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Contracts from Clients

Active Member
Toni-Ann D Member Since: Jun 22, 2019
1 of 13
Hi everyone,
I have a concern. A few weeks ago, I got an NDA contract from a client to sign before I start working. I signed it and sent it to them, but I was told by a friend of mine that I shouldn't be signing anything; I should just receive an invitation to the job that allows me to accept or refuse it.

I deleted the message with the contract.

Now, today, I'm seeing that the client messaged me again asking if I got a chance to sign the contract. I told them that I was wondering what happened, because I had responded to their message a long time that was previously sent a few weeks ago, but they didn't respond until now. I then told them that I'm not signing any contracts because those are outside of Upwork's policies to do so. They said that, not signing the contract means that I can't get access to a file that would test my abilities to do the job before I actually get the real task to do. I told them that the contract has a section in it that really concerns me and that is where they ask me to provide my mailing address. I asked them why was that needed. They responded saying that the mailing address is not required. They just want to know what email address the client wants to be contacted by for freelancers who are working out of platforms. That phrase "outside of platforms" seems to be a red flag. I don't what to do. Please and thank you for your guidance.

Warm regards,
Toni
Community Guru
Robin H Member Since: May 28, 2019
2 of 13

Go with your gut.  If it sounds fishy, it probably is.  Don't waste your time and move on. 

Active Member
Toni-Ann D Member Since: Jun 22, 2019
3 of 13
Hmmm... You have a point. Thanks a lot!
Community Guru
Miriam H Member Since: May 16, 2017
4 of 13

Always good to be careful! 

 

I sign NDAs all the time, generally after a contract has been initiated on Upwork. It gives the client piece of mind since my job often requires discussions of business strategy and financials. 

 

Others on this forum may feel differently regarding NDAs, however the ones I sign don't speak about employment, just not sharing confidential information.

 

Active Member
Toni-Ann D Member Since: Jun 22, 2019
5 of 13
Ok, so I'm seeing that NDA's are not much of a problem; it just depends on what is in them.

The NDA was basically stating that I am not supposed to share the information, like you said.

But why would they need to contact me outside of Upwork, thus requesting my email?

Thank you for your reply.
Community Guru
Miriam H Member Since: May 16, 2017
6 of 13

Toni-Ann D wrote:
But why would they need to contact me outside of Upwork, thus requesting my email?

Thank you for your reply.

It's very common to communicate with clients on other platforms (Slack, WhatsApp, email) as long as you have the contract via Upwork.

 

 

Community Guru
Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
7 of 13

Toni-Ann D wrote:
Ok, so I'm seeing that NDA's are not much of a problem; it just depends on what is in them.

The NDA was basically stating that I am not supposed to share the information, like you said.

But why would they need to contact me outside of Upwork, thus requesting my email?

Thank you for your reply.

Because the UW message center is notoriously unreliable. It goes down at random times, often for only a few minutes but sometimes longer. If that happens when you and a client are trying to connect and/or exchange files necessary for a project, it can really foul things up. Best practice is to have an email address specifically for work, that you can share with clients. 

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8 of 13
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There's no contract and they mentioned "outside of the platform". 

That's all you need to know to reject it.

 

Signing NDA's are ridiculous and unnecessary for most projects. And this person seems to be up to something else anyway. 

Active Member
Toni-Ann D Member Since: Jun 22, 2019
9 of 13
Thank you very much
Community Guru
Martina P Member Since: Jul 11, 2018
10 of 13

Toni-Ann D wrote:
Hi everyone,
I have a concern. A few weeks ago, I got an NDA contract from a client to sign before I start working. I signed it and sent it to them, but I was told by a friend of mine that I shouldn't be signing anything; I should just receive an invitation to the job that allows me to accept or refuse it.

I deleted the message with the contract.

Now, today, I'm seeing that the client messaged me again asking if I got a chance to sign the contract. I told them that I was wondering what happened, because I had responded to their message a long time that was previously sent a few weeks ago, but they didn't respond until now. I then told them that I'm not signing any contracts because those are outside of Upwork's policies to do so. They said that, not signing the contract means that I can't get access to a file that would test my abilities to do the job before I actually get the real task to do. I told them that the contract has a section in it that really concerns me and that is where they ask me to provide my mailing address. I asked them why was that needed. They responded saying that the mailing address is not required. They just want to know what email address the client wants to be contacted by for freelancers who are working out of platforms. That phrase "outside of platforms" seems to be a red flag. I don't what to do. Please and thank you for your guidance.

Warm regards,
Toni

Working "out of platforms" or "outside of platforms" are 2 completely different things, the first phrase a maybe a bit unfortunate term for people that the hire on platforms such as upwork. I think you misinterpreted this, English might not be their first language. 

Also, signing an NDA is nothing to be concerned about. Just don't give them your passport number or other personal information. 

You might have alienated a perfectly nice client. 

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