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Why do freelancers have to suffer due to unresponsive clients?

Community Guru
Kathy T Member Since: Jul 17, 2015
11 of 21

The only way to protect freelancers against clients like that is for Upwork to END the algorithm that uses feedback to determine the JSS score. And I don't see that happening either now or in the future. There will be these kinds of clients. We have no way of looking into their mind to find out why they do this. There have been clients who, when messaging, tell us they loved the outcome of the work, they are happy with the results etc. But then out of the blue they give a 1 star rating and horrible feedback. There have been many posts such as that where the poster contacted Upwork with proof, (documentation of those messages) and asked Upwork to delete the feedback, or change it. But that never happens.

 

All we can do is to respond to that feedback professionaly and move on.  I don't know the procedures very well on here yet, but on Elance if a client doesn't pay a contractor, they can't leave feedback. If that is the same on here then you do have options, (although not the options you want.)

 

You can either refund the payment and if the  feedback/payment option is the same as Elance's, they feedback will be removed. Your JSS score may still take a hit, but maybe not as much. If the payment you received wasn't much, (and I'm reading you only got $3?) it would be worth doing that. On the other hand, by doing that, you reward the client and teach him that he can do that to other contractors (gets his funds back and gets his work done because of bad feedback ) he will use that tactic on other contractors.

 

Or

 

You can just accept the fact that this is was a bad client, remember him and never work with him again, and move on.  Eventually, although it might??? affect getting future work, (and there's no telling if that's so) You will get other jobs, and that feedback will fall off and not be included after awhile, on your JSS score.

 

 

Community Guru
Andrea B Member Since: Feb 20, 2015
12 of 21

Upwork seems really to be the perfect place in which if you start off on the wrong foot, you're out for good.

If a freelancer with a strong history gets a bad review (regardless if it's his fault or not) he still is in a better position if compared to the new freelancer with a bad review among only three or four completed projects.

Community Guru
Irene B Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
13 of 21

If I could give any advice to push your score up a little quicker, it is something I was forced to do last year. Due to a series of unfortunate events which I won't mention here otherwise my blood pressure will go up, my JS dropped from 100 to 79 over the course of a month. I was devastated, as what had happened had not been my fault AT all!

 

Anyway, to make a long story short, I concentrated on doing a number of small jobs, actively searching them, and got my score up slowly but surely. 

 

In retrospect, I might do it differently if the same happened to me now, but in the long run, it worked.

 

The moral of the story is, there is life after a huge drop...just do NOT get despondent, and stop focussing on the JS....focus on making money (which is what I did)....every time I got paid I thought: In your eye, JS! You will NOT be my master.

Community Guru
Douglas Michael M Member Since: May 22, 2015
14 of 21

Mihal,

 

With all due sympathy and respect, I don't understand your story,

 

It sounds as if this was a fixed-price contract. Was it? If so, did you not only begin but deliver the work before escrow was funded?

 

Once escrow is funded, you submit the work using the submit-and-invoice button and wait for the client to release the funds or for Upwork to release them automatically after two weeks, No follow up correspondence, client sob stories, or fretting about when you'll get your money is required.

 

What am I missing?

 

Best,

MIchael

Active Member
Mihai Corneliu G Member Since: Sep 5, 2015
15 of 21

@Michael: What am I missing?

 

The whole point.

This wasn`t about him not paying (contract was $33, first milestone was $3 and he paid that and ended after 6 weeks without providing feedback for the work).

I didn`t come here to complain about him not paying.

I came here because something should be done so that our (freelancers) JSS shouldn`t be so affected (or not at all) due to unresponsive (but that leave feedback) clients.

 

Do you understand now?

Community Guru
Douglas Michael M Member Since: May 22, 2015
16 of 21

@Mihai Corneliu G wrote:

@Michael: What am I missing?

 

The whole point.

This wasn`t about him not paying (contract was $33, first milestone was $3 and he paid that and ended after 6 weeks without providing feedback for the work).

I didn`t come here to complain about him not paying.

I came here because something should be done so that our (freelancers) JSS shouldn`t be so affected (or not at all) due to unresponsive (but that leave feedback) clients.

 

Do you understand now?


Mihal,

 

Apparently not. You nagged a client for feedback on a contract that wasn't finished? What part of your story is Upwork's responsibility?

 

Best,

Michael 

Active Member
Mihai Corneliu G Member Since: Sep 5, 2015
17 of 21

Michael, i think you didn`t take the time to read the full message and the messages of the other freelancers who posted here.

Upwork`s responsibility should be to protect the freelancer`s rating on their website from clients who DO NOT care that we are trying our best to keep a good reputation here.

Do you think it`s my fault, or any other freelancer`s fault when we encountered this kind of clients? Shouldn`t be a system in place, as we are rated with JSS, for the clients as well so we can know who we are working with? Shouldn`t be an option that Upwork will provide so that the freelancer will not be affected by a client like that?Upwork considers now `unresponsive` only when he doesn`t give feedback, not that he doesn`t answer to the messages to provide feedback for the work to be successfully completed.

Is that fair?

Till last, the client has the money, but due to freelancers they are spended here and not on another website like this.

Community Guru
Sandra T Member Since: Nov 26, 2014
18 of 21

Mihai,

 

I totally understand your frustration about bad/unresponsive/... clients. However, how do you imagine this "protection by Upwork" to work like? Let's say they did have a person who looks into cases like yours, reads the communication, maybe writes an email to you, one to the client, bla, bla. Best case scenario it takes this person 1h to come to a decision and do whatever. How is that person going to get paid? From the 30 cents Upwork made with your $3 milestone?

 

Personally, I think this completely falls into the responsibility of freelancers. They have to decide which clients they do business with, they have to put mechanisms and strategies into place in order to avoid or protect themselves from not so good clients. Just like they have to with any other client from any other medium through which they acquire clients. Because besides the bit of protecting the payment part, Upwork is just that - a medium, not a mediator.

 

Best regards

Community Guru
Douglas Michael M Member Since: May 22, 2015
19 of 21

@Mihai Corneliu G wrote:

Michael, i think you didn`t take the time to read the full message and the messages of the other freelancers who posted here.

You are mistaken.

 

Upwork`s responsibility should be to protect the freelancer`s rating on their website from clients who DO NOT care that we are trying our best to keep a good reputation here.

I'm don't see what Upwork can do about a client's attitude. For that matter, I can't really do anything about a client's attitude. I can only respond to their behavior,

 

Do you think it`s my fault, or any other freelancer`s fault when we encountered this kind of clients?

What kind of client? One who won't give feedback for an incomplete job? It is the norm not to give feedback till a job is completed.

 

Shouldn`t be a system in place, as we are rated with JSS, for the clients as well so we can know who we are working with?

There is such a system in place. We're just not privy to it.

 

Shouldn`t be an option that Upwork will provide so that the freelancer will not be affected by a client like that?

Again, like what? If a client disappears mid-job, the likelihood of their giving feedback is even less than their likelihood of giving you what you need to complete the contract. Why were you focused on premature feedback instead of completing the contract?

 

Upwork considers now `unresponsive` only when he doesn`t give feedback, not that he doesn`t answer to the messages to provide feedback for the work to be successfully completed.

Is that fair?

Fairness has nothing to do with it. That is how "unresponsive" is defined in the context of feedback. Had you tried to close the job instead of hounding your client, I believe you would have seen "unresponsive client" given as a reason for closing, and could have chosen it.

 

....


Best,

MIchael

 

p.s. Perhaps we are using the term feedback differently. Most people here use it in terms of the rating made on job completion. If you mean a response from the client that would allow you to continue work, then it's up to you to determine at what point the client is unresponsive and you should cut your losses. I would not expect the level of nagging you described, vs. a reminder every week or so, to be helpful.

Community Guru
Isabelle Anne A Member Since: May 19, 2014
20 of 21
Michael, you're right - I think you 2 are referring to different kinds of feedback. Because Mihai mentioned that the superiors had to check it, I assumed he's talking about feedback on the progress of work. In that case, he would need the client's feedback before completing/finalizing the project.
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