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Once again I object to penalizing freelancers for disappearing clients / inactive projects

charles_kozierok
Community Guru

I had a 100% JSS for a long time. I recently had one job not end successfully and that dropped to 99%. Fine, I'm no longer perfect. But there haven't been any others and now it's down to 97%. The only thing that I have heard of that can affect this that has occurred in that time is a couple of contracts have gone inactive.

 

I object to this metric being part of JSS. It has nothing to do with whether or not I do my work or please my clients.

 

It's UNPROFESSIONAL for Upwork to constantly make me have to nag clients to close projects so I'm not penalized for something that DOESN'T FLIPPING MATTER IN THE FIRST PLACE.

163 REPLIES 163
charles_kozierok
Community Guru

Also, when I discussed this issue a while back, a bunch of "experts" here told me I didn't need to worry about this because it only became an issue after several months. Well, none of my idle contracts has been inactive for more than 2 calendar months. So apparently it matters after several weeks, not months.


@Charles K wrote:

 Well, none of my idle contracts has been inactive for more than 2 calendar months. So apparently it matters after several weeks, not months.


 Then they are not what caused the drop.

 

Remember good factors falling out of the calculation window, hence a "bad" factor counting more heavily if it becomes a bigger percentage of the overall count.

There are no other relevant factors. 100% client recommendation rate. No other projects closed. And I've been here less than 6 months, which is the smallest "calculation window."

 

And I just had a CS rep from Upwork in chat confirm that the idle contracts are why my JSS dropped.

 

Maybe someone from Upwork could actually CLARIFY for us how much time we have before we start getting POINTLESSLY PENALIZED FOR THINGS THAT DON'T MATTER.

 

Never mind, what a crazy thought.

THIS NEEDS TO CHANGE. NOW.

I have several contracts that are over 2 months inactive and don't affect me. 

 

Can you contact the clients to close the contracts?

I've tried before and just tried again.

 

The CS guy said they can start to affect JSS after 30 days. 30 days! It's summer. I went on a two week trip.

 

Clients also go on vacation sometimes.

 

And some clients COMMONLY have work only once every month or two. Why do I have to make them close the contract because of this arbitrary, idiotic system?

 

I was also told that what matters is the relative proportion of active and inactive projects. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WHY? What the hell difference does it make what percentage of my projects are active or not?

 

So this means if I have a project successfully complete, so my number of active projects goes down, then my inactives count negatively against me MORE?

 

If I am busy with a small number of ongoing clients I have to take on extra jobs just to keep my JSS up?

 

This entire system is INSANE.


@Charles K wrote:

 

The CS guy said they can start to affect JSS after 30 days. 30 days! It's summer. I went on a two week trip.

 


30 days since when?? I always had a feeling it was 3+ months. Can a mod confirm this? And how can CS give out info like this if it's supposed to be a "secret"?

Bear in mind that the CS guy could also be wrong.

 

That's the problem with "secret calculations," nobody really knows what is going on.

 

Apparently I also have 6% "bad outcomes," the definition of which includes even projects where the client and I mutually agree to cancel the project, or if I provide a refund, and other nonsense.

 

Insane.

The actual bottom line of this, beyond the stupidity of counting idle contracts automatically against freelancers, is that my JSS is going down because I am not actively seeking out new contracts. I have been busy and I have had a small number of clients with a lot of repeat work, which apparently doesn't matter as much as it should.

 

I have been told by some long-timers that they have to go and get small jobs just to get more "successful completions" on their profiles. Guess that's where I am now.

I have to say, I've been starting to get pretty fed up with this discussion. I started deleting some of my postings because I not longer wanted to participate in what I'm coming to believe is an incredibly stupid and circular discussion, but then I read this. 

What this appears to be saying -- which is incredibly insane ---  is that something in algorithm is downrating certain freelancers for things they either can't control or don't know that they should control because no one has come out with any clear statements about it. So if they haven't been on the forum and read all the advice from the moderators, they won't know about what's being said about it. 

 

What's weird is that people are noticing that there are issues with their scores changing (mainly going down) for reasons that aren't apparent or don't make particular sense considering their other activity on the platform.

I actually had an idle contract that I made an effort to close. I contacted the client, she gave me a five star score and closed the contract. I didn't close out any other contracts in the same period. And my score went (drumrolll) ..... DOWN! So should I interpret this as the client giving me bad ratings in the private feedback section?

If I care about what I do, how do I respond to this? I can't know what the JSS is about or how it's calculated. And I can't respond to client negative feedback that I can't see. This is supposed to provide some incentive that will make me a "better" worker? 

 

 


@Charles K wrote:

 

 

Apparently I also have 6% "bad outcomes," the definition of which includes even projects where the client and I mutually agree to cancel the project, or if I provide a refund, and other nonsense.

 

Insane.


 Actually, it makes perfect sense when you consider that JSS purports to measure the percentage of jobs successfully completed. A canceled job, even by agreement, was not successfully completed. 

 

Providing a refund in and of itself does not have a negative impact--it's the client's private feedback that may.

Seriously? I've been looking into this and I think I've been penalized for giving a client a refund. The reason I did this was that my computer broke down right after the contract started and I couldn't continue. The bill was something like $12. I thought I was being an honest contractor! Shouldn't I get rewarded for that?

Hi Renata, 

 

Contracts where the money was refunded (even fully) can contribute positively to your Job Success Score as long as the freelancer and client resolved any issues and ended the contract on good terms and with good feedback. As such, refunds don't automatically have a negative impact on your Job Success Score, it's the outcome of the project that determines the score.


~ Avery
Upwork

Yes but mutualy canceled contracts didn't completed unsuccessfully either.

Maybe it doesn't hae to boost your JSS but it doesn't to lower it either.

It is poor choice, I wont use harsh words, but it's completely unfair to freelancers.


@Isabelle Anne A wrote:

@Charles K wrote:

 

The CS guy said they can start to affect JSS after 30 days. 30 days! It's summer. I went on a two week trip.

 


30 days since when?? I always had a feeling it was 3+ months. Can a mod confirm this? And how can CS give out info like this if it's supposed to be a "secret"?


That sounds like nonsense.

 

 30 days? What the hell? 

Well, 6% negative outcomes would factor into it when it involves cancelling contracts for example. You have no "no feedback" contracts so why not close a couple of the inactive ones if the client's have cone awol.

 

you can also exclude that unsuccessful contract from your calculation using your perk, can't you?

Now the "premium support" person says 2 months.


@Charles K wrote:

Now the "premium support" person says 2 months.


If this is true, and I totally doubt it (and have evidence that it is not) it would be a new thing.  

 

Cancelled contracts without payment DO affect it, especially if the cancellation reason given by the client is negative.

 

Refunds have no effect, at all, but the outcome of the refunded contract can have an effect.

Apparently I have to guess as to whether using my perk on this job will help or not.

 

She actually told me that maybe I should save it for a future job where I am sure.

 

I wish I was making this up.

 

Petra, what do you think? While we've clashed on certain things in the past I do respect your opinion on these matters greatly.

 

And I have no idea what is going on here.

 

I just did get one of my idle jobs closed. But it's not the one barely over 2 months.

 

I don't even know if closing these now will affect JSS next update or if I am stuck with this for the next 24 months.


@Petra R wrote:

you can also exclude that unsuccessful contract from your calculation using your perk, can't you?

I asked about that. And the first guy said he didn't see any problem with that job.

 

So I asked, what is the 6% unsuccessful outcomes from then?

 

Wouldn't tell me.

 

He then transferred me to the "premium" person. She asked for the contract number again.

 

She looked at it.

 

I asked it it was counting against me. She said "I'm sorry but I can't tell you that."

 

So I said: "You're telling me I have a perk that I can use to remove feedback negatively impacting JSS but you won't tell me which contracts are having that impact?"

 

And she replied (basically) saying "Usually the freelancer already knows."

 

So I have 6% "unsuccessful outcomes," one of which apparently is because it has been idle for 2 months and 5 days (I just checked) and they won't provide any useful information.

 

Meanwhile she keeps telling me my JSS is "great" and I'm a "great freelancer and keep up the good work."

 

This is a sad joke.

In fairness 97% IS great. You said originally that you had an unsuccessful contract so you DO know, don't you? 

 

If the client with the oldest idle contract is unresponsive and the work is done, just close it.

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