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rjsha
Member

Is Upwork creating a "spec" site where freelancers are subject to the whim of the client for payment

I'm going to be starting a new topic in a moment, but I wanted to reply to this. There is a significant question about Upwork's support of freelancers. I just finished (a few weeks ago) a month-long project. I added 20,000 words, Yep, you got that right...20,000 words to a 14,000 word, very primitive manuscript. I do this kind of work a lot. It's not unsual for someone to want to bulk up their manuscript, but it is hard to do well. 

 

The client, from **edited for Community Guidelines** decided they would reject the manuscript. Now their job posting, and our agreement, was that they would allow me to use my own judgement regarding what the manuscript needed. With 25 years of experience, I know what a manuscript needs. Because they rejected the manuscript, we went to "arbitration."

 

For those of you who've not been through that process, you are required to make a payment of $275, and then post (on adr.org, if you are interested) various documents. In my case, the "arbitrator" (placing this in quotes since she was so inadequate) in her award decided that the client did Not have to pay me. She cited no legal prevailing authority, or any difficulty with the manuscript, which I had rewritten and added to. The arbitrator noted in her award to the client that she would not make me REPAY the intial payment (about $3,000 before Upwork's 20% deduction). Hoo hay! As I pointed out to her in my postings DURING the process, the client had no right to Request the return of the initial payment, since we were past the 30-day period. Upwork's rules do not allow for payments to be refunded after 30 days. Thus, it would...initially...appear that the "arbitrator" is being Solomon-like and cutting the baby in half. Oh, so fair, you might think? But no. As noted, the "arbitrator" VIOLATED Upwork's own rules by even considering the client's request for return of the full amount, and by citing it as part of her arbitration award. Further, the adr.org Requires that all parties be served, via email, all loaded documents. I pointed out to the "arbitrator that I had not been served via email the intital statement from the client, and the arbitrator also ignored that. It is my belief that Upwork forcing freelancers into arbitration, and forcing freelancers to incure additional costs and delayed release of payments...if they are "awarded" the payment from the client, violates the laws of the United States. When you do work, in the United States, you are paid for your work. Do any of us have a "will-work-on-spec" on our profiles? No. I would note that in my feedback on the job, I posted that I should have not worked with anyone in **edited for Community Guidelines**. However, I have a degree in the social sciences and tend to work with a wide-range of people, especially from other cultures. It's something I usually enjoy. Regardless, the POINT here is this: Are we working on spec or not? Should we be forced into "arbitration" or is it Upwork's responsibility to hold client's responsible for their payments when the work is done. Please note, I had an agreement with that client that they would pay me within 24-hours of providing them the work. I do this, specifically, because I do Not work on spec. I know how good I am and if I provide the work, I cannot get it back. This policy of mine prevents abuse, in almost all cases. Further, in 25 years, I have never had a client unhappy with my work or ask for any changes. Imagine that this happened with a client from **edited for Community Guidelines**. You figure.

 

In closing, are we working on spec here at Upwork, and don't know it? Do we have to PAY in order to be paid? Your thoughts, please.

62 REPLIES 62
rjsha
Member

Ah, and here is an interesting article on the payment abuse of freelancers.

 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/abdullahimuhammed/2018/04/24/shocker-58-of-freelancers-have-experienced...


RJ S wrote:

Ah, and here is an interesting article on the payment abuse of freelancers in SouthEast Asia.

 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/abdullahimuhammed/2018/04/24/shocker-58-of-freelancers-have-experienced...


 

Sorry, but in view of all the corruption in **edited for Community Guidelines**, I don't think I would ever enter into a job with someone from there.

re: "...in 25 years, I have never had a client unhappy with my work or ask for any changes."

 

You already know that this cilent was not "unhappy" with your work.

 

This client was planning to get a refund by claiming to be unhappy with your work no matter what you did.


Preston H wrote:

 

This client was planning to get a refund by claiming to be unhappy with your work no matter what you did.


You need to stop leaping to obscure conclusions like that. How did you come to that conclusion? Because of the client's location?

 

It would be very unusual (but not impossible), for a client who is "planning to get a refund by claiming to be unhappy" to release $ 3000 and put another $ 3000 in Escrow.

 

Scammers don't usually put their hand in their pocket to the tune of $ 6000...

 

It sounds more like this client, rightly or wrongly, with or without justification, actually was unhappy.

 

This is the first time I have seen a freelancer report that they lost arbitration by the way. Usually it's the clients.

re: "Because of the client's location?"

 

Because of the client's actions.

 

The freelancer did the work that was agreed upon.

 

Rather than pay for the work, as agreed, the client said he was unhappy, asked for a refund, and went all the way through arbitration to get out of paying anything for it.

 

I agree with you that this not typical scammer behavior.

 

I don't believe the quality of the work had ANYTHING to do with the client's actions.

 

I have no way of knowing that for certain.

 

I think the freelancer is in agreement with me. She would know better than anyone about the quality of her work.


The freelancer completed the agreed-upon task, as specified in the fixed-price contract. The client was wrong to ask for a refund.


Preston H wrote:

I have no way of knowing that for certain.

 

I think the freelancer is in agreement with me.


Of course she is. She lost arbitration.

 


RJ S wrote:

freelancers are hired because they know how to do something the client doesn't. There's a point in that last sentence and I hope you "get it." Again, 25 years of experience and considerd an exceptional writer, and never a complaint before.


I do get it, totally.


What I suspect (having some experience with writers from that country) is that your (perfectly correct) English may sound as alien to the client as their (overly flowery, bombastic) English sounds to us.

 

That might have something to do with it.

 

Actually, considering that there is a $275 payment from the freelancer to Enter arbitration, I would imagine that most freelancers simply decide to "lose." And, I had given some serious consideration to working with this client because I realized that the client was from a country that has a significant and serious disparity in how people are treated. What I mean by this is that those who are educated or have solid incomes in Nigeria are an extreme minority and this creates a sense of "I am king," if you will. There were other indicators that this client had an elevated sense of importance, but no need for that here. I felt that, since I've worked with a lot of high-powered people, it would not be a problem for me. As to your statement that there had to be some kind of problem, allow me to clarify for you. The PROBLEM was that the client doesn't have the skill set to understand or recognize what I did for them. Althought their job posting specifically stated that they wanted the freelancer to "use their own judgement" to make the project better, retrospectively, I believe that the over estimation of their own discernment about what works and what doesn't work is the source of the problem. Do note that, as with so many clients here on Upwork, they repeatedly asked for additional points to be made with the project; e.g., TWO days before the project was due they asked me to read another book (originally they had requested I read 8 books) and incorporate an aspect of that book into their project. I did this.  In closing, freelancers are hired because they know how to do something the client doesn't. There's a point in that last sentence and I hope you "get it." Again, 25 years of experience and considerd an exceptional writer, and never a complaint before.


RJ S wrote:

....Do note that, as with so many clients here on Upwork, they repeatedly asked for additional points to be made with the project; e.g., TWO days before the project was due they asked me to read another book (originally they had requested I read 8 books) and incorporate an aspect of that book into their project. I did this....


...rather than saying "I'm sorry, that would be an additional specification that is not part of this contract. I would be happy to accommodate you if we can agree on timing and payment for a new milestone."

An "ask" is not a contract specification change.

You make a good point. Unfortunately, Upwork needs to create some kind of Enforcement if that kind of thing happens. For instance, Upwork could state that ANY request for additional work means that the freelancer automatically receives a 5 star review (since we all know that this is done under the aegis that the freelancer will comply because the "review" is still to come and Won't be good if the freelancer doesn't comply. 

 

Second, Upwork could create a guideline for All clients that any request for work AFTER the job starts means the client won't be allowed to post again.

 

However, as I've noted here, the idea that the freelancer has to go into a dispute/arbitration process After the work has been received by the client is just a pit of abuse. I also question the fact that Upwork notes that the client can Ask for two additional opportunities for change to the work without additional compensation to the freelancer. Where and when in the United States do you not get paid for Work Done or for Additional Work. Theoretically, Upwork states that there is no free work to be done. But by stating that the clients can have Two additional opportunities to request changes, this is EXACTLY what they are doing. This also ignores the right of the freelancer to have prompt payment. 

 

And lastly, Purportedly Upwork has created a place for just US freelancers. But when clients are posting jobs asking (for instance) for a book to be written for $60 or $100, it's clear they are targeting overseas freelancers, who can only be plagiarizing material in order to do that kind of job. These kind of jobs should be recognized by Upwork for what they are and cleared off of Upwork.


RJ S wrote:

You make a good point. Unfortunately, Upwork needs to create some kind of Enforcement if that kind of thing happens. For instance, Upwork could state that ANY request for additional work means that the freelancer automatically receives a 5 star review (since we all know that this is done under the aegis that the freelancer will comply because the "review" is still to come and Won't be good if the freelancer doesn't comply. 

 

Second, Upwork could create a guideline for All clients that any request for work AFTER the job starts means the client won't be allowed to post again.

 

However, as I've noted here, the idea that the freelancer has to go into a dispute/arbitration process After the work has been received by the client is just a pit of abuse. I also question the fact that Upwork notes that the client can Ask for two additional opportunities for change to the work without additional compensation to the freelancer. Where and when in the United States do you not get paid for Work Done or for Additional Work. Theoretically, Upwork states that there is no free work to be done. But by stating that the clients can have Two additional opportunities to request changes, this is EXACTLY what they are doing. This also ignores the right of the freelancer to have prompt payment. 

 

And lastly, Purportedly Upwork has created a place for just US freelancers. But when clients are posting jobs asking (for instance) for a book to be written for $60 or $100, it's clear they are targeting overseas freelancers, who can only be plagiarizing material in order to do that kind of job. These kind of jobs should be recognized by Upwork for what they are and cleared off of Upwork.


Since you refuse to use the quote function, I can only speculate that you are addressing my point. Be that as it may, It is not Upwork's job to manage client expectations, or our contracts.

Hi Preston, Thank you. Ah, I fear that my natural sense of honor and fair play disallowed me from thinking that they would find my work "unsatisfactory." It may be of interest to those on the forum that in my complaint to the ADR (the arbitration association, adr.org), I've noted that the neither the arbitrator nor Upwork has provided the client adequate information on copyright law. Since the work has not been paid for, each and every word I wrote, all references I made, and every grammatical correction I made, is copyrighted work, which is still owned by me. Thus, if the client were to publish their manuscript and, say, use any of my corrections, they are plagiarizing my work. As Upwork has not informed them of this, I think there is a concern here for Upwork's liability as well. Now I do wish to say that I've worked with some amazing clients on Upwork recently that I enjoyed immensely. But, if Upwork fails to uphold the right of freelaners to be paid for their work, it is simply a "spec" site. I'm going to explore the Department of Labor on this subject, and then provide information to Upwork and the American Bar Association and adr.org (the arbitration association). It is my position that the point of Escrow is that freelancers cannot be denied payment for their work. As well, I had a specific point made to this client that I do not under any condition work on "spec." And my requirement, in writing to them and listed in the "messages" back and forth required payment within 24 hours. I do this because I believe that the providing of two opportunities for "revisions" by the client is a natural conduit for abuse. I am not opposed to making Minor revisions were the client to request them, althought it's not happened with me before, but as that requires Further Time from the freelancer, I believe that payment should be made. This provides an equitable playing field.


RJ S wrote:

 It is my position that the point of Escrow is that freelancers cannot be denied payment for their work.


No. .

The point is to hold the money safely for both  parties (freelancer and client)

Actually, I completely disagree with you. Where exactly do you find anyone in the US working for free? Where do you find anyone in the US not compensated for their work? The funds are in escrow so that when the work is finished the payment can be made immediately. As I noted previously (in a response to another poster), Upwork should also Not be allowing for "free" work by requiring freelancers to give the client changes (2 are allowed according to Upwork) without additional compensation. 

 

Freelancers have the right to be paid in a timely manner and without any additional free work. The client has a responsibility to choose someone they believe will do the work. Ever had a meal that was horrible and you didn't want to pay for it? I have but it was always the Discretion of the restaurant to decide I didn't have to pay. I could not walk out the door after eating the meal without being arrested just because I decided I didn't want to pay. I'm going to be checking California labor laws because I absolutely believe Upwork has missed the boat on this.


RJ S wrote:

....The funds are in escrow so that when the work is finished the payment can be made immediately. 


No. The funds are in escrow so that payment can be made when the buyer and seller are in agreement that the terms of escrow have been fulfilled. Upwork has procedures to determine when this is done, including default conditions that overall favor the contractor.

HI, Thank you. Yes, I've learned my "lesson." I'm afraid that my social science degree created a false sense of support for those folks.

tlbp
Member


RJ S wrote:

I'm going to be starting a new topic in a moment, but I wanted to reply to this. There is a significant question about Upwork's support of freelancers. I just finished (a few weeks ago) a month-long project. I added 20,000 words, Yep, you got that right...20,000 words to a 14,000 word, very primitive manuscript. I do this kind of work a lot. It's not unsual for someone to want to bulk up their manuscript, but it is hard to do well. 

 

The client, from **edited for Community Guidelines**, decided they would reject the manuscript. Now their job posting, and our agreement, was that they would allow me to use my own judgement regarding what the manuscript needed. With 25 years of experience, I know what a manuscript needs. Because they rejected the manuscript, we went to "arbitration."

 

For those of you who've not been through that process, you are required to make a payment of $275, and then post (on adr.org, if you are interested) various documents. In my case, the "arbitrator" (placing this in quotes since she was so inadequate) in her award decided that the client did Not have to pay me. She cited no legal prevailing authority, or any difficulty with the manuscript, which I had rewritten and added to. The arbitrator noted in her award to the client that she would not make me REPAY the intial payment (about $3,000 before Upwork's 20% deduction). Hoo hay! As I pointed out to her in my postings DURING the process, the client had no right to Request the return of the initial payment, since we were past the 30-day period. Upwork's rules do not allow for payments to be refunded after 30 days. Thus, it would...initially...appear that the "arbitrator" is being Solomon-like and cutting the baby in half. Oh, so fair, you might think? But no. As noted, the "arbitrator" VIOLATED Upwork's own rules by even considering the client's request for return of the full amount, and by citing it as part of her arbitration award. Further, the adr.org Requires that all parties be served, via email, all loaded documents. I pointed out to the "arbitrator that I had not been served via email the intital statement from the client, and the arbitrator also ignored that. It is my belief that Upwork forcing freelancers into arbitration, and forcing freelancers to incure additional costs and delayed release of payments...if they are "awarded" the payment from the client, violates the laws of the United States. When you do work, in the United States, you are paid for your work. Do any of us have a "will-work-on-spec" on our profiles? No. I would note that in my feedback on the job, I posted that I should have not worked with anyone in **edited for Community Guidelines**
. However, I have a degree in the social sciences and tend to work with a wide-range of people, especially from other cultures. It's something I usually enjoy. Regardless, the POINT here is this: Are we working on spec or not? Should we be forced into "arbitration" or is it Upwork's responsibility to hold client's responsible for their payments when the work is done. Please note, I had an agreement with that client that they would pay me within 24-hours of providing them the work. I do this, specifically, because I do Not work on spec. I know how good I am and if I provide the work, I cannot get it back. This policy of mine prevents abuse, in almost all cases. Further, in 25 years, I have never had a client unhappy with my work or ask for any changes. Imagine that this happened with a client from **edited for Community Guidelines**. You figure.

 

In closing, are we working on spec here at Upwork, and don't know it? Do we have to PAY in order to be paid? Your thoughts, please.


So the TL;DR on this is that you went to arbitration and did not win the full amount you asked? 


RJ S wrote:

The arbitrator noted in her award to the client that she would not make me REPAY the intial payment (about $3,000 before Upwork's 20% deduction). Hoo hay! As I pointed out to her in my postings DURING the process, the client had no right to Request the return of the initial payment, since we were past the 30-day period. Upwork's rules do not allow for payments to be refunded after 30 days.

 

This is a near universal misconception, and one Upwork does nothing whatsoever to clear up. In fact, you have to click a few levels deep, all the way to the details of fixed price protection and disputes, to see that what the policy actually says is that the 30-day period runs from the last milestone, but the arbitration that can be opened within that window is "on a fixed price contract," not on a specific milestone.

 

It is absolutely not Upwork's responsibility to make rulings on who is right or wrong and who should get escrowed funds. In fact, they are not allowed to do so. If there's a dispute regarding your mortgage escrow, the escrow agent typically freezes the funds while the parties either come to an agreement or go through arbitration or litigation. If you use a third-party escrow site like Escrow.com, you agree to arbitration just like you do through Upwork.

 

Side note: you're the first freelancer I've ever heard of losing arbitration. I'm sure you're not the only one, but it seems to be pretty rare.

 

Tiffany,

 

You don't know what you are talking about. Upwork is not a real estate company. It presents itself as the responsible agent for the freelancers and their work and the clients and their payments. As such, Upwork should absolutely not be forcing anyone into arbitration. It is their responsibliity to handle these functions. **edited for Community Guidelines**


RJ S wrote:

Tiffany,

 

....Upwork is not a real estate company. It presents itself as the responsible agent for the freelancers and their work and the clients and their payments. As such, Upwork should absolutely not be forcing anyone into arbitration. It is their responsibliity to handle these functions.


Of course Upwork is not a real estate company, and nobody claims it is. Upwork is an escrow agent. As such, it cannot render judgments on the disposition of funds it holds in trust. Real estate is simply the context in which most people encounter escrow.

re: "I just finished (a few weeks ago) a month-long project. I added 20,000 words"

 

I don't work for a full month without getting paid. You shouldn't either.

 

If you have a large project, then either:

- use an hourly contract, and get paid each week

[or]

- use multiple, smaller milestones or smaller fixed-price contracts

Hi Preston,

I don't use hourly because I have no interest in having tracking software on my computer. As to more payments, the kind of work I do usually requires a lot of thinking and is more complicated than, say, a blog. As such, it's diffiult for me to "show" the client work-in-process. If you've not written longer works, this may not be a familiar process to you. I've done it for 25 years, no problems until now.

What was the dollar amount that you were supposed to be paid after turning in the final work?

 

You were paid $3000 up-front. We already know that. The arbitrator allowed you to keep that.

 

What was the amount of the next payment that you were supposed to receive at the end?

Actually, I rounded off for ease. It was $2,750 for each half. Half on start and half on finish. And by the way, I have been researching a bit and it looks like I'm exactly correct that few people enter dispute/arbitation because of the additional cost to the freelancers. 

Hi Tonya, 

 

You asked me about the "award" with the arbitration situation. Here is the clarification. 

 

We went throught the "dispute" process with Upwork. A woman by the name of Kendra was the mediator. She collected information from both of us. I felt she was very nice, seemed to be truly attempting to find a solution.  That said, Kendra made no determination except to state that since we couldn't agree (I wanted to be paid; client didn't want to pay me), the only solution was arbitration. This required a $275 payment from me to start the arbitration; client also pays $275; Upwork also pays $275.  Some documents were provided to the adr.org site (the arbitration association's site). In her decision, the arbitrator made no reference to any of the points, which I had made Including my point that I do not work on spec and that the agreement was payment within 24 hours of manuscript being submitted to the client. She cited no prevailing law or any criticisms of my process. (I had exchanged more than 90 emails with the client over the course of a month-plus in order to be sure I was on track and to ask for clarification on various points; the client repeatedly asked for additional work, which I did.) In her "ruling," the aribtrator stated ONLY this: she would not make me Refund the original payment of $2,750 (which according to Upwork's rules should not have even been considered by her because we were past the 30-day time limit for refunds. She then made the determination that the client would have the $2,750 due to me, and still in escrow, returned to them. Again, absolutely no prevailing law was cited, nor any rationale or reason for her decision. Zero. Nada. Nothing. She did not, as I have noted in previous postings here, note to the client that Any use of any material I wrote is copyrighted and owned by myself pending full payment by the client. Thus, should the client use any of this material, they would be violating my copyright and it is also quite possible that Upwork would be a party to that copyright violation because Upwork has not (I am presuming here) provided the client the information that all the writing done is owned by myself. I hope this clarifies for you. I think it is very important that Upwork change it's policies on freelancers. I believe that most don't bother to pursue arbitration because of the cost and simply "write it off," as the article link I posted previously, to the Fortune article, notes.

This has been an interesting insight into the arbitration process and I thank you for sharing your experiences. I've never had any disputes (knock wood) but I've often wondered how such cases are settled. In my own category (graphic design) I don't know how an arbitrator would be in a position to make a fair judgment, since there's such a subjective element. If I think that my design is good and the client thinks it's bad, then any dispute would probably end with a 50/50 settlement. I've always felt that the best way to protect myself is to have extensive conversations about expectations with the client before I even accept a job, and walk away if I have any misgivings whatsoever (about the project or about the client's character). I often worry that I'm being overly cautious and about whether I've turned down some perfectly good opportunities along the way, but then I read posts like this in the forum and become even more cautious. 

 

On the other hand, I think that the article you linked to might be somewhat misleading. Again, after reading many of the posts in this very forum, it's painfully obvious that there are huge numbers of freelancers who are simply unskilled and unprepared - if not outright scammers themselves - so I very much doubt that the clients were the culprits in every case cited in the statistics. It works both ways.

I don't know how an arbitrator would be in a position to make a fair judgment, since there's such a subjective element. 

 

Thanks for your thoughts. I agree with you about this being a "subjective" situation. That said, I have a very long history of perfect work with my industry. As I noted to the arbitrator, not one time...EVER...has anyone EVER rejected my work. I'm an excellent writer and work hard for my clients. You can see reviews from a cardiologist and a stock broker (recent jobs) by checking my profile. 

 

I have noted in other postings (here) that Upwork has a problem. That problem is that clients are treated as "some people are more equal than others"; i.e., freelancers are just as important and getting paid is not a "spec" situation. The final project I provided the client could have been published; what they gave me to start with could not have been published. 

 

As I understand it, Upwork is taking steps to verify freelancers with video and a govt issued identity. I read that they are verified 44,000 freelancers. That doesn't actually seem like very many for a site this large. To that point, you mentioned that there are lots of scammers. Yes, I am sure there are. But...the client can...as far as I'm concerened...easily tell who is a scammer and who is not. Thanks for your thoughts, you were much nicer than most of them here. For some reason, there seems to be a lot of attacking me and that is baffling. They also seem to think that the job must be badly done. Apparetly none of them have ever seen someone just mistreated because...well, because proper standards aren't being applied. Weird.


RJ S wrote:

 In her "ruling," the aribtrator stated ONLY this: she would not make me Refund the original payment of $2,750 (which according to Upwork's rules should not have even been considered by her because we were past the 30-day time limit for refunds.

 

No matter how many times you repeat this, it won't become true. A client can dispute a fixed price CONTRACT for 30 days after the last milestone.

Actually, this was a point made by UPWORK'S OWN Dispute person. So there...**edited for Community Guidelines**

Hi,

Under Upwork's policies, the client rejected my manuscript. I believe that they rejected it because of their own lack of knowledge. In other words, suppose you put a diamond and a rock in front of someone and the rock was the biggest stone. Some people...might choose the rock thinking it was more valuable because it was bigger.

 

Moving on, Upwork's dispute resolution person collected the documents and didn't make a decision either way. She did state that it was NOT Upwork's position to determine the Quality of the work, only whether the work had been done. Under that premise, the funds should have been immediately released to me: 20,000 words had been added to a 14,000 word manuscript, as well I had a bibliography of 24 books (meaning I used 24 books as references/sources...clearly, you see a lot of work was done.). Since the client didn't want to pay me, we went to ARBITRATION at adr.org. 

 

Purportedly, the arbitrator read the documents (I noted there had been around 90 Upwork messages back and forth, several phone calls from the client in **edited for Community Guidelines**), and I felt that I had gone above and beyond for them. The arbitrator failed to require them to serve me the initial document. (In any legal situation, you have to be served each document or the process is invalid.) I told the arbitrator that and she didn't respond to it. She then decided, without ANY legal citation or any reference to any of the work I'd done (bad writer, blah blah blah) that she would not make me RETURN the initial amount of $2,750 (first half paid), which the client had requested along with the release of their final payment of $2,750 (which was in escrow) back to them. She DECIDED that I would not receive the final half and it would be returned to the client. It is my belief that this is in violation of US labor laws and I'm checking on this, but it may take me a while. I also, as I've written elsewhere in this particular posting on this topic, believe that Upwork cannot require freelancers to provide the clients free work: aka Upwork allows the client the opportunity for Two reviews/changes. This allows the client to be abusive, i.e., when does the freelancer ever get paid? And allows the client to be abusive...this is de facto free work.

lysis10
Member

It would be interesting to see the transcripts for this. I think arbitration favors the freelancer heavily. To lose the entire amount without the arbitrator giving the OP something (half, even) is interesting. There has to be something that triggered the arbitrator to force the freelancer to lose it all.


Jennifer M wrote:

It would be interesting to see the transcripts for this. I think arbitration favors the freelancer heavily. To lose the entire amount without the arbitrator giving the OP something (half, even) is interesting. There has to be something that triggered the arbitrator to force the freelancer to lose it all.


She did get to keep the initial $3,000 payment. 

She did get to keep the initial $3,000 payment. 

 

ooooh, I wasn't sure what was going on with the already released escrow.

 

It seems possible to me that she lost it for herself with what she submitted. I have no idea what she

> wrote there, obviously, but the posts here have been long and jumbled with no paragraph breaks, a lot

> of philosophical posturing and repeated misstatements of Upwork's policies. It's certainly plausible that

> her point was simply lost in a tidal wave of words.

 

That's what I was thinking. It seems she thinks the arbitrators and Upwork are the same thing, and maybe wasn't cooperative. That's one reason I won my arbitration ordeal. lol Client thought he had it in the bag and didn't take it seriously.

Jennifer,

 

Regarding these comments: That's what I was thinking. It seems she thinks the arbitrators and Upwork are the same thing, and maybe wasn't cooperative. That's one reason I won my arbitration ordeal. lol Client thought he had it in the bag and didn't take it seriously.

 

No. You are wrong. I am very aware that arbitrators and Upwork aren't the same thing. I have an excellent college education and have worked with top professionals on their projects for 25 years. I did take the arbitration seriously. The arbitrator, and I use the term loosely since this person did not provide a fair playing field (for example, failed to Require the client to serve me some documents they filed on the adr site), did not provide any reason for her decision. Had she, I would be posting it here. She did not. It seems to me, also, that those who are attacking me here and saying I must have done something wrong have an awful lot of time to spend in the "community." 

 


RJ S wrote:

Jennifer,

 

Regarding these comments: That's what I was thinking. It seems she thinks the arbitrators and Upwork are the same thing, and maybe wasn't cooperative. That's one reason I won my arbitration ordeal. lol Client thought he had it in the bag and didn't take it seriously.

 

No. You are wrong. I am very aware that arbitrators and Upwork aren't the same thing. I have an excellent college education and have worked with top professionals on their projects for 25 years. I did take the arbitration seriously. The arbitrator, and I use the term loosely since this person did not provide a fair playing field (for example, failed to Require the client to serve me some documents they filed on the adr site), did not provide any reason for her decision. Had she, I would be posting it here. She did not. It seems to me, also, that those who are attacking me here and saying I must have done something wrong have an awful lot of time to spend in the "community." 

 


ok, yes college and things. I'm not sure where you're going with "served me with documents." When you first start, you're asked to upload any documents including any contracts you signed with the other party. The arbitrator takes a look at these docs and then the whole process begins. That's how it works.

 

Hi, 

There aren't any transcripts. In arbitration, both sides post various documents to the adr.org site. The arbitrator can ask for other documents should they wish to. This arbitrator requested that I provide a "compare" document (which shows all the changes from the original document as highlighted text). I did this. I had added 20,000 words and had read 8 books (suggested by the client) and had a final bibliography of 24 books for the project. I decided to post this to Upwork's community, because I see again and again, that freelancers aren't paid properly but most often they have no recourse because the low amount of payment doesn't allow them to spend $275 on the arbitration fee to recover $150, for instance. My point throughout has been that Upwork should be fiercely supporting freelancers and their work. Further, I am seeing a massive number of jobs for a "book" to be written for $60 or $100, which can only mean a plagiarize-and-spin project. I believe all those jobs that are clearly, and thinly-disguised, jobs should be purged from Upwork. As well, any job posted on Upwork should adhere to minimum wage standards. I see numerous jobs for $4 an hour, ect. These jobs violate federal minimum wage standards in the US.


RJ S wrote:

...doesn't allow them to spend $275 on the arbitration fee


It is $ 291

 


RJ S wrote:

My point throughout has been that Upwork should be fiercely supporting freelancers and their work.


Upwork "fiercely supports Upwork," as it should, and according to Escrow rules, can not take a side on disputes over Escrow funds.

As clients are who bring the money to Upwork, "fiercely supporting freelancers" would be dumb as ditchwater as far as a business strategy is concerned. Anyone who suggests such a thing doesn't understand the first thing about freelancing or Upwork.

 


RJ S wrote:

I see numerous jobs for $4 an hour, ect. These jobs violate federal minimum wage standards in the US.


"Minimum wage" in the USA does not apply to freelancing on a global platform. It applies to employment. Freelancing is not employment. Find someone who can patiently explain it to you.


You may wish to quietly sit in a corner and get your legal facts straight**Edited for community guidelines**with all your legal claims...

 

Petra, I'm baffled that you are allowed to post given your harassing and virulent statements.

 

As to this:

"Minimum wage" in the USA does not apply to freelancing on a global platform. It applies to employment. Freelancing is not employment. Find someone who can patiently explain it to you.

 

Upwork is located in California and has to abide by US labor laws. They have to abide by US LAWS. As to being a "global" marketplace, let's look at where the money Upwork makes comes from...wanna guess that 80% is from those in the US (clients/freelancers)?


RJ S wrote:

Petra, I'm baffled


Yes, that much is obvious.

 


RJ S wrote:

As to this:

"Minimum wage" in the USA does not apply to freelancing on a global platform. It applies to employment. Freelancing is not employment. Find someone who can patiently explain it to you.

 

Upwork is located in California and has to abide by US labor laws.


Get someone with a lot of time and patience to explain the difference between wages (employment) and freelancing rates to you. 

It is clear that you are having real difficulties grasping the concept, but I am sure you'll eventually get it.

 

I know it's all very scary when you don't understand it, but I'm sure you eventually will if someone has the time and patience to help you **Edited for Community Guidelines**