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s_guryev
Community Member

Permanent account suspension for Top Rated Plus freelancer without any explanations

Hello Upwork,

 

We have a big community of Eastern European freelancers. Our friend Victor's account has been recently suspended without any explanations or reasons given. Victor is not the first one who faced this problem and we've heard about such cases before with both new and old members. We know about all possible reasons which can lead to account suspensions but it looks like none of these reasons are applicable to this particular case. We are heavy concerned that honest Upwork freelancer can be blocked without the reason and lose the ability to use the platform he used for many years.

 

Here is his profile URL: **Edited for Community Guidelines**


He has Top Rated Plus badge, 5k+ hours and $100k+ earnings and verified identity (both ID and video call from 2019).

 

Obviously he has lost access to his Upwork profile thus he can't connect with anyone from the platform except via the social networks.

 

We would like to expose our concerns about this situation and our future on the platform. Nobody wants to be permanently suspended.

- How can we help to improve the verification process and decrease number of invalid suspensions?

- How can we know the reason of this particular account suspension in order to meet the policy for other members in the future?

- Do you have some contact which can be reached out regarding such suspensions and explain the reasons?

 

Thank you!

53 REPLIES 53


Thomas J wrote:

Opening this thread / can of worms as it was the post that helped me understand why Upwork permanently banned my account only one day after joining. I hadn't messaged anyone or posted anything, I was just doing some prelim research on freelancer's rates for a project I intended to hire for. As my project is very sensitive, I've been using VPNs and secure email addresses as I do prep work, which is necessary to keep me safe. I didn't realize that was a problem and, after reading Upworks TOS over and over again, I'm still not convinced it is a problem. 

 

When I got a message saying that my account was deleted permanently, I responded and politely asked how I could have possibly violated the TOS if I hadn't actually done anything yet. My first thought was that my account had been compromised and -- given the nature of my project -- this left me feeling very exposed and concerned about my security. The agent who banned me was not forthcoming at all with Upwork's assesment of my account, only that "after further review [they] determined this decision to be final". Zero explanation. A few google rabbit holes later, and I find myself here with a reasonable explanation that I was left to figure out myself. 

 

I'm not a threat to anyone's security. I had a legitimate job that I needed a legitimate specialist for, which payed legitimate money. I know a couple of thousand dollars is nothing to Upwork, or even the major players here who seem to warrant a response because of their earned reputation (and rightfully so, though it would be nice for that courtesy to also extend to new users). I know it's not a lot of money... but in COVID times, it could have really made a difference to one of the freelancers here who are trying to make ends meet. This matters because as this company continues to grow its profile, it becomes a viable solution to a lot of people who need a place to go when they can't go into an office. It has the potential to become an agent of change. If they continue banning people out of hand with zero transparency or respect for its users, then it's just another faceless monolith. 

 

All this to say that I'm disappointed. The vibe on this thread really looked like they were going in the right direction. I regret to inform you that either they are not, or that new direction is only for a select few. Either way, it's a bad look, Upwork.


Many of us use VPNs and this would not be the sole reason your account was banned. You had to have set off a number of red flags besides just using a VPN. 

 

Regardless, it seems like a moderator chimed in to assist you pretty quickly. 

 

I appreciate Upwork's attempts to create a safe community, and I agree with most here that a faster and more transparent way has to exist to resolve suspensions. Obviously one can set off the right flags and get a suspension, but especially for top-rated freelancers in good standing, there has to be a faster way to resolve and the customer service agents need to be better trained to recognize different forms of ID, etc. 

s_guryev
Community Member

Hello Upwork Community, it's me again.

 

I have started this thread almost 1.5 years ago. Our previous conversation was really great. We have believed that Upwork hear us because we even had the video call with Upwork employees from different departments and we were able to explain our fears and concerns. We were ensured that solution can be found and we hoped that it will be found.

 

Upwork has released a lot of new features allowing us to create own brand and make is more successful. We have new badges to prove our skills, we can build own pro community and refer other freelancers, we often receive invitations to webinars about how to build our brand, improve our service and become successful.

 

But one thing seems remain at the same stage it was from the beginning. And unfortunately this thing can ruin all the great things above because it can force us to lose everything. Yes, I'm talking about permanent account suspension without explanation again. We have noticed one more case similar to one we had in 2020:

  1. Top Rated Plus status & 6000+ hours & $300k+ earnings.
  2. Temporary hold and request for ID uploading and passing video verification.
  3. Completing all the required steps without any concerns and hoping to be un-holded soon.
  4. Success response about account verification but keeping account on hold.
  5. 2 weeks of silence even with follow-up requests.
  6. Notification about permanent account suspension without any explanation and ability to defense himself.
  7. Lost account, balance and everything was built during years.

 

We totally understand that there should be the balance between sharing information and preventing the circumvent the detection system. But I can't believe that such great "Trust and Safety" team we spoke with in Sep 2020 which promised us to find the solution was not able to do it. And it's even more bigger disappointment that we should lose freelancers in order to check it.

 

We have no new questions. I think I can just copy ones we had 17 months ago:
- How can we help to improve the verification process and make it more reliable and transparent?
- How can we know the reason of this particular account suspension in order to meet the policy for other members in the future (yes we read policies and know most of the possible edge cases but still have no ideas about the one became reason for the particular account suspension)?
- Do you have some contact which can be reached out regarding such suspensions and explain the reasons?

 

Thank you!

Hi Sergey,

 

Please keep in mind that I can't share details about another user with you, or regarding our investigation, or actions taken. 
To learn more about how you can stay safe on Upwork, check out this help article. Thank you.

~ Goran
Upwork

Hi Goran. Thank you for answering my message.
I didn't ask to share details with me. I'm totally OK to share details with the blocked freelancer only (I can provide his email in DM). It will be totally enough for us if he would say: "Guys, Upwork has contacted me and I know the reason now. Also they allowed me describe my point of view. They have accepted my arguments. I have no more questions about it".

Thank you!

This is really scary, I am on upwork since 2010.

- I have over 9000+ hours
- $700K+ earning
-  100% Job Success Rate
- Served hundreds of happy clients

I was asked to provide Govt-ID verification last day that I have already submitted, previously my profile was verified within minutes after submitting the document, however this time it's around 12-24 hours and I am still waiting for verification. I am hoping to get the profile re-verified soon like it was done couple of times previously but reading this thread and messages make you feel very unsecure. 

Hi AQ,

 

It looks like one of our team members is already assisting you with your concern. If you need further assistance, please feel free to update the ticket, and our team will be happy to assist you further. 

~ Joanne
Upwork

Hi Joanne,

 

I hope all is good at your end, One of my colleagues to whom you have replied above is unable to login into his upwork account. He has a huge profile of $800K earning, job success rate was 100% and working since last 12 years. He didn't receive any emails or notifications regarding temporary suspension and he has not received any email to appeal after permanent suspension. Two weeks back, he added new credit card to pay from his employer(client) account and he was asked to verify the identity. He submitted the documents and everything went fine. He believes, account got suspended because of a very minor technical glitch of not getting any notification or email. He is ready to submit any documents required. He is very distresed because his whole living is dependent on upwork and he is surving on upwork since 2010 honestly. He has no way to communicate that's why I am messaging you because he interacted with you few months back as well. He believes his account is suspended because his credit card payment was not processed and he didn't get any notifications or email and he feels its a technical glitch from upwork side.

 

He has no way to communicate because he never received account suspension email so either please put him on temporary hold so that he can communicate via upwork to create a support ticket, Its a very humble request to please look into this issue. Thanks!

 

I have sent you his profile ID and URL in private message. 

 

Regards,

 

Mudassir Nazir

Hi Mudassir,

 

We truly appreciate you reaching out and sharing this experience on behalf of your colleague. However, for privacy reasons, we cannot share information about another userโ€™s account. I can confirm that the issue on your colleague's account has been escalated and they'll be assisted accordingly by our team via a support ticket. Let me know if there's anything else I can assist you with. 

 

~ Arjay
Upwork

Sadly After all that hard work (for me 5500 hours) and you submitting the documents they can still not pay you with out reason, and Ban you.  

tagrendy
Community Member

This is scary. Whatever the reason for the ban, the money the Freelancer earned should be allowed to be withdrawn before closing the account.

This removes the payment Garuntee. if account banned in error by Upwork


yourlogomaster
Community Member

My wife's ( WRITI DUTTA ) Upwork account got suspended for no reason. 

She doesn't have any access and can't post this to the community hence on her behalf I am posting this issue.

She got an identity verification email and did the necessary steps as per Upwork email to set a video call via google meet where she needs to share her screen. She did everything they asked and answered every queries while they didn't even asked for ant ID profe to check. But she got email that the account got suspended as they are not able to verify her identity.

 

Her account has been suspended without any explanations or proper reasons given. We know about all possible reasons which can lead to account suspensions but it looks like none of these reasons are applicable to this particular case. We are heavily concerned that an honest Upwork freelancer can be blocked without the reason and lose the ability to use the platform she used for more than 6 years.

 

She has a Top Rated Plus badge and verified identity (both ID and video call from 2019 and 2022 only via video call which leads to account suspension).

As there is an option on Upwork to appeal for suspension, please help so that she can get to know the reason or can solve the issue the team may have with the account. Without knowing the reason how come someone understands what's going on?

 

Please help!

Thanks
Barun K

yourlogomaster
Community Member

 
quantprogrammer
Community Member

I have made over 250k from Upwork i had no idea this was possible, over the years i have been checked and re-checked

Just got a temporary ban. 

 

What do upwork do with the fees owed you?




 

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