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Negative Feedback Removal

Ace Contributor
Angela D Member Since: May 13, 2019
1 of 12

I accepted a fixed-price job offer for Wikipedia article writing for a company. After I coded the draft on Wikipedia's platform for the site's review process, the client requested revisions that were contrary to Wikipedia's neutrality policy and Terms of Use. I advised the client of the guidelines and the client stated they "would not move forward" with the draft if the revisions were not completed.

I contacted Upwork customer support and the company representative independently decided to file a dispute on my behalf. During the dispute process, the client continued to request the revisions that violated Wikipedia's neutrality policy. The mediator made no acknowledgment of the fact that I was being asked to violate another site's guidelines which is also a violation of Upwork's Terms of Use Section 4.1 (b) - Examples of Prohibited Use of the Site: "The following are examples of uses that are prohibited on the Site or when using the Site Services: would violate (a) Upwork’s Terms of Service, (b) the terms of service of another website or any similar contractual obligations, or (c) the academic policies of any educational institution;"

After I requested information for third party arbitration, the client agreed to submit full payment for the work performed and to not adversely impact my Upwork account. However, the client was permitted to leave negative private feedback which violated the mediation agreement overseen by Upwork. Per Upwork's below policy and the advice of the dispute mediator, I contacted Upwork Customer Support for feedback removal.

"If the issue can’t be resolved with the client and you feel you have received feedback that violates the Upwork's Terms of Service, please contact Customer Support by clicking here. For your dispute to be considered by Upwork, you must include a detailed discussion of the contract and a written statement describing how the feedback violates Upwork's Terms (most relevant violations are listed in the Terms of Use)."

The Customer Support representative advised that the feedback would not be removed as this is "a perk we extend to our Top Rated community only". However, Upwork policy does not state that freelancers have to be "Top Rated" to remove feedback from a client that acted contrary to Upwork's Terms of Use. Prior to the client's closure of the contract on 5/23/19, I completed 3 Upwork contracts in total which each received five-star reviews which had not yet produced a Job Success Score (JSS). As of 5/28/19, I received a JSS of 75% which is likely attributed to the private feedback from this fourth client. I should not be penalized by the feedback of a client who requested work product contrary to Upwork's Terms of Use. In addition, Upwork's policy to permit feedback by clients and freelancers after the resolution of a dispute or third party arbitration can be detrimental to the Upwork accounts of both parties. Has anyone else had such a challenging/similar experience? Any assistance that can be offered would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Community Guru
John K Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
BEST ANSWER
2 of 12
Perhaps Upwork can do the next best thing and exclude the feedback from your JSS score. When a freelancer wins a dispute, it would be naive to assume that the client will leave impartial feedback.
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Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
3 of 12

edited - misread

Ace Contributor
Angela D Member Since: May 13, 2019
4 of 12

Edited per above comment

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
5 of 12

I have been in a similar situation when I won arbitration and back on Elance clients left feedback AFTER a dispute, so it was 1000000000 times worse. He gave me one star, ranted in my feedback that I'm unprofessional and terrible and whatever else. 

 

That  was 4 years ago. All you can do is just keep going and you'll find that lots of people don't even look at these things. 

 

I did get into a dispute for a similar reason (client wanted me to add stuff that woulnd't fly on Wikipedia) and I lost that one. Decided to stay away from those jobs. 

Ace Contributor
Angela D Member Since: May 13, 2019
6 of 12

Should freelancers or clients have to accept negative feedback after a dispute or third party arbitration is resolved in their favor? In this case, the client requested work contrary to Upwork's Terms of Use. After mediation, the client closed the contract, released the full escrow payment and left negative feedback. As a result of my adherence to site policy, my account has been adversely impacted. Does the community find this practice acceptable?

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
7 of 12

Angela D wrote:

Should freelancers or clients have to accept negative feedback after a dispute or third party arbitration is resolved in their favor? In this case, the client requested work contrary to Upwork's Terms of Use. After mediation, the client closed the contract, released the full escrow payment and left negative feedback. As a result of my adherence to site policy, my account has been adversely impacted. Does the community find this practice acceptable?


The contract is closed before a dispute. The mediator handles the money. So feedback was given prior to you getting your money. 

 

I doubt they'll ever change this. You'll be fine though.

Ace Contributor
Angela D Member Since: May 13, 2019
8 of 12

Thanks for your response Jennifer. The contract was active on 5/7/19 when Upwork initiated the dispute. The client closed the contract on 5/23/19.

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
9 of 12

welp, ok.

 

Shoulda run that one by the mediator and they would have explained. It would be strange to me if they told you that an agreement not to impact JSS was something that's doable. Strange indeed. But maybe they were thinking that since feedback had ALREADY been given that he could technically not affect your JSS anymore. Sneaky sneaky.

 

This is why it's important that people know how it works, because then you can catch these little details.

Community Guru
Kathy T Member Since: Jul 17, 2015
10 of 12

IMO feedback, both public and private, should NOT be allowed for either party after a dispute and/or arbitration. I don't know of either a client or a freelancer giving glowing, positive feedback after it's determined that the other party should get or receive funds. 

 

The party that "loses" always has something negative to say. 

 

What you can do is to reply to that feedback by saying something to the effect that you received negative feedback because what the client wanted violated both Upwork/s TOS and Wikipedia. Also, negative feedback was given because the client lost the dispute due to the above reason. 

 

Although you can't do anything about the private feedback, repling to the public feedback might help. 

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