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"Contract started, but payment is not guaranteed"

ai83
Community Leader
Alma I Member Since: Jan 18, 2016
1 of 10

Alright, so this is a new one. I accepted an offer and got an email saying "Contract started, but payment is not guaranteed". Why is Upwork allowing customers to even send fixed priced offers if the paymet is unverified? This should be setup in a way that would streamline the work rather than take 20% of my earnings and let me do all the administrative work that Upwork should be doing. 

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

@Alma I wrote:

Alright, so this is a new one. I accepted an offer and got an email saying "Contract started, but payment is not guaranteed". Why is Upwork allowing customers to even send fixed priced offers if the paymet is unverified? This should be setup in a way that would streamline the work rather than take 20% of my earnings and let me do all the administrative work that Upwork should be doing. 


 What is the problem? You could have waited until the client verified their payment method before accepting the contract, and now all you have to do is wait until the client does. What "administrative work" are you talking about? You don't have to do any "administrative work."

ai83
Community Leader
Alma I Member Since: Jan 18, 2016
3 of 10

Petra, actually the client was eager to start the work so I had to go back and say that I can't start working as of yet because of this problem. I then went to customer support to ask if Upwork has announced the customer that they have to verify whatever they have to verify before the work can start. I received a pasted reply saying that they cannot divulge information about the customer, although I explicitly didn't ask for client information but rather on Upwork actions specifically. I asked again if the customer was even informed by Upwork that there is an issue preventing the contract from proceeding but received no clarification. Basically, I couldn't be told whether Upwork emailed the customer or not. When the customer confirmed to me directly that he fixed the issue, I had to check directly in the contract that he was right as I received no further automated email generated by the system when the contract became workable. From a process management standpoint, when you have a procedure halting work by an automated notification (in this case email), you need to have a symmetric automated notification prompting the (re)starting of work. Otherwise you get a lot of confused users. Moreover, from a process management standpoint, when you have a notification halting work, that notification should include information about the conditions and/or timing under which work is expected to restart in order to avoid users coming back and actively asking you for these details. Poor/incomplete processes and procedures create artificial workload.

tinker_bell3
Moderator
Joanne Marie P Moderator Member Since: Nov 26, 2017
4 of 10

Hi Alma,

 

 

You do have the option not to accept a job offer and ask the client first to verify their payment method. The information about the client's payment method whether it is verified or not yet is available on the job offer before you go ahead and accept it. In this case, you can request client to verify his payment method on file before your start working on the project. 

~ Joanne
Upwork
tlbp
Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
5 of 10

@Joanne Marie P wrote:

Hi Alma,

 

 

You do have the option not to accept a job offer and ask the client first to verify their payment method. The information about the client's payment method whether it is verified or not yet is available on the job offer before you go ahead and accept it. In this case, you can request client to verify his payment method on file before your start working on the project. 


 Oh, well there you go. What's the problem? Upwork doesn't stop adults who claim to be competent enough to offer business services from entering into contracts? 

ai83
Community Leader
Alma I Member Since: Jan 18, 2016
6 of 10

Thank you Joanne Marie. The client payment was indeed verified when I accepted the job. This problem occured afterwards and had nothing to do with payment as the client's card had been charged. So it was likely not a payment verification issue but a different kind of verification. 

 

I don't see why is there an option to even accept a job with payment unverified in the first place. Moreover, the client confirmed later that he fixed the verification issue but no further automated email followed to announce that the contract is no longer affected. There are two problems here that should be solved by system automation. First, clients not being able to send an offer that is not covered by paymet protection. Second, if they do, the system should announce that the problem was fixed much like it announced that there was a problem in the first place.

 

And third, I checked the option to receive emails when someone replies to this thread but received nothing. 

vladag
Community Manager
Vladimir G Community Manager Member Since: Oct 31, 2014
7 of 10

Hi Alma,

 

I checked your contract, communication with our Support team and your client's support ticket and would like to clarify the concerns you raised in your follow-up posts:

 


Alma I wrote:

 

I don't see why is there an option to even accept a job with payment unverified in the first place. Moreover, the client confirmed later that he fixed the verification issue but no further automated email followed to announce that the contract is no longer affected. There are two problems here that should be solved by system automation. First, clients not being able to send an offer that is not covered by paymet protection. Second, if they do, the system should announce that the problem was fixed much like it announced that there was a problem in the first place.

...

When the customer confirmed to me directly that he fixed the issue, I had to check directly in the contract that he was right as I received no further automated email generated by the system when the contract became workable. From a process management standpoint, when you have a procedure halting work by an automated notification (in this case email), you need to have a symmetric automated notification prompting the (re)starting of work. Otherwise you get a lot of confused users. Moreover, from a process management standpoint, when you have a notification halting work, that notification should include information about the conditions and/or timing under which work is expected to restart in order to avoid users coming back and actively asking you for these details. Poor/incomplete processes and procedures create artificial workload.


I can confirm we only notify freelancers if the client's payment method becomes unverified and I see our agent shared clear instructions in their initial response on how to check the verification status of your client's billing method. In addition, the agent advised to communicate with the client directly and offered to reach out to them in case they don't respond to your message. I'll share with our team your suggestion about notifying freelancers once their client verifies their payment method.

 

I then went to customer support to ask if Upwork has announced the customer that they have to verify whatever they have to verify before the work can start. I received a pasted reply saying that they cannot divulge information about the customer, although I explicitly didn't ask for client information but rather on Upwork actions specifically. I asked again if the customer was even informed by Upwork that there is an issue preventing the contract from proceeding but received no clarification. 

 

To be fair, I can confirm the information our agent provided in your conversation are on point. While we can't discuss private communication, I can state that our agent didn't provide the information related to your client you requested in your initial message in line with our internal procedures, could have confirmed that we have notified your client regarding their payment method status after your second message and lastly, regarding your last point about not receiving a response, the message was posted recently on your ticket and our agent hasn't responded to it yet. 

 

And third, I checked the option to receive emails when someone replies to this thread but received nothing. 

 

I'll follow up with you soon via private messages with an update on not receiving Community notifications in order to troubleshoot the problem .

I understand you don't agree with the current process and will forward your feedback for further consideration. I'm also glad the issue was resolved and you are able to start working on your new contract.

Untitled
tlbp
Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
8 of 10

IMO, the minute a freelancer starts whining about being charged a fee for the access they gain to paying clients, they lose all credibility with me. No one is forcing you to use Upwork. And, Upwork is a company, not your mommy looking over your shoulder to make sure you run your business properly. 

 

If you've paid for a service and not received it, point us to the section in the TOS indicating that you are so entitled. Otherwise, you are just making things up to whine about. 

ai83
Community Leader
Alma I Member Since: Jan 18, 2016
9 of 10

Tonya, is this normal, professional behavior? 

gilbert-phyllis
Community Guru
Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
10 of 10

Tonya doesn't need me to speak for her, so I'll just say this one has me shaking my head.


@Alma I wrote:

Tonya, is this normal, professional behavior? 


 

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