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e6396361
Community Member

How safe and reliable is the Upwork marketplace?

Hello all,

 

I am interested in working with Upwork.

 

I have a lot of work to be done by outsourcing to freelancers. However, I am skeptical about whether to hire them from Upwork or from elsewhere. I am very concerned about working with Upwork because I have read some bad reviews about the Upwork marketplace Quora, Glassdoor, etc.

 

I do have a feeling that Upwork still has a lot of great talents that can deliver well. Can you give me some reassurance that I will not be scammed by Upwork or its freelancers?

 

I apologize for my allegations, however I really have to value my time and money before investing.

 

Thanks for understanding.

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prestonhunter
Community Member

Mukesh:

I don't blame you if you are skeptical after having read some of what is out there. You are correct: There ARE some people who have written bad reviews about Upwork. And there ARE people who have had bad experiences while using Upwork.


But those reviews you saw are very misleading about what kind of platform Upwork is. It's actually a very safe, effective, useful tool that many clients try out and end up using as their main place for hiring freelancers.

 

Remember that you can find absolutely scathing reviews about the iPhone, every Academy Award-winning movie, Mahatma Gandhi, asprin and puppies. So... the mere presence of those negative reviews doesn't mean that you yourself shouldn't benefit from what Upwork has to offer.

 

re: "Can you give me some reassurance that I will not be scammed by Upwork or its freelancers?"

 

Well, Upwork itself is a multinational company that allows clients to find and hire freelancers. It is not a scam, and it definitely won't scam you. There ARE freelancers on Upwork who are scammers. This is true. A tiny percentage of the overall population of Upwork freelancers are scammers, attracted to the site because of how successful and important it is. But the only clients who get scammed are those who don't follow the rules and best practices.


The main way that clients get scammed is by sending money to freelancers before receiving the work they are paying for. Upwork specifically tells clients NOT to do that. But some do, and a tiny percent of them get scammed. It's not complicated: HIre freelancers, review their work, and then release payment after you review and receive the work. Or use hourly contracts, review the work regularly, and stop working with anybody whose work you don't highly value.

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prestonhunter
Community Member

Mukesh:

I don't blame you if you are skeptical after having read some of what is out there. You are correct: There ARE some people who have written bad reviews about Upwork. And there ARE people who have had bad experiences while using Upwork.


But those reviews you saw are very misleading about what kind of platform Upwork is. It's actually a very safe, effective, useful tool that many clients try out and end up using as their main place for hiring freelancers.

 

Remember that you can find absolutely scathing reviews about the iPhone, every Academy Award-winning movie, Mahatma Gandhi, asprin and puppies. So... the mere presence of those negative reviews doesn't mean that you yourself shouldn't benefit from what Upwork has to offer.

 

re: "Can you give me some reassurance that I will not be scammed by Upwork or its freelancers?"

 

Well, Upwork itself is a multinational company that allows clients to find and hire freelancers. It is not a scam, and it definitely won't scam you. There ARE freelancers on Upwork who are scammers. This is true. A tiny percentage of the overall population of Upwork freelancers are scammers, attracted to the site because of how successful and important it is. But the only clients who get scammed are those who don't follow the rules and best practices.


The main way that clients get scammed is by sending money to freelancers before receiving the work they are paying for. Upwork specifically tells clients NOT to do that. But some do, and a tiny percent of them get scammed. It's not complicated: HIre freelancers, review their work, and then release payment after you review and receive the work. Or use hourly contracts, review the work regularly, and stop working with anybody whose work you don't highly value.

Thank you Mr Preston for the detailed explanation. I am touced! 🙂
I will now definitely trust this platform and work with the trusted freelancers.

Hi i am new here. I want to hire freelancer for my project how can i reassure my safety during payment or other safety issues 

Can I ask a question I want to have a job done by upward somebody on up work and can I pay for it after the job is done because I know person that’s interested in the job that I’ve done and then I’m I want done wants to be paid first before doing the job

Renee, it is not Upwork's intention that you release money for work on fixed-price contracts before the work has been submitted to you.

 

You MAY do so, but that is not how the system is designed to be used.

 

Here are the intended steps:

 

- Client funds escrow payment. Client's credit card is charged, but money is in escrow, still under client's control.

 

- Freelancer does work and submits work to client.

 

- Client releases escrow payment to freelancer.

Hi Preston, I wonder if I submit the work, in any case, can the client withdraw the money on escow instead of releasing it? If so, what can I do to get money for what I have done?

re: "I wonder if I submit the work, in any case, can the client withdraw the money on escow instead of releasing it? If so, what can I do to get money for what I have done?"

 

Short answer:
No, the client can NOT withdraw the escrow money.

 

When a client funds an escrow payment, that money is meant to go to the freelancer.

The client DOES NOT HAVE a button that allows her to withdraw the escrow money unilaterally.

The client can edit the amount of money to be released to the freelancer and change it to less than the full amount in escrow.

 

But if the client changes the amount to anything less than the full amount, it causes a REFUND REQUEST. That means that the freelancer gets ASKED to APPROVE the change. The freelancer can say "no."

 

If a client hires you to do a task for $50...

That $50 MUST go to you (the freelancer)...

Unless YOU agree to refund the money back to the client...

If the client asks for money back and you don't agree to give it back, then a dispute will be triggered. A dispute means that an Upwork mediator encourages the client and freelancer to come to an agreement about who gets the money. If they can't come to an agreement, then the next step is arbitration. It ends up getting complicated and not at all "certain" with regards to what will happen.

 

Nowhere is there a way for the client to click a button and instantly get their escrow money back.

2591126f
Community Member

Mukesh

Nobody can give you assurance that you would not be targeted by scammers. Like all other Platforms, Upwork does attract fair share of scammers.  There are some bad experiences for freelancers as well as Clients but to say it is general experience is  false. I am a Client here and my experience is that most of the freelancers are here just for doing work and earning money, they are not scammers.

 

However You and your team will need to use your skills in hiring and project management skills to achieve desired result. That will include proper communication, proper evaluation of  freelancers Profile, hiring right person(s), testing on small Jobs before trusting with large projects,Testing work periodically, Firing non performing contractors immediately and working only with people right for your project.

There are upwork tools like escrow  and time tracker that can aid you. There is also a Dispute/ Arbitration Process that is designed to help users in case something goes wrong. Though I have never used this as I do not find it worth to spend a ton of time trying to recoup my money-But nevertheless it is there and does provide  some degree to protection.

Though To caution you, You should not believe that upwork would be able to get your money back in all circumstances. Managaging your project is  only your(and your team's) responsibility and upwork is just a platform. 

It is upto you to decide if it suits your needs or if there is better alternative available.

 

 

kat303
Community Member

Upwork has many honest, ethical and professional freelancers registered here. But because it's such a large company it also has its fair share of scammers (both clients and freelancers) Your likelihood of getting scammed is directly equal to the knowledge you have on how to use this site correctly. 

Some quick advise,

 

If this is an hourly job, - Freelancers get paid on the hours they work, not on the quality of the work. That does NOT mean that with hourly jobs you'll get crappy results. It is well within your rights to request that work be sent to you every XX days. 

 

For fixed rate jobs, do not release any money BEFORE you receive the work no matter what the freelancer may tell you. If the work is not up to standards you can request changes. 

If you are not somewhat familiar with the project consider hiring a project manager. A project manager (usually for jobs that involve programming or web design/creation) who is familiar and knows what to look out for and what the end results should be, will make sure the freelancer is doing the job correctly and will keep them on time and on track. 

Do not send money, checks, or make deposits to freelancers off site. All financial transactions must take place on this site. If a freelancer insists payment off site stop working with them and report them.

And you can close a contract at any time and for any reason

Make sure the freelancers has all the answers, information and materials/files and understands what's required of them, terms, deadlines and payment before offering them the job. Sometimes a brief phone call can tell you whether or not a freelancers is a good fit to work with.

And sometimes cheaper is not always better. 

rashid_bplit
Community Member

I am content with the efficacy of Upwork's processes in filtering out fraudulent individuals. The incidence of scammers among Upwork freelancers is minimal, constituting only a small percentage of the platform's overall population.

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