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Suggestions for Upwork policy on feedback and JSS

rxqm
Ace Contributor
Xiaoqing Claire R Member Since: Mar 20, 2017
21 of 30

@Tiffany S wrote:

@Xiaoqing Claire R wrote:
@Jennifer M wrote:

So why don't you ask one of them to close and reopen.


 well when they disappear, they won't do anything you ask them. Thanks for the suggestion though.

  


Since she said "and reopen," it was pretty obvious that she was talking about ongoing contracts, which by definition do not involve clients who have disappeared.


ook. I get it now. Great suggesion because if it all works out, it'll be great. But here is I imagine how the conversation goes:

 

Freelancer: Do you mind close the current contract and open a new one?

Client: Why?

Freelancer: Our collaboration has been great. I would like to turn our one contract with great feedback (hopefully) into multiple ones with great feedback, because I believe it'll boost my JSS.

Client: I understand the importance of JSS to you, and yes I think you are great and I'm happy to give you great feedback. But this just sounds a little bit artificial to me.

Freelancer: I'm just worried if in the future you don't have work for me for a while, you forget about our contract, it'll become a contract with no activity or potentially ended with no feedback, which may negatively affect my JSS.

Client: Please be rest assured, I won't let that happen.

 

And then the client it let that happen anyways, because people have good intentions, just sometimes doesn't remember the promise they need to keep.

 

I can be the freelancer or the client in this conversation.

 

But still, worth a try. Will post how it goes if worthwhile.

 

Also I want to say: I really appreciate all the suggestions and help to deal with the current JSS situation, and I'll use them both as a client and a freelancer. But still, this doesn't mean I can put up the unfairness of JSS. It needs change.

 

 

tlsanders
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
22 of 30

I assume that you wouldn't say any of that to the client. 

 

I don't know what type of work you do or how it breaks out, but there are typically natural breaking points between projects where it makes sense to suggest ending the contract and starting a new one for the next phase.

rxqm
Ace Contributor
Xiaoqing Claire R Member Since: Mar 20, 2017
23 of 30

@Tiffany S wrote:

I assume that you wouldn't say any of that to the client. 

 

I don't know what type of work you do or how it breaks out, but there are typically natural breaking points between projects where it makes sense to suggest ending the contract and starting a new one for the next phase.


 Most of the work I do is algorithm development. After 1st version is delivered, revisions and updates can be endless and go on for months and years. Naturally, most of us in this field don't see the need to find a break point. That's why we've been slacking on ending contracts both as freelancers and as clients. Maybe we deserve to be hated by Upwork, just please make it clear to the public that you hate us because we are bad for your business, not because we are not proficient in our specialty.

tlsanders
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
24 of 30

@Xiaoqing Claire R wrote:

@Tiffany S wrote:

I assume that you wouldn't say any of that to the client. 

 

I don't know what type of work you do or how it breaks out, but there are typically natural breaking points between projects where it makes sense to suggest ending the contract and starting a new one for the next phase.


 Most of the work I do is algorithm development. After 1st version is delivered, revisions and updates can be endless and go on for months and years. Naturally, most of us in this field don't see the need to find a break point. That's why we've been slacking on ending contracts both as freelancers and as clients. Maybe we deserve to be hated by Upwork, just please make it clear to the public that you hate us because we are bad for your business, not because we are not proficient in our specialty.


 You seem to be suggesting that Upwork (with which I have no connection other than being both a freelancer and a client just like you) is using a flawed or dishonest algorithm because that algorithm may negatively impact a tiny, tiny fraction of freelancers in a tiny, tiny niche within the Upwork universe. 

 

I'm not sure why you think it's "natural" that no one in your field would end a contract after the initial round of revisions is completed simply because you might some day do an update. But, assuming that's true...how do you imagine that having long-term paying contracts is bad for Upwork's business? That's Upwork's goal. It's the low dollar one-offs that are bad for business.

 

Are you just assuming that there must be something sinister in play because you don't like the impact of the system as designed on your particular tiny niche?

rxqm
Ace Contributor
Xiaoqing Claire R Member Since: Mar 20, 2017
25 of 30

@Tiffany S wrote:

You seem to be suggesting that Upwork (with which I have no connection other than being both a freelancer and a client just like you) is using a flawed or dishonest algorithm because that algorithm may negatively impact a tiny, tiny fraction of freelancers in a tiny, tiny niche within the Upwork universe. 

 

I'm not sure why you think it's "natural" that no one in your field would end a contract after the initial round of revisions is completed simply because you might some day do an update. But, assuming that's true...how do you imagine that having long-term paying contracts is bad for Upwork's business? That's Upwork's goal. It's the low dollar one-offs that are bad for business.

 

Are you just assuming that there must be something sinister in play because you don't like the impact of the system as designed on your particular tiny niche?


I'm saying JSS is misleading, I don't think it's sinister. It's misleading because it mixes together Upwork's business interest with client's interest in finding the right talent, which are not the same thing. If JSS is really as justified as you seem to believe, why can't Upwork simply come out and say JSS factors in Upwork's business interest, or simply separate the two - have a "deliver great work to client succuss score" and a "help Upwork's business success score"? I think this will make their platform more healthy, efficient and successful as a business.

 

So about my field, I just assume "natural" means everybody does it and nobody think it's weird, i.e. the percentage of the clients I work with who leave contracts open for future revision is very large. And our team as a client used to do the same thing, until we realize it's bad for freelancers because of Upwork's JSS policy. When a contract is left open for revision for a long time, sometimes client forget about it, and it becomes an inactive contract that negatively affect JSS, and causes a series of dilemma I talked about before. And I've got suggestions from everyone that I'll try, thanks again.

 

About "tiny tiny niche", well I guess you call it tiny because you assume not a lot of people around you holding similar opinions to me, not because you really know how many people on Upwork agree with you or agree with me, it's not like you have a poll result or anything like that. I don't have it either and I prefer using facts, so I won't argue with you on this further.

tlsanders
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
26 of 30

@Xiaoqing Claire R wrote:


I'm saying JSS is misleading, I don't think it's sinister. It's misleading because it mixes together Upwork's business interest with client's interest in finding the right talent, which are not the same thing. If JSS is really as justified as you seem to believe, why can't Upwork simply come out and say JSS factors in Upwork's business interest, or simply separate the two - have a "deliver great work to client succuss score" and a "help Upwork's business success score"? I think this will make their platform more healthy, efficient and successful as a business.

 

You've yet to respond to my repeated question about how you think disadvantaging people with long-term contracts could possibly benefit Upwork's business, since ongoing freelancer/client relationships are its most lucrative asset.

 

About "tiny tiny niche", well I guess you call it tiny because you assume not a lot of people around you holding similar opinions to me, not because you really know how many people on Upwork agree with you or agree with me, it's not like you have a poll result or anything like that. I don't have it either and I prefer using facts, so I won't argue with you on this further.

 

No, I'm referring to your field as a tiny, tiny niche because I have looked at the readily available data regarding the number of active freelancers in various industries/with various skill sets on Upwork (since that's what people who actually prefer using facts, versus just posturing about it, do).

 

There are 4080 freelancers listed in your industry, but only 1,715 of them have ever earned a single dollar on Upwork. That's a small fraction of 1% of Upwork freelancers. For comparison purposes, there are 182,503 web designers who have earned money on Upwork, 111,,884 people offering data entry services, and 151,105 writers. It's hard to see how whether 1,715 out of several hundred thousands was a tiny niche could be an "opinion" question, or how my statement could be subject to agreement or disagreement. Given your field, I would expect that basic math would prevail over how you feel.


 

rxqm
Ace Contributor
Xiaoqing Claire R Member Since: Mar 20, 2017
27 of 30

@Tiffany S wrote:

There are 4080 freelancers listed in your industry, but only 1,715 of them have ever earned a single dollar on Upwork. That's a small fraction of 1% of Upwork freelancers. For comparison purposes, there are 182,503 web designers who have earned money on Upwork, 111,,884 people offering data entry services, and 151,105 writers. It's hard to see how whether 1,715 out of several hundred thousands was a tiny niche could be an "opinion" question, or how my statement could be subject to agreement or disagreement. Given your field, I would expect that basic math would prevail over how you feel.

 


You can call my field a tiny tiny niche, but this is not just about my field, people in other fields may have similar concerns, like I said, it's about people agreeing or disagreeing with you or me, regardless of field. Neither of us know that data. So let's not dwell on a discussion where we can't convince each other.

iaabraham
Community Guru
Isabelle Anne A Member Since: May 19, 2014
28 of 30

@Tiffany S wrote:

@Isabelle Anne A wrote:

 

 

This issue has been brought up many times but unfortunately your suggestions will fall on deaf ears because this isn't a concern for Upwork as it doesn't affect them.


 Actually, it does affect them.

 

Abandoned contracts affect Upwork's operations.

 

Mass failure to leave feedback affects Upwork's ability to recommend freelancers that will give clients a positive experience.

 

Closing contracts and leaving feedback both have a clear and direct impact on Upwork's business, and thus Upwork encourages the behavior that makes it's operations more efficient and less expensives and improves its ability to rate freelancers.


That's a good point and I didn't think of it that way. But then what does it imply when our JSS gets affected after a certain number / ratio of no-feedback or inactive contracts? Freelancers who can't effectively badger their clients to close a contract and leave feedback get punished?

 

Of course, I'm not saying that most clients don't close the contract - they do, but there are many who don't want to or can't be bothered to close and it's not because the freelancer didn't do a good job (which is what a low JSS suggests). Several of my no-feedback / inactive contracts are or have been with clients who were new to the platform and only hired once (me) and then disappeared because they didn't need anything else from the platform. Once the job is completed and paid for, they don't understand why or feel that they have to come back, close the contract and leave feedback. 

 

I'm not pretending that the number of my no-feedback contracts is significant enough to make a difference, but it is an unecessary headache to concern myself whenever a client seems like they're going to disappear without ending the contract (because I have to keep the number of no-feedbacks under control).

rxqm
Ace Contributor
Xiaoqing Claire R Member Since: Mar 20, 2017
29 of 30

In addition to "optimizing Upwork's business success score" for freelancer, I just thought of another solution to separate Upwork's business interest from JSS - a "refundable contract maintenance fee" on both freelancer and client. Goes like this:

 

When a contract starts, Upwork charges the client $X fee, and holds Y% of earnings or $X from freelancer, whichever is less. When the contract ends, a portion of the fees are refunded to both client and freelancer, then when either party leaves a review, the rest of the fee is refunded to that party. Because I suggested allowing private feedback without public feedback earlier, doing so should also get the full refund. If a contract ends without work done, client gets full refund of fee. $X should be small enough to afford, while large enough to work for, like somewhere $10-50 maybe?

 

When a contract idles, Upwork can even send emails in a reasonable frequency to freelancer/client saying "hey, end the contract / leave a feedback and get your money back!" - sounds very caring and convincing.

 

Per JSS, freelancer is the only party with vested interest in ending the contract and soliciting feedback, while client has no skin in the game - the two parties' interests are not aligned to motivate them working together to this goal, so it's like pulling teeth sometimes. While per "refundable contract maintenance fee", both parties are now incentivized to end contract and leave feedback as soon as it idles, so it works out for everyone - freelancer and client (neither lose money as long as they help Upwork's business), as well as Upwork, who gets a faster turnaround of contracts and feedbacks. The cost for users is just a small decrease of free cash flow, I can accept that both as freelancer and client - I lose money by increasing cost of Upwork's business operation, sounds fair to me. The cost for Upwork: very simple software implementation, then just a couple extra fee transactions on top of the existing gigantic transaction volume, should be negligible. Overall, the cost of all parties is for a more fair, effective, transparent and straightforward system that benefits everyone, I think it's well worth it.

 

Of course there'll always be problems I can't foresee right now, but solutions can be found and improvement can be made.

 

Lastly, I'm not saying I love for companies to charge me more fees. It's just if Upwork is so hell-bent to penalize me for not optimizing their business, I'd rather be penalized on cash flow, instead of a misleading representation of freelancer's proficiency by JSS, which I believe cost me more as freelancer and client, and cost Upwork more. I think for Upwork, most important is what kind of company they want to be - one with a policy they are not proud to make clear to the public, or one that strives to gain trust from users?

rxqm
Ace Contributor
Xiaoqing Claire R Member Since: Mar 20, 2017
30 of 30

I accidentally labeled one of my own reply as solution by mistake, I asked Customer Service to remove the solution label for me, but after they are done I found some reply posts missing. I apologize if your post is one of them, I did not intend to remove anyone's post.

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