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00137e0a
Community Member

Client has been messaging me since last Saturday. Messages popped up all at once now.

Hello,


I'm completely perplexed here. A client from a significant ongoing project has been messaging me since Saturday, but all of her messages have just popped up at once!

 

I've been waiting for a response to continue with the project for days, but she's been messaging me on her end.

 

To my surprise, I received a message from her stating that she would have to pause the project due to my lack of responsiveness, despite the fact that I did not respond because her messages simply did not arrive!

 

No notifications. No messages. Nothing. I've been using Upwork's messaging platform on my PC, web browser, and Android phone.

 

This is completely absurd because this is a fantastic project with a fantastic person.

 

I'd appreciate it if Upwork support could weigh in and explain what's going on to me and my client. I had no idea this was even possible!

 

When I read her last message, I literally jumped out of bed, and now I'm writing this.

 

How can she be expected to believe in me on this one? I look like a child making excuses for missing a school exam.

 

There isn't a single reason for me to apparently ghost her like this. I'm extremely serious about punctuality and responsiveness. 

 

Thank you,

 

Rafael.

 

 

ACCEPTED SOLUTION
kochubei_valeria
Community Member

Hi All,

 

Since the specific issue reported and discussed here has been fixed, we'll be closing this thread. If you experience any new errors or issues, feel free to let us know by posting a new topic.

 

Thanks!

~ Valeria
Upwork

View solution in original post

63 REPLIES 63
g_vasilevski
Retired Team Member
Retired Team Member

Hi Rafael,

 

I'm sorry to hear about the bad experience you've had and the inconvenience this has caused you. Our team will reach out to you via ticket where you can share more details so that our team can investigate this further and assist you accordingly. Thank you.

~ Goran
Upwork

Just another detail, Goran:

 

I've been using your messenger daily, talking to a few of my other clients, both on my browser, PC app, and Android app.

 

As far as I know, this only happened with this specific client. 

 

Could you please let me know what happened asap? Your support team didn't reach out to me yet.

 

Once you figure out what happened, I'd expect you to contact her as well to explain and assist in getting me out of this sticky situation.

 

My reputation is on the line here.

 

 

Hi Rafael,

 

Our team will reach out to you via ticket and email as soon as possible and will assist you further directly there. Thank you for your patience.

~ Goran
Upwork

Farag,

 

I appreciate your concern for the technical failures of the platform, which are many indeed, but you could have at least paraphrased my words and not copy-pasted them directly from a post I made yesterday. It makes you look a little... **Edited for Community Guidelines**

 

https://community.upwork.com/t5/Freelancers/Multiple-quot-known-issues-quot-that-do-not-get-solved-f...

 

LOL

As I said, **Edited for Community Guidelines**

$50k+

You have to include more issues to tie a few unrelated posts together to form a cohesive conspiracy theory.... but you have a great start. 

Thanks for your replies, Farag and Gergana.

 

You have no idea how embarrassed I feel about this.

 

I'm the kind of guy who wakes up in the middle of the night to reply to clients in different time zones. That's how serious I am about responsiveness and punctuality. 

 

This is truly reputation damaging. It's inadmissible. 

 

I could lose a very good client, with the potential for a long-term professional relationship, because of this bug. Let alone the possibility of getting a bad review on my profile and a JSS decrease. 

 

 

Rafael, 

 

Don´t beat yourself about it. It is clearly not your fault. 

 

The message notification issue is not new. It happened to me a few times last year and I reported it here in the community forum and separately through an open ticket to Upwork. In both instances, Upwork initially tried to make it seem like it was somehow my fault - that I had opened and read the message before the platform had generated a notification about it (!?!), that I needed to clear my cookies, change my browser, etc. Eventually they admitted it was a problem on their end, but that they could not resolve it, so they awarded me 30 Connects by way of an apology.

 

It is definitely not an issue with your computer or browser. It is an Upwork bug which has been known and reported multiple times here. Yet, somehow we are told time and again that Upwork "engineers" are "working on it."

Thanks, Gergana,

 

I agree. It's not a problem on my end, definitively. 

 

As I said, I've been actively using Upwork's messenger directly on my web browser, on my PC (app), and on my Android phone.

 

Besides, I haven't received email or cellphone notifications for any of her previous messages before today or seen any notification symbol beside her name on the messenger's UI. 

bilsim
Community Member

To me it happened a couple of times that a client sent a contract/offer and the notification button (the green bell) showed absolutely nothing and didn't turn green (and I rely on it most of the time). I had to manually enter the messages to see the offer. The client was like : But I sent you the offer yesterday. It was so embarassing, I told them what the problem was, they didn't mind.

 

I mean Upwork keeps notifying me about each little insignificant step or change by turning on the green light, and then they skip a very significant thing?


Biljana V wrote:

To me it happened a couple of times that a client sent a contract/offer and the notification button (the green bell) showed absolutely nothing and didn't turn green (and I rely on it most of the time). I had to manually enter the messages to see the offer. The client was like : But I sent you the offer yesterday. It was so embarassing, I told them what the problem was, they didn't mind.

 

I mean Upwork keeps notifying me about each little insignificant step or change by turning on the green light, and then they skip a very significant thing?


There is a separate issue, when even logging in directly you don't see a message. The client sent it but it doesn't show up in your thread for hours or days (or weeks). It's not a notification issue, it's a message delivery issue.

 


Phyllis G wrote:

Biljana V wrote:

To me it happened a couple of times that a client sent a contract/offer and the notification button (the green bell) showed absolutely nothing and didn't turn green (and I rely on it most of the time). I had to manually enter the messages to see the offer. The client was like : But I sent you the offer yesterday. It was so embarassing, I told them what the problem was, they didn't mind.

 

I mean Upwork keeps notifying me about each little insignificant step or change by turning on the green light, and then they skip a very significant thing?


There is a separate issue, when even logging in directly you don't see a message. The client sent it but it doesn't show up in your thread for hours or days (or weeks). It's not a notification issue, it's a message delivery issue.

 


Yes, I'm aware what happened to the OP, that sounds even scarier. I was just sharing my experience.


Gergana K wrote:

Rafael, 

 

Don´t beat yourself about it. It is clearly not your fault. 

 

The message notification issue is not new. It happened to me a few times last year and I reported it here in the community forum and separately through an open ticket to Upwork. In both instances, Upwork initially tried to make it seem like it was somehow my fault - that I had opened and read the message before the platform had generated a notification about it (!?!), that I needed to clear my cookies, change my browser, etc. Eventually they admitted it was a problem on their end, but that they could not resolve it, so they awarded me 30 Connects by way of an apology.

 

It is definitely not an issue with your computer or browser. It is an Upwork bug which has been known and reported multiple times here. Yet, somehow we are told time and again that Upwork "engineers" are "working on it."


Please stop conflating two distinct problems. What Rafael experienced (and I experienced in the past) is not an issue with message notifications. It's that actual messages were delayed. To avoid missing notifications, one simply needs to log into the message center on a regular basis to be sure no messages are being overlooked. But when the messages themselves fail to appear, we are helpless.

 

Both malfunctions are problematic but one at least has a work-around. The other is intractable and leaves us with no alternatives, losing new work and/or undermining established relationships.

 


Phyllis G wrote:

Gergana K wrote:

Rafael, 

 

Don´t beat yourself about it. It is clearly not your fault. 

 

The message notification issue is not new. It happened to me a few times last year and I reported it here in the community forum and separately through an open ticket to Upwork. In both instances, Upwork initially tried to make it seem like it was somehow my fault - that I had opened and read the message before the platform had generated a notification about it (!?!), that I needed to clear my cookies, change my browser, etc. Eventually they admitted it was a problem on their end, but that they could not resolve it, so they awarded me 30 Connects by way of an apology.

 

It is definitely not an issue with your computer or browser. It is an Upwork bug which has been known and reported multiple times here. Yet, somehow we are told time and again that Upwork "engineers" are "working on it."


Please stop conflating two distinct problems. What Rafael experienced (and I experienced in the past) is not an issue with message notifications. It's that actual messages were delayed. To avoid missing notifications, one simply needs to log into the message center on a regular basis to be sure no messages are being overlooked. But when the messages themselves fail to appear, we are helpless.

 

Both malfunctions are problematic but one at least has a work-around. The other is intractable and leaves us with no alternatives, losing new work and/or undermining established relationships.

 


But it's actually Upwork that is conflating these issues. Upwork tells us that it's a notification issue that is really working by design, when we didn't receive the message AT ALL. That's what happened to me. There was no notification and NO message, and I had actually been in the message center between when it was sent and when it arrived and there was no message. Upwork told me what they told Gergana, and said it was "by design". They refused to acknowledge the message had not been there at all and insisted I had just missed it because it was marked read because I had the message center open (also not true, I don't have it ongoingly open.) 

 

So we don't know what the real issue is even, because Upwork gaslights us that one thing happened instead of what we know happened from our end as users. I got a message that was sent Saturday on a Monday. Upwork says that I just didn't get a notification but it was delivered on Saturday. I know it wasn't. 


Amanda L wrote:

Phyllis G wrote:

Gergana K wrote:

Rafael, 

 

Don´t beat yourself about it. It is clearly not your fault. 

 

The message notification issue is not new. It happened to me a few times last year and I reported it here in the community forum and separately through an open ticket to Upwork. In both instances, Upwork initially tried to make it seem like it was somehow my fault - that I had opened and read the message before the platform had generated a notification about it (!?!), that I needed to clear my cookies, change my browser, etc. Eventually they admitted it was a problem on their end, but that they could not resolve it, so they awarded me 30 Connects by way of an apology.

 

It is definitely not an issue with your computer or browser. It is an Upwork bug which has been known and reported multiple times here. Yet, somehow we are told time and again that Upwork "engineers" are "working on it."


Please stop conflating two distinct problems. What Rafael experienced (and I experienced in the past) is not an issue with message notifications. It's that actual messages were delayed. To avoid missing notifications, one simply needs to log into the message center on a regular basis to be sure no messages are being overlooked. But when the messages themselves fail to appear, we are helpless.

 

Both malfunctions are problematic but one at least has a work-around. The other is intractable and leaves us with no alternatives, losing new work and/or undermining established relationships.

 


But it's actually Upwork that is conflating these issues. Upwork tells us that it's a notification issue that is really working by design, when we didn't receive the message AT ALL. That's what happened to me. There was no notification and NO message, and I had actually been in the message center between when it was sent and when it arrived and there was no message. Upwork told me what they told Gergana, and said it was "by design". They refused to acknowledge the message had not been there at all and insisted I had just missed it because it was marked read because I had the message center open (also not true, I don't have it ongoingly open.) 

 

So we don't know what the real issue is even, because Upwork gaslights us that one thing happened instead of what we know happened from our end as users. I got a message that was sent Saturday on a Monday. Upwork says that I just didn't get a notification but it was delivered on Saturday. I know it wasn't. 


I went through that with the frontline support people to begin with. But each time I experienced the problem (incidents separated by  months) I was able to get it escalated and get everyone in the conversation clear about it being a message delivery failure. That is why I'm so adamant every time it comes up in the forum that we not cloud the issues. Yes, UW's default response is to categorize it as a notification bug but that doesn't mean we should follow. When someone says they were in the messagr center daily and suddenly a batch of messages appear for the first time that were sent as long ago as 2-3 days, that is a big problem. Then other people chime in talking about delays in getting email notifications, that is also a problem but a different one and IMO much less grave. And it muddles everything.

 


Phyllis G wrote:


I went through that with the frontline support people to begin with. But each time I experienced the problem (incidents separated by  months) I was able to get it escalated and get everyone in the conversation clear about it being a message delivery failure. That is why I'm so adamant every time it comes up in the forum that we not cloud the issues. Yes, UW's default response is to categorize it as a notification bug but that doesn't mean we should follow. When someone says they were in the messagr center daily and suddenly a batch of messages appear for the first time that were sent as long ago as 2-3 days, that is a big problem. Then other people chime in talking about delays in getting email notifications, that is also a problem but a different one and IMO much less grave. And it muddles everything.

 


I understand. I was just trying to clarify that Upwork is telling a lot of us that the problem you and Rafael and I and others have reported is a message notification issue when it's not. They need to take it seriously that it's a different issue and track it down, since it's actually costing us money. For me, it was a client ready to move forward with a contract offer. Thank goodness it was only a few days and we weren't on deadline!

Thanks, Phyllis,

 

It's important to make this distinction. 

 

Indeed, the messages simply didn't arrive from Saturday to this morning. 

 

During this time, I've used the messaging app to chat with other clients normally, and there were no messages or message notifications on the app's UI for this specific client.

 

So, to be clear, this is not a delayed notifications issue at all. It's way more serious. 

 

 


Rafael M wrote:

Thanks, Phyllis,

 

It's important to make this distinction. 

 

Indeed, the messages simply didn't arrive from Saturday to this morning. 

 

During this time, I've used the messaging app to chat with other clients normally, and there were no messages or message notifications on the app's UI for this specific client.

 

So, to be clear, this is not a delayed notifications issue at all. It's way more serious. 

 

 


This won't help in your current situation but going forward... The first thing I do upon accepting an offer is exchange direct contact information with the client and give them an explicit expectation about my response time to any message, e.g., If I ever fail to respond to you within 24 hours, or sooner if we've been communicating frequently or are in the middle of a decision, please reach out to me directly. The UW message platform experiences hiccups from time to time and I want to be sure we don't experience unnecessary delays or confusion. 

Not sure why you are reprimanding me over something I didn't say or mean. When I say "missing" or "dysfunctional" notifications, I am referring to the fact that what has happened to you has happened to me (and apparently to many others): I received no notification and no message while I had Upwork's web and message center open. Messages arrived several days later in bulk. If you want to nitpick over semantics, that's a different issue.


Gergana K wrote:

Not sure why you are reprimanding me over something I didn't say or mean. When I say "missing" or "dysfunctional" notifications, I am referring to the fact that what has happened to you has happened to me (and apparently to many others): I received no notification and no message while I had Upwork's web and message center open. Messages arrived several days later in bulk. If you want to nitpick over semantics, that's a different issue.


I'm pressing the issue because it's important to be clear and precise. "Message delivery" and "message notification delivery" are not the same thing. Whenever someone reports a message delivery failure UW's default response is to diagnose it as a notification failure or to claim the FL overlooked the message because it magically got designated as "read" while the message center was open. Through much time, effort, and persuasion, I managed to get the message delivery failure issue escalated within the engineering team and they worked on it for a while, to my knowledge were not able to resolve it yet. It clearly continues to happen and IMO is one of the gravest malfunctions we can have on the platform. Messageds and money -- that's what we need to be dead reliable. Everything else can be worked around or tolerated.

When a message is not delivered, then of course no notification is delivered, either. But the notification is not the important thing in that case. That is why I'm being so impolite to everybody about keeping the two distinct issues clear in our conversations.

 

I'm not reprimanding you at all, Gergana. In fact, I really appreciate your participation in this thread. 

 

I was just replying to what Phyllis said, about this issue not being necessarily related to the well-known delayed notifications bug. 

Rafael,

 

I wasn't replying to you but to Phyllis - she was the one chiding me over my failure to clearly distinguish between "delayed message notification" and "delayed notification." (I still don't know if I'm using those terms correctly to her satisfaction, but I do know I´m referring to the same issue as you describe.)

I'm not interested in compensation, Farag. I just want them to reach out to her to let her know that this incident was not my fault. 

 

Also, since we're all paying Upwork a generous percentage of our hard-earned money, it would be awesome to have a messaging app that actually works, or that at least could provide a clear indication on the UI when messages don't go through properly. 

Your best strategy going forward is establishing other means of communication with ongoing clients, such as email or slack.


Farag S wrote:

And Rafael’s client having to pause his ongoing contract, because she was unable to reach him with Upwork messaging for a week…


Apart from plagiarising Gargana's Gergana's (sorry Gergana for bastardizing your name) post (not a great look), you are also not being truthful: Rafael's client has not been unable to reach him for a week, nor has she paused the contract.

 

I make sure all my clients have alternative contact details for me and are instructed to reach me there should I not respond promptly, because messages have had outages and issues in the past. That clearly doesn't work in cases where no contract has been established yet.

 


Farag S wrote:

Also, with taken ILANNA M’s recent post “The lack of offers even with obvious expertise” into consideration…


Is there anything that makes you think that clients are queuing up to hire you and are prevented from doing so?

geri_kol
Community Member

LOL. If you call me Gargana, I'll call you Patra! Deal? 🙂 

petra_r
Community Member


Gergana K wrote:

LOL. If you call me Gargana, I'll call you Patra! Deal? 🙂 


I apologize! I'll fix it.

 

I had a (real life) client who called me "Petrol". For literally YEARS.


Petra R wrote:

Gergana K wrote:

LOL. If you call me Gargana, I'll call you Patra! Deal? 🙂 


I apologize! I'll fix it.

 

I had a (real life) client who called me "Petrol". For literally YEARS.


Cause baby, you're on fire!

00137e0a
Community Member

Hi Petra,

 

Yes, I haven't received her messages since Saturday morning. Not a week indeed, but a lot of messages like "Hi Rafael, what's going on" and "Where are you???" have been sent in this period. 

 

She did pause the contract, though, and that was the first thing I saw when I woke up this morning and grabbed my phone. (Can you imagine my reaction?)


Petra R wrote:

I make sure all my clients have alternative contact details for me and are instructed to reach me there should I not respond promptly, because messages have had outages and issues in the past. That clearly doesn't work in cases where no contract has been established yet.

I agree with Petrol - I've also experienced message malfunctioning and it was acutely embarrassing. I recommend exchanging email addresses with clients as soon as you're hired, just as a back-up.

 


Farag S wrote:

Also, with taken ILANNA M’s recent post “The lack of offers even with obvious expertise” into consideration…


That's not a bug. 


Farag S wrote:

But…

How could we be sure anymore?


There are lots of reasons why a client wouldn't hire somebody with obvious expertise. Like, if their expertise isn't that obvious. 

gilbert-phyllis
Community Member

Hi, Rafael. I have experienced the same problem 2-3 times (not recently, the last time was last year or the year before), except it was with prospective clients I was interviewing, not ones with ongoing contracts. But same thing: I was using the message center daily and experiencing no issues, only to have messages from a single party delayed by days (in one case a couple of weeks). Because I couldn't provide a screenshot of the problem (!!!) UW had difficulty addressing it. They finally did take it seriously but to my knowledge, did not resolve it.

 

Please let us know how they get on resolving your situation. I lost at least one substantial project because of it. It would be even worse to be undermined with an active client.

 

On a good day, messages take 4-5 hours to reach me by email. More than once, they've arrived the next day.

 

(I do NOT want a ticket opened. I don't have time to explain I don't have screenshots of things not happening.)

 

Whilst there's something to be said for making idle chit-chat impossible, I've got into the habit of checking every morning and end of day even when I'm not expecting anything. That should be unnecessary.


Kim F wrote:

On a good day, messages take 4-5 hours to reach me by email. More than once, they've arrived the next day.

 

(I do NOT want a ticket opened. I don't have time to explain I don't have screenshots of things not happening.)

 

Whilst there's something to be said for making idle chit-chat impossible, I've got into the habit of checking every morning and end of day even when I'm not expecting anything. That should be unnecessary.


Anyone reading the entire thread will think I'm unhealthily obsessed but I want to be sure everyone including UW is clear that there are two distinct issues: message notifications via email not getting through in a timely manner, and actual messages not being delivered -- even when you log into the message center and look, you see no new message even though the client sent it hours ago, or days (or in one case for me, weeks).

 

Hi Phyllis, THANK YOU for bringing me into this thread - I've been losing my mind over this issue (actual messages not being delivered instantly, sometimes appearing a day late, or whenever).  This is not the first time I've had this problem on Upwork.  Very frustrating, since I did all the cache clearing and cookie cutting and browser checking to no avail....

moonraker
Community Member

Messaging is a fundamental requirement for the platform, yet people have been complaining about it for months/years without it being sorted.

I know I'd be ****ing livid if I lost out because of it.

Hi Jamie,

 

The main issue here is that the client is on a tight deadline, and she's probably thinking that I'm making up an excuse and that I didn't respond to her on purpose for some reason.

 

In fact, I wouldn't blame her for not believing me. Telling her that I didn't respond because I didn't receive her messages really sounds like a mundane, unimaginative excuse.

 

I'm hoping that Upwork can contact her and accept responsibility for this incident. 

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