There is no indication that the client won't pay for the work done by freelancers. They mention fixed price payment and feedback. Freelancers are free to bid with the amount they are ready to complete the job for as long as it's more than $5 which is currently the minumum for fixed-price projects and milestones.
I totally understand what you are saying as I have also flagged these projects. So if a client is offering a five star feedback for a very cheap project. It's okay? Just want to be clear. I figured it fell under feedback manipulation. I realize I am probaly wrong in this scenario. I know it's probably a fine line, not trying to argue, but if any post says they will offer a five star feedback in my mind that is feedback manipulation.
@Valeria K wrote:
There is no indication that the client won't pay for the work done by freelancers. They mention fixed price payment and feedback.
Yes, Valeria. You are correct here. I agree with you. I am not being at all sarcastic. I do expect that the client will "pay for the work done by the freelancers." Like you, I note that the client "mention[s] both [the] fixed [cash] price and the [non-cash] feedback."
Yes, the freelancer will be paid for his or her work. In fixed-cash (bid price) and in feedback. As mentioned in the job post. As implicitly linked in the job post. With feedback substituting in part for cash. Therein lies the problem.
I am sometimes appalled if I read those job offers. That has nothing to do with any serious business. Sometimes you find those job offers for click jobs, fake product reviews or farmer translations.
@Janean L wrote:
@ Valeria --
Even if the totality of the circumstances strongly suggests that the "positive" feed back will be not just "positive" but "five-star" and that this feedback will be offered in lieu of cash compensation?
I have reported exactly this combination of payment close to zero and promising of a good rating in the past. Exploitation in combination with manipulation - especially of the JSS.
Thank you for clarifying. I will not bother to flag these anymore. Like i said you learn something new every day.
I really don't like the use of the word "exploitation" in this context.
I know that use of the word here is not intended to be offensive. But it just doesn't seem appropriate, for two reasons:
First, it seems disrespectful of freelancers. It suggests that if a client posts a bad job posting, freelancers are not capable of making their own choices about whether or not to work on that job.
Second, the entire Upwork website is based on clients being able to "exploit" the willing labor of freelancers, and that's fine, isn't it? To "exploit" is to make full use of and derive benefit from a resource.
When clients hire me, they are exploiting my labor for their benefit. But I derive the benefit of their pay. So it's a two-sided situation.
Perhaps one can argue that the word "explotation" is intended to have a negative connotation, that it means a client-freelancer relationship is one-sided, that one side gets more benefit than the other.
I can accept that. My hourly rate is very high. Am I being "exploited" in this sense? Yes. because what I do for clients is of such immense and singular value to my clients that there is no way for them to pay me an amount that truly matches the value I provide to them.
So every Upwork contract I am involved in involves "exploitation."
I like if somebody is "exploited" for 100 USD per hour or more but not if the person is exploited for a very low budget and a five-star-rating promise. Yes, in the low payment segment the freelancer client relationship is very unbalanced, especially if somebody is new on the platform.
@Preston H wrote:
To "exploit" is to make full use of and derive benefit from a resource.
"To exploit," as I suspect you are well aware of, has two meanings.
"the action or fact of treating someone unfairly in order to benefit from their work."
"to make use of and derive benefit from a resource" with regards to "resources"
Obviously offering 5 star feedback in exchange of next to no pay and 5 star feedback is harmful to everyone, and obviously (!) means it IS exploitation in both senses of the word. The client is making use of the resource (Upwork) to exploit (treat someone unfairly) desperate newbies who think it's their only way to get a foot in the door.
It is harmful to the reputation of the platform and the overall tone.
That said, I have seen people complain about jobs that mentioned " 5 star feedback for a job well done" along with fair budgets, which I personally thought was strange, as a client promising to leave good feedback "for a job well done" is not a problem as far as I am concerned.
It is against the terms of service to expect work for no or extremely low pay.
Once the per hour equivalent of a fixed rate contract falls below the $ 3 / an hour level that Upwork has set as a minimum, it makes any job that takes several hours and pays $ 5.00 against the terms of service and exploitation in the negative sense of the word.
Pretending that is not so is naive at best, ignorant at worst as basing what is and is not exploitation based on the rates established freelancers with in-demand profiles demand has nothing what-so-ever to do with the reality of many newbies trying to get that first gig.
I'm concerned about these things, too. I don't want these kinds of jobs on Upwork.
As I personally pointed out, there are two meanings of the word "exploit" or "exploitation." One is benign or neutral. The other is negative.
That is one of the reasons I'm not comfortable with using the word in this context.
If the issue is clients offering 5-star feedback in return for a freelancer agreeing to work for next to nothing, then I would prefer to flag such a job with the label "feedback manipulation."
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