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

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.

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The only reason I feel compelled to ask for feedback is because someone said that upwork has an issue with contractors that close eleven contracts, one client leaves positive feedback and ten do not leave any feedback.  Therefore I feel compelled to ask for feedback.  

 

Please tell me that I am not understanding this issue correctly...

 

 

 


@Ken S wrote:

I feel like a fool asking for feedback.  As long as the client is happy I don't care if they leave feedback or not.  And from past experience the feedback I've gotten when I don't ask is much better and real than the feedback I've gotten when I asked for feedback.  I'd rather just have a few totally awesome feedbacks than a bunch of feedbacks that people left just because I asked.  It's half-hearted.  


 I do too. It just seems weird to me, so I don't do it.

 

I like the way my vet does it. I see them every month, and I'd say after every 3 or so visits, I get an email asking for feedback. They never ask me when I'm there.

 

The plumber does though and it's kinda annoying imo. Their plumbers try to sell me crap (lol plumber..crap lol) I don't need and then ask me for feedback. 

 

It's why I quit going to the dealer for oil changes. Sick of people asking me to go to yelp and give feedback and sell me crap I don't need when I'm paying $2000 for tires. Leave me alone. lol So now I go to this little shop around the corner that just fixes my car, doesn't try to sell me anything more, and god dammit doesn't tell me to go to yelp.

LOL i was edited for mentioning coffee and where Upwork real estate is located?

 

Noboby reads these message boards anyway.

 

Fix the JSS and you wont have confused freelancers that you have to censor.

 

Regards

Charles, for whatever it's worth I and numerous others disagree with how JSS is calculated.  IMO those that make excuses for Upwork regarding JSS have never fallen below Top Rated.  Furthermore I believe that if they did, they'd be jumping on the bandwagon; some of them quite boisterously.  S _ _ _ happens sometimes, and we Freelancers aren't always the ones at fault.  It simply hasn't happened to them.  I would never wish bad things on anyone (well, maybe one or two over my lifetime.)  However, being humbled can be an extremely enlightening experience for many.    

Pat, that's a pretty cynical view. It would be a strong indicator of a very weak, hypocritical, emotion-driven person if their whole view of something they'd rationally assessed changed because they didn't like the personal impact it had at some point. That sounds nothing like an adult professional, and I find it hard to believe that someone so irrational could possibly successfully run a freelancing business.

Tiffany S. posted:

 

Pat, that's a pretty cynical view. It would be a strong indicator of a very weak, hypocritical, emotion-driven person if their whole view of something they'd rationally assessed changed because they didn't like the personal impact it had at some point. That sounds nothing like an adult professional, and I find it hard to believe that someone so irrational could possibly successfully run a freelancing business.

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I'm choosing not to continue too lengthy of a discussion regarding this.  It's pretty much all been said before from people with probably every conceivable viewpoint regarding JSS.

 

Please note within my post:  "IMO and I believe."  How great is it that we can all express our personal viewpoints. Since I used to be "Top Rated" and have been at 82% for a while now, I believe I'm qualified to intelligently communicate regarding JSS.

 

Tiffany, I'm guessing that once you were designated "Top Rated" you've never fallen below that.  Am I correct?

 

Many of us have witnessed some Freelancers that are Top Rated defending some aspect of Upwork; only to be highly irritated (and stated such) when they're personally, adversely affected by what they've previously defended.  What's the difference between doing so regarding JSS or another subject?  In addition, to the best of my recollection each of those have appeared to be running successful freelancing businesses.   

I dropped to 89% once but this was before the 13 weeks rule and the default 90% job listing thing. I really didn't notice a difference. At the time I didn't understand jss well and on Elance they had levels and the levels didn't matter much. This was before the 90% rule, which I think was a huge kick in the pants for people under 90.

 

Out of curiosity, Pat, why didn't you have the bad feedback removed? Or was this before that time?

Jennifer M. posted:

 

I dropped to 89% once but this was before the 13 weeks rule and the default 90% job listing thing. I really didn't notice a difference. At the time I didn't understand jss well and on Elance they had levels and the levels didn't matter much. This was before the 90% rule, which I think was a huge kick in the pants for people under 90.

 

Out of curiosity, Pat, why didn't you have the bad feedback removed? Or was this before that time?

 

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Jen, I don't have bad feedback. 


Pat M wrote: 

Jen, I don't have bad feedback. 


 oh I see.

 

I figure one of these days I'll be in the same boat. You think it hits you guys hard, I'll be kicked from a few programs and that's when it will really suck.

 

I just got my first program accepted on Envato so I'm totally stoked to start building some passive income. I'm really hoping to make Upwork only a $2k income per month requirement for me! Too much rides on jss and all of these frauds are making me nervous.

I think that I've been dinged on my JSS this week for old elance jobs from 4 years ago that upworks closed on me. These are clients who didn't want to go to upwork from elance with the migration and stopped working with me because I obviously couldn't take them off platform. It wasn't many contracts either, and I see some people who have like 175 jobs in progress from forever ago and they aren't being affected by it. I know all of my recent clients gave me good private feedback since they are rehiring and the ones who have not rehired for a new job for me were in the last recalculation and at that point I was maintaining 98%. I can't figure out aside from the elance jobs closing with the wrong dates too by the way, because I have jobs that say it closed in October 2016 but they definitely didn't and were up in my jobs in progress before. 

 

I don't feel I should be penalized for 4 year old contracts that I was unable to close since clients left due to migration. Not sure if that is definitely the case, but it is the only explanation I can find since all my clients have been 100% satisfied. I was 98% for about 2-3 months and before was 100%, and then today with only 2 new contracts, both from the same person who I am still working for on other contracts, I have somehow still dropped 4%. That client definitely left all around good feedback. The other contracts still had me at 98% just yesterday. My recommendation score actually improved by 1%, but yet the JSS is down. 

 

I am still happy with my 94%, but I'd like to know why it went down. 

 

To add about the elance contracts, it makes no sense that those closed contracts went above some of my new work that I did on upworks. It went in the middle of everything I've done on here. So now there are 6 contracts with no feedback saying they closed in Oct 2016 when they definitely didn't close then as I know they were not closed all this time, and I didn't know I should close them slowly or anything while elance was still functioning, and they are smack dab in the middle when really they should be below my newer jobs I've done since I have been here. 


@Amanda F wrote:

I think that I've been dinged on my JSS this week for old elance jobs from 4 years ago that upworks closed on me. These are clients who didn't want to go to upwork from elance with the migration and stopped working with me because I obviously couldn't take them off platform. It wasn't many contracts either, and I see some people who have like 175 jobs in progress from forever ago and they aren't being affected by it. I know all of my recent clients gave me good private feedback since they are rehiring and the ones who have not rehired for a new job for me were in the last recalculation and at that point I was maintaining 98%. I can't figure out aside from the elance jobs closing with the wrong dates too by the way, because I have jobs that say it closed in October 2016 but they definitely didn't and were up in my jobs in progress before. 

 

I don't feel I should be penalized for 4 year old contracts that I was unable to close since clients left due to migration. Not sure if that is definitely the case, but it is the only explanation I can find since all my clients have been 100% satisfied. I was 98% for about 2-3 months and before was 100%, and then today with only 2 new contracts, both from the same person who I am still working for on other contracts, I have somehow still dropped 4%. That client definitely left all around good feedback. The other contracts still had me at 98% just yesterday. My recommendation score actually improved by 1%, but yet the JSS is down. 

 

I am still happy with my 94%, but I'd like to know why it went down. 

 

To add about the elance contracts, it makes no sense that those closed contracts went above some of my new work that I did on upworks. It went in the middle of everything I've done on here. So now there are 6 contracts with no feedback saying they closed in Oct 2016 when they definitely didn't close then as I know they were not closed all this time, and I didn't know I should close them slowly or anything while elance was still functioning, and they are smack dab in the middle when really they should be below my newer jobs I've done since I have been here. 


 They only go back 2 years, so it can't be that. My score flew up when a dispute and cancellation fell out of my 1 year, but you have to also consider the good stuff that falls out too. The hard part is knowing which contract is holding you back, and from my experience 1 bad one can really hold you down even if you have a lot of history.

Yeah, I wasn't sure where they recently went down in the closed section. I just can't see what's bringing down my score by 4%. Most of the jobs I have right now are from repeat clients who are still sending me work all the time, so I can't see any of them having left bad private feedback.

 

How far back does it count for the JSS? Where is the cut off where jobs are no longer counted? 

 

I was 98% before this update, and only had 2 new jobs since that drop that was added, and those jobs are definite 100% good feedback both public and private. So perhaps something good dropped off, and that's what I am trying to see, but there is no way to tell. But if 2 were added with perfect feedback, why does the dropped off one count?Does more than 1 job drop off? 4% is a decent drop though, and I have not been below 96 since pretty much the beginning of upworks, so I am not sure how the dropped off one would have caused such a drop. 

 

I have to agree with people about private feedback. In my experience from elance to here, clients will leave you whatever they feel is right with stars in public feedback. I really don't see how you can cheat a star rating system though people think you can, and I can't see how you can force a client to leave you 5 stars, because really you can't unless you threaten them, and that should be reported by the client immediately. This private feedback isn't helping anyone really because you have no way to know how to improve if something is wrong. I do see some benefits to clients, but I also feel that the blind star rating system would make just as much sense. Private feedback makes my perk of removing feedback 1 time useless to me because I can only see that the clients left me all 5 stars. It's sad that a few bad freelancers who blackmailed clients into 5 star ratings have made it difficutl for everyone else. 

 

If one client can mess up my profile privately even if I have otherwise perfect public and private feedback and a good overall history, to me, it makes no sense. 

 

I was looking at another person's profile who has made a lot here and on elance as an example. Of course I won't mention names and I won't be, but they have lots of jobs in progress from previous as well as a slew of projects closed with no feedback, and also as of recently have gotten 2/5 and 3/5 stars on some of their jobs, and yet they are just 1% below me. The person who left those feedbacks had to most definitely have left bad private feedback if they left only 2 or 3 stars, so why does that freelancer have just 1% less than me? He doesn't just have just 1 lower rating, he has a few and that would be counted in the JSS. He also has way more hours than me and way more jobs. So is it because he has many more jobs and hours than I do? He also has a lot of open jobs from over a year ago that upworks haven't close even though I can see he isn't working on them, and they are from the same time upworks closed my elance ones and are also from just a year ago. 

 

I think they are treating people who have way more jobs and more hours differently in the JSS calculation. While that makes sense, it also doesn't to me because I am just as valuable and have good quality scores in the timeframe even though I take on less jobs, and if you are considering what was done within a certain timeframe, while they may have a lot of 5 star ratings, they also have lots of jobs with no feedback, lower scores within the timeframe, so why are they not much lower than I am? 

 

The JSS is nevertheless so weird and it's incredibly difficult to use your perk to fix it. Again, I am ok with what I have and I know I can improve it again with more contracts, but it is really annoying that at anytime your score can go into ruins because of 1 or 2 clients and that you have absolutely no way to tell who did it so you can learn from your mistake if you made one. 

 

 


@Pat M wrote:

Charles, for whatever it's worth I and numerous others disagree with how JSS is calculated.  IMO those that make excuses for Upwork regarding JSS have never fallen below Top Rated.  Furthermore I believe that if they did, they'd be jumping on the bandwagon; some of them quite boisterously.  S _ _ _ happens sometimes, and we Freelancers aren't always the ones at fault.  It simply hasn't happened to them.  I would never wish bad things on anyone (well, maybe one or two over my lifetime.)  However, being humbled can be an extremely enlightening experience for many.    


 I'm not sure that's really fair, Pat. I'm one of the most vocal supporters of Upwork's position on jobs with no feedback and I'm not even a freelancer - I'm a client. From a client's perspective, there is a huge difference between a freelancer who has completed 10 jobs and received great feedback 10 times, vs a freelancer who has completed 20 jobs and received great feedback 10 times and no feedback at all the other 10. That certainly indicates to me that the freelancer may have an underlying problem with client and/or contract management. 

 

Perhaps the freelancers who are also supporters of the policy are taking the client's perspective into account and also understand that it's impossible to create a policy that covers every possible scenario when there's millions of possible iterations and that Upwork is not personally targeting them just because their specific, unique situation isn't accounted for.

Jennifer D.'s post:

 

@Pat M wrote:

Charles, for whatever it's worth I and numerous others disagree with how JSS is calculated.  IMO those that make excuses for Upwork regarding JSS have never fallen below Top Rated.  Furthermore I believe that if they did, they'd be jumping on the bandwagon; some of them quite boisterously.  S _ _ _ happens sometimes, and we Freelancers aren't always the ones at fault.  It simply hasn't happened to them.  I would never wish bad things on anyone (well, maybe one or two over my lifetime.)  However, being humbled can be an extremely enlightening experience for many.    


 I'm not sure that's really fair, Pat. I'm one of the most vocal supporters of Upwork's position on jobs with no feedback and I'm not even a freelancer - I'm a client. From a client's perspective, there is a huge difference between a freelancer who has completed 10 jobs and received great feedback 10 times, vs a freelancer who has completed 20 jobs and received great feedback 10 times and no feedback at all the other 10. That certainly indicates to me that the freelancer may have an underlying problem with client and/or contract management. 

 

Perhaps the freelancers who are also supporters of the policy are taking the client's perspective into account and also understand that it's impossible to create a policy that covers every possible scenario when there's millions of possible iterations and that Upwork is not personally targeting them just because their specific, unique situation isn't accounted for.

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Jennifer, please note as I shared in my response to Tiffany: "IMO and I believe How great is it that we can all express our personal view points."

 

I know you're a Client and not a Freelancer; by all indications a super Client!  Of course I understand and agree with your example of 10 vs. 20 jobs...  As a Freelancer, that's one of the approaches I utilize to determine how good a potential Client may be.

 

I also understand about Freelancers taking Clients' perspectives into account.  Personally I too am very Client focused.  However, I do strongly believe that mutual respect between Client and Freelancer leads to a successful relationship.

 

No, there's no such policy that's going to cover every scenario.  However, I do sincerely believe that a more effective JSS calculation should be able to be devised whereby more scenarios are covered.  For now "it is what it is..."

 

Perhaps some day it will change.  If it does, it may be more to the liking of those of us that aren't in favor of the current system or possibly even less to our liking.  Time will tell.  In the mean time it'd probably be best for everyone if those of us that disagree regarding the computation of JSS simply "agree to disagree."  Most; if not all of it, has pretty much already been said many, many times. 

I'd like to add my voice to the chorus.

Like many others said, it's absurd to have to beg clients to close idle contracts. It happened to me twice: the first time it resulted in upsetting the client, who then proceeded to give me a bad private score and lowering my JSS anyway. The second one I risked losing on of my best contracts (fortunately the client understood I was forced by Upwork and stayed). I'd like to point out that said contract made Upwork earn around 100$ of fees, and they wanted me to end it.

Also, I think that private feedbacks are another part of the problem: I see why they exist, but they cannot be completely unrelated to the public ones. Who tells me that there aren't clients who give 5 stars in public and then rate 1/10 in private for personal/childish/racist/wathever reason?

How's it possible to work this way, knowing that one morning I might log in and find out that, despite my perfect ratings, my score mysteriously fell below 90% and I am now "just another one" to the clients?

"The whole idea that Upwork is assuming an open or no feedback contract is "bad" is misguided."

 

How is it misguided? That's exactly what they are doing. Please explain to me what other alternative interpretation there is for counting unclosed jobs against JSS?

 

"JSS means "job success score." You get credit for jobs successfully completed."

 

If the JSS was a counting measure, like number of jobs done, I'd agree. It's not. It's a percentage. If the JSS is 90% then that by definition implies 10% of jobs were not successfully completed. Unclosed successful jobs are counted as unsuccessful. That's all there is to it.

 

"When a contract has no feedback or has been hanging open for months or years, Upwork has no indication that the contract was successfully completed, and so can't give you credit for success."

 

First, it's not "months or years," as already established earlier in the thread. It can be a relatively short period of time. Second, they DO have other ways of seeing that a contract was successfully completed: the client pays the freelancer and doesn't contest the payment, lodge a complaint, or take any other negative action.

 

At the very least these should be considered neutral situations, not counted as success or non-success until they are resolved. Right now, by default they are counted as the latter.

 

"A lot of freelancers like to throw around dramatic language about punishment and penalties"

Oh well, pardon me for working hard for 6 months to get a 100% success score by bending over backwards to do good work and make clients happy, only to get dinged because of an algorithm that is based on faulty premises and is never explained.

"Those are measurements that require data that simply doesn't exist for inactive and no feedback contracts."

Then they should be excluded from the calculation.

 

By counting them as unsuccessful outcomes, the freelancer is being punished and penalized even for jobs that conclude successfully, because of something they cannot control.

 

Oh dear, there I go, being dramatic again. But please -- do tell me where my logic is inaccurate. I'm not one to persist if proven wrong, and I don't see it here.

 

Remember, two weeks ago I was told that I should just close the open jobs so they wouldn't count against me.

I did that. It had no effect. Now I am getting "It's a Great Mystery!" responses again from Upwork. The people who told me I should just close the job don't know why it didn't change.

 

Please, do tell me how this system makes sense. As a reminder, I have a 100% client recommend rate.


@Charles K wrote:

"The whole idea that Upwork is assuming an open or no feedback contract is "bad" is misguided."

 

How is it misguided? That's exactly what they are doing. Please explain to me what other alternative interpretation there is for counting unclosed jobs against JSS?

 

I did. You quoted it below.

 

"JSS means "job success score." You get credit for jobs successfully completed."

 

If the JSS was a counting measure, like number of jobs done, I'd agree. It's not. It's a percentage. If the JSS is 90% then that by definition implies 10% of jobs were not successfully completed. Unclosed successful jobs are counted as unsuccessful. That's all there is to it.

 

I agree that the description of JSS in the pop-up is inaccurate and misleading. That doesn't mean JSS doesn't work--it means it needs to be more clearly explained to clients.

 

"When a contract has no feedback or has been hanging open for months or years, Upwork has no indication that the contract was successfully completed, and so can't give you credit for success."

 

First, it's not "months or years," as already established earlier in the thread. It can be a relatively short period of time. 

 

Wrong. Although Upwork doesn't give an exact timeline, EVERY experienced freelancer who has commented on this has assessed the turning point at approximately three months. 

 

Second, they DO have other ways of seeing that a contract was successfully completed: the client pays the freelancer and doesn't contest the payment, lodge a complaint, or take any other negative action.

 

And you believe "client didn't dispute" should be the equal of a five-star rating and excellent private feedback in the JSS calculation?  Basically, every job is pass/fail, and if the client didn't hate your work enough to ask for his money back or just decided to cut his losses and move on, that should be treated the same as if you were the best freelancer the client had ever encountered and he raved about you publicly and privately?

 

That's a surprising position from someone who has a lot of positive feedback. Do you really want your rating to be identical to those of all of the other freelancers who have managed to get through a job without burning down the client's house?

 

At the very least these should be considered neutral situations, not counted as success or non-success until they are resolved. Right now, by default they are counted as the latter.

 

But how would you propose treating them as "neutral"? If the algorithm simply ignores them, then the freelancer with four good feedback contracts and 127 open contracts with no activity for months and no ratings receives exactly the same JSS as the freelancers with 97 good feedback contracts and no danglers or no feedback contracts. Does that really seem accurate to you?

 

"A lot of freelancers like to throw around dramatic language about punishment and penalties"

By counting them as unsuccessful outcomes, the freelancer is being punished and penalized even for jobs that conclude successfully, because of something they cannot control.

 

Oh dear, there I go, being dramatic again. But please -- do tell me where my logic is inaccurate. I'm not one to persist if proven wrong, and I don't see it here.

 

We've had this conversation a number of times before, and your responses never address the huge issue that I raised above..."neutral" treatment of a pattern of inactive jobs or no feedback jobs treats the freelancer with documented positive outcomes on 3% of his jobs exactly the same as the one with documented positive outcomes on 100% of his jobs. If you have a proposal that would have those contracts treated in a way that would actually be neutral rather than false positive, I'm all ears. 

 

Remember, two weeks ago I was told that I should just close the open jobs so they wouldn't count against me.

I did that. It had no effect. Now I am getting "It's a Great Mystery!" responses again from Upwork. The people who told me I should just close the job don't know why it didn't change.

 

Every thread that discusses closing inactive contracts contains numerous caveats about the short-term negative impact and the strategic timing that should be applied to closing them. You seem to have asked the same question roughly 1,000 times until you got an answer you liked, ignored the fact that it contradicted the other 999 answers you got, and are now surprised that the 99.9% were correct. It's hard to see how you can blame anyone else for that.

 

Please, do tell me how this system makes sense. As a reminder, I have a 100% client recommend rate.

 

No, you don't. You have a 100% recommend rate from clients who rated you. If 98% of your clients have rated you and you have a 100% recommend rate, then 98% of your clients have said they'd recommend you. If 3% of your clients have rated you and 100% said they'd recommend you, then 3% of your clients have said they'd recommend you.

 

Again...are you seriously suggesting that those two scenarios should be treated exactly the same for JSS purposes?


 

And one more thing: I have yet to encounter a single client who was happy about being asked to close a contract simply because it was idle. It's counterintuitive to the ones I have talked to, who have no idea why it should matter, and some have indicated that they'd prefer if they could leave the project open and just provide work as it came along.

 

Upwork is creating more work and hassle for freelancers, harming freelancers' reputations, AND creating extra work and annoyance for clients.

 

For absolutely nothing.

Well said. I think the JSS scores are also incredibly misleading to clients, especially since there are variables that go into the score that freelancers can't control (or due to lack of unequivocal statements by UpWork, aren't even aware that they should try to control), in addition to variables that most reasonable people wouldn't even expect to be included. For instance, nowhere in anyone's wildest imagination would they automatically assume someone who's got an 85% JSS score was losing "merit points" for something like an inactive contract.

I don't think that a lack of transparency for worker evaluations would fly in most companies in most G20 countries (i.e. democratic ones -- hey, remember that concept?). There are actually labour laws that govern issues like transparency and fairness with respect to employee evaluations. The problem is that we're in an employment "grey zone" on this board.
 

85% isn't bad. I would say that it's pretty accurate at < 75% though.


@Renata S wrote:

. The problem is that we're in an employment "grey zone" on this board.
 


 No, we are not.

 

The vast majority of us are freelancers. Not employees.

 

So it's an employment no-zone.

 

As for "especially since there are variables that go into the score that freelancers can't control " - speak for yourself.

 

It's odd how many people control those variables successfully year in year out.

And this means we check our expectations for transparent communication about the "facts" and the "rules" and "fair dealing" at the door?  In 13 pages of this argument, nothing has so far convinced me of this. 

I see a lot of people offer advice about what to do, but if I ask how someone knows how any of it is so, no one can tell me? 


@Renata S wrote:

And this means we check our expectations for transparent communication about the "facts" and the "rules" and "fair dealing" at the door?  In 13 pages of this argument, nothing has so far convinced me of this. 

I see a lot of people offer advice about what to do, but if I ask how someone knows how any of it is so, no one can tell me? 


 I don't think anyone is arguing that we should check those things at the door. I think what a large number of experienced freelancers are telling you is that we don't feel that we HAVE checked those things at the door. 

 

We can agree to disagree on that point, but I don't think anyone is trying to convince you that we should ignore facts and rules or not expect fair dealing. 

All your questions have been answered, it is not our job to research and provide you with proof in a format that you approve. And really, who cares? WIll finding a written statement that multiple contracts without feedback is harmful make you feel better? Does the lack of that "proof" magically make your JSS go up? Really, what is the point of these long rambling posts full of accusations and aspersions at anyone who doesn't agree with you? 

 

If some fabulous, government-sanctioned, transparent worker's paradise is what you seek, surely there is a platform in one of those wonderful countries that provides it. Here, no one cares. We submit work, we get money. It's a wonderful, capitalistic system. Adapt. 

I think Pam M Pat M. said it best when she said that people who aren't seeing the weird fluctuations don't understand the issue. It's clear to me that you don't.

 

As for the rambling posts, why read 'em? I can take it down if that would suit you. It's clear to me that you didn't read much of it based on the material that you've posted.  If I were to explain what I do and who work for, you might get the picture that I can look it up. And as you said “it is not our job to research and provide you with proof in a format that you approve.” No, it's not. And it wasn't at all helpful. That's got nothing to do with whether I approve or not. It's got to do with you not understanding what we're seeing. If it were that simple, I wouldn't be here. 

As for casting aspersions, that's pretty much what a lot of people on this thread who are doling out pat answers because they haven't experienced the problem are doing. Everyone's treating it like it's a simple equation and it's just not. And they're treating the people who are talking about it like whiny kids and we're not. Most of the people who are reporting the problem on this thread have previously worked on ODesk, which was a similar setup.  

I don’t know him personally, but Charles, who started the thread, sounds like a hard working guy who cares about what he’s doing. He's seeing the wild fluctuations and I am too.  At least a couple of other people have mentioned it. I saw someone who said theirs went down 70% (I think it was in one week with one completed contract). Charles doesn’t sound like a bad apple, irresponsible freelancer, and neither does anyone else who’s expressed concerns over the JSS on this thread. I've looked at a few people's profiles who mentioned this, and they're completely bizarre. You get someone with a string of 5 star ratings and a JSS total that doesn't reflect the rest of it. But you're probably not that curious about it because you're not experiencing it. 

Charles knows, like I know — and like everyone else who is suddenly finding themselves in the 89% and below club knows — that having it drop is likely to affect his ability to get work. That’s a scary proposition because getting getting work is the reason we’re here. I've been working on this board for a few years and I've never seen stuff like I'm seeing and like I'm hearing other people are seeing. 

 

To me it really seems like the JSS is essentially an instrument for creating a lot of “bad apples” where previously there were none. 


I'm not going to make you or anyone else who hasn't seen that kind of stuff understand it, and I'm not going to bother trying.  You've already made up your minds that it's a simple problem with a simple solution.  

Renata, who is Pam M?  Sorry, I couldn't resist.  (I'm pulling a Rene or is that Renee? lol) 

Pat, you clearly aren't seeing your name correctly. You should read more. Smiley Tongue 

Tonya P. posted:

 

Pat, you clearly aren't seeing your name correctly. You should read more. Smiley Tongue 

 

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Reply to: Renata, who is Pam M?  Sorry, I couldn't resist.  (I'm pulling a Rene or is that Renee? lol)   

 

Hi Pam Pat, I'm not sure if the Reply Function is working so this might not appear as a response, but it might show up further down the thread, thus confusing everyone who didn't see your initial question. 

 

No worries. Yeah, you. I meant you.  LOL.  I'm usually on the receiving end of this. That might be how I started editing. (I knew someone who wrote my name as Reneta for aboout 15 years. I was a bit subtle about trying to tell her, and after a while it just became funny and endearing). I'll go edit your name so people aren't confused. 

 

I've been dealing with this issue in the background for a few months, so I think I've been working up a headful of steam without knowing it. I think I was looking for something else when I saw the title of this thread and it really hit home. 

 

Thanks for your earlier commentary. I thought your insights were very well observed and it really helped me to calm down. Just "hearing" someone say that it was a more complex issue than people are making it out to be made me feel significantly less crazy (although at this point, a full recovery seems somewhat unlikely). I'm realistic about not always having 100%. However, I'm also realistic about the issues you encounter if your score goes too low. 

 

I posted some links to other forum threads. I'm not sure if you'll find anything helpful there, but at least it's a little more evidence of people having bizarre issues. I'm not sure how I found these -- it was a bit random. And that's my issue with the info transparency, something I find myself repeatedly hammering on about. Discovering these types of details (especially when you’re actively trying to get more information) shouldn't be like visiting StumbleUpon. 

 

Reply to Tonya P: If some fabulous, government-sanctioned, transparent worker's paradise is what you seek, surely there is a platform in one of those wonderful countries that provides it. Here, no one cares. We submit work, we get money. It's a wonderful, capitalistic system. Adapt. 

 

 

 

How are transparency and capitalism mutually exclusive ideas? 


@Renata S wrote:

How are transparency and capitalism mutually exclusive ideas? 


 Nobody says it is mutually exclusive.

 

If you want transparency, look at your numbers.

 

Your 6 month window consists of 16 ended contracts, of which 3 ended with bad feedback.

 

So maybe concentrate a little less on smokescreens (inactive / no feedback) and more on a high percentage of contracts that went wrong.

"If you want transparency, look at your numbers."

 

 

I believe the moderator made a point about this earlier. I have to admit I don't get the issue with someone wanting clear and understandable information about something that affects their working life. 

This is message from last week if there's a need for a reminder:

 

08-16-2017 10:35 AM

All,

 

Some posts have been removed from this thread. Please, refrain from making personal attacks. Be respectful toward other members and mindful of the Community Guidelines when posting.

 

Thank you.

~ Valeria

 

 

If you want transparency, look at your numbers.

 

Your 6 month window consists of 16 ended contracts, of which 3 ended with bad feedback.

 

So maybe concentrate a little less on smokescreens (inactive / no feedback) and more on a high percentage of contracts that went wrong.

 

 

Since this stuff is still up, I feel the need to respond to it. 

And I also feel that it's the perfect illustration of what potential clients do when they look at your scores and client responses on your profile. Maybe you've heard of a concept called heuristics? It's used in economics. They're rules of thumb that people use to make quick descisions. Or in some cases snap judgements. You don't have or don't want to spend a lot of time reading or assessing, so you go for the 100% freelancer.

I certainly understand that that there are "bad marks" on my file and I notice those are what you're intently focusing on. I was at 99% when I got the first one. I had a run of interesting contracts. I knew the score would go down and it did. I went down to 90% after the third one and it stayed stable for a number of weeks. What I was not expecting was that, even though I had better experiences with the subsequent contracts (the ones you don't mention with the five stars and the others that provide really good specific feedback), when I completed these contracts with the better feedback and then ended an inactive contract for which I was given a five star review, the score went down.  I had to ask myself what was going on.

So no, since I do have some level of maturity, I did not expect to maintain a 100% score.

Since you might need some further details, I'll describe one of the "bad marks" situations: 
One was from someone I did an edit for. It was a paper that was patched together in a particularly strange way that was not evident when I first looked it over. Yes, I always ask to see the documents first, but I don't necessarily have time to read the whole thing before I accept a contract and there are sometimes major issues that only come out when you're doing a deeper read.

What I did in this case was to edit the paper (what the client asked for) and sent it to her. Then I sent a couple of follow-up emails explaining the structural problems and offering a few suggestions about what she could do to fix it (most of the time, it's not possible for me to do any significant rewriting because I don't know the research material, and in this case I hadn't been asked to do it). She read the paper and ended the contract without looking at the follow-up emails. She emailed me back saying that she would have given me a better score based on the whole package of the copy edit and the follow-up suggestions. I was busy and didn't ask her to do that.

Does that sound like 3.5 star (70%) service to you? That's one of the things you're looking at and judging me on. 



 

iaabraham
Member

Funny, I agree with both Pat's "cynical view" and Tiffany's response.

 

I happen to be one of those freelancers whose JSS has been continuously great (hoping that doesn't change), but at the same time, I don't like the way JSS is calculated, and I feel dismayed on behalf of those who come here complaining after a huge drop in their JSS (because let's face it, that can easily happen to me the next time the recalcuation day comes around).

 

Although I do agree that *many* no-feedback contracts might indicate dissatisfaction with a freelancer, I am completely against paused/inactive contracts being a negative factor - especially if it's after only 1 month of inactivity.

 

One example: I have a client who I've worked with since 2014 (one of my first oDesk clients), who has maybe 2-3 major projects in a year. There are huge gaps between projects, and they want to leave the contract open, but I don't want to sit with an inactive contract that might affect my JSS. And so I have to continually ask them to close our contract. This has been going on for 3+ years, and I am honestly astounded that they're not fed up with me yet and are willing to rehire. However, this is an exception case, and it seems that most other clients I've had are not as patient / not as understanding of Upwork's "quirky" measure of performance.

 

While I think that the concept of JSS is reasonable, I do hope that Upwork is not settling for it as a permanent solution, and is working to improve the system.

raina5
Member

Agree with OP 100%. I have two clients who I have contacted repeatdely about closing projects, and either they don't respond, or they say, oh sorry yes I'll do that, and then forget again.  How is this the freelancers fault? I think there are clients who come to the site, get what they need done done and move on. It in no way implies they had a negative experience - at all. We should not pay the price for this.

renata101
Member

For people who have not experienced bizarre JSS issues, these are links to some examples of people reporting unusal and sometimes extreme JSS fluctuations:


https://community.upwork.com/t5/Freelancers/Dramatic-Change-on-JSS/m-p/361146#M219962

 

https://community.upwork.com/t5/Freelancers/Job-success-score-goes-down/m-p/351031#M214009

kenstone
Member

I don't understand the notion that a client is a liar in public but an oracle of truth in private.  

 

I'm completely failing to see how this solves more problems than it creates.

 

 

 

 


@Ken S wrote:

I don't understand the notion that a client is a liar in public but an oracle of truth in private.  

 

I'm completely failing to see how this solves more problems than it creates.

 

 

 

 


 Well, no...I'm sure no one would apply a ridiculously overblown term like "oracle of truth" to clients under any circumstances.

 

However, there are quite a few reasons that clients lie in public:

 

-They may want to keep using the freelancer (perhaps his services are only passable, but that's all that's required for the client's purposes and he's cheap)

 

-The client wants to avoid the outrageous harassment that is common among a significant sector of Upwork freelancers

 

-The client sees that the freelancer has otherwise good feedback and doesn't want to hurt the freelancer's profile in case his bad experience was an anomoly.

 

-The client leaves honest public feedback, but eventually caves in to the freelancer's relentless harassment to change it

 

None of those common issues applies when the feedback is private, making is possible for a significant sector of clients who lie publicly to be more honest in private feedback.

kenstone
Member

There are two major flaws with the JSS.  Private feedback (this is just bizarre on it's own) with the assumption that the client is more truthful in private than in public.  And counting non-feedback as negative.