned the time tracker on & off for one straight period today. At no time did I stop it & resume.


I was out the rest of the day. You can see the 4 blocks are all during one period, so you can tell I did not log on earlier in the day for a few minutes.


Perhaps it does not bill for the actual time spent working. Perhaps it has a cut-off?


A screen shot is usually taken 1 or 2 minutes after the tracker has started.


So let's assume I started work at 11:27 or so. As you can see the first image is taken at 11:29


If the Upwork has a cut-off in 10 minute segments starting on the hours... so 11:00 / 11:10 / 11:20 / 11:30 etc.. would it make sense that Upwork billed by 3 or 4 minutes before 11:30 as 10 minutes of work?


Would it count my last few minutes (maybe 7 or 8) as a full 10 from 11:50-12:00?


That would equal 40.


However... as I mentioned I did not log on & off at all during the one session today, which is shown as 29 minutes of work.


The 29 minute session was the only session today. Client was charged for 40 minutes. Believe me or not.. this is what happened.



time log issue.png


The tracker show time booked between 11:29 and 11:53 It shows 29 minutes logged.


Give or take a couple minutes work before the first screen shot and after, you can easily and properly see how 29 were actually logged working.


Had I turned the tracker on/off during that time, it would make this issue even worse as within that short period, even less time would have actually been bookable.

Community Guru
Olga Q Member Since: Sep 5, 2012
5 of 47

I know the issue Tony is talking about - it happens frequently. I have already had to delete one 10 minute block a couple of times in order not to overcharge the client.

Community Guru
Tony H Member Since: Nov 10, 2011
6 of 47

I will delete the extra 10 minutes before the week is up, but for now am leaving it to show proof of the issue and will inform my client of the problem during our next chat tomorrow.


I seriously hope there is a good explaination for this as not only is it an issue once multiplied by who knows how many open contracts, but also I'm sure many freelancers have discovered this and learned to game the system.


If I am correct (seriously hope I'm wrong.. but evidence suggests I am), this is by design not a bug. Clients would never know and freelancers would never tell.

Community Guru
Jean S Member Since: Oct 22, 2007
7 of 47

Tony it could also be picking up time from the previous day. It's not broken as I also watch this very closely. If you worked 8 minutes the last time you were on the app and there was no screenshot for those 8 minutes it then carries over to the next time you start the tracker. 


I've also noticed that the first time I turn the tracker on and get the screenshot it is often 20 minutes before the next one that gives me 10 minutes of time.

Community Guru
Setu M Member Since: Jan 26, 2014
8 of 47
The point to all of this, is that the tracker timing CAN be improved easily by varying time frame, block times or many other simple things.

Nothing is set in stone. Especially when it has obvious deficiencies.
---- easy like Sunday morning ----
Community Guru
David G Member Since: Oct 6, 2011
9 of 47

I've seen the longer times as well.


I often check when the last screen shot was taken as I get closer to finishing the job and often it will be around 15 or more minutes since the last shot. I'm still using the old tracker so maybe that's the difference.

Community Guru
Tony H Member Since: Nov 10, 2011
10 of 47

Here's more proof the tracker is billing the client for time not worked.


Image #1 shows when I started the time tracker. Note the clock on the computer 7:49


time tracker issue 2.png

Image #2 shows the time just under a minute from the last screen shot taken. Note the time on the computer 8:02


This clearly shows I had the tracker on for exactly 13 minutes... maybe a few seconds more, but under 14 regardless.


Upwork has just charged my client for 20 minutes.


time tracker issue 3.png


Image #3

To test again to make sure no minutes were being prorated from the last session, I started the timer at 8:18 and ended it at 8:20. You can see the tracker showing 2 miutes work - correct.


Note though, it billed my client for 10. That's 8 minutes in advance for work not completed.


time tracker issue 4.png


Image #4


As above. I started the tracker at 8:28

It took a screen shot at 8:30 or just before

You can see 2 minutes logged.

Client was billed for 10


Still don't beleive me?


Now... I actually DO have work to get done so will stop making my point here and now need to delete 30 minutes from my work diary - however, I will do so after my client has a chance to review the issue.


time tracker issue 5.png