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

Community Guru
Stephen R Member Since: Jun 19, 2015
51 of 164

Charles K is 100% correct.

Wake up and smell the coffee.


I have and had clients who have...

- Disappered

- Will not answer my emials of phone calls.

- Forgot to close a job

- Use my services once ever 3 months or longer and dont want to rehire and why should they?

- Dont want to pay after delivery of projects

- Frankly are lazy and cant follow thru with a project.

- Change their minds on job or the office changes the project and they are just the messenger.


MY JSS score is 92% 

I know i give more than 100%.

I given up caring about the JSS score which means nothing to my clients that hire me.


Thank you





Community Guru
Douglas Michael M Member Since: May 22, 2015
52 of 164

Good for you, Stephen, that you no longer care about the JSS. Sounds as if caring about better vetting of your prospective clients would be good for your pocketbook and peace of mind.

Community Guru
Mary W Member Since: Nov 10, 2014
53 of 164

I currently have 7 contracts on Upwork,3 of which were paused by Upwork for inactivity.  I have two with no milestones funded and no work for some time now.    I have one ended with no feedback in the last few months, several in the last year. My JSS is 100%.

Community Leader
David D Member Since: Jun 8, 2016
54 of 164

Upwork has always been very tight-lipped on exactly what goes into the JSS score. And for good reason. If people know exactly how it was calculated then they could game the system.


I have several inactive contracts at the moment because the work has been completed but the client has wanted to keep the contract open for future work. Some have been idle for a few weeks, others for several months. 


My JSS score is 97%.  I think it's far more likely that you've received some less than perfect private feedback from the client that's impacting your score. Still, 97% is not bad. I wouldn't worry about it too much. There are plenty of great freelancers on this very thread who have been around Upwork for a long time, made lots of money, and aren't at 100%


IF you knew a restaurant was going to be great 97% of the time, wouldn't you still go? Still a pretty good rating. Just keep doing good work and your JSS will be just fine. Clients, for the most part, won't care much about not being 100%. It's only when you start to dip below 90-95% that there's cause for worry in my opinion. 

Community Guru
Renata S Member Since: Jun 10, 2014
55 of 164

I keep hearing the opinion about not allowing freelancers to "game the system." What gets to me is that, because of the lack of transparency, it's hard to know how to respond if you're concientious and concerned about why your ratings are changing. I think the lack of transparency is a significant issue.

Also, a few of the contracts I've worked the hardest on have been the ones that garnered the worst feedback. Clients can be difficult, they can have unreasonable expectations, and they can at times make it difficult to do good work. Sometimes clients don't communicate well or don't supply enough context about aspects of the job that they feel aren't relevant. I once had to edit a job that I later found out was being authored by at least 7 people. That's not something I would assume and it wasn't something that I thought to ask about. Issues like that can make a significant difference in the level of difficulty it takes to pull off good work. Since what I do gets boiled down to this score that no one understands the mechanics of, I have to say I don't really feel all that shored up by this system. 

I just had my rating drop to 89% and I don't have any clear idea why. I've been top rated since the rating came out. I've also got a client who's driving me somewhat nuts but gives me five star ratings. So do I have to wonder what he's really saying about me behind the scenes? If the private feedback counts for more, shouldn't I be able to understand what it's about?

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
56 of 164

Plenty of us understand the system enough to maintain 100% job success scores, even though we are far from perfect as freelancers.


We don't keep this information to ourselves. There are dozens of high-JSS freelancers who answer all kinds of questions and give advice here in the Forum.


I don't regard the score as mysterious.

Community Guru
Renata S Member Since: Jun 10, 2014
57 of 164

Then why even bother participating on this thread? Surely you've got something more evolved to occupy your mind with.



Community Guru
Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
58 of 164

@Renata S wrote:

I just had my rating drop to 89% and I don't have any clear idea why. 

Try closing your inactive jobs. Not all at the same time but a couple every two weeks. And don't let them pile up.


Once a job is done, if the client doesn't close it, send them a polite reminder (a client who closes the job has to leave a feedback and a constant pattern of no feedback jobs is bad karma, so clients closing jobs is the best option).


If the client doesn't answer, close the job yourself. Inactive jobs are like jobs without feedback, bad karma.


If you follow this discipline, you may see an improvement in your JSS.


Don't close all inactive jobs all in once. Bad Juju.

"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
Community Guru
Renata S Member Since: Jun 10, 2014
59 of 164

This is something I've heard but don't understand. I work as a proofreader and editor. It's frequently the case that people have things they need done on a sporadic basis, and some clients like to keep contracts open. An inactive contract might be one with an academic who writes one or two papers a year. An inactive contract in this case says absolutely nothing about the work that a freelance editor does or how the client feels about it.  It simply says that the client doesn't have any work for a while. Or if it says anything, it's more positive than negative, since they want to retain your services the next time they have work.  I've had a clients who resumed their contracts after 4-6 months of inactivity. So I really don't understand why inactive contracts would be a  factor that is negatively affecting my JSS. People delay projects all the time. People get sick, or take extended leaves of absence all the time. People run out of certain kinds of work all the time. People get more involved in other projects all the time. Why would this drive the JSS score down? And what reason does UpWork have for determining that this is a negative evaluation of the work done by the freelancer? If there is no negative rating or negative statement from the client, why would it bring the score down? 

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
60 of 164

Renata, it's a statistics game. There are more than one million freelancers on this site. While the situations you mention occur from time to time, abandoned contracts are much, much more common. 


The fact that there are exceptions is the reason that inactive and no feedback contracts have little or no impact if they're the exception in a freelancer's work history. But, the general policies are aimed at what's happening 80 or 90% of the time, not the possible exceptions.