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darrenwall74
Community Member

Yet another client asking me to work outside of Upwork

I know accepting a client's offer to work outside of Upwork is against the TOS, but as a small business owner, how can you account for telling a customer to shove off? I mean all earnings are desperately needed when you are a freelancer, so it seems like cutting your throat to keep Upwork happy.

 

Shouldn't Upwork put more effort into client retention?

 

The reason I am talking about this is, I have just finished a job for a client, who is now propositioning me to work outside of Upwork. Obviously, I am not foolish enough to accept, but, I had to ask, why he was asking?

 

Me - "You are welcome, thank you for releasing both milestones 🙂
As for future work, yes, I would love to write some more for you. However, I have to ask, why would you want to work outside of Upwork, is it to save on fees, or something else?"

 

Client - "Yes, mostly that, also it is easier to have all the things in one e-mail rather than in different sites
also, it is easier from the accounting point of view to receive one invoice a month and make a payment."

 

So, he wants me to write for an entire month, and then trust the fact that he will pay me, hahaha 🙂

 

What could Upwork do to keep this client happy/from straying? He is not exactly a newb; he has a 5-star rating and positive reviews

20 REPLIES 20
g_vasilevski
Retired Team Member
Retired Team Member

Hi Darren,

Please send me a PM with your contract ID or client name and our team will review everything further and contact him directly. Thank you for reporting this.

~ Goran
Upwork


@Goran V wrote:

Hi Darren,

Please send me a PM with your contract ID or client name and our team will review everything further and contact him directly. Thank you for reporting this.


 Darren, before you do that make sure the contract is closed and that you never work with that client again.

Feedback tends to be not so hot after a client finds out they've been reported just after a conversation about working outside the platform, got their accounts temporarily suspended and a telling off....

 

HI, Petra,

 

That is why I brought it t the attention of Upwork on the forum, knowing full well that they can access my chat /work history and find the client.

 

Thanks for pointing that out though, it will surely help less experienced freelancers who read it.

I have the same issue. How I can contact you if I have such a client?

Hi Vyacheslav,

 

Thanks for reaching out to us. Please send me a PM with your contract ID or client name and our team will review everything further.

 

Thank you.

~ Aleksandar
Upwork
petra_r
Community Member


Vyacheslav B wrote:

I have the same issue. How I can contact you if I have such a client?


From the job post:

flag as.jpg

 

from messages

 

report message.jpg

barada00
Community Member

Darren, I sincerely wonder what you were trying to achieve by sharing this here. If you wanted to report the client you could have done so more easily by contacting CS or flagging the chat if that was in UW chat. The client told you their reasons and there doesn't seem to be a way for UW to "retent" this client even if they wanted to do so after they tried to take you out. You can just say you can't do that and would be happy to keep working using UW. They might have decided to keep working with you. Now you lost the client, the client might lose their account, UW lost a client... It is freelancers, that should keep the clients inside the system not UW. We have a better chance of changing the minds of clients than UW.

Baris, I posted this for a few of reasons:

 

1) To foster conversation.

 

2) To educate less experienced freelancers, showing them what must be done when/if they ever find themselves in a similar situation. 

 

3) Because I wanted to alert Upwork to this in a way that did not inform the client that I had reported him. After all, Upwork can easily access my work/chat history and find the client.


@Darren w wrote:

Baris, I posted this for a few of reasons:

3) Because I wanted to alert Upwork to this in a way that did not inform the client that I had reported him. After all, Upwork can easily access my work/chat history and find the client.


 So, client offers to pay outside, Upwork suspend his account (temporarily) and you think client won't figure out how that happened and give you glowing feedback?

 

Thanks for your input, Petra, but that's a no-brainer. I posted this after feedback had been given.


 3) Because I wanted to alert Upwork to this in a way that did not inform the client that I had reported him. After all, Upwork can easily access my work/chat history and find the client.

I was under the impression that a client wouldn't know you reported their messages if it was done within chat. If you mean the client would figure out it was you, won't that still happen when Upwork contacts the client now?

 

Also, the posts in this forum are completely public, so anyone searching for your name, including your client, could technically find this post.

 

I'm not saying you shouldn't have posted, but I don't think posting here instead of flagging/opening a ticket gives you extra protection from your client.




@Sapna R. D wrote:

 3) Because I wanted to alert Upwork to this in a way that did not inform the client that I had reported him. After all, Upwork can easily access my work/chat history and find the client.

I was under the impression that a client wouldn't know you reported their messages if it was done within chat. If you mean the client would figure out it was you, won't that still happen when Upwork contacts the client now?

 

Also, the posts in this forum are completely public, so anyone searching for your name, including your client, could technically find this post.

 

I'm not saying you shouldn't have posted, but I don't think posting here instead of flagging/opening a ticket gives you extra protection from your client.




Agreed with Sapna - you've made it MORE likely your client will figure out that you've reported them by using a public forum instead of a private ticket. Moderators can see your profile and work history even if it's set to private, not to mention your message rooms, and it won't be hard for them to figure out who you're talking about.

I don't need protecting, my contract with the client ended before he propositioned me to work outside of Upwork.

Okay, you said you posted in the forum because you wanted a way to report the client that did not inform them. That sounds like you wanted to be protected from them knowing it was you. Sorry if I misunderstood.

Also, flagging the client's messages within chat does not inform them that you reported them, whereas posting in the forum leaves public proof that you did. That's all I was saying! Not criticizing, just letting you know.
mthornton-cpc
Community Member

It's the billing. That client doesn't like the weekly hourly billing or milestone billing periods. Period. The communication part of it isn't difficult - if the client and freelancer prefer to use email or any other outside communication once the contract is set up they are free to do so. In fact, that's what I would have told the client. Perhaps I would have mentioned that the contract and deliveries could be organized so that billing happens on milestones and the project schedule runs monthly. 

 

Or, I would have turned tail and realized that a client who seeks to skirt the rules is likely to skirt payment at some point down the line. 

Well basically you have to make a judgement call. 

 

Anytime YOU work outside yes you would save fees, but if Upwork is your major pipeline to get jobs is it worth the risk of getting kicked out?

 

I am sure there are countless buyers and sellers that work off platform and get away with it, but are you willing to take the risk?

 

As Petra said, don't do anything for 60 or 90 days.  You may get in to trouble.

Thank you for your input, Prashant.
tlsanders
Community Member

Darren, there are certainly some things Upwork could do to make the system a little more inviting for clients. But, the most significant problem isn't one Upwork can solve. It's a hassle for the person using the contractor and the department paying invoices to have to treat different freelancers differently. So, unless the client has only one freelancer or uses Upwork exclusively, working through the platform will always be something between a minor inconvenience and a major headache.

 

Companies hire freelancers to save them time, and hopping among platforms and direct invoices, making payments at six or eight different times during the month, having to log in to manage hourly contracts on a weekly basis, pay outside invoices on a monthly basis, escrow for fixed price contracts, etc. can make freelancer management a part-time job.

 

Of course, it would be ideal for Upwork if clients solved this by running all of their freelancers through Upwork, but that's probably not realistic in most cases. So, many clients will want to streamline their processes by getting off platform.

 

On a side note, invoicing monthly is pretty much the industry norm when writing directly for companies. Some will pay upon completion of a project or twice a month, but monthly invoicing is far more common.

 

 

Thanks for contributing to the discussion, Tiffany.

Invoicing weekly is the norm in Canada.

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