I'm sorry, but I got to call a spade a spade. Pick ONE or THE OTHER. Having to pay for both connects and % commission on a job is complete **Edited for Community Guidelines**. And not mention you don't refund connects when a proposal is withdrawn.
Not liking this AT ALL.
Then don't use it. I honestly don't understand you and others who come to the forum and complain about UW costs when (1) using the platform is not mandatory and, (2) you haven't even earned anything yet, so you haven't paid any fees.
If you can find worthwhile clients offering viable project opportunities through other means than this platform, then by all means stop wasting your time here. UW's model isn't a good fit for everybody. It works well for me--I've earned a substantial portion of my total income here each of the past several years and my expenditures on connects and project fees generally run 10-11% of total billings each year. There's no way I could spend that little on my own marketing and connect with the clients I've found/been discovered by on this platform. Plus, it saves me time otherwise spent on contracts, invoicing, and chasing payments.
**Edited for Community Guidelines**
I understand that from a philosophical perspective, it may seem that Upwork is "double dipping" and that there's a certain "unfairness" in getting money both from fees and connects.
But as a practical matter... Many established freelancers either don't pay for connects, or regard the cost paid for connects as a very trivial expense.
Personally: I don't think I have ever paid for connects.
I rarely look at my connects balance, but when I do, it is always very high.
I work almost entirely on jobs I get invited to, and that doesn't cost any connects. And when I apply to a job and clients respond I get even more connects.
If a freelancer is just starting out, I get it that paying for connects can be an issue. Each freelancer needs to decide for himself if it is worth it to get started and start earning money here.