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lauraclements
Community Member

Time Tracking Disabled: Already Logged Time

Hello!

 

The last couple days I have received the following time tracker error and I can't figure out why. Does anyone know what the issue may be? I have not logged any manual time.

31 REPLIES 31
cylver1z
Community Member

Hi Laura,

 

This usually happens when one contract overlaps another for the same time span, did you happen to be working on a contract and switch to different one?

 

Ryan


Untitled

Hmm perhaps? So if another client had logged time within the same 10-minute interval you mean?

Hi Laura,

 

That's correct if you are working on a project and switched to another contract, the time stamp cannot overlap.


Untitled
mbuffen
Community Member

I have more than one contract and I do switch between them since ever. I am getting this error too since a couple days, never before. 

petra_r
Community Member


@Michael B wrote:

I have more than one contract and I do switch between them since ever. I am getting this error too since a couple days, never before. 


 That is because people have been "double-dipping" (getting paid for the the same 10 minute segment by 2 different clients by waiting until a screenshot has been taken for contract A in time segment X and then switching to contract B which would have resulted in being paid twice, by 2 different clients, for the same 10 minute segment.

 

Seems Upwork finally cottoned on to that practice and put a stop to it.

 

 

So, I was working using the Upwork App, but I kept seeing this error notification saying "You already logged time in this 10-minute cell". Does anybody here know what's the meaning of this error?  Please see photo below. Thanks for the answers!

 

Screen Shot 2018-02-19 at 10.54.22 PM.png

 

 

 

 

 

It means exactly what it says. It means that this segment is already logged on another contract.

 

say you stopped working on contract A at 10.05 and switched to contract B. If a screenshot had already been taken while working on Contract A for the time segment 10.00 to 10.10, then that segment has been billed to client A already, so you can not bill it again to contract B by switching to contract B, hence being paid twice for the 10.00 to 10.10 time segment. 

 

I see. Thanks for your comment. It's just weird because this is my first time seeing this error in 3 years. Thanks again! 


@Jake A wrote:

I see. Thanks for your comment. It's just weird because this is my first time seeing this error in 3 years. Thanks again! 


Yes, it used to be possible to switch which resulted in freelancers being able to โ€œdouble-dipโ€ by switching contracts after a screenshot had been taken. Obviously that was not fair on clients so itโ€™s been stopped.

๐Ÿ™‚

 

I seem to encounter this every time now when I stop logging tracking on one contract and then start tracking on another. If I wait for a period of time, then I can start tracking on the other contract.

 

There does not seem to be any indication when the "10 minute billing segment" ends. Does this mean I need to always wait 10 minutes before starting time tracking on the other contract?

But it also shouldn't be allowed to bill the full 10 minute period if someone only worked 3 minutes? 

 

Other time trackers have no issues doing this, like Hubstaff which can be paused anytime and only measures the time you worked, not a "10 minute period". 

 

Why not move to something more accurate? 

I totally agree, either the Time Tracker needs to break more often, even down the the minute, or even just 5 minutes, or it needs to be able to identify which client "used" most of the 10 minute time, and add that block to them, but still start the clock for the next client. I switch between clients as much as 6-10 times a day on average, sometimes even more if two projects are finishing up with minor proofs, back and forth. I can't afford to wait 10 minutes between doing jobs... that would be an hour or more of wasted time each day.

 

I never had this error message before in the 7-8 years I've worked on this site... and never did I intend to double dip. I often wondered at how smart the system was to bill the 10 minutes to the correct client, but certainly didn't "wait" till a screen shot was taken and then change to another client. If anyone did that, boo to them, but why punish the rest of us with a backward jump to what was a pretty effective system.

 

I personally have always hated the 10 minute segments for this reason. I hate charging a client for 10 minutes when I've only spent 1 or 3 on their project. And I often have things I can do for them that will take about 12-15 minutes, but have to quote for 20. I think 5 minute breaks would be much more effective, and I think any computer system should be able to hand that.

 

Daria

wlyonsatl
Community Member

Upwork apparently doesn't care if it's processes cause you to lose an hour's worth of work time each day. Spending the money on making Time Tracker accurate to the minute, as many other online services seem to have no problem doing, is clearly not a priority.

 

Upwork tends to have clumsy ways to deal with freelancer fraud. This is yet another, but a small fraction of the millions of dollars in fees we freelancers pay to Upwork should be channeled to improving the Upwork Web site, including this "you can't log hours right now, come back in a few minutes" bug.


@Petra R wrote:

It means exactly what it says. It means that this segment is already logged on another contract.

 

say you stopped working on contract A at 10.05 and switched to contract B. If a screenshot had already been taken while working on Contract A for the time segment 10.00 to 10.10, then that segment has been billed to client A already, so you can not bill it again to contract B by switching to contract B, hence being paid twice for the 10.00 to 10.10 time segment. 

 


 Hm.So, instead, Client A pays for the first five minutes of work for Client B. That doesn't really seem like a solution.

Preventing me from moving from one contract to another is a bad way to solve the problem of freelancer fraud. But if it's the best Upwork can do, we're stuck with it.


@Will L wrote:

Preventing me from moving from one contract to another is a bad way to solve the problem of freelancer fraud. But if it's the best Upwork can do, we're stuck with it.


All of you seem to have a fundamental misunderstanding of how the tracker works.

 

It's not perfect, but it's predictable. Time is measured in segments of ten minutes, marked by the "zeroes" on the clock: 2:20-2:30 is one segment, and the screenshot will be taken randomly within that block.

 

You can't bill time for the same block to two different clients.

 

To avoid these issues, simply start and stop the tracker on the "zeroes." Yes, this means sometimes you have to wait a few minutes between switching from one contract to another. Stand up and stretch. No big deal.

nakrill
Community Member

Ok, but why stop tracking? Can you just skip this 5 minutes, and continue tracking. Why should I be interrupted  from my work by this messages, and give a lot of extra attention to tracking app, to find a "good time" to start it? It is very annoying, and not friendly. Inform me that this time will be skipped from billing if there are less than 5 minutes, but do not stop tracker please.

I understand what is being said about not double-dipping with time by posts on this thread. I often have multiple hourly contracts open with requests throughout the day.

 

In the past, I have been able to switch between each client when requests come up, and it has worked just fine. Now, if I'm working with client 'A' and client 'B' comes and says "I have an emergency challenge with my website", I must tell client 'B' I need to wait several minutes before I can help them with their emergency, as I can't log time. Or, I start logging time and don't find out I can't log time until several minutes in to helping client 'B'. Then I have to stop.

 

When I switch to working with a different client, so far the solution seems to be sitting there and doing nothing until Upwork will allow me to log time for the client I switched to. (It's against ToS to work for free.)

 

Is there a way for this tool to be built to enable freelancers to switch between multiple contracts on a regular basis and not have to completely stop working for several minutes every time? This roadblock makes sense to help avoid double-dipping however, there must be a way to help the non double-dippers out too, right?

I so agree with you!! This new "feature" has really put me and my business at a disadvantage as I constantly have to waste time during the day just waiting to be allowed to track time again. Can't we find a better solution?

kochubei_valeria
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi All,

 

We appreciate the discussion and feedback you shared on this thread. A change was made recently that was meant to address the issue many of you acknowledge here - freelancers shouldn't be able to bill multiple clients for the same 10-minute segment. We do understand that it's important for freelancers to have a smooth experience while switching between several contracts and our engineers are working on improvements in this area.

 

Thanks.

~ Valeria
Upwork

Thank you for the status update on what is being done to improve the freelancer experience when switching between several contracts, Valeria.

Are there any more specifics on what is being done and when we might expect changes to happen? I too find myself highly interrupted by this new disabling which you don't find out until after you've already started tracking. 

 

It would almost be nice if that when you switched to the alternate client 's billing and clicked start, you would immediately get a warning message that you cannot track time right now and it's been disabled (rather than 5 minutes in). 

 

Super frustrating as is. 


undefined:

Are there any more specifics on what is being done and when we might expect changes to happen? I too find myself highly interrupted by this new disabling which you don't find out until after you've already started tracking. 

 

It would almost be nice if that when you switched to the alternate client 's billing and clicked start, you would immediately get a warning message that you cannot track time right now and it's been disabled (rather than 5 minutes in). 

 

Super frustrating as is. 


The tracker only talks to the server when it takes and submits a screenshot for the time segment in question. The easy solution is to not start and stop the tracker in the middle of a segment. Stop on a zero, start again on the next zero.

That is not easy.

 

I expect a client to stop being billed when I stop tracking time or switch to another contract.

 

The information on when tracking is started and stopped is available locally to the application without checking with the server.

 

If there is a minimum chunk of time that can be billed becuase of a limitation in the Upwork time tracker design, I expect the time tracker to notify me immediately and prevent me from appearing to start tracking time working for another client.

 

I do not expect it to allow me to continue to appear to track time then notify me after the fact.


undefined:

That is not easy.

 

I expect a client to stop being billed when I stop tracking time or switch to another contract.

 

The information on when tracking is started and stopped is available locally to the application without checking with the server.

 

If there is a minimum chunk of time that can be billed becuase of a limitation in the Upwork time tracker design, I expect the time tracker to notify me immediately and prevent me from appearing to start tracking time working for another client.

 

I do not expect it to allow me to continue to appear to track time then notify me after the fact.


That's how you WANT it to work, but that's not how it actually does work.

 

Upwork has no plans to change it, even though, yes, it's flawed. But since you choose to work on hourly projects that require use of the time tracker, it's your responsibility to understand how it functions and structure your process accordingly.

 

Start on a zero, stop on a zero.

That is how I expect time tracking to work, yes.

 

I understand your workaround.

That was explained earlier in the thread.

 

All my clients allow manual billing.

I use the time tracker as a courtesy to them and a convenience.

 

It is reasonable to expect Upwork to improve the workflow for both clients and freelancers, so that they may retain both.

 

Are you a representative of Upwork?

What are you referring to when you say Upwork has no plans to change it?


undefined:

That is how I expect time tracking to work, yes.

 

I understand your workaround.

That was explained earlier in the thread.

 

All my clients allow manual billing.

I use the time tracker as a courtesy to them and a convenience.

 

It is reasonable to expect Upwork to improve the workflow for both clients and freelancers, so that they may retain both.

 

Are you a representative of Upwork?

What are you referring to when you say Upwork has no plans to change it?


I'm a freelancer just like you.

 

Moderators who do work for Upwork have stated over and over and over that there are no plans to change how the time tracker works. It tracks 10 minute increments, no partial blocks.

 

In order to qualify for payment protection on hourly contracts, you must use the time tracker as designed, not as how you wish it would function. Continuing to argue the point is a waste of time.

Are you trolling me? Who is arguing?

 

 

Where did I say anything about changing the 10 minute timing?

 

A moderator said

"We do understand that it's important for freelancers to have a smooth experience while switching between several contracts and our engineers are working on improvements in this area.".

I asked why you stated differently.

 

I am aware of the payment protection requirements, thanks.

 

As a client, if I understood how this currently worked, I might also be concerned that people working for me are working on another project during time that was being billed to me because they did not know until after the message appeared.

 

This is a community forum. I posted an observation on the current inconvenience and suggestions for better behavior of the time tracker to the community.

Hi David,

Thanks for your feedback. As Valeria mentioned earlier in this thread, our engineers are working on streamlining the process of switching between contracts.

~Nina

Hi Nina,

 

Just saw your response. Thank you for the clarification.

Also please, check this functionality. Today I receive this message three times after one switch between contracts. So I somewhere lost 20 mins. ๐Ÿ™‚

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