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Upwork service quality

msurma
Active

My latest post has been removed so I will try to rephrase it to make it more acceptable for moderators. I have been watching Upwork for over 6 years and I made a significant amount of money for myself AND Upwork platform. My complains:

  • still very high fees
  • downgrading profiles to make even more money on premium profiles
  • ridiculous rules that regulate profile ratings
  • turning profile private if no money is earned for the last 30 days (turn it back to public after providing a fee or receiving payment)
  • serious technical issues (disappearing profile badges and so on) that could be prevented by software testing before it is deployed to production servers

 

All of the above factors make freelancers less effective because Upwork _sabotages_ them. From other comments it can be clearly seen that getting a job has been harded int the last few months. That's probably because of the fact that the economy is going down. BUT it does not mean that Upwork should sabotage freelancers. It appears to be counterintuitive. Upwork should be promoting freelancers so that it gains more money itself.

 

P.S. I am sorry for my previous emontionally loaded post.

21 REPLIES 21
msurma
Active

Why is this in the "New to..." section?! I saved it to go to the "Freelancers" section. Yet another reason not to be satisfied with your service Upwork!

versailles
Community Guru

Upwork has its advantages and its disadvantages. And many bugs. Many who find that there are more cons than pros in using Upwork just leave the platform and they are replaced by new people. This happens all the time and that's fine.

-----------
"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless

Is this an official "we do not care, be happy or get lost"? Or just an opinion? Upwork is not a community built service. It is a company which is supposed to care for its customers. I mean, come on. Upwork became the biggest platform of this kind ever and the platform of choice for many companies. When a company (Upwork) becomes a dominating company, things change and Upwork should know that. People begin to expect and demand things because it is no longe A platform but THE platform. I have the right to express my dissatisfaction and I do not want to go somewhere else, but I also do not want to be the one who is forced to pay for this mess. Does this make sense?


@Marek S wrote:

1) Upwork is not a community built service.

2) It is a company which is supposed to care for its customers.


1) Nope, never pretended to be.

 

2)  Oh it does care about the customers. Those who bring all the money. (Clients, in other words.)

The products (freelancers) are disposable and there are too many of them as it is.

Losing a few thousand freelancers has no impact at all.

Losing a single client does.

 


@Marek S wrote:

. I have the right to express my dissatisfaction and I do not want to go somewhere else, but I also do not want to be the one who is forced to pay for this mess. Does this make sense?


 You're not paying for this mess.

You also aren't forced to pay a thing, you are free to go elsewhere, as are all of us.

Who do you think will leave the service if it is problematic for freelancers? Freelancers. Those with low standards (or who are forced to) will stay and make clients dissatisfied.

 

Yes, I am paying for this mess. Upwork charges ME. Not the client. Client sees freelancers rate as a number and does not care. Upwork lets me contact the Client and lets me charge the Client and then Upwork take a part of MY income. So it is me who is paying for this. It's clearly shown on my financial report that Upwork generates for me. So, let's not pretend that the reality is different. Greediness is the keyword here.

 

And of course I can go somewhere else but I also CAN (and should) express my dissatisfaction here. Otherwise fees will go to the moon for no reason. You should care as well if you are a freelancer.


@Marek S wrote:

1) Who do you think will leave the service if it is problematic for freelancers? Freelancers.

 

2) Yes, I am paying for this mess.

 

3)  I also CAN (and should) express my dissatisfaction here.


1) Sure. Considering that Upwork could lose 50% of its freelancers and still have too many, that makes no difference.

 

 2) On paper you do. Where does the money come from? (Answer: The client.)

 

3) Of course. And you have done so. Expect to get a nice generic "We are sorry you are not happy and apologize for the inconvenience this has caused you!"

I am sure it will make you feel so much better.

1) That's why they can get away with this and keep doind mediocre job.

2) Without freelancers work there would be no money at all. Without Clients there also would be no money. Therefore Clients and Freelancers are equally important here. Yet, It is me who is charged for the service. I am ok with being charged, but I am not ok with the amount of greediness that I am seeing.

3) I do not expect getting a generic reply. The fact is that the more dissatisfied people they see here, the more they are going to think before they do the next stupid move. I think I partially understand your behavior. You do not want this place to be overcrowded so you do not care if someone leaves. Ok, I get it.


Marek S wrote:

Is this an official "we do not care, be happy or get lost"? 


It was my official two cents. Officially written by me in answer to your official question. Upwork cares about their clients, the people who come here to hire freelancers. They don't care that much about you and me, we are officially replaceable. 

-----------
"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless

I'm in the mood for arguing, so I'm going to contradict both Marek and Petra. Regardless of which end the fee is nominally subtracted from (client's or freelancer's), it is effectively levied on the transactiion, not on a particular party. The only way to sensibly apportion the fee between the parties to the transaction is to consider the counterfactual: what price would have been paid had the fee not been present? On average the price would almost certainly have been somewhere between the current nominal price and the price after deduction of fees. So both parties are losing from the deduction of the fee, and in effect eachi is paying part of it. If the fee was absent, they could agree a price that would leave both of them better off.

 

(This is an official reply of Richard W Enterprises Unlimited)


Richard W wrote:

I'm in the mood for arguing, so I'm going to contradict both Marek and Petra. Regardless of which end the fee is nominally subtracted from (client's or freelancer's), it is effectively levied on the transactiion, not on a particular party.


 That is all true, but in this context you miss the point I was making. (The point being why clients bring the money that makes the Upwork-World go around rather than freelancers.)

If the freelancer in any given transaction did not exist, the transaction would still have happened (just with one of the tens of thousands of other freelancers)  If the client in any given transaction did not exist, the transaction would not happen. The money would not happen, the earnings for Upwork would not happen.

Losing a freelancer or a few thousand of them does not make a dent on the bottom line. Losing a single paying client does.

 

kat303
Community Guru

Marek - Workers are expendable. If workers quit or are laid off, new workers are hired to replace them. Hundreds of people send in resumes and cover letters to employers when an ad is placed for a job opening. 

It's the same here. If a freelancer leaves, there are hundreds that can be used to replace them. So, yes, Upwork may not care if freelancers leave and Upwork does not cater to them. They are expendable. 

Clients are not. 

 

Let me put it this way, 

A client posts a job, it is answered by x number of freelancers. If all x freelancers leave, x number of other freelancers will step in and send proposals for that specific job. But, if a client leaves, no other client will step in to replace that client. That job is specific to that client. So upwork will cater to a client, because it's the client with the specific job that will bring in revenue. Without that job, there will be no money/revenue made. The client goes, the job goes.

crart
Ace Contributor

As I repeat on and on - this is place for clients, for those gods of money. Not for those who work. I cannot do anything but laugh because some day all these whales understand one thing - every tyranny creates rebels. Freelancers are treated like garbage everywhere, clients like gods - everywhere. But you will recognize people not by how they treat those they depend on but those who stand lower. Excuse me this philosophy but honestly, it concerns whole poor world that we create, world for people with no morality and no respect for others. The more humane you are, the more disrespected you become.

lysis10
Community Guru

Olga P wrote:

As I repeat on and on - this is place for clients, for those gods of money. Not for those who work. I cannot do anything but laugh because some day all these whales understand one thing - every tyranny creates rebels. Freelancers are treated like garbage everywhere, clients like gods - everywhere. But you will recognize people not by how they treat those they depend on but those who stand lower. Excuse me this philosophy but honestly, it concerns whole poor world that we create, world for people with no morality and no respect for others. The more humane you are, the more disrespected you become.


 lol Is upwork the tyranny in this scenario? lolol oh lawwwdy

 

I'm not treated like trash. Well, maybe sometimes but who cares as long as they pay me. Plenty of loony tunes people in the open marketplace, but that's just pure entertainment when they reply. **edited for Community Guidelines**. Too bad I'm muzzled since I'm on Upwork.

crart
Ace Contributor


 lol Is upwork the tyranny in this scenario? lolol oh lawwwdy

 

I'm not treated like trash. Well, maybe sometimes but who cares as long as they pay me. Plenty of loony tunes people in the open marketplace, but that's just pure entertainment when they reply. **edited for Community Guidelines** Too bad I'm muzzled since I'm on Upwork.


ALERT: if you feel I am sarcastic - I am. If you don't recognize it - well, I'm sorry.

I expressed my opinion not for you to laugh at it. But it clearly shows what world we live in. 

I gave tyranny example for a reason, you missed it, it happens. Still, this does not entitle you to deride me.

Also, one of your statements shows that I am perfectly right - "who cares as long as they pay me" It's alarming. You don't respect yourself, they will not respect you. Then, as a chain reaction, you will eliminate respect for anyone from your life. Just like most of clients do here (not all, I too have wonderful clients but they are like dinosaurs, slowly replaced by people with your mentality).

lysis10
Community Guru

Olga P wrote:


 


ALERT: if you feel I am sarcastic - I am. If you don't recognize it - well, I'm sorry.

I expressed my opinion not for you to laugh at it. But it clearly shows what world we live in. 

I gave tyranny example for a reason, you missed it, it happens. Still, this does not entitle you to deride me.

Also, one of your statements shows that I am perfectly right - "who cares as long as they pay me" It's alarming. You don't respect yourself, they will not respect you. Then, as a chain reaction, you will eliminate respect for anyone from your life. Just like most of clients do here (not all, I too have wonderful clients but they are like dinosaurs, slowly replaced by people with your mentality).


 oh no, dear. I'm an arrogant **edited for Community Guidelines**. Self esteem is not one of my weaknesses. I just find most stuff funny and prefer to have fun **edited for Community Guidelines**.

 

And no, I don't find you sarcastic. I see that you're angry but I'm not sure why. You seem to be mad about clients, so I assume you had a bad experience but I don't get what that has to do with Upwork and tyranny and these things.

 

If you got a bad client, well I can commisserate there. Got plenty of those. Still got paid though.

petra_r
Community Guru

Olga P wrote:

As I repeat on and on - this is place for clients, for those gods of money. Not for those who work. I cannot do anything but laugh because some day all these whales understand one thing - every tyranny creates rebels. Freelancers are treated like garbage everywhere, clients like gods - everywhere.


 Sorry, Olga... you can not speak for "freelancers" as a whole. Everyone has a different story and everyone manages their freelancing business differently.

Personally I have not yet been "treated like garbage" by a single client ever (but I choose my clients carefully) on Upwork or elsewhere.

 

"Tyranny?" - I mean seriously? Nothing allows as much freedom as freelancing.

Guys. I would like to point out that Upwork works against the best interest
of the Clients as well. Let me give you an example:
- you as a freelancer have a set of skills that is rarely picked by
Clients, but you are really good at it
- your last payment happened over a month ago and your profile gets hidden
by the system and you are not paying for "premium" profile so it stays
invisible
- potential Client is looking for a person like you but he does not find
you even though you are the best
- client has to find someone else who will not perform as good as you
- Client gets worse solution to his problem and may never come back

This clearly shows how stupid this system is.

I will also tell you other funny thing. This is nobody's fault. It is just
how it is. But when I receive a notification about a new job I can wait no
longer than 10 minutes to respond with an answer that makes sense. That is
because 15 minutes after the job is posted, there already are more than 50
proposals for this job and there is no longer a point in applying since
Clients read first n messages and ignore everything that comes a day later
🙂 I am a software developer BTW.

Thanks for all the answers. It is really sad to read things like this. I
wish all of you best of luck!

Marek S wrote:
Guys. I would like to point out that Upwork works against the best interest
of the Clients as well. Let me give you an example:
- you as a freelancer have a set of skills that is rarely picked by
Clients, but you are really good at it
- your last payment happened over a month ago and your profile gets hidden
by the system and you are not paying for "premium" profile so it stays
invisible

 All you have to do is contact customer service and ask them to switch your profile to 'visible' again. The reason they do that is so clients don't have to plow through thousands of inactive FL profiles. It actually benefits those of us who are active, paying attention, and available to work.


Phyllis G wrote:

Marek S wrote:
Guys. I would like to point out that Upwork works against the best interest
of the Clients as well. Let me give you an example:
- you as a freelancer have a set of skills that is rarely picked by
Clients, but you are really good at it
- your last payment happened over a month ago and your profile gets hidden
by the system and you are not paying for "premium" profile so it stays
invisible

 All you have to do is contact customer service and ask them to switch your profile to 'visible' again. The reason they do that is so clients don't have to plow through thousands of inactive FL profiles. It actually benefits those of us who are active, paying attention, and available to work.


Your profile being hidden does not stop you from bidding on projects. I've stopped counting the times Upwork has made my profile private - sometimes I'm working, sometimes not, but I don't care. It doesn't stop me from bidding on and getting jobs. Do I wish they'd be more realistic and make it 45 days ... yes. But we've asked for that until we're blue in the face and it's not going to happen.

 

ETA: I should add that when they introduced this, I was not happy about it, but I now feel differently. But I still wish they would change the wording that accuses us of not working when we are (heaven forbid Upwork use people who actually know how to write), and extend the 30 days to 45 days to account for a 14-day review and the 5-day hold ... that would be more fair, and it would keep my blood pressure from rising when I do get those emails.


Marek S wrote:

[W]hen I receive a notification about a new job I can wait no
longer than 10 minutes to respond with an answer that makes sense. That is
because 15 minutes after the job is posted, there already are more than 50
proposals for this job and there is no longer a point in applying since
Clients read first n messages and ignore everything that comes a day later
🙂 I am a software developer BTW.

I am sorry that is how your field works (assuming it does, and you're not creating your own dynamic).

If I'm applying for a job as an academic editor, I really don't care how many other applicants there are. I apply because I believe I would be not only a good candidate, but one of the best. Professional clients, as opposed to volume-driven or pie-in-the-sky labor exploiters, may hire me a month after I submit my proposal, which might be days or weeks after I first saw it.

May you find such a market for yourself.

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