jnlanda
Member

This is more of a rant...

"Article writer needed - $1 per article!"

 

I'm not a writer, but I find these kinds of job postings to be disgusting and insulting! I cannot believe people actually apply to these. Yes, I know being cheap is allowed on the platform, but I wish it wasn't. I don't know what is the matter with people, expecting to get quality work at an embarrassing price like that? Lol

 

I feel like they have a lot of nerve even asking for that...

 

Why is there no "flag for cheapskate" option? Smiley Very Happy

 

I also wonder what Upwork tells clients is and isn't allowed on job postings? I'm wondering what it looks like. Do they actually have a list of rules pop up? I feel like way too many clients break the terms of service and seem to get away with it.

48 REPLIES 48
t-hall
Member

This used to be the hot topic on the forums before mad robot movement.

 

You'll get strong arguments from all sides. personally, I don't shun those postings because my view is sometimes clients just don;t have a budget for more... and when you start learning about minimum wages around teh world, $1/hr ain't a bad option. Also if you figure in things like high unemployment rates in many developing countries and a lack of government welfare system, it leaves people with some pretty desperate options to say the least. $1/hr (assuming it takes that long for an article)  may not be great, but it's better than a what some people's other options may be.

 

Ultimately, it's up to the freelancer to accept that $1. If they had better options, they wouldn't apply for the job. Take that $1 away from them because some petition for a Upwork governed minimum wage, and harm may come to those who needed it. As the saying goes, out of sight, out of mind. When those workers get cut off from this supply due to lack of demand at he lowest level.. the silently disappear and we all magically think things are better. But for them it's not.

 

There is no point arguing about what is right or wrong as each side seems to be justified. These types of platform are not meant for 'developed' country workers. The current state of these freelance platforms is filled with 'average' people from developed worlds, trying to start their own little small business with the least amount of money. Because they don't have much money, lol. A Full Green bar client here only needs to spend $10k. For anyone living in any major city in north America, that represents only 2-3 months worth of middle class income, for a single employee.

 

Sure there are some better clients, but have an honest look at what seems to be the majority. hundreds of thousands of micro jobs are being imported into developing countries, providing a minimal income to thousands of people who would otherwise go hungry or do very desperate things to feed their kids.

 

Ultimately. I do not beleive it's right or wrong, or that anyone should have a right to determine what a minimum should be for any type of work here. The ONLY person who has that right is the freelancer who see's this as a better opportunity than their local reality. They can say yes or no. The low end clients will go away if no one is willing to work for that rate.

 

These clients who pay the absolute least will never give anyone a serious career anyways. They are the last place anyone should look to, for online employment. Yet, the reality is there are far more workers who need them than there people hiring. it will never stop from a client's end.

 

Also, Upwork will (did actually) only inject a minimum wage into the mix for two possible reasons.

1. Legal (but they get away with it as a contracted based freelance business vs an employment agency)

2. It no longer make financial sense to maintain a business based on micro thin commission earnings.

 

Before anyone jumps on my back and throws assumptions out that I am 'probably' one of those...bla bla bla - I have hired fixed rate jobs, that equal about $2/hr. My average hiring rate is somewhere over $7/hr. From my personal account... which is tiny, the type of micro client I describe. Just spending some of my personal money on stupid ideas I seem to get from time to time. No harm done.

 

Take away that opportunity for micro jobs, you essentially put more control into the hands of those with more money... which causes larger gaps from the 'rich' and the poor. This is an opportunity for the poor in developed nations to break free from the rich, and provide a little side income for others who can appreciate it.

 

Internet employment is new in the past couple decades. it's an opportunity that never existed before. In my books, that is a gift. I'd rather borrow my neighbour's computer and internet a few hours a day than rummage through dumpsters for dinner or sell my body.

 

Let the market be free. It's the workers who set the price. Not the clients.

 

Maybe it's a bit of a relaity check for those who complain about wages and junk clients (yes, I complain too).. we're all here fishing for work in a third world market. Like... be real about that for a moment. We can't be complaining if we choose to scour the streets to collect pop bottles for dinner money - if we choose to do so. Hate to break it to the more privilaged side of freelancers here, but these freelancer markets are the equivilant of just that in the 'normal' job world.


@Tony H wrote:

This used to be the hot topic on the forums before mad robot movement.

 

You'll get strong arguments from all sides. personally, I don't shun those postings because my view is sometimes clients just don;t have a budget for more... and when you start learning about minimum wages around teh world, $1/hr ain't a bad option. Also if you figure in things like high unemployment rates in many developing countries and a lack of government welfare system, it leaves people with some pretty desperate options to say the least. $1/hr (assuming it takes that long for an article)  may not be great, but it's better than a what some people's other options may be.

 

Ultimately, it's up to the freelancer to accept that $1. If they had better options, they wouldn't apply for the job. Take that $1 away from them because some petition for a Upwork governed minimum wage, and harm may come to those who needed it. As the saying goes, out of sight, out of mind. When those workers get cut off from this supply due to lack of demand at he lowest level.. the silently disappear and we all magically think things are better. But for them it's not.

 

There is no point arguing about what is right or wrong as each side seems to be justified. These types of platform are not meant for 'developed' country workers. The current state of these freelance platforms is filled with 'average' people from developed worlds, trying to start their own little small business with the least amount of money. Because they don't have much money, lol. A Full Green bar client here only needs to spend $10k. For anyone living in any major city in north America, that represents only 2-3 months worth of middle class income, for a single employee.

 

Sure there are some better clients, but have an honest look at what seems to be the majority. hundreds of thousands of micro jobs are being imported into developing countries, providing a minimal income to thousands of people who would otherwise go hungry or do very desperate things to feed their kids.

 

Ultimately. I do not beleive it's right or wrong, or that anyone should have a right to determine what a minimum should be for any type of work here. The ONLY person who has that right is the freelancer who see's this as a better opportunity than their local reality. They can say yes or no. The low end clients will go away if no one is willing to work for that rate.

 

These clients who pay the absolute least will never give anyone a serious career anyways. They are the last place anyone should look to, for online employment. Yet, the reality is there are far more workers who need them than there people hiring. it will never stop from a client's end.

 

Also, Upwork will (did actually) only inject a minimum wage into the mix for two possible reasons.

1. Legal (but they get away with it as a contracted based freelance business vs an employment agency)

2. It no longer make financial sense to maintain a business based on micro thin commission earnings.

 

Before anyone jumps on my back and throws assumptions out that I am 'probably' one of those...bla bla bla - I have hired fixed rate jobs, that equal about $2/hr. My average hiring rate is somewhere over $7/hr. From my personal account... which is tiny, the type of micro client I describe. Just spending some of my personal money on stupid ideas I seem to get from time to time. No harm done.

 

Take away that opportunity for micro jobs, you essentially put more control into the hands of those with more money... which causes larger gaps from the 'rich' and the poor. This is an opportunity for the poor in developed nations to break free from the rich, and provide a little side income for others who can appreciate it.

 

Internet employment is new in the past couple decades. it's an opportunity that never existed before. In my books, that is a gift. I'd rather borrow my neighbour's computer and internet a few hours a day than rummage through dumpsters for dinner or sell my body.

 

Let the market be free. It's the workers who set the price. Not the clients.

 

Maybe it's a bit of a relaity check for those who complain about wages and junk clients (yes, I complain too).. we're all here fishing for work in a third world market. Like... be real about that for a moment. We can't be complaining if we choose to scour the streets to collect pop bottles for dinner money - if we choose to do so. Hate to break it to the more privilaged side of freelancers here, but these freelancer markets are the equivilant of just that in the 'normal' job world.


Hi, I see your point, which is very valid. I still feel like these people who are struggling deserve to make more than $1 per hour. I feel like these "clients" are taking advantage of their desperation (if you can call it that). Most of these job postings that I see are originating from VERY developed countries. I just don't see an excuse for that. 

st-leipzig
Member

"I find these kinds of job postings to be disgusting and insulting!"

 

If so, you are taking them way too personally. They are aiming for a different target group of freelancers, so why not just ignore them?

 

 

tasamil
Member

About low rates...I  think that there are many people who are hobbyists as well (from all countries in the world), and they have some other primary source of income. There are also many young people who see their experience here as some sort of internship. They work for a while, then they grow up and have to pay the bills so they disappear and get replaced by others- new, eager and fresh ...I mean, it is what it is.

 

**edited for Community Guidelines**

 

 

vladag
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Setu and Ramon,

 

I appreciate your participation in the Community forums, but on occasion a useful and practical discussion will devolve into something we need to remove. We moderate the forums as best we can in accordance with our Community Guidelines, so please be considerate of this in your future replies.

Untitled

How is $0.20 & $1.00 per hour jobs good for Upwork as Upwork will not even earn anything out of that? Upwork needs to do the right thing here!

 

Also Upwork changed its name to change its image how is this helping by letting such low hourly rates on this platform?

 

I would like and answer please.....


@Ian David John E wrote:

How is $0.20 & $1.00 per hour jobs good for Upwork as Upwork will not even earn anything out of that? Upwork needs to do the right thing here!


Upwork earns the same amount from a million $2 jobs as it does from ten thousand $200 jobs. It's the classic discounter's strategy: make it up in volume. Of course the strategy that works for Upwork cannot work in the same way for contractors.

 

To Upwork, or any capitalist corporation, the first "right thing" to do is make a profit. See above.

 

Best,

Michael

a_kazleva
Member

If you find those of $1 “disgusting and insulting” try those that offer $0.2 per 200 hundred words! 

And the best part is that they usually put something like: UNIQUE CONTENT, I WILL CHECK, ONLY QUAITY WRITERS bla…bla… and a 300 hundred word description stating what this writer should deliver!

 

I’ve had people sending me offers with that rate and I agree it is completely unacceptable. However, when I was trying to get my first job on Upwork I was going for projects that offer less money, as I had no experience and it was difficult to get those that offer “more”.

 

I still have one or two clients who don’t pay me “enough” but they are now my long term clients and I feel obligated towards them. They know that their rate is low, but I believe that is all they can afford.  

 

So to answer your question – Yes they do expect to get quality work, and often they do, because there are a lot of freelancers here who need to start from somewhere 😄

iaabraham
Member

Setu's & Ramon's posts were deleted - that's so strange! Can't remember anything offensive about them (maybe the "exploitation" part - making remarks about Upwork users?). Anyway, although I completely agree with the OP, Tony made some interesting points that made me somewhat reconsider my attitude toward this subject.

 

EDIT: I guess what really irritates me is that those clients who pay ridiculously low rates come to me with job invites & offers. Even though my hourly rate is plain and clear, a lot of them assume that I'll be grateful for a $1-$3/hr job offer - perhaps because I'm living in a third world country! (Which happens to be a ridiculously expensive place to live in btw.)

**edited for Community Guidelines**

 

Whether the client thinks that paying 10% of minimum wage in their respective countries, usually to people in the economies where the exchange rate is high is justified as providing income; I still find as Exploitation. Because it would not be done to your own people (and would not be allowed in your country). You don't need laws, or regulations, or economics, or logic, to treat fellow human being EQUAL.

 

**edited for Community Guidelines**

---- easy like Sunday morning ----

re: "I still have one or two clients who don’t pay me 'enough' but they are now my long term clients and I feel obligated towards them. They know that their rate is low, but I believe that is all they can afford."

You may need to give this some consideration.

There is a difference between someone not being able to afford you, and you being obligated to work for them at affordable rates.

Not saying you're doing anything wrong. Not at all. But try to understand that this is business.

O well, my post was also removed 😄

 

I know it’s all business but I can do those jobs fairly quickly so I can afford to spend that time on them 😄 But I get your point 

 

abdulrazaq89
Member

That is why we afraid while bidding high amount. I also agree wtih you and you can see my profile. 

 

We should discourage it. Should we not?

I'm a strong believer of: you get what you pay for. 

 

If clients want to spend their own time proofreading, editing, restructing, blah blah on projects...so be it. I'm not saying those who apply for such articles lack skills.

 

 

Hi Lyam,

 

no, of course you shouldn't ignore them. There are plenty of opportunities to fight those injustices, even if it is just in a "tiny" way. I kept my comment that short because I believe lamenting about "problem XYZ" doesn't change a thing either. I guess lamenting without any constructivity (not sure if this is a word) annoys me, and I didn't see any of that in the original posting.

Sandra, I must apologise. I'm a strong believer that communities can make a real change to a company. You're right, in this case, nothing will change. I went off at a tangent. 

kochubei_valeria
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hello All,

 

Please, note that some comments on this thread were edited or removed because they violated point 8 of our Community Guidelines.

 

We appreciate your understanding.

~ Valeria
Upwork


@Valeria K wrote:

Hello All,

 

Please, note that some comments on this thread were edited or removed because they violated point 8 of our Community Guidelines.

 

We appreciate your understanding.


Completely unrelated to this thread but I appreciate the new moderator signature and little Up logo. 

I will cooperate, because Valeria always asks so nicely.
---- easy like Sunday morning ----

Off-topic: I very much appreciate direct acknowledgement by the moderators when posts are removed or edited (for other than technical infractions). It makes for greater coherence as well as transparency (and is a refreshing contrast to the practice on another work-related forum I frequent).

Best to all,
Michael

Easy for you to say. Any comment I make, no matter how innocuous, is taken down so fast I might as well post using snapchat.Cat MadCat MadCat MadCat MadCat Mad

Michael wasn't here during the overnight storm. Some Mods are consistent, some are not.
---- easy like Sunday morning ----


@Setu M wrote:
Michael wasn't here during the overnight storm. Some Mods are consistent, some are not.

You mean I missed something juicy while I was sleeping?! Darn! 🙂 

It seems that my post angered Vladimir/Valeria too. Maybe we should praise for Upwork Inc. and ecourage the ignorance and indifference, I believe that's the way, thanks God.

jnlanda
Member


@Jaime L wrote:

 

I also wonder what Upwork tells clients is and isn't allowed on job postings? I'm wondering what it looks like. Do they actually have a list of rules pop up? I feel like way too many clients break the terms of service and seem to get away with it.


 Can anyone comment on this part? 🙂

These are the regulations:

 

2. Job Posts

Great work begins with a great job post. Effective posts are professional, written in English, and accurately describe the services requested.
All job posts must adhere to these policies:
  • Posts may not share or solicit direct contact information prior to interview.
  • Jobs must be free of offensive language and advertisements.
  • Posting the same job multiple times is prohibited.
  • Requesting a service that is illegal or violates intellectual property rights, copyrights or the terms of service of another service, product or website is prohibited.
  • Requesting free work of any kind is prohibited, including contests in which freelancers submit work with no to very little pay, and only the winning submission is paid the full amount.
  • Requesting a fee in order to apply or bid is strictly prohibited.
  • Jobs may not transmit any content related to or containing any adult or sexually explicit material.
  • Requesting the creation of content that violates academic integrity is prohibited.
  • Jobs must be free of spammy content.
  • Job posts should not express any preference or otherwise discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, military/veteran status or any basis protected by applicable law.

Reading this is not mandatory. But it is available. 

---- easy like Sunday morning ----

In the end, we need to remember that people who control others - be that government, corporations, or even small clients here - are only as powerful as we let them be.

 

Without the workers, they have no business. The power IS in OUR hands. There is absolutely nothing in the world that forces anyone to follow a system or bow down to what we may personally feel is unfiar. All we have to to is refuse to use their products or services. We have the power to create our own businesses or change the rules. Nothing is to say we must follow others.

 

That is 1/2 the reason why we are FREElancers, and no longer employee's working for others. Upwork is a hybrid of that idea, but if we want higher wages and better clients.. all we need to do is stop working for them. Easy.

 

Let the individual worker decide what is good for them or not.

 

We can't change the system, because the system does not have our interests as a priority any higher than they need to make a profit. We will ALWAYS be last in line for fair treatment by any organization with self interests in mind. As freelancers we are budding young leaders. WE are the ones with the skills clients sell for profit. If we don't like it... then we can just as easy take control of that and pay our own employee's what we feel is fair. For those without the passion or drive to do so, they need to keep the complaints to themselves and truck along as the choice is theirs to work for less.

 

Of course we all need a 'stepping stone' between now and then but if the system bothers you, then keep that in mind and work towards freeing others from exploitation with your own socially responsible business. <-- and THAT is exactly the basis of what I do for a living.

Setu, thanks for posting the job post regulations. This particular rule is frequently violated, it seems to me:

 

  • Posting the same job multiple times is prohibited.

 

__________________________________________________
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce

This one got me 😄

 

  • Job posts should not express any preference or otherwise discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, military/veteran status or any basis protected by applicable law.

@ Tony,
If I am not business minded or brave enough to strike out on my own, thereby changing the status of myself and others; should I not strike out against what I consider exploitation?

@John,
No problem. Knowledge is power.

@ Lyam,
Next time someone here spouts air about clients should have the right to scream "PHILLIPINOS ONLY APPLY" - you can tell them they're dead wrong.
---- easy like Sunday morning ----

Setu,

 

Of course! But... just make sure you help those who ask for it, because a blanket rule may unintentially hurt those who won't speak up for themselves. They don't speak up because for them, this IS their current best option. They have the power to find income in other ways. This is their choice.

 

----

 

For those who complain because the lower rates won't work for them.. they need to rethink this market. This place is an easy way to find work. We sit back and let the clients come to us - and then fight for them. An aggressive freelancer will go find their clients and make some calls. If we choose the easy route we have no right to complain about it. It is what it is.

 

My perspective is different than most. I believe these micro jobs are a gift to the international community. It helps level the playing field and spreads the wealth. It gives people with little experience or money a chance to start their own self employed dream, and it provides micro jobs to those who's own country has nothing left to offer. It removes the borders and the industry matures we'll find that the average wage for any given job will be drastically lower than what the priviliaged are used to. It's a real world wake up call. The bigger this industry becomes the more socialist the world will become. The world is in a huge imbalance right now, and people are going to fight to keep it that way.

 

If you want to fight exploitation, then teach those who feel exploited how to earn more. Don't make a rule that free's a few and punished many. It's not up to us or anyone else to decide who should earn what.

 

It's all a matter opinions. There is no solution that will make everyone happy.

 

 

 

 


@Tony H wrote:

 

 

If you want to fight exploitation, then teach those who feel exploited how to earn more. Don't make a rule that free's a few and punished many. It's not up to us or anyone else to decide who should earn what.

 

It's all a matter opinions. There is no solution that will make everyone happy.

 

 

 

 


 Tony,

 

I agree here with you. The way to fight exploitation is to teach those who are charging lower rates that they are worth more. I have done this with several folks in the forum. I don't care where they are from, if they have a special talent I have spoke up and told them to raise their rates and hold their heads high. If they have something that someone wants they can earn it. They don't have to settle for $3.00 an hour. 

 

I think the thing is we can all sit back and scream exploitation but how many are willing to actually look at someone's profile that posts in the forum and says please give me advise without being rude.

 

I for one prefer to give positive critism and try to encourge that no matter where they are from that they are worth more and don't let anyone tell them anything else.

 

If you are from China, US or Sinapore, or anywhere else in the world. If you have great skills don't settle for less. Respect yourself and charge more. You are worth it. You will be surprised that someone will hire you at that rate you are charging that is more then someone from your country.

 

I have an old saying, 'You can only be taken advantage of if you allow someone to take advantage of you"

 

So don't sell yourself cheap. Those who exploit will go away if those who allow them to exploit stop allowing it.

I will be clear

 

@ Tony,

I will never accept any explanation, logic, model or vice, that contains similar argument. That is not how I was built.

"I believe these micro jobs are a gift to the international community. It helps level the playing field and spreads the wealth. It gives people with little experience or money a chance to start their own self employed dream, and it provides micro jobs to those who's own country has nothing left to offer."

When one starts to rationalize exploitation, the line has already been crossed.

 

@ Tony, @ Suzanne,

Education changes the future, in as much as Laws shapes the future. Therefore a teacher and a lawyer can achieve the same goal by different means depending on what the circumstance allows. I have chosen the latter approach to see what can be changed, but I have also employed the former on a daily basis.

 

The pen is usually a more effective means of change, compared to strength in numbers. However both methods will complement each other. There are some who will never lift a finger to liberate themselves, even after being empowered. Therefore, having the system change to protect these persons is also a valid way to accomplish the same goal.

---- easy like Sunday morning ----

The Law is a cruel taskmaster which is too easily abused and turned against us.

If you need a law to prevent you from being racist or exploitative, then you are, by definition, racist and exploitative.

The more a society depends on laws to force its citizens to behave properly, the less moral that society actually is.

Since I cannot change peoples nature, I'd rather be protected by the law.

And I was not referring to laws of the land. We are discussing common practices on the platform.

---- easy like Sunday morning ----

Let me be very clear about my position:

Clients should be allowed to express a preference for contractors based on where they live. Where a person lives is not the same as national origin.

If there was a law preventing such, the law would be wrong. There is a difference between what is moral and what is legal. There are many things that you and I would NEVER do, but which should remain legal, just as there many legal things you and I do which other people find reprehensible.

It should be up to Upwork, and nobody else, to decide if specifying geographic preference is allowable or not. I believe any other stance is anti-libertarian.

Since you missed this part of he discussion

 

  • Job posts should not express any preference or otherwise discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, military/veteran status or any basis protected by applicable law.
---- easy like Sunday morning ----

This 'debate' reminds me of America's  Fox news. There's one dominant narrative, and any opinion to the contrary will soon disappear as having fallen foul of some arbitrarily enforced guidelines, that, strangely, some people never seem to fall foul of.

Here's my thoughts on what Upwork could do for now, without making people angry.

 

In the first image, you will see a screenshot of what a client sees while creating a new job posting. The rate recommendation (beginner, intermediate, expert) changes according to the position selected from the drop-down menu.

 

The education around this recommendation is non-existant and for anyone who hasn't played aropund to see how Upwork works... they would not give it any consideration that the suggested rate actually does mean something.

 

Click here to see what the client sees:

http://postimg.org/image/6ix6zm3f3/

 

The client currently has NO obligation to actually hire someone within or above that suggested rate. This is a fault in my opinion. The client should be required to hire for at least the lowest price within the range and without an upper limit.

 

 

Here's an idea I had. Click this secoind link for another visual:

http://postimg.org/image/qqrrh1ffh/

 

In this image you will see an idea to publically show the suggested rate displayed when the client created the job posting. This way, freelancers know what the position is actually worth and where to start bidding. Again, I do not believe a client should be able to hire for less. It's transparent from both sides.

 

On the right, a client version of the JS score... OR... add another metric to client stats, showing the average hiring rate vs the industry standard (the range they selected while creating the post).

 

If we see a client has a hiring rate average of -60% below the 'acceptable' rate, then freelancers will avoid them. it would be a badge of honor, sort of speak, for clients to proudly display they are 'fair' employers. We'd be surprised at the number of clients who mean well, but just don't know better. It may encourage honest clients who just can't afford to pay North American wages, to increase their rates.

 

It might help put an end to clients who actually DO exploit people fairly quickly, as freelancers will stop applying.

 

Setu, you and I are on the same page. We just don't agree on where to draw the line or how to go about fixing the problem. Which is good... because if everyone agreed all the time, nothing would ever improve.

 

So... my challenge to anyone who actually cares, is to keep the opinion debate to a minimum and work together on a solution.

 

Who knows... maybe Upwork will actually listen if it's sensible and makes for good business. After all, they need to consider a return on investor's investments first and foremost. Being nice or fair doesn't always fit into a full blown capitalist model.