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leeannmerrill
Community Member

asking for feedback - protocol?

Hi - I've seen a lot of posts recently about your JSS getting popped due to clients who don't leave feedback and it prompted me to check for my open contracts that should be ripe for closing.  I thought I would find this by searching the threads but didn't - at the same time you are asking a client to close a contract that seems completed, is it appropriate to ask for positive feedback at all, and if so, how?

 

BTW, related to the no feedback issue, I messaged a client in January 2019 to suggest we close our contract - she had requested monthly blogs but had gone unresponsive after the third around October 2018. Finally in August 2019 I closed the contract, and no feedback came.  I just noticed from Linkedin that the client (or should I say employee who had handled my Upwork contract) had left that employer in Dec. 2018 - so she would have had no access to the account in addition to everything else related to leaving an employer. I just had a chat with Support about it and got really nowhere. I definitely don't think that's reasonable to punish me when feedback doesn't happen for circumstances like that - i.e. illness or death of client, leaves that employer, etc.

ACCEPTED SOLUTION


Lee Ann M wrote:

Hi Petra - please see my reply above.  Also, regarding the 43% no feedback issue, I am documenting each of my contracts with its feedback (I believe there is actually only one closed contract with no feedback).


Do not ask Support about your JSS, you might as well ask a Fortune Cookie.

 

Your JSS is affected by private feedback, not by the few "no feedback" or "idle" contracts you have.

What's the "Clients who would recommend me" percentage on your "My Stats" page?

I think that'll show you were the issue lies.

 


Lee Ann M wrote:

When I've completed this, who is the appropriate person to take it up with?


There isn't anything to take up with anyone. You obviously don't have 43% of "no feedback" contracts. You have spoken to a rep who misunderstood or miscalculated or misinterpreted something.

 


Lee Ann M wrote:

Also, regarding the 43% no feedback issue, I am documenting each of my contracts with its feedback (I believe there is actually only one closed contract with no feedback).


You had three, but only 2 in the maximum calculation window, so there is no way that they play any part in your JSS calculation.

 

And 2 out of 13 still does not make it 43%

 

Your answer is your private feedback - and possibly any contracts that ended without anything ever having been paid or which have been open for months and nothing was ever (!) paid.

 

View solution in original post

30 REPLIES 30
petryliak-victor
Community Member


Lee Ann M wrote:

Hi - I've seen a lot of posts recently about your JSS getting popped due to clients who don't leave feedback and it prompted me to check for my open contracts that should be ripe for closing.  I thought I would find this by searching the threads but didn't - at the same time you are asking a client to close a contract that seems completed, is it appropriate to ask for positive feedback at all, and if so, how?


Don't do that! Never.


BTW, related to the no feedback issue, I messaged a client in January 2019 to suggest we close our contract - she had requested monthly blogs but had gone unresponsive after the third around October 2018. Finally in August 2019 I closed the contract, and no feedback came.  I just noticed from Linkedin that the client (or should I say employee who had handled my Upwork contract) had left that employer in Dec. 2018 - so she would have had no access to the account in addition to everything else related to leaving an employer. I just had a chat with Support about it and got really nowhere. I definitely don't think that's reasonable to punish me when feedback doesn't happen for circumstances like that - i.e. illness or death of client, leaves that employer, etc.


There's no "punishment'' for a contract without a feedback. If there are few of them it's ok.

There is no protocol per se ... other than each FLer's sense of professionalism.

 

IMHO, no professional asks for feedback - not any more than they would (or should) ask for an A on their report card. Neither the FL nor the client are in grammar school. 

 

Yes, you can ask a client to close a contract.  But that is all...

 

As to the question of JSS being impacted by FL closing open contracts > CS gives conflicting advice from what experienced Forum Moderators do.  The mods have stated there is no JSS impact from open contracts as long as money has been paid.  CS categorically states otherwise.  If I ever get a ticket resolved where this comes into play, I'll update.

Here's input I got from CS regarding my JSS and past two-year history:

 

"Out of your contracts with feedback, you received good feedback 70% of the time while 43% of your outcomes have no feedback, which is far above the site average and thus slightly lowers your score.[some more info about outcomes]...Based on this information, it seems that what dragged your score are some contracts without feedback"]

 

I am following up on this separately, but there is zero possibility 43% of my outcomes have no feedback; in fact, I believe the one occasion I got no feedback was when the client had left her job at which she had hired me.  So - I don't see how to go forward without monitoring the no feedback issue ongoing.

I'm not a math person, but 70+43 exceeds 100. So wouldn't it be impossible for 70% of your contracts to have a positive outcome if 43% of them had no known outcome? 

petra_r
Community Member


Lee Ann M wrote:

Hi - I've seen a lot of posts recently about your JSS getting popped due to clients who don't leave feedback


This does not happen.

People need to stop worrying about idle contracts and contracts closed without feedback, which have absolutely no effect on the JSS in any way, shape or form at all provided:

  1. There was money paid under the contract, and
  2. There isn't an insane number / percentage of them.

Lee Ann M wrote:

I definitely don't think that's reasonable to punish me when feedback doesn't happen


It would not be reasonable if that was what happens, but it doesn't.

Just close it. It has no effect.

 

Hi Petra - please see my reply above.  Also, regarding the 43% no feedback issue, I am documenting each of my contracts with its feedback (I believe there is actually only one closed contract with no feedback). When I've completed this, who is the appropriate person to take it up with? If it's really showing up somewhere that 43% of my contracts have no feedback, there is a problem.


Lee Ann M wrote:

Hi Petra - please see my reply above.  Also, regarding the 43% no feedback issue, I am documenting each of my contracts with its feedback (I believe there is actually only one closed contract with no feedback).


Do not ask Support about your JSS, you might as well ask a Fortune Cookie.

 

Your JSS is affected by private feedback, not by the few "no feedback" or "idle" contracts you have.

What's the "Clients who would recommend me" percentage on your "My Stats" page?

I think that'll show you were the issue lies.

 


Lee Ann M wrote:

When I've completed this, who is the appropriate person to take it up with?


There isn't anything to take up with anyone. You obviously don't have 43% of "no feedback" contracts. You have spoken to a rep who misunderstood or miscalculated or misinterpreted something.

 


Lee Ann M wrote:

Also, regarding the 43% no feedback issue, I am documenting each of my contracts with its feedback (I believe there is actually only one closed contract with no feedback).


You had three, but only 2 in the maximum calculation window, so there is no way that they play any part in your JSS calculation.

 

And 2 out of 13 still does not make it 43%

 

Your answer is your private feedback - and possibly any contracts that ended without anything ever having been paid or which have been open for months and nothing was ever (!) paid.

 

According to U.'s Reddit sub thread there is an acknowledged problem with stats:

 

"From CS to someone else questioning abnormal JSS drop:

"Upon review we have a bug right now where number of jobs in work history & Job proposals counter is not matched and I apologize for the inconvenience this has caused you. Rest assured our engineers is working on the issue to resolve it as soonest time as possible""

 

**Edited for Community Guidelines**


Wendy C wrote:

 

"From CS to someone else questioning abnormal JSS drop:

"Upon review we have a bug right now where number of jobs in work history & Job proposals counter is not matched and I apologize for the inconvenience this has caused you.


If there is a bug affecting the the number of jobs in the work history and job proposals not matching,

how in the universe would that have anything whatsoever to do with the JSS?

 

Thanks Petra, yes, clearly there was a maths problem going on there at a minimum. Now perhaps I can spend my time more productively! Is there anything to be gained thinking about why your public and private feedback might not match? I do sometimes think about that.

kbadeau
Community Member


Petra R wrote:

Lee Ann M wrote:

Hi Petra - please see my reply above.  Also, regarding the 43% no feedback issue, I am documenting each of my contracts with its feedback (I believe there is actually only one closed contract with no feedback).


Do not ask Support about your JSS, you might as well ask a Fortune Cookie.

 

Your JSS is affected by private feedback, not by the few "no feedback" or "idle" contracts you have.

What's the "Clients who would recommend me" percentage on your "My Stats" page?

I think that'll show you were the issue lies.


 I obviously trust you... you are my go-to guru for this stuff... but because I've seen you say this before I checked my stats three weeks ago, when I was fretting about yet another unexplained JSS drop, and then a week ago, when my JSS magically went up again. The clients who would recommend me stat stayed exactly the same.

 

As much as I understand that Upwork does not want us gaming the system or going to clients to try to get good ratings, there is clearly a flaw in their system. There wouldn't be 652 different threads about JSS if it were a completely transparent and fair system.

 

 

petra_r
Community Member


Kelly B wrote:

There wouldn't be 652 different threads about JSS if it were a completely transparent and fair system.

It is not as transparent as many people would like, but it isn't rocket science either. "Fair" - I have no idea, it's the same system for everyone.

 


Kelly B wrote:

and then a week ago, when my JSS magically went up again. The clients who would recommend me stat stayed exactly the same.

Something that dragged it down fell out of the calculation window, or a client who previously dragged you down was suspended. Take a look what was closed and therefor fell out of your window 6 months prior to the 2 weeks before the JSS went back up.

Mine will go up next weekend because 2 contracts that dropped me will fall out of the 6 month window.

this is reminding me, and I just looked at my Stats page at "clients who would recommend me" figure again -- mine has never varied from 71% while my JSS has generally varied from 90% to 100%, except that now (when my JSS dipped to 88%) it's 72% Smiley Indifferent

Petra asked "If there is a bug affecting the the number of jobs in the work history and job proposals not matching, how in the universe would that have anything whatsoever to do with the JSS?"

 

Logical response is that if any one segment of the algorithm stats are off ... odds are the entire process / algorithm has an issue.  We do not (nor do we need to) know the 'secret formula / formulae that goes into the end result ... but when the tech team acknowledges there is an error it is only logical that the spill over impacts the entire result.


Wendy C wrote:

Petra asked "If there is a bug affecting the the number of jobs in the work history and job proposals not matching, how in the universe would that have anything whatsoever to do with the JSS?"

... but when the tech team acknowledges there is an error it is only logical that the spill over impacts the entire result.


"The tech team" did no such thing.

It looks like some first level rep grabbed the wrong canned response because that has zilch to do with the JSS.


Lee Ann M wrote:

this is reminding me, and I just looked at my Stats page at "clients who would recommend me" figure again -- mine has never varied from 71% while my JSS has generally varied from 90% to 100%, except that now (when my JSS dipped to 88%) it's 72% Smiley Indifferent


That means you are on a short calculation window.

The "Private JSS" (your private feedback percentage or "clients who would recommend me") metric is over the lifetime of your profile and is not updated after every contract or in line with the JSS.(someone said it updates every 5 contracts and that looks about right.)

 

That said, with it being in the low 70s that underlines my statement that idle or no feedback contracts have nothing to do with your JSS, and that it is private feedback that does / did it.

 

Sure would be great to have a window onto the private feedback, but I guess that's like the rest of life/work.  Interesting how as in face-to-face workplaces people can be loathe to criticize, even constructively.  But then I guess Upwork doesn't reward constructive criticism either. Not really a solution there, but wouldn't it be interesting if Upwork could do some kind of focus group exercise with freelancers where they were asked to come up with what they thought their negative private feedback was then compare with what it really was?  I certainly guess at what mine could be to see if there's anything I can change, but I could be totally wrong.


Lee Ann M wrote:

Sure would be great to have a window onto the private feedback, but I guess that's like the rest of life/work.  Interesting how as in face-to-face workplaces people can be loathe to criticize, even constructively.  But then I guess Upwork doesn't reward constructive criticism either. Not really a solution there, but wouldn't it be interesting if Upwork could do some kind of focus group exercise with freelancers where they were asked to come up with what they thought their negative private feedback was then compare with what it really was?  I certainly guess at what mine could be to see if there's anything I can change, but I could be totally wrong.


Image 2018-09-20 at 11.34.21 AM.png

I contacted Customer Support because a contract that I had asked to be removed was still showing up (I guess actually they remove feedback, not the contract - more below). A few weeks ago I was told that 43% of my outcomes had no feedback, which sounded ridiculous (Petra looked at my record and confirmed this.  Yesterday, CS told me the following: 

 

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

 

Totally, totally confused.

sorry - the "more below" was that a contract that I had deleted was one that I had closed myself because the client was unresponsive.  The CS person I had spoken to then (the one that told me 43% of my outcomes had no feedback) encouraged me to delete that one because she was telling me how contracts with no feedback were hurting my JSS, but now I realize of course that since it's feedback and not contracts that are deleted it made absolutely no difference to have deleted that one.

Hi Lee Ann,

 

I'd removed the conversation you copied from your ticket as we don't allow private communication to be shared in the forums. I'd like to clarify one point from the part I removed, regarding open contracts. While open contracts are included in your Job Success Score calculation, the active ones on which you're earning count towards your score regardless of not having received feedback on them yet. While active long-term contracts affect the Job Success Score positively, inactive open contracts can start to affect the Job Success Score negatively after a certain time-frame. In case you have inactive contracts, if you don't expect to do any more work on them in the near future you can ask the clients to close them, preventing a potentially negative effect they might have.

 

In general, the effect of a contract on a freelancer's Job Success Score depends on many factors: public and private feedback, whether or not the money has been paid on it, is it a long term relationship or it's been inactive for a long time, etc. I do see that you're basing your understanding on how Job Success Score is calculated in part on the comments you read here in the forums. Do note that there a number of factors of, for example, open contract scenario, as mentioned above, and their combination within that scenario determines the contract's effect on the score. We need to keep in mind the context and specific scenario discussed in a thread in order to understand the nature of the responses shared by users. I'd advise you to go over this Help article and feel free to follow up afterwards if you'd like to receive additional clarification regarding the score's calculation.

 

Regarding your statement here "since it's feedback and not contracts that are deleted", I have to clarify that this isn't an accurate representation of the feedback removal process and, as described in this Help article, it's up to the freelancer to opt for removing a specific contract from their profile and feedback from their calculation or removing only the feedback they received.

~ Vladimir
Upwork
tlbp
Community Member


Lee Ann M wrote:

Hi - I've seen a lot of posts recently about your JSS getting popped due to clients who don't leave feedback and it prompted me to check for my open contracts that should be ripe for closing.  I thought I would find this by searching the threads but didn't - at the same time you are asking a client to close a contract that seems completed, is it appropriate to ask for positive feedback at all, and if so, how?

 


If a client hasn't closed the contract after several months have passed, I might message them and say I am "cleaning up my records" or something like that and ask them to close the contract unless they want to continue working with me. I seldom ask them to leave feedback. I did ask an amicable client to close a contract and leave feedback on one occasion when I needed to push down a negative review.  

I think a better strategy is to solicit real feedback (not the Upwork review kinds) when you submit work to a client. I usually ask the client to let me know if they need any changes or would like to see something different when I submit the work. 

Most often, since to my knowledge I haven't suffered any ill effects from doing so, I just close out old contracts when I don't want them appearing as jobs in progress any longer. 

 

If you want to give clients a little nudge, you might say something like.
"Once we've completed this contract, you can close it through your client dashboard. When you do, you'll have an opportunity to rate my performance on a scale of 1 to 10. You will also be asked to give me a star rating that is visible on my profile page. You can add a comment to accompany the star rating but that is not required. Please let me know if you have any questions or want to add an additional task to this contract."

 

Okay this is perfect, thank you.

I can confirm the percentage of recommendation plays a crucial role. In my case, when it gets down by 1%, I lose 2-4 % of JSS. And if you have your percentage in low 70ties, that's definitely a problem that's dragging your score down. For a 90% JSS or so, I would expect a recommendation percentage of about at least 80%.

Also, I ask my clients to leave the feedback, usually in the same sentence where I ask them to close the job.

'Please close the job and leave a feedback. Thanks.' Something like this. Asking for 5 stars is definitely humiliating and, after all, it won't change the client's decision. They will give your 5 stars and leave 0 recommendation. ๐Ÿ™‚




I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion.
I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhรคuser Gate.
All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.

Filip, based on your words, then working almost entirely on long-term client jobs (that accrue hours every month) means that JSS will be hurt because these clients are not leaving feedback despite the fact they are consistently spending money.  Is this correct?

 

Despite the fact that Upwork likes and profits from long-term gigs plus they do not accrue maintenance and/or mitigation costs for them ...

 

 


Wendy C wrote:

Filip, based on your words, then working almost entirely on long-term client jobs (that accrue hours every month) means that JSS will be hurt because these clients are not leaving feedback despite the fact they are consistently spending money.  Is this correct?


No it is not, not at all, quite the opposite.

 


Filip K wrote:

Also, I ask my clients to leave the feedback, usually in the same sentence where I ask them to close the job.

'Please close the job and leave a feedback. Thanks.' Something like this.


Why would you do that? Considering that it is completely impossible for a client to close the contract without leaving feedback?

 

Personally, I have never asked a client to leave feedback, I never will ask a client to leave feedback, and personally find it distasteful to do so - Especially as it is so unneccessary. Just encourage clients to close the contract. If they do, feedback is automatic. If they don't, asking for feedback doesn't help either.

 

 

What I worry about is - we get asked to give feedback for everything that happens in life now buy something, call the bank, etc. etc.  I have no doubt that people have  "feedback fatigue." In many instances feedback is a pretty meaningless drop in the bucket but for freelancers feedback on their work is crucial (as long as it's positive Smiley Wink).  It's a conundrum.

I just think the private feedback is nonsensical. If a client really wants other clients to not work with me, because they think I am so bad, then wouldn't it make more sense to leave public feedback? Can't they block me from being able to send messages? Aren't we all grown ups here?

 

Do they know that the only effect of their bad feedback is that it lowers JSS?

 

And really, even if they hated me, why do they care if someone else hires me or not? Again, if the work I produce is so egregious, I would think they would want to state that publicly. If they just didn't like me then why would they care if a different client hires me? What do they think they're "protecting" that client from with their bad private feedback?

petra_r
Community Member


Kelly B wrote:

 If a client really wants other clients to not work with me, because they think I am so bad, then wouldn't it make more sense to leave public feedback?


Clients who leave decent public feedback and poorer private feedback are in no way interested in warning other clients. They are simply expressing how they feel, no more, no less.

 


Kelly B wrote:

And really, even if they hated me, why do they care if someone else hires me or not?


They don't. They are simply expressing how they feel, no more, no less.

 


Kelly B wrote:

If they just didn't like me then why would they care if a different client hires me?


They don't care. They are simply expressing how they feel, no more, no less.

 


Kelly B wrote:

What do they think they're "protecting" that client from with their bad private feedback?


They don't think they are "protecting" anyone. They are simply expressing how they feel, no more, no less.

I was just very surprised to see that the client feedback questions basically mirror the freelancer feedback ones (i.e. very short and simple). In particular, the question "would you recommend this freelancer to others" is a very broad question that covers a lot of different angles, and doing a 1-10 rating almost makes it worse because it confounds the issues.  There are many (or at least can be) many, many reasons who someone would or wouldn't recommend a freelancer, and to make it meaningful you'd really have to know something about the other clients.  Someone might be the best-recommended copywriter in the world, but if you're a startup that can only pay $20 an hour you can't hire that person, so that wouldn't be a valid recommendation for your needs. Same thing applies to "would you hire this freelancer again?" (now I can't remember if that's a question on there or not!!)  You might have loved someone's work but realized for various reasons they're not the right fit for you (i.e. they're in a different time zone and you gave it a try but found out it didn't work, you realized you couldn't afford that person ongoing, etc.).

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