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Location Work - Violation of Terms of Service or Not?

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Active Member
Hannah C Member Since: Jan 3, 2017
1 of 31

I have been going back and forth with the help center for the past few days.  There was a job posted that the client interviewed me for and wanted to hire me but couldn't find my proposal.  I submitted an inquirey to the help desk and they responded stating that the client had inadvertently archived my proposal and gave instructions to correct it.  

 

The title of the job description specifically stated that they were looking for a local person as some in-person tasks were required.  I am fine with this and the client is allowing manual time entry for the times when this is necessary.  I am aware that these hours will fall outside of the hourly protection guarantee.  I am willing to accept this risk.  The help desk proceded to inform me that on-site location work was a violation of terms of service and provided a link to the terms of service.  I reviewed the terms of service and did not see anything that specified that on-site/location work was prohibited.  I have seen a number of posting on this site from verified clients with a history that are posting jobs with combo on-site/remote duties.  This is not circumvention as there is no intent to avoid paying through the site (hence the original help desk request).

 

I replied to the help desk and pointed out that the terms of service actually states that Upwork cannot tell the freelancer where to work according to the terms of service:   [Section 10, paragraph 1, line 7] was "Upwork does not set Freelancer’s work hours, work schedules, or location of work, nor is Upwork involved in determining if the Freelancer Fees will be set at an hourly or fixed rate for a Service Contract. ".  I asked for the specific location and site of the terms of service that states that this is a violation.

 

Under terms of use it states:  

"1.2 USING THE SITE OTHER THAN FOR THE INTENDED PURPOSES

Upwork makes the Site and Services available for Clients and Freelancers to find one another, enter into service relationships, make and receive payments through escrow, and receive and perform Freelancer Services. Users are expected to use the Site and Services for their intended purposes and Users may not use the Site and Services in contravention of their intended purposes. The following are examples of prohibited use of the Site:"

 

The examples listed do not include on-site/location work.

 

I asked for additional clarification and specifics as to where it states in the terms of service that work can only be done remotely.  The help desk responded by reaffirming that it was a violation of terms of service and this time provided me a link to the client as well as the freelance terms of service.  I still cannot find anything that specifically addresses the issue.  I responded a second time and asked again for the specific citation of where it is a violation.  They have yet to respond to this.

 

Upwork consistently references 'freelance' and in their about us splach talks about connecting freelancers and clients though an online service but doesn't state that the freelance work is exclusively online.  

 

Does anybody have any idea where this is referenced in the terms of service?  Please do not respond by stating that Upwork only allows remote work without a direct citation of terms of service (section, paragraph and line).  Also do not reference the non-circumvention clause (section 7), because that is about avoiding paying through the site, which is not the issue.

 

 

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Community Guru
Corinne L Member Since: Jun 3, 2013
2 of 31

Well, I've seen several jobs requiring on-site work and I didn't know it was against the TOS

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Active Member
Hannah C Member Since: Jan 3, 2017
3 of 31

Exactly.  New one posted in the last hour.  Also, I don't know if it is truly against the TOS or if that is an erroneous assumption.  If it is against TOS, there are a hugh number of easily identifiable listings that are against TOS.  I sent the help desk about 20 that I reviewed and found in my original reply.  They are all still active with the exception of the completed jobs.

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Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
4 of 31

Customer support doesn't always get it right. I hope a mod can come along and clarify. But if your client has hired you officially and it is all above board  and you are paid via Upwork (whether your hours are tracked or not), I don't see why there should be a problem.

 

The only thing they could jib at is the untracked hours. 

 

 

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Active Member
Hannah C Member Since: Jan 3, 2017
5 of 31

I am not terribly concerned on the untracked hours.  I have done freelance work for years (new to Upwork) and have never had an issue with reported time with my clients.  Also I researched her and her reputation before accepting.

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Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
6 of 31

This doesn't have anything to do with ebay does it?

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Active Member
Hannah C Member Since: Jan 3, 2017
7 of 31

Nope.  Owns a consulting firm.  All general admin, bookkepping and project management.  No mention was made by the help desk regarding the job description.

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Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
8 of 31

@Hannah C wrote:

I am not terribly concerned on the untracked hours.  I have done freelance work for years (new to Upwork) and have never had an issue with reported time with my clients.  Also I researched her and her reputation before accepting.


 I really meant from Upwork's side, in that you could declare $10 worth of work and pocket (a circumvented) $20 - I'm not suggesting you would, but they might see it from this angle. Smiley Wink

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Active Member
Hannah C Member Since: Jan 3, 2017
9 of 31

Yes, that would definitely fall under the non-circumvention clause and is expressly prohibited.  However, the help desk stated "client offered you to come to her office physically and this is a violation on Upwork." in the first email and then "Please be noted that the job post your reporting which requires applicant to work on site is a violation of our policies." in the second. These statements specifically address the location of work and not the payment of work.

 

 

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Community Guru
Samantha S Member Since: Jun 23, 2016
10 of 31

I am a little confused why help desk is involved? If the client was about to send a message to your through Upwork, it seems that he or she had your proposal. If she or he archived it, then he or she should be able to find it in their archived listings. Something sounds a little odd.

 

I do not know about the T&C issue though it does not make any sense. Why would Upwork want to exclude paying contracts since that is how they earn their revenue? I could see they might not want to encourage on-location work for the freelancer's safety and their own liability. Sometimes shady people pose as clients and might use an add to lure freelancers somewhere. Think of some of the darker things that happened when people respond to the rare shady Craigslist add. However, if you are careful and can confirm it is a legitimate business in your area, I am not sure why Upwork would care, assuming you are paid through Upwork.