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Upwork Terms of Use violations

Community Leader
william b Member Since: Jan 3, 2015
1 of 19

In Upwork's Terms of Use there is a very specific instruction-

"4.1 EXAMPLES OF PROHIBITED USES OF THE SITE

The following are examples of uses that are prohibited on the Site or when using the Site Services: 

Fraudulent or misleading uses or content, including:

Misrepresenting your experience, skills, or INFORMATION"

 

Despite this very clear instruction I cannot count the number of times clients are allowed to deliberately use intentionally misleading deadline information, such as- 

"URGENT, NEED TODAY"

"Need xxxx tonight"

"Must deliver in the next 3 hours" etc, etc, etc. and ad nauseum.

 

After the vast majority of these jobs go abandoned (0 interviews, 0 hires) for days and then weeks and are subsequently flagged multiple times, I typically report these cases to the "Help" Center.

The cut & paste response I ALWAYS receive is-

"I've escalated your concern about the reported client and his/her job post to our Marketplace quality team and upon their inspection, they haven't found enough evidence to sanction the client for violation against Upwork's Terms of service."

 

While delibrately ignorant, incredibly lazy, totally apathetic and completely ignoring all professional obligations of "Help & Support", in the past I've let it ride.

 

Now, however, CONNECTS COST MONEY.

Due to this economic reality, the Upwork "Help" Center needs to step it up and provide a higher level of service and a much more active commitment to "maintaining a safe and thriving online workspace."

 

I have to believe that the Upwork Terms of Use exist for a reason and that reason cannot be solely to cater to the whims of fraudulent clients.

I also realize I may be the only one who feels this way.

 

Work smart, work safe!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
2 of 19

William:

Are you saying that at this point, you are no longer interested in sending proposals to job postings which state that they are for urgent tasks?

 

That is certainly your right.

Just as other freelancers have a right to make a different decision.

 

Many of the jobs I post specifically state that I want somebody to work with me "right now," and I typically hire the first applicant and then close the job posting. This is a very effective way to hire quickly. I have come to appreciate a large number of excellent freelancers who specifically look for these types of urgent, short-term jobs.

 

Maybe quality freelancers are willing to send proposals to my job postings because they see my stats as a client and they know I have an extremely high hire-rate.

 

It is fine if that is not your niche.

Community Leader
william b Member Since: Jan 3, 2015
3 of 19

PH,

 

I'm saying that you are certainly in the extreme minority of legitimate clients who actually require services, "right now", and therefore are actually serious about hiring.

In my 8 years of experience, I would suggest that over 80% of such "right now" clients are scammers trolling for entirely fraudulent purposes of their own.

 

I  trust that any experienced FL is well aware of such fraudulent behaviour, but many inexperienced FL's may not be so circumspect.

This information was for the benefit of the latter.

 

Work smart, work safe!

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
4 of 19

Good advice.

 

Not much can be done about new clients. But if a client has a history... freelancers can look at their hire rate as well as their past job feedback and average feedback scores to freelancers... All of which can help freelancers decide if the client is somebody whose job is one they should apply to.

Community Leader
william b Member Since: Jan 3, 2015
5 of 19

P,

 

Yes.

We are in agreement.

 

Hopefully some specific understanding of the ToU will also help all FL's know how to take positive action towards helping to maintain a safe and thriving online workspace.

 

I may be mistaken, but I believe the "Help" Center is there to...help, as well?

Community Guru
Richard S Member Since: Mar 12, 2019
6 of 19

Hi Will,

 

I've picked up a number of jobs which have been described by the client as urgent. They havn't been scammers and there has been no misinformation.

 

Even if they hadn't hired me or anyone else via Upwork, why would that mean that jobs were not genuine?

Community Leader
william b Member Since: Jan 3, 2015
7 of 19

RS,

 

As have I.

The crucial passage that perhaps you missed was-

"After the vast majority of these jobs go abandoned (0 interviews, 0 hires) for days and then weeks and are subsequently flagged multiple times, I typically report these cases to the "Help" Center. "

 

I'm sure we all understand that if I hire a plumber to fix my toilet at his earliest availability, then I'll have to pay a certain price.

If I hire that same plumber (or any plumber) to fix my toilet RIGHT NOW/TONIGHT...then I must be prepared to pay a very, very different price.

 

The issue, like the UW Terms of Use, is unmistakably, undeniably clear.

Whether any of us care about or choose to honor such standards appears to be a matter of UW debate.

 

Work smart, work safe!

(and keep your UW "support" expectations very, very low)

 

 

Community Guru
Richard S Member Since: Mar 12, 2019
8 of 19

william b wrote:

RS,

 

As have I.

The crucial passage that perhaps you missed was-

"After the vast majority of these jobs go abandoned (0 interviews, 0 hires) for days and then weeks and are subsequently flagged multiple times, I typically report these cases to the "Help" Center. "

 

I'm sure we all understand that if I hire a plumber to fix my toilet at his earliest availability, then I'll have to pay a certain price.

If I hire that same plumber (or any plumber) to fix my toilet RIGHT NOW/TONIGHT...then I must be prepared to pay a very, very different price.

 

The issue, like the UW Terms of Use, is unmistakably, undeniably clear.

Whether any of us care about or choose to honor such standards appears to be a matter of UW debate.

 

Work smart, work safe!

(and keep your UW "support" expectations very, very low)

 

 


Good, then you know that some (if not all) of these posts are genuine. I honestly don't understand your criticism of UW simply because you didn't 'win' the tasks you are applying for, or because no one is hired through the site. Maybe the job was cancelled, maybe they hired on a different site, maybe no one that applied was considered suitable for the work? 

Moderator
Valeria K Moderator Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
BEST ANSWER
9 of 19

Hi William,

 

Thank you for raising your concerns about these types of posts again. As was stated in the support tickets, we do not agree with your interpretation that these jobs are in violation of the Terms of Service. While we work tirelessly to keep Upwork safe and free from fraud, we do not guarantee that we will remove content simply because it is potentially subject to an interpretation that it violates the Terms of Service. Upwork explicitly reserves the right, but is not obligated, to remove content that other users complain about.  As is explained in the Terms of Use:
 
We reserve the right, but do not assume the obligation, to investigate any potential violation of this Section 4 or any other potential violation of these Site Terms of Use and to remove, disable access to, or modify any content on the Site.... We do not guarantee we will take action against all breaches of these Terms of Use or the User Agreement.
To be clear, we do not agree with your interpretation on these types of posts since the failure to engage a freelancer could be due to a number of factors (for example, perhaps there were no viable candidates within the deadline). In addition, we do not believe they are harmful to the community.  Therefore, we do not now and have no plans in future to remove them. We suggest that you avoid these types of posts in the future if you are concerned about the intention of the client.   
~ Valeria
Untitled
Community Leader
william b Member Since: Jan 3, 2015
10 of 19

VK,

 

Of course Upwork (or you) need ever "assume the obligation" of maintaining a safe and thriving online workspace, and you may always choose to ignore intentional, deliberate and/or obvious violations of the ToU along with repeated, ongoing fraud.

But to be clear, this is no subjective "interpretation" of Upwork's very clear, reasonable, strictly legal Terms that will explain this ignorance.

 

As I specifically mentioned, in far too many cases post information is egregiously misleading and obviously fraudulent. (as time tells)

UW and the UW "Help & Support" Center (and you, apparently) can either choose to honor its own Terms, or choose to blithely ignore their own strict definitions in favor of dodging all professional responsibility. 

As FLs we can all do the same.

 

It goes without saying that this constitutes a stunningly arrogant amount of professional apathy to maintain.

The very good news is that when we are all out of work, we won't have to wonder why it happened.

 

Thanks so much for your diligent efforts in that direction.

 

 

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