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JSS Calculation seems off

Active Member
Jeanne M Member Since: Oct 17, 2018
11 of 17
Thank you for sharing your experience. In reading these replies, it seems as if my clients who aren't closing contracts on work completed might also be skewing my feedback. I'm now looking for tips on how to get clients to close contracts when the work is complete and paid for (and when they don't respond to messages politely asking them to do so). 
Ace Contributor
Yazid M Member Since: Jan 8, 2019
12 of 17

I asked four clients to end my contracts. Two have already done it, the third one had agreed but it was three days ago and the fourth one said that she still wants to work with me and that she doesn't want to close the contract.


For all them, I've asked smoothly, without rushing them and with an explanation of how Upwork works. I let them the choice, told them that I loved to work with'em and that I'd be glad to continue to work with them in a close future but with seperate contracts, if only it suits them.


None of them knew that an open contract could have an impact on freelancers, especially the newest ones. 


It can be a tricky move and therefore, you're right when you want to find some tips before acting.


I've a 5th contract that I want to be ended but the client is really a rude person so for now, I let it the way it is until I find the right move. 

Community Guru
Will L Member Since: Jul 9, 2015
13 of 17



Keep in mind that the Job Success Score is primarily a marketing tool for Upwork that gives clients the impression they can hire "only the best" freelancers by defaulting to a JSS of 90 or higher in their search for new freelancers. (There is no evidence a freelancer with a rating of 90 is more likely to provide superior service than a freelancer with a rating of 89, but 90 is the cut-off point Upwork has identified as the demarcation point between great freelancers and the also-rans.)


Presumably, one of Upwork's goals in having a freelancer ratings system is to spare clients who give freelancers honest but negative feedback from having to respond to message board posts, emails, etc. from irate freelancers who don't think they the negative feedback that was "fair" and reflects reality.


That's a reasonable goal for Upwork to have and honest freelancers shouldn't object to it, but by allowing clients to leave both public and private feedback that can be wildly different, Upwork has also left freelancers open to both unjustifiably negative feedback and a JSS scoring system that includes information freelancers can never see nor respond to.


There were other solutions Upwork could have used to deal with this real problem of freelancers nagging clients about feedback, but instead we freelancers are stuck with a system that is too opaque to ensure honesty from all clients or provide meaningful feedback to freelancers who actually care about ensuring or improving the quality of work they provide to their clients.


Don't let the JSS's opacity get you down for too long. If you're going to work through Upwork, it's just a fact of life and distraction - a distraction that probably won't keep you from winning new projects as long as its at least in the high 80s (in my experience).


Over the long run, the best you can do is work hard, under-promise and over-deliver and be sure that you and each new client are crystal clear on their expectations and the end product you'll provide to them. Make sure you really understand all the nuances and unwritten rules on Upwork - there are many.

Active Member
Jeanne M Member Since: Oct 17, 2018
14 of 17
Excellent advice and much appreciated. It strangely makes me feel better to know that others have experienced and gotten through. I am finding it to be a very interesting path, to be sure. I have never received a negative job review in my professional career in the public and private sectors, so this one really gets to me, especially since it was for less than an hour of work. And I completely agree that the system is too opaque and could use some work. But we just deal, right?
Community Guru
Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
15 of 17

The 'clients who would recommend' percentage is based off all UW clients who ever leave feedback. I believe it updates on a different cycle than the JSS (which updates every two weeks). It eventually includes clients who age out of the JSS scoring windows.


The JSS is far from perfect but IMO it's also far from the worst shortcoming of this platform. If you are good at what you do, work hard, and are adaptable and inclined to learn from mishaps and errors, you'll likely thrive here. 

Community Guru
John K Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
16 of 17

Jeanne, if it's any consolation, it's highly likely that the client who gave you a 3.1 rating also gave you a low private feedback score. One of the unfortunate aspects of freelancing is that occasionally you will encounter a difficult to please client, but at least in my experience, they're vastly outnumbered by the clients who appreciate your work.

"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
17 of 17

Jeanne M wrote:

 but my JSS is still only at 89%. So I am sitting with nine 5-star ratings and one 3.1. No matter how I look at it, that just doesn't compute.


Sure it does. The JSS algorithm is actually more complicated than this, but on the surface this looks just about perfect. You had 9 successful projects and one unsuccessful one. 9/10 is 90%


On a side note, the bad rating didn't take you out of Rising Talent. Rising Talent automatically goes away when you get JSS.