Hey guys! I was really exited to get my first bigger client on Upwork. As soon as the contract started, he started making what he called, "commands". I was "required" to be on video chat whenever he wanted. I was "required" to be available to him almost every waking hour. He even tried to tell me that I wasn't allowed to have other clients. It took me awhile to understand what was really going on. They are all sham companies, and never make money. He eventually told me out of his own mouth, that he doesn't care if his buinesses ever make money.
I was dumb and took less of an hourly, because he was so sure he had enough warm leads for me to close. The problem was, parts of his business necessary to fully close a sale, didn't even exist. So I "made" thousands of dollars that I will never see. At first he said he felt bad, because it was his fault. So he would pay me the commission I deserved. Because I am not "like that" it took awhile to understand what he was really saying. He had to spell it out for me. Basically, I was to be his cam girl. He also said that if I "did well in the company" that he would open an office near me, so he could come visit. All promises of commission and other perks, were held over my head as the carrot to be inappropriate with him.
I was unknowingly brought in as competition against his female "assistant". You can imagine how fun it was to not understand why you are instantly hated by the admin. Do you have any idea the havoc an admin can create? It often made my job impossible. Eventually he told me he likes to play people against each other (not in those exact words). He said he is great at getting people to do what he wants. He said he "just makes it hurt enough until they have to do it".
He would make demeaning comments about me, and yell in a rage sometimes. He would make obscene gestures with his tongue on the camera. I got to the point where I refused to be on camera, just audio. Because even though I didn't want to do anything, he would still stare at me and those gestures. I put his video behind some other pages of my screen, and told him I wasn't watching, in an attempt to get him to focus on work. Even reading all this makes me wonder how I tolerated it, but it's the frog in the pot kind of thing. I thought I could just keep enforcing boundaries and maybe I would just be respected for my professional contributions.
There is so much more to all that I went though. But here is the end of what happened. He kind of figured out that I was trying to record him to get evidence of his actions. So he accused me of not being willing to do what he wanted because I was recording it. So my last attempt to be clear with him was to come out to everyone as asexual. His response to that was to swich everyone roles, and put me at the bottom of the organization. He joked about piling so much work on me that I would quit. He was demanding more and more "meetings" and getting more and more agitated. At the end of the day I refused another "meeting" that really had nothing to do with work, and signed out.
The next day he ended the contract and gave me lower ratings, what I did not deserve. This is SO unfair. I invested months of my time with this nightmare of a client. Now I have to find more clients, with a rating I don't deserve, sitting near the top of my profile. Isn't there anything I can do? Doesn't Upwork care about stuff like this? Is there a way I can make it so he can't stalk me on here? He is that type...
I have flagged your post, because this needs to go further than being reported, which I hope you have already done.
Have you anything in writing that proves any of what you have just told us?
When you say hourly, was this using Upwork's tracker or manual?
I'll flag your post as well - it sounds like a horrible experience. But ... I'm trying to understand why you would stay in this situation for months, especially since the red flags were raised pretty early on.
I'm sorry to hear about your experience with this client. I'd like to look into this for you. Could you please send me a DM with the contract ID and more information so that I can check? You can PM me by clicking on my name. Thank you!