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c_pinney
Community Member

Misled by Client - Possible TOS violation

I'm new to Upwork, submitted a propoal a while ago for a fixed rate project for $1,000 https://www.upwork.com/jobs/~018addfe9e50466e46, the client resplied and requested an interview outside the Upwork platform via phone. I've read the TOS and communication outside the Upwork platform is a violation so I followed up with the client requesting an interview confirmation via the platform. She assured me that was not necessary and that we were fine having a phone interview. After the phone interview she sent me an "offer" via Upwork messages but not an official job offer through the platform. I had a gut feeling this was sketchy but after I got the message and accepted, I received an invitation to join her Upwork agency so I assumed this was legit. The client proceeded to schedule a "team meeting" via Facebook and unfortunately I do not have a Facebook account so again I requested that this be handled in the platform. She then proceeded to explain that her business is on Facebook Workplace and that is where everything for her agency is handled.
Is this a violation of the TOS? Are clients allowed to post jobs for fixed rate projects on Upwork to lure people to their personal agency off the platform?
Again I'm new to Upwork so I'm hoping someone can shed some light on what happened here....

ACCEPTED SOLUTION

re: "Is this a violation of the TOS? Are clients allowed to post jobs for fixed rate projects on Upwork to lure people to their personal agency off the platform?"

 

An Upwork client IS allowed to post a job on Upwork and then have you meet or organize with their team using non-Upwork methods, such as Slack or Facebook.

 

But the client MUST pay you through Upwork only.

 

A client may not post a job on Upwork and then ask you to work for free, or pay you through some other means outside of Upwork.

 

It is not entirely clear to me that the client you describe has violated Upwork ToS or not. What I would personally do is this:

 

If I was interested in doing the work she described, I would tell the client YES. I would say that I will do the work and ask her to send me an official Upwork Hire offer for either a fixed-price or hourly contract, whichever is appropriate for the work.

 

And then it is up to the client. If she hires you through Upwork, then that's great. You can do the work. If not, then you don't continue or do anything. Wait until you're hired.

 

I don't participate in team meetings with clients or their work groups PRIOR to actually being hired via Upwork.

 

And (me, personally) I don't get involved in projects on a FIXED-PRICE basis when there are meetings and communications involved. For me, that requires an hourly contract, through which I can bill for the time I spend in group meetings, team conferences, phone calls with clients, etc.

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9 REPLIES 9
prestonhunter
Community Member

re: " I've read the TOS and communication outside the Upwork platform is a violation so I followed up with the client requesting an interview confirmation via the platform"

 

Crystal:

 

Communicating outside the Upwork platform is not a violation of any Upwork ToS.

 

Upwork freelancers and clients are allowed to communicate through phone, Skype, or any other method.

re: "Is this a violation of the TOS? Are clients allowed to post jobs for fixed rate projects on Upwork to lure people to their personal agency off the platform?"

 

An Upwork client IS allowed to post a job on Upwork and then have you meet or organize with their team using non-Upwork methods, such as Slack or Facebook.

 

But the client MUST pay you through Upwork only.

 

A client may not post a job on Upwork and then ask you to work for free, or pay you through some other means outside of Upwork.

 

It is not entirely clear to me that the client you describe has violated Upwork ToS or not. What I would personally do is this:

 

If I was interested in doing the work she described, I would tell the client YES. I would say that I will do the work and ask her to send me an official Upwork Hire offer for either a fixed-price or hourly contract, whichever is appropriate for the work.

 

And then it is up to the client. If she hires you through Upwork, then that's great. You can do the work. If not, then you don't continue or do anything. Wait until you're hired.

 

I don't participate in team meetings with clients or their work groups PRIOR to actually being hired via Upwork.

 

And (me, personally) I don't get involved in projects on a FIXED-PRICE basis when there are meetings and communications involved. For me, that requires an hourly contract, through which I can bill for the time I spend in group meetings, team conferences, phone calls with clients, etc.

This says it all...

 

 

  • 41 jobs posted
    8% hire rate, 2 open jobs
  • $195 total spent
    3 hires, 0 active
  • $3.06/hr avg hourly rate paid

 

c_pinney
Community Member

Great point Petra, those numbers are horrible! I noticed that after the fact however that would've been a HUGE sign about what I was signing up for! Now client spending is one of the first things I look at before submitting a proposal. Lesson learned!

Thanks Preston, your response was very helpful! 
After a few bad run ins on Upwork regarding fixed-rate contracts I'm steering clear of them moving forward. 
I don't believe in working for free and I've noticed a majority of clients promoting fixed-rate contracts are trying to get free work. I provide consulting services off Upwork as well and all my clients value and pay for my time; calls, meetings, travel. I'm a huge fan of the Upwork platform so far though and I'm hoping to expand my services on here but I'm learning this a whole different world and there's a lot to learn 🙂 Thanks again!

And to be clear I was never hired through the platform (red flag) and from the looks of the client spending they had no intention of putting $1,000 in escrow for the project. The feeling I got was that there was never a recruiting project available and she was simply luring people to her agency outside the Upwork platform. 

farukhossain90
Community Member

Upwork sent a message about changes to their terms and conditions. Can someone help me understand why they sent it? Did I violate any of their policies?Screenshot_58.png

Everyone received that.

Thank you!

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