Hello, I am asking for some helpful input about my wife’s account that has just been suspended a few days ago.
She accepted a $20 payment outside Upwork without realizing it was forbidden. It was a stupid but honest mistake on both parts (the client’s and hers). The conversation on the platform shows there was no intention of circumvention. She also had properly entered her client's time on the timesheet (see enclosed).
She had a 100 % JSS with no prior problem whatsoever neither with clients or Upwork. She would not have knowingly jeopardize her hard earned status for 20 $.
The client wrote an email to Support explaining the situation (enclosed).
She opened a ticket in which she apologized for her negligence and promised it won’t happen again, but she keeps receiving the same answer: that she violated ToS, without any reference to her explaination and evidence nor her client's.
She also filed an appeal through Appeal-Upwork,com, but hasn't receive any response yet.
So here are my questions:
1-How long can we expect to wait in order to have developments on the appeal process ?
2-Is it possible that Trust and Safety team did not even receive her client's email ? Thinking about it, it seems like the most logical explanation for all this.
Any helpful input/suggestion in order to straighten my wife's status would be greatly appreciated.
We won't be able to discuss your wife's account status here in the Community. If you can PM me your wife's detail or the ticket number she currently has with Upwork Support, I will be glad to look in it for her.
One of the first things you learn when studying law... ignorance of the law is no defence. Fair enough, she's not broken a law, but as usage of the site is reliant on you reading, understanding and agreeing to the terms of service... there's not really any valid excuse to break the rules.
Imagine if I come around and smash your computer against the wall. You start complaining, saying you'll call the police, and I say "Sorry... I didn't realise that was forbidden, it was a stupid but honest mistake". How likely is it that you'll say "Oh right, well when you put it that way... fair enough. Fancy a cup of tea?"
However, under the circumstances and based on the attached image, the amount involved and the message from the client... if I had to make a judgement call, then I'd probably reinstate her account on the understanding that any further instances will result in account closure. Fingers crossed!
- Box, Logan's Run (1976)
Actually strictly speaking the work WAS paid for normally ON Upwork.
Neither client nor freelancer were aware of that fact, but the 20 were not payment for the work, as the work was automatically charged to the client....
True, but it was a payment relating to the Upwork project, even if payment had already been made. So the Paypal amount isn't really payment for the work, and it's not a bonus, so I guess it would have to be filed under 'miscellaneous'... and even miscellaneous payments have to go through Upwork.
- Box, Logan's Run (1976)
Now my wife tells me that a former client (different from the one that made the mistake) just messaged her on the platform asking to hire her again for another project.
What can she tell the client ? Obviously she does not want to violate ToS and go behind Upwork's back to get this job.
Thank you again in advance for your input.
Yesterday my wife asked CS how to properly handle the former client who asked to re-hire her yesterday morning on the platform.
She keeps getting the same formatted response that she got the first time: not accept new contracts, being paid through Upwork, finish existing contracts, etc.
So she took the liberty to answer her client that her account was closed. He then emailed CS asking the permission to re-hire her. No answer yet. The problem is that it’s a rush job and he wants my wife to do it, since she is known for her fast turnaround.
This situation is not only penalizing the freelancer (and her family), it is also starting to penalize clients.
So, as of today, 2 of my wife’s clients have been in contact with CS asking the permission to engage new contracts with her.
Earlier, someone compared this situation with crashing a person’s computing and pleading that they did not know it was against the law. The whole difference lays in the intention/awareness of committing harm. In criminal law (at least here in Canada) in order to convict someone, you have to prove the intention in addition to proving the committed act itself.
Or, to take another example, let’s say I borrow a book in a public library and I forget to bring it back on time. Days pass and when I realize it, I am 2 weeks late. And it’s my first offense. Will the library revoke my card and close my account? Of course not. They will charge me a fine.
In many employment legislation (hence here in Quebec), employers are forced to apply progressive disciplinary measures before owning the right to fire an employee (unless severe fault, such as assaulting a client or robbing the company). Even when the company has a disciplinary code containing prohibited behaviours. Why do these country/states pass such legislation ? To ensure that basic human dignity is respected.
Maybe I've been spoiled growing up in Quebec where the laws tend to restaure some balance of powers in society but I guess I still want to believe that my wife's status not straightened out yet is just a communication gap and that common sense will prevail soon.