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Job Success Score affected by long-term contracts left open

Active Member

OK this is bull**bleep**—since UpWork revised their fee structure to start taking the (absolutely insane) 20% on new contracts and incentivize long-term contracts, I have been leaving hourly contracts open indefinitely in case clients decide to come back for repeat jobs (to avoid starting the clock over at the 20% rate every time). Today I realized that having a large number of long-term but inactive contracts open on my profile is affecting my job success score. It's not a lot (98% instead of 100%) but it's still bloody annoying. Is there anything we can do about this? I am already trying to avoid accepting new contracts over UpWork as the platform seems bound and determined to screw freelancers over in their efforts to appeal to clients while making money off us. What other strategies are the rest of you using?

Community Guru

I don't understand why you would leave long-term contracts open that way. As soon as any client reaches the $500 mark, it is down to 10% again....and if the old client comes back with whom you have reached that mark, it does not start at 20% again....once that $500 is reached with any client, it will always be 10% untill such time as the $10k mark is reached and it goes down to 5%.

In general I prefer to keep contracts open as long as possible to freeze the terms and ease reactivation for clients to keep them from looking elsewhere instead of coming to me as their default. Also I have had individual and institutional clients who create new user accounts or ping between user accounts after closing contracts. Keeping the same hourly contracts open in my experience FOSTERS long-term relationships, which is what UpWork says they are aiming to do. What is the rationale behind penalizing this arrangement on my side if it's what works best for both the client and the freelancer? 

It depends on the kind of jobs you do. I have a client that keeps the contract open as he hires me aprox every 3 month and its easier for him this way. 

Exactly, I have a few arrangements like that and I don't understand why I am being penalized for it. 

Community Guru


I feel your pain.

I had over several long term inactive contracts affecting my JSS score.

I recently had to contact many of them and politely ask them to close the contract. My JSS score jumped from 89% to 93%, which is a positive. But I find it ridiculous that clients who like to work with you and trust you, are a negative to a JSS score. Its just not logical.







It is not to Upwork to run your business.  It is up to them to run thiers. they are not a charity but a platform to connect clients to freelancers.  They are trying to run a business just like you.  No room for charity or "this is not fair"  It is not their call if it is fair. 

"Fairness is giving all people the treatment they earn and deserve. It doesn't mean treating everyone alike-Coach John Wooden"

Even from that perspective it doesn't make sense. They are pushing Top Rated Freelancers to close contracts and then building in incentives for those freelancers to take those contracts off UpWork to avoid the astronomical fees should the clients come back for repeat business. 

Community Guru

Are others seeing past clients being placed in the 20% bracket? None of the freelancers that I worked with prior to the increase have reported this to me, nor have I experienced it.


Clients with whom I had a relationship prior to the fee increase are still in the 10% bracket regardless of amount spent and regardless of whether they use an existing contract or offer me a new one.


Also, the "new" fee isn't 20% it is 10% in addition to 10% you were already paying. The net increase is 10% not 20%.




In my particular case, when the Latin American clients with whom I already had several thousand dollars in billings (and hence should now be well on the way toward the 5% bracket) decided to start running my contracts through the UpWork account for their U.S. affiliate, my "lifetime billings" for that client started all over again. Same when a current client sold his first startup, rebranded, and came back to me under another UpWork account. 


In short, we're now giving double the tithe that the Good Lord himself asks from the Faithful in exchange for the great blessing of helping UpWork make a lot of money. I'm pleased indeed you seem to be satisfied with their service, Irene, but for me the costs are increasingly outweighing the benefits.

Really? Sounds like you are doing well. Have you considered opening your own agency?  That way you could do the percents your way?  With so many large sums sounds like you've exceeded the needs of this platform.

Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Samantha,


I can confirm that if a new contract was created by a different client, the 20% service fee is applied by design since your lifetime billing applies to your previous client.




How clients manage successive accounts here is not really Upwork's business; or insofar as it is, it might be because it creates problems for them with respect to the integrity of the marketplace.

I would be somewhat surprised if Upwork were able to recognize the continuity of client relationships under the circumstances you describe (across different accounts). However, asking that particular question could conceivably get you a more favorable response, or some kind of accommodation.

Please note also that application of the 20% fee expires fairly quickly, particularly for the multi-thousand-dollar clients you describe. If it helps, you can think of it as a one-time $50 fee on your first $500 of earnings with each new client account.



Hi Samantha, 


The Job Success score includes many factors such as public and private feedback on all of the contracts you have had, contracts without activity, and contracts without feedback.


Additionally, certain long-term contracts may count positively if they are active, but negatively if they are idle. So I would suggest you ask your clients to close contracts that you are not using anymore or close them yourself if you don't hear back. 


Your Job Success score is 98% which is a great score despite a couple of jobs with no feedback.

I would also just like to confirm what Irene has shared about long term clients and their respective Upwork service fee. Upwork’s new pricing is based on your lifetime billings with each client. You pay 10% for total billings with your client between $500.01 and $10,000. You may read more about it here and here to learn more about the sliding fees. 

~ Avery

Thank you Avery for your response.


Question? Can you define "negatively if they are idle."

Is the 3 weeks, 3 monthes or 3 years?


Thank you



The no feedback is confusing?

Why would no feedback be negative?


I decline to give feedback on many online services.

Many times my clients cant figure out how to give feedback.

The customer client feedback option is also removed after 14 days, why is that?


Thank you


Still no reply to your questions and I'm wondering the same thing.

I've closed a contract for example of an idle client. Obviously, this person diddn't even leave feedback. So is that negative?

Hi Jennifer, 


Open inactive contracts or contracts closed without feedback only affect the Job Success score if there is a pattern of such jobs.

~ Avery