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Why JSS is low when I have above 4.9+ average in public rating?

Active Member
Melwyn J Member Since: Jun 28, 2017
1 of 43



It's been 2 months since I started in Upwork and just got my JSS today and I don't understand why it's too low 72% Smiley Sad Can someone please help me to understand the same? Currently, 9 jobs completed and in that average public rating is 4.9+ above which am assuming that private rating will not be low as well. Is there individual milestone rating as well in each jobs which am assuming now might be the reason of the ongoing jobs?


Melwyn Jensen.

Vladimir G Moderator Member Since: Oct 31, 2014
2 of 43

Hi Melwyn,


Please check this Help article for more information how your Job Success Score is calculated and note that feedback is left once the contract is completed, and not for each individual Milestone.

Active Member
Melwyn J Member Since: Jun 28, 2017
3 of 43

Hi Vladimir,


Thanks for the reply. I did check the link from My Stats Page (How to improve your 
Job Success
) which you have posted as well before creating the thread but I am not able to understand what should I do to improve my JSS. As a freelancer, I can only improve based on the public rating which is 4.9+ in my case but after seeing the JSS now I have no clue on what should be the improvements which I should concentrate on Smiley Sad 


Will be a great help if you can provide me the best possible suggestion which I am ready to take up and get back on track as soon as possible.


Felt really bad after all the work done with the best quality and now with 72% JSS Smiley Sad




Ace Contributor
James S Member Since: Feb 15, 2017
4 of 43


I looked at the My Job Success Score page on Upwork and after reading it I failed in getting any clarity as to why my score dropped suddenly to 78.


If your score falls below 75%, you may find it difficult to win new clients in the marketplace.


 Hello! Since the drop to 78 the responses have disappeared.  Every job proposal has this:

Preferred Qualifications

Job Success Score: At least 90% 


EVERY ONE!  Each proposal I submit takes from 15 to 35 minutes to compose-looking for appropriate samples for the project. Really, do you think a potential client is going to look through the 50-plus submissions, all with several samples when all he has to do is filter out the ones not wanted, i.e., those with a JSS under 90?


Longer-term relationships are a plus and can help boost your score. But not having them won't count against you.

Missing feedback is only flagged when it represents a significant portion of your contracts.


Nice to know. So much of my work history is with Elance-Five stars with rare exception. The bulk of it is with repeat customers. That's right, repeat customers. Oh, they did not offer feedback. Why should they? Does it tell you something when they come back for more? 

It appears it was a one-time customer that caused the drop to the abyss. 

Not long ago the score was 93, Now it is in the Dumpster.


We don't reveal the exact calculation for your score. Doing so would make it easier for some users to artificially boost their scores.


So how in heck are we to try to rectify the situation, or improve if there were shortcomings? Really, if a clinet publicly gives a five-star rating and then behind closed doors spouts out something otherwise, that is dishonest, unprofessional and flat-out two-faced.  When I worked a 'real job,' management did not keep evaluations a secret. If my work were to fall below standard, I heard about it! Yes, in a polite, respectful way-not in some sneaky, secretive, covert fashion.

Artificially boost scores: How???? Here's the deal. I do the work. I go above and beyond what the customer expects [read many of my past job reviews, if you can just ignore the JSS for a moment.] and deliver high quality product. The client does not submit feedback until after I submit mine. So, tell us, how am I going to somehow have my score artificially inflated? I work on honesty and would never pay or threaten a client to raise my rating. 



Now what do I do? Resort to some bottomfeeder, one-dollar-sign cheapskate in an attempt to bolster the artificial JSS?


Just remember who the paying customers truly are. I shall help with a hint-the freelancers...the ones who pay the $10 per month fee [which I will not!], and those who lose 20% of their hard-earned money? I have paid several hundred dollars to Upwork only to be shot down in flames by some silly, secret algorithm.


Go back to the public star system and do away with that Boy Scout Badge stuff.


Thanks and have a great day.

Valeria K Moderator Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
5 of 43



I understand your concern, however, there are no plans to revert to average star rating only or share more information about each freelancer's JSS calculation. We observed a lot of cases of abuse of the average star rating system. Many freelancers were able to manipulate their public rating by issuing full refunds, manipulating clients into changing their public feedback or closing multiple contracts before delivering product they agreed to deliver. Job Success score has proven to be a better and more transparent (because it includes all the contracts the freelancer has accepted an not only the ones they were paid for) representation of freelancer performance on their contract and resulted in more contracts being completed successfully overall. 

~ Valeria
Ace Contributor
James S Member Since: Feb 15, 2017
6 of 43

Thank you for your response.


The explanation was not satisfactory to my situation. To pummel my score because of someone else's tricks is not equitable, to say the least.


Job Success score has proven to be a better and more transparent...[emphasis added]


I cannot agree with that. In reality the JSS is secret in how it is determined which is contrary to being transparent. Not gonna buy that one!


...there are no plans to revert to average star rating only or share more information... 


No surprise there. Sometimes stubborness wins out. 


...Job Success score has proven to be a better


Hmmmmmm...Excuse my eye rolling but I have yet to see any evidence of such.  A Job Non-Success Score of 78 is hurting me, and others I have read.  Please explain how one can have years of rave reviews and repeat clients only to be destroyed by some mysterious rating system, that is [ha ha] transparent, yet unviewable?

This does not make sense. I see what is a condescending attitude on the part of those in Upwork along with undue stubborness to actually work with those who pay the salaries to fix, modify and correct our concerns. 

Starting off with 'I understand your concern' is patronizing to say the least.  In reality-YOU DO NOT!

Maybe you should try what we freelancers have to do-compose and submit proposals for hours, without any compensation, only to have them ignored by the clients because they are looking for 90+ JSS and not some amateur with a 78.

If you really want to understand our concern you need to look deeply into what is happening to us and how it affects our livelihoods. 

You do not know my situation, nor do you know my family's situation.


If you truly understand my concern you will first understand why I am angry, frustrated, confused and sick of the holier-than-thou attitude I see expressed by those running this operation.


Tiffany S., Community Guru said this in the thread Please Change the Way the Upwork Success Score is Computed:

'The job of the Upwork staff is to make money for Upwork, period.'


I do not know if Tiffany is speaking officially for Upwork but it does reveal a sad truth. Based on the uncaring responses from the Upwork staff, who work for us, absolutely confirms what was said.



Community Guru
Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
7 of 43

@James S wrote:


To pummel my score because of someone else's tricks is not equitable, to say the least.



Yeah, life is unfair.


I hate the turnstiles in the metro, they have them to prevent people from escaping the fare. I have a yearly metro card and I'm honest but I have to go through the turnstiles because of someone else's dishonesty. But it's OK. I don't expect the Paris transit authority to remove them just because I'm honest. 

"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
Ace Contributor
James S Member Since: Feb 15, 2017
8 of 43


The difference between Upwork and the Metro is with Upwork the dilemma we adress can be corrected. If those in management would listen to our concerns equitable solutions can be created.

For certain if the Metro turnstiles were to become faulty and rip dresses or stain clothes, Metro management would work to resolve it.

It is amazing the silly and ridiculous analogies Upwork creates in this forum.

The Metro is silly, to say the least. A two-second pass through a turnstile is not even close to comparing one's job and livelihood. If the turnstile prevented you from getting on the train to go to work would you sit back and say, 'oh, well, life is unfair'?  No doubt the Metro authority would correct it? Or would it? 


Yes, life is unfair, but why sit back and do nothing? Because it is the easy way out!

Ace Contributor
James S Member Since: Feb 15, 2017
9 of 43

Many freelancers were able to:

  • manipulate their public rating by issuing full refunds,

Huh? Issuing a full refund? Incredible! How does issuing a refund raise a rating? Why, that sounds idiotic, to give back the money earned. What would be the point?  Makes no sense whatsoever.  

I never did such a thing by the way.


  • manipulating clients into changing their public feedback

Somehow the freelancer was able to twist arms and break kneecaps over the Internet. Sounds **Edited for Community Guidelines**.

I never did such a thing by the way.



  • closing multiple contracts before delivering product they agreed to deliver.

What is the point with that? Closing a contract should prevent any kind of feedback. And not delivering the product results in a higher rating? That's a good one.

By the way, I have always completed my jobs to great satisfaction. 
Thank you Upwork for acknowledging my work ethic by throwing my rating into the Dumpster.

Active Member
Spencer W Member Since: Nov 12, 2018
10 of 43

How is the new system address poor clients and their unclear expectations and lack of clear feeddback. These poor clients have no respect for the freelancer...


I think UpWork does not understand that the freelancers are paying clients also.


I know of a number of very good freelancers are no longer on the site due to poor clients. Many of us are seasoned professionals and back fill our days with UpWork, FreeeUp and Fivver opportunities... My JSS is in the dumps due to 2 poor clients and they were very small engagements. Just seems extremly unfair and ultimately unsustainable for UpWork...