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charles_kozierok
Community Member

Why am I not shown information about the client when I receive a blind offer?

This morning I woke up to find an offer in my inbox. I know that it's not a scam, but at the same time, I was provided with no information at all about the client: no link to show past hiring history or feedback, and no indication of whether or not payment was verified.

 

This strikes me as bad for all concerned: clients, freelancers and Upwork. If I am missing something, someone please hit me with the clue-by-four. If not, you guys really need to improve this.

 

Thanks.

15 REPLIES 15
wlyonsatl
Community Member

Yes, it is odd that Upwork doesn't include easy access to all information about a potential client on the same page as an invitation. The information you're looking for is available, but finding it will take some work on your part.

 

And it's a mystery to me why Upwork even allows clients to post jobs until their payment method is verified by Upwork. I expect being assured of client's eventual payment (not 100%, of course, but better than not at all) is one of the main reasons many freelancers use Upwork.


@Will L wrote:

 

 

And it's a mystery to me why Upwork even allows clients to post jobs until their payment method is verified by Upwork. I expect being assured of client's eventual payment (not 100%, of course, but better than not at all) is one of the main reasons many freelancers use Upwork.


 Here's a solution to your mystery: Clients posting jobs on UW for the first time have no idea whether or not they are going to find viable prospects among the freelancers here. Often, they are also posting the job on other platforms and/or utilizing other channels at their disposal to find contract help. They are shopping. Forcing them to go through the process of verifying their payment method before allowing them to post a job would be like Office Depot forcing me to verify my payment method before letting me even browse the website to see if they have the item I need. If that were the case, I'd move on to the next website faster than you can say 'next'. And so would these clients.

 

The time to be sure a client's payment method is verified is when they make an offer. Most take care of it when they are setting up the offer and if they need reminding, it seems like a natural and appropriate part of that process, instead of an annoying and irrelevant disruption.

So, "Forcing them to go through the process of verifying their payment method before allowing them to post a job would be like Office Depot forcing me to verify my payment method before letting me even browse the website to see if they have the item I need. If that were the case, I'd move on to the next website faster than you can say 'next'. And so would these clients."

 

The reality is that many new clients have no idea how Upwork works. So, when I have told such clients I wanted them to get Upwork to verify their payment mechanism before I begin work, they've not been happy when it could take a couple of days to get that done.

 

Your "insightful" analogy to buying from Office Depot is completely bogus. Do online or bricks and mortar retailer will deliver anything to you or allow you to leave their store without you paying for the item first.

 

But if I begin work on an Upwork project, there is a period of time during which I am working - and potentially delivering work product - without the benefit of Upwork's assurance I'll receive payment.

 

 

CORRECTION  "no online or bricks-and-mortar"

 

Upwork could at least warn clients that there will be a delay in a freelancer getting started on their project if they don't first get their payment mechanism verified ASAP.

Not the old "I don't understand why Upwork doesn't force clients to verify payment method" chestnut again....

 

As usual, the answer is "Because Upwork wants to attract new clients, not chase them into the arms of the competition, NONE of whom have that requirement, because it's a bad idea.

 

Client after client has confirmed they would never have posted their first job had they been asked to do so before posting a job.

 

I am chatting on skype with one of mine at the moment and asked her if she would have, she told me NO WAY!

 

If Upwork had forced her to, I'd be about $ 15.000 worse off today.

 

No one can say how many potential honest clients would run away from Upwork if Upwork made payment verification a mandatory part of initial registration before a client can look for their first Upwork freelancer.

 

But it's a near certainty that something like 99+% of dishonest potential clients would go elsewhere to work their scams if their payment mechanism had to be first verified by Upwork before any freelancer would begin working for them.

 

No honest client should be put off by Upwork clearly telling them they recommend that freelancers not begin work on projects without verified payment. Then the client can decide whether or not to get their payment ducks in a row before engaging a freelancer.

 

As it is, it's left up to the freelancer to tell the new client that (s)he doesn't trust the new client well enough to start work without payment verification, which makes the client think it's the freelancer being difficult to work with right off the bat.


@Will L wrote:

No one can say how many potential honest clients would run away from Upwork if Upwork made payment verification a mandatory part of initial registration before a client can look for their first Upwork freelancer.

 

But it's a near certainty that something like 99+% of dishonest potential clients would go elsewhere to work their scams if their payment mechanism had to be first verified by Upwork before any freelancer would begin working for them.

 

No honest client should be put off by Upwork clearly telling them they recommend that freelancers not begin work on projects without verified payment. Then the client can decide whether or not to get their payment ducks in a row before engaging a freelancer.

 

As it is, it's left up to the freelancer to tell the new client that (s)he doesn't trust the new client well enough to start work without payment verification, which makes the client think it's the freelancer being difficult to work with right off the bat.


 Wrong. Clients are encouraged to verify their payment method before posting their first job and told that this will lead to better and more proposals. It is also made clear upon hiring.

 

If freelancers start work before a client has verifiedtheir payment method despite the very strongly worded warning email that's on them.

 

I work extensively with new clients and never had one think me difficult because of the "I'll accept your offer when verification is complete" bit.

 


@Will L wrote:

So, "Forcing them to go through the process of verifying their payment method before allowing them to post a job would be like Office Depot forcing me to verify my payment method before letting me even browse the website to see if they have the item I need. If that were the case, I'd move on to the next website faster than you can say 'next'. And so would these clients."

 

The reality is that many new clients have no idea how Upwork works. So, when I have told such clients I wanted them to get Upwork to verify their payment mechanism before I begin work, they've not been happy when it could take a couple of days to get that done.

 I don't tell clients that "I want them to get Upwork to verify their payment mechanism before I begin work." If they need reminding or educating, I tell them that part of setting up a viable contract is to verify their payment method with UW; that it helps ensure the payment process will occur smoothly without their needing to fiddle with it later. I've never had anybody get unhappy about it and if they did, I would stop and think very hard before accepting a contract with them. If the client sees it as anything but a trivial bit of housekeeping, that in itself is a red flag (whether they are feeling skitzy about the financial transaction or they are in such a gosh-darned hurry to get the work done which suggests a woeful lack of organization & planning on their part).

 

Your "insightful" analogy to buying from Office Depot is completely bogus. Do online or bricks and mortar retailer will deliver anything to you or allow you to leave their store without you paying for the item first.

You're misrepresenting the analogy. Of course, you have to pay for what you buy from an online or b&m merchant. But you don't have to get your credit card verified when you walk in the door, before you've even had a chance to look around and see what is on offer. That is what you're advocating here.

 

But if I begin work on an Upwork project, there is a period of time during which I am working - and potentially delivering work product - without the benefit of Upwork's assurance I'll receive payment.

 If you begin work and deliver work product before you have a contract in place with a verified payment method, then you are misusing the platform. BTW, "Upwork's assurance I'll receive payment" is not a cut-and-dried thing, anyway. 

 


 

vladag
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Charles,

 

We understand the inconvenience this can cause and that is why we're planning to update the direct offer page and include the client details. 

 

In the meantime, I can confirm the client has a verified payment method and you can ask them to provide a link to their active or previous job post before responding to the offer, so you could access the other details. You can also contact Customer Support and our team will be able to provide more information which I can't share publicly here.

~ Vladimir
Upwork

Okay thanks. I'm glad you are planning to fix this. I just hope it's sooner than the issues with invites not showing (which has been broken for over a year!)

 

In this case I Googled the client's name and found sufficient information that I am comfortable proceeding, but thanks for the offer of further information. In the future if this happens and I'm not sure I will contact CS.


@Charles K wrote:

Okay thanks. I'm glad you are planning to fix this.


Don't hold your breath. I can't remember how many times during the last years this was brought up and how many times Upwork said they're working on a fix.

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"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless

Fixes that make life easier does not seem to be a priority. Thinking out new features that result in lots of downtime, however, seems to be more important.


@Rene K wrote:

@Charles K wrote:

Okay thanks. I'm glad you are planning to fix this.


Don't hold your breath. I can't remember how many times during the last years this was brought up and how many times Upwork said they're working on a fix.


Hey, I'm trying to be optimistic here. This is not easy for me, so I have to practice!

jojomo
Community Member

Hey Charles,

 

I agree with you. We freelancers have to go digging for client information and feedback history, it's crazy. All client information should be readily available on the offer section and interview section.

 

I also find it weird to recieve an offer before being properly interviewed first. Whenever I get those, I get suspicious.... and don't usually like it. I like to get a feel for the client before I accept anything. 

This is the normal behavior when the client press the Hire Now button on a freelancer's profile.

 

Client view.jpg

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"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
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