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Terms of Service Reminders

2c724a5e
Community Manager

Clients and freelancers may see two educational alerts in messages as we begin testing this week on the best way to share important Terms of Service (TOS) reminders.

 

We understand some clients and freelancers may be unaware that it’s against our TOS to communicate outside of the platform before a contract starts and that it’s also against our TOS to make payments outside of the platform after a contract begins.

 

It’s risky to communicate and/or pay outside of Upwork because you lose access to payment protection and other benefits. Following our TOS is effective in keeping you safe on our platform, which is why these educational alerts are critical reminders for clients and freelancers. 

 

Communication Alert

The first alert appears in Messages before contract offers are sent in interview rooms. 

It reminds clients and freelancers to keep their communication on Upwork until the contract starts and that it’s a violation of our TOS to communicate any other way. 

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When either the client or freelancer clicks "x" on the alert, it will be closed and remain hidden for the next 30 days in all interview rooms.

 

Payment Alert

After contract offers are sent, the second alert appears once in Messages. (Enterprise clients are excluded from seeing this alert.

It reminds clients and freelancers to make all payments on Upwork and that it’s a violation of our TOS to make payments any other way.

 

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When either the client or freelancer clicks "x" on the alert, it will be closed and remain hidden for the next 30 days in all rooms–just like the communication alert.

 

We know there was considerable feedback and questions around a previous feature that detected certain keywords related to TOS violations in Messages. Depending on the keywords that were detected, the feature showed educational alerts to clients and freelancers that included reminders about appropriate payments, messaging, or the sharing of contact information. 

 

We listened to the feedback regarding this feature, and many clients and freelancers shared that these alerts were sometimes bothersome and not precise. While this feature was deprecated, we are testing a similar feature to address concerns around circumvention of TOS based on new feedback we gathered from clients and freelancers.

 

Update Snapshot


What is the update: Starting April 4th, you might see two educational alerts in Messages when interviewing or sending/receiving a contract offer with someone on Upwork. The alerts are helpful reminders about keeping communication and payment on the platform.

How does it work: Before contract offers are sent in interview rooms, the first alert appears once in Messages to remind clients and freelancers to:

  • Communicate on Upwork until the contract starts
  • Communicating any other way is a violation of Upwork’s TOS

After contract offers are sent, the second alert appears once in Messages to remind clients and freelancers to:

  • Make all payments on Upwork
  • Making payments any other way is a violation of our TOS

When either the client or freelancer clicks "x" on the alerts, they will be closed and remain hidden for the next 30 days in all rooms.


Who does it impact: This test impacts a small number of randomly selected clients and freelancers. If this feature proves helpful after testing is complete, it will move to a live state where all clients and freelancers will see it; however, Enterprise clients will still be excluded from seeing the payment alert. 


When will it take effect: Those selected at random for the test will see these alerts starting April 4th.


What problem does it solve: We understand that some clients and freelancers are unaware of our policies to keep communication and payments on the platform. By following our TOS, you can stay safe on our platform and avoid scams.

 

For more information, visit this Terms of Service page. To share feedback or ask questions, join the Community discussion.