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Re: Open contract adversely affected my JSS!?

Ace Contributor
Mark Ronald M Member Since: May 5, 2017
1 of 24

Today I learned from Upwork support that an open contract was counted as a "bad outcome" toward my Job Success Score! The client left the contract open and I had no control over this. The client and I agreed mutually that there would be no additional milestones but he left the contract open, and this is out of my control. So why should his action affect my JSS?


I have a perfect 5 star rating from EVERY client I have worked for including the one mentioned above - who was also a long term client. I had a perfect 100% JSS until two weeks ago, and this made perfect sense based on my perfect 5 star client reviews.


Upwork shoots itself in the foot in this case because I have done excellent work for ALL my clients and the reviews show this. If Upwork degrades my JSS because of a clerical error on the part of my client, then we ALL LOSE MONEY. Because I have a lower JSS I will have less earning potential.


Apparently Upwork has outgrown its ability to manage intelligently. There are other freelancing sites, right? Maybe it's time to explore them.


As a footnote, the client mentioned in the beginning of this story quickly closed the contract on hearing this absurdity, and gave me two five star ratings for my work.

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
2 of 24

You recently had a contract end in a dispute. The client is unlikely to have left overly enthusiastic private feedback. Public feedback can not be seen on your profile when nothing was paid, but the contract and any private feedback still count towards or against, as the case may be, your JSS. I would hazard a guess that is the real reason for your JSS drop and it has nothing to do with the inactive one.


You may want to read this.....


How do contracts with no earnings or feedback affect my score?

  • No Earnings – In general, when a contract fails to lead to any earnings your JSS will be negatively impacted.
  • No Feedback – Contracts with no client feedback, including ones you ended or left open and inactive, do not affect your score unless you have excessive contracts with no feedback.

Contract with past earnings, but your client has left no feedback for you

Contracts with a history of earnings but no feedback, whether closed or not, are mostly excluded from your JSS. However, if you have many contracts where no feedback has been given, it can impact your score (a little) negatively because it indicates some of your clients were dissatisfied.

Contract with no earnings AND no feedback from your client

Contracts with no earnings and no feedback, whether closed or not, can significantly lower your JSS because they indicate client dissatisfaction. ... ... ... When client feedback is received, even without earnings, it will be factored into your JSS.

Ace Contributor
Mark Ronald M Member Since: May 5, 2017
3 of 24

if my recent dispute affected my JSS then the Upwork support staff who mediated the dispute definitely misled me to believe that returning the money to the client would prevent him from affecting my JSS.


in that dispute, the client asked me to write a review of ML programs. after the price was agreed he asked me to download and test those machine learning programs. he asked for a completely new set of work never discussed originally, so i began the dispute to terminate the contract.


but i had also submitted 25% of the work to the client for review when he asked me for free work in the form of analysis of the ML code.


well, this is an ugly world, and Upquirk is certainly not making things any better by allowing a fraud to trash my JSS.


I have 100% 5 star ratings from all my clients. but now this one fool can pop up and ruin it?





Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
4 of 24

@Mark M wrote:

I have 100% 5 star ratings from all my clients.


 No. You do not. You have 100% 5 star feedback from all clients that can be seen on your profile.

At the time of the last Update you had about 10 completed contracts. 9 went well, one did not.

1 out of 10 represents 10%. Your JSS is 91% ....


So yes. When you have very few completed contracts every single one will have a significant impact.

1 bad outcome in 50 represents a much smaller percentage than 1 in 5, obviously.


Community Leader
Mike W Member Since: Sep 28, 2016
5 of 24

Pro tip:  Never, ever, under any circumstance, complete any work for free.  Your time is just as valuable as your skill.  If a milestone isn't already pre-funded and the requirements clear then the same rules apply.  Don't let this one bad contract affect you that much.  Simply carry on, work hard, and before you know it you'll be top rated and you can request this feedback be removed from your JSS.

Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
6 of 24

It is my belief that CS is so overwhelmed by freelancers insisting on an answer to why their JSS is not what they wish it to be that they will now say anything to end the inquiry. CS doesn't really know why an individual score changes nor do they have any control over the process. 


A refund will remove the visible star rating from your profile. Nothing will alter the private feedback given by the client at the close of the contract. So by issuing a refund, you are only hiding some aspects of the poor outcome, not all.





Active Member
MD Iqbal H Member Since: Nov 22, 2020
7 of 24

Today my JSS downs to 95% but I don't know why. Can some please, clarify this issue? Thanks in advance.

Luiggi R Moderator Member Since: Jul 3, 2020
8 of 24

Hi MD Iqbal,


I'm sorry to hear about your score drop but I'm afraid that we won't be able to comment on an individual score or how specific contracts affect it. Factors such as private and public feedback, the dollar-weight of the projects you've completed, and the long-term relationships with your clients can have an impact on your overall score. You may want to check this help article to learn more. 


Thank you.

~ Luiggi
Active Member
claire b Member Since: Mar 28, 2017
9 of 24

My JSS has fallen by 22% by having one ongoing client with no closed contract. . The only solution to this appears for freelancers to go "cap in hand" to their clients to get the problem rectified---by closing contracts and giving reviews. 


This is giving Upwork no incentive to sort the issue out. 


I am in the process of having my issue rectified and am going to insist that since Upwork have caused the problem then they can explain the issue to my clients.


I am already wasting my time by having to get the problem dealt with, so I feel that it perfectly correct for Upwork to explain the inadequacies in their system to clients. Hopefully when they have had to do this repeatedly on so many occasions ----they may actually call someone in  - to rectify their failed algorithm. 


If you encounter this problem  - I hope you will do same. 

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
10 of 24

@Claire B wrote:

My JSS has fallen by 22% by having one ongoing client with no closed contract. .

 No, it hasn't.

There doesn't seem to be a contract that has been idle long enough to have adversely affected your JSS. Idle means nothing billed or paid for a long time.


You do, however, have numerous contracts that closed with not so great or no feedback. Only 20% of your ended contracts resulted in 5 star feedback.

That's where you need to look for the reason for your poor JSS.