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Non-Feedback, JSS Score, And Bad Clients

Active Member
Dylan M Member Since: Dec 9, 2018
1 of 5

Hello Everyone,


I have a few questions and a complaint.


I am still a little confused how the JSS is calculated. I've been in good standing, completed quality work in a timely manner, and have gotten great scores from everyone. But I started at a JSS of 100% and it quickly sank to 93% in a matter of a week after I got my Top Rated status.


Upon research, I found out a freelancer could have their JSS negatively affected for: "long open contracts with little to no activity" or " Too many completed jobs with no feedback given".


I am beginning to believe that this is the cause of why my score has dropped and I am a little frustrated. I've had about 3-4 clients in the past leave contracts open for 1-2 months and be totally unresponsive.


They give you the job and then literally disappear. They offer no feedback, no instructions or direction, and when you submit your work it's total silence. Then when you want to move on you send them a few messages to ask if they are happy with the work and if so, to close the contract.


Still, silence.


I eventually closed these contracts and of course no feedback was given to me. Now, I am experiencing the same issue. I have about 2-3 people that have been dragging on the work for close to a month and they are mostly unresponsive.


And I know it will likely be they won't give me any feedback. So, I am sitting here holding onto my 93% JSS and praying that in the next week or two my score doesn't drop and I lose my Top Rated and all my hard work goes down the drain.


How is this system fair to the freelancer? It puts all the power in the clients' hands. Freelancers are at the total mercy of a system they have no influence or control over. I feel like a hostage with some of these clients because of situations like I have explained and I don't think the current resolutions or the way it affects the JSS is fair.


If this isn't why my score has dropped could I get an explanation as to what caused it? Like I said, I am baffled because all my feedback has been 5 stars. I've only had a small series of clients that left no feedback after they started a contract and dropped off the face of the Earth.


Thanks for any help on this matter.





Community Guru
Kathy T Member Since: Jul 17, 2015
2 of 5

Whether it's "fair" or not, that's the way it is. It could be that one or 2 good feedbacks may have rolled out of the 6 month window or that a client gave you a negative Private feedback even though they may have given you a 5 star Public feedback. 


Upwork uses an algorithm to determine what a freelancers JSS is and no one here can tell you exactly what or why your JSS dropped and of course, aside from the conditions that may cause a drop not even Upwork will tell you exactly what caused it. 

Community Guru
Sergio S Member Since: Dec 19, 2017
3 of 5

Kathy is right. Upwork don't explain how exactly the JSS is calculated because if they did, due to the cheaters the system would be hacked somehow.


What you say about the unresponsive clients is true. We all have been in that boat. It's said that an occasional "no feedback given" does not affect JSS as long as that contract was paid. But, if you have MANY that does affect. One thing I recommend to you is that if you have dormant contracts don't close them all together because that affects JSS badly. Take 3 or 4 more jobs and then you can close one of the inactive ones, and so on. One more thing you can do is to avoid propective clients who have a pattern of "no feedback given" in their history. It's not a guarantee but it could help.

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
4 of 5

Dylan M wrote:


If this isn't why my score has dropped could I get an explanation as to what caused it?

Private feedback (Take a look at your "clients who would recommend me" rating on your My Stats page.) That's effectively your all time "private JSS" and is computed only from the responses of clients who actually left feedback.


Unless you have an unduly high percentage of contracts where money was paid but which have been idle for several months (which you don't), or "no feedback" contracts (which you don't) - such contracts have no effect on your JSS.


JSS is affected by

  • feedback (public, but mainly private)
  • whether money has been paid (contracts that sit idle without nothing having EVER been paid, start to hurt after 2-3 months, as do contracts that are closed with nothing having EVER been paid, if closed with no poor private feedback.


Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
5 of 5

Very few systems are built on fairness. For example, true fairness would require that people fortunate enough to be born in world regions with running water and stable economies redistribute their wealth until every region had running water and an equal standard of living. 

Upwork's JSS is not designed to treat each freelancer equally--we all live with the same system. Clients are not the same as freelancers; they don't 'live' in the same region and are not treated the same. 

The good news is that there are many freelancing platforms available from which a freelancer can choose. So each of us is free to choose the platform and system that works best for us.