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Re: Permanent account suspension for Top Rated Plus freelancer without any explanations

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Active Member
Sergey G Member Since: Dec 3, 2014
1 of 21

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!

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Ivan M Member Since: Jun 22, 2015
2 of 21

It is not even a single case during the last week – I've seen another top-rated freelancer banned where Upwork also has not provided any reasoning for the ban, not even vaguely pointed to a section in the ToS.

 

So, no warnings, no explanations, and also stealing the already-reviewed money that banned freelancers haven't withdrawn to their bank accounts.

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Ivan M Member Since: Jun 22, 2015
3 of 21

And please don't say "We don't take suspensions lightly here at Upwork" in this thread, we've all already seen it on screenshots and in Twitter.

 

Start telling freelancers the ban reasons and re-examine the latest cases to make sure there are no false positives. Any other reaction is just corporate speak and avoiding responsibility.

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Active Member
Denis Z Member Since: Sep 3, 2020
4 of 21

Unfortunatelly this concerns me as well. Seems like it wouldn't be an issue if we had at least a reason and an ability to dispute the case. I believe that a support agent have to provide some kind of explanation on why they decided to ban someone, at least for internal statistics. There shouldn't be any major obstacles for upwork to also share this information with us freelancers. Thanks.

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Active Member
Armen M Member Since: Jun 22, 2015
5 of 21
Unfortunately, this is a well-known and an ongoing problem that, in my eyes, makes Upwork a platform that I cannot trust both as a former freelancer and a current client. Because of such cases, we avoid hiring key people at Upwork as this can happen to anyone for no sensible reason, with no explanation and without any kind of responsibility taken by Upwork as a platform.

The key point here is that this kind of behavior means that neither freelancers nor clients have any kind of stability and protection of their rights on this platform, so a potentially useful tool becomes a dodgy service that I'll never recommend to other individuals and startups until there's a reasonable and a well-established process of handling false-positives such as this particular case.
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Moderator
Valeria K Moderator Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
6 of 21

Sergey and others,

 

We are unable to discuss the details of another user's account here for privacy and security reasons. The team will thoroughly review the account for TOS violations and communicate directly with the account owner.
Please, check out this help article for more information about the most common reasons for the freelancer account holds.

~ Valeria
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Active Member
Ivan M Member Since: Jun 22, 2015
7 of 21

Valeria, we are not talking only about the specific user (though re-examining his case is a must), we are talking about a systemic issue: how Upwork treats freelancers who have invested years in its platform and earned Upwork tens of thousands of dollars with their labor.

 

Why would we stay on your tinderbox of permanent bans out of nowhere without a right to appeal? Why would those of us who hire via Upwork continue doing it when we can lose our contractors at any moment?

Active Member
Denis Z Member Since: Sep 3, 2020
8 of 21

You're right, it's definitely a private information.

 

Let's instead discuss the approach used in these scenarios. Is there any possibility it could be modified to suit both parties? It would help all of us achieve our goals: for us freelancers to have a platform we could rely on; for Upwork to be the place your clients could have a longterm relationships which won't be interrupted at any moment without any particular reason. And I want to emphasize this, clients have their own reasons to keep a contact with us workers, it could be a deadline or anything else. Thank you.

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Armen M Member Since: Jun 22, 2015
9 of 21

The community Sergey is talking about has more than 2000 members. Sounds like a great opportunity for both sides to cooperate and work together to make the platform better for everyone. For example, adding an official Upwork representative to the community could be a brilliant step.

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Active Member
Mikhail N Member Since: Dec 29, 2015
10 of 21

Hey, Valeria!

First and foremost, I appreciate you coming forward and providing an answer in this thread so swiftly. However, I believe that the core message was missed, most likely because you have to deal with quite a bit of such requests on the regular basis.

I'm certain that this comes from a place of good intentions, so let me try voice my concerns in a way that I think you'll find it easier providing a tangiable answer with respect to the guidelines refarding PII that I'm sure you have to adhere to.

 

I have been active on the platform for over 6 years now, with 3500h+ and $200k+ earned. In the past couple of years I'm consistently paying Upwork over $5000 yearly in fees, which instantly makes it the most expensive work-related service by far. I believe Upwork acts as a great discoverability platform, but I believe that the most valuable aspect of Upwork is the Public Track Record that it provides. Anyone, at any time, can gauge your professinal life with clear numbers and quantifabile feedback. And I'm willing to shell out $5000 yearly for that alone. 

Being a reputation platform, I believe, it is absolutely paramaount for everyone on it to have transparency. And the platform should be the most transparent actor here - towards both freelancers and clients. If the platform (Upwork) fails to be transparent with me regarding the enforcement of rules and proceeds to do seemingly nothing about rampant bans with no actionable and clear reason for it - it makes it incresingly difficult for me to bring more of my clients to the platform and to continue to justify spending five thousand USD+ every year for a reputation platform that can collapse around me any moment.

I would appreciate if you could escalate this issue and make our voices heard internally. This has been an issue for a long time, and it's time to make a change. I'm putting aside how stressfull it can be for a person to go through such a humiliating process, I'm putting aside reputational damage when freelancer's clients will be informed of suspencion, I'm putting aside a lot of things - others expressed and will express it rather well.

Having an answer which directly address the pain points that I've mentioned above would demonstrate that Upwork is willing to acknowledge the areas where it can improve, and I hope to recieve such a reply.

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