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Re: JSS does not reflect performance

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Ace Contributor
Cathy C Member Since: Apr 17, 2016
1 of 16

I have had nine jobs, with one repeat client. My feedback score is 4.88 and 100% of clients say that they would hire me again.

 

I am therefore mystified by my 75% job success score. When I asked Upwork to look into this, they just sent me pasted text about JSS criteria. I cannot get a reasonable explanation.

 

I can only think of two potential problems, but neither one reflects problems with my work.

 

1. One client did not understand for two weeks that I had sent her everything she required at the times we agreed to. When I asked her for feedback, she said that the project had gotten stalled but she seemed otherwise happy with my work. I sent her detailed messagessss explaining that I had not stalled the project but have received no response. I asked Upwork to look into the exchange of messages to see that I had done nothing wrong and that there is no basis for penalizing me. They would not do so. In any case, if my performance was poor, why would the client say that she would hire me again?

 

2. In another case, the scope of work changed after I had accepted the contract. The client closed the contract and immediately set up a new contract. It never occurred to either of us that this would penalize me. In fact, this practice seems unethical.

 

Today, Upwork sent me an email saying that I would be a “good fit” for a job. This is puzzling. Why would Upwork encourage supposedly mediocre freelancers to apply for any position?

 

I understand the need for some sort of rating system but the current JSS system does not fairly reflect performance. Further, there appears to be no recourse when the freelancer contests the rating.

 

I know that some good people work at Upwork and hope that they can understand my perspective. I also hope that someone can either give me a reasonable explanation for my experience or acknowledge some sort of mistake. Failing that, I see no reason to continue working with this company.

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Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
2 of 16

when you cancel a contract, unfortunately the wording that prompts the customer to choose "why" usually means they will choose "job not completed successfully." This is a pretty natural reply to the question that they ask (forget how it's worded). There are 4 choices I believe and 3 of them are negative and 1 is "Job completed successfully." I think any of the 3 negative options hits you hard.  There is no option to choose anything neutral, and I think customers usually choose this one. 

 

You only have 9 jobs, so unfortunately this stuff hits you harder than someone with hundreds of jobs. You also only have the 6 month average for them to go on, so you have a limitation.

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Ace Contributor
Cathy C Member Since: Apr 17, 2016
3 of 16

Thank you for your insight about canceling contracts and my score.  It emphasizes once again how the rating is unrelated to performance.

 

 

 

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Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
4 of 16

I've only had a customer do this once and I got him to choose "job completed successfully." Whenever I close a contract, I always choose this option too.

 

Ela is right about the one feedback too. That sounds really odd like he wanted to rate you poorly but didn't want to do it publicly. It's possible that these two issues are the problem.

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Ace Contributor
Cathy C Member Since: Apr 17, 2016
5 of 16

You are probably right that those are the two issues.  Both are unfair reflections of my work.

 

If Upwork thinks that feedback from this client should penalize me, then they should be able to look at all of the messages we exchanged and tell me what I did wrong.  

 

Those are my only communications with the client and Upwork will find nothing in them to warrant this rating.

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Community Guru
Ela K Member Since: Feb 9, 2015
6 of 16

What kind of feedback did/does she give other providers?

Was/is she always that 'upset'?

 

As far as I know, if a client has a history of giving rather unreasonable feedback, Upwork will look into it.

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Ace Contributor
Cathy C Member Since: Apr 17, 2016
7 of 16

It looks like she gave everyone five stars but I am the only one she left bizarre feedback for.  

 

That said, one freelancer left negative feedback. Another mentioned that she disappeared for long periods and gave little feedback. I had the same experience and all of our jobs were in June.

 

By the way, is there a way to look at her record other than through the original job post?

 

Thanks.

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Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
8 of 16

@Cathy C wrote:

Thank you for your insight about canceling contracts and my score.  It emphasizes once again how the rating is unrelated to performance.

 

 

 


Though I agree that JSS is not calculated well, Jennifer's point doesn't seem to indicate that JSS is unrelated to performance, but that the option the client chose reflected poorly on your performance (even if that wasn't accurate)

 

I know a few people have said there's no acceptable answer except "job completed successfully" or even that you get dinged for a contract closed with no money exchanged regardless of the reason, but I'm not sure that's entirely accurate. I recently agreed with a client to close a contract with no work done and no payment made, and he chose something like "work no longer needed". My JSS did drop two points that round, but I believe that was at least in part due to having received a 4.2 rating in the same period. 

Ace Contributor
Cathy C Member Since: Apr 17, 2016
9 of 16

I disagree. My JSS does not reflect my performance.

 

When the client closed the contract, my JSS was harmed for reasons having nothing to do with my performance. The client did not wish to punish me, Upwork did nothing to alert the client about how this affects me, and Upwork refuses to correct the rating. Rather, Upwork says that we must just accept this injustice.

 

From interactions with my clients, there is no justification for the score I have been given. I cannot obtain further information from Upwork and there is no mechanism for appeal. I cannot even find out if this is the result of a computer glitch.

 

Upwork makes clear that it will allow no exceptions, even when the algorithm unjustly harms the contractor. This is unethical.

 

Contractors should not have to put up with such disrespectful policies.

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Community Guru
Ela K Member Since: Feb 9, 2015
10 of 16

It seems to me that one of your clients (turn a report into a website) was a bit odd?

 

... "choices for employers are to either hinder chances for further work or lie" ...

 

Is s/he saying s/he gave you 5 stars and that was a lie??

It almost sounds like it. Very strange to go on such a rant when s/he should have said something about your performance. 

 

If s/he felt forced to provide public feedback, I wonder what her/his private feedback looked like...

You've only completed 9 jobs, so one really bad private feedback (even if was actually aimed at Upwork's rating system) could really tank your JSS. The public star rating doesn't really mean that much. Unfortunately.

 

That's all I got.

 

 

ETA: Jen is right - there is only one positive option: contract was completed successfully. There are no neutral options. I have been complaining about this for more than a year now...

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