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cankocak
Community Member

Unfair Review

Despite our very good communication with the customer, I received an incredibly bad review and rating that I didn't deserve, despite the fact that the work we agreed on was also a trial video, and I am waiting for your help with this.

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

Screen Shot 2022-12-13 at 20.01.44.png

65 REPLIES 65
prestonhunter
Community Member

Upwork does not evalute reviews and determine if they are "fair" or not.

 

I advise you to NOT try to contact Upwork Support in any way to deal with this.

 

You may ask questions in this thread if you want. You may ask what YOU should do.

 

You may choose the following options:

a) do nothing

 

b) refund the $50, which will cause this contract and review to disappear completely from your PUBLIC profile page. (The effects of the negative star feedback will remain on your JSS).

 

c) Leave the review in place, but add a one-sentence "response". Do NOT write the response until you consult with us here in the Forum about what to write. It is possible to add a response to the client's feedback which will largely neutralize the effect of their negative review.

I choose option C. What do you suggest I write

What you need is something SHORT. One sentence.

 

And it needs to be professional. Not sounding like you are whining. It sounds like a simple, rational explanation for why the client wrote a bunch of negative stuff.

 

You should probably wait until OTHER PEOPLE add some tips or recommendations to this thread.

 

Keep in mind that the client apparently wanted an extended high-quality video that would typically cost over $1000, but he wanted to pay only $50. You can use that fact against him.

Thank you very much it was really helpful for my condition.

Was this supposed to be a "paid sample" so the client could choose who to work with?

Sometimes clients will ask for a paid sample, then say the sample is not what they requested in order to "game the agreement" and manipulate the freelancer into providing several free revisions. They do this until the "paid sample" is to their liking - often at a substantially lesser cost than the work would normally be, then use the sample as the finished product.

If this were a "paid sample", this should be something to consider in how you respond.  I know if I were to look through the reviews and see that you were hired for a sample at $50, and there was a scathing review such as the one you received, I would be more suspicious of the client who posted it.

I wholeheartedly agree with Preston's assessment - based on the review that she left, you should be able to neutralize or even flip the narrative with a carefully worded rebuttle/counter-review.

Choose "B" refund the money and move on. Clearly the stress you have put yourself under is not worth the money. Never let other people decide how you feel. 

It sounds like the person was trying to scam you into providing free work under the guise of a test project. Just go with that, something like "The client hired me under the guise of a test project, but wanted me to provide additional unpaid work." The client wrote a long insulting and very unrealistic rating, they have absolutely no credbility here. You really don't have to prove much here. Honestly the review itself basically tells you the client is bad, especially the part where she writes "this is my honest review."

Hmm

How can I add response I couldnt find. 

Hi Can,

 

Thank you for reaching out. You have 14 days from the end of the contract to leave feedback. If only one party leaves feedback, we will post it after the 14-day period has expired.

 

If the 14-day feedback period expires before you are able to provide your feedback add comments (considering you were able to add a star rating feedback), you will only be able to add feedback if the client enables this on their end.


You can post a response to the client's feedback under the contract's Details tab on the feedback panel. But note that you can only do it within 28 days of the contract ending.

 

Please check this article for more information.

 

**Edited to add and clarify.


~ AJ
Upwork

This seems to be completely unrelated to the question that was asked. 

gilbert-phyllis
Community Member

The best you could do is one sentence stating (not altogether accurately, I suspect) that you and the client managed to miscommunicate about the scope of what could be accomplished within her budget for the assignment. But your job history is sprinkled with sub-par fb and as a prospective client, I would see a pattern of occasional sub-par work and move on. If I were you, I'd refund the money and get that public comment off the screen.(I'd be willing to bet the main reason she paid you for the work she says she couldn't use, was so she could leave fb warning other clients.) 


Phyllis G wrote:

The best you could do is one sentence stating (not altogether accurately, I suspect) that you and the client managed to miscommunicate about the scope of what could be accomplished within her budget for the assignment. But your job history is sprinkled with sub-par fb and as a prospective client, I would see a pattern of occasional sub-par work and move on. If I were you, I'd refund the money and get that public comment off the screen.(I'd be willing to bet the main reason she paid you for the work she says she couldn't use, was so she could leave fb warning other clients.) 


Unfortunately I agree with Phyllis (unfortunate because I think having to ever refund is not good). But the best move for your profile and business is to refund fully the whole $50 so the review is not visible on your profile. 

williamtcooper
Community Member

Hey Can, see if you can fix the work, resubmit, and then get a new Review. Thanks!


William T C wrote:

Hey Can, see if you can fix the work, resubmit, and then get a new Review. Thanks!


That will in no way change the private feedback. I would never recommend a freelancer do free work for a client that is clearly unreasonable. Nor would I recommend they give this client the chance to review them again. Doing free work for a good review is also feedback manipulation. 

 

Do not do this, Can. 

Fixing work which is called a revision isn't free work, but instead, part of providing excellent client service. Of course if the client is requesting Free work, that is against Terms of Use.

Revising work without payment if it isn't under the original scope is free work. 

But what you fail to see is that revising work in return for changing the review is feedback manipulation and against the TOS. 

What you suggested, in the order you suggested it, in the way you suggested it, is feedback manipulation. 

What would you see as the benefit of providing "excellent client service" to a client who isn't and won't become a client, on a test piece that the client likely won't even be using? 

No it's not, that is how a lot of cheap clients try to bully freelancers into free work. There's a reason why in reviews on Google, Yelp etc., people typically disregard one star ratings, because that usually tells you the person is dishonest. Out of 63 contracts here, I had three clients ever who rated me poorly and here are the reasons they did it: (1) I decided to move on from client after they kept cancelling the project and asking for free work, (2) decided to move on from an unresponsive client and (3) I moved on from a client who kept changing the scope of the work and then tried to force me to work without a funded milestone.

Revisions should never be included in a test project; by definition, the client is only paying for a small work sample, not a finished product. 

Well, yeah, agree with that. But from the client's feedback it sounds like what she requested wasn't really 'revision' but corrections where he had -- according to her -- ignored her instructions. If her original specs for the sample exceeded what was reasonable to produce for what she was willing to pay, he should've negotiated a higher fee or passed on the opportunity. If she is in fact lying and he delivered to spec but she then wanted more, then that's what his one-sentence fb response should indicate. Since his history is sprinkled with a few similar feedbacks, in his shoes I'd refund to get this one off the front page. The goal is to regain TR status and continue earning money. The front page of one's UW job history is not a practical place to take a stand on principle.

I agree with Christine.  My understanding is that this is a paid sample.  The client paid $50 for sample work, which by its very definition, is used to make a hiring determination.

At worst, the client should have politely declined the hire by stating something to the effect of "I'm sorry, but you are not what we are looking for at this time" or "we have decided to move forward with other candidates, thank you for your hard work".

The sample is a competency gauge for the client, nothing more.  Asking for revisions falls into "hired for the job" territory.  You would only offer revisions so that the client is provided with excellent client service and satisfaction with the final deliverable.

This client, like a few that I've crossed paths with, is looking for deeply discounted work by manipulating the freelancer.  To leave any type of review for sample work is illogical unless they want to report on the freelancer's attitude or demeanor.  To leave a scathing review, like this client has, is completely out of line and is borderline slandor in my opinion.  A sample is provided to determine suitability, not to drag someone through the mud.

That was very well said, Jeremiah. I think people should understand truly what the purpose of a paid sample is. As a client, if I hire someone for a sample that I don't like, then I don't buy the rest. I just say thanks and move on. But leaving a poor review because the sample turned out to be bad seems unethical and unprofessional to me. 

You seem not to be aware that private feedback can't be changed. 

deborah-ponzio
Community Member

I had a look at the job post, client's history and youtube channel. Looks like she recruited a few freelancers for the same task for a few dollars and, in her feedback to the others, she called it "final product" and articulated about eye for details, etc.

But as you explained, thia was supposed to be a sample job and not for final use.

My overall impression is that this person may have manipulated a request for a sample into a final product worth much more then the actual pay. The job post hints that she may have no budget ("student",  "will be great for your portfolio", etc).

I don't consider that "sample" means "draft". As a client, I would hire a FL to produce a sample in order to see his/her very best work. Otherwise, why bother? As a FL, I consider a paid sample to be an opportunity to showcase my very best work. Otherwise, why bother?

You have a point, Phyllis. However, if a client expects to obtain a number of low-paid samples and collect them all to use them as final products..... I wonder isn't that a manipulation? In case of a video, getting to the final, flawless product seems to require a lot of work. Certainly not a $25-50 value. Looks like a grey area the one between "sample", "draft" and "final video". By scrolling through this client's history and Youtube channel, I got the impression that she is putting together her youtube channel by collecting this low-paid video samples that eventually become final products from several freelencers who wish to get a positive feedback.

If you wish to have a final video to publish, you have to pay for its value, in my view. Could a sample be a 30 sec - 1 minute video instead? I would let video-makers have their say on this as I have no technical knowledge in this area.

This is a very common scam. Even in non-freelance work there are people who use interview "tests" as a way to get free work. This person definitely was not looking for sample, they wanted a full project, but on a sample price. And the biggest red flag is most freelancers do not need to do a sample project to prove their abilities, most of us already have samples, portfolios. In most of these cases you'll find that the person has a history of so called test projects, but no actual real hires.

It seems this client does have a history of test projects, in fact. 

Collecting "low-paid samples" to assemble a finished product only works to the extent FLs are willing to accept "low pay" to produce samples of their own work. If every FL charges their going rate for a sample, then it should matter less or not at all whether the client hires them for the remainder of the project. They've been duly compensated for the work they did. On the other hand, agreeing to a cut-rate fee and delivering cut-rate work is going to end in tears every time. 

I agree with you 100% on this one. Someone here mentioned that the ideal response to a sample request would be the FL's existing portfolio (provided that there is such portfolio). 

Deborah thank you very much for your interest. Yes, as a result, this was a test, I did this paid test, aware of the possibility that she would share it or have someone else revise it and never work with me again. But his politeness and normal manners in our conversation with the customer have nothing to do with the review she made. How many years have I been working at upwork and I have a reputable profile, the reputation of my profile decreases because of such a bad experience. There is a long bad comment on my profile. although $ 50 is a small number, it's not that little money because of the exchange rate in my country, I don't want to return it, after all, it was my right and I earned. I think upwork should be on the side of freelancers in this regard. Please someone help me with this I don't know what to do I also lost my top rated badge which I have been protecting for a long time

You should have used your top-rated perk to have the feedback removed, then. 

I don't want to pile on, but knowing a little bit about how the platfom works can save you a lot of headache. You could have used the perk, but it's too late now. 

Nothing removes private feedback and even when removing the feedback there is a still a note left. Plus, you can't always use it. What Can is saying is correct, Upwork should do more. Clients like this know they can abuse the system. Makes no sense to place all the blame on the freelancer. As freelancers we're constantly working on being better. So should Upwork. That won't happen when we have people in the community telling us to shut up and deal with it.

 

If I was Upwork, I would handle this issue by having JSS take client private feedback into consideration. If a client has very low private feedback, then their feedback should not be taken in consideration. For the public feedback, I think it would be a good idea to add a note stating the feedback comes from a client with low private feedback.

 

See, that's exactly my point. Of course private feedback can be removed. 

It is really important to know this stuff. 

And to your second point, that also already exists. Bad feedback from clients with a history of bad feedback does not count. 

Again, it is really important to know this stuff. 

I've read quite a lot about JSS. Where the JSS does that into consideration, Upwork does not state the criteria for someone being flagged. Jumping to assuming that people in here do not know how Upwork works is not productive community behavior. 

"Nothing removes private feedback"

 

You have two options for removing feedback

  • Remove feedback only from your Job Success Score calculation (the public score and comment will remain visible on your profile).
  • Remove from your Job Success Score and from your profile (the public score will be hidden and the comment will be replaced by "This feedback has been removed.").

With both options public and private feedback will be excluded, and it (public/private) will not count on your JSS score.

I disagree. If he had known that he can remove feedback, he would have done this when there was still time. Now he can't.

If your client is leaving bad feedback and you know that your work deserves good feedback even if you contacted support they would not help you. That's how upwork works. However you can clearly state in your own feedback that you have delivered what you promised and that the client is apprehensive despite that fact. I would suggest that you speak your 2 cents and then move on to the next job, I hope there will be many more for you and that you will not let this experience ruin all the possibilities the future holds. 

Good Luck!!!.

 

Best

H.F

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