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2f829a1c
Community Member

UPWORK IS GETTING GREEDIER!!

Yes, I said it.

Upwork is continuously changing its terms to use the freelancers as their own personal cash crops. They really are trying to make as much money as possible without giving  **Edited for Community Guidelines** about the freelancers.

These are their recent updates that clearly show a pattern of their greed.

 

1. Proposal boosting feature.

Nobody asked for this. Nobody welcomed it and nobody uses this happily. From my own stats, I can see that this didn't help me in anything. This feature destroyed the level playfield idea that bidding was created around in the first place.

 

2. First 3 proposal boosts being visible.

This is again their sleazy tactic to get the freelancers to spend more connects by showing them the competition. They really are trying to make a buck any way they can.

 

3. No free connects after winning an invitation

If you guys were wondering, why aren't we getting free connects after winning an invitation then this is the reason. They have just ended this feature on 19 Sept 2022. Now the only way to get connects is to buy it from Upwork and VOILA this is their beautiful game to make you make for everything now and they get to enjoy while you are battling here each day to land a client.

Just bravo Upwork you really have shown us what a company will stoop down to show strong revenue because its stock is at its lowest in the past 5 years. But do remember that using your users as your ATM won't do you any good. I really hope you guys get back to your senses and make it easier for us to land jobs and continue to work here because it was the freelancers on whose backs this company was built.

I really hope your stock recovers but these tactics won't get you far.

Cheers,

Furqan.

55 REPLIES 55
tjmisny
Community Member

Well said!

 

 

2f829a1c
Community Member

Thanks a lot. I hope someone from Upwork sees this and does something about this.

martina_plaschka
Community Member

The lowest upwork stock has ever been was half of the current stock price, but clearly the highs of the pandemic are over, when everybody rushed to upwork to work or find freelancers. 

It should not come as a surprise that a large corporation is trying to make money, especially when they have never shown a profit in their history. 

But I agree, some monetization ideas can feel a little tacky, making the highest bids visible for boosting does not give one a warm and fuzzy feeling. 

But you are missing the point: as a large corporation that is publicly listed, upwork is foremost responsible and accountable to their stockholders. It is not their main goal to play nice to freelancers. They might pretend they do, but this is a resource in endless supply, contrary to clients, which are not.

I expect more creative monetization ideas in the future, none of which will have the comfort of the freelancer in mind. 

I'm guessing that connects, while probably still not a large part of their sales (unless they are lying in their financial statements, which I don't think they are), have become more of a focus as an income stream. It makes sense. Let everybody in, skim off the first months where people still buy connects, maybe alienate a few clients because they get awful proposals, but in the end still come out positive. I don't know as a fact this is their strategy, but it would make sense to me.  

Thanks, Martina for the insight into their finances. I had no idea about their income streams.

And I do understand that they are going to put their shareholders first not freelancers but still I expect them to be a bit wiser when trying to find new ways to increase revenue. I really just can't pretend to like the direction in which this is headed.

As business owners, Connects are one of the costs of doing business. What if your internet provider would raise its monthly fees?

 

I would expect a better reason from him to raising the cost of internet.

And this isn't about cost of one thing. This is about a pattern of things that show an agenda. 

The use of connects aims to increase profit, not to reduce scam bidding. Each job post receives dozens of bids, and all parties involved—job posters, bidders, and Upwork—spend money. This can total $80-$200, plus Upwork's share.

Active users may spend over $500 just to bid on projects, plus a cut from their earnings, making it costly for both freelancers and clients. This approach, seen as greedy by many, has driven top freelancers away, making Upwork one of the most expensive platforms due to its many hidden fees.

alexandernovikov
Community Member

Thank God it was FINALLY ended. It was a source for infinite fountain of spam.

What ended? Free connects? Because spam accounts will still be created.

Scammers accounts is not a Connects issue. It is a Freelancer issue. Scams are only successful when Freelancers blindly participate and not follow the rules set to protect them.


Sophie A wrote:

Scammers accounts is not a Connects issue. It is a Freelancer issue. Scams are only successful when Freelancers blindly participate and not follow the rules set to protect them.


There are too many "scam" freelancers, also. Those CAN be affected by connects "price".

luce-neidert
Community Member

To me, it's very simple:

 

No one is forcing you to use the proposal boosting feature so you don't have to worry about first 3 proposal boosts being visible.

Basically, I don't see the point of boosting any offer. If your offer is good and you have the correct profile, you are more likely to get the job than someone who has boosted their offer.

 

The free connects after winning an invitation was a cool feature, but as to be expected people were using this feature to cheat and make more headaches for Upwork. This feature didn't use to exist, so I'm used doing without it, so should you.

 

Upwork is spending a lot of money helping newcomers get started. Unfortunately, many of these people don't have enough common sense to avoid scams and this is probably forcing Upwork to spend more than they should on fighting scams and helping newbies. Upwork is not a charity, so it has to find a way to pay for all this extra help.

 

So in my opinion, Upwork is not getting any gredier.

Luce I also do not use the boosting feature anymore. I used it when it came out and that is all.

And I understand that upwork has to make money but this is just getting out of hand. They are showing a pattern of cutting perks for freelancers.

Making money doesn't mean they have to drain it from the pockets of freelancers. 

The features are there, it doesn't mean you have to use them. Just use your head and see what's best for you.

pudingstudio
Community Member

I believe UpWork offers a service, service I'm happy to pay for.
Optional payments I don't care for, they don't bother me.

- "Available now" have only one feature, it does exist only to drain newbies' accounts. That one is very greedy.

UpWork is aware that new freelancers don't ever-ever-never read ToS nor they ever try to understand how platform operates. UpWork was/is very clear that this function is not to be used by someone who is new to platform, yet they (UpWork) opt to use misleading name for it.

Thumbs down, UpWork.


- Boost option is dumb. I don't see it as misleading as ruthless Available Now thingie, but it's purpose IS for people to spend more money. Yet.. Not a big deal. Let them spend their connects.


- Connects are rarely refunded. Monthly instalments are too low. Good!
This one I'm happy with. This one affects me. There is a maybeeeee that faux freelancers aren't going to spam jobs when they need to pay a lot for connects.

That would definetly be a good thing but seriously for a new freelancer these tactics would made it really difficult to survive on upwork. 

I recently placed a bid, without boosting it, in one of those jobs where there have been up to 50 bids. I am shortisted for the job and the client has started talking to me.

 

I think that the ones spending all their money on connects to be at the top of the list are newbies who think this is like being at the top of the music charts.

"Yes, I have read the TOS", it is biggest lie on internet and everyone lies about it. Almost all experienced ones also learnt it through experience, not reading TOS.

Yes, everybody just clicks that box. The thing is, even if you don't fully understand the terms of service of your internet provider, or utility company, nothing bad is going to happen. They will not turn off your service except when you fail to pay. 

That is not the case on upwork. You really need to know the ToS in order to not violate them and lose your profile, even if you didn't intend to. People complain about getting scammed daily, oblivious to their own ToS violation, getting banned in the process. 

 


Nabeel A wrote:

"Yes, I have read the TOS", it is biggest lie on internet and everyone lies about it. Almost all experienced ones also learnt it through experience, not reading TOS.


It's one thing to not read it, but if you choose not to become informed, you can't then blame Upwork if you run into problems.

""Yes, I have read the TOS", it is biggest lie on internet and everyone lies about it. Almost all experienced ones also learnt it through experience, not reading TOS."

 

Yeah, and without knowing the TOS that "experience" can lead freelancers to getting permanently banned.  So have at it.

I read through every word of the Terms and everything else I could find before setting up a profile. No, I did not memorize the information but I made sure to remember the crucial points and I know where to look for answers if I have questions. I took those steps to protect myself. Who knows what kind of crazy, bizarro-world stuff might be in the Terms? I do this on any and every platform without fail. I am not going to get myself into a bad situation, or one that simply doesn't work for me. I have never broken the Terms. I have no reason to lie.

jamespouliot
Community Member

I don't think greedy is the right term. Have  you ever worked with a head hunter to get you a job? When I was a wedding photographer I had wedding planners and concierge services ask for a much larger percentage of my profit. When my ex was starting his interior design business he passed white envelopes around with cash like they were candy at a parade.  Buisness is filled with money changing hands. That's what makes it business. 

 

If Upwork said tomorrow that they were going to end connects but everyone had to pay a monthly fee I would gladly pay. They are providing a service that I am taking advantage of. When I look at the numbers I'm still profiting from the website. 

 

The real issue is change is uncomfortable. Upwork is constantly changing. Therefore Upwork is constantly uncomfortable. 

 

Still, there are many ways to make this platform work in your favor. I recommend ajusting your perspective. When you see things for the value they provide you, you're more likely to see things as beign advantageous and more likely to work based off those advantages. 

 

Good luck. 

00137e0a
Community Member

Boosting: I detest boosting as well, but this problem is simple to resolve: Don't use it. I gave it a try for a while, but it didn't seem to help, so I gave up. If you don't like it, don't use it, is what I would advise you to do.

 

Free connects: This had to stop. People were abusing this feature to farm connects by creating fake jobs and bidding on each other's posts, and then proceeded to overwhelm prospective clients with mountains of spam. Cudos to Upwork for changing this. 

 

 

 

 

sourceprouk
Community Member

Naive Freelancers are wasting their connects and money by boosting their bids. It is the Ebay effect where I have seen that bidders, just to beat the other bidders, end up paying more for a second hand item than they would pay for a new one!
I have just seen a job where the bidders have taken the highest bid to 16 connects!


I do not know in other lines of work, but in mine the buyers are really looking for the one they really think is the best person for the job and that one could be at the bottom of the list. With an average price per contract of some $2000.00 they are not going to be lazy and just hire a freelancer in the top three places of the list.


I recently acted as buyer and I did not care who was at the top or the bottom. I hired the most promising one.
I have boosted my bids but in a very limited way, only 1 or 2 connects above the allocated 'standard bid' and on contracts where I am pretty eager for it.

I actually put 21 connects on every single bid i make, every time.

Does that work for you? Can you please tell me the ratio of how many boosted proposal land clients and those that don't?

And also the ratio of the unboosted bids that land clients.

It's not worth counting. I make very few bids, about 20-30 per month, so maybe spend 0.15% of earnings on connects. It may very well be a waste of money but if i try to quantify it, i'd lose more money by wasting time than i will ever lose on those connects.

Please don't spend connects on boosting proposals, it's a waste. Just try to have the best possible cover letter and a good profile.

No client in his right mind is going to hire you because he sees that you've boosted you proposal, it's just a gimmick.

Are you under the impression that clients open every proposal they receive? 

21 connects on every bid!
Are you being sarcastic or are you joking?


Federico D wrote:

21 connects on every bid!
Are you being sarcastic or are you joking?


lol I read his post and said "yep, you and me both buddy." My amount is different but I'm with him on that one. Everyone can keep refusing on principle and that's great, but I just want money.

No, it does not say "yep, you and me both buddy."
And it would not make sense either.


Federico D wrote:

No, it does not say "yep, you and me both buddy."
And it would not make sense either.


I was referring to your reply regarding him throwing 21 connects at a job. I've thrown more or less. 21 isn't really that bad. Might as well make sure you have a chance to get seen especially if there are dozens of bids already.

I'm curious about how you know what the habits of the clients in your line of work are. For example, have a large number of your clients explicitly told you that they've opened and read every proposal they received? 

 

I'm definitely not naive, and if I ran across a project I really wanted, I would throw a bunch of connects at it to boost without a second thought. I usually have 150+ lying around and some expire every month. And, of course, they're dirt cheap. I could buy 100 just for the boost and make that money back in just over 8 minutes of paid work (after fees were deducted). What's the downside? 

2f829a1c
Community Member

Ok maybe you guys are right. I will change my mind about these changes for now. 

I would love to see an end to the spam jobs that do not hire anyone.

So I am going to wait 2 weeks and see if the pros are better than the cons. 

And if that happens I'll write a new post appreciating Upwork on these changes.

 

lysis10
Community Member

That's ok with me. I'm getting greedier myself because I really like money. Like really really like it. They just need to keep throwing me invites and let me handle the rest and we'll all make a lot of **Edited for Community Guidelines** money and be happy.

2f829a1c
Community Member

M'lady it is good that you love money and making a lot of it on upwork.

But come on the ones like me who really depended on those free connects are gonna suffer. While **Edited for Community Guidelines** enjoy the invites and the rest of us bid for 5 dollar projects. 

Why on earth are you bidding on $5 projects? You have 100% JSS. You did make a terrible mistake with your response to your most recent feedback, but other than that there is no reason in the world you should be bidding so low. The low hourly rate on your profile is likely ruling you out for good clients. 

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