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Received Job Invitation, Was Asked To Write Unpaid Sample

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Active Member
Hannah P Member Since: Jun 18, 2018
1 of 15

I am new on Upwork and recently started receiving an influx of "invitations to interview." The influx itself makes me skeptical. I declined two of them out of hand. One of them I decided to follow. The first thing that happened when I asked for more details was that I was given an email address to contact offsite. All communications look very legitimate: no abnormally high rates of pay or requests to buy something to review it and then receive reimbursement. But they did ask for a new, unpaid writing sample on a specific subject. Between the off-site contact and the unpaid writing sample, I am a bit skeptical. Can anyone help?

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Community Guru
Jennifer R Member Since: Sep 15, 2017
2 of 15

Welcome to the community.

 

Flag the job and wait for CS to contact you. DO NOT work for the client. Free sample are a violation of the ToS from the clients side, but if you agree to work outside UW for this client within the next 24 month your account will be suspended.

 

Some invites can be meant serious and since you don't use connects to apply you can just do so for some free practice. There are clients that look for newbies to pay lower rates. If you want to make some experience in the world of freeelancing you might as well try it out.

 

Spent more time in the forum and learn from other peoples mistakes/misfortunes.

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Active Member
Hannah P Member Since: Jun 18, 2018
3 of 15

Here's the exact sequence of events:

I received "invitation to interview." 

I contacted client on Upwork, asked for details of the next step.

Was given email address to contact outside of Upwork, which I contacted.

Was asked to send three writing samples of my own.

Sent writing samples.

Was told that the writing samples are "more than acceptable" but that they now want me to write an unpaid writing sample on a subject similar to what I would be writing for them. 

I sent client an email asking to communicate through Upwork and if future payments would be received through Upwork. 

Received this response:

"Thanks for your message. Although, it’s unclear as to what you may be confused by.
RE: Compensation 
All compensation is clearly detailed in the job post. This position is particularly well-compensated as you get paid twice for the article - once for an outline and once for the completed article.
RE: Communication
We frequently use channels outside of UpWork, as UpWork has been know to fail (ex: undelivered messages and/or the network being down at crucial deadlines)
If you’re unwilling to communicate outside of UpWork, then this isn’t the role for you.
It sounds like you have plenty of clients to work with, so we wish you the best of luck in your endeavors."

 

So, does that sound like something that should be flagged? Or have I just really offended someone legitimate? The client's profile is from 2009 and has good ratings, but I though unpaid writing samples sounded strange.

Thanks.

HP

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Community Guru
Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
4 of 15

It's a common case of scam. They ask a ton of freelancers for free samples and then they disappear. You haven't lost an opportunity, you have dodged a bullet. Flag the job and move away.

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"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
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Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
BEST ANSWER
5 of 15

Asking to communicate outside Upwork is not an issue

 

Asking for free work is a policy violation (NOT allowed) and deserves to be flagged.

 

View solution in original post

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Active Member
Hannah P Member Since: Jun 18, 2018
6 of 15

Thanks, everyone. I thought it seemed questionable, but they have a very professional-seeming hook.

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Moderator
Bojan S Moderator Member Since: Mar 9, 2018
7 of 15

Hi Hannah,

 

 

As others have already pointed out on this thread, it's against Upwork ToS to offer or accept a payment outside of Upwork. Thanks for bringing this to our attention, we have escalated your report and our team will investigate it further. Also, check these safety tips and report if you receive any of the offers mentioned in the thread, which are in violation of Upwork ToS. Any requesting of free work is not allowed on Upwork, and it is ToS violation. Afterwards, if you have any questions feel free to follow up in the Community and we'll gladly help you with them.


~ Bojan
Untitled
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Community Guru
Jennifer R Member Since: Sep 15, 2017
8 of 15

@Bojan S wrote:

Hi Hannah,

 

 

As others have already pointed out on this thread, it's against Upwork ToS to offer or accept a payment outside of Upwork. Thanks for bringing this to our attention, we have escalated your report and our team will investigate it further. Also, check these safety tips and report if you receive any of the offers mentioned in the thread, which are in violation of Upwork ToS. Any requesting of free work is not allowed on Upwork, and it is ToS violation. Afterwards, if you have any questions feel free to follow up in the Community and we'll gladly help you with them.


 The issue is that the client is asking for free work. There will be no payment ouside Upwork.

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Active Member
Hannah P Member Since: Jun 18, 2018
9 of 15

I never actually received a very concrete answer as to whether they were trying to pay me outside of UpWork.  I knew that was against the rules and would not have accepted such a job. My concern was that being asked for free samples seemed scammy but that in all other respects, the communication had been very professionally worded. Several people have definitively answered that question for me and I really appreciate the help from all of you.

 

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Active Member
Hannah P Member Since: Jun 18, 2018
10 of 15

After I flagged the post, I received this communication from the person posting it and I replied below:

[6/18/2018 1:33:54 PM] name removed: There was no need to flag our posting.

[6/18/2018 1:41:45 PM] Hannah (name removed): In investigating your requirements, I was told that it is against Upwork's client-end terms of service to ask for unpaid samples. I was TOLD to flag your post. You are not supposed to solicit unpaid work from freelancers on this site. I am a freelancer just trying to avoid being taken advantage of. Before I flagged your post, I asked for clarification from the contact to which you referred me. I received something that did not clarify the issue and was combative in tone. I replied to that person again asking, as politely as possible, for clarification. I received no reply. I took the action I was advised to take by Upwork moderators.

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