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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!


@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!



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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