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Important Updates to our Terms of Service

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Active Member
Javor B Member Since: Mar 3, 2020
11 of 55

I see that Terms of Service is updated and will be effective on coming April.

 

It says that "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".

 

Does it mean that I cannot share email during the interview?

Sometimes, the clients need my email address to invite me to their slack or Jira.

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

re: "Does it mean that I cannot share email during the interview?"

 

You may share your email address during the interview.

 

That is fine.


What this update means is you can't google a client's name and figure out his email address or phone number, etc., and pester him. If the client didn't give you his email addess, then you don't email him.

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Community Leader
Zoha U Member Since: Feb 8, 2017
13 of 55

Good day everyone! 

I have received an email from Upwork stating their TOS Updates, out of which they have focused on permissible modes of communication. 

 

My question is, is it now allowed or not allowed to talk to clients on Skype or join their Slack Teams? I can always ask for my clients to stick to Upwork but some of them when they ask for my Skype/Zoom account for voice calls and screen shares, I do give the information to them and we communicate there, obviously while the contract is active and ongoing on Upwork. However, I want to make sure moving forward, that talking on Skype/Zoom/Slack doesn't count as a violation. 

 

Talking to interviewers on Skype: I have also received interviews in the past where the client prefers to share the brief via screen-share on Zoom or Skype, will that be still permissible to not?

 

Any clarification on it will be highly appreciated. While I have, and will never ask a client to pay me outside of Upwork, some of my client's communication modes are Zoom and Skype Screenshares for a brief exchange, I hope moving forward, that doesn't put me into any type of error so I want to be ready for it. 

 

 

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Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
14 of 55

Zoha U wrote:

 

My question is, is it now allowed or not allowed to talk to clients on Skype or join their Slack Teams? I can always ask for my clients to stick to Upwork but some of them when they ask for my Skype/Zoom account for voice calls and screen shares, I do give the information to them and we communicate there, obviously while the contract is active and ongoing on Upwork. However, I want to make sure moving forward, that talking on Skype/Zoom/Slack doesn't count as a violation. 

 

Talking to interviewers on Skype: I have also received interviews in the past where the client prefers to share the brief via screen-share on Zoom or Skype, will that be still permissible to not?


You may continue to communicate with your clients any way you and your clients agree to communicate.


What you are not allowed to do is somehow figure out the client's skype, or email, or website etc etc and contract them there without the client's consent. 

 

I am not sure why people think that email is misleading or ambiguous.

 

If reading for context, it's perfectly clear. 

 

Agreed contact and communication outside of Upwork = fine

UNSOLICITED contact and communication outside of Upwork = not fine

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Community Leader
Zoha U Member Since: Feb 8, 2017
15 of 55

Thank you for the clarification, Petra. 

Not exactly misleading or ambiguous, I wanted to make sure I understand it correctly. 

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Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
16 of 55

Zoha U wrote:

Thank you for the clarification, Petra. 

Not exactly misleading or ambiguous, I wanted to make sure I understand it correctly. 


I didn't mean you, I meant this:

 

Jasna S wrote:

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. 

 

Seriously?

 

I don't think so. People just selectively half-read, jump to (wrong and entirely avoidable) conclusions, and then panic.

Anyone with basic English skills who actually bothers to read it with even a modicum of attention should be able to understand what it says. 

 

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

Petra R wrote:

Zoha U wrote:

Thank you for the clarification, Petra. 

Not exactly misleading or ambiguous, I wanted to make sure I understand it correctly. 


I didn't mean you, I meant this:

 

Jasna S wrote:

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. 

 

Seriously?

 

I don't think so. People just selectively half-read, jump to (wrong and entirely avoidable) conclusions, and then panic.

Anyone with basic English skills who actually bothers to read it with even a modicum of attention should be able to understand what it says. 

 


Yes, Petra, seriously. But please, don't let that utter lack of understanding of the problem stop you from posting about it.

 

I did not selectively half-read. I read the entire email, twice, and the relevant sections of the Terms of Sevice. I did not panic. I also did not understand what any of that was intended to say.

 

The problem should not be mine to solve in the first place. They emailed me.  Why? The email is ambiguous. What is the point of an email saying it's trying to "clarify" points, if it is not only failing to clarify, but actually increasing our confusion?

 

All we want from Upwork is an official communication clearly saying what we are and are not allowed to do.

Or is there a reason why we're not getting that?

 

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Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
18 of 55

Jasna S wrote: I read the entire email, twice, and the relevant sections of the Terms of Sevice. I did not panic. I also did not understand what any of that was intended to say.

That is really unfortunate...

 


Jasna S wrote:

All we want from Upwork is an official communication clearly saying what we are and are not allowed to do.

Or is there a reason why we're not getting that?


Please take a look at Vladimir confirming it on the previous page.

 

You are allowed to communicate with your clients and prospective clients in any way both of you agree to. Within Upwork, outside Upwork, Skype, email, Facebook, Whatsapp, by phone, in person, smoke signals, carrier pigeons, telepathy. You name it, it's allowed if mutually agreed upon.

 

You are not allowed to contact clients outside the platform in ways the client did not agree to be contacted in, nor may clients contact you outside the platform in ways you didn't consent to.

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


 

You are allowed to communicate with your clients and prospective clients in any way both of you agree to. Within Upwork, outside Upwork, Skype, email, Facebook, Whatsapp, by phone, in person, smoke signals, carrier pigeons, telepathy. You name it, it's allowed if mutually agreed upon.

Pity it took two hours of my time and an **Edited for Community Guidelines** on the forum to find out about it. Two hours I could have spent working, if only the initial email had made any freaking sense.

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Ace Contributor
Dylan G Member Since: Sep 9, 2015
20 of 55

It's actually quite ambiguous and lacking detail. For example, I had an abusive client who (after repeated personal and professional insults) was trying to trick me into doing free work. After asking me to start a milestone and funding it, they then sent a cryptic message via Upwork about the milestone, and would not respond there, so I eventually used the email address they'd provided me months earlier, though we had been primarily communicating via Upwork message.

It was not a directly solicitied communication, and they in fact tried to gaslight me saying I was "harrassing" them for getting in touch that way. But they had provided the contact info previously, and were not responding to Upwork messages about a work and monetary issue on a tight timeline that they'd insisted I stick to.

It's completely unclear how Upwork would handle such a situation with this new rule.

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