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Opt out fee

tlsanders
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
31 of 37

@Ed S wrote:

Of course they don't want you to, but it's a compromise that a marketplace like Upwork agrees to because the alternative is that  there  is a point where the economy of terminating your account and taking   the client directly, which is a scenario in which Upwork receives NO fees.

 

Sure, Upwork could take you to court (or arbitration, if you're in the US) and try to recover those fees, but the cost of engaging a legal team to file suit and follow through  is likely to exceed the fees that Upwork was entitled to, anyway.

 

Yes, but clauses like this don't exist to allow a company to make a profit on enforcing the fee. They exist to allow a company to demonstrate that it will sue you and you'll end up paying not just the fee but also a bunch of attorney fees, wasted time, etc. if you try to get away with it and get caught.

 

It encourages people to stay on the platform rather than take that risk--not perfectly, of course, but enough people will be unwilling to incur a $2,500 fee to avoid $100 in fees that the norm is to stay on the site.

 

So, it's typical for marketplaces like Upwork to offer an opt-out arrangement where the parties can pay a fixed price to the marketplace   so they get some amount of fees, but then the parties save the cost of all the additional fees but can continue to use the marketplace.

 

What you're describing here is not an opt-out. It's an alternative fee arrangement. When you opt out, you're out...no longer using Upwork.

 

dossy
Community Leader
Ed S Member Since: Oct 27, 2017
32 of 37

@Tiffany S wrote:

What you're describing here is not an opt-out. It's an alternative fee arrangement. When you opt out, you're out...no longer using Upwork.

 


 That's not true, at all.  You can continue to use Upwork, _with_ the client/freelancer, after the Opt-Out Fee has been paid, and there are many reasons to do so (escrow service, messaging rooms, the Upwork agency functionality, etc.).  Paying the Opt-Out Fee does NOT prevent you from continuing to do business on Upwork.

 

The Opt-Out Fee is currently necessary (and quite abusive of clients and freelancers) if you  want to sell services to the client where you CANNOT bill via the Upwork site (third-party billing required for services, like media buying, leasing, reselling of goods from freelancer to client where payment must be made directly to the fulfiller  by the client,  etc.) -- this is really unfortunate -- because the agreement is very clear that any payments for  work either directly or indirectly MUST be transacted by Upwork.

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
33 of 37

@Ed S wrote:

 (and quite abusive of clients and freelancers) .

 "abusive" Smiley Surprised ?

Seriously!?

 

tlsanders
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
34 of 37

@Ed S wrote:

@Tiffany S wrote:

What you're describing here is not an opt-out. It's an alternative fee arrangement. When you opt out, you're out...no longer using Upwork.

 


 That's not true, at all.  You can continue to use Upwork, _with_ the client/freelancer, after the Opt-Out Fee has been paid, and there are many reasons to do so (escrow service, messaging rooms, the Upwork agency functionality, etc.).  Paying the Opt-Out Fee does NOT prevent you from continuing to do business on Upwork.

 

Well, no...it doesn't prevent you from continuing to do business with Upwork. But, your prior post suggested that clients could pay the opt-out fee and then continue to use Upwork without fees. Where do the terms suggest that?

 

The Opt-Out Fee is currently necessary (and quite abusive of clients and freelancers) if you  want to sell services to the client where you CANNOT bill via the Upwork site (third-party billing required for services, like media buying, leasing, reselling of goods from freelancer to client where payment must be made directly to the fulfiller  by the client,  etc.) -- this is really unfortunate -- because the agreement is very clear that any payments for  work either directly or indirectly MUST be transacted by Upwork.

 

But, see, Upwork doesn't want you to do those things. It doesn't care about what side deals you might wish you could make with the client. Upwork has a specific purpose, which is to facilitate the connection of clients and freelancers who can and will work through the site.

 

FWIW, not a single thing you listed is something that CANNOT be handled under the current terms. In some cases, that might cost the freelancer a little extra, but nothing you've listed here is unworkable while following the Upwork TOS.


 

dossy
Community Leader
Ed S Member Since: Oct 27, 2017
35 of 37

@Tiffany S wrote:

FWIW, not a single thing you listed is something that CANNOT be handled under the current terms. In some cases, that might cost the freelancer a little extra, but nothing you've listed here is unworkable while following the Upwork TOS.


 


 Suppose you're a mobile app developer.  Part of providing service to an Upwork client is to have them buy and use your mobile app.  They MUST pay the mobile app store (Apple, Google) -- which is a payment made *indirectly to you* outside of Upwork -- and is against the terms of service _as it is currently written_.

 

This is just one example.  There are plenty of others.  I'm not going to spend my free time enumerating them all.  If you understand the Terms of Service, you can probably come up with more examples.

 

Like I said, the current terms as they are written are ridiculous.

tlsanders
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
36 of 37

@Ed S wrote:

@Tiffany S wrote:

FWIW, not a single thing you listed is something that CANNOT be handled under the current terms. In some cases, that might cost the freelancer a little extra, but nothing you've listed here is unworkable while following the Upwork TOS.


 


 Suppose you're a mobile app developer.  Part of providing service to an Upwork client is to have them buy and use your mobile app.  They MUST pay the mobile app store (Apple, Google) -- which is a payment made *indirectly to you* outside of Upwork -- and is against the terms of service _as it is currently written_.

 

This is just one example.  There are plenty of others.  I'm not going to spend my free time enumerating them all.  If you understand the Terms of Service, you can probably come up with more examples.

 

Like I said, the current terms as they are written are ridiculous.


 So, you developed a mobile app and have it in an app store, but it is impossible for you to either issue the client a voucher/discount code that will allow them to get the app for free (and then bill them the cost through Upwork) or to purchase it for them yourself and be reimbursed by Upwork?

 

Why are those simple workarounds "impossible" for you?

gilbert-phyllis
Community Guru
Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
37 of 37

@Ed S wrote:

..... You can continue to use Upwork, _with_ the client/freelancer, after the Opt-Out Fee has been paid, and there are many reasons to do so (escrow service, messaging rooms, the Upwork agency functionality, etc.).  Paying the Opt-Out Fee does NOT prevent you from continuing to do business on Upwork.

 


 This makes no sense to me at all. The ONLY reason to stay is because the ToS--quite reasonably and fairly, IMO--require it. If, for some reason, a client ever wanted to buy me out of this bondage, I cannot think of a single reason that we'd continue to operate here. (For our work together -- presumably we would each continue using UW to connect with and work with other people.)

 

The escrow service facilitates payment as long as there is no disagreement or dispute but the "payment protection" is less robust than what I have under my own contract terms (for off-UW projects). I have my own invoicing procedures that are not especially burdensome. Payment through UW is typically faster but it also comes in smaller increments. The UW messaging rooms are cumbersome to use and somewhat unreliable compared to Skype and Google Hangouts (the only other ones I've used very much). The only reason to use them, that I see, is to keep communications archived on UW. I don't know much about the agency functionality, so maybe there's enough benefit there to keep some people around. 

 

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