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Is this platform getting worse, or am I just unlucky?

elainescanlan
Active Member

I pretty much never use Upwork any more, except for one long-term client, so my apologies if these issues have been raised before. Could someone clarify what the benefits are for a freelancer working from the UK? I hardly ever log in now except to claim payments, and now I see that PayPal payments cost more. I might well have missed that notification. 

 

My impression, from private discussions with other UK freelancers, is that Upwork is no longer a useful platform for finding work. I'm particularly worried about the implications of Brexit on UK freelancers but can't find any discussions in the forum about that specific issue. 

 

I'm also concerned that my rating goes up and down seemingly randomly. Could someone contact me about this? I work regularly for one client via Upwork, and don't have any urgent need to apply for the jobs posted because I have regular clients outside the platform.

 

Any advice would be much appreciated, but advice from UK freelancers would be even better. Should I be upping my marketing efforts outside Upwork, or is it worth persisting here?

 

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mrchambers
Active Member

Your oscillating JSS is probably just bad luck - way too many jobs have not provided you with any feedback, and your most recent feedback wasn't 5.0.

 

I'm an early retired systems consultant, and I use upwork to provide some mental stimulation (as well as some funds). Most of my clients are in US / Australia, so the correction in the value of GBP since last June to a more sensible level has been to my benefit.

 

I'm not interested in obtaining long assignments, or even lots of assignments, so for me online marketplaces are ideal. Upwork, for all its software niggles, is in my opinion way ahead of the conceptially similiar Freelancer and Guru. Over the last five years I have built up a steady collection of clients who value my speedy quality work, and whom regularly provide new assignments.  On the whole I've found the quality of the assignments available on upwork has improved over the last 5 years, and also the proportion of clients who are willing pay US/UK/Australia professional contracting rates and not slave labour rates has increased.

 

Coming back to the UK perspective ... as a nation we really need to focus on export markets over the next few years, and freelancers such as ourselves can contribute by using sites such as Upwork to service clients across the world.

 

EDIT:  Whilst paypal charges may have increased, the charge for direct bank transfer to UK bank accounts has halved (now $0.99)  and upwork's exchange rate is similiar to paypal's. Personally I prefer to have funds that need declaring for tax appearing directly in my bank account, rather than getting mixed up amongst ebay transactions in paypal.  By contrast Freelancer charges $25 for withdrawals to UK accounts, so the use of paypal there is pretty much a neccessity unfortunately.

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mrchambers
Active Member

Your oscillating JSS is probably just bad luck - way too many jobs have not provided you with any feedback, and your most recent feedback wasn't 5.0.

 

I'm an early retired systems consultant, and I use upwork to provide some mental stimulation (as well as some funds). Most of my clients are in US / Australia, so the correction in the value of GBP since last June to a more sensible level has been to my benefit.

 

I'm not interested in obtaining long assignments, or even lots of assignments, so for me online marketplaces are ideal. Upwork, for all its software niggles, is in my opinion way ahead of the conceptially similiar Freelancer and Guru. Over the last five years I have built up a steady collection of clients who value my speedy quality work, and whom regularly provide new assignments.  On the whole I've found the quality of the assignments available on upwork has improved over the last 5 years, and also the proportion of clients who are willing pay US/UK/Australia professional contracting rates and not slave labour rates has increased.

 

Coming back to the UK perspective ... as a nation we really need to focus on export markets over the next few years, and freelancers such as ourselves can contribute by using sites such as Upwork to service clients across the world.

 

EDIT:  Whilst paypal charges may have increased, the charge for direct bank transfer to UK bank accounts has halved (now $0.99)  and upwork's exchange rate is similiar to paypal's. Personally I prefer to have funds that need declaring for tax appearing directly in my bank account, rather than getting mixed up amongst ebay transactions in paypal.  By contrast Freelancer charges $25 for withdrawals to UK accounts, so the use of paypal there is pretty much a neccessity unfortunately.

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Thanks! Yes, I had I had a strange experience with my most recent Upwork client, and that's made me a bit wary of applying for jobs. I should probably have asked for feedback from some Elance clients before the platform closed, but I didn't realise that it would impact on my Upwork rating, since I had a consistent 5 score.

 and 100% client recommendation. That's still quite annoying, and puts me off applying for Upwork jobs. 

 

How can I contact someone from Upwork to resolve this?

 


@Elaine S wrote:
How can I contact someone from Upwork to resolve this?

 There isn't really anything to resolve, to be honest.

 

 


@Elaine S wrote:

Thanks! Yes, I had I had a strange experience with my most recent Upwork client, and that's made me a bit wary of applying for jobs. I should probably have asked for feedback from some Elance clients before the platform closed, but I didn't realise that it would impact on my Upwork rating, since I had a consistent 5 score.

 and 100% client recommendation. That's still quite annoying, and puts me off applying for Upwork jobs. 

 


Elaine if it is any consolation, I did not merge my Elance account with my oDesk account, which I had allowed to drift into almost nothing, while I was doing rather well on Elance,  so it took  quite a while to get up to top-rated status on Upwork - whether I will keep it or not, is moot. The jobs are there, but . . .

 

[OT I've missed you! Where have you been?]

mrchambers
Active Member

My approach with clients whose behaviour seems strange (or worse) is to delete all hours / refund any payments received, and close the job myself. So far, that strategy has not impacted my JSS. I've only had to do this on maybe 5 of the 200+ jobs I've had on upwork.

 

However, I'm fairly ruthless at the job interview stage, and turn down offers from clients that ring alarm bells. Not accepting jobs from new clients on upwork can also limit the risk of undeserved poor feedback.  Once bitten twice shy ... I received a 3.0 feedback from a new client who explained he would always mark mid-range for a job that was completed exactly as per requirements. I refunded him, to get rid of the feedback  (before the days of the top-rated badge and the consequent perk of being able to ask upwork to hide one bad feedback a quarter).

 

There will always be bad apples in any barrel, but I think its worth persevering, and with careful screening of potential clients, you should be able to get your JSS into the range for the top-rated badge. What you probably need is more smaller jobs to skew the calcs back in your favour.

Thanks Michael. That's an encouraging response.

 

Elaine

kfarnell
Community Guru

The $US is worth more to us than it was.

 

There is a good number of Aussies and Scandinavians here paying reasonable rates.

 

I'm finding a decent amount of work without trying too hard - because I have a few things going on outside UW. And contrary to the post above, I do best with new clients (most of them have come back several times). I've found that too many who've been here for a while are the type who want a book written for a farthing with change.

 

I've never had anyone notice my JSS, which appears to have a life of its own unrelated to anything I do. Although it affects your ranking and the amount of invitations you get, considering what most of the invitations are like, that's no great loss.

 

Yes, it's worth persisting. The bad projects and rubbish clients are more noticable because the number of *every* type of project and client is higher. 

 

(And waving alongside Nichola...)

Many thanks for all the responses. I'm still not quite sure whether I'll persevere or not, but now I'm better-informed about how Upwork functions.

 

And hi back to Nichola and Kim! All is well really - I'm just becoming grumpier with age. And Brexit. 

 

Elaine

 

 

Honestly, the only good thing that's come out of Brexit is the drop in value for the pound. While that's bad if you're looking to visit the states, it means I get more money when being paid by my clients, which are almost exclusivly American and pay in USD.

 

USD to GBP has shot up since around the same time in 2015, according to EX.com. I find they're very accurate, at in relation to my own bank's currency conversion rates.

Thanks Daniel. Yes, that's pretty much my own view of Brexit. 

 

I'll have a look at EX.com's rates and see how they compare. Most of my clients outside Upwork pay in GBP or Euros, so I need to look at exchange rates for different payment methods.

battershall-ramo
Community Guru

Yet more subjective views on Brexit when it has no real impact on Upwork other than providing UK-based freelancers with a big pay rise. I would write more, except it's bound to be deleted. 

This forum gets more like the Guardian every day. 

Not rising to this Ramon. 

 

I'll turn off notifications now, since I have the information I need. Thanks again.

 

Elaine

And more passive-agressive every day. 

A bit of an achievement considering it's the first time Elaine has posted here.

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