Reply
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Reply

Unreliable, unresponsive clients

Active Member
Kriszta P Member Since: May 20, 2019
1 of 13

Hi,

I have registered to Upwork 2 months ago, now I'm a rising talent. I have applied to 30-40 jobs with relevant, professional, personal proposals, to which I've received 7 replies:

- 2 of the clients have disappeared after a long negotiation, to my all positive replies, without even saying "thanks but no thanks"

- 1 was promising to call at [...] more than 6 times (to my surprise, he did indeed at the 7th time)

- One I declined, after he offered an USD 1500 budget, but it turned out to be about 100 times less

- One I started working with, after disappearing twice from meetings, I gave a third chance, then broke the contract when he disappeared for good

- 1 turned up 1.5 hr late from a meeting, then I said I have to leave, maybe later - no reply to that at all

- I had a disagreement with another one over the budget. BTW this was not the first time I have seen clients expecting freelancers to translate several pages (to a rare language, needing expertise for a special text, eg. Google Ads) for a total USD 5-10 (he was shocked that I offered double that price, then... disappeared!)

 

Am I really the only one being extremely unlucky, or is my suspicion correct that quality control of freelancers is really low, and it's general that they are humiliating and taking advantage of freelancers?

 

It's not at all just a rhetorical question. I'm thinking about giving up on Upwork, as it's just causing me tons of unpaid work and a lower and lower self-esteem.

 

Thanks for any inputs.

Community Guru
Sergio S Member Since: Dec 19, 2017
2 of 13

Welcome to the club! Smiley LOL

 

But no, you can't call yourself "extremely unlucky" after 2 months, 30-40 proposals sent and 7 interviews. You are indeed very lucky! You are probably doing the right thing since you have already landed a first job at a decent price for an UW starter. Most newcomers spend months without any single answer, believe me.

 

What happens is that there are tons but TONS of freelancers here and not so many job opportunities in comparison. Among the tons of freelancers there are many that work for peanuts (which goes clearly against professionalism) but they have become top rated that way. There are cheap clients who like working with those, though sooner or later they understand cheap is not always good. Then you have professionals with a high hourly rate who are always busy, receiving offers all the time even being expensive workers, but they have been here for many years.

 

Now, it's good you started with a decent hourly rate and it's good you were interviewed. Maybe you just need to adjust your aim a little, check their history before sending a proposal for example, check what they have been paying to others, use the search filters, etc. Don't think about the ones who have declined after discussing for long, or who have disappeared suddenly. You will need to get used to that. Sometimes projects just change, they change project managers or they find what they want in another platform. Don't expect them to come here and leave a line for you, that would be in an ideal world but not here.

 

You are right about texts in a rare language. Hungarian is not easy and not many people outside the country are able to manage it, so you have an advantage there. Don't get discouraged, but here you will need lots of patience. Once you cut your teeth things will improve for sure.

Active Member
Kriszta P Member Since: May 20, 2019
3 of 13

Thanks a lot!

 

Do you think it's a good strategy to start with much lower rates (e.g. 50%), then raise it bit by bit? I have been quite reluctant because 1.) I don't want it to be shown on my profile that I have accepted lower than the appropriate rates - I'm afraid it "sticks", 2.) I have 10-year experience managing international projects for even higher rates, 3.) I have a family to maintain...

Community Guru
Sergio S Member Since: Dec 19, 2017
4 of 13

I think you started with a good rate. I wouldn't lower it because it happens what you described. If you charge $5/hr as some people do then you land in the cheap worker category and it's very hard to get out of it, because no-one is willing to pay you more than that. Maybe the rate you have now is not what you would like but you can raise it bit by bit while you are building a portfolio. I believe the hardest fact of online freelancing is that when you start you may be a genius with 20 or more years of experience in the real world but here you are a newbie and what counts is mostly the experience you get inside the platform.

 

As for the family, I agree. Just don't rely on this exclusively for now. It's not impossible to make a living working here but it takes quite a bit of time. Stay active, read the forum and articles and you will find your way through the jungle.

Active Member
Kriszta P Member Since: May 20, 2019
5 of 13

Thanks again,what you wrote is very useful! I'm glad you see it that way - I'll keep on trying...

Community Guru
Martina P Member Since: Jul 11, 2018
6 of 13

Kriszta P wrote:

Hi,

I have registered to Upwork 2 months ago, now I'm a rising talent. I have applied to 30-40 jobs with relevant, professional, personal proposals, to which I've received 7 replies:

- 2 of the clients have disappeared after a long negotiation, to my all positive replies, without even saying "thanks but no thanks"

- 1 was promising to call at [...] more than 6 times (to my surprise, he did indeed at the 7th time)

- One I declined, after he offered an USD 1500 budget, but it turned out to be about 100 times less

- One I started working with, after disappearing twice from meetings, I gave a third chance, then broke the contract when he disappeared for good

- 1 turned up 1.5 hr late from a meeting, then I said I have to leave, maybe later - no reply to that at all

- I had a disagreement with another one over the budget. BTW this was not the first time I have seen clients expecting freelancers to translate several pages (to a rare language, needing expertise for a special text, eg. Google Ads) for a total USD 5-10 (he was shocked that I offered double that price, then... disappeared!)

 

Am I really the only one being extremely unlucky, or is my suspicion correct that quality control of freelancers is really low, and it's general that they are humiliating and taking advantage of freelancers?

 

It's not at all just a rhetorical question. I'm thinking about giving up on Upwork, as it's just causing me tons of unpaid work and a lower and lower self-esteem.

 

Thanks for any inputs.


It is unfortunate that you offer skills that probably need personal contact. I've never talked to a client on the phone, ever, don't need to have meetings, so my life is much easier. 

On the other hand, could you structure your work to require less meetings? I understand your frustration, but there are nice and reliable clients out there, but also a lot of scammers and people wanting to pay peanuts. 

Active Member
Kriszta P Member Since: May 20, 2019
7 of 13

Hi, thanks for your feedback!

Yes, I'm afraid it also depends on job type - with marketing management, it's hard to persuade anyone that I'm competent without preparing and showing something of my strategy. And it's hard to predict the amount of work if I don't know anything about the client's status, communication activities, competitors etc. But you're right, I will aim to prepare as little as possible without any contract.

Community Guru
Martina P Member Since: Jul 11, 2018
8 of 13

Kriszta P wrote:

Hi, thanks for your feedback!

Yes, I'm afraid it also depends on job type - with marketing management, it's hard to persuade anyone that I'm competent without preparing and showing something of my strategy. And it's hard to predict the amount of work if I don't know anything about the client's status, communication activities, competitors etc. But you're right, I will aim to prepare as little as possible without any contract.


You should aim to not do any work without a contract. If the client wants to discuss anything with you, he should pay for your time. 

Active Member
Kriszta P Member Since: May 20, 2019
9 of 13

OK, thanks again, good to know! I have been a bit afraid to be such assertive, being new here...

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
10 of 13

re: "Am I really the only one being extremely unlucky, or is my suspicion correct that quality control of clients is really low, and it's general that they are humiliating and taking advantage of freelancers?"

 

I don't doubt that the original poster had a frustrating experience.

 

But Upwork doesn't do "quality control" on clients.

As freelancers, we WANT to allow EVERYBODY to come here and pay us money.

 

if a client violates Upwork ToS, then she may well need to be removed from the system.

But we don't want to do quality checks on people as they come in the door.

 

My neighbor works at a mental hospital, which includes a wing for violent insane people. He says that he and the other employees there refer to the patients as "clients."

 

Some of the clients there do things far worse than what the original poster's client has done. Some of these clients' actions send employees to the hospital.

 

But the professionals there - as on Upwork - need to be able to handle situations.

 

If Upwork clients are unreliable or unresponsive, freelancers need to have strategies for dealing with this. We can not expect that Upwork will prevent us from ever encountering such people.

TOP SOLUTION AUTHORS
TOP KUDOED MEMBERS