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Why can't freelancers access client help guides/how-tos

iaabraham
Community Guru
Isabelle Anne A Member Since: May 19, 2014
1 of 15

About half a year ago I remember that it was still possible for freelancers to access client help guides such as How to increase weekly limit, how to end/change/unpause a contract, etc.

 

Then, a month or 2 ago, those options disappeared and now when I try to access a page like this: https://support.odesk.com/entries/23122051-How-do-I-change-an-hourly-contract-s-rate- it says "You do not have access to this topic".

 

Sometimes I have a lazy or new to oDesk client that I'd like to help quickly without asking Live Chat Support for the links to send to them.

 

Does anyone know why we're blocked from seeing those pages?

 

 

natram
Community Guru
Natasa R Member Since: Feb 2, 2012
2 of 15

Same here Isabelle. I was talking with a new oDesk client and wanted to help him out with some information but when I tried to access the clients' Help Center I got the same "You do no have  access to this topic" message. I find it weird that we are denied access to this information. It's not like oDesk have top secret information there.

 

Sometimes it's convenient to give a link to clients to help them out without sending them to support. I got hired eventually but it would have been a lot easier to just give the client the link. 

 

iaabraham
Community Guru
Isabelle Anne A Member Since: May 19, 2014
3 of 15

Well here's an answer from Support:

 

"This is the new system design. I apologize but im not sure if I can be able to provide the specific reason why."

 

Then she suggested I post a recommendation here in the forums. Seeing as an oDesk representative hasn't replied to this thread, I guess there's no use.

kochubei_valeria
Community Manager
Valeria K Community Manager Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
4 of 15

Hi Isabelle Anne and Natasa,

 

Although there is access to different sets of help articles in the Help Center for freelancers and clients, I understand how you would like to have access to both. I will share your feedback with the Team. Meanwhile, you can add a client-company profile to your oDesk account by going to Settings>Create a Company, in order to get access to those help articles.

 

Thank you! 

~ Valeria
Upwork
iaabraham
Community Guru
Isabelle Anne A Member Since: May 19, 2014
5 of 15

Thank you for responding Valeria - that's very helpful. Yes, please do share our suggestion with team. If there is a valid reason why we shouldn't be able to access those topics, then I would understand. But I can't think of any good reason. 

 

I'm a bit hesitant to add a client-company profile - will that affect my profile in any way or cause problems for my account later on?

stephenbrightman
Community Guru
Stephen B Member Since: Dec 4, 2012
BEST ANSWER
6 of 15

I really can't believe what I'm reading here. Firstly, I'm fully in agreement with Isabelle and others about freelancers being able to access client help files, and vice versa. I really don't see the point in having them separated in the first place. It seems like another of oDesk's attempts to try and keep things easy for users by censoring the information they have access to, (so they don't read the wrong help file by mistake??) On the one hand they want users to be intelligent and professional; and on the other they can't trust them to decide for themselves what kind of help they need.

 

But then, the answers....

 

First, support says

"

"This is the new system design. I apologize but Im not sure if I can be able to provide the specific reason why."" (in other words, I don't know why...)

 

Then Valeria (nothing personal...) suggests that  a freelancer should open a client account for themselves just so that they can work as a freelancer, and tells clients how to use the site.

 

Someone, somewhere, decided that the information in the help files had to be selectively censored, for whatever reason. Someone then had to write the code (which seems to have worked this time) to make that happen. Then when someone asks why it's happened, nobody knows - but there can be a suggested workaround that adds massively to the complexity of the site, by opening separate acoounts in order to access different sections of information. Of course, the user who does that will then probably get their accounts under suspension for suspicious activity.

 

And really, all that needs to be done is to remove the restriction, and carry on as if it was just a dream. But more than likely it's here to stay now. Nobody asked for it. Nobody benefits. Groundhog Day...

View solution in original post

kochubei_valeria
Community Manager
Valeria K Community Manager Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
7 of 15

Hi Stephen and Isabelle,

 

I would like to clarify. I do not by any means suggest you open another oDesk account -  that would be a violation of oDesk Policies. I am suggesting adding a Client-Company to your existing account in the Settings. It will allow you access to more articles in the Help Center and might be useful if you ever decide to hire freelancers on oDesk. This will not get your account flagged or reviewed and there are thousands of accounts on oDesk that have both freelancer and client portions and are used by their owners for both looking for jobs and hiring.

 

Thank you!

~ Valeria
Upwork
david_gregory
Community Guru
David G Member Since: Oct 6, 2011
8 of 15

Or you could just go back to the way it used to be and let everyone have access to both help files.

 

It seems strange to restrict access to files that are supposed to help people figure out how the site works. I've had a number of clients who have had trouble figuring out the system and I can't help them because I don't have access to the help files.

 

It's silly to have to open a client account which I have no plans to ever use just so I can see the client help files.

natram
Community Guru
Natasa R Member Since: Feb 2, 2012
9 of 15

Hi Valeria, 

 

Thank you for sharing our feedback with the Team, I really appreciate it.

 

Although a workaround may be available, accessing clients' and freelancers' knowledge base should be as easy as a couple of clicks away. I don't see why the clients' knowledge base is a restricted area, especiallly since there is a lot of useful information for us freelancers too.

 

The client I mentioned earlier was new to oDesk so I wanted to help him out with some information by sending him a link to one of the articles from Help Center, just as I used to be able to do in the past. Going through a client-company profile just to be able to access the knowledge base is really unnecessary.

 

It should be in oDesk's interest to make the website's functionality intuitive and accessible to its users. Building a website with certain restricted areas without a reason or explanation makes us wonder why freelancers and clients are separated. It should also be added that making changes where we have to figure out things for ourselves only adds frustration. 

 

I know this is not in your hand and I definitely don't blame you for this. There is actually not much you can do on your end and I am thankful for any help you offer us.  Smiley Happy

 

 

garnorm
Community Guru
Garnor M Member Since: Oct 29, 2014
10 of 15

Thanks Natasa and others. As noted by Valeria, we will make sure to discuss this with our team. The scenarios you've mentioned are good ones where it makes sense to show this (client) information to all users.

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