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'Top Rated' Score Flaw: Inactive Clients

nikkigaskins
Ace Contributor

Hi there--

 

Having inactive clients never really concerned me until the 'Top Rated' score recently came into play.

 

I have had some clients who've kept contracts open incase they anticipated they needed additional work.

 

I never realized this could present a problem...until again the 'Top Rated' score came into play

 

My current rating is 93%. In reality, that should be 100% because as any good freelancer should...I always complete projects successfully.

 

A few weeks ago, I began reaching out to these inactive clients (about 10 total) to ask them to please close out the contracts and rate my services...and should they need anything in the future, I would be happy to assist them.

 

I've heard absolutely nothing back from most of them--except for one who kindly closed out the contract and gave me a 5-star review.

 

I reached out to customer service about the problem today, and they say they will also reach out to these inactive clients.

 

However, I was told that even if after they contact them and these inactive clients still don't respond by closing out old contracts...I could end the contract myself.

 

BUT (a big but) it would come at a cost to me.  I would be penalized and my 'Top Rated' score would still be impacted.

 

"The only way for you to recover is to focus on your current and future contracts"--I was told.

 

Maybe it's just me...however, I just don't think it's fair for me (or any other freelancer) to still be penalized for a client who's gone awol after SUCCESSFULLY completing the work requested...AND after asking them to close the contract.

 

I believe this is a major flaw to the Top Rated score, and I believe there should be exceptions to the calculations--especially in cases like mine.

 

To the 'Upwork-Powers-That-Be,' please be aware of this and do something about it.

 

Okay, enough venting...

 

Nikki

 

 

ACCEPTED SOLUTION
stephenbrightman
Community Guru

Nikki,

 

Be well assured that they are very aware of it. it's just that they have no inclination to do anything abbbout it because it only affects freelancers.

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30 REPLIES 30
pkaczorowski
Ace Contributor

I have same "hanging" client problem from 2013.. no response to any please "close this"

stephenbrightman
Community Guru

Nikki,

 

Be well assured that they are very aware of it. it's just that they have no inclination to do anything abbbout it because it only affects freelancers.

kochubei_valeria
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Nikki,

 

The fact that you close the contract will not affect your score negatively but having a large percentage of contracts without feedback will. That's why we recommend asking clients to close contract so they leave feedback. However, you closing a few contracts shouldn't affect your score in any way.

~ Valeria
Upwork

Hi Valeria...

 

I have about 10 inactive contracts that need closing. A few months ago, I closed several inactive clients, and Upwork (then oDesk) sent me a notification warning me that my account would be monitored and possibly reprimanded for doing this further. I want to close them, I'm just afraid of further warning messages from Upwork. Should I just close them a few at a time rather all at once?

Nikki

 

This is an endless problem on here - you really aren't a special case. In my case, I have 20+ stale inactive contracts. I periodically message clients and ask them nicely to close contracts. I give a date (maybe 2 weeks)and say that if I haven't heard from them by then I'll be closing the contract myself. And all the nicey stuff about they know where I am if they need my services again. The vast majority don't reply. My strategy has been to close one contract for every five good closed contracts. This way, your job history doesn't have a list of jobs with no feedback.

 

The downside?? By the time you've got one job closed, another one or two have probably been left open.

 

So you, as a freelancer, have to spend time (maybe more time than you do actually working) at managing clients and guiding them into doing what they can to preserve, if not increase, your JS score. Upwork will not help you in this, it's just part of the deal. It's been discussed ad infinitum on here, but the bottom line is, Upwork is totally client-biased, and part of the freelancer's remit is not only to do perfect work for clients, but to manage them through the whole process from start to finish; and if a client ever falls down on any aspect of this, the freelancer will pay for their inability to manage that client.

 

Sorry I can't say anything positive here - I truly wish I could.

Hi Stephen...

 

Thanks for breaking this down for me and letting me know that I'm not the only freelancer who is experiencing this problem.

 

Hopefully, Upwork will eventually do something about this since it is apparently a problem with many good freelancers.

 

In the meantime, I will follow your lead with closing old contracts after several successfully completed jobs.

 

Nikki


@Nikki G wrote:

Hi Stephen...

 

Thanks for breaking this down for me and letting me know that I'm not the only freelancer who is experiencing this problem.

 

Hopefully, Upwork will eventually do something about this since it is apparently a problem with many good freelancers.

 

In the meantime, I will follow your lead with closing old contracts after several successfully completed jobs.

 

Nikki


Nikki,

 

Don't hold your breath on them changing their mind on anything. I have given up on anything ever getting fixed or changed. They could care less about the freelancers.

 

As a freelancer they want us to pay 10% of our income to them but they actually don't want to do anything for it.

 

I have left Upwork but for one client because of the attitude they carry towards freelancers.

 

And for everyone else I know I said I was gone, but I have a big mouth 😛 


@Suzanne N wrote:
As a freelancer they want us to pay 10% of our income to them but they actually don't want to do anything for it.

This is simply not true.  They have sent out surveys that show they want us to pay much more than that.


 And for everyone else I know I said I was gone, but I have a big mouth 😛 


It only seems that way because Upwork's ears are so very, very small.  Smiley Frustrated

 

Thanks a lot Stephen. Really great post.

It is 2015 now and the advise is still relevant. Too bad I didn't read it a year ago.

 

Hello,

 

Everyone is asking customers to clsoe the contracts because if a freelancer is closing one, the customer could give a negative feedback, and this is what everyone tries to avoid.

Someone should mention this as well.

 

Thankls

laherz
Community Leader

Unfortunately, 

The majority of the people that hire freelancers on Upwork do so only for one project. After they have received the work they have paid for, they couldn't care less. And as such, they won't put the 2-3 minutes it takes to finalize everything. Such as rating you. 

Which honestly is a shame. And there's nothing that can be done on our side to change that. I will not run after a client just to get a rating. But I do believe Upwork should look into what they can do to change this so that it doesn't negatively affect freelancers. 

kugrin
Community Guru

@Valeria K wrote:

Hi Nikki,

 

The fact that you close the contract will not affect your score negatively but having a large percentage of contracts without feedback will. That's why we recommend asking clients to close contract so they leave feedback. However, you closing a few contracts shouldn't affect your score in any way.


Valeria - this is nothing personal but this vague messaging is getting beyond irritating. 1. What constitutes a large percentage and a few contracts? And 2. which part of the freelancer reaching out to the client to request that the contracts are rated and closed yet getting ignored was missed in the official Upwork standard reply?  And 3. what does "shouldn't" mean? It either does or doesn't.

 

anamariacuesta
Community Guru

Upwork should realize that if we have to chase and hassle clients to get positive reviews, this is going to be a burden for clients also. Clients don't like to feel forced to leave feedback either. 

 

This is not positive for any of the sides. 

Hi today for the first time ever my JSS decreased by 8% from 100% to 92% despite only getting 5 stars feedback. Then I realized that this is probably due to two inactive contracts. 

I have one contract (fixed price) still open from a client who wants to hire me again but he disappeared then I have another contract which is not really started, I mean he sent me an offer, I accepted but there were some issues with his company so the project didn't take off. He told me that he'll need my help for future projects too so we keep it open (He's a trustworthy client with excellent rates so I trust him). 

Now which contract affects my JSS more? And what are your suggestions to prevent a further decrease and lose my Top Rated badge? 

 

Thanks in advance for your replies,

Roberto


@Roberto P wrote:

Hi today for the first time ever my JSS decreased by 8% from 100% to 92% despite only getting 5 stars feedback. Then I realized that this is probably due to two inactive contracts. 

I have one contract (fixed price) still open from a client who wants to hire me again but he disappeared then I have another contract which is not really started, I mean he sent me an offer, I accepted but there were some issues with his company so the project didn't take off. He told me that he'll need my help for future projects too so we keep it open (He's a trustworthy client with excellent rates so I trust him). 

Now which contract affects my JSS more? And what are your suggestions to prevent a further decrease and lose my Top Rated badge? 

 

Thanks in advance for your replies,

Roberto


 Roberto,

 

Those two clients could be the reason, but there are also other reasons for a JSS drop such as the hidden feedback clients give, which we freelancers don't see.

 

I wouldn't worry too much at this stage about the drop, but if the second client is a new client, and you are not dependent on feedback from him,  I think I would close the contract, but tell him I would be very happy to work with him when he has sorted his company problems. 

 

I have an open contract with an ongoing client who I don't hear from for weeks on end, but who will suddenly pop up with work. So far, I don't think this has affected my JSS.

 

I think if you get good feedback for the next couple of jobs, your rating will go right back up again.


@Roberto P wrote:

Hi today for the first time ever my JSS decreased by 8% from 100% to 92% despite only getting 5 stars feedback. Then I realized that this is probably due to two inactive contracts. 

I have one contract (fixed price) still open from a client who wants to hire me again but he disappeared then I have another contract which is not really started, I mean he sent me an offer, I accepted but there were some issues with his company so the project didn't take off. He told me that he'll need my help for future projects too so we keep it open (He's a trustworthy client with excellent rates so I trust him). 

Now which contract affects my JSS more? And what are your suggestions to prevent a further decrease and lose my Top Rated badge? 

 

Thanks in advance for your replies,

Roberto


I doubt those contracts are hurting you by 8%. Maybe a couple but not 8. It's more like your first project in Feb fell out of the 6 month mark and it's all you have for data, so you are definitely going on the 6 month duration. Since it fell out, there is likely someone who rated you not so great in private and that's what happen. 

Well actually I have a total of 15 contracts so 2 inactive contracts may be the reason for this sudden but not unexpected drop. I know there are many reasons to calculate JSS, including private feedback but I don't think this is the case. In the last two weeks, I completed a job (the fourth in a row with the same client), he left me a 5 stars feedback and I highly doubt he gave me a not so great private feedback, since he keeps asking me to work for him.

 

So I have these 2 contracts:

A fixed price contract which I completed and got money from it

An hourly contract that didn't take off so I earned no money but the client decided to keep it open because he wants to work with me on a future project.

Now this is my question: If I close the fixed price contract, I know I won't get any feeback because the client seems vanished, but how much will this action affect my JSS? It would be the first contract ended with no feedback from the client. What's the best? Close it or keep it open ?

I don't want to lose by Top Rated eligibility, if this will happen I'll try my best to recover from this bad situation because I do believe that Upwork is a great platform, despite all its bugs.

Thanks Jennifer for your reply, I appreciated the contribution from serious and expert freelancers and I hope to solve this problem with your help. 

Hi Roberto,

 

If you have an inactive contract with a client and you haven't heard back from the client regarding them wanting to use it again, you can close it yourself. The client will receive a notification and may still leave feedback. If not, as long as there is no pattern of contracts without feedback, it shouldn't affect your Job Success Score very negatively.

~ Valeria
Upwork

Hi Valeria,

Thanks for your reply.  However, it's clear that if I close it myself, this will affect my JSS, maybe not very negatively, but it will somehow. That's not encouraging.


@Valeria K wrote:

Hi Roberto,

 

If you have an inactive contract with a client and you haven't heard back from the client regarding them wanting to use it again, you can close it yourself. The client will receive a notification and may still leave feedback. If not, as long as there is no pattern of contracts without feedback, it shouldn't affect your Job Success Score very negatively.


Valeria, is that a new stance?

 

It used to be that No Feedback jobs wouldn't affect your JSS as long as there was no pattern (even though we still don't know what constitutes a pattern)...

 

"Affect not very negatively" sounds rather odd and vague. And is certainly different than "Don't affect".

 

 

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