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JOB SUCCESS SCORE

davidmc5218
Active Member

So often clients do not know what they truly want. They have an idea and a purpose, but they often get lost along the way. A good freelancer tries to guide them and help them to sort out the pieces. But many times this is not enough, and the client remains dissatisfied because the end product does not seem to his liking: not because the freelancer didn’t do his job correctly but because the client never had a good idea of what he wanted in the first place. I have had 20 plus years as a freelancer and am rated very highly, and excuse me for telling the truth.

 

My question is this: why does Upwork give clients so much unadulterated power and control? Of course, the obvious reasons, but I want to know WHY?

 

Clients have too much power and control, and along with it, the ability to ruin a good freelancer’s reputation. Upwork needs to take a more proactive role in assuring that clients do not leave negative feedback for a freelancer when he has done a good job. Many clients like to bully and manipulate freelancers into doing more work, and making second and third rounds of changes, when the blame is on the client right from the start. A freelancer may go into a contract feeling everything has been ironed out, but because of the lack of knowledge, conscience, or experience, the client expects way too much.

 

Yes, the client is paying the bills – even Upwork’s – but without good freelancers around nobody would get nothing (purposeful inappropriate use of double negative)!!! Are you kidding me? This unchecked and unbalanced practice gives clients the absolute power to get freelancers to break their backs trying to please them (and as we all know – these are the kind of people that there is no pleasing). Many clients are good – but the few who aren’t can rapidly spoil an entire freelancer’s average JSS.

Upwork needs to give freelancer’s the ability to dispute (not just take away one bad score every so often) any and all client’s feedback and scoring, if necessary. 

 

A quick review by a seasoned professional would alleviate this scenario. We are paying 20% and 10% of all of our fees every time we get paid!!!!  Do you realize how many clients know nothing (again – see above)?  Because of their inexperience; if we are unfortunate enough to get them – these unscrupulous clients sometimes believe that we should spend double or triple the time we have allocated for a particular contract in order to fix what they should have been painfully clear about before hiring us. Upwork seems so eager to entice them into the Upwork system, that they make all kinds of accommodations to the client; and almost always – it is at the expense of the freelancer’s time, energy, workload, and reputation. 

 

Good writers are hard to come by – routine ones are easy to find and they’ll give you the same stuff you can find through any Google search.  I believe that Upwork has  a duty to go beyond promoting good writers – they need to snuff out the ability of a crooked client from being able to wrongfully tarnish his profile! In my experience, crooked clients (narcissists, ego-maniacs, publishing houses run by their editorial staff, and downright criminals looking for free work by getting writers to submit endless samples of material before paying one cent) run, on average, about twenty percent of all clients over the years that I have been involved with while making a career out of freelance writing. This percentage is too high to be left to chance; and will, eventually, affect each and every freelancer no matter how good a job they do.

 

Although Upwork is by far the best, there are other freelance websites we can use – time for the best ones to start giving back to the freelancer!!!! They can start by protecting our hard work and our reputations from deceitful clients.

 

Thank you Upwork!

ACCEPTED SOLUTION

@Ryan C wrote:

Hello David,

 

I'm sorry to hear about your experience. I can only recommend that you should communicate with your clients clearly and share your opinions about the project. It is a must that you discuss your terms clearly so that you won't have any misunderstandings with your clients during your work together. I hope that you'll be able to cope up with this situation and earn good feedback next time. Thank you!


Ryan,

 

That does not even begin to address the purpose of his post. What's the point of telling him things he already addressed and is well aware of?

 

All good freelancers know about good communication and are good communicators - but that all goes out the window when clients can't, don't or won't use their ears and/or brains to listen. And when that's the case, it's the freelancers who get short shrift.

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21 REPLIES 21
prestonhunter
Community Guru

David:

You have posted some good analysis and interesting thoughts.

 

You have a 97% Job Success Score, which is excellent. That means you're among the top freelancers on Upwork.

 

So whatever frustrations you may have with the current system, you seem to know how to make it work for you.

cylver1z
Community Guru

Hello David,

 

I'm sorry to hear about your experience. I can only recommend that you should communicate with your clients clearly and share your opinions about the project. It is a must that you discuss your terms clearly so that you won't have any misunderstandings with your clients during your work together. I hope that you'll be able to cope up with this situation and earn good feedback next time. Thank you!


Untitled

@Ryan C wrote:

Hello David,

 

I'm sorry to hear about your experience. I can only recommend that you should communicate with your clients clearly and share your opinions about the project. It is a must that you discuss your terms clearly so that you won't have any misunderstandings with your clients during your work together. I hope that you'll be able to cope up with this situation and earn good feedback next time. Thank you!


Ryan,

 

That does not even begin to address the purpose of his post. What's the point of telling him things he already addressed and is well aware of?

 

All good freelancers know about good communication and are good communicators - but that all goes out the window when clients can't, don't or won't use their ears and/or brains to listen. And when that's the case, it's the freelancers who get short shrift.

View solution in original post

Thanks Virginia - you see it correctly!!!

wlyonsatl
Community Guru

David,

 

I don't think - and I don't think you think - Upwork can do anything to completely eliminate the possibility of a freelancer getting into a contract with the type of client you are referring to. Some of this effort will always be up to the freelancer. I think I have gotten better at it over time.

 

But there are a few things Upwork could do to make these types of consistently difficult-to-deal-with clients change their ways (or at least be easily identified):

 

1) Don't allow clients to post wildly different public and private feedback/ratings on freelancers

2) Calculate and make public for each client a numerical score equivalent to the JSS for freelancers

3) Don't allow clients to post any feedback on a freelancer if the client has lost a dispute that has gone through Upwork's in-house dispute resolution process (do the same for freelancers)

4) Make public each client's average ratings of all freelancers they have worked with

Almost forgot this one:

 

5) Provide a percentage of how many of a client's Upwork projects have been referred to Upwork dispute resolution. (Do the same for freelancers.)

hoffman-andrew
Active Member

I don't know what I need to ask my clients to do so that I can establish a Job Success score. I keep trying to apply for work, and it says that my Job Success rate disqualifies me. 90 or better. However, I have been getting jobs, completing them and I have been getting paid. Where is my scoring from the client?


@Andrew H wrote:

I don't know what I need to ask my clients to do so that I can establish a Job Success score.


 You need to ask your client(s) to end the contract(s) if they are finished so you can get feedback which is what your JSS is calculated from.

 


@Andrew H wrote:

I keep trying to apply for work, and it says that my Job Success rate disqualifies me. 90 or better.


 No. It does not disqualify you and it does not say that it does either. Just because you do not meet all the client's preferences (that is all the 90%+ thing is, it is NOT a requirement and it is automatically set to 90%+ by default, most clients don't even realise that I guess) does not mean you can't or should not apply.

 

However, you should try and get jobs ended by the client (!) as soon as the work is done. Don't let it hang there as the longer a contract stays idle the less invested the client becomes. Your best chance of great feedback is immediately after impressing the client with your work.

 

There is no need to ever ask a client for feedback, just encourage them to close the contract as it is impossible to end a contract and NOT leave feedback.

 

 

Hi Andrew,

 

Petra is right. Also, you'll need to have a certain amount of feedback to receive a Job Success Score. Not all projects and clients are equal so the length of time will vary. Nearly all freelancers have scores after completing eight projects. The projects need to be with at least three different clients and take place within a 24-month period. You can check this help article for more information. 

 

~ Joanne
Upwork

I hate having to ask clients to close jobs. I feel like I'm asking them to do me a favour which isn't in their own interests, since it's more convenient for them to leave the job open in case any follow-up work is needed. 

I do not know if the the algorithm for the Job Success score has changed over time. I have found that my own score had a nine point increase recently, despite nothing of substance happening in that time period. The only thing I can think of is that some older datum is no longer being included, but I can not think of what that datum would have been.


@Steven S wrote:

The only thing I can think of is that some older datum is no longer being included, but I can not think of what that datum would have been.


 The very feedback that caused your score to be less than 100% to begin with.

raina5
Community Leader

I embrace all of your points!! Thanks for putting it all in such elegant clear words David!. The only thing I can think though, about any of it, is "the customer's always right". This is what was drummed into my head at my first job scooping ice cream, lol, and it's still there. Of course, they aren't, but I have to pretend they are and run far far away from them as soon as I can if I get a wrong one. Upwork is kind of like my boss at the ice cream shop.

Thanks Kate for your comments!!! Yes - running is a very undervalued skill freelancers need to acquire in order to survive in this world today!!!!
bfry1981
Community Guru

Agree totally.  Upwork treats freelancers pretty badly, apart from the 20% highway robbery, they created a Job Success Score than penalizes freelancers for bad client behavior.  The site keeps doubling-down on approaches that harm freelancers, and this JSS system is so deeply flawed that it is ridiculous.

 

To add insult to injury, every time I raise this some Upwork person responds by giving me generic answers about how the scoring system works, as if after 5 years no this site, need 101-style explanations.  They could easily make things more fair (not having scores update only in intervals but after feedback is left or window expires on any given contract.

The are super-non-responsive and keep making things worse for us.

Agreed - can't rely on making a career using Upwork due to this very reason!
gurpreetkmann
Active Member

Thank you for writing this.  I agree with everything you have send and I have been complaining to Upwork about this since 2016 and nothing has changed and nothing has been done.  I have suffered numerous time at the client's hand.  I even had a client who was so happy with the work I have done and praised me, but the billing cycle week came to an end and he got billed.  Then he was not happy because he needed to pay $450 for the 9hrs work I did, even though the limit was 15 hrs.  He told me to give him refund otherwise he will write me a bad review (give me a bad review).  I contacted Upwork right away sent screen shots of all the communications, and what happened?  Nothing other than now my JSS is 50%. 

 

I go above and beyond for each clients, I even guide them on how I work, how I only use the Upwork App to track the hours of work, informed them that they should put hrs limit on the week to meet their budget, outline the steps I will take to complete the work, communicate daily and etc....  Work is being deliver and client is beyond happy, until the end of billing cycle week, then not so much because the money coming out of their pocket.  Who suffers, the freelancer, not the client.  

 

No matter how many times a freelancer complains to Upwork nothing will be done, in the end of the day they need clients in order for freelancer's to get work.  Freelancer's get work and Upwork take 20% of their income.  But yet who suffers the most from this bias JSS? Freelancers!!!

crart
Ace Contributor

Couldn't put it better. And I am victim of this system when client literally had no idea what she wanted, paid me $10 for a sketch that then she said was not what she wanted. And gave me 1 star review, lowered my JSS and of course, obviously for Upwork, it was my fault that the client was, sorry, plain stupid and rude. Another one that was so undecided he literally had no idea what he wanted in the first place and forced me to work 2 months on stuff I usually do in 2 days. Did he pay? No. he got final image when I asked for payment because it anyways exceeded the price we agreed for and asked for additional contract for further refinement. What did he do? Asked for a refund! And what Upwork did? Blamed me for everything, despite my proofs of client's being undecided and very difficult and paid me not even half of the price. So, I worked for free. And client lowered my JSS. Is that fair? According to Upwork - yes. According to being human - no way. Do they care? Of course not.

Upwork should change drastically. It should pay much more attention to clients, should keep an eye on each and every job post, eliminate stupid kids searching for average market prices for specific jobs. I suggest forcing clients to fill a form where they put literally every detail of their offer. Because when I see offers like "do me a photo make over but not too much, paying $5, need high quality and professional artist" I literally wish I could see this "client" face to face and just punch him. And all those who are stupid enough to bid on it! No one controls clients. Everyone controls freelancers. We pay fees, clients don't. We must be professional, know it all, be kind and behave like slave to earn for a living while clients are free to post an offer, hire or not, if hire they can even stop communicating OR they can get the job done and not approve it so freelancers are left with nothing, time and effort wasted, no money. Is that what you really want to be, Upwork? Is this what you embrace, slavery? Of course many freelancers have daily jobs and they can say "back off you idiot" if they meet a client that doesn't even know a basics of what they want or act like a kid. But there are some who depend on freeance and these guys have really tough life. Do you ever support them, Upwork? No. Do you ever take freelancer's side? No. It's always client that wins (my experience). A major change is needed but who will do this? Not those working at Upwork, it is not their business to lose their "valued" clients. It is not their business to stop sending generic, copy-paste replies to serious issues the system generates but start thinking instead (again, my own experience). Not their business to start actually working for money they take. No idea what would have to happen to make them think, to make things change.

I agree with every single word of your post. Sadly, this will lead nowhere.

It is frustrating and I understand what you are going through. Don't know that anyone at Upwork either listens to us or cares enough to protect their best workers. I believe they feel like the clients do - freelancers come a dime a dozen and we are all expendable. It may take until only the mediocre or bad freelancers are left on their sight before they realize what they've done. Then let's see them attract clients!
 
If we can think if someway to bring attention to our cause, then that might be the best way for us to respond. Certainly spreading the news to associates and others through LinkedIn and other employment sites is a start and I know many who are doing so now. Let me know your thoughts! 

David C wrote:
It is frustrating and I understand what you are going through. Don't know that anyone at Upwork either listens to us or cares enough to protect their best workers. I believe they feel like the clients do - freelancers come a dime a dozen and we are all expendable. It may take until only the mediocre or bad freelancers are left on their sight before they realize what they've done. Then let's see them attract clients!
 
If we can think if someway to bring attention to our cause, then that might be the best way for us to respond. Certainly spreading the news to associates and others through LinkedIn and other employment sites is a start and I know many who are doing so now. Let me know your thoughts! 

 I honestly don't see any chance for things to change soon but of course that doesn't mean we should sit and do nothing. But we are losing so far, as freelancers, as "stuff" that can be replaced. As long as there will be people like in another thread I posted in who say thay they "don't care about anything as long as they are paid", the situation will be as it is. If we do not respect ourselves, no one will. It is a long and hard way and surely most of people prefer to act as if they don't care but I, personally, prefer to look at the mirror at the end of the day and say to myself "you didn't let them get you down". Self-respect, folks. Let's start here.

 

(Of course people laugh at me when I express my opinion and you are all free to laugh at me and call me naive. Still, my opinion remains the same ^_^).

 

Re. my JSS, it did not change and I doubt it will, no matter how well I do. After this woman's bad feedback I got three 5-star feedbacks. So yes, people using brain can obviously figure out if I work well or not. But those seeing only JSS don't care anyways and don't like to see anything except for numbers. That is why my opinion is straight - remove JSS entirely. Remove ANY signs of sick competition this site generates. This is just unfair since it is based purely on humans and if one idiot can lower JSS, then it is not a fair representation of freelancer's skills and how well they work. Because that one person can simply be like this woman, blaming freelancer for herself being [insert appropriate word here]^_^ If numbers were to be representation of freelancer's overall job success (which is anyways stupid...), they should be generated purely by machine and based purely on mathematical calculations, without any human factor.

Again, I doubt Upwork will do anything about it. Why? Because that would need work and thinking which, sadly, is not the way they run this site.

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