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Community Member

Upwork becoming very difficult for Freelancers

Hi Everyone,


Is it only me who thinks that Upwork has become a very difficult place to find work and keep on continuing working here with all there sudden, extortionist and unjust policies for freelancers?

1. They changed the commission for all the projects to 10% which was 5% for long term projects.
2. They increased the membership fee from $15/month to $20/month and guess what reduced the existing perks as well.

3. The most frustrating one is the very abstractly worded policy where Top-rated freelancers cannot request the removal of a bad review even after providing proofs because that interpretation completely depends on how Upwork sees it. I say this because the wordings of this policy change is not providing confidence that if and when such thing happens, Upwork will do justifictaion.

4. There is no way to register complaint against clients bad behaviour, abrupt stoppage/closure of projects with no feedback.

5. And just today, they have increased the Wire transfer fee from $30 to $50 - absolutely ridiculous.

They are just increasing the price of everything and anything but not providing the equivalent value.


I am utterly frustrated with these sudden policy changes and not sure about what is stored in future at Upwork.

Anyone else having similar thoughts and anyway of collectively letting Upwork know how miserable they have made this platform?




Community Member

And yet... the stock price keeps going down!  Upwork Upper Management, what do you think the market might be trying to tell you?  

All the other large freelancing platforms have seen stock prices drop since 2022. The difference is that theirs is minor while Upwork's own is severe. 

Maybe they are too profit driven and it is affecting the stock prices.

Upwork's stock price is HALF of what it was in 2018.  Dismal performance.  

Yeah, they may need to change strategy entirely. 

I just hope we are not in a sinking ship.

Community Member

This week I lost (did not receive) $500 from Upwork.


1) The client simply refunded the fixed price after providing the work with options.

-300 dollars. Dispute and support did not help. Shock. Upwork is not interested in the truth, interests and pain of a freelancer.


2) The second client made a refund of $200 hourly payment from the finished work due to the lack of memos.


I have been working for 7 years and this is my first shocking experience.


Once there was a 100% JSS now it’s unclear what. The more I work and try, the less I earn from Upwork.


I observe with a shudder that we now have to pay for the interview with connections.


I also doubt that further work here is beneficial for me. I am developing other channels.

It is the same problem of demand and supply. They feel they can easily get freelancers and so side with the clients. It wasn't like this some 2 years ago.

Community Member

Hi Ashish,


First of all, I support Upwork making the commission fee a flat rate of 10% across the board. The former rates of 5%, 10%, and 20% were discriminatory to newcomers, and in my own opinion, kind of elitist.


However, you are right in saying the platform has gotten more difficult. If you blame the law of demand and supply, you won't be wrong.


If you look deeper, you will notice the number of freelancers has been increasing tremendously. This is due to numerous factors, but the one most important to us is the massive corporate layoffs in the tech industry. From 2023 till date, numerous companies around the globe have been laying off skilled tech workers. These skilled workers who are in search of a job turn to freelancing to make ends meet. As they already have impressive skills from their past jobs, they increase the competition for the few clients available on the platform.


On the other hand, there has been no increase in clients on the platform. Implying a greater number of freelancers are now competing vigorously for the limited number of jobs available. With this intense competition, it won't be as easy as it was in 2022 to land jobs or even long-term clients.


It will also be worthwhile to note that the platform makes most of its money from commissions, which it gets when a client hires a freelancer and pays for their service. Now, remember that I said the number of jobs/contracts is still the same as the number of clients hasn't increased.


But Upwork needs to make a profit and grow as a business. How can they do that when the money they can earn from commissions is relatively the same? Well... they do that by tapping into the ever-growing pool of freelancers.


Freelancers are now numerous on the platform, so they need to be exploited as the supply of freelancers far exceeds the demand for them. So... how do you tap into this large pool of freelancers? You can do that by introducing policies that increase the revenue you earn from freelancers since it would be problematic to hike the prices of commissions.


This explains the new policies you see, like;

  1. The increased cost of connects to submit a proposal
  2. Using connects to boost your profile
  3. Increasing the cost of Freelancer Plus and introducing new services like AI integration to justify the increased cost.


While what they are doing is unfavorable to freelancers like us. In essence, they are just obeying the law of demand and supply and tapping into an existing opportunity. It may seem wrong to you, but in the end, they are a profit-driven business and it is almost criminal, for a profit-driven company to see a market opportunity and not tap into it.


So buckle your belt, dig in, and struggle harder, like we all are. I will be lying if I say it is easy. But, we have to do it. The law of demand and supply is now against freelancers.

I don’t believe in such concepts as “all the money has already been earned before us.” There are more freelancers, but companies now resorting to outsourcing with the help of freelancers are also growing.

They know that the supply of freelancers is endless as companies are doing massive layoffs. This is why they keep looking for new ways to fleece freelancers.


I also hope you are aware of the new policy of charging connects before you submit an invited proposal. It is sad.

Community Member

Hi Ashish,

I share your frustration with Upwork's recent policy changes. The increase in commissions, subscription fees, and wire transfer fees, along with the difficulty in reporting inappropriate client behavior, make the platform more challenging for us. It would be helpful if we, as a community of freelancers, collectively voiced our concerns to Upwork to improve the situation.


Obey Diop

We have been voicing our concerns. If you are on Linkedin, you will also see the deluge of complaints Upwork has been receiving from freelancers. 
The only way to make them hear is to form something like a union. But... is that possible?

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