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

rjsha
Ace Contributor
RJ S Member Since: Jul 17, 2016
31 of 63

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
Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
32 of 63

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.

feed_my_eyes
Community Guru
Christine A Member Since: May 4, 2016
33 of 63

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. 

lysis10
Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
34 of 63

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.

rjsha
Ace Contributor
RJ S Member Since: Jul 17, 2016
35 of 63

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." 

 

lysis10
Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
36 of 63

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.

 

rjsha
Ace Contributor
RJ S Member Since: Jul 17, 2016
37 of 63

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.

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
38 of 63

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...

 

rjsha
Ace Contributor
RJ S Member Since: Jul 17, 2016
39 of 63

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)?

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
40 of 63

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**

 

 

 

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