Amanda L wrote:
Well, it is protection to a degree, but it is not a guarantee, and that's the difference. Hourly projects have a guarantee. We do get some protection on fixed price, and that's through the escrow system, and the automatic payment after 14 days. However, that does not protect us against fraud. Even on an hourly contract, you are only protected up to $2500. I've had a single contract go well over that in a week on an hourly contract. There is no complete guarantee or full/100% protection. There is reduced risk, but not zero risk. While it's clear this is true when reading the TOS, Upwork could do a better job educating new freelancers about the levels of risk and protection, so that freelancers can take additional steps when they vet clients.
It's misleading. There really isn't any protection. Protection implies that your payment is protected in some way, but it's only escrow and no more "protection" than if I took a payment on Paypal. There is a charge on a card and that is it. I can get that from an escrow service.
Hourly protects you in some way even if there is a limit, so there is indeed payment protection.
I apologize for the inconveniance this cause and for the delay in receiving an update. I'll go ahead and follow up with the team handling your case and you can expect to receive an update on your ticket directly.
Thank you for your patience.
In the Forum, I always try to figure out what the original poster did wrong. Because if we can figure out what they did wrong, they can learn from their mistakes and simply not make the same mistake again.
Unfortunately, I don't think there is something you "did wrong."
You were unfortunate in this situation, which I really don't think was your fault. Your situation illustrates a clear imperfection in the system. Your fixed-price contract work was not protected from payment fraud.
So... what Jennifer already pointed out is one powerful take-home message: Your only true protection is to use hourly contracts and quality for Upwork Payment Protection while doing so.
That may provide no solace at this point. But it IS a real and very significant type of protection that Upwork offers. I have personally benefited a few times from Upwork Payment Protection.
The only possible suggestion I can think of for someone concerned about payment fraud who wants to continue using fixed-price contracts is that they could start only with small fixed-price contracts, only an hour or two worth of work at first. Make sure everything goes well with that, before moving on to larger contracts when dealing with a new/unknown client. MAYBE this could have helped if you had only worked a couple hours the first week and then saw them the very first payment failed to work out for you. But that is a clear "if." This approach wouldn't necessarily prevent all possible problems stemming from payment fraud.
Preston, Thank you very much for your response. It always helps when someone takes the time to understand all the issues involved. Something Upwork did not.
I am a freelancer since 2009 and this is the first time something like this happens. I have made mistakes in the past but have never contacted upwork because I understood I did it at my own risk and therefor it was my fault.
This time I sincerely think is different and this is why I am trying to reach someone that takes me seriously. Upwork should take some kind of responsability for their lack of control and for misleading providers into beileving everything is safe.
I expect they compensate me, may be they could reduced their fees in some of my future projects utill I recover the amount lost in this project. I am a toprated freelancer and have been working with upwork since 2009 (formerly o-Desk)
Daniela C wrote:
Upwork should take some kind of responsability for their lack of control and for misleading providers into beileving everything is safe.
"Protection" does not mean you're 100% safe. If you ride motorbikes, a helmet and protective gear reduce your risk, but that does not mean you can't get hurt or die.
Upwork don't even pretend anything is 100% safe (Read the terms of service...)
The fixed rate payment protection is the same. It reduces your risk, but you can still get stung. That isn't Upwork's fault and your anger is directed at the wrong party. The person who hired you (presumably with a hacked or stolen credit card) is to blame.
Daniela C wrote:
I expect they compensate me
That isn't going to happen. The reason why you keep getting the same responses from Upwork repeatedly is because that is the only answer there is.
Think of it this way: You've been on Upwork since 2009 and nothing like this ever happened to you before. You also remember the years before there was escrow, when there was no protection whatsoever at all... That means that in the overwhelming majority of cases, the (limited) amount of "protection" works just fine.
I very rarely use fixed price contracts and will use them even less frequently (and never with a new client) now that I see what your experience has been.
My limited experience with Upwork's payment protection on nearly 300 hourly projects over the past few years has been excellent, but claimed "protection" on fixed price projects that ultimately offers no protection at all when you follow the rules makes a mockery of the word.
Upwork should just clearly state that "...no payment protection is provide on fixed price projects, but following Upwork's rules will provide the freelancer some reduction of the risk to the freelancer that a client will not pay for work performed as agreed."
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