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The client is harassing and bullying me online

Community Guru
Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
51 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?


Fine. Where will the other $290.99 come from that is due the arbitrator?

 

Small-scale, low-earning freelancers are more vulnerable to unscrupulous clients because they lack the cash flow to pursue deadbeats and recover what's owed them. That is a fact of life, on global platforms and in the brick-and-mortar world. UW does not exist, nor does it profess, to solve that problem. The escrow system offers a measure of protection to both client and FL as long as they both use it as designed. But it's not bulletproof. 

 

My own opinion is that the best way to protect FLs from unfortunate and costly blunders is to stop admitting anyone who cannot demonstrate the wherewithal to successfully manage themselves as a small business which includes effectively vetting clients, reading the fine print on everything (e.g. how to submit work and get paid), managing their work and the client relationships, etc. It doesn't matter whether someone is billing $5/hr or $500/hr, they will not succeed unless they are truly ready to freelance. Which brings us back to my favorite dead horse: the need for a meaningful readiness test.

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

Yes, Phyllis, it does make sense that Upwork would do better to prevent as many disputes as possible, rather than having to deal with them after the fact.

 

As you say, "effectively vetting clients" is a very important skill for a successful freelancer. In order to facilitate that vetting, Upwork should provide a lot more information about clients' records of activity on Upwork. The current simplistic, algorithm-based client "rating" system with just one to five stars is not much help in that respect.

Community Guru
Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
53 of 71

Will L wrote:

Yes, Phyllis, it does make sense that Upwork would do better to prevent as many disputes as possible, rather than having to deal with them after the fact.

 

As you say, "effectively vetting clients" is a very important skill for a successful freelancer. In order to facilitate that vetting, Upwork should provide a lot more information about clients' records of activity on Upwork. The current simplistic, algorithm-based client "rating" system with just one to five stars is not much help in that respect.


I would never argue that there isn't vast room for improvement in practically every aspect of this platform. That said, I believe that most of the vetting occurs (or at least, should occur) while scanning job posts and deciding whether or not to pursue them, and then during any interaction with the prospective client prior to executing a contract. It requires experience and a minimal level of business savvy and professional experience. I don't believe UW could create a substantial substitute for that, and attempting it would make it unacceptably cumbersome and intrusive for clients to want to use the platform. I believe that UW could create an effective readiness test for FLs and stop letting anybody in who can fog a mirror (and wants to target a skill set that's in demand that week). I'd be willing to bet the least prepared FLs account for the most disputes. That's not to say the involved clients are blameless, but unscrupulous/clueless/flaky clients are fact of life and minimizing the damage they can do is part of what every successful FL needs to know how to do. And the clueless nubes definitely suck up most of the CS bandwidth.

 

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

Will, thank you for your contributions,   I don't think clients are vetted very well at all.   As a matter of course, I always compare the country of origin to the stated timezone and sometimes come up short.  Also, the home page is designed to get a client started as quickly as possible and this can happen without even specifying a payment method.

 

Client vetting is in my opinion, a weak point.  Which of course brings us back to the issue of non-payment.  

 

It is not true that all freelancers are angels.  But its important to ensure a level playing field for all participants and what has come out of this conversation, as well as others, is that its not leval at all.

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

Thank you Phyllis for your contribution.  I agree that we cannot be subsidised and that freelancers need to run a business.  Its a reallity also that Upwork have outsourced the arbitration.  

 

But its not true that they have to (unless the financial regulations of handling escrow demand it)  And its not true that they have to outsource to an American arbitration organization.  I think its more an expectation of what should be done.  

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

Steven S wrote:

 

But its not true that they have to (unless the financial regulations of handling escrow demand it) 

 

Which numerous people have already told you that they do.

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

Tiffany - Upwork have never told me any such thing.

 

if it's your opinion that arbiration is legally binding and If you work for, or are affiliated to Upwork, I think you need to disclose this fact.

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

Steven,

 

An arbitration award is not legally binding on its own, but going to a judge and getting an enforceable judgment that is enforceable is not difficult:

 

https://www.gibsondunn.com/wp-content/uploads/documents/publications/Thomson-Jura-Craig-Kostecka-Enf...

 

If I remember correctly, Upwork will comply with an arbitration award within a couple of days of the arbitrator's decision, so involving a judge is not necessary for the winning party.

 

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

Will, I appreciate your constructive comments.

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

Steven S wrote:

Tiffany - Upwork have never told me any such thing.

 

if it's your opinion that arbiration is legally binding and If you work for, or are affiliated to Upwork, I think you need to disclose this fact.


Steven, arbitration being legally binding has not been a topic of conversation here thus far, and certainly is not related in any way to anything that I've said. 

 

That said, if you enter into a contract in which you agree to abide by the terms of arbitration, then of course it is legally binding--complying with it is one of the terms of your contract. Someone else (Will?) mentioned converting to judgment, but that's a separate issue. A properly formed contract  is itself legally binding.

 

I do not work for Upwork. That does not alter the binding nature of contracts.

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