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Re: So I lost a $1500/2000 contract thank you to UpWork :(

Community Leader
Fabio D Member Since: Feb 19, 2015
1 of 19

So I had this client willing to hire me. We discussed back and forth, and he was ready to start, so I told him whenever he was ready. This was on Thursday. I knew he was in a hurry so I was quite surprised to see no messages from the client. So I did check Message Center on Friday, and nothing. Same on Saturday. Nothing.

 

Note that as we all know, the UpWork app works fine for time tracking, but it is really bad for messaging. On top of that, I was asked to update it on my iPad on Wednesday, so thought it could be my iPad and the new app, since UpWork always release without any testing whatsoever (something I mentioned no less than 20 times in this board). But no, I checked with my desktop computer and no new messages.

 

Today, I got a very polite message from the client telling me that since I didn't respond and he was in a hurry, he gave the contract to someone else. I had no idea what was he talking about, maybe he sent a message while I was sleeping? NO! He sent a message I never got on... THURSDAY!!!!

 

My great sin is that I forgot to do what I always do with my clients: letting them know that is better to use my personal mail so they make sure messages go thru. This is not my first , or second, or 3rd or even 50th time. This happens all time, but never to this extent, and up to this day, never caused me a loss, just some additional explanations I had to give to (justifiedly) annoyed clients

 

So I know nobody will never do anything or care at all (not my first rodeo here, paying tens of thousands of dollars doesn't qualify me even for basic support, let alone a solution) so just venting and letting eveybody know to take measures before things go really bad: never trust on UpWork's app for messaging, at least not alone. Always remember to tell your clients:

 

If you sent a message on Upwork and I don't answer, shoot me a quick email, chances are I never got it

Very annoyed, let's see if UpWork steps to the plate for the losses they caused me because of their refusal to test anything.

 

PS: to make things worse: I'm getting my weekly timelog right now as I write this. Only  1 day later than usual. Really, get a grip!

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Community Guru
Virginia F Member Since: Feb 15, 2016
2 of 19

Sorry this happened to you. But if, as you say, "this happens all the time", my suggestion is to make sure you log into your account on your PC to check for messages when you're in an interview stage (or really, all the time).

 

As we know, UW's messaging system leaves much to be desired, so leaving things up to chance and/or hoping they'll get things fixed is not recommended. I would never depend on my mobile phone to do work or receive UW messages ... it's just not the best way to go about freelancing online, not in my opinion anyway.

Community Leader
Fabio D Member Since: Feb 19, 2015
3 of 19

yes I know, and I always do that.

 

But as I said, I checked it many times. I just got the Thursday message TODAY. Same as I'm getting yesterday's messages TODAY.

 

So this goes far beyond the UpWork app or message system, they have a massive glitch with dates on mails, probably because of the new app release. If I had to bet, my guess is that they stopped the mail server to launch teh app and then did a horrible work at syncing it all again, it would be a lot of coincidence that both events happened at the same time and have no relation at all.

 

But like I said... I'm just venting. Back from the oDesk times, I never, ever, ever got a single solution from UpWork, only more money to pay Smiley Sad

Community Guru
Scott B Member Since: Nov 20, 2015
4 of 19

To be honest and to my knowledge I have never not received a message at least on the web side of things. I also have it email me when a message comes in so I don't need to rely on the app. Not excusing UW here if in fact there was an issue with the platform (and not maybe something on the client side) but given what you state and I would also have checked in with the client within 24-48 hours. Not harassing them but perhaps with something like: "Hi - I know your project is under great time pressure and I just wanted to check in to see if there is anything you might need from me.  Please let me know if there is anything I can do." Providing alternate contact details is certainly fine but just knowing the client was in a hurry and I would likely have checked-in far sooner than perhaps for a standard job.

 

 

 

 

Community Leader
Fabio D Member Since: Feb 19, 2015
5 of 19

Yes Scott, you're correct, but I never contacted a client unless requested, and always thought checking the MC with my computer should be more than enough. It seems it's not, but hope I won't have to harass clients, it would be the first time ever and I don't feel comfortable with that

 

Personally, I think UpWork has some benefits, hence why I still use it. A lot less than before, but for some occasional new clients or projects I deem interesting is OK. I just would like a small bit of professionalism, they charge a lot of money to work this way

 

Community Guru
Scott B Member Since: Nov 20, 2015
6 of 19

Fabio D wrote:

Yes Scott, you're correct, but I never contacted a client unless requested, and always thought checking the MC with my computer should be more than enough. It seems it's not, but hope I won't have to harass clients, it would be the first time ever and I don't feel comfortable with that

 


And that is your mistake.  Do not outsource business practices you can control to another platform. If you know a client is in a rush then it is not harassing to send a simple message (once) as I indicated. There are aspects here that we cannot control but there are many that we can. For those in the latter category always assume that the platform - or the Internet in general - is broken in some way that isn't working for you. If a situation arises, such as a rushed client who doesn't come back to you when it seems clear they should have, then take matters into your hands as best you can. In the end here perhaps the client sent the message to the wrong freelancer or didn't hit send for some reason when they thought they did. Doesn't matter the reason, only that you can try to do something about it. Again this does not excuse UW for any platform issue, but even if you think the tech works 100% of the time, I would still not outsource my feelings about a business situation to someone else. 

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
7 of 19

OP, I'm passive too with this stuff and wouldn't have said anything either unless there was some message from the client that he's definitely hiring me. Maybe then I would have followed up, but I kinda see Upwork as a numbers game so if someone dips, I just go do something else. Scott's advice is probably the right way to go, but I'm not really pushy either and probably would have done the same thing you did.

 

I would be raging too over that amount. I just take my rage out on reddit and get like 20 alts temp banned for harassment. Smiley Very Happy Smiley Very Happy Smiley Very Happy Smiley Very Happy Smiley Very Happy Smiley Very Happy

 

Btw, I got the late email about the timesheet too. 

Community Guru
Scott B Member Since: Nov 20, 2015
8 of 19

Jennifer - Just to clarify. From the OP's own account this was not your standard application situation of which, like you, I wouldn't bother to follow-up on. But by the OP's own words, the client was willing to hire him, there were discussions back and forth and he was ready to start. That is WAY more advanced than the standard "one message and done" situation. It is for that reason that I suggest taking more control especially when the client indicated they were in a rush. Had the client just invited him to apply and there was no discussion from there, then I certainly move on as well. However, from the first sentence of his post:

 

"So I had this client willing to hire me. We discussed back and forth, and he was ready to start, so I told him whenever he was ready. "

 

 

 

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
9 of 19

Scott B wrote:

Jennifer - Just to clarify. From the OP's own account this was not your standard application situation of which, like you, I wouldn't bother to follow-up on. But by the OP's own words, the client was willing to hire him, there were discussions back and forth and he was ready to start. That is WAY more advanced than the standard "one message and done" situation. It is for that reason that I suggest taking more control especially when the client indicated they were in a rush. Had the client just invited him to apply and there was no discussion from there, then I certainly move on as well. However, from the first sentence of his post:

 

"So I had this client willing to hire me. We discussed back and forth, and he was ready to start, so I told him whenever he was ready. "

 

 

 


I'm probably too passive, but I bet I would have never followed up in his scenario. Now I'm wondering how much money I've lost from being too passive. Smiley Very Happy  I think I was maybe a little more bold when I was starting out because I needed the money.

Community Guru
Scott B Member Since: Nov 20, 2015
10 of 19

Jennifer M wrote:


I'm probably too passive, but I bet I would have never followed up in his scenario. Now I'm wondering how much money I've lost from being too passive. Smiley Very Happy  I think I was maybe a little more bold when I was starting out because I needed the money.


Unfortunately you lost $75k. 

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