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Re: Interviewing Outside of Upwork

gilbert-phyllis
Community Guru
Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
11 of 38

Gergana K wrote:

Robert G wrote:

I just want to be sure I understand -

 

Here is a situation 

 

I submit proposal for a very complex technical project.

I get message from client say, WOW, you might be exactly who we want. Are there any questions?

I say some of the tecnical details are a little fuzzy, client could you clarify before I commit?

Client says sure, just need a NDA signed and I will share some of the internal workings.

I say, great. I sign the NDA.

Client says I want to tell you the magic secret of our company that is in the project.

I tell him fine, but I tell client that the message system is not secure and could be read by others.

Client says - That won't work, I will just give you a call.

I say, can't do that or I get thrown off Upwork for violating TOS.

Client says - Then I can't discuss this since there is now way to talk.

Client says thanks anyway - goodby

I lost potential project.

 

Am I missing something or is the scenario I just gave what the rules state? If so, then something needs to change.



That's right Robert. Problem as I see it is that Upwork has introduced all these obstacles that purposely create friction in initial client-freelancer interactions to disincentivize cheating on the lower end. But it has not provided a reciprocal mechanism to enable a frictionless experience for the pros that are actually ready to "talk business" but don't like having their every word watched and recorded as if they are some kind of recidivists. It comes down to poor experience design for the "high end" freelancers. 


For the prospects I deal with, it's not even a matter of privacy. It's usually a matter of scheduling facility and/or needing to loop in a senior executive who has no time or patience to depart from whatever meeting platform their organization uses. Please stop wrong-footing us by making us make some of our best prospects comply with this petty inconvenience!

 

 

jorgensons
Community Guru
Signe J Member Since: Jan 29, 2016
12 of 38

This is EXACTLY the issue. People don't have time to waste by learning a new platform that feels redundant because it does the same thing as their familiar technologies/methods (just not as well). They want to work with the freelancers who won't waste their time, either, by demanding that they learn this new and redundant communication method. They perceive "let's stick to the platform because the rules say so" as as a stodgy, unnecessary stumbling block...which it is. 

jared_k
Community Leader
Jared K Member Since: Dec 12, 2015
13 of 38

Everyone's made some good comments about this policy. How about some meaningful answers and/or comments from the Upwork staff?

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
14 of 38

Robert G wrote:

I tell him fine, but I tell client that the message system is not secure and could be read by others.

Client says - That won't work, I will just give you a call.

I say, can't do that or I get thrown off Upwork for violating TOS.

Client says - Then I can't discuss this since there is now way to talk.


You can talk over an Upwork call or an Upwork Zoom call. 

 

Gergana K wrote: .... the pros that are actually ready to "talk business" but don't like having their every word watched and recorded as if they are some kind of recidivists.

Calls are not recorded or watched.

 

negrusti
Ace Contributor
Gregory M Member Since: Jul 20, 2015
15 of 38

Same issue for me as for Signe - totally legit customers with high amount spent on Upwork are asking for an interview outside Upwork. It's my understanding that they have their own corporate channels for the interviews allowing multiple people to participate, and simply can't use Upwork for this.

djondinium
Moderator
Aleksandar D Moderator Member Since: Mar 23, 2019
16 of 38

Hi Gregory,

 

You can let your client know that sharing contact information before a contract has started is against Upwork’s Terms of Service and that all communications prior to the contract starting must take place on Upwork.

 

Thank you.

~ Aleksandar
Upwork
negrusti
Ace Contributor
Gregory M Member Since: Jul 20, 2015
17 of 38

Hi Aleksandar - that's what I do - and as mentioned earlier, sometimes this leads to the loss of the contract.

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
18 of 38

Ultimately, it means that freelancers who are happy to break the rules will have much higher chances of winning those contracts. 

 

In practice, that's the effect. Now Upwork's rules are directly benefiting people who are happy to break rules, it means those freelancers will be happy to break other rules as well, potentially including taking the client off the site.

 

The rule directly leads to Upwork clients ending up working with less scrupulous freelancers.

 

I am sure that this is not what Upwork intended, but in practice that is the effect. Freelancers who would take clients off site before the communications rule changed are still doing so. Those who always stuck to the rules, lose out on jobs.

geri_kol
Ace Contributor
Gergana K Member Since: Dec 11, 2019
19 of 38

Aleksandar D wrote:

Hi Gregory,

 

You can let your client know that sharing contact information before a contract has started is against Upwork’s Terms of Service and that all communications prior to the contract starting must take place on Upwork.

 

Thank you.


Alexandar, have you taken a moment to actually read through this thread before providing a boilerplate response? Obviously the questions raised call for some internal reflection among Upwork's product managers and experience design architects, as they concern the ability of some of the platform's most successful freelancers to close high-value contracts - which ultimately also impacts the bottom line of this enterprise. 

moonraker
Community Guru
Jamie F Member Since: Mar 7, 2010
20 of 38

I echo what others have said.

I've not had anybody directly say they are not pursuing things because I don't want to communicate off-platform - but I have had some go silent. I find it otherwise quite rare that a client will go silent all of a sudden after saying they want to discuss things further. 

And it's frustrating to know that those who are following the rules are probably losing out to those who are not. 

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