If somebody has moral objections to video verification, that's fine.
Nobody is required to undergo Upwork video verification.
There are benefits to doing so, and if somebody wants those benefits, they can do the verification.
As a practical matter, nobody is required to use Upwork at all.
re: "Upwork, what if you customers have anxiety, what if they can't actually speak or have other impairments or difficulties, what if they don't have the proper equipment to complete the call?"
It is not my intention to make light of your concerns. But you sound like someone who has never personally undergone video verification or made the attempt to contact Upwork to work with them about any specific issues involving this process. I have personally undergone video verification, and I can tell you from first-hand experience that you are worried about this in ways that you don't need to be. This is not an interrogation or a test or a "gotcha" kind of thing. This is a security precaution. Your specific examples of concerns actually demonstate some of the things Upwork deals with and works around.
Well, I had to do it just two or three weeks ago, and I made a big fuss. It was my bed time, I had to change browsers, I was in my pajamas, and I was ready to bite anyone who came within range. I also had to display my passport.
What annoyed me most is that it is not a two-way video. They can see you, but you can't see them. God knows who I gave my details to - but I haven't heard back from anyone and my account is still open. If anyone dares question me again - I shall take it to some authority in the EU. I'm pretty sure that, in this part of the world, verification of this kind is a no-no - just sayin' Upwork. Don't pull this one on me again.
ETA: Preston, you are wrong. It is obligatory; Your account gets suspended if you don't comply.
re: "Preston, you are wrong. It is obligatory; Your account gets suspended if you don't comply."
Nobody is required to maintain an account on Upwork.
If maintaining an account on Upwork actually required me to violate genuine moral beliefs of mine, then I wouldn't do it.
There appear to be several different items in play here. There is the idea that UW should not require video verification at all and then there is the idea that video is fine but there needs to be greater transparency and leeway for preparation.
While I am sympathetic to those that are opposed to video verification, I do think that UW needs to go to these lengths (and more) to ensure the integrity of the platform. I cannot begin to tell you the number of people who copied verbatim my profile and I am just one person. fraudulent freelance accounts are a real issue and they do degrade UW to detriment of all legitimate freelancers here. One could object to having their photo taken for a passport or driver's license; however, it's done based on the greater good. The reality is that it's impossible to please everyone while at the same time improving security and integrity. In that respect, just like a passport or driver's license, one can decide to not travel out of country, operate a vehicle, or become a freelancer on UW. To the extent that there are other technologies that can do the same or better (without a significant cost burden) then certainly I would not object to moving to that and removing the video requirement.
The second point concerning the immediate suspending of accounts or people being forced to take video calls at inconvenient times, is indeed another issue. It's been a while since I did the video verification, but I do recall being able to set something up. The call was quick and over and I didn't have to hold up any other verification. I absolutely agree there should be latitude in arranging a convenient time and accounts should not be immediately held unless there is an actual concern on UW's part that a specific profile is suspect. For routine random checks, a period of say 1 week should be sufficient for both parties.
Like dealing with airport security, there are things we have to endure to improve safety but even that only goes so far before a line is crossed. I don't think video verification crosses the line but like the TSA, there are always improvements to process that can be made to the betterment of both parties.
@Daniela P wrote:
Nichola L, why did you talk in the midle of the night?
I answered 24 hours after the email, and everything was fine.
Because I had a really heavy schedule for the following day starting early in the morning. I wanted to get it over and done with. And because my account was suspended until I did it.
Nichola L wrote:
What annoyed me most is that it is not a two-way video. They can see you, but you can't see them.
Agreed. I found that very disconcerning. Some nerve, if you ask me.
I had no problem with it. The first time. I could see the rep and actually recognized her name so I knew it was fine. But they just made me do it again, inside of two months, and I could not see the rep. I'm close to being Top Rated so it's kind of silly to keep bugging me when there are so many scammers and frauds roaming about that have been here for years that have never gotten caught.
Go chase the bad guys. I'm not one of them.
Additionally, I was just about to complete a project when I got notice to verify. I did it right away because your account is placed on hold until you do so. So it is required if you want to keep working and get paid.
I hope clients do not see that our account is on hold for this.
I'm personally ok with doing video verification, I'm against an account suddenly being locked down, with the only method of reopening is something that could make someone uncomfortable for very real reasons, and none of those are immediately assuaged by Upwork in the inital contact / demand. Not to mention the downtime for technical issues, research and having questions answered. Your post is the first I've heard that Upwork is willing to work with folks which isn't communicated in the correspondance.
People have every right to be concerned about their privacy (ironically the very thing Upwork is trying to protect), which, frankly you and Cathrine *are* making light of. "Just don't use Upwork" isn't a solution and isn't sympathetic and is condescending. "You should just be comfortable with it" isn't a solution and isn't sympathetic. Asking for improvements should not be met with "there's the door". This is an easy fix on Upwork's end - they need to be transparent of their intentions and how information is stored, what is involved, and some leeway time in case folks aren't prepared right that moment. This is especially true for those that haven't used such a service before and also rely on it for part of their income.