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Quick to Suspend First Time - I'd Like to Know What Evidence Could Have Led Specifically to This

Community Leader
Aaron F Member Since: Apr 26, 2009
1 of 6

Hello in all my years being on Upwork i.e. OVER 10 YEARS I believe - today I endured a full out suspension for the very first time. 

The suspension was lifted about 3  hours later but all my invitations to interview, submitted propsals and active ones were gone. I was talking to a number of clients and now all those proposals are Declined - bad look. 

The suspension was related to a contract I had in mediation which has gone on for a month.

As there was no agreement reached the mediator suggested I refund 3 hours of "low activity" work.

I refunded this yesterday, and 24 hours later -  suspended. 

The agent who suspended my account said the client provided evidence to substantiate that I had done damage to their site BUT:

- Long story short, the client asked me to merge a few products, things got deleted that I did not know of and that the client should have informed me of before. I worked over 20 hours more to correct all errors.

- We ended the contract in April and the client gave me 5 stars and asked for a refund of 10 hours and I did that. She gave me 5 stars. 

- 2 Weeks later I got a mediation ticket which has gone on for a month. 

- We only communicated on Upwork. 

- There's absolutely no way the client would have evidence showing that I KNEW of the importance of those variants. (what got deleted)

The agent suggests that I knew of the importance PRIOR to me deleting them and could possibly do this on purpose i.e. i purposefully damaged their site is their reason for suspension. 

- If possible I'd like to know if there is any evidence of this in our messages as we only communicated on Upwork. There essentially can be no evidence that this was done purposefully.  I admitted to deleting them (the variants) and working with the client until everything was resolved. but this client was not Shopify savvy and she should have let me know PRIOR to asking me to merge products. 

- A different team member of the client filed the mediation ticket, claimed the variants were marked DO NOT DELETE and that's what the agent suspended my account based on. But Variants cannot be marked as so and in our Upwork messages there is no evidence of her letting me know the importance of this PRIOR to them being deleted. 

- Why was my account only suspended AFTER I issued the refund? I did what the mediator suggested. This contract has been in mediation for a month. Did the mediator flag my account? 

- Considering we only communicated through Upwork messages what sort of evidence could the client have provided Upwork to insinuate that I knew of the importance of the variants before deleting them? The client asked for products to be merged, I did that - variants got deleted, client alerted me , I worked for FREE for 20 plus hours to make them happy and correct everything - why would I purposefully delete something and then work for 20 hours for free to fix it.

- Now all of the active proposals with clients I had are now gone. 

- How would I have known this and I worked for over 20 hours unbilled with the client to correct all issues caused by the error. Therefore why would I have done the error on purpose and then sacrifice 20 hours of unbilled time.???

- This contract has been in mediation over a month, the client has provided his "evidence" weeks ago why is it only after I refunded the client that my account was suspended? First time in over TEN YEARS. 

It was and is quite scary. Also the inability to withdraw all my hard earned money really scared me; it's therefore making me think that Upwork really isn't safe for freelancers to continue using anymore. I know for one I am not going to be putting my faith in only working on the platform from now on. While I will continue working with Upwork and Upwork clients on Upwork   i am going to put a lot less effort into the platform as it's quite shocking such a suspension could happen with practically unmentioned evidence. All our messages and communication are in Upwork Messages; what evidence is there that I did this on purpose and why would I? So I can sacrifice more than 20 unbilled hours? I think not. 

there's absolutely no way that I could have known of the importance of those variants that were deleted PRIOR to it happening. The client is as much at fault as they were not Shopify savvy and should have let me know of the importance of those variants prior to asking me to merge two products. So unless the evidence was forged I cannot imagine there's any way the client could have shown Upwork that I knew of this BEFORE the error occured.

Why then does the agent who suspended my account insinuate that I did  it on purpose? 

So many questions but I am honestly very scared of continuing to use Upwork as a source of livelihood or income and am going to put more effort into getting clients in the real world or through my website - as this situation has shown me the platform and agents can be fickle as my suspension to me makes no sense...

Community Guru
Amanda L Member Since: Jan 23, 2018
2 of 6

Aaron, considering the amount of work you do on Upwork (and the amount of money you make them), you'd think they'd have treated you with a bit more respect than this.  I agree, it's getting  more and more worrisome to use this platform. 


I am glad your account was reinstated. Upwork should really at least give you all your lost connects back (even though with the amount of work you do it seems like it's not that big of an expense for you). It seems like the greater loss is losing any bidding you did the last few days. 


It sounds like an honest mistake happened with this project, that wasn't entirely or at all your fault, and you worked to remedy it, and then the client decided to be greedy. That's terrible. 

Community Leader
Aaron F Member Since: Apr 26, 2009
3 of 6

Thanks Amanda I completely agree and I am completely disheartened and unmotivated now to continue using Upwork.

I had a lot of funds in my balance as well which when you're suspended you cannot withdraw i.e. your hard earned money.

My suspension to me makes absolutely no sense - this contract has been in mediation for a month ; the mediator themselves acknowledged that I "helped" the client to resolve issues related to the error and she even gave me 5 star feedback so why was my account suspended without notice?

I don't get it I really don't - it came as such a surprise and the issue that happened was as much the client's fault and I'm not saying that just to place blame. 

I am a Shopify Partner and Expert I really do know Shopify inside and out - there was no way I would purposefully damage a client's website why would I risk bad feedback and having to put in free hours? 

The client asked me to merge products, she should have also let me know that those products had variants with SKUs attached to them. Merging products like she asked will of course delete those variants. When she realized the error and informed me I agreed to turn off the tracker and complete all the corrections needed. 

I think I'm going to put in a lot less effort into the platform now as it seems like suspension can occur at any moment and your hard earned money completely lost on the basis of any client's claim. 

Also this contract has been in mediation for over a month - the evidence the client sent was done a while ago I believe why not suspend my account then? Why was it only done after I refunded the 3 hours?

Also why would the agent who suspended me not observe the information in the mediation ticket?

The mediator themselves acknowledged I helped the client to resolve the errors that's really not a good sign of things to come as I have been using Upwork for a while - when it was oDesk.

Before if there was an issue the agents would normally request your side of things as well before going out on a full suspension. There's also absolutely NONE no evidence that I could have known of the SKUs PRIOR to the error occuring unless their evidence was forged. 

I really don't understand and it's all very unmotivating. 

Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
4 of 6

It is time an Upwork moderator  made a comment on this thread. It is unacceptable that Upwork makes this sort of decision on a dispute. Upwork has always said that  it will try and reconcile the two parties, but will not make decisions for one side or the other. This is why Upwork has arbitration in place. 


Please do not fob any of us off with the usual "We cannot discuss cases". This is something that affects every single freelancer on thIs site. I (and perhaps we) would like to know how much power the "dispute team" has to arbritrarily suspend an account having come down (without evidence) on the side of the client. 


ETA: OK I  now  realise this was an hourly dispute, but even so, it is unacceptable that a decision to suspend an account was made by someone whose decision had to be biased. 




Joanne Marie P Moderator Member Since: Nov 26, 2017
5 of 6

Hi Aaron,


I checked your account, and it looks like one of the mediation team members is already assisting you with this case. The agent will update your ticket to provide you further assistance in resolving this issue. If you have any questions, please feel free to post in on your ticket, and the agent will be happy to assist you with it. Thank you.

~ Joanne
Ace Contributor
Valerie S Member Since: Jun 22, 2015
6 of 6

Wow Aaron, this is terrible. And yes, it should be a wake up call for all of us. Sorry you went through this. Upwork, what are you thinking???? Or who is doing your thinking , i.e. terrible and at this point "shocking" decision making?