re: "How are you meant to get help on here?"
There are many ways that you can get help.
One of the easist ways to get help is right here in the Community Forum.
re: "How do you get a help regarding bad work from a freelancer?"
That is a very good question. I can assure you that is not Upwork's role to check a freelancer's work.
The truth is that you don't need Upwork's help regarding bad work from a freelancer. You have all the tools and power yourself.
You can, in fact, close the contract on a freelancer who provides bad work AT ANY TIME. (This is a polite way of saying that you can fire the freelancer.) You can close a contract for ANY REASON, including because the freelancer is turning in bad work. You don't need to get anybody's permission. You don't need to justify your reasons to anybody.
re: "Jump through a few fire burning hoops and maybe you get a bot..."
The bot is just a toy. Ignore it.
Unless you and the featured contributors are employees of Upwork, I see no way to directly contact them with technical issues. There are things that need to be addressed by the company directly. Like the fact that their application process has multiple glitches in it, which are NOT fixed by clearing cache, trying different browsers, or chanting the magic chant.
Just throwing it out there...
I spent the better part of an hour working on a sample edit for a proposal. I attach the sample and attempt to upload and get a random 'illegal character' error, try again or contact support. I go back to try again, and now when I click on the job a message comes up,
This job is private. Only freelancers invited by client can view this job.
Since I clicked on it fine the fist time, it would seem that this 'error message' has caused me to be blocked. Does anybody have any idea what the heck it is talking about? I closed it, because I naively assumed I would be able to re-submit the proposal, but I think the characters were like / : ".. none of which I used.
And does anyone else find it weird that there is no direct contact with Upwork? only this community to get help?
It looks like you were able to reach out to our support team. Please allow time to them to respond and update your ticket. If you have any additional question please post them on that ticket for further assistance.
Thank you for your patience!