Thanks for adding to the discussion. I disagree that it makes Upwork more profitable. How much time and money do you think is devoted by Upwork as a corporation to combat scammers?
The real root of the problem(RCA) is that its free and open for anyones whims thus is prone for Scammers. There is no vetting. So you get tons of tire kickers, and scammers. A waste of everyones time but primarily to Upwork and Freelancers.
If I did decide to post a project as a contractor It wouldn't phase me one bit if there was a small fee. If I really needed to get the job done. It would give me good insights on if I wanted to proceed with the project. So a $3 fee would be fine for that knowledge.
Real Jobs, real clients would never hesitate with such a small fee. But guess who would?
In the writing category alone, there are currently more than 20,000 active jobs. If that's a month's worth of postings, and a super-efficient reviewer was able to create a streamlined process that allowed her to review 2 jobs per minute with zero lost time in between, it would take 674 hours/month to review just the postings in the writing category.
With an average of 176 work hours in a calendar month, that means roughly four full time people to review the writing category--which I don't believe has the highest volume of postings.
I have no interest in paying the additional fees associated with the hiring of 20 or more full-time employees to screen job postings as they come in.
I am not sure I follow you on this. Why would you need to be reviewing them? My recommendation was to charge a small fee to each of those 20,000 posts. The fact is you if you did charge you would probably only have 10,000 posts but the clients would be more serious about actually doing work on the platform.
Some time ago, oDesk charged the client 10%, not the freelancer, and that was a regulation included in the ToS. There did not appear to be a shortage of clients then.
I slightly disagree.
It had never happened to me until now, but after a discussion wih someone from Upworks support staff, what I feared came to happen.
The problem I think lies at the root that Upwork does not seem to be working with an Escrow account (like our beloved deceased Elance did). Which means, that even though a project reads "funded", it actually isn't!
Just now, I received a message, saying my account finantial transactions have been "limited", and to check my email on regards to that.
The email explains, that the last job I did, and for which I was expecting payment this next April 24th, has the client's payment method under investigation.
The discussion I had with that support "specialist", was that if Upwork did not confirm payment method until AFTER job completion, it meant that Upwork didn't have the money yet, in an Escrow account, safe and sound, and ready for mediation in case there was an issue at the end of a project. In order to protect BOTH parties.
It seems, the only one safe here, is a potential customer, because they can even get away with FRAUD!
I wonder, does Upwork charge the 10% commission up front? Because that would explain why they don't care things can work out this way. Where a customer can simply cancel a credit card payment and then screw the freelancer, with WORK IN HAND and laughing all the way at how easy it was to get FREE WORK!
So no, I desagree with the symbolic payment you mention.
ALL FUNDS SHOULD BE DEPOSITED SINCE THE BEGNINING into an Escrow account. That's how it really would guarantee, that if the freelancer does not comply with project requirements, the client can then WIDTHDRAW funds (minus what ever commission must be payed for the trouble to Upwork for it's mediation) OR, that Freelencers also get their due if a client tries to run with the work AND the money (of course, we already have payed a juicy 10% which should be enough to cover things like this!).
Right now, as it stands. Freelancers are wide open to being screwed by the people they work for. And are NOT PROTECTED by those we pay 10% of our shares, as an agreement of mutual benefit.
In that email, I was told not to worry, that I could still continue to work with other customers... yeah, right!
It was $300, but I've done projects for over $1000 in the past.
How can I trust putting more work in, if I can be so easily screwed again in the future?????