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

renata101
Community Guru
Renata S Member Since: Jun 10, 2014
61 of 164

That doesn't justify penalizing the contractor if the client hasn't specifically complained about the way the work was done. They have the means and the ability to do so on the system. If they don't end contracts and don't leave appropriate feedback,  that's not within the freelancer's control.  An abandoned contract doesn't mean that the freelancer abandoned it or did anything wrong. 

As I mentioned, I've had people resume after months of inactivity. If the downgrading is actually occuring as a result of inactive contracts, I can only assume that part of the reason the issue exists is because they are legacy contracts that don't seem to be subject to the current fee structure.

 

Yes, I guess you could say it's a numbers game. I've really understood that since the new fee structure came into play. I used to really enjoy taking contracts with students and early career researchers, who often have really interesting projects but no money. Now, since the fees for contracts under $500 are 20% (and an additional 2.75% on the freelancer end), I can't really afford to do this. It costs Upwork $113.75 for me to make $400? On the other hand, clients in the US can pay freelancers $3 an hour.  Yes, I guess you could say that's a numbers game. 

I really used to enjoy working on this platform but I'm becoming really jaded by the megacorp mentality. 

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

You're suggesting that JSS should always be 100% so long as the client hasn't "specifically complained"?

 

So, for instance, a person with 23 open inactive contracts and 17 contracts with no feedback would "not be penalized," and so have perfect JSS, whereas the person with 18 5 star contracts and two 4.6 star contracts would not?

 

That really makes sense to you?

renata101
Community Guru
Renata S Member Since: Jun 10, 2014
63 of 164

Since that's not in the text of my message, no, I did not suggest it. 

I am asking why "no feedback" and "open contract" necessarily equals bad freelancer. 

I don't know how you got to 23 open contracts and 17 contracts with no feedback. I have noticed quite a few editors with long lists of open contracts; I don't know whether these are active or inactive. It might be possible that someone has 23. And I have noticed quite a few editors and proofreaders who have at least a handful of projects with no feedback. It might be possible that someone has 17. Sometimes the project deadlines are short because people have deadlines they're rushing to meet. They meet the deadline and they're off the site. This might be true of other client populations where people work to deadline such as clients seeking graphic designers. Clients are in a rush, meet their deadlines, and leave the site with only the thought that their job is done. I'd say that happens more frequently in some lines of work (other examples are video and audio editors). Does that mean the job was bad or the client was unhappy? 

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

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

 

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

 

A lot of freelancers like to throw around dramatic language about punishment and penalties, but JSS is an affirmative measure...how often did you do WELL, and how well did you do? Those are measurements that require data that simply doesn't exist for inactive and no feedback contracts. 

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
65 of 164

@Tiffany S wrote:

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


 Exactly.

 

JSS is supposed to be:

 

great experience.jpg

 

A "great" client experience isn't just the client not losing the will to live or his business in the process.

 

The majority of clients who truly had a a "GREAT" (not "fine, adequate, pleasant enough, ok") experience will be happy enough to close contracts (which by default leads to feedback.)

 

A small percentage of clients who don't end contracts and don't leave feedback will not affect the JSS, nor will a small percentage of idle contracts.

 

The argument that having to rehire is somehow a hardship for clients is also false.

 

It takes no more time (realistically) to click the great big fat obvious "Rehire Freelancer" button right on the main client interface than it does to unpause a dormant one, in fact it arguably takes less time.

 

Again, it comes down to managing both clients and contracts professionally and effectively.


The undeniable fact that there are hordes of freelancers who manage that just fine means it IS entirely possible.

cupidmedia
Community Guru
Jennifer D Member Since: Feb 15, 2016
66 of 164

Upwork's position is that a *pattern* of jobs with no feedback indicates poor client and contract management, and as a client I tend to agree. This is why JSS is negatively impacted if a freelancer has a *pattern* of jobs with no feedback.

There is more to being a successful freelancer on Upwork than just winning a job and delivering the finished product. Client and contract management is an important skill for all freelancers. It starts before you even bid on a job (does the client have a great history of feedback, both given and received) and doesn't end after you have delivered the finished product.

renata101
Community Guru
Renata S Member Since: Jun 10, 2014
67 of 164

That's the first time I've ever heard that UpWork has something official to say about the matter. But again, that just shows the lack of transparency. The problem with the current lack of transparency is that in this particular instance, freelancers have no idea what UpWork considers "bad." It's the same thing with the issue of many contracts with no feedback. As I've mentioned, I've had clients restart contracts after months of inactivity.  I'll mention again that I work as an editor and proofreader and that sometimes they have things for me to do and sometimes they don't. My contracts are small and I work one-on-one with people.  Is that a "badly managed contract" or is that just "maintaining an ongoing agreement with a client where nothing has changed." There are all sorts of different kinds of ways of doing work. And I think a lot of the people who are noticing their scores dropping might be working in a similar kind of way.

 

I don't think there's "officially stated" about this anywhere. I've written to customer support to find out what it's about and i've never been told that UpWork has any kind of "official" view of this. So where's the clear and unabiguous statement about that we can all refer to? No one at support has given me the information that you've mentioned. If that's an "official positiion", I think it would only be fair to publish it somewhere. But of course, that would give me the opportunity to "work the system" by being able to interpret a set of clearly stated rules. There are about six pages of commentary on this thread that show that many people can't identify this as an issue. If they are concerned about contract management, why not communicate that to freelancers? That gives us some opportunity to respond. Or is responding to some clearly stated information "working the system."


So please tell me where you found that information published. Or are you speculating that that this must obviously be the case? 

I think the other problem is that UpWork is operating with this "one-size-fits-all" algorithm that's created by some tech guys in the programming department who are just told to solve a problem. What's the norm for client behavior  in your industry (i.e., being able to easily contact a client when the project is finished) might not be the norm in mine. One way of managing that would be to make sure you get some outside contact details so you can track them down -- something UpWork doesn't approve of.  


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

@Renata S wrote:

 


So please tell me where you found that information published. Or are you speculating that that this must obviously be the case? 



 Moderators have used that exact language in dozens of prior threads on this topic.

renata101
Community Guru
Renata S Member Since: Jun 10, 2014
69 of 164

Maybe that's part of the problem. I haven't in the past spent significant time on the forum -- I spend my time working and trying to find work -- and I was unaware that the forum had any role as a formal repository for the UpWork rules. When I first started noticing the issue of declining JSS (as I mentioned, I've been top rated since that rating came out -- so I wasn't a "bad apple" freelancer before), I contacted customer service to find out what might be happening. I was never told, "Oh, you should close those open contracts because that might be affecting your score." What I was told was, "Oh, we can't tell you how the JSS works because if freelancers know how it works they will try to 'work the system.'" 

This is very circular and very frustrating. And largely the response people come up with here tends to be the repeated and sanctimonious one: "Oh, well we've still got 100%. We don't see a problem. The problem must clearly be that you're obviously doing a bad job." This is less than helpful. And it's the reason I'm opting not to continue on this forum. It's not really helping me in any way. It's like some sort of zombie cult.  I originally wanted to know whether the "open contracts" and "no feedback" issues are real rather than just endless speculation about the inner workings of the mysterious JSS that no one understands. I would like to know that I'm dealing with people who can analyze the situation and come up some answers. What I'm getting here and from customer service is the same things repeated over and over, or slightly different variations on the same misinformation.


I think there are issues for people working in certain roles and in certan industries that  aren't considered. And no one is consulting anyone about the issues they're having. All they're saying is, "Well, according to our algorithm, you must be doing a bad job."

Oh, and just to be clear, I didn't ask "Where on the forum can I find moderator's interpretations of the UpWork rules that are not clearly stated anywhere else?" I asked where I could find the UpWork rules on this. 

 




kochubei_valeria
Community Manager
Valeria K Community Manager Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
70 of 164

@Renata S wrote:


Oh, and just to be clear, I didn't ask "Where on the forum can I find moderator's interpretations of the UpWork rules that are not clearly stated anywhere else?" I asked where I could find the UpWork rules on this. 


Hi Renata,

 

While a lot of information about Job Success score was shared here in the Community by moderators, same information in a more concise form can be found in Help Center articles that are linked directly to the tooltip that shows next to Job Success Score on freelancer profiles:

 

Screenshot_29.png

 

My Job Success Score

Why Did My Job Success Score Change?

 

Screenshot_30.png

 

 

~ Valeria
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