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Re: Unfair Review

Community Guru
John B Member Since: Aug 20, 2015
11 of 16

Sample of my mentorship.  Congratulations, you made the decision to persevere.  You were polite to your respondents and discussed the situation without too much destructive focus on the client.

You made a crucial error in delivery.  You forgot to ask the vital question: "What age group am I writing into".  Errors in delivery, even small, without a communication-deep business relationship established - are high-risk issues. Email-only relationships can be too tenuous to withstand them in many to most cases.

Since there was a demonstrable error in delivery, you are responsible for your rating, whatever it is. Unfair is not a word we have in our profession when it comes to client ratings.  Fairness happens because we engineer it on purpose.

I really like "preserver".  Then there was the client who asked me to write his website.  He wanted it in B:C millennial audience mindset and style. I am B:B corporate but the client liked my profile and talked me into giving it a shot.  So I did.  After two revisions -- my writing voice was skill a complete miss.  So we shut the project down.  What did I do with the payment made?

I refunded it.  When I make a recommendation, it is because that is what I have done and it worked.  Still a strong ally, that client.  We stayed friends because of that one transaction, I love hearing about his company-build success, and he still teases me about being completely incapable of writing in B:C, millennial-communication profiles.  

"Let me get this straight.  You have written a 100-page eco-education book for Pearson.  A 465-page Novel with 22 characters (coming out in Jan 2021). And could write in voice for all of them?  And you can't figure out how to write an informal website that uses clauses, not sentences?"

"No, I can't.  First of all, it hurts me not to write in full sentences, and we deserve to have at least one thing professionally we just can't do.  Mistakes make for a good story. I have a lot of good stories".

Avery O Moderator Member Since: Nov 23, 2015
12 of 16

Hi John, 

I appreciate that you continue to participate in the Community to share some tips about managing your freelancing business.


I would like to note that I had to edit your posts because posting advertisements or promoting any products or services is not allowed in our Community Guidelines, as the Community is not the right venue for this activity. I would appreciate it if you can be mindful of the guidelines when posting in the Community. 

Thank you for your understanding. 

~ Avery
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
13 of 16

Sean, please ignore any mention of refunding to make your (future) JSS better. Refunding would remove the   visible feedback from your profile, it would NOT remove the impact of the poor feedback on your JSS.


As it happens, contracts with nothing (ever) paid usually have a significant negative effect on your JSS.



Active Member
Sean G Member Since: Nov 4, 2019
14 of 16

Thank you. I'll stay away from the refund, it wasn't that bad of a review. This is my first time posting on the Upwork community, I had no idea how overwhelming a response I'd get. You guys are good.

Community Guru
Martina P Member Since: Jul 11, 2018
15 of 16

Sean G wrote:

So this client ghosted me for ages, I'm talking over a month, and then gave me a pretty scathing review in response to my fair one.


I producd a first draft whose only problem was that it was tuned to the wrong age group, and I was ready to change that when he overreacted and asked to terminate the contract. He wanted to arrange a kill fee. Then came the ghosting. It lasted for a pretty long time, though I was sending him messages and could see he was online, until I terminated it myself.


I'm fine with how everything went down and the review I gave him - though a bad review - was very fair. The one I got in return wasn't. Any way to get rid of it?

What are you talking about? He gave you a better feedback than you gave him!

Active Member
Sean G Member Since: Nov 4, 2019
16 of 16

My feedback was genuine. He gave a one and a two for skills and quality when I assure you the work I provided was good.


1. I may as well respond to a few things at once; writing for the wrong age group is a serious mistake, but a) it was made clear that my submitting the work at that stage was purely so that it could be critiqued and I could make the necessary changes and b) it would have been a very easy fix, the writing wasn't overly complicated and the tone was fine.
2. I find it odd how many people would like to mentor me; this thread stemmed from a lack of understanding on my part of how the Upwork services work. I just wanted to send a message to the boys upstairs and remove that stain. My thanks, you guys, but in the least arrogant way possible: I don't need a mentor. The problem with the case, to be blunt, was the client's ignorance and exaggeration. I know the customer's always right but I'd like to imagine we're still people while we're operating in Upwork's sphere, not just astute freelancers - still sharing a reality.

3. Everyone keeps repeating the fact that I used the terms 'ghosting' and 'kill fee'. The client ghosted me, that is was it was. And the 'kill fee' was the client's idea, to which he never got back to me about even though there's no way he hadn't seen my numerous messages over a period of months.

Sorry if this made me seem **bleep** or condescending, I didn't mean it to. I just wanted to sort out any misconceptions.