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Lawless feedback policies?

tlsanders
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
11 of 22

@Ilya S wrote:

> Ilya, a client who is attempting to force you to work for free will be suspended, and hence not in a position to leave feedback.

Thank you, can I please get a link to this policy?


 Honestly, since I don't work here and was just offering the information to assist, I kind of think you should do your own research. Both feedback manipulation and asking for free work are TOS violations. It's always dangerous to jump in and work in any environment without taking a few minutes to learn the rules.

tlsanders
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
12 of 22

Prashant, once upon a time, I ordered a bed frame and headboard through Amazon. It was perhaps the worst ordering experience I ever had. The delivery was three weeks late, I couldn't get any response to inquiries, and then when I finally reached someone (a few days before I was scheduled to leave town for three weeks), I was told that their truck only came to my area once a week and it had been that day, so I couldn't get it for another week.

 

I threw a fit and they moved it to another shipper and had it delivered to me the next day...and then sent me a $273 bill for next-day shipping.

 

I left them a terrible review on Amazon and they reached out and told me they would offer me a 50% refund, but only if I removed my feedback. When I declined, they harassed me ceaselessly. Rather than giving in, I wrote a series of blog posts about the experience. The ultimate outcome was that they sent me a full refund and paid for the shipping...I paid zero and my negative review stood.

 

This seems pretty similar to the type of feedback abuses that happen here on Upwork.

bobafett999
Community Guru
Prashant P Member Since: Sep 29, 2015
13 of 22

@Tiffany S wrote:

Prashant, once upon a time, I ordered a bed frame and headboard through Amazon.


 Ok Tiffany let us wrestle in mud like pigs.  Soon you will realize that pigs love that!

 

Ok i will stay with your 'stuff' and vending machine type service example.  Let us pause and change the scenerio a bit.  Let us say that you got your stuff the provider did everything that could with the deliver deadline, no chipped pieces etc.

 

But then you turn around and threaten the seller with negative feedback to 'extract' refund or something else?

 

On Upwork I have seen posts after posts that matches the situation.  Last night I read a post by Luda in which the buyer wants to end the contract and refund the escrow money and pay her ONE CENT. 

 

I am sure no matter what she does she will take a hit.  The private feedback creature Upwork has created allows all kind of abuses.  In your example of Amazon - there is only one feedback that is visible to both buyers and sellers.

 

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

 

Now let us have round 2 of wrestling.  I am too lazy to find out the question you posed to Stefan about ethicality of charging whatever price for something you got it for free.

 

First of all in software world there is nothing Out-of-box solution (like MS Office or Photoshop).  But still to continue along your line of thinking.

 

Let us say by training you are a geologist and love hiking.  You have explored every inch of Rocky Mountain and studied the formation, evaluated every terrain, dug holes and studied what is underneath of those big rocks.

 

The suddenly once day you found a location that has big diamonds.  You don't have to do anything.  Diamonds are flawless and cut with perfection precision (Now for a moment assume that it is legal to get stuff from federal land). 

 

A buyer comes along and wants a 10K blue diamond.  Would you just give it away or charge market price?

 

Remember you found that diamond mine becasue of your love for hiking and your training as a geologist.

tlsanders
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
14 of 22

@Prashant P wrote:


 

Ok i will stay with your 'stuff' and vending machine type service example.  Let us pause and change the scenerio a bit.  Let us say that you got your stuff the provider did everything that could with the deliver deadline, no chipped pieces etc.

 

But then you turn around and threaten the seller with negative feedback to 'extract' refund or something else?

 

On Upwork I have seen posts after posts that matches the situation.  Last night I read a post by Luda in which the buyer wants to end the contract and refund the escrow money and pay her ONE CENT. 

 

That's exactly my point, Prashant. That's a risk inherent in a rating system. If you don't think it happens to businesses, think again. It's simply part of the package when you run a business. And, as a freelancer, you are running a business. If you aren't prepared to manage that type of event, you aren't in a position to run a business. Maybe that sounds harsh, but it really is that simple. If you need a giant safety net of laws and rules and higher-ups stepping in to protect you, then you should be an employee. When you choose to go out on your own, you choose to trade those protections for whatever benefits drew you to independent contracting.

 

I am sure no matter what she does she will take a hit.  The private feedback creature Upwork has created allows all kind of abuses.  In your example of Amazon - there is only one feedback that is visible to both buyers and sellers.

 

Actually, public feedback is much more susceptible to abuse. A client can't blackmail or bargain with private feedback, since the freelancer will never have any way of knowing whether he did what he said he was going to do. It's those damned, useless star ratings and comments that are the focus of the vast majority of feedback manipulation from both sides (which is a large part of the reason they became completely useless and necessitated private feedback)

 

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

 

Now let us have round 2 of wrestling.  I am too lazy to find out the question you posed to Stefan about ethicality of charging whatever price for something you got it for free.

 

First of all in software world there is nothing Out-of-box solution (like MS Office or Photoshop).  But still to continue along your line of thinking.

 

Let us say by training you are a geologist and love hiking.  You have explored every inch of Rocky Mountain and studied the formation, evaluated every terrain, dug holes and studied what is underneath of those big rocks.

 

The suddenly once day you found a location that has big diamonds.  You don't have to do anything.  Diamonds are flawless and cut with perfection precision (Now for a moment assume that it is legal to get stuff from federal land). 

 

A buyer comes along and wants a 10K blue diamond.  Would you just give it away or charge market price?

 

Remember you found that diamond mine becasue of your love for hiking and your training as a geologist.

 

I'm not arguing this one here for two reasons: it's way off point in an important thread, and I already responded to this issue on the appropriate thread, a couple of days ago. If in fact the person is one of a handful in the world with the knowledge to do the job, that's an entirely different issue from "one of the 1.5 million or so who could easily help you with this."

 

More on point to this thread, I will say that I am consistently troubled by your persistent declaration that freelancers are at the mercy of, hostage to, etc. client feedback--that's one of the reasons I keep engaging in what you see as wrestling (something I don't enjoy, by the way--I try to reserve it for when I think public statements are harming someone)

 

I think it is horribly irresponsible of you, as a seasoned professional, to ratify the idea of new freelancers with little or no professional experience that caving in to unreasonable client demands is normal, a function of the system, and their only option.

 

It is not possible to build a successful business without the courage of one's convictions. It may be fine for you, as a retired person who has stated that you don't need the income, to cop out to "oh, clients have all the power," but by stating and restating that to younger people just starting out in business, you are doing serious harm--perhaps irreparable harm--by helping to convince them that they are powerless, not in contro of their own businesses, forced to comply with client demands or face insurmountable consequences, etc.

 

I argue this point every time you (and others) make it, and will continue to do so, because I want to see people succeed and grow thriving businesses, not cower in the corner, scraping by and feeling like victims.


 

tlsanders
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
15 of 22

Wait...what do you mean by "$300 limit?"

gilbert-phyllis
Community Guru
Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
16 of 22

@Tiffany S wrote:

Wait...what do you mean by "$300 limit?"


His take on the minimum amount that needs to be at stake, for a freelancer to reasonably consider arbitration?

tlsanders
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
17 of 22

@Phyllis G wrote:

@Tiffany S wrote:

Wait...what do you mean by "$300 limit?"


His take on the minimum amount that needs to be at stake, for a freelancer to reasonably consider arbitration?


 Oh, maybe. Thanks.

 

I don't agree with that (if the client was being shady, I'd arbitrate $10), but I realize that's not realistic for many freelancers.

 

But, Prashant, (if that is what you meant) Upwork didn't create that cost as a deterrent--that's the discounted rate they've negotiated for an outside arbitrator to decide the issue.

cylver1z
Community Guru
Ryan C Member Since: Feb 3, 2017
18 of 22

Hello Ilya,

 

I'm sorry to hear that. Your clients can't edit their feedback unless you enable the edit feedback optionThe feedback period is 14 days from the end of a contract. The system is double-blind, which means that feedback won’t be visible until both parties provide it for each other. If only one party leaves feedback, it will be posted after the 14-day period has expired.


Untitled
isuzdal
Active Member
Ilya S Member Since: Jan 24, 2018
19 of 22

Hi Ryan,

 

Thank you for your reply. The contract was ended on January 5th. This means that the feedback window should have ended on January 19th. I've checked on January 22nd, and there was no feedback from them. I've checked today and now there's a negative feedback, even though 19 days have passed. How is that possible? Seems like they have contacted someone on Upwork to post the feedback manually? This seems to be lawless, and I would like to have their feedback removed.

tlbp
Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
20 of 22

Clients cannot change their feedback after 14 days, but can ask to have it fully removed. (As I understand the process).

 

With regard to the 14-day issue. It is possible that the client left the feedback within the required time frame but it did not appear on your profile until several days later. Often there is a lag between the giving of feedback and its publication. 

 

Worrying about the feedback is probably a waste of time. The client is a bad one who chose to attempt to harm your reputation. You can file a report with Upwork and if there is a pattern of such behavior, you might see results. But, it may also just waste your time. Don't agree to work with the client again. Leave honest feedback about his behavior if you have the opportunity and otherwise just move on to the next job. 

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