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Unfair Review

shauzer
Active

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?

ACCEPTED SOLUTION
a_lipsey
Community Guru

If you make it to top-rated you can have the bad review removed, but you don't  have a JSS yet even so that will be a while. He didn't leave any comments, it seems, just the low star numbers, as far as I can see. You're stuck with it for now.  

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15 REPLIES 15
a_lipsey
Community Guru

If you make it to top-rated you can have the bad review removed, but you don't  have a JSS yet even so that will be a while. He didn't leave any comments, it seems, just the low star numbers, as far as I can see. You're stuck with it for now.  

That's fair, I'll persevere. Thanks for the quick reply.

petra_r
Community Guru

Sean G wrote:

 

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?


The only way to get rid of it is a full refund. I am not suggesting you do that, just telling you that it's the only way- However, even if you do refund and the feedback vanishes from your profile, it will still affect your Job Success Score when you get one, which will be soon and the JSS you will get will be very poor.

I see a recent score which is clearly lower than one might have hoped for.

 

BUT: There is absolutely no written commentary.

So it's just a number... Which is better than a low number accompanied by negative commentary.

 

You'll need to decide whether or not to give a full refund to remove it from your profile.

 

Personally, I don't think you need to do anything about it.

 

Do a few more jobs successfully, and this score will not even be seen by most clients, because it will be lower down on your profile history and won't be displayed unless a client clicks "View More."

 

I have hired over 100 freelancers. I don't look carefully at every aspect of every freelancer's profile when I receive submissions.

 

When I hire, the two most common ways I decide are:

a) looking at the freelancer's portfolio and nothing else

b) hiring the first person who applies

 

This only applies to myself, of course. I can't speak for other clients, and I know that feedback scores for past jobs ARE important for many. Overall, I think there will be clients who will not hire you because of this, and there will be other who won't notice it or won't care.

The "only" problem was that your first draft was written for the wrong age group? Understanding your client's target market is pretty much the most important part of any job (and I see that your client specified the age group right in his job description). You sound a bit cavalier about this mistake.

Christine A wrote:
The "only" problem was that your first draft was written for the wrong age group? Understanding your client's target market is pretty much the most important part of any job (and I see that your client specified the age group right in his job description). You sound a bit cavalier about this mistake.

But he was ghosted for "ages" /s

What I wrote would've been fine for say ten years and up, a simple edit could have made it right. I get what you're saying and I'm sorry for not specifying but trust me, it wasn't that big of an error with this specific piece.

I am suggesting you provide a full refund, if that removes the rating.  Unless this would impact your ability to feed and house yourself.  The JSS is our most important business asset.   Early ratings are also super-vital.

With the caveat of economic circumstances discussed: I recommend you get as far away from that rating as you can be.

Ghosting.  Kill fee.  These are words of a professional consultancy and trained consultant. If so - if you have perhaps worked in the Big Four, or a professional consultancy - and are working here on the side, I'd enjoy meeting you through private Upwork email.  I keep my profile private, as I wear "many hats" on the other side of the Upwork profile.  Simply to relate
7-year Upworker
2800 hours
100% JSS
72 projects.

Perhaps I have some skillsets to share with you.  I like your language.  There is a story there.

bizwriterjohn
Community Guru

**edited for Community Guidelines**


You use the word ghosting and kill fee.  Those are professional consultancy words.

Just in case you bypass this simple offer to establish a quick dialog about the mistakes made and how to not make them again:  this is vital.

Shutting down the project was the worst thing to do.  It further enraged the client and best case, he would have calmed down and not left ratings.  Now you have the JSS penalty of (a) shutting the project down (b) bad public ratings and (c) no telling what he might have left in private ratings we don't see.  Worrisome.

The next time you have a problem-child client who is likely to give you a bad review.

1. Keep the job open for some period of months.  Let the relationship detox
2. Wait for a 3-day holiday weekend.  Memorial day would have been this one,
3. Close the project down around 4pm on Friday, before the 3 day weekend.
4. You have the best shot at not getting negative ratings.

Best case, he is travelling, doesn't want to bother, forgets about leaving ratings, and your only ding is no ratings, vs. this could-be-catastrophic first time out.  We'll talk about how to make sure that does not happen also in our informal chat.

I hope your staff utilization factor balances out to your personal needs and income production.  Remember, load balancing is difficult as the utilization curve cannot be predicted but on the good news side, I don't have to speak to you in consulancy-ese.

I hope you get as much work as you want.  It might be challenging to not be overworked or underworked in a given week, and we can't predict how much work we will win.

Time in seat.  I have written a lot. **edited for Community Guidelines**



bizwriterjohn
Community Guru

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".



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
Upwork
petra_r
Community Guru

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.

 

 

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.

martina_plaschka
Community Guru

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!

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.

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