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The client is harassing and bullying me online

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
41 of 71

Steven S wrote:

 

In some countries, $100 represents an standard income of a month or two. Paying for arbitration at $291 with no guarantee of getting it back, is seriously endangering the welfare of a freelancer and his family. This is no joke and I don't think you have taken it at all seriously.


Unfortunately that is what it costs. That is all there is to it. Upwork can't make it any cheaper for poorer freelancers, unless they subsidised the arbitration even more, and do so for that demographic that is least profitable anyway. Arbitration costs each party (Upwork, the client and the freelancer) $ 291.

 

Whether that is "fair" in the overall scheme of "world fairness" isn't really the issue. If freelancers want to play on a global platform they can't pick and choose which part of "global" they want.

 

Freelancing is running a business. Running a business comes with costs and risks.

 

 

 

Community Guru
Will L Member Since: Jul 9, 2015
42 of 71

There is apparently not much Upwork can do to help small project freelancers after a problem develops with an unscrupulous client, but Upwork could help all freelancers avoid working with habitually hard-to-work with clients by providing more information about them, including:

 

1) What is their average rating for freelancers on previous projects

2) What percentage of their past projects have they cancelled

3) What percentage of their past projects have they closed before completion

4) What percentage of their past projects have they demanded refunds on

5) On what percentage of their past projects have gone to mediation

6) On what percentage of their past projects have they gone to arbitration

 

If Upwork can't weed out bad actors, at least let freelancers decide for themselves what kind of client they want to work for.

Ace Contributor
Steven S Member Since: Jun 13, 2016
43 of 71

Petra, you are correct, but we are veering away from the original point at hand.  The point is that arbitration is not working for some freelancers and the only single point I made (a long time ago) is this : Upwork haven't thought the arbitration through yet.  

 

If you want to be blunt about, I cannot stop you.  But my point remains.  The AAA is an arbitration body with a totally different set of standards to the work Upwork offers on its platform.  As such, its a first step towards creating a resolution, but its by no means a suitable one.

 

The adr.org website lists the fees for arbitration.  The $800-900 bracket is for arbitration for amounts up to $75,000. 

 

Please guys, get serious here.  Upwork provides a great platform, but it really needs to address this.

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
44 of 71

Steven S wrote:

 The point is that arbitration is not working for some freelancers


No, it may not be working for some freelancers, but nothing works for everyone. Such is life.

 

The first few years I was on this platform there wasn't any Escrow at all, or arbitration, or dispute assistance. You picked your clients carefully and managed your contracts and clients just as carefully.

 

Maybe people are getting reckless these days, beause they feel safe with a protection that later turns out to be not quite what they thought.

 

Both disputes and arbitration are and should be a very last resort when things have failed.

I've never had a dispute of any sort. It may well happen one day, but to be honest the fact that I have been paid for every minute I have worked since joining Upwork means that as a percentage of the whole picture, if I needed to go to arbitration, it would be a drop in the ocean that is my freelancing business.

 


Steven S wrote:

 

How about we set the cost of arbitration at $0.01?


This is ridiculous.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
45 of 71

Steven S wrote:

Petra, you are correct, but we are veering away from the original point at hand.  The point is that arbitration is not working for some freelancers and the only single point I made (a long time ago) is this : Upwork haven't thought the arbitration through yet.  

 

If you want to be blunt about, I cannot stop you.  But my point remains.  The AAA is an arbitration body with a totally different set of standards to the work Upwork offers on its platform.  As such, its a first step towards creating a resolution, but its by no means a suitable one.

 

The adr.org website lists the fees for arbitration.  The $800-900 bracket is for arbitration for amounts up to $75,000. 

 

Please guys, get serious here.  Upwork provides a great platform, but it really needs to address this.


Steven, the point you repeatedly fail (or refuse) to grasp is that Upwork doesn't (and can't) DO arbitration. Upwork arranges for a qualified outside arbitrator. As you've noted, arbitrators charge several hundred dollars to resolve matters of less than $75,000. An arbitrator, who will typically have extensive training in alternative dispute resolution and often be an attorney, retired judge, or some other professional with extensive negotiation experience, will not work for a few dollars simply because the amount in question is small. They cost what they cost. 

 

Imagine that an outside client with whom you had no prior history came to you and said, "I need you to do the exact same job and invest the exact same amount of time you would on any other project, but it's a low-value project for me, so I need you to do it at 1/100,000 of your regular rate." That is precisely what you are asking of the arbitrator with your penny proposal.

 

The alternative would be that Upwork could shoulder the whole nearly-$900 fee for arbitration for every $50 job someone wanted to dispute, losing several hundred dollars on every arbitrated project regardless of outcome. How long do you think the company would stay in business that way?


No matter how many times you say Upwork hasn't thought it through, the true answer will remain that Upwork thought it through in the context of the legal and practical realities and you want them to think it through in a magical fairyland where arbitrators work for free so things can be fair for you.

Community Guru
Jennifer R Member Since: Sep 15, 2017
46 of 71

Steven S wrote:

Jeniffer, I am going to address your remarks in a general way and I am hoping that if you haven't "got it" yet, perhaps you will understand a little bit more.

 

The minimum wage in the USA in general is $7.50 and increasing.   A job waiting tables or cleaning dishes, brings in maybe $60 a shift.  Now, earlier Preston H. [edited due to community rules] refered to a "small job" of maybe $100 or $150 to try out a client and in his context, he is right.  Its a small job. He is skilled and not earning minimum wage.  perhaps his hourly income is of that magnitude.

 

In some countries, $100 represents an standard income of a month or two.  Paying for arbitration at $291 with no guarantee of getting it back, is seriously endangering the welfare of a freelancer and his family.  This is no joke and I don't think you have taken it at all seriously.

 

One last comment - the town that Upwork has its HQ in : the median income is $34,000 per annum.  Everything in its context. 

 


That is called globalization. Where I live the average minimum salary for sectors with an agreement is  approximately 21 USD per hour, median income in $41,000 and cost of living in Norway is 46.08% higher than in United States. So what? The clients do not care where you live and how much money you need every month just to pay rent. They care about the rate you are offering and the result you deliver.

Trust me, I am living the other end of globalization competing against freelancers that can offer much lower rates. So do not lecture me on that and take the discussion off topic.

Ace Contributor
Steven S Member Since: Jun 13, 2016
47 of 71

Once again you are getting personal and not addressing the issue.

 

But how about we all agree that globaliation is a good thing and instead of working at the highest tariff, we work on the lowest.

 

How about we set the cost of arbitration at $0.01?

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
48 of 71

Steven S wrote:

Once again you are getting personal and not addressing the issue.

 

But how about we all agree that globaliation is a good thing and instead of working at the highest tariff, we work on the lowest.

 

How about we set the cost of arbitration at $0.01?


Pass, sweaty. I like money too much.

Community Guru
Jennifer R Member Since: Sep 15, 2017
49 of 71

Steven S wrote:

Once again you are getting personal and not addressing the issue.

 

But how about we all agree that globaliation is a good thing and instead of working at the highest tariff, we work on the lowest.

 

How about we set the cost of arbitration at $0.01?


Dear Steven,

 

I gladly pay $0.01 to end this discussion here.

 

Pointing out that you cannot only focus on an average income of $100 but also have to consider the other end of $41000 is not getting personal but puts "Everything in its context".

"But how about we all agree that globaliation is a good thing and instead of working at the highest tariff, we work on the lowest."

Globalization can only be a good thing if their is no exploitation. Keep in mind that freelancers from low-cost countries can exploit this as a competitive advantage.

 

When you signed up you agreed to this:

YOU UNDERSTAND THAT BY USING THE SITE OR SITE SERVICES AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE, YOU AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THE TERMS OF SERVICE, INCLUDING THE ARBITRATION PROVISION IN SECTION 14 OF THIS AGREEMENT (SUBJECT TO YOUR RIGHT TO OPT OUT OF THE ARBITRATION PROVISION AS PROVIDED IN SECTION 14). IF YOU DO NOT ACCEPT THE TERMS OF SERVICE IN ITS ENTIRETY, YOU MUST NOT ACCESS OR USE THE SITE OR THE SITE SERVICES AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE EXCEPT AS PERMITTED BY THE SITE TERMS OF USE.

 

If you do not agree to the ToS you know what to do. And yes, that last sentence is personal and addressing you.

Ace Contributor
Steven S Member Since: Jun 13, 2016
50 of 71

Its sad that are making this personal.  

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