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

Active Member
Daniil R Member Since: Mar 11, 2017
11 of 21

This is not the first time I hear about Upwork being unresponsive and unfair. I clearly remember at least 3 cases when it took a lot of efforts of a lot of people in community for upwork to just admit its mistake and revoke people accounts. 


I really want to hear back from you, Upwork representatives, on what can do to keep us calm and continue our long-term relationships on this platform. I am working on long-term projects only. I already have one project where I am eligible to go out from platform without charges according to ToS, but I keep working through Upwork and bring more people here, although I find them outside of Upwork. I am really interested in making each side happy: the client, Upwork and freelancer, I care about client experience and make their products succesfull and efficent, I respect upwork rules and bring more people here (I promoted Upwork on local conferences, found people for my client locally to work on Upwork, I help people with recommendations in chats), but what Upwork does to keep me loyal? Restricts me from communicating with client in the way we both want (e.g. use calendly to schedule our meeting, we both have tight schedules, so what's the crime if we ended up working through upwork?), bans people with proven record of high earning and happy clients. 


It seems for me like it's easier for upwork to find new people than to care about communite. 


Valeria, you don't have to reveal any private information. To be fair, at this point I won't be satisfied if Upwork will just revoke his account as we will get explanations. I want to know what Upwork is ready to do for my to feel that my contribution is valueable and respectfull. For now it seems for me that I will be thrown away like a garbage without any discission only if your algorithms will falsely consider that I violate ToS somehow.

Active Member
Oleg Z Member Since: Sep 9, 2015
12 of 21

I am a Top Rated Plus with 400K+ earned for the last 5 years.

I never had a ban, but I cannot trust the platform and feel safe.


You can get a ban for unclear reasons. I know freelancers, who get banned because they used public VPNs. Yes, some of them got their accounts back again after long and unpleasant explanations to the support. But I didn't find any rule against VPN usage in TOS.


After that I deleted the Upwork application from my Iphone, because I use VPN in my iPhone from time to time, and I don't want problems. Is it normal?


I withdraw earned money every week. It costs me $120 every month, and I would prefer to do this every 2 weeks and save my money, but I don't want to lose my earnings, because someone in Upwork could decide to ban me just because he sees 'irregular activity' or maybe he's just in a bad mood today. Is it normal?


I'm ready for alternatives to Upwork, I'm ready to work directly with my clients, because I can lose my account anytime.

Is it possible for Upwork just think about it? Become more open, clear and honest? I don't know. But this is not trust and not safety.



Active Member
Gregory B Member Since: Apr 29, 2015
13 of 21

Checking in to voice my take on the situation. At some point I also was randomly banned and it took me enourmous amount of stress and time to "un-ban" myself.


Lack of transparancy and easy ways to really discuss such events require re-evaluating. Upwork has become a sole source of income for many sincere professionals. Knowing that it might or might not go away in a blink is not acceptable.


All the best and thank you,


Active Member
Oleg Z Member Since: Sep 9, 2015
14 of 21

Personally I decided to not spend time on Upwork if I get banned.


Yes, Upwork is a big marketplace, with many advantages, but the world is much bigger, and there are a lot of opportunities for good professionals. I don't want to spend time trying to protect myself in the place where you in fact have even no right to get a simple explanation why you was kicked off the platform.

Active Member
Alexey S Member Since: Jun 2, 2016
15 of 21

Can we have the Upwork representative here?
How many Kudos is enough to be noticed? 112 is not the number?

Anna N Employee Member Since: Feb 2, 2018
16 of 21

Hi Community members, 


Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. I lead Trust and Safety here at Upwork and want to reiterate that we do value your concerns and points of view. 


I have read all of your comments and shared them with my broader team to ensure that your feedback is fully heard and that we take meaningful actions to support you. Our freelancers and the experiences you have on the Upwork platform are a key priority for us. 


Ultimately, our goal is to foster a safe, professional, and trustworthy marketplace. We always aspire to catch bad actors with minimal impact on good users. It’s a nuanced balancing act but it is an important one that we realize has real implications on people’s lives. Our intention is certainly not to create an atmosphere in which you are concerned about your personal profile’s security.


We have several projects underway that we expect to address many of the concerns here. For example, we are actively working on more user-friendly processes that enable freelancers to continually verify their identities and provide us with the necessary information to keep Upwork safe for all on the platform. Our team will share more details about this and other improvements over the coming weeks.


Given the feedback in this particular thread, I can commit that we will also work on providing more transparency on an individual basis and providing freelancers support they need. We will continue to make decisions in the best interest of all of our stakeholders but we will strive to be more accurate and more transparent.


We use feedback like this to drive continual improvement. Thank you for raising this issue, and please keep the feedback coming. This is how we get better and we sincerely appreciate your help here. 


Many thanks,


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

Anna, let me start by admiring the speed with which this whole conversation is moving. I personally appreciate that you answered our call in such a manner and I'm sure community does too.

Moving to the contents of your message, I can't express how happy I am to see a message that addresses most of our concerns whilst paraphrasing them and addressing point by point, and from a lead of Trust and Safety to boot.

If you would, I'd like to ask for a bit more concrete info on the projects underway. Naturally, you can't disclose too much, but having something like "Q3/Q4 2020" or like "Q1/Q2 2021" timelines for the projects, as well as their general outline would, I'm certain, really help the community feel more secure continuing pouring our heart and soul into our work and being sure that our favorite platform will be improving in the very specific ways that would be graciously provided by you. 

Is that something that you would be able to provide to us as a way to back up your commitment, or we would have to make do with the general outline provided by you earlier?

Active Member
Michael T Member Since: Oct 26, 2018
18 of 21

Hello, there. I'm upwork user since 2015. Top Rated, 100k+ earned. Last 2 years I'm almost moved out of the platform(other platforms and direct contracts) because I don't want to totally depend on it and in one moment(ban) lose everything. And all these problems are only because of this untrusty policy from Upwork.

I'm not going to spend my time and work on the platform until Upwork will allow us to know the exact reason of a ban and the ability to discuss the problem with the support.

Active Member
Alexey S Member Since: Jun 2, 2016
19 of 21

Thanks, Anna. That sounds really promising!

However, could you give us more details, please?
All of us heard the general phrases too often.
Every support request ended up with "we'll share the ban reason to the freelancer". While the freelancer (Victor in this case) still claims he has NO explanations. Even after all of this discussion. He has been banned "permanently". Then (after a lot of movements) unbanned. That's it. No reasons. No details.

Could you share your plans on how to increase account locks transparency?
Could you also give some warnings before this can happen?
Currently, we can't be sure in our future with the Upwork.
Hope that makes sense.

Anna N Employee Member Since: Feb 2, 2018
20 of 21

I’m glad to provide more details where I can. A few highlights:


  • Verification flows: This is on track to launch for the identity verification flow this month. We expect to launch a system for recurring verification flows later this year
  • Improved suspensions messaging: This is on track to launch for half of our teams in Trust & Safety later this month, after which we will begin work for the remaining teams
  • Improved detection: We are actively and regularly launching new system improvements behind the scenes that help us more precisely identify bad actors and prevent false identifications
  • Suspensions revamp strategy: We are on track to have a strategy and roadmap in place by the end of this month after starting research last month. This is a major project, and we expect execution to take 6+ months, with improvements visible to our users launching throughout

The strategy we are developing is designed to improve accuracy and user experience, informed by feedback from customers via Community, our customer support tickets, and focus groups. 


I don’t think we can or should strive for 100% transparency as that would make it easier for dangerous actors to reverse engineer our safety checks. That said, we can and are striving to ensure that good users are given a clear and reasonable opportunity to prove themselves if they are mistaken as dangerous actors.


More feedback always makes us better, and the Trust & Safety team will be reaching out to you Alexey, Mikhail, Oleg, Gregory, and Daniil to see if you might be willing to participate in a call to talk through your concerns in more detail. Ultimately we want to ensure we're building solutions that put our users first.