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Reporting a Client?

josephportes
Active
Hello,

I am still fairly new to UpWork, but when I first started I didn't know very much, and I think I was, along with several others, taken advantage of. A client asked for a proof of concept as a "test" to determine which freelancer would get hired. It was just a short pitch so it seemed reasonably. I did it, and put in quite a bit of extra work, and haven't heard back in weeks. I suspect the client heard pitches from several freelancers without ever having intentions to hire anyone. BUT they have 5 star feedback and have paid out quite a bit of money so I'm not sure...

This is the job: https://www.upwork.com/ab/proposals/753796396146049024. I was told they would pick someone within a few of hearing pitches. It's been almost a month now and the job is still open.

Any thoughts? Was this a scam? If so, how can I repair them? And can I get my connects back?
ACCEPTED SOLUTION

@ Joe --

 

It has been my experience (when I have reported job postings/clients) that, generally speaking, as long as a client has ever, at all, paid any freelancer for any work, Upwork will (laughably) assume that the client is legitimate.

 

Just yesterday, I did as you did: edited/proofread a 500-word text as a quick "trial," because it took me less time to do so than it takes me to write most proposals. I had been fooled into thinking that this particular "trial" was legit: The prospective client had some good feedback and a verified payment method. The client even had a good story in the job posting about a quick trial paragraph.

 

After I had done the "trial" editing/proofreading (admittedly, took me maybe three minutes), the client, who had been communicating well via Messages, went suddenly and completely "radio silent."Dropped dead. Nothing.

 

A few hours later, I checked on the job posting. This client, who previously had some good feedback (although, I noticed, for a very low-paying job), now presented this picture:  the job posting for which I had applied had 15 proposals, 5 interviews, and no hires!  As of this morning, no new proposals, while the number of interviews has (mysteriously) dropped to 4. Still no hires. (Whaddaya wanna bet that there never will be any hires??)

 

My guess is that the "client" previously hired one freelancer for one cheap job, just in order to obtain good feedback, and this "client" is now in the process of scamming freelancers for lots of freebie editing/proofreading "trial" paragraphs. But based on my past experience (see below), my guess is that Upwork will probably see this as a paying client, so I didn't bother to report her.

 

During this past week, I reported another job posting (not one to which I applied, just a posting) by a client who was offering, in multiple postings to pay for translation work with "BEAUTIFUL, long feedback," and who said outright IN THE JOB POSTING that even the $5 listed as payment was only because Upwork requires that he/she list a minimum payment amount. A more "minimal" bid would be preferred. The response I ultimately got from Upwork CS (which, to their credit, did at least investigate my alert) was this: "Client was paying freelancers for their translation work in all of his other job post." (That's a verbatim quote from CS.) No action taken. Apparently, it's okay to pay freelancers with "BEAUTIFUL long feedback" in lieu of cash. Or, maybe: Once a paying client, always a paying client?

 

I have the feeling that when I report these guys, I may be marked as a time-consuming troublemaker by Upwork, and that slightly punitive action may be taken. For example, my Rising Talent Status was removed under circumstances that remain mysterious to me. Then, not much later, there was an issue with the order in which my jobs were listed (for a potential client to see), such that my most recent jobs, the ones the best feedback, were buried under older ones, which isn't supposed to happen. (Again, to its credit, CS fixed this glitch quickly. But they were never able to explain why it happened.) But maybe I am just paranoid.

 

Anyway:  Joe, I feel ya.

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14 REPLIES 14
prestonhunter
Community Guru

Joe:

Don't volunteer to work for free.

josephportes
Active
Of course, I understand that. But it wasn't much work, really, so it seemed reasonable. It was pitching a screenplay idea - 5 sentences max. The best pitch would get picked and that person would be paid to write the full project. Took me less time to write than most UpWork cover letters. However, I later realized they could be doing this to generate ideas for free from a bunch of people. Or they may have picked a few others who they tricked into writing more than just a pitch. I said I was skeptical right up front, and didn't feel comfortable doing it, but would do it only because it was just a short paragraph. Perhaps they realized they couldn't get more out of me so moved on to prey on others. Or maybe it is not a scam at all and I'm too skeptical? The client has a good rating after all; and a legitimate website. I'm new to UpWork and maybe I just don't know that sometimes clients jobs open for a while.

@ Joe --

 

It has been my experience (when I have reported job postings/clients) that, generally speaking, as long as a client has ever, at all, paid any freelancer for any work, Upwork will (laughably) assume that the client is legitimate.

 

Just yesterday, I did as you did: edited/proofread a 500-word text as a quick "trial," because it took me less time to do so than it takes me to write most proposals. I had been fooled into thinking that this particular "trial" was legit: The prospective client had some good feedback and a verified payment method. The client even had a good story in the job posting about a quick trial paragraph.

 

After I had done the "trial" editing/proofreading (admittedly, took me maybe three minutes), the client, who had been communicating well via Messages, went suddenly and completely "radio silent."Dropped dead. Nothing.

 

A few hours later, I checked on the job posting. This client, who previously had some good feedback (although, I noticed, for a very low-paying job), now presented this picture:  the job posting for which I had applied had 15 proposals, 5 interviews, and no hires!  As of this morning, no new proposals, while the number of interviews has (mysteriously) dropped to 4. Still no hires. (Whaddaya wanna bet that there never will be any hires??)

 

My guess is that the "client" previously hired one freelancer for one cheap job, just in order to obtain good feedback, and this "client" is now in the process of scamming freelancers for lots of freebie editing/proofreading "trial" paragraphs. But based on my past experience (see below), my guess is that Upwork will probably see this as a paying client, so I didn't bother to report her.

 

During this past week, I reported another job posting (not one to which I applied, just a posting) by a client who was offering, in multiple postings to pay for translation work with "BEAUTIFUL, long feedback," and who said outright IN THE JOB POSTING that even the $5 listed as payment was only because Upwork requires that he/she list a minimum payment amount. A more "minimal" bid would be preferred. The response I ultimately got from Upwork CS (which, to their credit, did at least investigate my alert) was this: "Client was paying freelancers for their translation work in all of his other job post." (That's a verbatim quote from CS.) No action taken. Apparently, it's okay to pay freelancers with "BEAUTIFUL long feedback" in lieu of cash. Or, maybe: Once a paying client, always a paying client?

 

I have the feeling that when I report these guys, I may be marked as a time-consuming troublemaker by Upwork, and that slightly punitive action may be taken. For example, my Rising Talent Status was removed under circumstances that remain mysterious to me. Then, not much later, there was an issue with the order in which my jobs were listed (for a potential client to see), such that my most recent jobs, the ones the best feedback, were buried under older ones, which isn't supposed to happen. (Again, to its credit, CS fixed this glitch quickly. But they were never able to explain why it happened.) But maybe I am just paranoid.

 

Anyway:  Joe, I feel ya.

So, how do you actually report someone? Maybe I missed that link in the options somewhere? Sounds like it won't do much anyways.

Hi Joe,

 

To report inappropriate behavior or a violation you can flag the job:

 

Screenshot_7.png

 

Or submit a ticket request with additional details and screenshots.

 

 

~ Valeria
Upwork

Hi Janean,

 

The job post you are referring to that you reported earlier in a ticket has been removed for violating Upwork ToS.

 

Thank you.

~ Valeria
Upwork

@Valeria --

 

Well done, CS !!!

 

5:23 p.m. EST, 8/11/16 :  Edited to Add:  The client's job postings remain for translations in Slovenian, Belarussian, and Lithuanian.  Just FYI. These are worded as offering "BEAUTIFUL long personalized feedback."

 

Go get 'em, CS!  You guys could be my heroes, today!!

We'll have our Marketplace Quality heroes check these jobs as well, Janean.

 

 

~ Valeria
Upwork

The way this works is they get "hundreds" to take their "tests".

 

The "test" may not seem like "much work", but when you have "hundreds" hacking away at "little parts" (for FREE!), pretty soon you have an application / system.

 

(These are "valued clients" that post 1000's of invites for a single job; that does not have to be filled).

 

There maybe a "prize", but only for the "winner"; IF they nominate one in the end.

 

Mimicks that other "model" where you hire a bunch for peanuts and hope one gets the right answer; except in this case, YOU DON'T HAVE TO PAY AT ALL!

kochubei_valeria
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Joe,

 

Please, always make sure you have an active contract before you do any work for the client.

 

I'll also follow up with the team to make sure they review this client's account in regards to requesting free work and take actions if needed.

~ Valeria
Upwork

Hi Valeria,

 

Again, I could be wrong. I really don't mind writing a few sentences to prove my competency -- like I said, it was less than most cover letters I write. I wouldn't agree to do any substantial work without a contract. My concern is for others. If they are running some sort of scam, I want to make sure nobody ends up doing more than just a quick pitch for them. It is possible there is nothing malicious going on at all, and they're just taking their time to choose someone. It makes sense to hear pitches in order to choose the best candidate (how else do you know who could best handle the project?), but... far too much time has passed, and I suspect they either got 15 different pitches from writers and have decided to steal someone's idea and write the screenplay themselves -or- they have asked other freelancers to write more than just a short pitch.

iaabraham
Community Guru

For one of the first few jobs I applied to on the platform, we were asked to write a sample 250-word article. I did so, stupidly, without understanding the site rules.

 

The client was also an established one with a good reputation. I never heard back from him after his initial request for the article and he didn't hire anyone for the job.

 

You can report the guy, but I'm pretty sure that no action will be taken against the client's account, especially since he's spent money on Upwork.

 

Nothing left to do but learn your lesson and move on.

 

 

hugo_menz
Active
Hello UPWORK. Sadly I had the first problem with a client. It was horrible to work with and now once I sent him the work done, he refuses to answer or review the job. Even if he is connected. It es a verified Payment work, what can I do? Only wait? Thank you

@Hugo M wrote:
Hello UPWORK. Sadly I had the first problem with a client. It was horrible to work with and now once I sent him the work done, he refuses to answer or review the job. Even if he is connected. It es a verified Payment work, what can I do? Only wait? Thank you

 Do you have a contract with that client and the job appears under your "My Jobs" tab?

Is it an hourly job and you tracked your time with the app?

Is it a fixed rate job, fully funded, and you used the "submit work and request payment" function to submit your work?

 

In that case you'll eventually get paid automatically, so stop harassing the client, who has (for fixed rate contracts) 14 days to review your work and ask for changes. If the client does nothing, you get paid whatever was funded 14 days after you submitted.

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