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Lesson learned. Thanks Upwork!

Ace Contributor

Recently, I report to the support team about a situation where my client asked me to do a dishonest task. I refused that request and decided to inform the support team, I submit to them evidence of such a request, they told me they would study the case. Days later, I received a statement of support team where they congratulated me for having reported such activity and that they would take appropriate action against the client. The client decided to terminate the contract and he put me a negative rating. I thought this negative score would not affect my JJS, but it did. So I wonder, why do I report this situation anyway ?, if the client ruined my reputation, he remained active on the platform and I lost my 100%, now I have 86%.


Thanks Upwork !. Next time I prefer that the client explode me and I just keep quiet. I write this only as an experience for others. Actually, I don't care fix this situation.

Community Guru

Sounds like a form letter you got from support--they always thank you for taking action, say that the community depends on it, etc. and then say they'll take whatever actions are appropriate (though they never specify what that might be).


What exactly did the client ask you do do?

Tiffany, judging by the client's review, it seems the client requested him to do some link bulding by way of guest blogging. Alas, I don't know enough about this sort of thing to judge if it was ethical or black hat SEO.


Victor, I hope Upwork will decide to exclude the client's feedback from your JSS.


ETA: found this Upwork article, which doesn't address the question per se, but might still be of interest:


Any experienced bloggers care to comment on all this?

"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce

He asked me to lie to the potential client, about negotiating with something that he did not have. In addition, I should convince these future clients to close the deal, before they realized about that "scam".


In short, He asked me to tell prospective clients that had other websites when he was only a website to promote.


PS: Also, he put me a dirty review to try to ruin even more my reputation. Really, I don't care, I trust in God and my abilities.  Man Happy

Victor, there are smart and diplomatic ways to get out of a contract, and there are ways that are neither smart nor diplomatic. 


In future, choose the former.

Miss petra, I informed my client formally that because of this request, I did not want to work more for him. The client responded with threats, he told me he would give me a bad score and that would leave a bad review in my profile. Which he did.

Community Guru

I'm not privy to this case, but if a freelancer reports a suspicious behaviour to Upwork and if Upworks decides that the reporting was justified and that the client indeed violated the ToS, the client's feedback should be canceled.


Again, I only have one side of this specific story, so I'm painting a theoretical case.

"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless

Rene, I totally agree!  As many of us know, there are numerous "should be's."

Mr. Rene, totally agree with you, it is always good to hear the 2 parts of a story, in order to draw a conclusion about a situation. * Must be attentive to detail and tangible evidence !.*

I feel that if they asked you to do something and if it is against the terms of service on upworks that they should remove the bad feedback and take action against the client. I am not sure if it is the case here or not as there isnt enough detail aside from you saying what the client did was wrong.


If upworks did take action like you say though there had to be a reason if action was in fact taken unless it is just a boilerplate answer and they dont investigate until after you got the letter and found what the client did was ok. If it was a job you were led to believe was fine and it turned into something that is against the terms, upworks should remove it as if the job was never even started.


Upwork Support:


**Edited for Community Guidelines**


That's my reward for reporting an unlawful act. Smiley LOL


Again, Thanks Upwork. 

Yeah and I definitely disagree with them if it is something that was unethical or illegal that was assigned to you without it being in the original posting. Upworks does have the right though to not remove the feedback and it actually states they are not obligated to do so in their terms, but I do feel that if they dont when someone violates the terms that it really isnt helping maintain the integrity of the marketplace as they say since clients or freelancers can basically blackmail much easier that way as well as the fact that this makes the feedback system much more false. It also allows such behavior to continue. I feel they should be obligated to remove such users and remove their false feedback if it is in fact a violation, and thats just my opinion but upworks can do as they please since it is there site. Perhaps they saw it as a grey area sort of issue and I am just saying that because I dont have 100% understanding of the issue. 


From the terms here: 


In order to protect the integrity of the feedback system and protect Users from abuse, Upwork reserves the right (but is under no obligation) to remove posted feedback or information that, in Upwork’s sole judgment, violates the Terms of Service or negatively affects our marketplace.  You acknowledge and agree that you will notify Upwork of any error or inaccurate statement in your feedback results, including the JSS, and that if you do not do so, Upwork may rely on the accuracy of such information.


What I want to say to my fellow workers is the following:


Upwork can not prevent a client will leave you a bad review or they can not remove a bad review even if the client is wrong. They (Upwork) hide behind "their terms". Ok, It's fine.


With evidence in hand (screenshots in my case), you can not win a battle against a client, if you "win" Upwork will tell you "hey, thanks for telling me that, continue with your life and if you're lucky the client will leave you a good review."


The client was so evil that the review he put on my profile was written as if the support system of Upwork had written it. To give more "weight" to his opinion. In short, the review is all a lie.


Actually, I do not care if upwork close my account or comment but I feel so helpless.

The review that was left wasn't "evil" - you didn't want to do the job any longer because you considered it to be unethical, so next time you feel a need to report a client just do it after the contract is closed (OBVIOUSLY) not while it is still open.


You could have got out of that contract in a more elegant manner, then you would not have been left with that bad feedback.



OMG Mis Petra, he threatened me that if I did not do what he was asking me, he was going to place a bad score. Then I wonder, where is my ethics? my conscience?. I'm going to sell myself for money ?. I decided at that moment to seek help from the support team. Explain to me which is the elegant way out of a contract or a client that threatens you if you do not do what he is asking. I talked to him before reaching that point. He knew that if I gave another excuse that I do not want to work more for him, he knew why.


I just told him I do not want to the do that request and the threat began. I felt like a slave.Smiley Sad

@Victor S wrote:

OMG Mis Petra, he threatened me that if I did not do what he was asking me, he was going to place a bad score.

 This right here is the core of about half of the problems freelancers have on Upwork.


If your actions and choices are dictated by threats of bad feedback, this is not a workable business model for you.


That may sound harsh, but it's a fact. You can't run a successful business if you don't have the courage to simply act on your own values, beliefs, standards, priorities, etc. 


What you (and others) describe is a hostage situation--that's not freelancing.

I do not regret the decision I take so from the beginning of this conversation, I said I do not seek to accommodate this situation, I just want to share my experience.


I know the world, this platform will run its course with or without me. It's a fact.

Tiffany is right. Best thing anyone can do is move on. It sucks but it happens. I think each freelancer on the planet has experienced challenges with clients that are difficult. The way you look at it moving forward is what counts and all you can do is learn from it. btw, I would stay away from jobs where clients say "this will be really simple!". They usually expect more than usual and are the difficult clients. I think after a while you will start to see the difficult clients if you pick out little things like that. 

That's why this conversation is called "Lesson learned".Not only I understood how this platform works but the type of client that I can find on this platform. I have had wonderful experiences with other clients, this will not stop me from looking for new jobs.

I think that Upwork should start supporting the way of thinking that Rene described.

Violation of Upwork`s ToS = Individual that violated ToS [client/freelancer] has no right to leave the feedback for that particular project.

Ace Contributor

How did the client find out that you had reported him with Customer Service? 


I wonder because I once contacted CS to ask what to do with a new client who didn't have his payment method verified. The next day the client left me a really angry message, telling me that I was questioning his integrity, etc etc. I handled the issue in most professional manner I could, and everything turned out to be ok at the end. I finished the work, he left me a good review, but never hired me again, and end of the story. 


Anyway, how did the client find out? I never knew, but started to suspect that Upwork had sent him the chat transcript, which would be a disaster for any business relationship held under this platform. When you contact customer service to express concern about an specific client, does customer service send the client the chat transcription? Can any moderator clarify?