Few days back I came up with a thread on fb where people were telling their stories about suspending their account.
Since I am planning to go full time on Upwork in a few months, I got scared a bit - when I started research on this topis I came across many threads where people telling their stories about conspiracy of Upwork and their bad client management - for me this has not been the case and when I landed a bad client the Upwork stand on my side (only one experience so far with cca 30 clients, all other started contracts ended up very well (or are still going on)).
So, I guess the fear is not rational? I believe this are most common reasons for account deletion:
* getting paid outside upwork -> totally understand this one, I am not part of this "target group" because I gladly give 10% - 20% of the fee to upwork for handling payments for me. But what if in future client would want to play bad and make up to Upwork that I requested it, even if I didn't? What would happen in this case? As I said so far I haven't had a bad client but you know... people.
* sending many (generic) proposals without hire - I don't have problem with that, I believe 10% hire rate for expert wage is nice? Should I cancel the proposals sent if I see that client already hired someone else or he did not respond 20+ days?
* communicating outside upwork - 80% of clients wants to talk on a call over skype - even before we start a contract - but that as far as I know is not violation of ToU? But I think I am better of if insist on a call through Upwork, even if that means 1-2 clients per month less.
.. only I am concerned that couple of suspensions were on "real" profile and experts - but of course, that is not prooven as well. I do not have and do not want to open profiles on other portals, I am happy to hold all my eggs inside upwork until the experience will be the same as it is now.
I know I won't get a magic answer, but I believe that if I continue the same as now I am safe?
Thank you and good business for all,
Getting or offering to get paid outside of Upwork is a violation on our TOS and proper actions are taken in this cases.
Regarding your concern for communication, communicating on skype or something else is not a violation. We do recommend to keep your communication on Upwork for safety reasons but you can use what best fits for you and clients.
If you have any additional questions feel free to post them here, thank you!
Matic, mistakes happen, but generally people with a history of success on Upwork don't get suspended for no reason. There are millions of freelancers here, so when you see 20 stories of bad experiences, it may seem like a lot, but it's really a tiny fraction.
That said, going "full time on Upwork" is probably a very bad idea. One of the keys to running a successful freelancing business has always been to balance your work in a way that keeps the ship stable if one client suddenly fires you, dies, shuts down the business, etc. Clients will always come and go.
Now, Upwork isn't a client, and you'll probably have a lot of different clients on different schedules through Upwork, but there are still a lot of things that could abruptly go wrong when you're routing all of your work through one platform. Probably the most common would be a client doing a chargeback or using a stolen credit card or whatever. When that happens, your financial transactions are frozen pending resolution. Maybe you have $1,875 in your account and $60 of that came from the shady client--doesn't matter: you can't access any of that money.
Then there are the bigger things--Upwork goes out of business, or changes its business model in a way that no longer works for you, or becomes inaccessible in your country, or simply loses significant market share over a relatively short period of time and the jobs dry up.
None of this is a problem with Upwork or meant to scare you off of the platform. Upwork is a great source of clients for many freelancers, and these issues could arise with any single company. But, putting all of your eggs in one basket has always been risky for a freelancer, and when that basket is a single company in a volatile market that happens to be housed halfway across the world from you...
Think seriously about diversifying.