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Reporting a Client?


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: 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?

@ 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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