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Job Success Score should be transparent

Active Member
Katie C Member Since: Sep 21, 2015
1 of 25

I just want to state that I feel the job success score should be transparent.  This secrecy is frustrating and helps no one!!!


As a former teacher, my evaluator would come into my classroom and when he/she would give me less than a 100% mark, he/she would give me an explanation for it, so I could grow and get better! How are we suppose to grow and get better at our craft if we have no idea why we have 90% instead of a 100%?


A client gives me a 5 star rating, that same client publicly says he would recommend me to others, and he emailed me to say how impressed he was with my work, but then my job success score drops.  So what happened?  This client publically gave me great reviews, but in private expressed a concern about my work?  Shouldn't I be the one to know if my client is concerned?  (According to the upwork support member who addressed my question concerning my job success score, the client left less than positive private feedback: "Yourclient provided you 5 star overall public rating however, job success represents your job performance that includes the private feedback of client. You will see on your profile you have a perfect 5 star rating, but privately client shares concern which is included on the computation of job success score and reflected on your score.")  Um, ok, so the client lied to me?  He shares a concern about my work with Upwork, but not with me? 



Allowing us to see the private feedback does not take away from the honesty of the job success score.  The client can still express a concern, the client can still give lower marks, but now, we freelancers would at least know why. 


And what's the deal with clients lying?  If a client gives 5 stars and glowing reviews publicly then gives poor reviews privately, then doesn't that mean he is lying to me about my success?


My job success score dropped 4% with no explanation.  Upwork, PLEASE make this transparent.   I think the job success score is a great idea, and I can take receiving low scores as long as I know why.  This confusion is what has me the most upset. 





Active Member
Katie C Member Since: Sep 21, 2015
2 of 25

I am hoping someone here can help me understand because every time I contact upwork about it, they give me this generic message, and then mark my request as solved.  


I had a job success score of 94%, and there were two reasons I was told for the drop from a 100%


1) At the start, I switched how much I was going to charge hourly in the middle of a contract. 


2) I accepted a job, and then realized it was for an academic paper, and I did not feel comfortable making the intense revisions he wanted me to make (essentially rewriting parts of it) for a paper he was going to get graded on.  So I changed the terms of the contract and reduced the price.  The client agreed, and he was totally fine with it.  When I contacted Upwork they applauded my honesty and said they were not sure how an academic paper of that nature was put into their system (apparently, they don't let those requests fly).  However, they told me it would affect my job success score.  Since I was new to upwork, I knew I had time to build my sucess score back up, and they were honest with me, so I let it go. 


However, I went from 94% down to 90% with ZERO explanation.  As a teacher, I have always valued feedback, so I always ask my clients how I can improve, so I can get better, and I appreciate their honesty.  When evaluators at my school gave me a mark lower than a 100%, they would explain what I could do to be better.  I appreciate that kind of feedback.  But a seemingly arbitrary 4% drop without any explanation does not help me get better at my job.  How can I be more successful when I do not know the reason for the drop?


In the two weeks that it dropped from 94% down to 90%, all that happened was I receieved a 5 star rating from a client who told me he wanted to use me again, so I don't see how his private feedback could have been bad.  And a previous client said she clicked on the wrong thing, and she wanted me to enable her to change the feedback, so she could change the 4.5 rating to a 4.8.  She had clicked on 4 stars she said where she meant to click on 5.  So How did I go down 4% from a client chaning a rating to a better score and another client giving me a perfect score and recommending me for jobs? (THat is ALL that happened in the two weeks that my job success score dropped)


I am OK with my score dropping IF I know why, so I can improve.  So I spent time reading up on job success score, and I think I had finally figured out what caused the drop.  I had a current seemingly inactive contract with a seemingly late milestone.  The client issued Milestone #4, and I completed it well before the due date, but then a personal tragedy struck, and he communicated with me that he would not be able to read the blog I wrote for him for several months.  I understood.  I didn't click on submit work, although the work was done, because I wasn't worried about being paid for several months. He communicated with me, and I was fine with it.  But I realized to a computer it looks like I missed the deadline on milestone #4 and it looks like I have an inactive contract. 


In my searching for information on job success score, it clearly says in the picture with arrows pointing to a sample score that an inactive contract DOES negatively impact job success.


I wrote to Upwork to explain to them that I did complete the milestone on time, and that I was hoping they could reverse my job success score drop and change it back to 94%.  


THe support guy just responded with a list of things that affect job success score, and an inactive contract was not one of them.  So then I showed him via print screen that the picture on upwork shows that contract inactivity does affect job success.  He responded with yes, it does, but not if it isn't your fault.  Ok, so tell me how on earth a computer would be able to tell that I have actually finished the milstone, but that the client is dealing with a personal tragedy and can not get to the milestone right now?


This all just seems so bizzare.  Thoughts?

Community Guru
Javier M Member Since: Sep 16, 2015
3 of 25
Community Guru
Ela K Member Since: Feb 9, 2015
4 of 25

@Javier M wrote:


...upwork is renowned for its technical excellence and I see no reason to cast aspersions on their obscure rating algorithm.

Good luck!


You should post more. Seriously.

Just don't get banned too soon.




Community Guru
Cathleen C Member Since: Aug 17, 2015
5 of 25

I don't think the JSS has anything to do with helping freelancers improve themselves. I think it is designed to help upwork funnel jobs in certain directions to certain freelancers.


When i first started on elance, I worried about negative feedback, my score, and losing work. Then I just decided to focus on bidding on jobs, doing good work, and helping the client. Yes, I got some low feedback. But I still got jobs, and I got some good clients. So far, none of the low scores I got stopped me from getting jobs. A bigger concern, to me, is the amount of competition.


There are other threads here on the same topic, maybe you can sort through and get more of an idea of how the JSS works.


Active Member
Katie C Member Since: Sep 21, 2015
6 of 25



I still had 90%, and then it went up to 92%, so yeah it isn't like I have a bad score. I am more focused on doing good work and helping the client.  If I get low remarks from a client, I use it as a tool to help me improve.  So it's not necesarily a hyperfocus on the score more so than on doing great work.  I have some concern that my score may continue to drop without a reason simply  because I don't want that to deter potential clients.  If they get rid of the star rating showing on your profile as they say they will, and my JSS mysteriously drops further, then yeah that could ruin my chance of getting good jobs.


So far I have been getting too many invitations to interview that I actually have had to turn a lot of them down due to lack of time.  And I want to do my best for each client, and that is my focus.  But I just want to know if this will become a problem later.


But you are right, I shouldn't focus on it so much! Smiley Very Happy

Community Guru
Irene B Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
7 of 25

Yes, you are right.


As both a qualified assessor and moderator I have written on this a few times, yet it remains.

Community Leader
Sandeep C Member Since: Oct 24, 2013
8 of 25

Upwork support gives auto generated replies to questions regarding JSS. They will say that it is based on private feedback that client has left. end of discussion. 


I have faced similar situation. when after finishing a job successfully i expect a rise in JS score. but unfortunately it decreases further.  with so many problems and glitches in upwork site it is hard to believe that JS score actually reflects client's feedback score. 

Community Guru
Darrin O Member Since: Jan 20, 2015
9 of 25

@Katie C wrote:

And what's the deal with clients lying?

I'm going to distill your entire post down to this one question, because it's the main part that hasn't already been discussed to death.  Upwork, in keeping the JSS calculation secret, does indeed appear to be pushing the notion that its clients are inherently dishonest.  I don't believe that's true of most of my clients.  And if it is true, I'm not sure why it makes sense to use their unreliable feedback at all to calculate something like a JSS.


So, Upwork, you have the data and apparently feel it's important enough to boil into our JSS.  Tell us, overall, what percentage of clients on your platform are telling one story when they give private feedback and another story when they give public feedback?


Community Guru
Cathleen C Member Since: Aug 17, 2015
10 of 25

Tell us, overall, what percentage of clients on your platform are telling one story when they give private feedback and another story when they give public feedback?


Yep, that blew me away when I learned about that a couple of days ago. I've worked on elance for 1+ years and never knew that was going on. Maybe it was better when I didn't know.