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jolouburn
Member

What kind of protection is this Upwork?

A few months ago I had a client that refused to pay me for work completed and a dispute began. To cut a long story short I never received payment. Upwork did NOT protect me!

 

Fast forward to a few weeks ago and I began work for a client who not only gave me two contracts but also five-star feedback, a great written review for both and was planning to hire me for further work. Great so far, yes?

 

Approximately a week after the second contract ended the client messaged me on here to tell me he had hired a copywriter for $2500. I was a little confused as to why he was informing me of this, but it became clear very quickly, that he was no longer happy with my work despite the feedback, multiple hires and the fact that my work was now on his website. 

 

I responded professionally and tried to find out exactly what was wrong and how we could resolve this but he was incoherent at best and we were getting nowhere. I decided to end the conversation and told the client that if he was unhappy he would now need to take this to a dispute.  He responded by blocking me.

 

Five minutes later, however, he was ranting at me on skype which we had used to chat a couple of times since the Upwork chat does not work on my laptop. I will state at this point all contracts and payments went through Upwork. Again I tried to rationalise with the client but it was not possible so I stated that I was ending the conversation. I did not block the client as I wanted access to the chat in case of him filing a dispute. 

 

Following this, the client tried to call me through skype several times and continued the harassment. I did not respond. It was at this point that I had a new skype connection request which I accepted although was confused about since there are only two people on my skype, my parents and my ex-client. This 'new' contact proceeded to say that we had spoken on Upwork several months ago and that I had given them my skype address. Since my Skype address is fairly new and I know I have only given it to two people I was immediately alarmed. 

 

This new contact then asked me to provide work outside of Upwork for his gaming website which he shared with me. It was now I knew for definite that this was my ex-client as this website belongs to him. He had shared it with me during one of the contracts and asked me if I would be willing to do some work for it. I responded that one I do not work outside of Upwork, two I have not given my Skype address to anyone other than an ex-client and that three the website belongs to the ex-client, ie, you are that client. I then blocked this account from contacting me. I really should have left it as more proof.

 

Following this my ex-client sent me a message on Skype to tell me he had a surprise for me! When he knew I had read the comment he deleted it.

 

The next day I woke up to find that my Upwork account had been suspended for initiating a conversation to work out of Upwork. Immediately I knew what my surprise from my client was but was even more surprised that Upwork had obviously suspended me with NO proof as I had not made any offer to work outside of Upwork to anyone.  I obviously contacted Upwork back straight away and waited.

 

Whilst waiting for a reply from Upwork I had another request from a new contact on Skype.  This one claimed that I had contacted them on Upwork with an offer to work outside of Upwork and that they were contacting me to arrange this. I immediately responded that I do not work out of Upwork and have never done so.  They then started asking questions as to why they could not see my profile on Upwork! They were obsessed with it and went on and on and on. They then sent me what they said was their profile on Upwork to contact them through there so I would have proof of who they were. On opening the link, out of curiosity, it was a link to the search page where you type in a freelancers name and get results. It was not a link to the profile. I told them what they had done, reiterated I do not work out of Upwork and told them I was ending the conversation. They then sent me a link to a freelancers profile claiming that was them.

 

Now, I don't claim to know much about freelancer to freelancer messaging but I think that unless you have a client profile you cannot contact them. Therefore, it stood to reason I had never had any contact with this freelancer who incidentally has no contracts under their belt, no earnings, nothing! It was clear that yet again it was my ex-client harassing me. 

 

After 13 hours of waiting for a response from Upwork I rang their head office in the USA. After much discussion, he arranged for an agent to contact me straight away. This agent stated that in order to get my account unsuspended I had to admit what I had done and assure them I would not do it again.!

 

I responded and stated that I would never admit to doing something that I have not done. I did state, however, that I was happy to tell them I have never worked outside of Upwork contracts and never would. They responded by thanking me for your my compliance and lifted my suspension.

 

Obviously, I am less than happy with this situation as I did not do what I have been accused of and have potentially lost hundreds of dollars in contracts that I had made proposals for and had now all been canceled due to my suspension. So I asked:-

1. For the proof I have committed this so called circumvention

2. For the client to be investigated for harassment etcetera

3. How I could make an official complaint about my treatment

 

A response came back 24 hours later which completely ignored number 1 and 3 and stated they needed my proof of client harassment etcetera so they could investigate. I responded that all the evidence they needed was already attached to the ticket, which it was, a detailed description of events and screen shots. I also asked that they address number 1 and 3.

 

This morning, another 24 hours later, I have had a message to say that my account is on hold because and I quote' we have received evidence showing that you offered to be paid outside Upwork, specifically, via PayPal. '

 

Now, absolutely I know this not to be the truth for one and two, really, I have already been unsuspended!!!!!

Again they have offered to investigate the client if I send proof!!! They already have this, I told them they have this and they still ask for it? Number three they have again completely ignored. 

 

So, I have replied yet again that I have not committed this offence and asked for proof. I have also stated that the proof they need to investigate this is already attached. I have also again requested how I make a formal complaint.

 

It is quite clear to me that this ex-client has gone to great lengths to get me suspended. Great FRAUDULENT lengths and yet Upwork has yet again neither protected me from this nor acted upon it. The quite clearly incompetent responses I have had, such as my still being suspended are unbelievable! 

 

Surprisingly, I had decided not to bring this issue here originally as I felt Upwork would deal with it since I know 100% that I have not committed the offence. However, since they are claiming to only act with proof which they cannot possibly have unless it is fraudulent, which they are not willing to consider, I have no choice but to let others know and warn them of Upworks complete incompetence and non-protection in this matter! 

 

28 REPLIES 28
petra_r
Member

That's what happens when too many people deal with one situation. Your "client" probably fabricated evidence.

I have no idea what in the world got that "client" so riled up and hope that common sense will soon prevail.

I am really, REALLY sorry you are dealing with this.

 


@Petra R wrote:

That's what happens when too many people deal with one situation. Your "client" probably fabricated evidence.

I have no idea what in the world got that "client" so riled up and hope that common sense will soon prevail.

I am really, REALLY sorry you are dealing with this.

 


 Thank you Petra, that means a lot.

I know I was stupid when I first came here, as you know, but I have not made the same mistakes twice and would not consider working out of Upwork. 

I choose to work here and accept the fees but think that Upwork is failing in the protection it claims to provide badly. 

As for the client getting all riled up, I really don't know, the work I did is on his site exactly as I wrote it and he gave such good feedback. 

Un-be-frickin'-lievable! Exept, sadly, pathetically, not really. Because Upwork CS can operate -- shall we say, charitably and euphemistically? -- in a somewhat fractured manner. And its agents are often ESL people who are apt to resort to pre-formatted scripts. In my experience, many Upwork reps do not read the evidence provided to them. That has been my experience when I have reported various scammy jobs and clients: I provide detailed evidence as well as point-by-point explanations of the attached evidence, only to be asked by CS for "evidence."

 

What a nightmare for you!


@jmlaidlaw wrote:

Un-be-frickin'-lievable! Exept, sadly, pathetically, not really. Because Upwork CS can operate -- shall we say, charitably and euphemistically? -- in a somewhat fractured manner. And its agents are often ESL people who are apt to resort to pre-formatted scripts. In my experience, many Upwork reps do not read the evidence provided to them. That has been my experience when I have reported various scammy jobs and clients: I provide detailed evidence as well as point-by-point explanations of the attached evidence, only to be asked by CS for "evidence."

 

What a nightmare for you!

 

What's upsetting / angering, not sure which, me is that they have clearly fabricated or not provided proof and Upwork has acted incredibly quickly. When I report this, however, it takes over 24 hours to even get a reply and they do not seem to want to consider that this evidence is false.



@Joanne B wrote:

@Petra R wrote:

That's what happens when too many people deal with one situation. Your "client" probably fabricated evidence.

I have no idea what in the world got that "client" so riled up and hope that common sense will soon prevail.

I am really, REALLY sorry you are dealing with this.

 


 Thank you Petra, that means a lot.

I know I was stupid when I first came here, as you know, but I have not made the same mistakes twice


 Well, we all make mistakes and god knows I make them. We learn from them and grow because we make them. Mistakes are learning opportunities.

 

That is in the past and what matters is that you get this mess sorted. I would wait over the weekend and call again on Monday and ask to be put through to a supervisor. Call in the afternoon.

 

You may be able to resolve the skype ID of your mystery skypers to show they have the same IP hence are the same person. For that they need to be online though.

 

Take screenshots that show your exact Skype ID as the scammer possibly made a fake skype ID to create a skype screenshot showing you to be admitting to everything under the sun...

 

'You may be able to resolve the skype ID of your mystery skypers to show they have the same IP hence are the same person. For that they need to be online though.

 

Take screenshots that show your exact Skype ID as the scammer possibly made a fake skype ID to create a skype screenshot showing you to be admitting to everything under the sun...'

 

Unfortunately, I blocked one of the fake accounts and the other has not shown online to me since that day.

 

I have sent screenshots of my skype ID and also my open Skype which shows my contacts, there are only now two. I've removed my parents as although I cannot be sure it is a result of the same thing my safety software has been alerting me to repeated hack attempts on my laptop. I do not want to run the risk of my parents somehow getting caught up in this.

I think you can unblock blocked Skype accounts.  Go under Setting > Manage Blocked Contacts. You should be able to unblock him and get all the previous data.

I have them back but I have no idea how to check an IP address lol


@Joanne B wrote:

I have them back but I have no idea how to check an IP address lol


 You need an IP resolver. PM me if you want step by step instructions. (answer would come in the morning, it's WAY past wine o'clock here)

 

You really need to try and stop working with those cheap bottom-of-the-barrel clients...

 


@Petra R wrote:

@Joanne B wrote:

I have them back but I have no idea how to check an IP address lol


 You need an IP resolver. PM me if you want step by step instructions. (answer would come in the morning, it's WAY past wine o'clock here)

 

You really need to try and stop working with those cheap bottom-of-the-barrel clients...

 


Hi Petra,

 

I've PMed you ๐Ÿ™‚

 

I took this client because I had just finished working for a long-term client and had some free time whilst applying for some new jobs. The articles he wanted were right up my street and quick for me to do. The payment wasn't particularly good but on speaking to the client at first he was a really nice normal guy. I foresaw no issues especially when he hired me the second time! 

 

Having said all that I do see what you are saying.

And don't forget to let Skype know about these bogus IDs that have been set up solely to harass you.

anima9
Member

So, Upwork would readily believe photoshopped evidence so long as it came from a client. I bet this client was high-paying too, which explains how Upwork sided with them so easily.

 

The intent of those Skype messages were to get her name in the same chatbox as PP and outside work. The client can then just copy-paste the names or crop the image just right, omitting the evidence.


@Robert James R wrote:

So, Upwork would readily believe photoshopped evidence so long as it came from a client. I bet this client was high-paying too, which explains how Upwork sided with them so easily.

 

The intent of those Skype messages were to get her name in the same chatbox as PP and outside work. The client can then just copy-paste the names or crop the image just right, omitting the evidence.

 

In all honesty this client has excellent feedback from freelancers including myself. This was written, however, before any of these problems started and he was a dream to work with.


 

iaabraham
Member

What an unnerving story - I hope I never work with a client like that Smiley Sad Sorry you have to go through this.

Hi Joanne,

 

despite of what has happened to you which I hope will get solved soon I am stuck with this part of your story:

Joanne B wrote:

 

Fast forward to a few weeks ago and I began work for a client who not only gave me two contracts but also five-star feedback, a great written review for both and was planning to hire me for further work. Great so far, yes?

 

Approximately a week after the second contract ended the client messaged me on here to tell me he had hired a copywriter for $2500. I was a little confused as to why he was informing me of this, but it became clear very quickly, that he was no longer happy with my work despite the feedback, multiple hires and the fact that my work was now on his website. 

 

I responded professionally and tried to find out exactly what was wrong and how we could resolve this but he was incoherent at best and we were getting nowhere. I decided to end the conversation and told the client that if he was unhappy he would now need to take this to a dispute.  He responded by blocking me.


When a clients has paid you, has endes a contract and gave you a 5* star rating, why to you tell him to dispute?


@Jennifer R wrote:

Hi Joanne,

 

despite of what has happened to you which I hope will get solved soon I am stuck with this part of your story:

@Joanne B wrote:

 

Fast forward to a few weeks ago and I began work for a client who not only gave me two contracts but also five-star feedback, a great written review for both and was planning to hire me for further work. Great so far, yes?

 

Approximately a week after the second contract ended the client messaged me on here to tell me he had hired a copywriter for $2500. I was a little confused as to why he was informing me of this, but it became clear very quickly, that he was no longer happy with my work despite the feedback, multiple hires and the fact that my work was now on his website. 

 

I responded professionally and tried to find out exactly what was wrong and how we could resolve this but he was incoherent at best and we were getting nowhere. I decided to end the conversation and told the client that if he was unhappy he would now need to take this to a dispute.  He responded by blocking me.


When a clients has paid you, has endes a contract and gave you a 5* star rating, why to you tell him to dispute?


 Because they still can. I did not think he would get anywhere but I wanted to direct him down the right channel to complain rather than ranting incoherently at me.

jolouburn
Member

As an update to this I have now received the following from upwork:

 

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

 

On what planet is this an acceptable response to the fact that my ex-client has obviously reported me fraudulently? That Upwork have fallen for this fake action and suspended me for over thirteen hours possibly losing me contracts? At the very least you would think I would get an apology and an offer to remove the hold now recorded on my profile!!

 

Fuming is not the word and I am not going to just sit and let this drop!

 

This client has not faced any consequences. He continues to post jobs here.


@Joanne B wrote:

As an update to this I have now received the following from upwork:

 

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

 

On what planet is this an acceptable response to the fact that my ex-client has obviously reported me fraudulently? That Upwork have fallen for this fake action and suspended me for over thirteen hours possibly losing me contracts? At the very least you would think I would get an apology and an offer to remove the hold now recorded on my profile!!

 

Fuming is not the word and I am not going to just sit and let this drop!

 

This client has not faced any consequences. He continues to post jobs here.


 _______________________

I can only share your fury, without having anything to add. I have had this response to everything, whether I have reported a dodgy job or had a problem of my own. There is NO customer service to speak of, and frankly, unless Upwork can show its future shareholders that it actually does take an interest in both freelancers and clients (yes, even clients are getting frustrated), it is not going to get the cash injection it so desperately needs. 

 

I simply cannot understand why large companies, in the need of a little fuel, decide to cut back (financially) on one of the most important aspects of an online business. 


@Nichola L wrote:

@Joanne B wrote:

As an update to this I have now received the following from upwork:

 

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

 

On what planet is this an acceptable response to the fact that my ex-client has obviously reported me fraudulently? That Upwork have fallen for this fake action and suspended me for over thirteen hours possibly losing me contracts? At the very least you would think I would get an apology and an offer to remove the hold now recorded on my profile!!

 

Fuming is not the word and I am not going to just sit and let this drop!

 

This client has not faced any consequences. He continues to post jobs here.


 _______________________

I can only share your fury, without having anything to add. I have had this response to everything, whether I have reported a dodgy job or had a problem of my own. There is NO customer service to speak of, and frankly, unless Upwork can show its future shareholders that it actually does take an interest in both freelancers and clients (yes, even clients are getting frustrated), it is not going to get the cash injection it so desperately needs. 

 

I simply cannot understand why large companies, in the need of a little fuel, decide to cut back (financially) on one of the most important aspects of an online business. 


 From what I have seen during the course of this issue the upwork agents are trained to give generic replies to generic issues. They are not, however, trained to deal with very specific serious issues such as this. The problem then is finding someone who is!

 

In desperation I rang their main office in the USA from the UK, (not looking forward to my phone bill) and though **Edited for Community Guidelines**, (no surname as apparently he's the only **Edited for Community Guidelines** that works for upwork in their main offices, yeah right) was very helpful in getting me a response he could not help me any further because another department was handling my complaint. 

 

I, of course, have reopened my ticket, (upwork closed it thinking this issue was resolved) and will continue to fight my corner. Their complete refusal to give me any details other than it was alleged I had offered to work outside of upwork and be paid via paypal is ludicrous. By law you are entitled to the so called evidence and to put forward a defence but upwork are refusing me the means to do this. 

 

I am beginning to wonder whether it is time to consult a solicitor to get some legal advice on where I stand with this. 

 

 

vladag
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Joanne,

 

I'm sorry to hear about the issue you're having and the frustration the action taken against your account has caused you. I've checked your tickets and communication you've had with our team and, while I can confirm our agents followed our procedures in managing the reports and the information they shared with you, I'll follow up with our team and make sure you receive an update on your request as soon as our team completes reviewing all the information you and your client have recently provided.

 

To clarify, we have internal procedures our teams need to follow when processing requests and I can assure you the information you provided is currently being reviewed. Our team will follow up directly on your main ticket, which is open, but please do note that additional tickets created on the same subject are merged to the main ticket (not closed) in order to keep all the information in one place.

 

We apologize for the delay and would like to ask you to allow our team a bit more time to complete the review and share an update with you directly. Thank you.

~ Vladimir
Upwork


@Vladimir G wrote:

Hi Joanne,

 

I'm sorry to hear about the issue you're having and the frustration the action taken against your account has caused you. I've checked your tickets and communication you've had with our team and, while I can confirm our agents followed our procedures in managing the reports and the information they shared with you, I'll follow up with our team and make sure you receive an update on your request as soon as our team completes reviewing all the information you and your client have recently provided.

 

To clarify, we have internal procedures our teams need to follow when processing requests and I can assure you the information you provided is currently being reviewed. Our team will follow up directly on your main ticket, which is open, but please do note that additional tickets created on the same subject are merged to the main ticket (not closed) in order to keep all the information in one place.

 

We apologize for the delay and would like to ask you to allow our team a bit more time to complete the review and share an update with you directly. Thank you.


 Thank you for your response Vladimir G, I highly appreciate it.

 

However, I am not happy with the way this whole situation has been handled.

 

- I have been falsely accused of an action against your T&c's.

- I have been falsely suspended because of this action.

- I have also got a hold showing on my account that should not be there due to these false allegations.

- I have potentially lost hundreds of dollars on contracts.

- I have been harassed and attempts have been made on my laptop to hack into it.

- I have had to waste days trying to resolve this.

 

I have never ever in my life come across an issue where it has been acceptable to accuse and act on information without the accused having access to said information about that accusation to defend themselves. 

 

I have also never come across a platform that so blatantly ignores requests. I have asked a multitude of times how to elevate this complaint higher than the upwork agents who have only been trained to give a generic response. 

 

It is blatantly clear to myself and others that I have been falsely accused of breaking your t&cs yet there has been no apology or attempt to rectify this situation by upwork. It is also blatantly clear that you have either acted on no evidence or fraudulently put together evidence and that you really do not care! 

 

Please note: I am speaking generically about upwork and not its employees.

 

 

 

 

My latest response from upwork.

 

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

 

My reply.

 

'No, this is not good enough.

I have not committed circumvention so the 'so-called' evidence you have has to be fake.

Please enlighten me on what platform exactly I committed this circumvention. If it is not upwork, which I suspect it isn't as there is nothing in my upwork chats about working outside upwork , how did you come to the conclusion that the account used was mine?

Did you perchance get supplied with a screenshot and assume?

I suspect the answer to this is yes and therefore ask how you can possibly judge that is genuine but my screenshotted evidence is fake?'

 

So after a conversation with Skype themselves, it has been confirmed that one and all of the three accounts contacting me were indeed held by the same person. Recovery address was the same on all three. 

 

Just waiting for the email from Skype which could take 24 - 48 hours confirming this.


@Joanne B wrote:

 

My latest response from upwork.

 

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

 

My reply.

 

'No, this is not good enough.

I have not committed circumvention so the 'so-called' evidence you have has to be fake.

Please enlighten me on what platform exactly I committed this circumvention. If it is not upwork, which I suspect it isn't as there is nothing in my upwork chats about working outside upwork , how did you come to the conclusion that the account used was mine?

Did you perchance get supplied with a screenshot and assume?

I suspect the answer to this is yes and therefore ask how you can possibly judge that is genuine but my screenshotted evidence is fake?'

 


 Why has Upworks response been removed. There was nothing confidential in it. It was just more excuses as to why you have not acted upon this issue.

vladag
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Joanne,

 

I'd like to clarify that "posting email content, chat transcripts or other private communication" is not allowed in the Community, as noted in our Community Guidelines. Please note that we've edited a few of your comments in order to remove the content in question, please do refer to our team's response and follow up on your open ticket in order to continue the communication with our team. Thank you.

~ Vladimir
Upwork


@Vladimir G wrote:

Hi Joanne,

 

I'd like to clarify that "posting email content, chat transcripts or other private communication" is not allowed in the Community, as noted in our Community Guidelines. Please note that we've edited a few of your comments in order to remove the content in question, please do refer to our team's response and follow up on your open ticket in order to continue the communication with our team. Thank you.


 Already done over two hours ago if you'd have bothered to check.

 

Please can you tell me how I escalate my complaint to an official complaint and not one that is dealt with by upwork agents who only give generic, unhelpful replies that do not go anywhere near addressing the sitsuation? 

aocumen
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Joanne, 


Please know that this has already been escalated further and a member of the team will reach out to you for more information.


~ Avery
Upwork

I checked Upwork Community forum after a very long time and somehow landed on this thread. I really feel sorry for you. As a complete third person maybe an outsider's viewpoint will help you.

First off, you need to relax. Really, relax. Even if Upwork was to permanently ban you it's not the end of life. I understand you have every right to be mad, but being so only harms your own well being. Sadly, there are lying, fraudaulent, unscrupulous people everywhere and irrespective of where in the world you live or work you will someday have to deal with one of them. IF you have full rights back to your account, focus on working and building a reputation which survives independent of platform. Upwork is a great place to find work and has many positives, sadly their Customer Service isn't one of them. Work here with this foreknowledge and always hedge yourself.

I wish you all the best.