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Unknown error in the request -- All time wasted

Ace Contributor
Francesco O Member Since: Mar 24, 2016
1 of 9

There are many small bugs in the Upwork interface, but this one makes me very angry when it happens and it makes me waste a lot of time, so at least i will rant a bit here about it.


So i sift through the sea of job offers to find a relevant one, i write a long proposal, to the point, i answer the client's answers in detail, i try to put some effort to write something meaningful. I click on submit. Upwork tells me that there was an unknown error. The proposal has been lost, all wasted time. The job offer is a good opportunity to me but i am too angry now, if i wrote it again it would probably not sound very nice and friendly.


Now, do you understand that we are forced to put a lot of time in writing proposals? Do you understand that the text is valuable for us, and you can't just drop it away as if it was worth nothing? Use client-side technologies, use local storage, use any simple stupid workaround, but don't throw away our time. What are we supposed to do, to copy these proposals elsewhere every time just in case Upwork throws it away again? You know how many times in a day some people would be forced to copy and paste proposals and answers elsewhere?


Sorry ... i am angry. You've got some the best programmers in the world i would hope, and failing more gracefully doesn't seem that hard ... it just feels as you don't care

Active Member
Jelena G Member Since: Oct 21, 2016
2 of 9

I experienced the same thing in the last 10 minutes — so I understand the frustration. Writing a response in another application is a good option — as with any web-based form, it saves us from having to re-write everything in case the submission is lost. 


I am still unable to answer the proposal I received. I imagine there must be an ongoing UpWork system error...


Good luck to you, Francesco!





Ace Contributor
Laura M Member Since: Mar 8, 2016
3 of 9

If you've spent a lot of time on a proposal, just before you hit submit select all and copy. That just puts the text on your clipboard and then if it messes up, you can either open a text document and paste or open a new file and paste, but you don't have to write in another program every time. It's a couple of extra keystrokes, but nice for peace of mind. If the site crashes mid-writing, you're done for, but this takes care of the worst issues.

Community Guru
Amanda F Member Since: Aug 8, 2015
4 of 9

This is what I do all the time since it started happening to me a few times. I copy it just in case before I submit. 

Ace Contributor
Francesco O Member Since: Mar 24, 2016
5 of 9

@Jelena G wrote:

as with any web-based form, it saves us from having to re-write everything in case the submission is lost.

Thanks everybody for your understanding. I know the workarounds, just i happen to be a programmer and i know that the solution to this problem is technically embarassingly simple. See just, one of the few things which pops up while Googling on the topic. Not any web-based form has this issue, just forms where there is no attention paid to the users.


I know i can copy and paste, it just doesn't feel like 2016, it doesn't feel like the major platform for remote work on the web. Anyway. I hope that someone at Upwork will pick this and try to make our lives less frustrating.


Ace Contributor
Laura M Member Since: Mar 8, 2016
6 of 9

Ya know, I'm sure it is very simple for Upwork to fix the issue/error you're specifically referencing, but in the past I've had my browser crash, or a program crash or so many things and a simple ctr-a ctr-c has saved me so much time even when it isn't the site's fault. I just think it's a good practice to get into.

(Not to say that I don't love chrome's ability to bring websites back, but it won't/can't bring back lost text.)

Community Guru
Pandora H Member Since: May 11, 2010
7 of 9

I highly recommend typing up your Cover Letters in a text editor like MS Word (or google docs) so you can spellcheck and all that.


I also save my bids for later reference. And having run into the same problem the OP mentions, this also solve issues with the interface if there are submit problems.


One solution that solves many issues. Try it out.


Edit: Clarity

Community Manager
Valeria K Community Manager Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
8 of 9

Hi Francesco,


The issue you are having may be due to temporary issues with certain parts of Upwork. Our engineers are working on it and you can check this page for updates. If you experience the issue more often, please submit a ticket to customer support. Meanwhile, please use the workaround to save the text of your proposal on your computer before submitting it that others shared.


Sorry about the inconvenience.

~ Valeria
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
9 of 9

Some good suggestions from Francesco.


But for now (and even if his suggestions are implemented):

Just copy and paste to somewhere before submitting if you want to guarantee that you won't need to retype it.


No back-end JavaScript trick that works with SOME browsers is guaranteed to work all the time: especially with forms that haven't implemented that trick.


The incredibly useful thing about Upwork is that it can put you in contact with real clients willing to pay you real money. Upwork's primary value is not in having submission forms which are universally guaranteed to never fail.