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binding messages? seems like a contract to me

Active Member
William Henry B Member Since: Apr 30, 2017
1 of 10

sorry if wrong forum here is chat which made me think i was hired..... i have lost 2 nights of work.... she has not hired me even though she says YOU ARE HIRED....



*Edited For Community Guidelines*
is this ok?
im at 20 now
thats 50 cents a description... but i thought i was hired? what happened?
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
2 of 10

On Upwork, there is no such thing as a "binding message."


If you go to:


My Jobs -> My Jobs


...and see a contract listed, then you have a contract.


If you don't see a contract listed there, then you don't have a contract.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
3 of 10

Here is an example of how this works.


The prospective client you have been messaging sends you a message like this:


"I am offically hiring you. You are hired. I promise absolutely 100% that I will pay you for your work."


Then you go to My Jobs -> My Jobs.


You see that there is no contract listed there.


That means you have not been hired. There is no contract. If you do any work, you are working for free. If you complain to Upwork about not getting paid, they will do nothing to get money for you. Maybe you will be suspended. I hope so.

Community Guru
Janean L Member Since: Apr 6, 2016
4 of 10

Well, Preston, it could be argued that some of what the O.P. posted is, indeed, a "binding contract," when viewed in a certain light.

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
5 of 10

Every time I think I've seen it all someone surfaces from somewhere (somewhere really scary) and proves me wrong.


Community Guru
Douglas Michael M Member Since: May 22, 2015
6 of 10


Whether or not the OP's scammer, or Preston's hyperbolic one, has made a valid contract would be a matter for a court to decide, in the extremely unlikely event one would deign to review the question. It's certainly no concern of Upwork's.


Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
7 of 10

OP/Janean/Michael--Yes, assuming that OP and the potential client came to a specific agreement and the client said "you're hired" per those specific terms, that is a legally binding contract. However, it is not an Upwork contract, which means that there is no protection for the freelancer (and when a client does this and doesn't create an Upwork contract, it's usually because the client isn't planning to pay).


As Michael pointed out, having a legally binding contract isn't of any use to you (without Upwork protections in place) unless you plan to track down the client offline and file a lawsuit. So, it doesn't really matter whether or not there was a contract, only whether Upwork was used as intended and therefore payment was protected.


OP, you will probably want to go one item up on that right hand sidebar and check out the "New to Upwork" section. Upwork has provided a lot of reading material that prevents this sort of thing from happening.

Community Guru
Janean L Member Since: Apr 6, 2016
8 of 10

@Douglas & Tiffany --


My response was actually a bit of a joke. The OP quoted a great deal that had to do with S&M and restraints, and even a written agreement to do so. (Written, signed agreement to be restrained; mention of "safe words.")  Thus, a "binding" contract.  (You had to arrive at the party before the Mods pooped it, though...)

Community Guru
Baris A Member Since: Mar 15, 2017
9 of 10

Dear William Henry B,


The time you spent is lost, so forget about it. If you sent the client the texts they wanted, publish them on some web site like ezinearticles before they use them for their project and send them the link. This way at least they can't use your texts (hopefully). And don't work before you see the contract and escrowed money again.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
10 of 10

Janean is right.


The original poster's quoted message transcript... that was something else.


I didn't even manage to read it all. It was pretty clear that it was going to be deleted by moderators quickly. It went well beyond the confines of Forum rules.


How serious the client and the freelancer involved are? Who knows.


But the underling principles discussed here remain valid.