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MichaelJ
Community Manager
Community Manager

Changes to Client Pricing Structure: Questions & Feedback

Over the next several months, we will be changing our pricing structure for clients. Our goal is to simplify pricing by removing subscription tiers (with the exception of our Enterprise offerings) and moving towards an easy-to-understand fixed percentage model. 

 

Check out the announcement and let us know your thoughts about these updates in the comments below.


Cheers,
Mike
81 REPLIES 81

You may be right on the legal part, but I still can take my business elsewhere. 

Should I assume you are not impacted by this, or you don't care?**Edited for Community Guidelines**

I have hired over 150 freelancers on Upwork.

 

I find it a tremendously useful tool.

 

Do I care about the change from 3% to 5%?

 

I haven't really thought much about it one way or another.

 

In no way am I making light of your concerns or thoughts about this.

 

I was only laughing at your comment about "seeking legal advice."

 

I assume you meant that as a joke. But a joke with real intent behind it. The point of your comment, as I understand it, was not that you are literally going to hire an attorney to ask about whether Upwork can change its fee from 3% to 5%. Rather, you were saying that in order to emphasize your dismay about what Upwork is doing and how it is doing it.

Hi Preston, I believe you misunderstood Pablo.

Pablo is complaining about a dark pattern that I have also noticed - the holding hostage of clients to accepting the agreement in order to use the UI. Here's the summary:

1. Upwork gets the client's foot in the door with commitment to projects

2. Client depends on Upwork's UI to maintain projects, with the expectation and reliance upon accessing information and communicating through it

3. Upwork withdraws access to the UI completely until new terms are accepted.

 

Feels a bit sleezy, Upwork! 

 

As an alternative, Upwork could have forced its new price hike:

1. with clearer terms, rather than intentional obfuscation

2. conditional on starting a new contract, not on access the UI and jobs in progress!

Hi Brian,

I've read your post after adding mine to Preston's. That's exactly the issue.

Both freelancers and clients put a lot of revenue up to UpWork whims, and these tactics smell bad. 

A granfathering of existing projects, plus a longer time to enforce the changes would have been the decent thing to do.

Like you, I've been in UpWork since before UpWork, and hurt a lot when they swallowed up Elance. Yes, I find it useful, but some tactics like this I find outrageous and I keep me from seeing them as a solid partner. 

 

The fact that they hijack your account until you agree to a 66% increase is horrible. We are at ~$15-20K month in freelancers, so it's not a huge amount, but it's how it's presented:


1) Wrapped in that "no more fees" BS
2) Forced
3) With no warning or recourse

So, this makes me wonder, if they pull this, what else will they do? 

I think the practice sucks (and this is part of their culture); if any other provider would do that I'll start looking for alternatives.

Hi Pablo,

 

I'm sorry to hear you were caught off guard by the changes. We notified clients via email around March 28 (it happened over the course of a few days) with the details of the change, including the 5% Marketplace Fee. We also posted an update in the Community (for which this is the associated discussion thread) and on our social media accounts. 

We do offer a discounted rate of 3% for eligible clients in the U.S. who pay with a checking account. Check to see if youโ€™re eligible here.


Cheers,
Mike

 

What was the charge for clients paying with ACH before? 

I'm taking my mature contracts out of UpWork, and cancelling new ones. You are trying to fleece your clients, and by your answer I see UpWork could not care less.

 

I'm sure this fee decision looked great on paper and will enhance next quarterly earnings, but doesn't seem like they thought through the entire rollout strategy.  Sadly, we only became aware of the change yesterday when it forced acceptance to login.

 

We've have a substancial run-rate on Upwork and are contemplating our decision as well as awaiting the platform to be setup for ACH for the reduced fee.  As such, we have not yet accepted the new terms and as a result cannot pass login.  Nevertheless Upwork started charging the 5% fee despite our non-acceptance!

I'm guessing they charged a 5% regardless of acceptance because they have set it up in such a sleazy way that "who could say no?". They basically forced people to agree to it in order to continue working (they pull the same type of stuff on freelancers from time to time).

 

Do you want to work with a company that changes things on a dime, is truly obscure at communicating changes, and then blocks your access to work and income? It's hard to find an example of a more disloyal organization.

 

As to your comment on the quarterly earnings, we still have to see if this works in lifting their horrible performance during the last few months...

pdestefanis_0-1651361516142.png

 

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

 

I also believe that charging a massive percentage "per transaction" is an interesting legal angle that consumer payment authorities, including credit card companies - are not going to like or support. There's also no support for legacy pricing on contracts already running right now, another possible legal angle. 

 

Totally stupid move by Upwork that adds zero value to anyone but themselves. 

I'll see if there is any interest, but I won't be pushign for it. The truth is that is a lot of work and it will be simpler to cancel a few contracts and start using other platforms. I have been with UpWork for over a decade (previously Elance), and they have always been like this.

3db393ae
Community Member

66% increase in fees for clients! I knew inflation was bad, but...

pdestefanis
Community Member

The way this phrased is pure BS. Even more, you are saying "in the next few months" without giving a date, or saying that you are hijacking accounts.

You present this as a "plus", when you are actually punishing your clients.

magnumrex24
Community Member

How about lowering what the freelancers pay? 20% is just ridiculous.

It's actually more than 20% as I also pay so called VAT for Service Fee, from every transaction, every milestone, every bonus payment from client. BONUS payment, **Edited for Community Guidelines**, this is not bonus for Upwork, they did nothing, client decided to reward me me with some extra money and I still pay fees to this shade-of-its-former-self service. Also I pay for transferring the money to my bank. That is why I rarely work in milestones these days and if the project is long and just has to be split into milestones, well, sorry but price goes slightly higher to somewhat alleviate this.

But there is another freelance service, on the verge of extinction since they started meddling way too much, that takes 30% of freelancer's earnings. I left it sometime ago when they asked to pay money to verify my ID. Like... bruh...

2f90f46c
Community Member

This is a horrible deal for clients. I don't use those features but I now have to pay 2% more. 

 

Upwork is pulling a Netflix play and will regret it.

relevant
Community Member

Failure to effectively communicate.  I have over 10 managers that use Upwork and not one of them knew about this.  I did find an email burried in my mailbox, but this is just a really poor communication strategy.

 

It's ironic that for the past several weeks Upwork has promoted a banner message about supporting Ukraine but nobody thought to use that placeholder to announce something actually important to everyone like an impending 5% surcharge happening.

It's not a "poor communication strategy", it is purposefully deceiving customers. Your example on the "support Ukraine" or "no more Russia/Belarus contracts" is spot-on. If they really wanted to get the message they could have. 

The did not want people to know until last week. 

Well said!

cohoda
Community Member

Cash grab by UpWork once again. 

Greed will see the end of this platform.

nguyen-philippe
Community Member

Hello, as a foreign customer (France), is there a way that you can just revert me back to the old processing fee of 3% (and also remove the "new" features if you want, I do not need them).

This increase of 60% of fees (from 3% to 5%) for customers which have been there for many years is too much.

I know personnally my freelancers, maybe it is time to move out, I'm seriously considering it.

63938080
Community Member

Yikes. Well, I agree w many here: unhappy to find myself unable to use the platform until I agree to this significant fee increase.

 

This might be the end of my time w Upwork...

rsp
Community Member

You don't have to agree. If you check your invoices you'll see this has already begun and you've been charged at the new rate. Perhaps you missed the email from 2 months ago like everyone else. 

lovetheidea
Community Member

Hi Mike,

Just to be 1000% clear, as I was forced to agree to new fee terms before accessing your UI. 

If I'm being charged by UpWork - $5000 a week (for my hired freelancers) instead of paying $49 a month for my Plus account. I'm now going to be paying $250 per week ( 5% of the transaction ). Meaning $1000 extra each month for the Plus account features that I already pay for? .... ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜ณ

If that is the case, then the change in pricing structure is not very wise. It will drive clients like myself away from your platform and towards other hiring methods. 



rsp
Community Member

But Jason, the thing you're missing is that this will simplify clientsโ€™ experience and give more people the chance to access important features. </s>

I hadn't accepted the New fee terms in the web UI but was still charged for the new 5% fee in my last few invoices. I'm assuming it's the same for you. I'll be charging back these fees. I think now is a good time to explore other freelancer platforms. 

9ea0bb1a
Community Member

When signing in, I see a notice that the payment through credit card is going up from 3% to 5% but "if eligible" one can use a different system directly from a bank account. That would be fine with me, but I can't figure out how to do that. I followed the links to "sign up". I signed up wih my bank account but everything I see is about receiveing payments. At this point, my main thing is that I'm a "client" with one "freelancer" and I want to be able to pay for services at less expense. What am I missing? What do I need to do to get this changed?

Hi Doug,

 

I certainly understand your concern and we appreciate you reaching out to us. You can designate a primary billing method and keep other billing methods on file as backups. I have checked your account and I can see that you have your Bank Account set as the primary billing method. You can check this help article for more details.

 

 

~ Arjay
Upwork
3037d71b
Community Member

Based on the new agreement it says "Eligible Clients who use ACH as their payment method are offered a reduced Marketplace Fee rate of 3%"

 

How do I find the criteria for me to qualify for the 3% fee?

https://www.upwork.com/legal#fees

Thank you

Hi Anrie, 

 

Thanks for your question! You can learn more about eligibility requirements here.

~ Valeria
Upwork
dabe4754
Community Member

We just got our first bill with the "new and improved" payment structure.  In the past we paid ($49.99 a month + tax) and used ACH since there are no fees on ACH (That's how banks roll, 3 day electronic check no cost). 

 

Now based on our monthly spend, would will be paying $456.29 a month.  Hmm... That's an 856% increase in cost.  Guess Upwork is Getting Woke and Going Broke.  Good bye Upwork, been with you since the days of Elance but this is the last straw. 

Oh and moderators please don't give me the dime store psychology of (we understand your concern).  You don't understand, but you will when you and all the other Upwork fancy pants lose their home office jobs because you've decided to get greedy.

crart
Community Member

Completely understand and frankly, this is a disaster for freelancers as well because clients are leaving. No one, literally not one person in this once good platform, now turning into scam fest and greedy moneymaking machine, ever thought about how impactful the changes will be, both for clients and freelancers, and changes I mean both your pricing structure and introducing pay-to-win mechanics to applying for projects. This is the end of Uwork as a trustworthy platform and please moderators, don't edit it out because it is not conspiracy thoery, it is based on MANY WEEKS OF DISCUSSIONS AND GIVING YOU FEEDBACK that you blatantly ignored. 

Absolutely disgusting "business" tactics UW performs. 

I've been on this platform for over 10 years since Odesk/Elance. Our fees went from $49/mo, 0% on ACH transfers, to 3% on transfers. We do ~20k/mo in freelancer fees. So our yearly fees went from $588/yr to $7200/yr. Needless to say we left. We found a better platform. I'd encourage others to leave as well.

 

It's completely unethical what they are doing. They may have justification under the law, but it's unethical business practices. I've owned my own business for 14+ years, and I'd never pull anything like this on any client or customer. Never. 

 

So long upwork! I sincerely hope you karma bites you in the .... 

Wish we could exhange contact info Brian A - I'd like to know what platform you're using now cause this one is just going down hill fast. 

 

thebestfreelance
Community Member

Wow,  Ive been here since Odesk. This is a pure money grab delivered via gas lighting. It's like as if my landlord increased rent 66% because he mowed the lawn for my benefit. Time to move .... 

 

Help Chat with some hard gaslighting. "but they are enjoying the new site's features we added to make their payment reporting easy. We also expanded our Dispute Assistance teams to help them secure their payments under Payment protection programs and we have improved our site security features - all this we were able to do because we are putting money back into the platform"

janrozs
Community Member

Clients immediately viewed it as a dealbreaker. Neither freelancers nor clients are dumb. You can only increase fees so much without providing additional value. 20 percent as a base fee for freelancers was insane enough. But we freelancers need to work. But increasing the fee even to clients, in the worst circumstances possible, that killed the business for a long time. You must surely see it in the numbers. I wonder how much percent of your revenue comes now from people spending connects on scam job posts. What comes next, a wave of millions of new freelancers paying for their registration? Or selling the company to Musk? Upwork used to be great and well-managed. I strongly disapprove of the current CEO. So many freelancers and clients know exactly what was done wrong. Why doesn't she? It is not the fees. Algorithms and searches that worked like clockwork are now way off. The pleasing green color was replaced with irritating white. Apart from scammers, there are many new dishonest clients from certain countries misrepresenting their identities and not following rules etc etc.

The system is just bad now. Very discouraging  I've concentrated on applying with LinkedIn for online work.

 

a2b785ee
Community Member

Yes, my friend, I am with you. They have to increase the client's prices

Hello sir you see the discreption
5e20a0a4
Community Member

Haven't gone through the replies yet, so apologies if anything following is redundant. Anyway, this change in policy toward clients definitely explains the uptick in more suspicious listings. There are going to be a lot of complaints from freelancers about not getting payments for work and Upwork may lose profits from having fewer projects go through in general if freelancers are discouraged with having to wade through a river of nonsense in order to find actual jobs. It sounds like corporate's turning on the cruise setting, lol. Can clients at least be asked to post information or credentials publicly the way freelancers are asked to do on their profiles?

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