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procountants
Community Member

Unfair Upwork AI JSS

Hi Upwork Fam,

 

I was unfortunate to work with a client who was racist and just not fair. 

 

I worked with him for more than 1.5 years and set his entire finance workflow. Before me, he was using two different systems like quickboks - one for Income and the other one for expense. But after me, his entire finace was in order and infact I gave him services which were outside my portfolio as well. But if anything went wrong, he used to create such a fuss and made me work even till 4 AM sometimes. But while he did this, he used to say things that were so hurtful. I could not even end the contract as he had the power to flip my whole JSS over with a terrible rating so I had to suck it up.

 

Just recently, I was on a vacation for my honeymoon. He really needed my help and asked me to work everyday on this project. I tried to do my best but there were three days when I had no network at all and could not work. This is when he crossed the line. He's like, are all Indians like this? Not abiding by your word? Is this in your culture? I still had to suck it all up because he was my biggest client and whatever he does to my ratings was going to have a major impact.

 

Yesterday he closed my contract as he sold his company (He literally worked with me till the very end!). My client satisfaction is down to 75 from 100. My JSS is yet to update today.

 

I had to go through so much just to keep my JSS up. And if he had issues with my work, he literally spent close to 80 weeks with me, he could have just ended the contract long back. I really think the JSS AI needs to be updated.

 

Though I can remove his feedback from JSS score with my top rated batch tomorrow, its just unfair that I have to use this power with such a client. I have quit my job and I am 100% freelancing now. But the sad part is, my fate still depends on clients like these who could say whatever that want and get away with it. 

 

I have/am working with other clients as well and they are extremely happy with my work. But this guy, who was almost my first client has so much power over my JSS. Can anything be done? And what are my options apart from using my Top rated power. 

 

I would not be able to provide proof because the client deleted the slack workspace.

 

We, as freelancers, have our entire livelihoods depeneding on Upwork. I think JSS needs to be a little better designed to keep a balance between the buy and sell side. 

 

Regards,

Anuraag

20 REPLIES 20
creativedaniel
Community Member

Hi Anuraag,

 

I am so sorry to hear that. I completely understand how you feel mate! I had gone through the same kind of client. I know exactly what you mean when you said you need to suck it all up!

 

I also hope that Upwork would add an update to how the JSS score gets affected by a long-term contract.

 

One thing I could suggest to Upwork is that if the contract gets past let's say 3 months, or went past 160 hours mark then that already means that the client is already very satisfied with the freelancer as they've been working for quiet some time already.

 

If the contract is ended past these conditions then it shouldn't affect JSS the score that much NEGATIVELY, but still should affect it greatly POSITIVELY if it ended good, even if the relationship got sour.

 

This way an abusive relationship like this would be prevented.

 

I completely feel for this man. I went through the same experience with multiple clients.

 

The victim here is actually not only the freelancers, but also our family. I myself is currently suffering, I am currently in a 44 application spree but only got 3 replies, still no luck getting hired and I am pretty sure it is because of a negative review that my last client left me.

 

Kind Regards,

Daniel

feed_my_eyes
Community Member

You have your top rated badge and can easily remove the feedback; that's the measure that Upwork has in place to deal with occasional bad clients, and it's more than fair. I'm surprised that you didn't stop working with this client a long time ago. If he used any abusive or racist language, you can report these messages.

The fact that he has more power on my JSS than any other client, stopped me from even raising my concerns (Had to just suck it all up!). And Can I still report these? We spoke on slack but I have no proof of that since the client has deleted that workspace entirely on Slack. 

He didn't have any power; you could have ended the contract at any time and used your feedback removal perk. (If you kept working for him to prevent this from ending badly, then it didn't work out, did it. All you did was delay the inevitable and give even more weight to his feedback.) And no, if you have no proof of the abusive language, then you can't report him at this point. 

martina_plaschka
Community Member

1. Nobody forces you to work with any client. It is up to you to set boundaries, report abuse, keep your work-life balance. Nobody is going to do it for you. 

2. The top rated perk is a perk. It is a benefit. I don't complain about getting benefits, and I don't know why you do. 

We, as freelancers, have our entire livelihoods depeneding on Upwork. 

3. It is very unwise to put all your eggs into one basket, on upwork, and anywhere else. 

You are running a business. You are not at the mercy of anyone. And no, it makes no sense to complain now about messages that were not even on upwork. Why did you keep working for him and complain months later? Makes no sense. 

1. I think I already cleared why I could not stop working with the client. That's what the whole post is about.

2. I did not complain about my Top rated perk anywhere in my post. I am glad I have it to defend my JSS on such occassions. My post is about how a client can get away with saying all this because clients have more power on Upwork. Like any move by the client will basically impact my JSS which inturn impacts my client conversion. I don't have any such power because of the crazy demand supply ratio on this platform.

3. I don't really get the relavance of this on this post. I mean, are you telling me that just because the contract is too big, I should stop working and get newer clients because I am "too invested" in that client? I am a bookeeper. Most of my clients are going to be long term. 

 

 

1. I think I already cleared why I could not stop working with the client. That's what the whole post is about.

No client can take you hostage. Ever. 

tjmisny
Community Member

Hi Anuraag --

 

I'm very sorry you had to deal with this abusive, racist client.  It's also sad how many people in this thread are Victim Blaming, putting blame on YOU for not leaving the relationship sooner.  Blaming the victim is another form of racism.  What happened to you is not acceptable.  Nobody on this site should have to endure racism.  I hope you are able to bring this up to Upwork and get this **bleep** Client banned from using Upwork.

 

 

Nobody said he should put up with racism. Absolutely he should not. But it is up to us as freelancers to take charge of our own decisions. If a client is abusive but for some reason continues to provide work, no one else is going to end that relationship -- only the freelancer. The mindset of allowing clients to abuse and walk all over us out of fear of bad reviews is clearly unhelpful. It's pretty obvious that that is what other posters here are saying, not that anyone should put up with abuse.

Read the posts.  People in this thread are victim blaming.  Here is one selection that took me 20 seconds to pull:

 

 Why did you keep working for him and complain months later? Makes no sense.

 

This sentence of yours is also putting the onus on the abused, not the abuser:

 

If a client is abusive but for some reason continues to provide work, no one else is going to end that relationship -- only the freelancer.

 

It's disheartening to see so many people in positions of privledge offering feedback on how not to be abused, as a "helpful?" response to a person reporting abuse. 

I think you're the only one in this entire thread who ACTUALLY understood the sentiments behind this post.

 

It tooke me close to 150 proposals to score a decent client. I have mentioned that he was one of my very first clients. Being new to Upwork, that itself was a victory. How could I just end the contract? I had worked hard. I did not have the luxury of just closing contracts then like the other freelancers on this post have. Instead of asking me to close the contract, my question is what gives him the authority to speak to me like that? THIS needs to be addressed.

 

Moreover, by the time I became top rated (When I got the perks of removing his feedback), he was already a very big account for me. So I just had to suck it up. 

 

All I am asking is, JSS needs to be balanced and not just client centric. 

 


Anuraag M wrote:

I think you're the only one in this entire thread who ACTUALLY understood the sentiments behind this post.

 

It tooke me close to 150 proposals to score a decent client. I have mentioned that he was one of my very first clients. Being new to Upwork, that itself was a victory. How could I just end the contract? I had worked hard. I did not have the luxury of just closing contracts then like the other freelancers on this post have. Instead of asking me to close the contract, my question is what gives him the authority to speak to me like that? THIS needs to be addressed.


Yes, it needed to be addressed, but who was going to address it, if you didn't? One of the things that every freelancer needs to learn is how to establish boundaries. If you haven't learned from this experience (not just blaming Upwork for their JSS policies, but realizing that you had the power to end the contract), then it can happen to you again. We are trying to give you sound advice, which is not the same thing as "blaming" you.

Nothing you are saying is incorrect --  it's just not a helpful thing to tell somebody who is a victim of abuse.  In real life, many, many victims of abuse don't report while the abuse is occurring, for a myriad of reasons including fear of retaliation, fear of judgement and other social/internal pressures.  It's not helpful to point these things out to someone at this stage, to put yourself in a position of expertise to someone whose experiences are unlike yours.  Sometimes its helpful to listen and validate someone's experience without trying to be an expert or an authority.  It's way too easy to tell a victim that they should have spoken up.  Maybe instead consider and reflect upon all the reasons why it wasn't the choice this person made... and what systemic factors within Upwork made that the case?  

Let's not get carried away here. The OP had a client who was a jerk, which is something that has happened to all of us at one time or another, and everyone to whom it happens worries that we're going to get a bad review. The substance of his post seems to be that Upwork is to blame for this happening to him, by allowing clients to review our work (even though he has already used his perk to remove the review). 

Thomas, if a client abuses you verbally, makes you work more hours than you feel you are getting paid for, who will end this relationship? Not the client, he is getting what he wants from this freelancer. Who can end it? Who should end it? Keeping in mind that the freelancer is top-rated and can remove bad feedback at any time?

Maybe stop calling it victim blaming, when you should call it empowerment. The goal of my message is to empower the freelancer to realize he is NOT a victim or hostage of any client. I don't know how that can be misunderstood. 

If a client is out of line, he/she needs to be reported to upwork IMMEDIATELY, not weeks or months later after he left bad feedback for the freelancer, which can be taken as retaliatory. The freelancer has a better chance to be taken seriously and action taken on the client if he acts in a timely manner. 

Not saying he can't still do it, he has put himself in an unfavorable position, on top of that the conversation is not on upwork, so can't be checked, which is another disadvantage. 

If something goes wrong, act immediately.

I know I am in an unfavourable position but in a field like bookkeeping, you're kind of a part of the employers organization. They would not talk to you over Upwork but kinda talk on their messaging systems which is used by their entire organization. Not saying this is right, but this is more practical in long term contracts.

I understand. I would use the perk now to remove the feedback, if I were you. 

Already done. My JSS just updated and I have asked them to remove the feedback. Been worried the entire day and now finally getting done with it.

f1f1b3be
Community Member

Happens to the best of us in the freelancing world. Unfortunately the JSS score is completely flawed and gives the client this sense of power over us Freelancers because they know the importance of it. The reality is a high volume of clients who come to Upwork want everything for nothing and there is a higher chance of getting trapped in this loop; especially if you're top rated and you can only remove 1 every certain amount of clients/or months. In the real world this might be enough; but on a platform such as Upwork to expect to only get 1 bad client out of every 10 or every 3 months is a fairytale or a dream.

I've only been on the platform 4 months; but I am top rated with 100% JSS and 96% Recommendation and have already experienced multiple clients who I've had to suck it up and deal with it until the end of the contract. Sometimes having to go above and beyond the scope of the original contract just to ensure they were content and in the end gave positive feedback. I've probably done over 100 hrs unpaid work over the course of 4 months as a result of this "control" upwork gives the client over us. 

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