Reply
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Reply

Important Updates to our Terms of Service

Highlighted
Community Guru
Cristian B Member Since: Aug 23, 2017
1 of 55

Hey guys,

Just received the following via email:

------------------------

We are clarifying permissible modes of communication between individuals on our site to reduce unwelcome off-platform solicitation.

We want to be clear that professionals and clients cannot make unsolicited contact off of the Upwork platform. While often well-intentioned, any type of outreach that bypasses our communication tools and safeguards without an explicit invitation from the other party can be perceived as unwelcome and a violation of privacy. Going forward, users who are found to be violating the privacy of other users in this way will be removed from using our service further.

----------------------------------

Just to make sure I understand this correctly, I cannot contact a client who I started a contract with on Skype, without him inviting me to do so. Is that correct?

Thanks,

Chris

 

Highlighted
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
2 of 55

re: "Just to make sure I understand this correctly, I cannot contact a client who I started a contract with on Skype, without him inviting me to do so. Is that correct?"

 

That is correct.

 

It is kind of disappointing that Upwork had to actually write this out and add it to their ToS. Most of us would have already known this and would never have done something in violation of this rule.

 

But the simple fact is that some freelancers were indeed making nuisances of themselves and were contacting clients directly through other communication methods, separate from any the client had invited them to use.

 

Very inappropriate and distasteful behavior.

Highlighted
Active Member
Jasna S Member Since: Aug 5, 2015
3 of 55

To me this reads as though the client can't intiate the contact off Upwork either ("clients cannot make unsolicited contact off of the Upwork platform"). So really, no one appears to be allowed to make the invitation, yet the invitation is needed in order to skype with the client. I don't know if this is unclear by mistake or by intention, but I see it as yet another sign of how little Upwork cares for its users.

It's undeniable that some users aren't playing by the rules. It's also undeniable that even if you want to follow the rules, it's almost impossible to find them, or understand them, and even if you do, three months later they go and change it all without proper notification.

Highlighted
Community Guru
Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
4 of 55

Jasna S wrote:

("clients cannot make unsolicited contact off of the Upwork platform"). (...) I see it as yet another sign of how little Upwork cares for its users.


Unsolicited is the operative word here. When both of you agree to talk on the phone or on Skype, the communication is solicited. On the other hand, when one party calls the other party on the phone, Sype or whatnot and the other party never agreed to be contacted that way, the contact is unsolicited.

 

I don't know how Upwork displays any lack of care about anything here.

 

 

-----------
"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
Highlighted
Active Member
Jasna S Member Since: Aug 5, 2015
5 of 55

Lack of care is evident in how poorly they've worded this "clarification" in their email, and how difficult it is to find any information on it elsewhere. The fact that people are here on this forum trying to figure things out is proof enough. The fact that you've just made it clear in two sentences shows how easily it can be done.

Also, thank you for doing that.

Highlighted
Community Guru
Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
6 of 55

Cristian B wrote:

 

Just to make sure I understand this correctly, I cannot contact a client who I started a contract with on Skype, without him inviting me to do so. Is that correct?

 


If this is an unsolicited contact, yes, you are not allowed to contact them in any way, but Upwork messaging system.

 

If, on the other hand they gave you their Skype handle and they asked you to call them, in this case you are free to do so.

 

 

-----------
"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
Highlighted
Community Guru
David S M Member Since: Apr 24, 2018
7 of 55

Cristian B wrote:

Hey guys,

Just received the following via email:

------------------------

We are clarifying permissible modes of communication between individuals on our site to reduce unwelcome off-platform solicitation.

We want to be clear that professionals and clients cannot make unsolicited contact off of the Upwork platform. While often well-intentioned, any type of outreach that bypasses our communication tools and safeguards without an explicit invitation from the other party can be perceived as unwelcome and a violation of privacy. Going forward, users who are found to be violating the privacy of other users in this way will be removed from using our service further.

----------------------------------

Just to make sure I understand this correctly, I cannot contact a client who I started a contract with on Skype, without him inviting me to do so. Is that correct?

Thanks,

Chris

 


That's not entirely correct, at least the way I'm reading it. You don't have to wait for the client to invite you. You can ask the client (on Upwork) if they would like to communicate through Skype. If they agree, then you are free to communicate with them that way. 

Highlighted
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
8 of 55

I agree. I think it is completely fine to ask a client if you can have his email address, or phone number, or Skype handle, or anything else.

 

And then if he shares that with you, go ahead and communicate with him that way.

 

What is NOT fine is if you are hired or interviewed by a client, and then you use knowledge you glean from your job or conversations with her to look up other contact information that she never provided to you... such as a phone number. (This includes doing a Google search to find alternative contact information. Don't do that.) And then you call her. Or go to her house. Or ping her on Skype. Or whatever.

 

Definitely not acceptable.

 

I wouldn't get too hung up on the precise wording here. We know what is right and wrong. If this wasn't 100% codified before, then it was already an "unwritten rule."


For those pests who try to violate this rule, Upwork is clearly signalling the platform's intent to REMOVE such freelancers from the platform. That is a good thing.

Highlighted
Community Guru
Mary W Member Since: Nov 10, 2014
9 of 55

For example, I once had a potential client track me down and try to call me on my home telephone number.  Not cool and I blocked him.

Highlighted
Ace Contributor
Valerie S Member Since: Jun 22, 2015
10 of 55

Same here Mary, and agreed, not cool at all!!!  

TOP SOLUTION AUTHORS
TOP KUDOED MEMBERS