Upwork Sucks! #1 Freelance Site Is HORRIBLE

Author’s Note: the below article is written from the freelancer point of view rather than a business owner looking to hire freelancers. Whichever you are, hopefully my experience sheds light on both positive and negative aspects of online freelancing. Although my first year on Upwork left me feeling quite jaded, I still maintain an active profile where you are free to hire me for WordPress optimization work (until I get banned); better yet, check out LittleBizzy if lightning-fast WordPress hosting is your #1 objective.

Update 9/11/2015: has become so slow and buggy in recent weeks that today execs were forced to publicly admit they couldn’t figure out why, although they apparently blamed “abnormal traffic spikes” for the problems (which have been happening ever since the re-branding of Upwork Inc, according to many users). Naturally, they locked the forum thread so that nobody could post a reply… meanwhile, traffic to this blog post continues to surge as a result of overwhelming frustration.

Update 9/14/2015: You know its getting bad when freelancers are launching full-time Twitter accounts to expose all the problems with the Upwork website, from connection timeouts, to CloudFlare 522 errors, to a laundry list of feature bugs.

Update 9/21/2015: Upwork CEO Stephane Kasriel continued to prove his unbelievable incompetence today when he emailed 10+ million freelancers, apologizing for website “slowness” during “September 7-10” (only) … despite the website still being inundated with programming bugs and poor performance, and despite these issues having existed for several months already (in fact, I now have Upwork leads emailing my company LittleBizzy because their “Slack-killer!” messaging system is down, yet again). I would actually feel sorry for Kasriel, except for the fact that he is a) dishonest and b) shows no loyalty to the top freelancers within the Upwork network…

Update 10/11/2015: Upwork has now removed the “5-star” rating system from freelancer profiles in favor of the so-called Job Success Score they announced earlier… I honestly think this might be a step in the right direction to combat clients taking freelancers “hostage” over stars, as it makes the feedback more low profile. Still, it really doesn’t matter when $2.84/hour is considered “Expert Level” work… outrageous.

Update 10/22/2015: Read how I was able to rank this article #1 on Google for “Upwork sucks” and then subsequently page #1 on Google for “Upwork” in just 5 weeks.

Update 10/25/2015: Yesterday I received yet ANOTHER warning from Upwork, stating: “Job application cancelled for a policy violation” issued to me by the Filipino freelancers that make up Upwork’s “support” team for “submitting the same job application multiple times on Upwork” which I did not, of course, do. After responding to them, “Seriously, are you Filipino freelancers blind?” I was issued yet ANOTHER warning “Account flagged for Policy Violation” for “making discriminatory or offensive remarks, threats, profanity, or vulgarity”… but after sending them the link to this article and thanking them for providing yet even more ridiculous content for this saga, they suddenly closed out the “warning” tickets! It is beyond clear at this point that Upwork is 100% over… it is now nothing more than a clusterf*ck of third world countries, with the investors and executives behind Upwork completely uninterested in turning the ship around.

Freelancing is the future — or so they keep telling us. For years, experts have been saying that upwards of 40% of Americans will be employed as freelancers by 2020 (although the clarification between “full-time” vs “part-time” freelancers seems oft-ignored).

The massive force behind this trend is, of course, the internet, along with its “easier” ways of hiring, firing, communicating, organizing, and sending money to people.

Enter Upwork, the largest freelance marketplace in the world, a result of the recent merge and 2015 re-branding of oDesk + eLance, previously the first and second most popular freelancing websites, respectively. The company has raised over $74 million in funding since being founded in 2005 — which, despite being notable, actually pales in comparison to the funding that most modern startups receive.

Which is why, ultimately, Upwork’s recent re-branding and constant CEO shuffle (eLance CEO Fabio Rosati took over as oDesk-eLance CEO in December 2013, a strange occurrence when it comes to buyouts; then Stephane Kasriel was named as yet another new CEO in April 2015), is so illustrative. When top executives keep abandoning ship and desperate, overreaching re-branding campaigns take place (despite overwhelmingly negative feedback), there is clearly something bigger going on.

But, let’s back up for just a minute.

My First Six Months With Upwork

For several years, I totally avoided freelancing websites. Despite wandering the globe through most of my 20s and being in desperate need of income half the time, I survived mostly from my own web projects and the various long-term clients and local opportunities I came across. I had always been under the impression that freelance sites were more of a place to hire “cheap” help from India, etc. a la Four Hour Work Week, rather than a place where I could offer any value or pick up decent clients of my own. This was an entirely narrow-minded view, although not a wholly unfounded one.

After becoming something of an expert in website loading speed, I decided to join oDesk in the fall of 2014 just for kicks after being partially re-inspired by a webinar uploaded by Wyatt Jozwowski. I charged my first client literally $1 for several hours of optimization work just to get my foot in the door, and in return received an amazingly positive review from him that helped open the floodgates to more and more oDesk clients. The experience largely influenced the re-launch of my managed WordPress hosting company, LittleBizzy, in the spring of 2015, at which point I put together a quick case study of my first 6 months on Upwork called SEO is dead that focused on the growing importance of loading speed, SSL (HTTPS), mobile support, and good old fashioned common business sense when it comes to finding success on the internet.

The amount of time I invested into Upwork during those first 6 months was absolutely insane in light of the unremarkable net profit I pulled in, although I fully expected (and was willing) to make sacrifices to get my profile juiced up nicely. But even when charging $33/hour – far above the average on Upwork – and picking up several long-term clients along the way, the numbers truly didn’t add up when considering the overall time, expense, stress, scheduling, and annoyance that Upwork caused me.

“Despite the fact that freelancers need to go through hell and high water to gain the highest verification level on UpWork, the persistent unskilled newbies from the Third World countries came flooding in on this site. Hopefully it will sort out the problem with the unskilled workforce overpopulation and UpWork will remain a harbor of safe labor and respect for skill, not cheapness. … The demographics of UpWork’s population are rather tilted towards the different sides of the planet – the most classic scheme one would find on UpWork is some USA or UK employer hiring a European or Eastern European freelancer.” — Idan Cohen

Still, by developing various tricks I was able to increase my profits and leverage various income streams into my business. At the 6 month point, the only justification I had to continue was that I had several long-term clients who were counting on me and who trusted me to pretty much bill when and what I thought was best (but even still, I could have easily brought all those clients away from the Upwork system – their idea, not mine!). With the launch of LittleBizzy, I had further incentive to develop new relationships across the web with successful business owners, so I bit the bullet and buckled down.

My Second Six Months With Upwork

At this point, I was (and still am) the #1 ranked WordPress expert on Upwork out of more than 10 million freelancers around the world (probably not accurate, but hey, I will take it, and thank you very much…); I am also #2 ranked for “Upwork Readiness” in the world and also rank among the top in skill tests such as English Spelling, English Grammar, and Search Engine Optimization. This, along with the fact that I now had over 50+ positive reviews on my profile and was also marked “Top Rated” in the Upwork system, helped me begin generating automatic inquires from new clients which definitely helped me save time looking up new job postings and sending in proposals; after all, clients who WANT you are the easiest to convert into paying accounts!

I did, however, eventually run into some problems after several months. Firstly, despite my rather quick mastery of the Upwork system (which I can hopefully throw together into a CollegeTimes eBook soon), I did actually end up refunding 2 clients on small projects who suddenly had huge temper tantrums. Rather than getting a negative review(s) left on my Upwork profile, I decided to maintain my 5.00 star ranking and otherwise perfect record by simply refunding these two clients, no questions asked.

Secondly, I began to notice that I was slowing down drastically as far as connecting with new clients. This was probably due largely in part to being busy with the long-term clients I had already acquired earlier, however, since one of my goals was to keep meeting new people (as part of my multi-prong business strategy), it did hurt my ability to achieve those goals simultaneously. Billable hours are wonderful, but at a certain point the “freelancing” (and constant emailing, helping, etc, at all hours) was hurting my ability to scale my hosting business, let alone remain organized with the various revenue streams and even non-business parts of my life that I wished to focus on. But as this was somewhat related to freelancing in general, I can’t fully blame Upwork for such issues.

However, last week (and the main inspiration for publishing this blog post) I ran into my biggest Upwork drama yet: a whack-job (“feminist”) client from Canada with a huge ego and absolutely no understanding of web technology decided to “report” me to Upwork for “purposefully deleting her website” after calling me a “sick” and “evil” “terrorist” from America; she was surprised because “weren’t all terrorists supposed to be from the Middle East!?” This nightmare was the result of me breaking one of my own rules: immediately cut off any client who replies to emails with short-phrase answers or who generally seems clueless about what they need. Long story short, this charade turned into a 100+ email exchange between me, the client, and her Indian developer (“the best WordPress developer she’d seen in 17 years”) who had hacked her WordPress template so badly it resulted in over 800+ queries executing on every page load, which continually crashed her MySQL database. Despite me offering her several hours of free explanations/advice, and even giving her a temporary “free” hosting plan upgrade so that she could see that more RAM would be necessary to handle her hacked template, she went ahead and filed an “hourly dispute” against me on Upwork.

The dispute, which seeks a refund for the randomly chosen amount of “4 hours of work” was filed on 22 August, 2015 (9 days ago from time of writing). Since that time, I have had all of my earned funds “frozen” on Upwork (bank transfers have been totally disabled on my account), I was unable to apply to new jobs or bill my current clients for existing contracts (10+ month old contracts) until just a few days ago, and have not received a reply from the Upwork team in over 4 days in regard to the resolution of this dispute, despite their TOS promising 48-hour resolutions to all hourly disputes (and despite me wasting several hours of time preparing all the evidence their Mediation team had requested to prove this client was, in fact, lying). When I contacted Upwork “support” yesterday for an update, I found myself chatting with a teenage freelancer from the Philippines literally working out of his bedroom, answering my legal questions!

Update 9/1/2015: This morning, 10 days after the dispute was filed, I finally re-gained access to my account and funds. I received a brief apology, despite an earlier warning (below) that further complaints would get me “permanently banned” from Upwork:

Hi Jesse, We are pleased to inform that your account has now been resumed. Please be reminded to adhere to all Upwork policies going forward. You can read more about our policies here: … Please note that if you violate this policy or any other Upwork policy again, your account will be permanently suspended. Please feel free to contact our Support Team if you need assistance. Thank you. Regards, Eu M. Upwork Trust & Safety

In any case, despite tons of wasted time and constantly struggling to distinguish myself among an ocean of extremely ignorant, incompetent, and unbelievably “cheap” people on both the freelancer and client sides of Upwork, I did end up connecting with dozens of talented, professional, and inspiring people (who I hope to know for many years). As of today, I have not necessarily become anti-freelance sites, but have rather concluded that without a drastically new approach (or specializing the playing field), highly-skilled people will continue to shy away from dominant freelancing markets.

The Never-Ending PR Struggle of Upwork

In late 2012, Reddit CEO Yishan Wong posted on Quora (now famously) that hiring people from the likes of oDesk or eLance is a bad idea, because “end products” never turn out more than “merely okay” or usually “failure” – directly insulting the dozens of remote workers that the company employed at the time:

“You shouldn’t do this; it will probably result in failure. I have a friend who is a designer (so, closer to technology and implementation than a business person; about as close as you can be without being outright technical yourself), and he was hiring developers via eLance. Even with consultation from friends of his (e.g. me) who were real engineers, it was extremely difficult to find decent engineers who could do the things he needed, deliver reliably, and iterate according to ongoing testing/customer feedback. The end product was merely “okay” – kind of slow, with little glitches here and there. If you have total technical ignorance and no local (friend) resources to help you, hiring from eLance or oDesk is almost impossible to do correctly. I would recommend trying another route.” — Reddit CEO Yishan Wong

Just months later, Reddit raised another $50 million in venture funding and Wong decided to immediately force all remote workers to either move to San Francisco, or be fired (initially, Wong gave them less than a few weeks to decide).

Now, I’ve never been a fan of Reddit (a post for another day), but when the CEO of one of the web’s largest social platforms makes such controversial comments, people listen. And, while I understand the premise of Wong’s view (or other similar views), his opinion is simply wrong. There are a vast amount of seriously talented freelancers on websites like Upwork; the problem is NOT the freelancers, its the way that websites like Upwork function (or perhaps, the way that amateurs like Wong manage their remote team).

Eventually, Wong left Reddit (in late 2014) after disagreements over – you guessed it – office and staff expansion in San Francisco. But the biggest hilarity of all was when Upwork CEO Stephane Kasriel tried to capitalize off the story to attract these cream-of-the-crop freelancers into the sh*tty world of Upwork. But there’s a reason why Upwork is so desperate for cheeky attention in the face of round after round of lackluster fundraising, and its something that even Redditors seem to understand.

See also: Time Tracking Apps: Software That Every Freelancer And Modern Project Management Team Should Have

An Inherently Flawed Business Model

Companies like Automattic (the owners of WordPress software) have used remote-work teams for several years with amazing success; the error that dumbasses like Yishan Wong often make is equating freelancing with Upwork, or Upwork with freelancing.

I have no shame in being a “freelancer” — that being said, I indeed felt like a bit of a loser “competing” with millions of Third World “freelancers” on Upwork with poor English skills, questionable ability, and hourly rates that make working at the LAX McDonald’s look like a dream job (unlike “freelance” attorneys or accountants, the vast world of web development has no mandatory “bar” to pass).

But Upwork wasn’t always like this; indeed, I can remember the early days of oDesk when they tried to market themselves to corporate teams and project management, before it all caved in and became IndiaDesk — the problem was that their digital marketing strategy chose to prioritize “biggest” over being the “best” or the “only.”

Here’s an (ongoing) list of negative things I encountered over this past year, which in total made Upwork a barely-worthwhile resource for me:

  • Instability: I have no idea who is in control of the design and functionality of but the sudden, illogical changes in design and constant crashing of the site and messaging system rendered Upwork 100% useless around once a week or more… not to mention their Ubuntu client is non-functional
  • Expensive: While I appreciate Upwork trying to simplify the fees process by charging a flat 10% commission fee on all work, this is truly a huge ripoff on long-term contracts especially when its so easy to take clients off the site and over to PayPal or otherwise… I never did this in an effort to remain loyal and abide by TOS, but at least 50% of my clients suggested dumping the Upwork payment system and hiring me directly… despite “experts” constantly quitting Upwork, a few months ago they had the nerve to send out a “survey” asking how freelancers felt about a whopping 18% commission charge as part of a planned fee re-structuring
  • Rudeness: The spoiled, ego-maniac clients on Upwork who read Four Hour Work Week and think they are the next Zuckerberg expect things like “highly detailed” proposals or demand ridiculous turn-around time or 24/7 availability, but 90% of the time you will not get a client if you charge more than $2/hour… commonly, these “clients” will have sudden temper tantrums, so spending time writing “custom” proposal messages or delivering quality work is almost never worth the effort (Note: the majority of Upwork clients are not this bad, but it happened often enough to matter)
  • “Cheap”-ness: Even when you do write “custom” proposals, most clients are too “cheap” or non-professional to consider your high quality fair-priced proposal, so they exchange several demanding messages with you (wasting further time) and then ultimately bail, usually making up an excuse so as to not appear “cheap” (or, they attempt to blackmail you on $20 gigs by demanding free SEO consulting “and if its good enough, I will consider changing my review of you to 5 stars”)
  • No Support: Upwork tries to make a glorious statement about the quality of freelancing by hiring freelancers from their own site to… help manage their own site. This is not necessarily a bad idea, but when I’m being threatened with lawsuits and being called a “terrorist” by a whack-job client (after my cash has been frozen for 10 days), chatting with a teenager from the Philippines is not my idea of supporting the highly skilled freelancers who make or break the reputation of your community
  • No Loyalty: By constantly focusing on growth, Upwork is stuck in a recurring Catch-22 where they approach their network like the TSA, assuming everyone is a scammer and bringing down efficiency standards for everyone because of it; naturally, people keep quitting the site and Upwork is forced to focus on growth again. If I was the CEO of Upwork, I would break my back to make sure my top rated freelancers were treated like effing kings, offer them dedicated support agents, and give them the benefit of the doubt any time a complaint or dispute was filed against them. What justification exactly do talented freelancers have in keeping long-term clients in a “Dante’s Inferno” billing system besides its kind-of useful time tracking app? (Thankfully, there are many other time tracking and time sheet solutions out there these days.)

Any half-decent MBA graduate should be able to explain what is going on behind the scenes of Upwork and its ever-shaky reputation among investors: Upwork is ultimately nothing more than an easily-replicated attempt to capitalize off a growing economic trend without adding any real value to the process of freelancing, or any real incentive for freelancers to stick around after acquiring a handful of client leads. In other words, Upwork is neither a necessary tool for people to begin freelancing, nor do they provide any reason for freelancers to retain Upwork as a “tool” of the trade after their client base grows up. At the end of the day, the only thing that websites like Upwork really provide is a wildly unpredictable stream of client “leads” to a wildly unpredictable market of freelancers – and a whole lot of guaranteed time wasting.

“If you want great clients who are willing to pay well for your time you need to specialize and solve real business problems. If you’re just ‘building WordPress themes’ then you are in competition with oDesk and you’ll continue to be in competition till you change your business model.” — Curtis Mchale

Upwork Is A Massive Conflict Of Interest

But that’s just the thing: Upwork’s investor-backed goals are not concerned with quality, they are concerned with concepts like “market penetration” and vanity metrics such as the following: “As of May 2014, Upwork reported $1B in annual billings, 10 million freelancers and 4 million clients worldwide.” Any good investor knows that cash flow means nothing apart from net income growth and sign-ups mean nothing without a strong retention rate: The typical Upwork client either grows quickly frustrated re: poor quality freelancers and wasted time shopping around, and the typical Upwork freelancer grows quickly frustrated re: poor quality clients and wasted time sending proposals. It is a constant, vicious cycle of poor quality, wasted time from doing menial tasks (the very thing that these users were trying to get away from doing), and perhaps, ocassionally connecting with a few good quality people in which case they quickly take their business relationship off of Upwork to save on costs and save on time (and annoyance).

The company’s desperate, cheeky PR moves don’t help. Earlier this year, Upwork was quick to make an inflated job offer to Nina Mufleh, the girl whose online resume aimed at AirBnB went viral around Silicon Valley and beyond. Are Upwork execs really that clueless when it comes to what their website needs to improve, or do they simply prefer the worthless soundbites they achieve with stupid PR stunts?

Upwork is, no doubt, the largest freelance marketplace — but like WalMart, it’s a marketplace for the cheap-ass ignorant wannabes of the world, or anyone else too lazy to walk across the street to Trader Joes — let alone cook dinner at home.

About the Author


537 thoughts on "Upwork Sucks! #1 Freelance Site Is HORRIBLE"

  1. Hi i read the article and it is very useful and learn about Upwork freelancing website

  2. Upwork and Fiverr are the same!! I had a really bad experience freelancing on both platforms. The fees the rip-off freelancers are way too much! I regretted ever working for them. I now run my own agency now, and I have peace of mind. I no more worry about getting banned.

  3. Not all of us are “do-it-yourselfers”. And not all of us have the money to finance on classy furniture. However, each one of us can use some imagination to bring out the beauty even from the most shabby and old looking objects we can find around us.

  4. I agree, Upwork sucks. We have to constantly look for orders and invest in this time and effort. The higher the price of your services, the more time you have to spend on finding customers. Merits are always yours. The result is given to the client by you, not your company. All laurels also come to you. If you work poorly, then all the negativity is yours. Your reputation suffers, angry reviews are written to you, they complain about you, etc. If you allow yourself a lot of freedom, then you will earn extremely little. There are lots of freelancers living on low pay and working 4 hours a week. Good luck!

  5. Digital Guru says:

    Very informative content keep sharing. Are you fedup about your Upwork Profile Approval? So don’t worry just follow these steps.

  6. Maria says:

    I can give you the first project on Upwork or Freelancer so you will have your first review, for details: telegram @diarfaton or [email protected]

  7. Devlife says:

    Hi Jesse. I encourage you to entertain yet another Upwork horror story, currently unfolding over at LanceBase. A once well-established Upwork freelancer was unjustly and improperly (illegally?) removed from Upwork for simply logging in while traveling. It’s quite a good read and it will be interesting to see how Upwork handles this.

  8. Moh says:

    Correction, all terrorists are from the US.

  9. egerfkhguykg says:

    I suspect upwork is really not american comany and belongs to someone in commie state. their tactics are definitelly not american, as well as service. they effectivelly are kicking out real freelancers and replacing them with someone who is more likelly to be their emplyee. at least thats my impression.

    1. Jurgen says:

      I not know who is owner upwork, but completely agree that they discard really freelancers and replace their on people, like they go from commie regime. It’s a great harm to the Freelancer community

    2. Ravikant says:

      I have been using upwork from past 9 months(Sept, 2017) and I was able to build a good reputation on the platform but suddenly I received an email from upwork that they have suspended my upwork account because I have violated their policy of account overlapping which is not true at all.

      They didn’t even give me the chance to put my side.

      Now, I have lost all of my reputation, my clients of upwork that I earned with so many efforts.

      They are behaving like a dictator saying that their decision is final.

  10. T. Buvan says:

    Freelancer Outsourcing UK is a cheating company. They robbe3d my credit card details and requested my bank to deduct from my account US$ 29.28 and Bank also deducted this amount from my account without my knowledge.

    How Freelancer can request the Bank without informing me and for what reason and how can the Bank Debit my account.

    This is a Fraud. I am residing in the State of Qatar and my Banker is Commercial Bank of Qatar.
    everybody be careful from this cheaters.

  11. T. Buvan says:

    Freelancer Outsourcing UK is a cheating company. They robbe3d my credit card details and requested my bank to deduct from my account US$ 29.28 and Bank also deducted this amount from my account without my knowledge.

    How Freelancer can request the Bank without informing me and for what reason and how can the Bank Debit my account.

    This is a Fraud. I am residing in the State of Qatar and my Banker is Commercial Bank of Qatar.

    Please everybody be careful from this cheaters.

  12. B Shaw says:

    It is total BS that a “cheap” client can take you to mediation, and even though I settled, just to end it (it was $50) How are they still allowed to leave a review???

    Not mention, the left a poor review which dropped my JSS to a level below that of many of the minimum requirements. ZERO LOYALTY to the freelancer.

  13. zara says:

    is it possible to sue them. let’s sue UPWORK all !!!

  14. Christopher Binns says:

    Upwork rejected my application. I have superior writing capabilities and access to online databases like EBSCO Host. I could have brought excellent writing and content creation skills to the platform yet they rejected my application because they have too many writers. How is that possible? Why not let employers decide? I suspect they rejected me because I have started my own SaaS for business development, not at all in competition to Upwork. I guess I should have lied and showed myself to be less capable of delivering quality writing and online content.

    1. kt says:

      My first application on upwork was also rejected because they claimed there were too many online ESL tutors, so I had to reword to one of the other jobs I do remotely but still listed my ESL tutor skills.

      After living in Germany for a few months, I returned home for the holidays I changed to my permanent home address which they required proof (and I did provide) they NOW they decided to SUSPEND/DEACTIVATE my account because they claim my uploaded Proof of IDs are fake, although I completed an I9.

      I didn’t get any upwork projects while in the US and once I was in Germany, a French company contacted me.

      Now I’m fighting these incompetent maroons for I am due another pay check from the company I provided services, and they never answered within 48hrs as their support email ticket ‘promised’ … 6 days to get a message claiming my information is a fraud… SERIOUSLY????

      I certainly know who I am …

  15. Miss Sylvia says:

    With the due respect, you sound quite racist associating poor skills with third world/poor countries. Do you think that everyone in Europe and USA are brilliant and everywhere else is populated by idiots?
    You’re very wrong.

    1. Scott Ban says:

      You are simply ignorant and, obviously, have have little real-world experience working as a a freelancer online, let alone at UpWork. The FACT is this: The Turd-World types, though seemingly cheap, waste talented people’s time, drive down payment levels, screw up jobs, and, in general, suck. (Many of of my jobs are to fix their screw-ups.) So, in short, it’s not about “racism” but TRUTH, which may melt you, snowflake…

  16. David says:

    Upwork it’s just disguised slavery. I used this service some months until understand the deception that is taking place there.
    If you go on this site and there you will be deceived, you will be to blame for yourself, since you did not listen to the warning

  17. Are these real??!!?? I used to hear just good things about Upwork. I was planning to open an account on it. But I am afraid I can do this after reading this. Thanks for alerting buddy!

    1. FI says:

      Honestly all true, since the JSS upwork even sucks more. I started from elance then moved to upwork (they moved my profile to upwork), straight 5 Star ratings about 50 jobs with more than 300k in earnings, some of my clients did not give me feedback fun part 2-3 contracts without feedback were from upwork itself (I was hired by upwork) and that took my rating down to 75% and I was all the sudden out of top-rated program. I work my ass off to get great rating and this dump platform ***ks all up like this already moving to other platforms

  18. PSD to HTML says:

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  19. dexeen says:

    Hello I recently permanently banned by upwork of false reasons, they accused me of working outside the platform that definitely not true. I automatically suspend me without warning or temporary suspension or getting my side and then I comply to upwork help center but the same reply and no concrete solution they give to me except saying”you are permanently suspended for being bla bla with all my message they just give me repeated bla bla. I wonder if anyone the same stories here.

  20. hsdfha says:

    WOW !!! Too bad your name is not in the Forbes or Fortune list. People here already make a ton of real money, unlike you. The problem is with Upwork and people are warning others against it. Stop selling your cheap gay ass for $3, you disgusting cocksucker ! By the way, the Avogadro number 6.022140857 × 10^23 and the speed of light in vacuum is 3.00×10^8 m/s and not 3.2×10^7, if you know what I mean. Pulling random numbers out of your ass and adding powers to it does not make you look smart. It makes you look real stupid.

  21. Knee Gro says:

    You whiny bitches are just upset that you’re too poor to afford vaseline when dealing with Upwork.

    Why don’t you go look at the mirror and find out what’s wrong with you.

    I am not a full-time Upwork worker, but in the last 2 years I have completed 3.2×10^7 projects with a rating score over 99.99% for a total of $345,322,937,000.17 earned.

    1. hsdfha says:

      WOW !!! Too bad your name is not in the Forbes or Fortune list. People here already make a ton of real money, unlike you. The problem is with Upwork and people are warning others against it. Stop selling your cheap gay ass for $3, you disgusting cocksucker ! By the way, the Avogadro number 6.022140857 × 10^23 and the speed of light in vacuum is 3.00×108 m/s and not 3.2×10^7, if you know what I mean. Pulling random numbers out of your ass and adding powers to it does not make you look smart. It makes you look real stupid.

  22. neeraj patel says:


    Please come and join on
    Here you can buy/sell micro services and you can post free project.
    Few features:
    No membership charges
    Free post project
    low commission fee
    No transaction fee
    withdrawal in same day

    Looking forward to see you in


    1. T. Buvan says:

      Give your full contact details including your full address, Telephone Number etc.

      You will cheat and after that cannot find you or your location !

  23. Jack says:

    Hey, guys!
    I also received ID verification message from the Hell Upwork and submitted it.
    But later they told me that they need another image of my ID card.
    So, I’ve resubmitted it.
    After that, they said to me that they’ve completed another review of all the information available and concluded that my account will remain permanently deactivated.
    And didn’t tell me what the matter is in spite of asking the reason.

    All you guys can make client account easily and post job on Upwork, and you can expose fraud and cheating of Upwork.
    I will do that and hope everyone follow me.


  24. John Smith says:

    Thanks for taking the write this article. It’s also worth pointing out that Upwork does not provide any client protection. It claims it does but it’s easy to bypass. Would not recommend them to anyone.

  25. Barry says:

    One of the stupidest articles I have ever read. The author rants hysterically about Upwork, then reveals he still uses it.

  26. Patricia Hazlett says:


    After a lengthy phone conversation August 10, 2017 with Anna (see that conversation summary below), Upwork phone representative, trying to figure out why I still can’t download the $60 payment from Scott A., I was informed that Upwork had taken my $60 and removed the access button to retrieve my money. Anna said that she would speak with others to see if she can get that money returned to me and would email me about the situation. The following is what I received via email:

    Anna (August 10, 2017) at 17:46
    Hi Patricia,

    Thank you for contacting Upwork Support. My name is Anna and it was a pleasure assisting you today.

    I investigated your account and found that in December 2015, you were given a code to have a free 2 month membership for your Agency. You were given instructions on how to apply it on your account as well. This free 2 month membership was applied to January and February 2016.

    After that the membership was not cancelled and so the system used the then existing balance to pay for the $20.00 monthly membership plan.[THIS IS A LIE, I CANCELED IT IN JANUARY]

    I feel sorry that you might have been confused on how to access your Agency profile but we will not be able to refund the Membership Fees for March, April, and May 2016. [THIS WAS NOT A MEMBERSHIP FEE PAYMENT, IT WAS A PAYMENT FROM A CLIENT]

    If you need further assistance or experience any additional issues, please submit a new ticket using this link and one of our team members will be more than happy to help.

    Kind Regards,

    Upwork Customer Support
    Patricia August 11, 2017 at 14:00

    Dear Anna,
    Like I told you on the phone, I canceled the Agency in January 2016 but your representative evidently didn’t follow through with that cancellation procedure (which I didn’t know about at that time) and I kept trying over and over again to retrieve my $60 payment from Scott A. for the work I completed and he paid for through you website. I was not able to retrieve that $60 payment because Upwork denied me access (removed the button) to this payment and I found out just yesterday that Upwork stole my payment which was my money for creating 2 logos (at a great discount) for Scott A. without my approval and without even mentioning anything to me about what they were doing with that money because I would have stopped them if I had known. I had no idea that the Agency account wasn’t canceled as requested in January 2016 until Upwork tried to take $20 from my PayPal account for it in June. I had to contact PayPal to file a complaint with them and let them know that had canceled that Agency account in January and then PayPal got that issue resolved for me and I then received the refund of that $20. But I still wasn’t told that Upwork had stolen my $60 and did not receive the return of my $60 payment for the work I completed. Upwork had no business taking my money – that was my money to choose what to do with it but Upwork had stolen it and removed the button that I needed in order to withdraw and transfer that money to my bank account! This is theft and is very unethical so I intend to have my attorney file a formal complaint with request for compensation for my payment and for the unethical dealings of Upwork. Please do the right thing and return my $60 immediately and I will stop the legal process.

    1. Matt says:

      Hi Patricia,

      That’s crazy. I started which is for freelancing, consulting, and mentoring. We have a free subscription of course, but the payment for our payed subscriptions is taken up front for the coming year. Any payment you have is yours – that’s a pretty bold move taking your money to cover their fees, especially if you had already made a move to cancel and it was their error. Some of the experiences people are running into just seem punitive.

  27. sarah shaik says:

    Anyone interested in freelancing and wants to be a freelance tester, QAonAir is the perfect platform to register…It is completely free to register and you get notified when any project is approved

  28. Maverick says:

    Excellent article. I am a top rated freelancer on Upwork worked on 35+ successful contracts and working with some of clients for 3+ years. But still they can decrease my visibility or suspend my account without any reason. Or I can be lose my profile rating and hardwork just with one bad review. They really suck. This can give you the result of being loyal.

    On the other hand, I joined Toptal. So far, my first experience is great. The best thing there is pre-vetted developers and recruiter to handle all rates issues.

    If upwork keep acting like this, it will surely become a site like freelancer in few years.

    1. Matt says:

      Glad to hear TopTal is better. I started as an alternative to Upwork. I have toyed with the idea of trying to partially automate LevelQA’s rating system to prevent blackmailing. I think this could be more fair, and help both sides, to take some of the decision making and automate it. Users would still decide their rating, but certain results might prevent going above or below a predefined amount. Like if you finish a project (and finish on time) you shouldn’t be completely blackmailed by a client over a threatened low rating when you did what they wanted. Just an idea, any thoughts from anyone?

  29. Aram says:

    They stolen my 80$ and deactivated my account in case that I didn’t done anything illegal. They don’t say why they deactivate it and why the stole my money… UPWORK SUCKS I HATE THAT WEBSITE!!! THIS is the message that they sent me…

    We’ve reviewed all of the information you provided, but will not be reinstating your account. The decision is final and your account is permanently deactivated. I understand this is not the outcome you were hoping for.

    Please know we are unlikely to respond to further correspondence regarding this matter.

  30. Krishnendu Majumder says:

    My experience with upwork is horrible. They suspended my account without any valid reason. ONe fine evening they sent me an email that my account was suspended. due to submission of too many proposals and acceptance of invitations from clients in etherium blockchain development without premium membership. Actually I m not using the default connects to submit proposals, so it is not consumed. Actually it is not needed since invitations from clients do not require any connects. Now when I filed dispute against their decision , they asked me to submit certificates on etherium development as a skill which is impossible to show. I could show them the work link and give reference to my client for whom I have worked. How can one issue certificates on recently developed technology which has just taken pace? It is absurd. This is my link. I have good reviews in upwork.

    1. Matt says:

      There seems to be a breakdown in their review process…as you said, how can anyone prove competence with a certification that may not exist yet? I have set up a site for freelancing that is already online and has some users – it’s I have set many of the policies up to avoid some of the pitfalls named on these comments. You should start under the free subscription.

  31. Akul Gupta says:

    It’s not safe to work for Upwork, they can suspend your account anytime in the name of security and then will not even let you withdraw your earnings. They keep all the earnings and basically are thiefs who are stealing our hard earned money in the name of terms and conditions. Who is going to read each and every line of terms and conditions and they make use of that inability of humans. They suck.

  32. Don says:

    Be Warned! Upwork is now scamming US freelancer’s banking info! They have started a new policy of requiring additional info above and beyond your current financial data to “prove” you are a US resident for a new option for clients to request only US workers. They refuse a driver’s license and want your banking info…which does NOT prove residency. So all you guys overseas, start looking for a fake address and setup a bank account I guess. It looks like a bank scam. I contacted them, went through 3 levels of support before they said they were not interested in me proving where I live, but want my bank info!

  33. Igor says:

    One week after i pay $10 for monthly upwork membership my account is suspended, after something they call profile verification. Agent ask me about my paypal email and take a snap shot from my webcam (it was video chat). I’m graphic designer and video editor freelancer for the last 12 years and never have some problems like that. When i say that i want my $10 back (why will i leave them $10 if they suspend my account). Here is what i get: “Kindly be informed that as per our terms of service, membership fees are not refundable.” :) As i say, i’m freelancer from RentaCoder, Scriptlancer times and upwork really SUCKS !!!!

  34. Arul says:

    Thanks for your post about Upwork. I was about to submit a proposal and Upwork wouldn’t let me proceed without entering my bank account for “verification”. I decided to NOT do that and instead check reviews. I’m glad I read your detailed review, and all the several comments from other Upwork freelancers.

  35. Joe says:

    That’s true. It really SUCKS…..

    1. allie blaising says:

      Hi Joe,
      My name is Allie and I’m undergraduate student involved in a summer research program at Carnegie Mellon University. During my short research internship, I’m conducting interviews with online workers. I’m conducting these interviews because I’m interested in better understanding online work in the hopes of developing systems and/or resources to better support YOU ?
      If you are interested in participating in a brief 30 – 40 minute interview, please email me: [email protected] & I will provide you with more details!
      I realize this is a big favor to ask, however your participation in this interview will offer my current study immense value. Finally, if you do agree to participate, completing your interview will be my top priority – so I will adapt to meet YOUR SCHEDULE!
      Thank you again for your valuable time.

  36. If interested let create a group on some social network where we join hand together and finish this name upwork with valid reasons

    1. Igor says:


  37. I am with u people. Someway before upwork – odesk management should come back. They were fair and they used to give respect to small people also.

    1. allie blaising says:

      Hi Dheeraj,
      My name is Allie and I’m undergraduate student involved in a summer research program at Carnegie Mellon University. During my short research internship, I’m conducting interviews with online workers. I’m conducting these interviews because I’m interested in better understanding online work in the hopes of developing systems and/or resources to better support YOU ?
      If you are interested in participating in a brief 30 – 40 minute interview, please email me: [email protected] & I will provide you with more details!
      I realize this is a big favor to ask, however your participation in this interview will offer my current study immense value. Finally, if you do agree to participate, completing your interview will be my top priority – so I will adapt to meet YOUR SCHEDULE!
      Thank you again for your valuable time.

  38. Dzenan Skulj says:

    Hey Jesse,

    Interesting and very informative post, I must admit.

    As a Co-Founder of revolutionary freelancing platform called Parttimerz which is poised to forever change the way freelancing and online outsourcing is done, I’m please to have read your post.

    Namely, over the past several months I came across dozens of post similar to your in tone and hundreds of comments from ex-Upworkers who had very similar complaints and concerns.

    All of that caught me by surprise but made me happy simply because Parttimerz unconventional business model of rewarding top performing freelancers by additional paycheck – above and beyond their quarterly earning – and weeding out the weak and underperforming freelancers, is beautifully positioned to address those concerns and fill gaps Upwork has created.

    Once again, that was an awesome – eyeopening – read and I thank you for your candor. Meanwhile, give your expertise in the world of freelancing platforms, I’d appreciate greatly if you find some time to visit and have a ‘test drive’ in hope that you may have some cool pointers on how to improve further more to make freelancers and clients experience even more rewarding and fulfilling.



  39. ST says:

    I DONT BELIEVE HOW upwork start TREATING FREELANCERS AND IMPOSING THEIR DECISIONS… See below massage i get today ,,,,,,
    I am writing to let you know that we have carefully reviewed your appeal and determined that your Upwork account will remain suspended.

    We know this is not the news you wanted to receive, however at this point the appeal process is exhausted and our decision is final. If you have any open contracts you will be able to complete that work and receive payment through our site. You will not be able to submit proposals for new contracts, however.

    We wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors outside of Upwork. Please note that it is unlikely that we will respond to any future correspondence regarding this matter.


    Upwork Trust & Safety

    1. allie blaising says:

      Hi there,
      My name is Allie and I’m undergraduate student involved in a summer research program at Carnegie Mellon University. During my short research internship, I’m conducting interviews with online workers. I’m conducting these interviews because I’m interested in better understanding online work in the hopes of developing systems and/or resources to better support YOU ?
      If you are interested in participating in a brief 30 – 40 minute interview, please email me: [email protected] & I will provide you with more details!
      I realize this is a big favor to ask, however your participation in this interview will offer my current study immense value. Finally, if you do agree to participate, completing your interview will be my top priority – so I will adapt to meet YOUR SCHEDULE!
      Thank you again for your valuable time.

  40. Jon Thacket says:

    Gosh, nothing but bad experiences on UpWork! Great article, hopefully it steers potential users away. I saw someone else mention this new platform too, but I wanted to chime in as well; I found them on LinkedIn and really like what they’re about! I’ve signed up to join their beta once they launch.

  41. Dan O Brien says:

    Hi everyone,

    My company has set up a marketplace for freelancers and project owners in North America, We are basically looking to avoid all the negative points that have been made in this post about Upwork. Freelancers will never be charged anything ever that’s our model. Also instead of looking for roles as a freelancer we will actually match freelancers to projects that suit their interests and skills. We do a brief screen/phone interview before a freelancer is approved. Once you’re on the site leave us do the work to match you to projects that match your cost, skills, interests and hours you can work.

    We are in beta at the moment and are building a great DB to match to our projects that are coming in fast.


    1. Dan O Brien says:

      Also our platform is built on trust with our Project owners so there is full communication between them and freelancer before a contract is signed.

    2. Amanda says:

      Do you have logo and other graphic design projects on worklily?

  42. BonChon says:

    I found this great solution to UpWork, check out; they don’t take transaction fees from their subscribed members AND minimum project amounts must start at $500. Also, creatives (freelancers) must be located in the U.S. and have a verified U.S. bank account.

    1. Joseph Threadgate says:

      Thanks for the heads up on FWB! I checked their site out when I saw your comment and it looks promising! Hopefully they’ll be launching soon, I can’t wait to test this out!

      I was sick of taking the hit for 20% transaction fees when I did the hard work and invested the time. My account got removed due to claims I was circumventing…I will neither confirm nor deny those allegations :)

      I saw FWB pop up on my Facebook feed and something about them really captured my interest and I decided to sign up early and get that nice discount!! Can’t wait until they launch!!

  43. Amadeus says:

    Upwork has changed into a money grabbing slave mill. Last year they doubled the fees they take from contractors and removed the ability to speak to a live customer service person. On their company forums they refused to explain their decision or to provide statistics as to how many contractors have been effected. A friend of mine has been mysteriously banned by simply asking a question on the forum politely questioning the company’s new policies. Also they changed their rating system where you can have perfect reviews for a couple of years and still get a score below the sought after 90% level if you are not actively bringing business to upwork as a contractor. Bascially they force everyone to be a salesman for them. They also dont have any kind of vetting for job posts. So many are fake and scams and trying to hire people to work for their scams, like pyramid schemes for example or doing “free test” projects where you work for free for a chance for a job and then of course no one actually gets hired. Upwork doesn’t care as long as they get their cut. They don’t care about anyone but their profits. This is disgusting as it does not accurately reflect someone’s hard work and professionalism. I cannot wait for a strong competitor to rise and wipe them out of business. Upwork is owned, managed and run by absolute scumbags. Worse company after Monsanto.

  44. Steffen Thomala says:

    Well, unfortunately I haven’t had the pleasure of being there in the earlier days. I have been on Elance a few years ago. But only a few times. Otherwise, freelancing started for me only like 2 years ago? If that. And my experiences are very bad in general.

    Upwork is the most recent. It was hard to land the first jobs. And it is as described in your post. Even at $35/hour the work exceeds reason. The niche I’m in is not that bad actually. Although, even in this case the cheap workers ruin the profit. But besides high fees, also the quality of the material I received to work with was so bad, it took me more than twice as long to finish the job, than it would usually take me.

    Going further down your post, what you describe to me sounds like the usual problems you see everywhere. Because if you think about it, wherever you look, they all want more and more, but while they grow and grow, the basics start to crumble and break apart. And that’s what you are describing with Upwork. They want new markets and new people. But the basic features like the actual website and support don’t work. Think about eBay. Same difference. First they destroyed the platform with high fees for small private offerers. Then they wanted to move to China, since they were not able to get enough members and sellers in Europe.

    And since we are at not getting the basics right: You might have noticed, that Upwork is taking 25% instead of the stated 20%, right? Did you also ever notice, they are commiting tax fraud and trying to hide it by twisting the transaction history?

    Take a look at this:

    Just read the reviews. It’s all about the money.

    Clients report, they don’t find real talents and in case Upwork denies their request to cancel and charges the money anyway. On Trustpilot (among all the fake reviews) you can find one that says, he cancelled at $25 and Upwork continued charging from his Paypal account up to $250.

    While on the other hand, freelancers are charged claimed 20% instead of 10%, 25% real instead of 20% claimed, from the amount the client is paying, which already contains the fees, instead of the amount the freelancer should get, plus VAT that should be charged to the client AND … here is the clue nobody usually thinks of: did you know, according to Upwork, since Upwork twists the transaction history and claims, instead of Upwork you are receiving the money from the client, you should pay VAT for the full amount instead of Upwork?

    Well, take a look at the mentioned website. It’s interesting. This is really bad. Taking a closer look, Upwork has obvious flaws. And not only the ones everybody is complaining about. But really serious ones.

    They force the clients to pay, they commit tax fraud and they take from the freelancer not only every possible, but even the impossible ways!

    Oh and, there is not really much to say about the support. Except maybe, this is really the worst support I’ve ever seen in more than 15 years online.

    1. allie blaising says:

      Hi there,
      My name is Allie and I’m undergraduate student involved in a summer research program at Carnegie Mellon University. During my short research internship, I’m conducting interviews with online workers. I’m conducting these interviews because I’m interested in better understanding online work in the hopes of developing systems and/or resources to better support YOU ?
      If you are interested in participating in a brief 30 – 40 minute interview, please email me: [email protected] & I will provide you with more details!
      I realize this is a big favor to ask, however your participation in this interview will offer my current study immense value. Finally, if you do agree to participate, completing your interview will be my top priority – so I will adapt to meet YOUR SCHEDULE!
      Thank you again for your valuable time.

  45. Saul says:

    The problem for many of us is scale of economy. In many countries they can afford to work for $2per hour because the cost of living is relative to that level of income. However if you live in places like the UK or USA then $2 per hour is a complete non starter. Hence you end up with loads of clients migrating to the lowest common denominator and a never ending supply of people willing to work for peanuts.

    In essence this makes services like Upwork next to useless for those of us who live in first world economies. Why would I sell my skills for $2 per hour when I could get $20 per hour stacking shelves at the local supermarket and with no skill whatsoever?

    There are also far too many people on Upwork who put themselves forward for jobs that require skills they don’t have or only partially have and this dilutes the opportunities for everyone. Personally I know how to do a LOT of things but I also know that I am VERY good at a small core set of skills so I only put myself forward for those.

    I think the bottom line is, if you are really good at what you do and want to make a decent living from it then either build your own client base or join one of the small more specialist freelancer sites but whatever you do stay the hell away from Upwork!

    1. jc says:

      uhhh where the heck do you live that you get paid 20 an hour to stock shelves?

  46. fedup@downwork,com says:

    Apart from Upwork’s incompetent management and staff running this pathetic site, the only thing they they’re excellent at is coming up with creative ways and means to steal more and more from their freelancers and clients alike. Here’s an idea, apart from all the fees galore, how about charge your victims a NEW 10% FEE on top of the current FEES with an expected rise of another 10% in 6 months’ time and thereafter. If that won’t suffice, the now $2 per withdrawal to Paypal (from $1), make it $5 for every $20 instead. You see, your victims have caught on with you on your little racket re local bank transfer in terms of using the lowest possible currency exchange rates. Otherwise, go for bonkers, with the current 20% service fee (ex-10%) , why not up it again to 30%, this time – that is a very nice sounding number, right?
    Now, would all these possible hikes make the site function better? Would that get Upwork a better infrastructure? Nah, I don’t think so. I don’t think they could run a kindy school raffle, if you let them. Total f**k-ups, they’ve lost the plot. And, as we all know, legit criminals are at the helm in this organization. I can’t wait to see the demise of this platform, honestly!!!!

  47. Upwork is horrible says:

    The site is down for hours almost on a daily basis. Not to mention the horrible user experience and the 20+% fees. Run away from Upwork as fast as you can.

  48. linda says:

    I was hiring on Odesk… but for two days their system has been crashing and cannot get into the system. They suck

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  50. Sonu says:

    Upwork is a BIG SCAM.

    I was not using my upwork profile for years. I just started using this month. I had submitted 30 proposals and WON one project too. But suddenly they sent me following. Not to mentioned that I had already undergone through their HELL LIKE VERIFICATION PROCESS.

    Dom L (Upwork Help Center)
    Mar 29, 3:30 AM UTC

    Hello Sonu,

    We are contacting you to let you know we have suspended your access to Upwork indefinitely.

    Our decision is based on a careful review and the fact that you have submitted a high number of proposals for jobs on our site without many contracts or earnings. Unfortunately, this means the jobs posted by clients are not a good match for your skills.

    I know this news is likely disappointing to you. But our goal at Upwork is to enable freelancers to successfully connect and collaborate with clients who need their skills and expertise. Unfortunately, this means we must part ways with freelancers whose skills are not in demand in our marketplace.

    If you want to appeal this decision, you can email us at [email protected]. Please note each case will be manually reviewed by our Trust & Safety team to decide if your account can be reinstated.

    Please know we don’t make decisions like these lightly and wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.


    Upwork Trust & Safety

    1. sak says:

      Exactly the same with me. I’ve done a lot of work there. My score is good and I have a lot of good reviews from clients. Despite the 20%, I wanted to meet new people to help in my client base. I tried to make the appeal and received a cold, dry response. I sent another email and they asked to put together documents to prove my skills and my qualifications. Now, reading so many negative things about the platform, I do not know if I’ll stay out or try to go back there.

    2. AMY says:

      WOW! Rude Upwork hat is why a I left.

    3. AMY says:

      *Edited: Wow! Rude Upwork that is why I left.

      Damn autocorrect!

  51. Sovit says:

    Yes indeed. UPWORK sucks big time!

    I also suddenly got an email saying my account has been suspended because I have applied for too many jobs and haven’t got hired recently.

    This is totally unprofessional. I have never seen any warning like this before on their site before so they should have at least sent a warning email before suspending my account. Crazy guys, I am never going to work for Upwork anymore.

    One more thing, they better cash me my remaining payments if they don’t want to get sued!

    1. AY says:

      OMG! same here! Just got suspended and i cant cash back the payment. How can we sue Upwork??

      They even banned me in the community, so that i really have no chance to ASK FOR HELP!

      Upwork is really suck!

  52. Someone who regret wasting tim says:

    These clients don’t understand the value of works feelamcers do. It’s more lucrative working at McDonald.

  53. Alex says:

    All I want to say is UpWork SUCKS!!!!

  54. Anon says:

    Don’t use Upwork, they will steal your money whether the project is complete or not. They favor freelancers over customers. Don’t use this service, it’s better to hire privately. Their money-back guarantee is a lie.

  55. Roddy says:

    Since I am an Electrical Engineer in Panama, a third world country, no one will hire me, since no one designs electrical equipment around here. I have been using Upwork for years, as a website developer mostly, and it is getting worse. They take 20% of what you make, and I keep finding employers that are either total morons, or want to exploit me. I have found myself working for 1 or 2 dollars per hour, and this is Panama, a country where the average salary is $700, not $400, like Venezuela. I can barely survive on that.

    There are so many freelancers inside Upwork that sometimes credentials get ignored. Most projects stay open for months because the people seeking freelancers are also trying to get the job done for less than $100. How bad does it get? I once saw a contractor looking for someone that could make an AirBNB clone for $500.

    I have worked on projects other Upwork freelancers left unfinished, and it is easy to conclude that most of these freelancers took a PHP course, and a MySQL course, or any other language for that matter, and just launched themselves into the freelancer world. Some of the things they do are heaven for hackers, or hell for a computer processor if there are more than 100 users using the website at the same time. It is THAT bad.

    I am trying to find a job in Panama, not as a freelancer, since Upwork and the like are now saturated with people who think of themselves as programmers, but they are amateurs, and contractors who think freelancers and slaves are the exact same thing.

    1. Aram says:

      Thank you, you have written what I was going to, about freelancers, who really don’t know what are they doing, and still getting jobs, because they are cheap labor(or whatever). And here am I, siting already 2 months, trying to find a job, that at least will cover my electricity bills, not to talk about my food and energy I spend. but creating a clone of a very messed website, which has constantly updating content for 500$ is really the hell on earth for people, who spent most of their adulthood studying this stuff, and trying to fit in.

  56. Zack Khan says:

    I use – its the same with every third party site, but freelancer is much better – you can land high paying jobs consistently. By high paying, I mean over $50 per hour and the occasional $100 per hour. I am not sure who works for $1, its understandable that one has to work at ridiculously lower rates to get their foot inside the door but that still doesn’t make it right. In my opinion, this is blackmail. The best solution is to use these platforms to standardize your craft and then go solo. Mine leads, build a website, start a blog, get references, put em on your website and start pounding emails – pick up your phone and start calling. Develop a pitch, fine tune that pitch—-Go solo my brothers and sisters – We need not be slaves. Peace

  57. eddielee394 says:

    Impressive, Jesse. Two years later & you’re still getting fresh comments on the post. Kudos.

    For everyone bitching about the foreign freelancer competition, you’re looking at it the wrong way. I’ve been doing this for 2 years FULL TIME and cleared $80k last year (comfortable income for doing remote web development).

    These 3rd world freelancers bidding pennies on projects are precisely the reason why I can charge $50/hr. I depend on these types of freelancers to establish a baseline for the client. After 2 or 3 horrid experiences with that $2/hr “developer”, most clients are filled with joy when they see that American flag next to my name, my 5 Star performance reviews, 100% completion rate and happily agree to paying my rates.

    Trust me, online freelancing is only a race to the bottom if you CHOOSE to participate in the race.

    1. Ryon Whyte says:

      Uplifting comment. I have been looking for a hint of light to at least test upwork. Now I will

  58. frank williams says:

    You not a freelancer or working for yourself using these 3rd party platforms.

    Don’t get me wrong, they’re ok to use to get experience and build your portfolio, just don’t respect to be making a living from them.

    the whole basic concept of working for peanuts is just so WRONG! Wrong to even offer such services, very bad for the economy.
    I used to sell and buy on both Ebay and Amazon when I was 18, so I know how they all hold the money being the ‘middle man’ so to speak and doing more than just hosting a simple website for services platform.

    come on, let’s be REAL! who’s gonna compete against India’s who will work for $5?

    Best to create your own website, where you have all control on your business, and promote your business on social media

    1. Zack Khan says:

      I am a non-native writer and charge more than the natives on, also, I am ranked number 1 in my skills. Someone who charges anything below $100 an hour is not my competition, any client who expects me to work for him for anything below $50, is not my client.

      Who can compete with an Indian who is charging $5 per hour? – Someone who has the same skill set. Would Rolls Royce be worried what Honda is doing?

      I have personally stopped using these third party sites – I use other sources to get my business and I get more than I can handle. And yes, I have more control – at or upwork, everything belongs to them. Your profile, your reviews -meaning they can shut down your account anytime without any worries. So please fellas, start on your own, if you feel like using these third party sites, use them and fine tune your skills – if you dont need to fine tune them and believe that you have the skills which you can sell successfully in this global market – go for it!

  59. sylvain says:

    I have been stolen 1440 usd by the platforme (and i am not only). They offer me 200usd credit for solve the probleme (i think they protect the stoler).

  60. Julie says:

    Upwork has been SUSPENDING the accounts of the freelancers who do not have a PAID membership. They are trying to remove all the FREE memberships from the website. I know so many freelancers (on free membership) who are having their Upwork accounts permanently suspended for no viable reason. This is not a LEGAL process, as they offer FREE MEMBERSHIP, yet they are trying to remove every free user. Highly illegal and discriminatory.

  61. When good men do nothing says:

    My admin freelancing pimp, Upwork, is not doing very well business-wise as a result of their forever incompetent management and bad decisions. Who would have thought? So, another round of 100% hike in services fees has been introduced and relayed to the freelancer as “NEWS UPDATE”. It was just not so long ago they upped their fees from 10% to 20% to rob you. Now they want to rob you some more through revenues generated from their banking and finance operations – a really nice earner for this fcukers Well, this little black duck slugging it out on Upwork is definitely walking to look for another admin freelancing pimp. Wish me luck.

    1. kbeaver says:

      Wow. I’m doing awesome here. Working 70 hours a week. It is all in how you market yourself. Yeah you can make money here if you know how to run a business

  62. Honest Abe says:

    The leadership team of Upwork must sit around the executive table for their regular executive meetings and strategize on how to further rip off their long-suffering freelancers. Then they patronize you with with their condescending ‘we care about you’ announcements haha. The latest bad news for non-US based freelancers is a 100% increase in Paypal fees with 24-hour release to your Paypal account, which used to be $1 and instant transfer. Then because they care about you and what you to save on that 100% increase on Paypal, they offer you the alternative which is the direct bank transfer facility, where they again will steal from you via the direct foreign currency exchange commissions not to mention the added period of waiting for your money on top of the 14 days hold disguised as security. Then there’s the eradication of SKRIll to hit the most vulnerable on this platform. I truly have no words for that…. They’re very creative when it comes to robbing you of your precious hard earnings whilst making you think it is all for your own benefit. Like I said, what a bunch of greedy a******s and thieving b******s!!!!

  63. Andy says:

    I posted this comment in the Upwork Forum, under the title
    Upwork should be Renamed Downwork.

    Considering how many scheduled outages and downtime Upwork displays, I think the name is inappropriate.

    They even publicise their ineptness:

    They’re offline nearly every day!!

    And when you complain to support they just write back and say they take this issue very seriously.

    But not seriously enough to hire one of our freelancers to fix it.

    Facebook, Ebay and Google never have outages or “scheduled maintenance”, nor do millions of other sites.

    Come on Upwork – grow up!!

    10 minutes after posting an Upwork moderator renamed the title to:
    Upwork Should be renamed **

  64. James says:

    I’m an employer…..I love the freelancers that I find at UpWork but the platform is rubbish.

    Buggy…features make no sense. #Lame

  65. P says:

    My experience with Upwork has also been bad.

    Recently they suspended my account and their explanation was, quote, “Our decision is based on a careful review and the fact that you have submitted a high number of proposals for jobs on our site without many contracts or earnings. Unfortunately, this means the jobs posted by clients are not a good match for your skills.”

    I am new to Upwork with obviously no reviews from clients. However, I have two years worth of experience in a very popular type of work, just that I used to work in an office. If clients requested it, I could provide scans of significant documents (certificate of employment, diploma, etc.) to support my credibility.

    Besides, I don’t even go there every single day to post. I would visit there one day, submit proposals, and my next visit wouldn’t be until like five days later, maybe even a week or so. I didn’t understand the logic behind this.

    I tried to ask Upwork to lift the suspension and explained my situation and even provided images of those documents but they did not lift the suspension. Utterly ridiculous.

    They didn’t even email me a prior warning. They could have said something like “Your account is in danger of being suspended because you’re submitting a high number of proposals and getting no responses.”

    Nothing. The only request they granted was my request for them to close my account. I’ve been happier ever since.

    1. azeem says:

      That’s bad!!!
      Same happened to me. Although I have completed a couple of projects over there as well.

      What you are up to now? and where are you working now ?

    2. Webdev says:

      Same thing happened with me today. Whereas, I didn’t submit any proposals in the last few days. I Have been working on upwork from the last 5 years. This is totally disappointing. I have submitted the report to support, but I think they won’t do anything. Seems like they are doing this on purpose.

  66. Naomi says:

    Upwork is the worst Freelancer Website. They are so unprofessional. I would highly recommend peopleperhour to anyone. Its more of the Freelancing website someone would hope for, their pay rates are a 5 fives, the support team is a two thumbs up and professionalism is a double pinky. I just love this site , it so laid back yet professional and you can actually be yourself and do what you love and get paid alot for it.
    Upwork is heartless even of you are working on a project with a client and don’t submit proposals so that they can make their high fees off you then your account gets permanently suspended. Like come on if I do not have sufficient time to allocate to another gig why would I be applying? Anyway they ask you to appeal and once you let them know the situation they suspend you anyway. So if you are a student trying to pay you way through school by freelancing on Upwork then Badluck. Highly recommend Peopleperhour

    1. Elyse says:

      D*mn. I just made an account a few days ago. Spent too much time filling in the details, and I haven’t been able to actually submit any proposals because the buggy site keeps shutting-down. Glad I looked up more about it. Thanks for the PeoplePerHour suggestion.

  67. Sissy F. says:

    I understand this post is older, but after a recent horrible experience using Upwork and discovering this post, I thought I’d share my own story.

    I totally agree with your post entirely.

    I signed up with a freelancer account on Upwork about three weeks ago. I made my profile all spiffy, did the “video conference” to verify my account (which was awkward as I was talking to an Indian woman who sounded like she was working in her home – I heard a baby crying in the background), and sent out proposals.

    I received three proposals. The first two were apparently part of a large spam/identity theft organization. I was asked to share my personal information (birth date, address, etc) over email to these people to “begin work”. Thank god I Googled the companies because I found out they were spam/identity theft/information selling companies. Go figure.

    The third, and possibly worst, client who corresponded with me was for a quick proofreading project. He wanted me to proofread and edit his 100-word piece. He initially came to me and asked me to lower my price by half, which meant I would walk away from the project with $8. (Upwork charges a ridiculous “fee”….$2 on this project in particular). I agreed because, hey, this was my first freelance “gig” and he also said the project wouldn’t take more than about 15 minutes. So, hey, why not?

    Well, little did I know that this guy would have me back and forth for two hours with this freakin’ (sorry for the language) proofreading project. He was rude throughout the whole process, asking me if I knew what I was doing (despite the fact that he hired a “beginner” proofreader/editor…I am not by any means a professional). He was copy/pasting links to articles where he thought I had misused words. He even questioned whether I should capitalize a country’s name if it was used as an “adjective”.

    Two hours later, the darn thing was done and he didn’t pay me for about a week after that. I rated him a 3-star, which I thought was pretty generous considering our work experience. This is kind of when things turned ugly. He blew up on me over the Upwork messaging system. Telling me, “you better hope karma isn’t real.” and “with your attitude, it’s no wonder you do work for $8 on a weekend!” and “I hated your work anyway”.

    He then ended our conversation with, “Karma is real, I’ll let you think about that”. All because I left a real, unedited review of our work experience together. Well, after that, he sent me a review response making fun of my abilities, saying that just because you speak English doesn’t mean you’re a writer, etc, etc. The guy was really going off on me. To say that I felt horrible and cheated (I made $4 an hour working for this guy…) would be a total understatement.

    I didn’t know what else to do but block him and send a message to Upwork. Despite the fact that I literally titled my message to them, “I am being harassed by one of your clients”, it took them days before they got back to me. When they did get back to me, they simply said that my case would have to go to upper management to be handled.

    This past weekend after days of not hearing a response from “upper management”, I kept rereading the guy’s review and taking into account that the only other two job offers I received were from spam/identity theft companies, and I decided to close my account. Wouldn’t you know that about three hours after closing my account, Upwork emails me and basically says, “We’re sorry for this experience. Rest assured that we’ll look into it and if he’s found to be violating any of our terms, we will take appropriate action. As we part ways, good luck in your future endeavors.”

    I find it ironic that they were ignoring the issue until I was the one who closed my account. It goes to show that Upwork values their clients, not their freelancers. They were willing to lose me as a freelancer but not the client, who is ultimately the one bringing in money. It’s a sad and pathetic way to run a business. That was my one and only experience working on their site and I’ll admit, it was so horrible that I would never recommend Upwork to anyone. The clients are able to run the site and do what they please, including harassing freelancers.

    I’m sure there are clients using Upwork who are fine, but when you deal with one who’s literally harassing you and prolonging a project to the point where you’re working for slave wages, they don’t provide the customer support that we, as freelancers, so desperately need!

    1. AY says:

      Same here, I heard a baby crying in the background while we are doing the VERY SERIOUS profile verification. Upwork is so unprofessional and all they can do if suspended freelancers account and banned us in the chatting community.

      Upwork is so suck!

  68. David says:

    Upwork suspended my account too because I have submitted a high number of proposals for jobs on our site without many contracts or earnings. As far as I understand from dates of replies there are so many persons in December of 2016. I think they used a kind of filter application. When I searched Upwork related complaints at the forum sites, I observed that there are so many people who have got long work history in Upwork and they lost this. Someone’s losing career history as result of someone’s decision is very painful experience. I am lucky because I restarted to find freelance jobs from the Upwork and I haven’t got work history in this site. But in my opinion, this will be most important lesson for me and I won’t leave my career history to someone’s or some freelance platform’s initiative.
    Thank you for this article Jesse. It is very instructive.

    1. David says:

      How can we ask facebook or google or other good company to create a good freelance platform ?

  69. Anees Khan says:

    they also did the same with me. after appeal what I get.

    Renel Quellan (Upwork Help Center)
    Jan 19, 10:29 PM PKT

    Hello Anees,

    I am writing to let you know that we have carefully reviewed your appeal and determined that your Upwork account will remain suspended.

    We know this is not the news you wanted to receive, however at this point the appeal process is exhausted and our decision is final. If you have any open contracts you will be able to complete that work and receive payment through our site. You will not be able to submit proposals for new contracts, however.

    We wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors outside of Upwork. Please note that it is unlikely that we will respond to any future correspondence regarding this matter.


    Upwork Trust & Safety

    It was a horrible experience for me, I just decided to brand my self in open way. as they say I am not I have not enough skill for programming, see my resume (!AmqvsDiaYAIFjT1MYl0xy4RLO40M) what I have already achieved.

  70. t says:

    They ban users no reasons. They really sucks.

    Kate P. (Upwork Help Center)
    Jan 19, 1:12 PM EET

    Hello Normunds,

    We are contacting you to let you know we have suspended your access to Upwork indefinitely.

    Our decision is based on a careful review and the fact that you have submitted a high number of proposals for jobs on our site without many contracts or earnings. Unfortunately, this means the jobs posted by clients are not a good match for your skills.

    I know this news is likely disappointing to you. But our goal at Upwork is to enable freelancers to successfully connect and collaborate with clients who need their skills and expertise. Unfortunately, this means we must part ways with freelancers whose skills are not in demand in our marketplace.

    If you want to appeal this decision, you can email us at [email protected]. Please note each case will be manually reviewed by our Trust & Safety team to decide if your account can be reinstated.

    Please know we don’t make decisions like these lightly and wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.


    Upwork Trust & Safety

  71. sumit says:

    Many of us have been experienced this tragedy without getting any notification from upwork about this. People are complaining about this to Upwork community, asking questions on Quora and on other relevant blogs and websites. But according to me Upwork is doing all this to make it more powerful and trustworthy.

    1. Digi says:

      You have no idea what you are talking about, right?
      Most if not all of us are freelancers with no bad reviews, and only thing we did bad is wanting to make some money, and that may be a surprise to you, some of us do not work for peanuts.
      so go work for 1$/hour who is stopping you.

  72. JP Durden says:

    There are (at least) two really big problems with Upwork. And these problems aren;t from the freelancer side, but from the client side.

    The more clients who know about these problems, the less they will go to Upwork.

    Problem 1 – Jobs are frequently bid on by middlemen freelancers. For example:

    A client posts a job for $100. A middleman bids on the job and gets it. Then the middleman turns around and re-posts the job on Upwork, using almost the same language as the original job posting but lowering the job amount to $60.

    The problem for the client is, they’re no longer getting $100 worth of value. They’re getting $60 value for their $100.

    The middlemen do nothing but scoop up jobs, take a cut and bid the job out to a freelancer who will do the job for less.

    When you factor in Upwork’s 20% commission, a client’s $100 is actually worth about half of that.

    Problem 2: There’s been some speculation about freelancers who may support terrorism.

    Freelancers come from all over the globe and with proxy servers, can look like they’re from somewhere else.

    Is Upwork supporting terrorism directly? No. But indirectly? No one really knows.

    As a client, I would be reticent to go through Upwork if I had any suspicion that the money I spend is financing anyone remotely involved in terrorism.

    1. Matt says:

      Both interesting points…I created which is a freelance site in its early stages (with lots of improvements pending as of Feb 17).

      To the second point first, some countries can be blocked, but I think crime is the far bigger threat rather than terrorism.
      The funding of terrorism as of a year ago is mostly from taxation (think ISIS), oil, ransoms, donations, selling antiques, and scamming banks.

      On the first point…that’s tricky, but if that happens to you on a freelancing site, cancelling or reducing payment should work to undermine that practice. Then report it. The expectation should be you get what you pay for.

  73. Zeeshan Memon says:

    Is this joke or a valid reason to suspend account??

    Firstly they merged Elance and Odesk.
    Then increased commission from 10% to 20%.
    Now suspending account for stupid reason?

    I don’t understand THEY are providing SOLUTION or JUST FOCUSING ON THEIR EARNING?

    Kate P. (Upwork Help Center)
    Jan 12, 4:31 AM PKT

    Hello Zeeshan Hassan,

    We are contacting you to let you know we have suspended your access to Upwork indefinitely.

    Our decision is based on a careful review and the fact that you have submitted a high number of proposals for jobs on our site without many contracts or earnings. Unfortunately, this means the jobs posted by clients are not a good match for your skills.

    I know this news is likely disappointing to you. But our goal at Upwork is to enable freelancers to successfully connect and collaborate with clients who need their skills and expertise. Unfortunately, this means we must part ways with freelancers whose skills are not in demand in our marketplace.

    If you want to appeal this decision, you can email us at [email protected]. Please note each case will be manually reviewed by our Trust & Safety team to decide if your account can be reinstated.

    Please know we don’t make decisions like these lightly and wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.


    Upwork Trust & Safety

    1. Boris says:

      I have actually received the same bloody email, but the best part is I was invited to become a premium freelancer, just two days ago. They are just so bad. If this continues, I will build my own platform – I swear to God.

    2. Zeeshan Memon says:

      @Boris I wrote 2 tweets yesterday:

      Zeeshan Hassan Memon ‏@shan89pk 21h21 hours ago
      @Elance #elance #odesk @oDeskLab were better than @Upwork
      #upwork really sucks despite being greedy and annoying in payment related stuff

      @Upwork #upwork #suspended my account reason being i am bidding too much and my earnings are less. @UpworkHelp this way work? valid reason?

    3. Zeeshan Memon says:

      But Still they said It can’t be reversed :) It looks it is beginning of end of upwork.

  74. FixThat says:

    One of the major problems with Upwork is Philippines outsourcing. That country has one of the highest fraud rates the world for a reason. They have a criminal mind. They’re also miserable people who refuse to work to improve their situation. They’d rather be a criminal and try to drag people down who actually work hard, than do anything to improve their situation.

    Many of the problems on Upwork are the direct result of their criminal Filipino employees, incompetent Filipino employees, and angry Filipino employees who are mad at successful Upwork users. Many problems are just from angry, miserable, bitter, lazy Filipinos. They should be thankful for the opportunities they even get with a company like Upwork because they have no business doing anything for Upwork besides maybe supporting their Filipino users. They’re like cheap, unskilled, unqualified Mexican labor that’s everywhere it shouldn’t be.

    1. lol says:

      Hello, Donald Trump, is that you?

    2. HH says:

      Hey, if your post isn’t sarcastic…
      you forgot the Chinese, Indians, Blacks, Muslims, Jews, the disabled, the ugly, the non-heterosexuals, the deaf, blind, the old, the sick people etc.
      i.e. the 7.55 Bio people on earth minus yourself.

  75. Albert says:

    Since my account has been suspended.. I need a job. Any of you here need an extra hand.. please send a direct message at [email protected]

    1. Zeeshan Memon says:

      @Albert I received such email too! It’s sort of joking reason. It looks new platform is really in need Upwork should now take some rest.

  76. Albert says:

    I received this email today. I was surprised and annoyed.

    Kate P. (Upwork Help Center)
    Jan 12, 6:34 AM AWST

    Hello Albert,

    We are contacting you to let you know we have suspended your access to Upwork indefinitely.

    Our decision is based on a careful review and the fact that you have submitted a high number of proposals for jobs on our site without many contracts or earnings. Unfortunately, this means the jobs posted by clients are not a good match for your skills.

    I know this news is likely disappointing to you. But our goal at Upwork is to enable freelancers to successfully connect and collaborate with clients who need their skills and expertise. Unfortunately, this means we must part ways with freelancers whose skills are not in demand in our marketplace.

    If you want to appeal this decision, you can email us at [email protected]. Please note each case will be manually reviewed by our Trust & Safety team to decide if your account can be reinstated.

    Please know we don’t make decisions like these lightly and wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.


    Upwork Trust & Safety

    I told them just do so. I don’t need any argue or waste my time appealing things. I don’t care..

    1. Tony P says:

      I got the exact same message (only addressed to my name) and from the same sender, just yesterday. Equally shocked as you were!

      It only shows what screwed up mentality rules their site. Hmm, can you imagine not being allowed to read a newspaper’s job ads because after having done so for a long time, you still could not find an interesting job!

      Anyway, today I attempted to delete my account, and was again shocked when told that because my account is suspended, I cannot delete it!

      But since my account is suspended indefinitely, I will never be allowed to delete it, and with it all my personal data from their servers.

      Just for this last reason, I’m considering taking legal action against them (as it violates their own user agreement) but if this is a common problem, I guess a class action lawsuit would more appropriate and cost effective at a personal level.

      Then again, is it really worth the trouble?

  77. derek says:

    I am an Upwork worker and received my “wages” for my work. Its just not worth the time. 99% of the projects posted there are fake. The Upwork owners always freak out thinking somebody is making payments off the platform because they have no way to tell and there is virtually no payment security.
    Another thing is that, I have noticed people like gary & ts making pro-Upwork comments here all along. It looks like they are being paid for it.

  78. Little Shiva says:

    Upwork totally sucks. I’ve been trying to get my name verified (after winning that battle with facebook already) and they had approved it when, a short time later, I got this. Of course I did NOT submit any falsified documents — duuh!

    Thanx everyone who’s posted alternative platforms in this thread. Since upwork obviously doesn’t want my business, I’ll take it elsewhere.

    Justin D (Upwork Help Center)
    Jan 3, 4:44 PM CET

    After reviewing the documents you submitted for ID verification, we’ve determined that some materials were falsified or altered.

    In an effort to ensure an honest and trustworthy marketplace for all, we have a zero-tolerance policy towards false documentation and this is viewed as a serious violation of our Upwork identity policies. Therefore, we’ve suspended your Upwork account, and you won’t be allowed to open a new account.

    At Upwork we fully understand how this may affect you, and we made this decision only after careful consideration. We thank you for your time on Upwork and wish you success with your career.

    Best Regards.
    Upwork Compliance Team​

  79. Raj says:

    yea however we found another platform –

  80. ihateupwork says:

    Upwork is terrible! Suspended my account 1) Giving too many proposals and not geting any repies 2) by saying I “discussed” payments when all I did was answer a clients’question

    I would advise for people not to go through with upwork. The customer support is TERRIBLE and RUDE.

  81. baxatob says:

    Upwork EXTREMELY SLOW and BUGGY! Unbelievable how they can broke , which was the really best platform for the job :(

  82. Upwork totally sucks!
    They have deactivated my account by claiming that i am receiving payment outside of Upwork. But, the fact is, I never received any payment from Upwork client outside of Upwork.

    It may be the reason, i posted a couple of article by criticizing Upwork down sides which they dont like. They banned me from Upwork LinkedIn group when I promoted my post there.

    1. Kerrie Kuntz says:

      I have also had my accounted “permanently suspended” for accepting funds outside of Upwork, which I have never done, no has anyone every offered to do so, nor have I have asked anyone to do so. I have asked them multiple times to provide me with their evidence supporting their claims and they refuse to answer. I have reached out to a lawyer. I feel there is a possible lawsuit here and I intend to pursue it. You can’t defame someone’s character without just cause.

  83. Cumali says:

    Upwork suspended my account too because I have submitted a high number of proposals for jobs on our site without many contracts or earnings. As far as I understand from dates of replies there are so many persons in December of 2016. I think they used a kind of filter application. When I searched Upwork related complaints at the forum sites, I observed that there are so many people who have got long work history in Upwork and they lost this. Someone’s losing career history as result of someone’s decision is very painful experience. I am lucky because I restarted to find freelance jobs from the Upwork and I haven’t got work history in this site. But in my opinion, this will be most important lesson for me and I won’t leave my career history to someone’s or some freelance platform’s initiative.

    Thank you for this article Jesse. It is very instructive.

  84. Chuka says:

    I was suspended from Upwork few days ago because i applied for certain jobs and did not get the contracts. They said my skills are not needed in their platform, i even appealed and i got a rude response from them. I think upwork is unprofessional in how they handle things and i don’t recommend upwork for anyone who really wants to do freelancing online.

  85. xavier fernandes says:

    i was also banned in upworks, its strange cause i was told to get ready for an interview on the 19th of dec by a client, and the client mentioned it to me by maill on the 13th of dec, and i get a mail from upworks saying my act was suspended on the 17th,so does that mean upworks is not seeing all this ?

  86. Ayesha says:

    Upwork has suspended my account few days ago, only because I didn’t get a job and according to them my skills are not good enough. I was newbie on upwork and applying for the job from last two months,but didn’t get a one because I have no experience. Who the hell in the world get experience until someone give them a chance to grow. I also found one client very rude, he declined & blocked me without telling me the reason. Is it fair? What kind of professionalism it is? I am really very upset and disappoint with all this. I really need a job and now I am nothing to do at all

    1. xavier fernandes says:

      contact me ayesha pls on mail [email protected]

  87. M says:

    I know there are slews of comments here, but this article is a masterpiece. Thank you for writing, it was cathartic to read. Still waiting 17 days for my teenager to help me from his bedroom.

  88. M says:

    I know there are skews of comments here, but this article is a masterpiece. Thank you for writing, it was cathartic to read. Still waiting 17 days for my teenager to help me from his bedroom.

  89. IBRAHIM DAAS says:

    Upwork absolutely is the worst in the internet , today they just suspend my account just because only I did not generate enough revenue for them , which freelancer website can do that !!!!! while Over 50% of its advertised jobs are fake jobs !

    Unlike computer programing and coding my field of work is financial analysis and Excel Financial Modeling and everybody knows that there is no much work available there for us.

    I hope in the near future some decent website that don’t lie and respect freelancer will replaces it soon

    1. ihateupwork says:


  90. Veiko Herne says:

    I’m sure, that we could have class action lawsuit against UpWork. I had used eLance long time and had built my credibility there. Suddenly, I was forcefully “upgraded” to UpWork with their higher service fees, childish User Interface and staff of idiots. Read the longer story from my blog:
    However, they can’t manage escrows without financial service license and obviously with financial service regulations here in Europe, they can’t withhold payments 6 days. Those must be done within 48h. So, that makes their service illegal in Europe.
    By monitoring private conversations under NDA agreement, they commit a crime. I reported that to FBI, but seems that US corrupted Police is so used to such kind of illegal activities, that they do not bother to arrest them. Maybe first suing them and asking compensation will put also FBI to work?

  91. Karan says:

    I am a freelancer on Upwork. Have more than 4000 hours, a 98% JSR and charge $12 an hour. Now I can understand many of your points but what is all this xenophobic whining about? So what am I supposed to do, increase my rate to $50 an hour just so that poor Mr Author can compete?
    What happened to the globalised economy bullshit of the 90s that all the developed countries were preaching to the ‘Third World Countries’. So as soon as the poor guys learn to use your weapon and shove it back up your ass, you start crying like a b***h. This is what the rest of the world must have felt for centuries when Western world was using its advantage (technical) to piss on the other guys. Now when we are using our advantage (economical) you can’t stop crying. Stop the bitching and be a man. Look for a way to compete. A few months back I noticed that WordPress and PHP jobs were not paying enough anymore. So, rather than crying like a b***h, I moved on to new things like Angular 2 and Node.js.
    Again, STOP CRYING LIKE A B***H……

    1. M says:

      This is just what the author is talking about. Unqualified freelancers doing things they have no business to compete. That’s why upwork is going downhill.

    2. mike says:

      Well, if Upwork is so good, why are you wasting your time here ? You really charge $12/hr ? Well,as of today, I did not find any profile of karan who charges $12/hr and has 4000hrs+ billed. Stop lying son of a b***h. Stop selling your ass and fake posts for $10. Huh !!! Proud stupid bollywood movie watching patriotic indian talking !!! All those technologies you mentioned including all the computer parts had invented by the Western World. Don’t talk rubbish and get a life !!!

  92. astanid says:
    We are contacting you to let you know we have suspended your access to Upwork indefinitely. Our decision is based on a careful review and the fact that you have submitted a high number of proposals for jobs on our site without many contracts or earnings. Unfortunately, this means the jobs posted by clients are not a good match for your skills. I know this news is likely disappointing to you. But our goal at Upwork is to enable freelancers to successfully connect and collaborate with clients who need their skills and expertise. Unfortunately, this means we must part ways with freelancers whose skills are not in demand in our marketplace.

    If you got banned for this reason too – please post it on reddit.

  93. Tim says:

    They’re at it again i.e. Upwork staff big-noting themselves announcing new bells and whistles / tech stuff not well thought out. (Read the latest news at Upwork community). What’s up with this company and its mentally-challenged (strike that) unintelligent staff? Why not make an announcement about how the company is tracking with their promise about better quality of clients and the improved infrastructure. Remember 20% hike in fees? Fact is they have yet to deliver on these 2 core promises. Time and time again, they prove to be their own worst enemy. No one needs to bring them down – they’re doing it to themselves single-handedly. Strange mob this outfit…

  94. Emi says:

    So I receive this e-mail from Upwork where I find out that I’m banned because I sent too many offers and customers didn’t hire me enough. I have flawless stats, such as 100% rating /100% score… however I ask enough to make my work worth my time, which is why, many customers decide to work with someone from some third world country, pay $5 for 7 hours of work and get awful results.

    I had always delivered on time, always been polite to my customers, however I seem not to be welcomed in upwork. I feel like I go to my favorite restaurant and they kick me out because I don’t order what I once used to. I always had high paid jobs however it happened that the last 5 months I couldn’t get anymore jobs. For me it was only a price competition, nothing skill based. I simply cannot work a month for $50. My months on upwork used to be 4000-5000 from 2,3 tasks.

    Hello Emi,

    We are contacting you to let you know we have suspended your access to Upwork indefinitely.

    Our decision is based on a careful review and the fact that you have submitted a high number of proposals for jobs on our site without many contracts or earnings. Unfortunately, this means the jobs posted by clients are not a good match for your skills.

    I know this news is likely disappointing to you. But our goal at Upwork is to enable freelancers to successfully connect and collaborate with clients who need their skills and expertise. Unfortunately, this means we must part ways with freelancers whose skills are not in demand in our marketplace.

    If you want to appeal this decision, you can email us at [email protected]. Please note each case will be manually reviewed by our Trust & Safety team to decide if your account can be reinstated.

    Please know we don’t make decisions like these lightly and wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.


    Upwork Trust & Safety

    1. Aam says:

      Same here, i can’t reinstated my account, i think this is the end of my career in upwork

  95. Godfrey says:

    My upwork account has been suspended. No reasons. I can’t even contact them because they don’t have a customer care email.

  96. Frank Bruno says:


    I’m conducting a user study of clients and freelancers who use platforms such as Upwork and Freelancer. The goal of the study is to understand users experiences on these sites in depth and identify opportunities for improvement.

    Please let me know if you’d be interested in participating in this study, which will involve a 20 minute interview by phone or skype. Please note that we do not intend to pay interviewees, but hope that the results of the study will improve the freelance economy in the future.

    We’re only conducting six interviews, so if there is a lot of interest we will not be able to interview all who respond.

    If interested, please email me at [email protected]. I’d appreciate if you’d briefly describe how you use these sites (client or freelancer, type of work done).

    Many thanks.

  97. Mahmoud says:

    Upwork does not offer any support to my client or freelancers ,

    When i asked Upwork forums members about that , they BLOCKED my account .

    Upwork became UNVALID for working online .

  98. FireTheFilipinos says:

    Yeah, so Upwork mainly uses loser Filipinos (who have no work ethic and prefer any crime to an hour of honest work) to manage their site.They’re the bums the Spanish made in Asia.

    All of a sudden job listings I’ve saved or previously seen are disappearing. Literally, they’re listed one minute and completely gone the next. No record whatsoever. And it’s only the specific ones I save or show interest in.

    That hasn’t happened in the history of the platform, and there’s only one logical explanation:
    These loser Filipinos think they can (1) get a job only a talented American is qualified for, and (2) their loser asses feel accomplished by blocking opportunities.

    I regret to inform them that it will only get them fired, AGAIN, and they they will FOREVER be a loser. And eventually American companies will stop hiring them because they SUCK and they’re CRIMINALS.

    Most of Upwork’s problems stem from hiring Filipinos, who are criminals. Literally, Upwork performance and everything else would improve dramatically if they fired all the Filipinos. Most of the scamming and website function problems would disappear.

    1. Kevin says:

      “get a job only a talented American is qualified for”


    2. FiretheRacists says:

      Loving the American stereotypes you portray. I guarantee there are plenty of Filipinos out there who are much MUCH better at your job than you are. I mean come on man “get a job only a talented American is qualified for”. Are you really that shallow minded and ignorant!? Kind of explains why you are getting low balled on all these projects if you think that people should pay a premium because you are a “talented american”.

    3. YouCantBeSerious says:

      And this is why the rest of the world laughs at the US….

      I hope your profile was banned, because you obviously have issues with working with others.

    4. Chris says:

      I’ve hired people from the Philippines via other sites and found just the opposite to be true. They were hard-working, easy to deal with, friendly, and usually tried hard to please. I’m sure there are some bad ones, but to say everyone from a certain country is a thief or bad worker or the like is just stupid.

  99. Upwork-Whore says:

    Upwork the ego centric site where small minded businesses owners want to pay peanuts and yet dictate to you all the time.

    It is bottom feeder shiite that comes to upwork to hire. 95% of those looking to hire are a complete waste of space (I have 100% feedback rating & 5 years solid freelancing) on there, so I know WTF Im speaking about

    I have hired as well on Upwork, so I know what I am talking about.

    Do you have to in the real world pay to apply for a job? NO! Then WTF do you or should you pay for work or to apply for work that is not full time, where the client can pause your contract at a moments notice, where a client can leave you shiit feedback and it is on your profile forever?

    Who in their RFM would want to be a whore on Upwork?

    If only newbies can or could find this before signing up for Upwork

    When I joined upwork few years back, had no debt, today I have more debt from the ebbs, flows of Upwork than before.

    Shiit, knowing what I now know, I would never have put myself through the torture of Upwork.

    Never again, Im shutting my account down and will NEVER EVER go back to their platform again. The online freelancing world is more like outsource contracting on behalf of a US corporation in disguise of you having “a freelance” career.

    No man- if you are in a 3rd world country where you have no job prospects, sure then jump on Upwork but not if you like regular income, regular clients, its a waste of time, a battle you will not win.

    And I am writing this from a 4,250 hrs logged, 100% feedback rating/time/score, Im not writing this from a 50-75% client feedback score but from a 100% client feedback score.

    UPWORK IS SHIIT! Dont use them and avoid like the plague, the online freelancing world is a sham, a scam and you will regret the day you did it.

    The only people who should or could benefit from the platform or those stay at home moms/dads who dont need the income (then why stress yourself out?) or 3rd worlders where $8 per hour is more than they would earn an entire day.

    As a talented freelancer, Upwork should be paying me to apply for jobs on their platform, as I bring my expertise to the table.

    I dont come to the table with no skills and English is my first language, Im good at what I do and I get results.

    The day, you as a freelancer must pay to apply for jobs (less than 70% of jobs are even looked at by clients in a week), you must pay 20% of your earnings to their shiit corporation that replies with template responses, where clients can pause, end or cancel contracts whenever they feel like it, where you have to log time to do your work, where you have to risk your reputation online for all to see forever and there is no debating if it will ever be removed.

    Whats that saying in terminator?

    I wont be back! Screw upwork, its a battle you wont win and its a damn cruel battle.

    Like a cat chasing a string, you will get one or two perhaps 10 projects and think you have nailed it, its a vortex sucking you in slowly and before you know it, you might have work for a month and then it dries up.

    So you sit waiting, applying, dipping into your funds, you get thrown another life line and you think ” Ah see this works” so you bob up and down.

    OH and dont forget when the f*****s working in the corporate background, who have a permanent job, nice cushty positions decide to change the platform, how they run thing….

    They implement it! They dont ask, they just do! Their f**k your present from the top of the corporation. Ask them to change somethings, get a vote from other freelancers – do you think they will listen?

    Listen 95% of the clients on Upwork cannot afford to hire professional freelancers for more than $25 per hour. In the real world working in a full time job with benefits, pension, holiday, your hourly rate is more than that.

    Freelancers often dont take into account things such as holidays, putting money aside for a rainy day, time off, sick – if you really added those up and actually calculated what you would need to charge clients if you were living in the western world, most freelancers would be charging $29+ per hour + 20% Upworks fee.

    And please listen carefully, Im not some stooge who is writing this who tried once to get a job landed a shitty client and then complained, like I said…

    2,200+ hrs, 100% feedback, I know WTF I am talking about, I turn down more clients who have turned me down because…

    Champagne taste beer money!

    They all want the best but cant afford it.

    If they want to hire you at your rate, then they want to pull the 3-8 hrs crap on you and you must be available 24/7, you must deal with their tantrums, you must deal with their budgetary issues, you must deal with their little businessman syndrome where they can pull a shark s**t (I mean shark tank), the apprentice boss thing on you and call the shots…

    Thats fine but pay up! And most cant, so now Im sailing in a new direction, this is my last month on this platform.

    Fork you and goodbye!

    Sounds like I have a shiit attitude! Right? Thats right, work on the platform for 4-5 years, rake up this amount of hours, speak to as many clients/potential clients as I do (3-4) per week and we will see what you say.

    Had a cheap ass client send me a contract last week. I kid you not, she sent me a 1 hr contract for $10.

    I rejected it, she sent me another one for $12, I rejected it. After speaking to her, she finally decided to hire me for a total of 2 starbuck lattes and for a whopping 1 hour per week at $16 and I kindly told her in the nicest way…

    “Love, my coffees per day cost me more than you want to hire me and tell me, how can I even do my job in 1 hr, it takes me longer to reboot my computer during the week than you want to hire me for”

    OH and dont forget, this client wanted to see results! Oh yes, you think going to hell is bad? You think sniffing satans a*****e is bad, try working with some of these clients and I would gladly sniff satans a*****e day in and day out.

    No – F**K UPWORK

    Its a waste of time and space. Its a sinking ship, in the end westeners will abandon ship, 3rd worlders will all raise their rates, the top freelancers will leave and it will be like a nice night club that looks great on the outside but inside spells like piss and s**t.

    Upwork is a pain in the ass.

    Leaving and wont be coming back.

    Bom fucking voyage and screw Upwork.

    If my message doesnt resonate with you, then sign up and pay through the ass to deal with clients. Do it for 100 hrs and then lets see.

    Anyone who reads what I have said, worked more than 200 hrs knows that what I say is not only the truth but it is how the platform IS – not how it should be, or how someone tries to sell it to you but the reality of it.

    Or you could torture yourself and put yourself through hell for a few weeks, dismiss what I say, pay through the ass for connects and then pay through the ass with your time to speak to asses.


  100. Nabil says:

    Upwork now charges 20%…


  101. CB says:

    I do pretty good on UpWork. I have 332 completed jobs, a JSS of 100%. I usually make $500-600 a week. Sometime less/more. I did like Elance better but have adapted. It makes it possible for me to work from home and in SoCal that’s a big deal. I fill my car about once every month if even that.

  102. Jared H says:

    After landing my first few jobs on Upwork I began to read about stories like this and have found it very informative simply because Upwork as a company is just non existent. They post blog articles, but nothing more. I’ve starting my own blog to document my journey.

  103. David Miller says:

    I feel you can compete on UpWork. I’m currently making between $70 and $120 per hour depending on the project.

    But i do have a hate/ love relationship with them.

    Please read my experiences here (I’m anonymous in that thread) and let me know if you agree:

  104. JP Watson says:

    I wish I’d read these comments days ago!! I’ve had the same gut-punch and did not instigate the mess – landed a nut-case client who thought her story of her step-father’s sex-addict activity was book worthy – jeez. I tried to give it logic and a plot but forget it. Now the client owes me $$ and Upwork has “declared me undesirable” as well!!Really shitty outfit. forget that!!

  105. Sonia says:

    If someone has accurate and updated information about Upwork’s financial performance going down, I would like to get the link to it. I will use it as a source for my upcoming blog to show how bad customer service can harm your business. Thanks.

  106. Starr says:

    I’m done with Upwork and just closed my account today. I first joined in 2014 through oDesk and I didn’t really expect to get a good deal. I just did that mainly because I was living from my savings from my last corporate job and decided to travel around. Obviously, that’s not very cheap and I was running out of funds. It was okay and I got hired by this California-based company to become one of their writers. The pay was per task but it was good, I could make $400 a week and if I do well I could make up to $1000 – all in the same project. I stayed with them for a year while doing some photography gigs every now and then. While that company promised stability and even threw a party for their employees (we had some kind of weekend meetup event), they eventually going downhill. I left that company before they could actually get rid. Sad to know that some of the best ones there eventually got laid off.

    I remained at the new Upwork and got some few projects but these people were dirt cheap! Since there is no actual regulation on how they should treat freelancers I got this one jerk who was just horrible. I worked with some who were amazing and that was the good part. The fact still remains that many employers are doing their best to get the lowest bid. If you’re living in a place with high living standers (hence more expensive bills and all), how can you compete with $2/hr??? I can barely live on $7/hr! That’s even below local minimum. So they’re trying to cheap out while wanting to get the best services. I was one of those top rated freelancers but I still keep getting offers to work for $5/hr – no thanks.

    Then of course, there was this change in fees and that one really pissed me off. I do freelance photography and I can’t charge $1000 for one photo! So if I had 100 different clients, even if I earned $1000 total I’d still have to pay their ridiculous fees because I didn’t meet the criteria of getting into that bracket (paid by the same client).

    So I’m just done. Crazy and cheap employers, crazy rules… I’m just done.

  107. Jennifer Mandell says:

    I have recently received the official “brush off” email from Upwork. There are hundreds of other former Elancer’s like myself who have been dismissed as having “unsatisfactory” performance (certainly not while on Elance) I was a highly rated Elancer with 53 completed projects with 52 completed satisfied customers. I had one person very near the final Elance hurrah in mid 2015 that seemed to be out to get me. Another gave me an assignment on Upwork one of three total that was an absolute scam. I think that Upwork wants to be rid of most successful Elance freelancers. Their ethics are horrific. I have spoken with the State of California who feels that they have treated former Elance members as if we were “fired employees”. To me the amount of paperwork needed to make a complaint is more than I feel like being bothered with and the treatment I had from my short tenure attempting to use Upwork was so negative and unprofessional that I would not want to be involved anyway. I think that Upwork will manage to self destruct, probably sooner than later. Their failure will be richly deserved and their owner seems at best, ethically challenged.

  108. janet says:

    I was on elance from the beginning.. it was great until they went international. You just can’t compete with international rates of $2 and $3 per hour.

  109. sd says:

    Can we make Upwork as Unwork by misusing this platform??

  110. Doc says:

    I’m also one of Upwork’s top-rated freelancers and have had an account since long before it was Upwork. I had accounts on both eLance and oDesk when they were separate entities.

    I’ve also worked through and, in fact, worked with their staff for a number of years to develop their certification exams.

    Upwork and Frelancer are two of the worst platforms for freelancers, simply because they 1) cater to “employers” and put service providers at a disadvantage and 2) encourage third-world rates for quality work.

    Despite these and countless other poor tactics (5-day “security hold” on escrow payments and a horrendous fee increase masked as a feature for “long term jobs”, for instance), they are also the most active platforms around. Why? Because they attract sub-standard talent and “employers” that take advantage of the low rates.

    Unfortunately, these platforms are the rule rather than the exception.

    It is also possible to make money on these sites, as there are employers looking for skilled service providers. You’ll need to spend a lot of time searching for the right jobs and selling your skills to prospective employers. You’ll also have to put up with the fees, the frustration of being paid late while the platform owners earn interest on your funds and all those other grievances that will be ignored if you complain or worse, result in the loss of access to your account.

    There’s one other platform that I’ve been working through even longer and it used to be much more active than these two, but the powers that be chose ethics over volume. Check out Yes, they have their problems, but after more than 25 years as a freelancer, I can tell you that they’ve improved while the others have deteriorated.

    Immediate payouts on escrow when released and fees lower than 10% for their free accounts are just the tip of the iceberg. If you’re a serious freelancer and have real sills to offer, Guru is the best place I know to market them.

    Meanwhile, if you choose to work through Upwork, remember to include their fees in your bids, don’t expect to be hired at the market rate and don’t expect to be paid on time.

    1. LevelQA says:

      I founded an alternate platform, It’s still in it’s infancy but as it grows I do promise to be fair to freelancers as well as those who hire them. I would love feedback on how it can be improved!

    2. Ahmed says:

      I need to talk to you please & i have a serious problem and need your advice.

      this is my email :
      [email protected]

      please send me email if you
      have the time to help.
      thank you,

  111. Sonia says:

    It seems that Upwork wants to get rid of successful freelancers. First, they gave me a Rising Talent status, and later they have banned me because there was a certain client who offered me to pay me outside the Upwork. We never set an agreement, anyway. This was enough for Upwork to permanently suspend my account. What’s even worse, I wasn’t able to talk to their support center, because they didn’t even give me a chance to describe my problem. They just kept sending me the same message about policy violation like a broken record. So far, I haven’t been able to do anything and now I’m moving to other platforms. They are outrageously expensive with no legitime reason. They customer support just sucks, it’s a bunch of adolescent ignorants. I have to mention irresponsible clients who post the job, without interviewing anybody and later, the job is closed due to expiration. Or, they contact a person or two, take their contact info and silently move to other ways of working and paying without any punishment. On the other side, freelancers who make them money are punished. Really sad.

    1. Jennifer Mandell says:

      It isn’t just you. And you don’t have to do anything wrong to get banned. I was a long time quite successful Elancer. Someone hacked my Elance account while it was non working and supposedly did something inappropriate. In my email dismissing me from Upwork they explained that they were sorry that it was probably not even anything I had necessarily done but my account was “below their standards” (based on what I am unsure) and they have explained that they will not be open to discussion or willing to explain why I ma banned (though as is the case with you) it seems that I was too successful on Elance and that alone has made me ineligible for Upwork. I think they are simply protecting those who were with Upwork from the outset of Upwork and devised some (likely illegal) discriminatory set of policies. The fortunate part is it seems they will self destruct (and soon too).

    2. Anonymous says:

      This situation happened to me and the Upwork support also insists that I agreed to be paid outside outwork even though it was clear in the screenshots (which I provided) that I did not accept it. I like Odesk support better because they are accommodating and supporting. Upwork just ignored the fact that I had 2,000 working hours with them and they put my account on hold for the violation that I did not commit.

  112. harry says:

    yooooooo! guys remember me harry west so i met some guy who mailed me saying he could help me raise my credit score from 564 to 756 i didn’t believe him at first but i decided to try him out to my surprise he helped me raise my credit score now i have a beautiful house and my two kids love it i have never seen them any happier in their lives since they were born thanks to him…i think you guys should try him out via [email protected]

  113. Matt says:

    Hi All,

    I founded (a new platform) for these reasons! It just went live and it’s still evolving (mainly freelancing, consulting, and mentoring).

    I used to consult and was a freelancer on all these sites. I wanted to make something more fair to both sides (which should be the goal). A marketplace that is drastically unfair to one party or the other can’t last forever. I’ll try to sum up the differences as I see it. I’d be glad to answer any questions or take any advice you all may have.

    First, there seems to be a LARGE number of you who are generally receiving a lot of friction from Upwork -being banned, having money taken, editing responses etc. This is part of the reason people are upset. I understand business decisions as I’m now in the business of making them, but damn. I will take a fair and common sense approach to disputes. Not that I want to arbitrate everything, but sometime people do need a third party to resolve a misunderstanding or dispute. I do not advocate banning people for first or minor offenses, that’s really overkill. Just play fair. There are always going to be some clients who seem crazy, so if you keep it professional and stick to what you laid out up front, you’ll come out fine.

    Second, the marketplace model…
    1. The Free subscription, combined with the fee (which is 10% on earned amount, so lower than Upwork) is reasonable cost so of course I don’t want people circumventing on PayPal.
    2. The Basic subscription mainly allows you to hunt through and bid on public questions or projects as well as answer.
    3. Regarding going around the system, I do realize that sometimes that’s better for the parties, so I do have a Power subscription, where you can meet with clients if needed or take them offline if necessary (consultants, high end freelancing etc.). Power subscription also allows you to hunt through all user profiles and put together and send work proposals to other users that will turn into a project for you if they accept it.

    There are a series of cost assumptions that should control some of the market issues seen in Upwork. The lowest you can charge is $10, which assumes a minimum of about 1 hour of work. The Free subscription is passive income, relying more on someone sending you work based on finding your profile. This is a perfect tier to add a new profile and sit back, let a client come to you. You really do nothing, which is like LinkedIn with the possibility of being paid. The Basic subscription is more like Upwork, but charging $7 per month (up front on a 12 month cycle) puts skin in the game. So sure there are a lot of freelancers from India and the Philippines, but without putting the money up front, they will not be able to bid on public projects, they’ll have view only. Also, it prevents the client from being swamped with proposals. Finally, the Power subscription is like a gloves-off version of normal freelancer sites.

    I would advise all of you to go to and sign up for the free profile, and if you think of any improvements to the site once you’ve seen it, let me know.

    1. Abdullah says:

      The upfront payment should be removed as many talented freelancers can’t pay upfront. I offer writing services but when I started, I couldn’t pay upfront as it was a risk, when there was no assurance that you would get work. Hre is my website:

    2. Matt says:

      Hi Abdullah, there are a couple of choices with pay subscription and more options, but for a freelancer it’s best to just start at the free level we offer.

  114. Syl says:

    I also recently had my Upwork account Deactivated. I was told that I was suspected of taking work outside of Upwork…something, I have never done….Sad really!

  115. Anna says:

    I had the exact same experience as Courtney. After finally having a fairly steady client-base, I was really not impressed with how quickly they suspended my account…even two chats with customer service and a few emails did not resolve the issue.

    Clearly this shows that Upwork is more concerned with their own capitalist agenda and not with maintaining great freelancers!

    Does anyone have experience with I worry that it might be all too similar…

    1. Abdullah says:

      Yes, they scammed me for over $420

    2. Matt says:

      What was the issue at Freelancer? Just curious because I have a similar site and don’t want to fall into the same traps.

  116. courtney says:

    Aftet privately asking a client to pay me through Paypal, my account has been deactivated. I was just trying to avoid the outrageous fees on already minimal payment.

    The email I just received:

    Hello Courtney,

    I am writing to let you know that your account has been permanently deactivated because you have asked to be paid OR been paid outside of Upwork.

    This is considered “circumvention” and is against the Upwork User Agreement you agreed to when you joined Upwork.

    Unfortunately, we must close your account, effective immediately, due to this behavior. You will be able to finish all open contracts, but you will not be able to work on any new jobs.

    Please know our decision is final and cannot be reversed, and we are unlikely to respond to any correspondence regarding this matter.

    Upwork Trust & Safety

    1. Angella says:

      Hi Courtney,

      This might be a bit late, but I think I went through the same thing as you.

      Earlier this morning I received an email saying I have violated their terms because of circumvention. But I was not taking any work or being paid from anyone lol.

      Have requested many times for “evidences” that show my suspicious activity which make their reviewing committee jumping to false conclusion, but all I got were avoidance of the topic.

      It is frustrating and I think their reviewing committee is not even credible because they don’t even dare to privately show me their proof for wrongfully convicting for something I havent done.

      I have literally USD0 balance and no transaction history as I am new to Upwork (less than a month) in my Paypal how do they think I’m actually being paid?

      The way they kick freelancers out of their platform is just relentless and weird

  117. Cammie Noel,, says:

    The budgets most people are posting they have for video editing projects are beyond LUDICROUS.REALLY ??? If people are willing to do decent work for that amount of money…well that is just INSANE.

    1. janet says:

      Yeah… like I mentioned…. Once they went international. You just can’t compete with less than slave wages.

  118. upWork-less says:

    Closing accounts which are not giving them profits??? What is that?? As a freelancer, you bid and as the sea of other freelancers (and extremely CHEAP labors) is vast, you don’t get to land each and every single job you apply for. How do they justify if an account is making money or not?? And there are more unverified clients nowadays than before. I for one have been disappointed with upWork for some time now. It is getting so hard to acquire a job and when there are interviews, clients prove to be unreliable and should I say insensible from the beginning already. UpWork has to start filtering clients besides just doing that on freelancers.

    1. janet says:

      Totally agreed.

    2. Matt says:

      Yes, kicking people off for “not making money” just sounds intuitively wrong. I started as an alternative. I won’t be kicking people off left and right like this (unless you’re selling nuclear codes or something).

  119. Building and Environment is an international journal that
    publishes original research papers and review articles related to building science and human interaction with the built environment.

  120. Noname says:

    Hello, what the point to have the account there and you cannot do anything about it: a paid job (money) taken away, an ongoing job is ended. I’ve not really had thing for Upwork for long time ago, it’s just a place for people go there to find the cheapest labor that they can find. I still sticked aroung because I just wanted to kill my spare time. I just happened to have a good client that paid me fair and good price, and unfortunately he was my last: one job money he paid me was taken away, another ongoing job that he offered was ended by Upwork.

    My mistake:
    – I could not finish the job for the client before that on time, so in panic mood, I created a client account to hire another freelancer to share my work. But the job could not be done. Of course, when the client asked for refund I did accept immediately. It was not a thing that I am proud of. That was my mistake.

    Now anybody can help me how to close my account from Upwork permanently? I don’t want to have anything to do with them any more.
    I could not even post to Upwork community. Sucks!!!
    Thank you!

  121. popeye says:

    sidd go ahead.

  122. popeye says:

    I meant its high time we kicked upwork’s ass and convert it to unwork.

    1. sidd says:

      I have a great idea to kick upwork’s ass.

      Let me know if you people are intersted.

    2. sidd says:

      I have a great idea to kick upwork’s ass.

      Let me know if you people are interested.

  123. popeye says:

    If upwork kicked our asses, then its high we kick upwork’s ass too. Register fake accounts with upwork and shoo away clients. Convert Upwork to Unwork.

  124. Totally sucked by Upwork says:

    2 Days back they send me an email that there is a violation in Term and Conditions. But They never told the actual truth.

    They simply ate my 900$. Such a greedy people I have never seen before. I am a Top Rated and my Job success score is 95% almost every clients gave me 5 star rating.

    This is the end result. They don’t even bother about my hard work and dedication. I am simply cheated by Upwork. Government should ban this company.

  125. Marry says:

    So Upwork Has suspended my account today without even sending me mail or anything notification etc. I had 7 jobs in progress and 600 plus amount in my account having job success rate of 90 plus. Ican’t login my account and when I checked there is no account registered on my mail. So I seriously recommend guys we should Sue Upwork For this thing. We have been working for months and they take verything and close our accounts. Pathetic Compan.

    1. Jignesh says:

      Hi Marry!

      I am suffering from the same issue. Upwork has suspended my account too. I am opening tickets but they are keep closing them. I would like to initiate the movement against Upwork.

  126. Edwin David says:

    Guys the best new platform is I’ve heard many have been leaving Upwork and finding clients on Outsourcely. They are 100% free for freelancers and charge zero fees! The best part about Outsourcely is that the clients mostly hire for long-term home based jobs, not short-term projects. I was able to land a full time job after only a week of signing up. But I did spend some time on creating a great profile… I think that’s the secret.

    1. Jignesh says:

      Hi David!

      Thank you for the information. I would like to contact you on Skype or email. Please do ping me on Skype: jignesh.bonjour

      Thank you

  127. Felix Getao says:

    So today they suspended my account with an excess of $700 and they wont even let me refund my clients the money. I have been working there for over two years and I am so done with upwork. They suck.!!!

    1. Jignesh says:

      Hi Felix!

      I am having the same issue. They have suspended my account without any ideal justification. I am planning to something where we all people can vote against Upwork and then we can sue them. Do contact me if you are interested
      Skype: jignesh.bonjour


  128. popeye says:

    Hi all,
    A few weeks ago, Upwork suspended and closed off my account without any valid reason. The excuse given was that I was not generating enough revenue for them. So, it was my fault that Upwork is not generating enough income and the employers want to pay $20 for a $200 job. I have seen people working @$3/hr and apparently, Upwork is still allowing it. Upwork is just an extension of, which was just a cheap online labor market. It’s almost like mixed with very poor management skills of Stephanie Kasriel, the main culprit. The main blunder was to close off, which was just awesome. I had made substantial income from Elance until that retard Kasriel came along. Not only that, Upwork also suffers from very frequent technical glitches and server downtime.
    My advice will be if you really want to invest time and money into Upwork, do it as a secondary, tertiary, or some kind of a backup source of income. The only positive thing about Upwork is that tests are free but I seriously doubt how long it will stay that way.
    I am also almost convinced that Upwork is going to be closed down by 2017.There are just not enough projects. The situation is so bad that Upwork ITSELF is posting projects just to make things look better. At the time of posting this on 1st September 2016, approxiamately 12:30p.m. IST, there are more than 2,330,000 freelancers and a little less than 130,000 jobs in total. However, out of which, less than 10% jobs maybe genuine(but cheap) clients because in many cases the payment method is not verified. There are many spammers posing as employers out there. Upwork is just stupid and a plain waste of time and resources.
    -A former Upworker.

    1. gary says:

      your comment using the “retard” shows just how smart you are! You deserve to be screwed at everything that you do

    2. popeye says:

      @gary, Everyone, including me, all over the net is complaining about Kasriel and Elace-Odesk merging and conversion to Upwork. I do not have any personal issues with him. But, it looks like you are making it personal. As for screwing everything I do, sorry to your break your bubble, but I own a sole-proprietorship it solutions and wealth management firm and last year I made US$200,000 in gross profits. If you want to praise someone, because they paid you to do so, do it elsewhere. Oh !!! and a cursory glance will reveal that the total number open jobs now in Upwork, as of 4-Jan-2017 is down to about 69,000, almost half the previous amount . Gary, people like you will never be able to put down anyone and it is guys like you who is a total failure in life. Anyway, I have probably given you way more attention than you deserve. Any further comment by you will only reveal your stupidity even more. Best of luck, loser.

    3. Chris says:

      I’m not sure why you say there aren’t enough projects on Upwork. That site probably has more listings than any other freelancing site. I’m not saying they are all great jobs, but to say they don’t have a lot of listings is just not true.

    4. mike says:

      You are just making casual comments without any serious thinking. Freelancer has a way lot more listings than Upwork. I am also sure there are far better platforms than Upwork out there. Ever heard of Toptal ? Please do not make loose comments here and confuse people.

  129. Digi says:

    @Franc , @Bob Chapell : Same happened to me. They said that will be investigated, but I cannot get any word since. My only sin was to bid for work with my prices, not accepting to work for peanuts. Normally you cannot get work unless you bid $2/h, but for that I might as well just watch TV.

  130. Talonknight says:

    Well, I’m a freelancer on Upwork. I have a 5 star rating, 100% JSS score, and rank in the top 10 to 20% on all their tests as a graphic designer. I am also part of their “Elite” Enterprise bench. In short, as high as a freelancer can go.

    That being said, the platform sucks. I have no idea how you gave this platform a 8 out of 10 rating. I can tell you everything that is wrong with this platform.

    1. Dzenan Skulj says:

      Hey Talonknight,

      I can’t help but reach out after such heartfelt comment. As a Co-Founder of a revolutionary platform recently launched who’s driven to make it all it can be, I’d be curious to know what an experienced freelancer like yourself looks for in a freelancing platform?

      While we at Parttimerz are already different than all those who came before us in that we don’t charge freelancers at all and more over, reward the top performers by an extra paycheck above and beyond their quarterly earnings. In addition, we don’t put up with weak and underperforming freelancers either, as they are simply weeded out over time, I’d very much be interested to know what other things would make for a perfect user experience?



  131. Stephano says:

    Yes ! I work on UpWork for long time & I have profit, but I tell you UPWORK IS S**T ! UPWORK SUCKS BIG TIME!

    Better go to other freelancer platforms!

    1. Kaydell says:

      What would be better than If I google for “Alternatives to Upwork”, which would be better? (I am a Mac programmer.)

  132. FRANZ says:

    from Upwork: We recently reviewed freelancer account histories and flagged accounts where a freelancer has bid on an extremely high number of jobs, none of which has led to earnings on Upwork. Unfortunately, we cannot support these types of accounts. To maintain a trustworthy community, we proactively close accounts that incur costs to support, yet do not result in productive work for Upwork clients and other freelancers.”

    They are all Sucks, they love money too much so they will better go to Hell, i am a freelancers with different account in other site, thats why i am applying more jobs in upwork to better get a client but they close my account because the reason above. anyway will no space in this world wide web, I wish their site will be close soon.. with bankruptcy.

    1. Jc Donald says:

      Upwork just ripped me off big time.
      They owed me money and suddenly asked me to send a copy of my passport and other personal information.
      When I said I was not comfortable sharing personal information that even credit cards and PayPal do not require, they told me they were keeping my money.

      STAY AWAY if you don’t want to get ripped off!!!

  133. Bob Chappell says:

    I got a recurring job the day before I received this snotty email:

    Hello Robert Chappell,

    We recently reviewed freelancer account histories and flagged accounts where a freelancer has bid on an extremely high number of jobs, none of which has led to earnings on Upwork. We cannot support these types of accounts. To maintain a trustworthy community, we proactively close accounts that incur costs to support, yet do not result in productive work for Upwork clients and other freelancers.

    As for the communication with your client regarding your account status, we will just be the one to inform him about it.

    I wish you luck on your future endeavors.

    Have a good one!

    High Value Support |

    “Have a good one!” Is that a sneer or not?

  134. upworkisbad says:

    they say my posted job indicate a fraud, they suspend my contract, so I apologize to upwork, I have been hiring someone for only $5, but because the issue I cancelled it before it is becoming worse, and I have give $1 for freelancer my unfinished project and give her 5-star rating, and I close the job, and apologize to upwork.. But, now I only get more trashes from UPWORK! They close my account, and my remaining 4 dollar still inside their pocket!
    What a shame from big company

    Thank you for this awesome blog, sorry for my bad english

    I don’t give fake reviews or testimonials this is my honest review, I don’t blame any client nor the freelancer! THEY ALL GOOD! THEY ARE GOLD MINES!

    Thank you

  135. John says:

    SHITWORK. Period.

  136. Harry says:

    Found a better one than Upwork

    1. Matt says:

      Hey man.. thanks It is very nice website Surely will beat all the freelancing websites

    2. David says:

      “100% Free to find Freelancer

      Why Paying for find freelancer or work on other sites

      It was never so easy and fully free to find Work and Freelancer. This platform is 100% free to use.”

      How can you take that site seriously if they can’t write proper english? looks like another crappy freelance site.

    3. Amani says:

      Daivid .. what you found wrong in content :D

  137. Maria Christina Lopez says:

    Sure upwork doesn’t fit to everybody, But sometimes it all depends in the strategy.. ;)
    You can check this vid for some tips in freelancing:

  138. ruth says:

    Do you really need a professional hacker on your school result to make a better grade for you and make you happy more or you need help in hacking any account what so ever it may be, possibly a trial may convince you about [email protected] because he has really been a god in my life for this and helped me out so i have promised to promote and advertise his sense of humor about this and he will surely help you out of this in all ways and make you happy about having a better school grade result. All forms of hacking an account is what he knows best ….Try him and thank me later.

  139. Veiko Herne says:

    After my several years efforts to establish credibility in eLance, suddenly I was transferred to UpWork where things didn’t worked out anymore. First, their attitude was that freelancers are like “employees” to their system and they didn’t even considered that they are providing us a service? I had used eLance on both: making money to solve problems for others and using this money, to get something done to my products where I didn’t had enough skills. It just didn’t worked out this way anymore with them. And then their ridiculous “escrow”, which they are demanding to use. That’s illegal service in the countries where I reside, because you need to have financial service licence. Anyway, I hope that some day authorities will shot down their criminal (monitoring private converstations which are under NDA) and illegal service, so somebody can put a reasonable and legal service back online. You can read more about it in my blog:

    1. Ramona says:

      My feelings exactly.And 2 more issues: higher commissions for freelancers and a commission to hire someone (for the buyer). I feel ripped off, so it’s better to just take my business elsewhere.

  140. Ankit Sigdel says:

    I am not sure, how many things that are written against Upwork is true, but I can certainly see, the Upwork is somehow biased towards the clients.

    Last time I tried to increase my hourly rate, from 5$ to 7$, and one of my client went crazy, and then he ended writing me a poor feedback, and I am not sure why the f**k my job success downgraded from 90% to 80% with only that bad feedback I have ever had.

    I am looking for the answer to this question for a while, and I really don’t think I could get one.

    1. Sergio Samayoa says:

      > from 5$ to 7$,

      So you are one of those fiverr, er, sevener!

  141. Ankit Sigdel says:

    I am not sure, how many things that are written against Upwork is true, but I can certainly see, the Upwork is somehow biased towards the clients.

    Last time I tried to increase my hourly rate, from 5$ to 7$, and one of my client went crazy, and then he ended writing me a poor feedback, and I am not sure why the f**k my job success downgraded from 90% to 80% with only that bad feedback I have ever had.

    I am looking for the answer to this question for a while, and I really don’t think if I could get one.

  142. SteveH says:

    As a business owner reading this, and having a need to hire a freelancer for a small project, how do you propose I find them?

    IS there any really GOOD way to make sure I am hiring someone that is competent and trustworthy?

    1. Jups says:

      Hi Steven,

      Yes, there are lots of competent and trustworthy, of course..Can I ask what kind of project?

      Thanks! :)

    2. philippe says:

      First dont pay peanuts
      Second if its a small project , competent people wont take it because they dont make enough money

    3. Kaydell says:

      Look for a freelancer with perfect, or near-perfect feedback, *and* with high test scores that are relevant to your project.

      Upwork raising freelancer commissions from !0% to 20% *and* also charging clients a small commission, is causing a flight from Upwork of the good talent, especially when business owners try to lowball the freelancers. The good freelancers will make the contract as not being a high enough budget and will move on.

      In addition, I’m discouraged with Upwork for trust issues. How can business owners trust any freelancers to work by the hour, before they know if the freelancer is good or not, and how can any freelancer know how much time a project will take, when the specifications are unknown, and even if the specification is known, it’s still hard to know how much time a project will take.

      I have a near perfect 5-star rating and have scored in the upper 10% on Upwork’s Swift programming exam, but I’m moving on from working on small projects and looking for continuing employment with one or two clients that will pay me by the hour.

  143. Joseph VanTine says:

    Hey bro, sorry to burst your bubble… I know you first wrote this article a while ago, but you are no longer ranked the number one WordPress expert on Upwork as I am. I am also ranked number one for Upwork readiness. (see my profile) Anyway great article besides

  144. Dave says:

    I was just downgraded from over 90% success rate to 88%. I have 5 star feedback, so I contacted customer support; they said that there are many reasons a person can be downgraded…but that they would not tell me! Apparently I may have been downgraded for not working on Upwork the last 6 weeks (I scored a big creative agency gig with great pay). So I get downgraded for not working more with them? Also the clients have become even worse than on Elance. Really crazy requests for things they want to pay 150 US for, jobs that would take 4 days. Sheer madness.

  145. A Kumar says:

    Upwork should change their name to “freework”.

    Can’t believe e-lance was dismantled for this!

    Upwork’s management should look into this.

    Experts are not hired at $5/hour.

    1. Krystal says:

      LOL! Freework!

      Anyways, all of the reasons not to work (cheap, rudeness, cheapness, slave labor, etc) for Upwork are true. Me, I write high-quality articles, hours of research, and I am a medical student plus have a masters on the side. These loons want to charge me $10 for three articles. Are you nuts?! Try $10 each! Dude, I work hard and long on these articles, I am worth more than that. Slavery, has been abolished eons ago.

      I’ve had a client who tried to make me work for free and outside of Upwork. I reported him, and I got in trouble! I am going to finish my project from that dump (in which I incredible can’t stand. This client acts like Zuckerberg and is super micromanaging. I am payed below my worth, I will never do this again because I am new to freelancing)and leave that non-supportive sweat shop!

  146. Upwork hater says:

    Upwork sucks….

    They with drew money from my account, then refused to pay my contractor…and so the contractor began harassing me to pay them out of pocket (using paypal to their email address)

    I contacted upwork support, and they said they were waiting for id verification from the contractor…and they would release the funds after the id was verified.

    well, lo and behold, the id 2 months later, they still didn’t release the funds. The contractor became adamant that I pay him using paypal…i contacted support…and (i have screenshots) support tells me to pay them via paypal….something clearly against their TOS! I never paid the guy out of pocket because I knew then upwork was a fraud.

    2 weeks later I AM BANNED because their support told me to do something against their TOS….and they pocketed my cash, didn’t pay me or the contractor.

    Upwork is a fraud. 100% they are supposed to provide a place for contractors and clients to work independently on their business….instead they shove their fingers in everyone’s pie and get all inside your business.

    I used to like elance, because they were about quality and left you alone and let you work independently….but Odesk ruined it.

    i will NEVER EVER EVER use upwork/odesk

    1. Tapas Bera says:

      You are right Sir. I am full time freelancer. My success rate was 99%. Suddenly my account has been suspended. I don’t know why my account has been suspended. I contacted with support, but no positive result. Upwork is f**k network place. My skype id is tapas.bera7

  147. Constantine says:

    Hi, what about the developing of alternative, respectful to customer really INTERNATIONAL service for remote workers and freelancers?

    Look, I am SW developer myself. Such systems are not my specialisation but I have full understanding that such system is not the rocket science.

    And necessary funding can be easy collected with CROWDFUNDING. Many freelancers (including me) will be glad to take a part in it: I promise at least 100$ and some free work on requirements of such system and as beta tester.

    So can somebody just start the investigation about the money reservation and then start crowdfunding campaign?

    May be the Upwork can do something against the competitor but only in case if this system will be US based. But it can be headquartered somewhere in Europe, is not it?

    Note, problem of guarantees of payments is the international problem so such system will be definitely used WORLDWIDE.

    Just one important moment: both and are overpriced. For long term contracts it is better to pay reasonable weekly subscription per team member then up to 20% which is higher that state taxes in many countries.

    The Minimum Marketable Feature for such system is money reservation service for deals and automatic time registration with screenshots (and weekly automatic billing – reserved sums will be used for payments after some safety period following the exactly worked time).

    Note, key feature is NOT the database of freelancers or jobs. Because in many cases we are asking the found at LinkedIn clients to use the system with money reservation exactly to prevent the situation when the client just do not wants to pay for used time.

    Further developing is the adequate mediator service between freelancer and client for which it can be used the peer-to-peer approach based on involving the respectful persons with good reputation.

    Moreover, it can be later be enhanced to a sort of international trade union, much more effective and powerful then or working in collaboration with it.

    1. Abdullah says:

      I am willing to work with you on this project.

  148. Debbie says:

    I am so glad I found this article! It’s nice to know I’m not the only one. Elance I used to find pretty good, but Upwork is getting ridiculous, mainly because of the fees (and the random site crashes, but for me it’s mainly the fees).
    I do transcription, and whereas before I was charging a minimum of $30 per audio hour (which isn’t amazing, considering the 10% they were taking and exchange rates to euros) but now it seems impossible to get work over $20 per audio hour and with Upwork doubling their fees the only work I can actually get is for around €3 per hour which is absolutely ridiculous.
    I find it crazy that I have ‘top rated freelancer’ status and they were e-mailing me the other day because I’ve been with them a year and am a really good freelancer etc. – I’ve never had an issue and the lowest rating I’ve got is 4.5 stars, so why can’t they reduce the fees a little? Have some kind of idea where if you have been with them a certain amount of time fees go down? 20% is absolutely ridiculous, and I’m starting to take some of my clients private – I wouldn’t normally do that because i know you’re not meant to, but this is getting crazy and it’s starting to kill my business. If anyone’s knows of any better freelance agencies, let me know because the sooner I can come away from Upwork the better.

    1. Constantine says:

      Debbie, you can start the IndieGoGo campaign to have much better international service which headquartered in Europe or some non-EU country with appropriate laws.

      As programmer I can tell that this system itself is not very hard and expansive in implementation, most of efforts are related with managerial part of project.

      Really a lot of IT freelancers will ready either to take a part in crowdfunding campaign by own money and advices or in developing of backend prototype of such system as open source project.

      Just somebody in the world must start the PR of this idea and work on it. Why not you or somebody of your friends?

      And even the attempt to develop the simplest system which implements just the service for money reservation and infrastructure for remote per hour workers can bring at least the popularity. But on success it can brings the billions – especially if instead of paying percents of every income it will be reasonable per team member per week payment.

      So if the first stage will be implementation of exactly that features of some protection which is the single reasons of why freelancers proposing to their clients use the service like Upworks or

  149. Steve says:

    So, lots and lots of people seem dissatisfied.

    As a freelance practitioner (PR and comms) for over 30 years I’m interested to know the alternatives (aside from Linkedin). Any ideas?

    1. Pari says:

      Hi Steve
      Which country/regions do you cover and can you leave your contact? I am looking for freelance PR.

  150. Michael says:


    Thank you for taking the time to research this and present it! You have verified many of my concerns. I am a 15+ year software architect with multiple patents and some major employers under my belt. I’ve focus on c# since it came out in 2003 or so.

    I had a LOT of issues signing up, I simply could not believe how buggy their site was, I was floored!

    Once I did get signed up I noticed that many of the customers were very demanding and wanted basically nothing!!! I am used to making $70 an hour.

    It seems to me that customers on this platform are looking for basically free work.

  151. Festus says:

    When Up work was still Odesk, and Elance was independent, I used to get at least a Job Dailly at oDesk. At the Moment the website is soo slow. In fact, you might see a message notification and not be able to read it. I even stopped applying for jobs at Up work.
    Upwork Really SUCKS!!!!

  152. M. Idrees Khawar says:

    I want to do work on Upwork. I have a Master Degree and from my friend i came to know about this, I have no any experience before regarding freelancer and no any portfolio i have. So in that case how can i work on upwork, Please help me out.

  153. Mohamed Hassan says:

    WOW. I was sure some people felt the same as I did. Finally well said. Upwork is an Ok example for the future of work globally, but certainly has one of the worse freelancers’ support.

  154. Totally agree. I just signed on for a job paying 250 USD. Now I only get 200. Wow what a big bite! Makes me wonder why I even o this. I try to make it on my own but Upwork was good to make money on. Now it is only good to give your money away to them. If I lived in India I could live on the amount that I earn from Upwork. But I live in America and Upwork is being very un-American by hitting us where it hurts. They should respect US workers much better than this.

    Sure it cost them money to run their business. But they do not show us any real-world evidence that they NEED to take out all this money in order to (how didi they put it) “…Make the client and contractor experience much better”???? Huh? What experience. They provide a chat portal and a way to hold money. I could do this with gmail and paypal. So where is this alleged “user experience” we are supposed to be apying for?

  155. Top Upwork Advice says:

    I have 100% success feedback on Upwork/Odesk for 3 straight years +4,013 hours.

    Fucking hate Upwork now and am leaving, gone, goodbye, see your later mother fudger!

    I will not be hiring nor using their platform nor prostitute myself out.

    As a marketer offering services on Upwork, I was surviving, some months were great but when I started on Upwork/Odesk, I had ZERO debt, through down times, no work, hanging on there, I managed in 3 short years to rake up $18,000 in debt!

    85% had to do with keeping me afloat during no work time. Odesk worked fine until the idiots from Elance bought them out.

    Now you know you are not dealing with bright sparks, when they decide to buy Odesk, because Odesk is eating Elances lunch! So these idiots buy Odesk and change it into Elance, under a new name “Upwork”!

    Which part of Elance sucked didnt they get when the market voted by using Odesk instead? Ah but like all corporations, they dont care, they just screw you as it pleases them.

    Nice hey! Yip! These are the geniuses we are dealing with.

    Then they decide you have to write a unique cover letter for each job that you apply for!

    REALLY! Yes, now the question is, why should I or you buy connects, when the applications go to spam?

    Now they had added a 20% fee on top of all of this. So before, I could survive earning slightly above the UK min wage rate but now, in order to compete and get clients I have to drop my rate even lower to about min wage rate in the UK to get the same amount of work.

    And this is when I said, enough is enough. No more, I dont get paid holidays, I dont get paid sick time, contracts can get paused at a moments notice, clients are actually more demanding on Upwork than in the UK working for a boss, you think working for 1 boss is bad?

    Try working for 4 demanding bosses at home at the same time, with no bonuses, no sick pay, nothing – you do your job, you bend over, they rape you and in some cases they rape you and complain it wasnt good enough, you didnt bleed enough for them.

    No! Sorry, I am done, finished with Upwork, my only regret was being stubborn for so long and sticking with Upwork for this long, I could cry for being such an idiot – I could have in 3 years had 3 months paid holiday, a lot less stress, no debt, happier, made more money, had proper weekends off.

    You never have time off from freelancing, I would encourage people to rather build a business than prostitute yourself on this site – at least you will have something or could have something at the end of 3 years.

    Freelancing is like a hamster wheel, you run, run, run, run to make ends meet and the wheel just turns and turns….

    For the low amount of money you make, it is not worth it.

    The minute they started that s**t with the connects, hiding applications, algo changes, I should have left and closed down my account.

    You can tell the CEO knows f**k all about freelancing with the s**t that comes out of his mouth. In fact at one stage watching an interview with him regarding these new bullshit 20% extra charges, I was waiting for the a******s head to start spinning in the exorcist with the amount of s**t that he was talking.

    This CEO is so clueless about the market place, that his investors will kick his ass out of there in a few months.

    The whole point in outsourcing is to SAVE money, not to end up spending the same amount of money – then you might as well hire a local!

    They completely fucked the market place up! Now I can apply for (not joking) 70 positions and not get anything back! 2-3 years back, I would apply for 5 jobs and get one.

    But then the applications were for free. Now I have to spend $10 (Not much I know) but get ZERO in return for it.

    But according to f**k face CEO of Upwork, Upwork seems to help freelancers find work! How? By allowing people to post jobs?

    That is his version of freelancers getting help! No, upwork help fleece freelancers!

    Its a losing battle now! Its over, done dusted.

    Dont get me wrong, if you have a partner who is a bread winner, dont need a huge salary, like parachuting then Upwork is for you.

    It will be like no parachute jump you have ever done, one moment you will be ecstatic with tons of work, the next minute you will be free falling clutching for any job/position.

    This is the reality!

    Anyone who sells you the dream of “work from home” is bullshitting you!

    Its like working in your back room for clients who dont give 2 shits about you, who will pause your contract and never tell you, who will sing your praises today and end the contract tomorrow.

    Its like walking on egg shells. I wish I was not so thick skinned & threw in the towel 3 years ago. The only regret I have, is staying so long god only knows I hate myself more for not leaving!

    Trust me, you dont need a 3 year experience. I thought it would get easier raking up 4,000+ hours, 100% feedback – it should be but then dick head Elancers buy up odesk, change it to the same s**t as Elance & then charge you for applying for jobs.


    F**k you very much, enjoyed the ride but moving on now and oh by the way I WILL NOT BE HIRED NOR BE HIRING ON UPWORK ever again!

    Sorry for the foul language, it is there to warn you, Upwork is as over as Elance was. They are being beaten by others in the market and this will escalate and increase over time.

    The more they get beaten up in the market, the more drastic, illogical, thieving changes they will make. They are and will do anything now to make their acquisition cost back & do anything to make extra while losing out to Fiverr.

    Anyways, done dusted 3-5 weeks I will be working somewhere else.

    Upwork is s**t, their CEO – I have no words for this guy other than MORON!

    1. Nate says:

      I guess I’m in the minority because I have no major complaints about Upwork. Aside from noticing phony profiles and those written by people who have no business advertising their services, I get clients who are happy and repeat customers, any questions are promptly answered by Upwork support, and when I withdraw funds they are in my bank account within 2 business days. Granted, I’ve only been on the site for 5 months but, along with other freelance endeavors, Upwork is decent supplemental income. I’m sorry that so many of you have had such bad experiences.

    2. Dzenan Skulj says:

      Love the passion!

      You’re welcome to try our newly launched freelancing platform called Parttimerz which is truly freelancer friendly and you may like it. In case you decide to give it a try, here’s the URL


      P.S. Feel free to drop me a line with your candid comments.

    3. Maverick says:

      Being a toprated freealancer and user for over 3 years. I can understand your frustration. I left upwork for good and recently joined Toptal and have a pretty great experience. You dont have to track hourly jobs or lower your rate with clients.

      I would suggest you to atleast try toptal. They have a great slack community.

  156. Upwork really sucks. It only promises to solve our problems but it never does. I’m highly disappointed with the service of Upwork. There are not one or two problems that we can count on. I don’t know why the hell they created Upwork. It’s just a website full of useless things. Upwork charges 20% and the employers here look for $1/hr freelancers so working on upwork is like counting pennies. Even the tech staff is not skilled enough and they cannot resolve issues related to tracker.

    1. Ashok says:

      Are you the Preeti Parikh who posts on GNB? What a coincidence finding you here if you are!
      I am really fed up with upwork..but the million dollar question is..where has all the business that was coming at Elance gone?

    2. Ashok says:

      Are you the Preeti Parikh who posts on GNB? What a coincidence finding you here if you are!
      I am really fed up with upwork..but the million dollar question is..where has all the business that was coming at Elance gone?-Ashok

  157. Andi says:

    In February of 2015, finding Upwork seemed like an answer to prayer. I’d just become a full-time caretaker for my parent and had to begin working from home. I’d come from a job as QA Specialist, making pretty good money. Since February 2015 I’ve worked on Upwork. I’ve completed many projects and have one on-going contract that I’ve had for over a year now. However when I had the bad luck to take on a contract with Sociology of Style I saw just how Upwork is willing to sacrifice their freelancers in favor of the clients. I worked for this awful person for all of THREE DAYS, clocked a whopping 3 hours at $10/hour, and ended up canceling the contract myself when I was told to train on my own time, no pay. This woman then proceeded to leave a negative, untruthful, embarrassing review on my profile. By the time I’d found out she’d done this, the time for me to respond had expired. No amount of asking or explaining or insisting helped me to be able to either make that awful review private or to be able to respond. They refused to do either. Now I get a notification that they’re raising their fees to TWENTY PERCENT??? Not even going from the usual 10% to maybe 12-15%, but jumping to double the amount of money they take from my pay. This is awful. There are a lot of freelancers there who, like me, use Upwork as their main source of income and this is just like a kick to the stomach. Most of the contracts are already given to overseas freelancers who charge $3.80 an hour, which is already not fair, and now even if I DO get a contract I’m losing more money. This means I have to raise my own rate and apparently it’s already too high since, again, the contracts are going to the freelancers not in America who can charge such ridiculously low rates. I am still my parent’s caretaker, I still have to work from home, I still am paying every single bill in this house plus my own, and I’m doing this on pay I get from clients on Upwork. But this ludicrous fee hike is going to make a difficult situation impossible and I’ll probably end up leaving Upwork, but I don’t really know of other sites like this that are legitimate. Not that they care, but they are truly screwing over their very good, loyal freelancers. It’s disgusting.

  158. shawn says:

    f**k upwork

    now i get an email advising my id has been accepted and I am “right to go”. Another wasted 20 minutes chatting only to be advised “my account is still under investigation” for what? Despite repeated requests I am yet to get an explanation. F**K YOU UPWORK

  159. Shawn says:


    I have been a client for over two years – spent thousands on the platform hiring freelancers. I decided to try my had at getting work on Upwork as well…first job I accept – they have “issues” with my client – my account has been suspended for almost a week without any explanation (save for we have suspended for your “own security) and now been asked to submit my ID documents for the SECOND FUCKING TIME.


    1. Elizabeth says:

      Wow! I got such an email too, but they didn’t even tell me why or what I could do….They have withdrawn the money from my account (I did a job for $400 – my first job after migrating from elance)

  160. Paw says:

    I can give you a business owner’s point of view: these guys are c***ts. I don’t appreciate being inconvenienced, banned then asked for god knows how many documents all while freelancers I am trying to pay are not paid. Who do they think they are, the f**&ing FBI? They can shove it, and I’ll find people – ones who can WRITE – elsewhere. P

  161. Todd says:

    Author is extremely racist but thinks it’s okay because Upwork isn’t perfect.

    1. Sarah says:

      Not to mention sexist.

  162. Park says:

    Will Upwork be able to achieve long-term success with its current freelancer rating system? Take a look at this translator for example.

    E.G. had profiles on both Elance and Upwork. Her Upwork job success was always around 75% (job success being this low usually involves multiple jobs that were canceled or refunded due to poor performance). Of course, not many Upwork clients were hiring her. As Elance was winding down, E.G. started being hired for mysterious private jobs on Elance – over three dozen of them. Her job success score immediately started to rise. You know what happened today? Her Upwork job success has reached 100%.

    Now, let me tell you what E.G. does as a translator:
    1. She translates “kidney” as “liver” for a piece of healthcare product description.
    2. She translates “Section 202 of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990” as “Section 202, Article 1,990 of the Americans with Disabilities Act” for a US governmental project.
    3. For a game translation project, “Save (as in rescue) the sheep” becomes “Store the sheep.”

    These are some of the more egregious errors that E.G. makes on every single project that I have reviewed and according to her clients, she didn’t even bother to ask any questions to clarify those terms.

    When do the clients find out about these errors?
    When customers complain about why the program or service is not working as it is described, or maybe after the company spends thousands of dollars in accommodating the increasing number of customer inquiries.

    There was also a time when one of her Elance clients canceled a project because of, as the client explained to me, her attitude of bidding low and raising the rate later. E.G. quickly marked the job as “completed” to avoid getting her scores drop.

    Another problem is:
    E.G. used to be hired for large projects on Elance. Not anymore with these errors. Now, I am seeing that ProZ is getting the higher dollar value jobs, which means Upwork is losing clients with large translation projects.

    Upwork encourages (young and relatively inexperienced) freelancers to bid on every project and make as much money as they can. In return, Upwork makes them look like they are truly top rated freelancers. Upwork captures the freelancer’s highest job success score during the period of 6 months, 12 months and 24 months, so even if a freelancer has had many canceled or refunded jobs, they can still work their way up to the 100% top-rated position (perhaps by creating many fake jobs instead of by improving their skills).

    From what I saw in regards to rating, Elance knew what they were doing. I can’t say the same thing about Upwork.

  163. DownWork says:

    Below is a copy of a media release (source: Upwork, April, 2016). This must be the catalyst to Upwork’s latest PRICE GOUGING which equates to a massive 22.75% hike in fees slugging struggling 90% freelancers and clients alike. We’re not going to squeeze Upwork to tell us why because we know damn well how secretive this company is. Business must be that bad right now huh?

    Dear Upwork, if this modus operandi does not work to improve your bottom line, when is the next big hit coming to us long-suffering freelancers.

    It’s true that Upwork management did mention recently that with the over-inflated new fees implemented, they plan to spend dollars on marketing campaigns.

    So, this is it, the hardest-hit freelancers on Upwork have to bear the grunt to pay for this NEWLY RECRUITED executive’s package (hello long-suffering Upwork freelancers).

    This FAT CAT better deliver the goods and does what he was hired to do otherwise another doomed failure to add to the current Upwork’s CEO’s constantly getting longer list of fcuk-ups.

    If it’s true that the CEO of Upwork has an engineering background and engineers generally do not have business acumen and they just don’t. The company communication policy is average at best. Performance-wise, Upwork is not delivering at all. Therefore, Upwork’s demise is imminent unless they change leadership at the top level, me thinks. Watch this space.

    Upwork Welcomes Industry Veteran Eric Gilpin as Senior Vice President of Sales
    Gilpin Joins the Leading Freelancing Website to Help Drive Awareness of Online Staffing

    MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA–(Marketwired – Apr 25, 2016) – Upwork, the world’s largest freelancing website, today announced that Eric Gilpin has joined the company as senior vice president of sales, effective immediately. With nearly 15 years of staffing industry experience, Gilpin joins Upwork from CareerBuilder, where he led the company’s staffing and healthcare groups, overseeing more than $200 million in global revenue. Gilpin’s unique perspective on the evolution of the industry has been featured in CNBC, Forbes, CBS MoneyWatch and at industry-leading events including Staffing Industry Analysts’ Executive Forum and the American Staffing Association’s Staffing World.

    “We’re thrilled to have Eric join our organization,” said Upwork CEO, Stephane Kasriel. “He has a deep understanding of the industry and the pain points of businesses as they try to build teams effectively to get more done, often with less resources. The way people work is evolving rapidly. Eric will play a key role in empowering businesses to tap into talent online and break through traditional hiring barriers such as finding the best people and reducing time-to-hire.”

    “Traditional models often struggle to find and efficiently engage qualified talent,” said Senior Vice President of Sales, Eric Gilpin. “Upwork is truly innovating how businesses find talent, making it easier for companies to quickly find and engage the quality talent they need. Online hiring is the future and as organizations increasingly create flexible teams distributed around the world, Upwork will be the site they turn to to help build these teams.”
    Gilpin holds an MBA from Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business.

    1. WHY? says:

      Sounds like additional weight to the sinking ship.

  164. Abhilasha says:

    Hey I was just wondering after reading your article what site would you recommend to find online jobs? I want a job for a month maybe in marketing instagram accounts so which site would you choose?

  165. Neil Maguire says:

    And another thing….I’m having to compete with a sea of amateurs on Upwork. I live in the UK and the US dollar doesn’t trade well against Sterling so I’m onto a hiding with the exchange rate, OK not Upworks fault but for Christ’s sake vet your freelancers and employers! A UK storyboard artist typically charges £300 per day $438, but using this gut wrenching excuse for a site, I not only have to compete with 3rd world amateurs who will say they can storyboard a complete movie for $12 as “I love draw for you” , only to see on they’re web side they only design badly drawn Christmas cards, I get charged all the way down the line by Upwork, Paypal wade in too to charge me for whats left, They’re like bad lawyers! PLEASE Upwork, vet your employers and employees. It’s not only driving down wages across all free lance sites but the clients I often deal with have no clue, clearly aren’t professionals and have childish hissy fits and on line spats with me when I politely question why a graphic novel of 70 pages will usually cost more than $6 to produce artwork for. I’ve successfully done my job for 25 years dealing with great industry people but really have to cross my fingers when I go on Upwork. I suggest a good sit such as People Per Hour. Rant over.

    1. Eric B says:

      Amen brother, amen!

    2. John says:

      “…only to see on they’re web side they…”
      “…to charge me for whats left,”
      “..I suggest a good sit such as…”
      “…across all free lance sites …”
      Probably not qualified to judge quality work, I’d say!

  166. Neil Maguire says:

    I had several good years with repeat clients and 5 star rating with Elance. Things looked bad even at the start of Upwork taking over when it took them months to sort out even an approach to a smooth transition. Simce then I can safely say they are the worst frrelance site on the market. I cannot find a single upside to Upwork, now there’s a slogan they could use….

  167. Melissa says:

    Loved this article, hate Upwork! 20+ years of experience and education in my industry and I thought, why not try it?, when I first started my business. Got one job out of it who convinced me to not get paid from upwork and then eventually ripped me off for a very small amount before I told him to screw himself. Everyone else expects me to lower my normal $50/$60 hour pricing which people pay locally to do top notch work at only $15 an hour. HA!!! On top of it all I get charged to apply for jobs and Upwork is charging the client to hire me and my per hour pay to take a job!!! Whaaaaattttt? By the way, in my part of the world, I have an accounting/hr firm, and the way they are charging as a middle man is absurd!!

    My next complaint is as the company hiring. As I got busier in business I put up a post to hire a worker. It scares me that people around the world think they can do American taxes and they think its normal to ask for $5 an hour for it. SCARY. I finally filtered through 300 applicants and found someone asking for a legitimate price who had a nice resume with American jobs, but after two months of wasted training videos and constant clean up of what she did wrong, I finally gave up.

    All in all, this site is crap!

  168. f**k odesk says:

    Anyone can help me, Upwork Trust & Safety Team put my account to limited financial status for being suspected of having more than one account – the other account is not mine, never heard of them but we are now not allowed to use upwork until the other account pays – WHAT THE F**K IS WRONG WITH THE PEOPLE THAT WORK AT UPWORK??


    1. Stick around! says:

      Are you from a Third World country, I wonder? It seems like Upwork is killing everyone one by one – clients and freelancers alike. Why don’t you make an account with a different nationality? Stay with Upwork until we see it completely fall. There will come a day when a bigger competitor with dignity and class will crush Upwork into pieces.

    2. Eric B says:

      Amen brother, amen!

    3. Jose says:

      Hi, i’m interested in what you posted, had the same idea, Skype is delgadolouro if you’re interested

  169. Zyrel E says:


    Anyone can help me, Upwork Trust & Safety Team put my account to limited financial status for being suspected using auto clicker they said they can reinstate my account after my contract ended and now my client end our contract because of the issue but my financial account is still limited and I can’t withdraw my earnings. Upwork Trust & Safety Team said they will not reinstate my account and I still have $425 earnings they freeze. Please help me here because they are not responding my request. Please help me. Thank you..

    1. Elizabeth says:

      Did you sort this out? Happened to me last week

    2. Jignesh says:

      Upwork is fucking s**t. Kept my $1200. Also recently suspended my account and not responding to my tickets. I think, we should all unite and f**k this shitty Upwork.

  170. Hashim says:

    oDesk hijacked elance management and have made a pathetic site called as upWork furthermore it forced all elance buyers and providers to migrate to their pathetic site. I’m thinking of leaving that and going to provide services on my own or shift to some other freelance site.

  171. Stefani says:

    I recently joined upwork, finished my profile, took a few tests, and got rejected by their automated replies multiple times.

    The so-called 12-hour review always took only 12 seconds.

    Raising ticket only invites more automated replies and automatic “SOLVED” status.

    Posting to their forum, I got a borderline racist remark about being from Indonesia, a minor help (wrong timezone, had selected UTC+6 instead of +7).

    I replied courteously asking for more help since changing said minor detail still only earned me another 12 second automated rejection…

    Instead I got blocked from the forums, those posts removed, and her reply also removed. It is still in my email, proof and reminder to forever avoid upwork.

    racist white moderator Margarete M.

    1. Seriously? says:

      You are SUCH a liar.

      Firstly, the lady whose name you mention is NOT a moderator. Secondly, Upwork probably rejected you because you either do not have the experience or qualifications needed for their site at present, or because your profile was stolen (as so many people tend to do), or because it was incomplete.
      Lastly, as a frequent member of their forum, I can clearly state she was not being racially insulting in any way. Stop blaming other people for your personal failure

    2. XYZ says:

      Falsely accusing somebody and linking to the person’s profile could be an expensive adventure.

    3. Margarete Merkle says:

      Please look also at

  172. Upwork Sucks.
    But I miss oDesk.
    Upwork Sucks.
    They now taking more money.
    But What to do?.
    I freelance…

  173. July says:

    With that greedy raise of the fees, few of my loyal clients already left the website. As someone said earlier, luckily there are time tracking sites (hubstaff , screenish, timedoctor etc.) that can do the same thing for you. I must say many UpWork clients haven’t been fair up till now and UpWork didn’t do *@$^ to compensate the freelancers. I had 3 clients that hoped and left in the middle of the project just to return a month later only to stop the contract and leave a bad review when it is visible I did not deserve one, but hey, UpWork said they can’t do anything about that. Because who the hell am I? there are enough freelancers that will stick in to get robbed and humiliated in UpWork, so feel free to leave. I don’t even know if I wanna try another website, I will either search for new ways to find clients or return to regular job ( which kinda s*cks).

  174. el says:

    “Unfortunately since your request to join Upwork hasn’t been accepted, we have to limit your access to the Upwork Community”

    I just posted a question on upwork why suddenly I cant submit a proposal, which I could up until a few days ago, and instead of answering me I got this message when I tried to see my question again in the forum.

  175. Silenuz Nowan says:

    How can the new pricing scale be about anything but greed. The reasoning that Upwork provided was that smaller jobs cost more, and therefore should cost more, however they base the size of the job on the monetary value which is an intentional falsehood to hide their avarice. For example say their are 4 freelancers each of same quality and experience, freelancer A charges 60 dollars an hour and works 10 hours, freelancer B charges 30 dollars an hour and works 19 hours, freelancer C charges 15 dollars an hour and works 37 hours, and freelancer D charges 7.50 an hour and works 73 hours. According to Upwork freelancer A would have done the largest project at 10 hours (600 dollars gross), followed by freelancer B at 19 hours(570 dollars gross), followed by freelancer C at 37 hours (555 dollars gross) and finally freelancer D at 73 hours (547.50 dollars gross). However the truth of the matter is that in actuality freelancer D completed the largest project. And looking at the math this way it becomes clear that by big project, they mean a project with high monetary value, which means that they want even the 10 hour jobs to be big projects. This rapacity also stands in the way of free-market capitalism by manipulating conditions to ensure that adequate competition is no longer a significant factor by trying to force freelancers to raise their rates. For example take a 50 hour job. If I hire freelancer A for this job, then it will cost 3000 dollars gross, however if I hire freelancer D then it will only cost 375 dollars gross, while the actual work is the same in each case, and thus the project size is also equal in each case, yet Upwork would like you to believe that freelancer A in this case would have done the larger project. When viewed in this light it is shown clearly as the excess money grab it truly is.

  176. J&T bff says:

    Trouble in paradise. Is Upwork in dire trouble financially hence the atomic bomb they dropped on their freelancers? I reckon there’s a huge black hole in Upwork’s budget or something. The massive 100 percent or double whammy fees (20%) looks like a mad scramble to raise cash to….pay down debt, staff wages, prop themselves up until….and what have you? The permanent staff on Upwork would be the first to go for sure… On that note, just gotta say this – a couple of regular dog-faced full of themselves she-posters (one looks like a retard) who tend to always back each other up at the community site are huge Upwork fans/ass-kissers and probably want to be in Upwork’s good books almost like wanting to be recruited or something. They’ll definitely keep, for sure. I absolutely can’t stand those 2 female dogs.

  177. Alex says:

    I am a freelancer. Most of my clients are global tier one corporations in their respective industry or medium-sized agencies that provide services to Fortune 500 organizations. They pay whatever the hell I charge them, so to speak.

    Do you see the problem here? At Upwork, freelancers are not treated as independent users. They were not recruited or hired by Upwork, yet Upwork turns them into its own slaves – whipping occasionally to mint more gold coins out of each contract.

    So, what does this new service fee policy mean? If you are a low budget client with a $20 project and are incapable of paying $24 to cover the service fee, get the fak outta here! Oh, wait! Some freelancers still need to make money so they might stick around and charge only $20. Who will they be?

    Upwork seems to be gambling. It proves that they are already in huge trouble. Tens of millions of dollars have been invested and Upwork has failed to meet its investors’ expectations.

    Upwork’s excuses might have been that the system is flooded with low budget clients and the situation will be improved by chasing them out of the system. Guess what! It won’t. The situation will be improved when Upwork starts admitting its flaws and fixing them before it’s too late.

    The thing is freelancers like me don’t enjoy using a system that manipulates its users. Decent clients like mine don’t like the fact that their freelancers are being squeezed to take more money out of their pockets.

    Upwork has a serious attitude problem and we cannot expect decency or business ethics from this organization led by a group of moronic pirates – soon to be short-lived.

    For now, we have no choice but to comply with Upwork since Elance is now completely gone. Perfect timing, eh? So, is Upwork one big short-sighted, sneakily greedy b*****d or what?

    Shifting its business paradigm to supporting only “quality clients and freelancers” with its everlasting shitty attitude? How longer will Upwork be able to thrive?

    1. Eric B says:

      Amen Alex!

    2. Lucs says:

      Amen Alex

  178. Ivan Boyko says:

    With the new wave of hate from freelances, I would like to know your opinion on my article: Upwork and the Dictatorship of Online Marketplaces

  179. Ivan Boyko says:

    With the new wave of hate from freelances, I would like to know your opinion on my article: <a href=""Upwork and the Dictatorship of Online Marketplaces

  180. Interesting article. Thank you for sharing your insights and experiences. I wonder what you think about Upwork’s new fee schedule

    Many people are offended and shocked by the changes, but I personally think that it might be a good thing?

  181. freelancers are humans says:

    Like many freelancers, I am very disappointed with the latest Upwork news that it will increase rates to 20% for small projects. This is way too much!!!!!!!

    I think we should all come together and support crowdfunding a new online jobs platform

  182. Alex says:

    Clients and freelancers have nowhere else to go. We are stuck with Upwork for a while. So, let’s just calm down and analyze this situation.

    This new service fee structure might be yet another Upwork’s business strategy either immature or cunning. Let’s look further inside.

    Upwork’s only strength has been the largest user base simply because it has been around for a long time, not because it is the best freelance platform. That said, LinkedIn is looking to expand their freelance business globally (possibly selectively – not sure if they would want their system to be flooded with low budget clients for low quality freelancers). It might be choking Upwork as LinkedIn has all the best capacities to take over the freelance business worldwide in no time. When that happens, I will definitely close my Upwork account and bring all my Elance and Upwork clients to LinkedIn. And I know many will do the same.

    Now, we wonder if Upwork is trying to chase all the low budget “poor” clients out of the system before this “war” begins or it is just raising immediate revenues to meet investor goals. Upwork has been manipulating freelancers to create fake jobs and payments by lowering their job success score (JSS) for no comprehensible reasons. Low JSS means no clients and thus no earnings. You are forced to participate in this “self-payment” scheme. It also enabled privacy of the client’s identity so people who view one particular job are no longer able to see who this client has previously hired. Birds of a feather flock together. Upwork’s investors do not care where the money comes from as long as it continues to come in.

    Upwork has also been promoting its “oDesk Payroll” and “Upwork Payroll” agencies. You can see their job success rates are always over the top. By raising the service fees, clients will be forced to hire the Upwork agencies instead of individual freelancers because they can open one contract and continue to add more milestones to it until it reaches $10,000, then the service fee goes down to 5%. I have been contacted by the Upwork recruiting personnel and rejected all of their offers because their payment is as shitty as their system. This means only low quality freelancers are working in the Upwork’s Payroll system. I wonder how they maintain such high JSS all the time…

    Due to the introduction of this new service fee structure, Upwork may (intentionally) lose low budget clients and low end freelancers or it may (accidentally) lose countless quality customers who have had enough and are too pissed off to stay. Pretty soon we will get to see if Upwork’s new strategy was cunning or immature.

  183. kill me now please Upwork says:

    No doubt about it – robots and algorithms run Upwork. Otherwise, the people that run this thieving company are absolute grubs and heartless turds, just no compassion whatsoever. 100% hike on fees for all projects basically across the board. Freelancers are being bled dry and taken for fools. This is another kick in the gut for long suffering freelancers on the platform. A kick in the ass to finally move on and put this nightmare behind us. Karma is a b***h, Upwork. Your day of reckoning is coming… How do you these people running this company sleep at night. No conscience….unless they’re really are robots…

  184. says:

    I got in touch with and People per Hour as well. Sadly Guru does not have in place the Skrill payment method that suits me. Already talk with a couple of clients; they were in shock realizing that Upwork wishes 20% of their budget, they offer direct payment which is not good, of course. Nevertheless they are fully committed with the next website I will chose. Probably I will spend a lot of time researching than the money I will loss, but I do not like Upwork attitude. We support for months it crashes and this is how the company responds to loyalty. Too much!

  185. Steve says:

    I was a client on CrapWork. The last straw for me was when I posted a job advert for a female voiceover artist aged 20 to 35. Minutes later, my account was suspended, followed by hysterical accusations of “gender discrimination” by some little Hitler at UpWork.

    It is utterly ridiculous that choosing the age group and gender of a voiceover artist results in suspension based on discrimination grounds.

    They told me if I wanted the temporary suspension lifted, I would have to write an email to them promising never to do it again.

    It is completely patronizing to be treated like a little child. I told them where they could shove their suspension, and I voluntarily closed my account.

    1. wow, this is amazing. what were they thinking and did they even read the listing? Unbelievable and it seems to me that the comment above yours about Robots running UpJerk might well be true. In all seriousnes, a bot found your post and flagged it, would be my thoughts, because no human being would read a listing for “need femal voice over” and flag it. You need the ‘particular’ voice. What if I posted a job for a black man to speak on my website for an Afro-American cause… would they flag that.

  186. Gino says:

    I have been a loyal freelancer to oDesk for 5 years now, and did manage to make my living from it.

    With the UpWork policies today, their greed and ignorance, I am leaving them altogether and doing something else.

  187. Pupone says:

    I am client on Uwork and am totally put off by the fee changes both for clients and freelancers.

    1. alberto says:

      I cannot keep on working as a translator with 20% fees. Someone could me suggest freelance platforms that DON’T suck?

  188. Alex says:

    ***They just announced a jump to a 20% fee about an hour ago!!!***


    I’m writing to share an important update to Upwork’s pricing and Terms of Service. Starting in June, we will change our fee structure so that the more business you do with your clients on Upwork, the more earnings you keep.

    Upwork will charge a sliding fee based on your lifetime billings with each client (across all hourly and fixed-price contracts you’ve ever had with them on Upwork and Elance). These are the fees you will pay:

    20% for the first $500 you bill your client across all contracts
    10% for total billings with your client between $500.01 and $10,000
    5% for total billings with your client that exceed $10,000
    For example, if you begin an hourly or fixed-price contract with a new client for $600, you’ll be billed 20% on the first $500 and 10% on the remaining $100.

    Also, when you work with one of your Elance clients on Upwork, we’ll continue to honor the fee you paid on Elance or the 5% fee when applicable.

    Here’s what your net earnings will look like over time, as a percentage of what the client is billed:

    Pricing Structure

    When the new pricing takes effect, we’ll honor the previous 10% fee for all active contracts, unless you’ve billed over $10,000 with a client, in which case we’ll automatically lower your fee to 5%. On all new contracts, the new pricing will apply.

    These changes will reward long-term work and cover the costs of small projects, which are more expensive for us to support. I realize these are significant changes, but I believe they’ll allow us to deliver you a higher level of service and opportunity in the future.

    We’ll follow up with an update before these changes roll out in June. In the meantime, visit our pricing page to learn more about this change as well as a new fee for clients.

    Thank you for your business,

    Stephane Kasriel
    CEO, Upwork

  189. ODesk was fine with me. Now (May 2016) DownWork (I’m pretty sure you get the pun) has raised their ‘keeping price’ to 20% for any work under $500.00. Wow, how much more greedy can they get. You would laugh at the reason(ing) for the laundering of fees when they state that it is going to make the freelancer experience ‘so much better.’ I could not figure if I wanted to laugh or scream.

    The ranking or “points” system they use is focused on rewarding long term frelancers and penalizes short term or new workers. I wish I could find the link but this was something I read on a[nother] search for “UpWork is a Dick” search and read that most of the jobs are rewarded to “select” freelancers that are either part of Upwork or are only the paying freelancers. If you do not pay for a subscription to Upwork then you do not get reasonable consideration factored into their scoring system.

    If you look at the parameters of the ‘system’ which, by the way are hard to actually find a full list of these factors AND their blog even admits the rating factors are “not fully published to keep the rating system fair” you will find how skewed the factorings are leaning toward paid workers.

    Yes, everyone is in business to make money. But If you keep getting greedy you scare away good workers. I have been trying Truelancer and despite the low pay for most jobs, I have had some luck getting serious customers that pay decently. Truelancer is focused on India as a Country of preference to freelancers but I get most of my clients from Canada or UK, when I search for work. It seems that these clients will pay the US price ranges much faster if they know they are getting quality work.

    Here is a little secret (I should not share but the author of this blog was kind enough to share his SEO secrets in this article—linked—so I will contribute to the freelancer world, for Americans): I always put in my proposals a sentence something like this, “…Price is negotiable as I want to compete with other foreign bids; yet remember I provide secure communications and 24/7 support.”

    It seems to help and I never get negative feedback from Truelancer support, which I have had to use once in a while. They held a payment for a long time. (this was shortly after I commented in one of their blogs about the above and how India provided poor quality work, basing my assumption on what the freelancers in India charge. Update: had I known how little it cost to live on in that Country, I may not have made such a statement.

    1. fookcu says:

      what a frustrated racist you are! I guarantee Indian developers will starve you through to your aasshhholes! If they wouldn’t be so technically proficient, how come they are leading the big enterprises in the software industry: Satya as CEO at Microsoft, Sunder at Google to name a few… go, get a life. Americans are only good at English language, which is just a tool you naturally acquired from your upbringing and not through your own efforts in a college, BTW. You are good for nothing now, and a shame to your parents. Your own american brothers prefer Indian developers over native aasshhole like you.

  190. anrdewsparks says:

    well, i decide closed my account at upwork, go to hell :)
    even my reputation migrate from Elance was top 5 :)
    what a terrible monkey-bannanas come-on!

    1. Got to love those monkey-bananas. Hopefully LivelyGig will get their site up soon. They were just partnered with Synereo and have some great potential in the biz.

  191. Silenuz Nowan says:

    ***Note I previously posted this to the forums – and got banned***

    Thomas Jefferson famously wrote “In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury.”

    Recently I had an opportunity to learn exactly what he meant, as events have brought to my attention, that the community forums are not a means for customer support, nor are they for the community to engage in honest discussion, but rather a way for Upwork and it’s representatives to control the dissemination of information. Rather then provide factual answers in regard to the validity of Upwork policies, the moderators censors instead post canned responses full of placating rhetoric, and if you continue to search for genuine answers, they resort to censorship by editing messages, or removing them altogether, accompanied by threats and intimidation. As George R.R. Martin wrote “When you tear out a man’s tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you’re only telling the world that you fear what he might say”.

    Is it not reasonable to be open to critical feedback? Constructive criticism is good for growth, and feedback of this sort, when listened to, can only make a product stronger, as it provides the means to give a new perspective and valuable insight. I’ve always tried to offer genuinely helpful constructive feedback, out of respect and a wish to be helpful. Not to mention when paying for a service, is it so unreasonable to expect answers to your questions, or to have any concerns adequately addressed? Does Upwork not want to improve their brand?

    However in these forums, in preference to authoritarianism over democracy, no one can say or mention anything critical about Upwork, otherwise they ban you. Other members of the community are also not allowed to speak of the banned members, as if they didn’t exist. How disturbing is that? It brings to mind the words of roman philosopher Marcus Tullius Cicero, “when you have no basis for an argument, abuse the plaintiff”. Unfortunately in this case the plaintiff is also a customer. What kind of business makes a habit of abusing it’s customers?

    In Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Paulo Freire says ““Leaders who do not act dialogically, but insist on imposing their decisions, do not organize the people–they manipulate them. They do not liberate, nor are they liberated: they oppress.” And what are moderators other then leaders of this community?

    Terry Pratchet once remarked “authority that can not be questioned is tyranny”. That would seem to be an accurate description of the behavior exhibited by the moderators in these forums. If this is tyranny, does that make the moderators tyrants? The Oxford English dictionary defines a tyrant as “any person in a position of authority who exercises power oppressively or despotically”. Considering the highly repressive nature of the moderator’s actions, is this not an accurate definition of the tactics they employ? How viable is a business strategy that advocates the systematic tyranny of it’s customers?

    Imagine if freelancer profiles worked like the forums, everyone would have a five star ratings because one would simply remove any negative reviews from their profile. Adding further insult to this injury, is that many questions that involve the Job Satisfaction Score result in condescending replies about how one should strive to offer better customer service, all the while ignoring every opportunity for themselves to do the same. In the time I have been with Upwork I have not received a single factual answer and none of the support tickets I’ve opened have been resolved, and although their messages to freelancers seem to indicate they are familiar with the concept of service and support, it is something they do not practice.

    Obviously these forums are a platform where open discourse is not only discouraged but actively prohibited. As such, knowing that honest debate, and factual intercourse are unlikely to transpire, I feel the community forums to be a waste of time and effort, and as I raise the tyrannical boot of oppression from my neck, and the weight lifts, so to does any loyalty I felt towards, and respect I held for Upwork. As these are the actions of it’s representatives, and these actions are indicative of contempt, therefore the logical conclusion is that it represents Upwork’s contempt towards the freelancers who give up 10 per cent of their earnings. I now recognize them for the cheap exploiters they are, having a price but no value.

    As such I will not be surprised when this message too gets deleted for exposing the inherent insincerity actively engaged in by Upwork and it’s representatives, while this will sadden and anger me, it will also irrefutably prove the above statements. Still I will do what I can, to see that the truth is spread, in an attempt to educate potential freelancers, as to the rank subjugation they face at the hands of Upwork. After all as William Lloyd Garrison said “With reasonable men I will reason; with humane men I will plea; but to tyrants I will give no quarter, nor waste arguments where they will certainly be lost.“.

    To anyone reading my rant this far, I wish you luck on those forums so ripe with misinformation and rhetoric, may you somehow manage to find the truth. In closing, some words of wisdom:

    “If you shut up truth and bury it under the ground, it will but grow, and gather to itself such explosive power that the day it bursts through it will blow up everything in its way.”
    Emile Zola

    1. Tom says:

      Thank you for the message.

    2. Eric B says:

      Awesome! You are very succinct and right on the money!

  192. Jennifer says:

    I see UpWork going nowhere but down. It has shifted its focus to be so client-centered, that it is driving away all talented, self-respecting US designers. I’m an experienced bay area graphic designer (who’s done a lot of work for silicon valley tech clients). I’ve used Elance occasionally over the years to pick up extra work. Last week, I got a design request from a past client on Elance, so the new UpWork forced me to download their latest “desktop app”. I had to track the time I spent on the project in real-time by pressing a stopwatch button on and off. Ok, fine. But, as if this wasn’t obnoxious enough, the app took screenshots of my laptop screen every few minutes so that the client can review them later. It was very distracting. Of course, I have no access to these screenshots. It felt so rude and invasive. God forbid I need to check my email while a graphic is rendering. Then I have to worry about the screenshot being taken at the moment I’m trying to read an email. Anyhow, using their new app was the most demeaning, BIG BROTHER-ISH design experience I’ve ever had. Treating their designers (who they siphon 10% from on every job) like untrustworthy toddlers is going one step too far for me. Good luck UpWork.

  193. Jack says:

    99% of people in comments section can be placed in two groups:

    1) brainless monkeys who think they are worth something more than 2.43$/hour (though 2 bucks is usually too much for someone who makes SEO optimisation or do some other sorts of bullshit works)

    2) dick sucking mom’s fucking dreamers who spent their last 5000$ to build some useless s**t and now are trying get their money back to rip off contractor they’ve hired

    1. Jack says:

      I am pretty sure you belong to the 1% that fits both groups :)

  194. Abigail says:

    What I thought impossible i.e. to freelance online full time, build a great client base, and actually earn decent earnings as an admin freelancer averaging $15k-$20K a year in a very highly competitive field (admin category) is in itself a huge achievement.

    Yes, Elance made that dream possible for me since joining them in 2008. I have never had to compete with lowballers due to a relatively high number of select clients willing to pay for high quality output on Elance. I enjoyed a ery high rate of repeat business from high-budget clients. You work hard and have honest dealings with your clients, you reap the benefits.

    In just over a period of 6 months post transition from Elance, Upwork successfully managed to kill my admin freelancing career. To date, I’ve only made a measly 10% on what I typically made on average over that lengthy period of time with Elance. So many admin freelancers in Upwork compete for a very small amount of projects posted on a daily basis and seems alarmingly decreasing if you’re closely monitoring the feeds. What a total disaster!

    And, the new clients I have had to work with on Upwork are used to paying for quality work for next to nothing. They want to use feedback as a means to pay for quality work. JSS is a bargaining tool for them and they know how to use it to to their maximum advantage.

    Side note – if you’ve got an established 100% JSS after moving to Upwork from Elance, my advice is never work for new customers who are used to paying peanuts. They will desecrate your 100% JSS and it will take mammoth efforts to get that back. Work with this type of client at your own risk!

  195. Joe says:

    My computer crashed that had my books on them and was hoping to find my edited works on odesk which I used to enjoy employing people there now since they switched to upwork all my finished books are gone. :(

  196. Billy Park says:

    As a former elancer I decided not just to b***h about elance or Upwork.

    Complete Freedom for Freelancers.

  197. Sandeep Kumar says:

    Before the site was very good!
    But now it is bad
    Upset all Freelancer

  198. Paul X says:

    I had been a member on since 2010. After merging with elance and rebranding themselves UpWork, my rating goes from 90 something % to 67%(now its down to 60%). I contact support to ask them whats going on.

    25 Mar, 11:42 am
    I need my reputation reset or something. I had a 90+ % reputation then my score goes to 67%. I don’t know why its changed.

    Thank you,
    Paul X

    25 Mar, 12:32 pm
    Greetings Paul,

    Thank you for contacting Upwork Customer Support

    To further assist you with your concern, may I please ask for your kind patience while I forward this to the appropriate department for review and assistance. Rest assure that I’ll come back to you as soon as possible once I have an update.

    Your patience is highly appreciated in the meantime.

    Upwork Customer Support

    Joan (Upwork Help Center)
    25 Mar, 5:46 pm

    Hello Paul,

    Thank you for contacting us about your Upwork account. I have re-reviewed your activity on Upwork, and unfortunately, I cannot reinstate your account.

    Upwork Trust & Safety
    Hazel L (Upwork Help Center)

    After that my account is “suspended”

    So I write back..

    Paul X
    25 Mar, 6:09 pm

    I email UpWork(see below) and now when I login to, i get a notice that my account is suspended. WHAT THE F**K?

    Joan (Upwork Help Center)
    27 Mar, 4:48 pm

    Dear Paul,

    Unfortunately, our working relationship must come to an end.

    Our commitment is to maintain a safe and trusting platform for all users. As a private company, we also have the right to determine who can engage in our platform and at this time we have come to the conclusion that your participation can no longer be supported.

    This decision is final and there is no appeal process. While we respectfully ask that you not contact us again, we do wish you the best of luck in all your future endeavors.

    Upwork Trust & Safety

    Just real shitty. No reason to ban me. I haven’t had any policy violations and no complaints from clients.

    Anyway it was a kick in the dick. Now I’m just expanding my options for finding new clients beyond using sites like UpWork/Elance/oDesk.

    1. Alex says:

      They manufacture s**t. Their label says it’s gold (We all know it’s not). You challenge them, then instead of fixing the content which is s**t, they just remove the label. If you continue to challenge them to fix it, they kick you out.

      Trust me. I’ve been around for a long time.

      The only thing we can do is to wish for a decent freelance platform to emerge. Hallelujah!

  199. scott says:

    Share all the thoughts here.. I’ve even thought about replicating Upwork becuase with any competition at all they would fail to exist. Today I found a similiar service by Amazon.. YES AMAZON…

    Anything will turn out to be more credible than Upwork, and as long as we all keep voting with hours and dollars to use them its proving a good model for them..

    I would encourage customers and freelancers to try the amazon business services venue.

    Upworks management is a mess, they wont get better becuase they dont know how.. no Leadership.. no results..

  200. Jaded Freelancer says:

    For the nth time, it’s official, Upwork SUCKS! Where are the people that successfully run the Elance portal? Upwork is administered by a bunch of inexperienced, incompetent, totally clueless, no business acumen, insular-minded try-hards/wanna-be’s. The whole set-up is a 3rd world country operation or some would say…smacks of 3rd world country policies. This site is definitely made for 3rd world freelancers who are used to being ruled and dictated to. Welcome to Upwork!!!!

    1. Do B says:

      I think it is time that we start a huge campaign against Upwork administration asking for “divorce”; Elance back again!

      We are clever enough and having all the capabilities to do so…

      I am a Freelancer and Contractor sometimes!

      Enough is Enough!

    2. I love Netflix says:

      Decision-makers at Upwork should perhaps consider holding talks with NETFLIX to create a TV SERIOUS out of Upwork’s never ending COMEDY OF ERRORS?

      This is a mob that just keeps shooting themselves in the foot all the time. They are their own worst enemy. Are they masochists? You bet….they seem to enjoy embarrassing themselves over and over again.

      I’m absolutely convinced management is surrounded by BUMBLING ADVISERS WITH NO REAL BUSINESS EXPERIENCE whatsoever or as rightly described above.

      I also have a feeling of COMMUNICATION ISSUES being a major factor in their failure to deliver professional services to their customers (buyers and freelancers alike). The platform is just unreliable if not super UNPREDICTABLE. Company announcements are vague if not confusing.

      Perhaps, it’s to do with English comprehension (speaking, writing and understanding the language are all different things….therefore the codes perhaps are riddled with LANGUAGE TRANSLATION issues???….kinda like with majority of their CS staff who cannot think for themselves because being able to read a script in English does not mean you actually understood what you read (not funny at all).

      Status Quo. Apparently, it seems the best working solution to any IT engineering problems they can’t/unable to fix is to MANAGE FREELANCERS’ RESPONSE/REACTION. If you keep telling your freelancers there is no problem, they’ll eventually believe you. It’s-you-not-us spin. It’s easier and less-costly this way, you see. There, problem solved.

      Just yesterday/today, another Upwork employee bravely (or stupidly) owned up to another fumble, admitting to another lie, AGAIN, and then outrightly asking for suggestions from members on how to fix this new major problem they’ve just created. Who does that? Yep, only at Upwork. Anyway, I hope she get’s rewarded for such bold move (not). You know, I actually almost felt sorry for this employee. You might as jump off the cliff, babe!

      Oh, they also just announced another feature in-the-making about managing their ever increasing world-class spammer clients. That sounds like a great initiative only if you make sure the on-the-job-trainee IT guys don’t f&ck it up and cause another problem in the process of doing so

      In summary, yes, it’s still a feckin mess over there at Upwork – consistently a total fiasco. You get a breather every now and then, your faith restored then BAM, that very old issue comes back
      with a vengeance and this time, the fix they used then no longer works.

      Ergo, I so agree that Upwork has more than enough factual material to bring to the table for Netflix to consider that Upwork will make a good, compelling satirical TV series. I for one will pay to watch it as long it does not clash with an episode of GoT or House of Cards:)

  201. I_would_rather_not says:


    You have some serious issues… What the hell is up with the “Eastern European” thing? (Or other regions and ethnicities that you’ve hated on here) You are a hateful little creep. By the way, I’m from Eastern Europe. I’ve been trying to get some experience on upwork for the past month and a half because I can’t get a job in my country, even though I have a BSc, a MSc, and hopefully soon, a PhD (all in the physical sciences and computational science). Why can’t I get I get a job in my country? Because my country is s**t. Why is my country s**t? Because your government came, exploited and left. So maybe now the economy is bad, and I can be competitive as a freelancer because I can work for very cheap hours. Well, honestly, I don’t feel a shred of sympathy for the self-entitled westerners that may loose a job over me, or that are whining incessantly because their prices are being brought down. It’s not like any of those people had sympathy for me when US war planes were flying over my head. Thanks to which an entire generation suffers from chronic anxiety in my country (including myself).

    As for cheapness on freelance websites. I can tell you that US clients are the cheapest people out there. I have had some horrible experiences, working for extremely low hours, or being scammed in to working for free.

    As for cheap foreigners not speaking English properly, as you can see, I speak English properly. I doubt that you speak another language, though. But then I run in to jobs that are like “only English natives living in US, please. Don’t apply if you’re not native”. Well, actually, I am native. But, because my name sounds scary to western people, I can’t really apply to any of these positions. The level of discrimination is astounding. And not to mention the stereotypes for eastern European women.

    Another point about discrimination. I couldn’t really raise my rates even if I wanted to. Because no one would hire someone based in a “developing” country for a higher rate. Although I have seen how US people work, and I can tell you, they work terribly bad. Again, the self-entitlement. They work bad, but they wouldn’t ever assume it. They have no sense of responsibility, or genuine devotion to the work that they do. They even write badly.

    Anger towards you aside… I think that in spite of everything, upwork and other such websites are a good place to start and get some experience if you’re a beginner.

    Particularly for people like me, that are fresh out of the protective womb of academia (stolen metaphor), it’s a good way to get a sense of the real world and the global job market. For example, I quickly realized that the programming languages and the software used in academia is not used anywhere else in the world. Unfortunately, the world is ruled by triviality, and wordpress people like you are much desired professionals. Because the most important thing in this world is a nice website that’ll get a lot of clicks…

    1. Nombre says:

      I have been an Upwork user for a while. Prior to that, I had decades of professional experience in my area. Allow me to give you a tip. Some of the clients who claim they are based in the US aren’t actually based there. When I was a rookie on this site, I thought clients in the US might be easier to communicate and work with (as I was educated and worked in the US) so I took their jobs. The fact is that a couple of these people were based in India. I have no problem with Indian clients but it is a problem when they lie about their identity as then you honestly can’t trust anything about them.

      You may need to get your feet wet and learn to differentiate clients through their words and attitude.

      You will eventually get to the point where you learn that the Upwork world is quite different from Elance and it requires quite a few adjustments.

    2. dina says:

      Though not from Eastern Europe, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head, as they say. I am guessing you’re from Serbia?

      I guess the author could have put things in a better way. I agree with him about the problem of global labour – you always have somebody to undercut you and devalue your labour. It forces people from richer and poorer (economically speaking) countries to compete and it creates a hostile environment for workers who end up screwing each other over to get a crappy amount of pay for skilled work.

      But that aside, I have seen what you say play out in front of me, non-native speakers with ‘scary names’ not get jobs and get utterly screwed over on the job market because of their accents and origins. Yes, it sucks and it is demeaning. Your post was bang on the money.

    3. Kat says:

      Thank you so much for writing this. I’m of Slavic descent living in South America, which seems to make me doubly irresistible to Americans in search of long-distance sweatshop workers, and I keep getting invites for $1/hour jobs that need to be done within a day and specifically ask for freelancers from Eastern Europe, Asia and South America, despite the fact that I have a goddamn university degree and a more polished portfolio than 90% of Americans I’ve seen on Upwork. I’m actually amazed that they’ve got the nerve to write this kind of racist bollocks.

  202. Sergiu says:

    Avoid working on upwork with Onuora Amobi, it’s a sneaky dude, he speak very nice first then he ask for more work than agreed and make negative comments regarding your work to force you cancel the project after you spent a lot of time working for him, watermark everything you send to him he is totally unreliable and a total jerk with not a little common sense.

  203. Hi,

    I recently had a dispute with work over $4,700 where they wanted to give me $100 back for customer satisfaction… I fought this and got $1000 back. However, this is NOT ENOUGH to complete a project that I budgeted $5,000 for. I was wondering if you would be able to help me. Below is the email I sent

    Good evening,

    My name is Diamond Riley and I am writing in reference to ticket #1984717. I have been in contact with upwork Dispute mediation since March 5 and will be pursing legal action if I am not refunded my proper amount.

    I hired a freelancer from Upwork named Jonas Swift whom was working for $5,000 on a hourly contract. He was ultimately paid $4,700 before he became unresponsive. Jonas was paid after he showed me a deliverable. He also would put hours in on Upwork. Both the deliverables and the hours worked sufficiently demonstrated that he was actually doing work. In late Feb he became unresponsive and did not produce a product. Thus I have paid $4,700 and do not have a product.

    I subsequently took the problem to Dispute Mediation on March 5 which lasted until March 25. I was told that I would only receive $100 for customer satisfaction. I fought that and subsequently received $1000, less than 22% of the money given. I was supposed to use this $1000 to find a subsequent freelancer. Therefore, I was being asked to find a freelancer for a $5,000 job at the rate of $1,000. I asked that the case be kept open in the event that I would need additional funds

    I spoke with Amir and Michelle from Talent Acquisition and who helped me to find a subsequent freelancer. In conversations with at least 7 freelancers I was told that my offer of $1,500 was not enough [$1,500 = $1,000 refused plus $390 refunded from my other freelancer +$108 given to me for customer satisfaction] as shown in the attached documents. I raised the price to $2,000 which is $500 more and I was able to negotiate with a freelancer for that amount. I contacted Rosita and Charlene at Upwork and was told that the amount of $1,000 was my limit for a refund. This is unacceptable and I would like to pursue legal action. Upwork has established a community where it exudes trust. The website even speaks about trust and safety and the protection both a user and a freelancer would receive based off an hourly contract. I have not experienced this trust nor have I experienced the ease of mind that Upwork purports. I currently have an app on the market, I have a very large following on social media networks, email marketing and in the startup tech space. I have used Upwork many times before this encounter and have recommend Upwork to everyone, however now, I will never do so because the protection that you all claim actually doesn’t exist. The FACT that I have struggled , called Upwork everyday, multiple times a day, waited weeks for responses, had the deadline of my project pushed back two months does not seem to matter to Upwork and that is a shame. $500 out of $4,700 is all that I was asking and it is unbelievable to me that Upwork cannot issue that.

    Due to the above reasons, I would like to pursue legal action for the full amount owed which is $3,700 due to the fact that Upwork is personifying a dishonest image of community and trust. I am reaching out in an attempt to see if there is anything you can do before I pursue this claim.

  204. Vance says:

    Upwork is terrible for businesses hiring as well. Used their work diary system, paused a contract when it was not working out, followed all their dispute mechanisms, reported the issues, sent in Skype transcripts, got threatened by the freelancer that he would commit suicide if I reported it etc. Upwork admitted I was abused, admitted they could not even contact the freelancer anymore, and refunded only their 10% fees as a CREDIT! Like I want to ever use them again. No code provided, no refund on the funds spent. Just completely useless. Never again, avoid like the plague.

    1. Ray says:

      And then Upwork hides the history of these jobs that were cancelled or refunded. Very unethical. Elance was different. It showed everything. It’s really a shame that it was Elance they shut down.

  205. Civilization says:

    One of my clients wants to open a contract with me on Upwork. We do not have any project to work on at the moment. The client just wants to keep me connected now that Elance is gone. (We used to have no problem doing this on Elance. It is easier for clients to send me payments without having to create a new job each time).

    The problem with Upwork is that it has this peculiar rule that lowers your job success score if you have open contracts that are inactive. They somehow count it as a “bad egg” perhaps assuming that the contracts are open and the payments are processed outside of the system, and it is probably because many people indeed prefer to send payments outside of the system because no one wants to deal with Upwork. It is a vicious circle that cannot be stopped.

    My client is not happy and I am truly sorry that I cannot accept this offer simply because the contract will remain idle until we have an actual job and it will continue to lower my job success score.

    As Upwork treats its users like criminals, I do not expect it to improve its system to support higher quality clients and freelancers. However, I do expect another smart company to heed this advice and develop an elite platform where only the best professionals will survive and these ridiculous rules will not be necessary.

    1. Elizabeth says:

      Try If you invite your own employers, thy do not charge any service fees.Look for that option

  206. Mel says:

    I’m asking a slightly off-topic (albeit parallel) question here. I’ve spent about a month on upwork and sent out several detailed and well thought out proposals. I haven’t heard back from even one client despite the fact that I’m going after a niche I’ve got some experience in.

    My question is this. How do freelancers get clients in real life? I know many do through networking, but have any of you just walked into a business and just asked them? I’ve done it for my (fledgling) novelty T-shirt business, and so far 1 retailer has agreed to stock my goods on his shelves (it’s a start). However, I’m having a much harder time with freelance graphic design though. Do you guys have any tips?

  207. Sarah says:

    I hate Upwork and I’m going through an issue with them as I type this. I am ready to terminate my account with them. But before I do that, my question is: is there a different online platform I can use to track hours and pay and get paid? It’s not necessary to have the aspect of connecting clients to freelancers.

    1. Chirp Chirp says:

      They invented Google for a reason. However, I’m not sure if you should be working for such clients who make you worry about time tracking and payment. Here is a good tip for you:

  208. Independence Day says:

    My clients are world-class people and I consider them to be under my absolute care. The reason why I’m posting today is because yet another client of mine was totally screwed over by Upwork. There are frigging too many freelancers on Upwork and it’s darn near impossible to find decent ones. My client told me horror stories about paying other freelancers thousands of dollars for work that was riddled with beyond unacceptable levels of critical errors. What is astonishing is that these freelancers had job success rates of nearly 100%.

    I had to dig through my old chats with another client to find this good enough freelancer who knows what she’s doing so that I could save my client from dealing with another rubbish “professional”. Then, I “attempted to” search for more freelancers in the specific area to help out my client with more options.

    Nope, this is not the first time my clients asked me if I knew any decent freelancers – ’cause it’s effing difficult to search through the “sucking” Upwork pages!

    You know what? The Upwork Job Success rate is garbage. Elance displayed accurate data. Why can’t Upwork do the same? I know why – the Upworksphere has been invaded by brainless monkeys!

    To Upwork morons who might be reading this: Continue with your fabulously incompetent services and you WILL disappear soon, then we can all migrate to a new land where both clients and freelancers will live happily ever after!

  209. FirstWorldProblems says:

    I came to this article thinking it would be a valid critique of Upwork and the many pitfalls it has for potential clients and freelancers, and as I sat here and read through the entire piece and the subsequent comments, the stench of colonial-era racism from the writer is proving difficult to shake off. I can’t believe someone who is the editor of a website like this can drop phrases like “I don’t suck Third World d—“, allow full out racist comments without expunging them, and continue to disparage 80% of the under-developed world and its people in a derogatory manner.

    Thanks for destroying any point you were trying to make about Upwork itself. I shall not be returning to this turgid underarm of the interweb, let alone be hiring or recommending your WordPress company for anything at all. Your attitude is detrimental to your own company and this article.

    1. El Capitan says:

      Yeah, but that’s not the point, is it? The point is that Upwork truly sucks! Why else did you have to find this page anyway? ;)

    2. Elena says:

      Totally agree

  210. El says:

    Upwork support is the worst customer support I have dealt with the last 15 years.

    1. El Capitan says:


  211. Elon says:

    I have had decent results with hiring from Upwork but it were mainly small projects (one page websites) and I invite the freelancers I like, I don’t let people bid on my projects because you get overwhelmed with proposals.

  212. AlphaOmega says:

    Just came across Upwork – and may I suggest to the third world foreign f*ck owners to change the name to Upchuck.vom. “vom” stands for a recently created new extension called “vomitorium”. I did not need to spend much time in order to make a determination.

    It comes as no surprise that clearly, these third world f*ck face owners living in lands where it is deemed socially acceptable to sell your mother or lease your sisters out to local brothels in your disease-infested towns, would take advantage of educated but financially desperate individuals by providing this third-world-f*ck forum as a means of prostituting oneself for unbelievably meager rations.

    To all who are qualified and believe they are actually worth more than $6-$10/hr (I would scoff at anything less than $50) I say this: You need to SELL YOURSELVES, NOT PROSTITUTE YOURSELVES TO THIRD-WORLD F*CKFACES. How can anyone demean themselves like this.

    And as far as I’m concerned, just about all of the clients posting work here are opportunistic pimps looking for suckers. I can do a lot of the writing, engineering and technical work offered here but I WILL NOT allow myself to be humiliated with sucker sharecropping rates. If you want quality be prepared to pay for it!!

    1. Bojan says:

      So can you suggest a site, where I could sell myself instead of prostitute myself?

  213. Pat says:

    A freelancer (who was paid in full) left me negative feedback calling me a liar. This was retaliatory…I had left him the feedback an incompetent workwr deserved.

    Upwork reps refused to remove feedback left for us.
    They are not interpreting Upwork feedback policy correctly.

    Feedback policy is:
    “Feedback containing the following types of content may be removed:
    …slanderous, libelous,…”

    The worker was Indian and the upwork staff was Indian…go figure.

  214. Julia McCoy says:


    #1 THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for posting this publicly. You are the man. May you be rewarded for this. May this post live on long!

    #2 Long, bad story here, nothing unlike what everyone else is saying. Simply put. The “cheapo” era of pricing services lives on Upwork. Because. It’s what makes THEM money they’re most worried about. I was banned and will NEVER offer my services as a copywriting agency on there again (and on Elance, I was earning $90,000 when the “top manager” who I reached let me know I was banned for life – it was Christmas week, no less, and I thought my livelihood was gone, thank the Lord for direct clients and how that window was opened up to me – thank you, craptastic manager that thought making me cry was the highlight of your day!). I was banned for no bad reason and secondly I saw my company entirely copy/pasted, recreated by several Indians and that was promoted/kept by Upwork.

    #3 They have a short term life. I predict it. Let’s all raise up and be firm on this vendetta against them. Freelancers UNITE!

    CEO, Express Writers

  215. iRant says:

    My experience with Upwork’s Agency system is horrifying. Everyone was required to join the agency since the owner trains us for work. After I resigned, he withheld my salary and I was to expect deductions because apparently, my resignation impacts the team. Whaaaat? I so wish you could rate agencies in Upwork.

  216. Ivan says:

    As of today, their site is still unstable and not ready for production. There are so many glitches, errors, design flaws, shortcomings and downright system downtimes that I’m starting to suspect they actually use $3/hour freelancers to do all the design, programming & support.

    And what’s more, I’ve personally seen freelancers get banned from their “community” forums for daring to criticise the business decisions or the crappy website.

  217. It's Me Again says:

    Tip #3. Manage your Job Success rate.

    Clients’ feedback matters less now. After months of experiment and analysis, I have realized that in order to maintain high Job Success rate, you have to be tricky!

    1. Be a user for over 12 months and your clients’ poor feedback doesn’t matter anymore – this is bad news for clients because they might be hiring low-quality freelancers if they trusted the Job Success rate.

    2. Never decline job invitations – if you don’t like to be bothered by low-quality clients, which are a majority on the Upwork platform, keep your profile private. The thing is good clients do not usually have to invite anyone as they receive plenty of applications.

    3. Never withdraw your job applications. My Job Success rate dropped by 4% for this one. During that period of time, I only received ratings of 5 stars with 100% recommend rates and by the Upwork Job Success algorithm, their own criteria are prioritized more than clients’ feedback.

    4. Close ongoing projects – clients understand that Upwork is completely unreasonable. Ask your clients to close the contracts so that open contracts cannot affect your Job Success rate – Upwork is using everyone to create new jobs because they seem to have failed to expand at the rate they promised to their investors after the merge.

    5. If there is any problem, DO NOT confront any Upwork CS reps. They are like extremely sensitive teenage girls. Do not piss them off if you wish to maintain your high Job Success rate!

    If you are a client, instead of trusting the Upwork Job Success rate, you will have to go through all your candidates’ previous jobs and their clients’ feedback, individually and thoroughly!

    I had solid 5 star ratings and 100% recommend rates from all of my clients. I have never had any jobs delayed, cancelled, or refunded due to poor performance. Upwork still lowered my Job Success rate because I hadn’t done any of the above. I now understand the games they play.

    When they say “The percentage of this freelancer’s jobs that resulted in a great client experience” for the Job Success description, in reality it is the Upwork’s arbitrary opinion based on partial information which is not set up to protect the client but to maximize the job counts and revenue that upwork can claim they have. That may explain why they are so adamant against revealing any part of their Job Success algorithm.

  218. GVS says:

    Thank you for the details post. I’m using upwork since long(Earlier it was Odesk). My work profile is good with upwork with some glitches.

    There are many plugins that help with upwork
    I use this chrome app to auto fill my job applications, which made my life simple.

    There are many plugins which help you to work with upwork easy.


    1. Non-sense says:

      Upwork remains a shitty scammer and we have to use an external application built by an unknown third party without knowing what it could do? Why?

    2. Mike says:

      So they’re actually building a tool to help freelancers spam job postings on purpose? No wonder I don’t even see any jobs with less than 150 proposals anymore. What a worthless site!

  219. Mat says:

    Over at the wonderful members’ only forum @ Upwork, they have this seemingly much-loved staff member who never fails to reveal himself to be an inexperienced and incompetent pretend project manager or engineering manager or PR tech guy (whatever he calls himself) who thinks he writes like a cool blogger as he makes huge announcements about newly implemented initiatives / bells & whistles on the platform that turn out to be dud’s and do not actually add value or makes the site more efficient and functional. Fact is, this guy is seriously starting to annoy me and makes me vomit everywhere. He’s like this a child ‘politely’ bragging to his friends that he’s got a new toy to show off. And his so-called friends/followers over there constantly pats him on the back in this case – no one dares question him about outstanding issues or item priorities. It’s cringe-worthy to watch – see for yourself. Then he becomes oh so patronizing when he gets told there’s something off about his new ‘gadget’. This kid who must be suffering from a medical condition like ADD so looks for validation when he comes out to promote himself on these occasions. Yet he is nowhere to be found at the forum whenever the average punter pleas or follows up about persistent tech problems. Nope, you’ll never see this clown, pretend-IT engineer, waste of space project manager, pr tech guy explain or communicate the status of historical problems they’ve been promising to fix for yonks. He should stop humiliating himself at the community forum as he is becoming the butt of a joke to the silent majority. FIRST THINGS FIRST, get your act together, fix the site structure or whatever you call it, get it working seamlessly then you do do the bells and whistles not the other way around. Don’t look to far, adopt the Elance model. Honestly, lift your game, Upwork, Better yet, re-install Elance or learn from it. How difficult is that?

    1. Joe says:

      What/who are you talking about? I don’t see anyone over there that is ‘loved’.

  220. J A Tucker says:

    Upwork has been very difficult after working for Elance. Elance was simple, clean, and intuitive. Billing and payments were timely and and easy. Workrooms kept everything organized. Messaging was linear and gave you a clear line of ongoing coomunication that allowed you to track progress on a job. Upwork is NONE of the above. My first couple of potential Upwork clients found it so frustrating to use, they just went away. I had several repeat Elance clients who just refused to go back to Upwork after the first experience. I had one guy hang in there, but it took so much longer to bid, award, timekeep, work together, and bill the job, that the actual job itself was almost beside the point. And Upwork clients are cheap. All online freelancer services have people looking cheap, $5 bids are not cheap, they are ridiculous, and $30 bids for legal work?! I can’t even pay a typist with that. Support at Upwork terrible, with no answers, slow answers, bad answers and a lot of funky attitude. One CS rep suggested that I get a clue. I’m a lawyer and web developer, I got enough clues to know that Upwork’s business systems. web interface, functionality, communications systems, billing, and customer so-called service are truly awful.I found this blog after trying to use the app (no more than a limited messaging system), and I was shocked at the number of vociferous complaints, and more shocked to realize that I agreed with almost all of them. I miss Elance, a lot. I’m looking for a better option. Meanwhile Upwork should do something besides telling members to get a clue.

  221. Peter says:

    I absolutely HATE Upwork. It is always failing and giving messages such as UNABLE TO AUTHENTICATE USER even though I use the right login info.

    There aren’t as many options when posting a job, you can only choose one region as opposed to many with Elance.

    The payment system is HORRIBLE a freelancer just charged me an hour on my credit card, I didn’t even have to approve it. You set the amount of hours allowed a week and then I guess you have to trust them that they won’t charge the credit card for the maximum amount and leave because the freelancer just charged my card without me having to approve anything.

    That’s it, I am done, I am not using Upwork anymore, I will find an alternative unless they go back to using Elance exactly as it was before.

    1. tracy says:

      Upwork is not a good place. They suspended me and have yet to reply and I didn’t do what they say I did and I think they are trying to keep my money that is pending. I work on and never have any problems, but they don’t have as many clients on there, but maybe people need to go there instead of upwork they have no respect for their freelancers and will not let you talk to anyone directly, you have to wait weeks for an email reply if you get it.

  222. Mariusz says:

    Since i have changed to Upwork, or rather been forced to do so, i am very unsatisfied with it’s working. It looks more like now which tries to charge more and more giving nothing in return and offering low budget projects. There seems to be no control at all on the quality of proposals and experience of freelancer. I was once top 5 freelancer for the quality of audio work i was providing. Now even that i check portfolio of many competitors bidders that seems to be much below to what i can offer. My profile simply disappear in the crowd and it look i need to constantly rat racing to keep atleast above 90% of job completeness which anyway has no benefit and it’s calculating algorithm seems to be completely useless.

    The average earning range dropped drastical

  223. Alex says:

    I’ve decided to write this post to warn users which are going to choose Upwork as their main marketplace platform. I represent an agency with 30+ employees which work on Elance/Upwork over 6 years. During this period we have paid them over $70 000 of fees and have delivered dozens of successful projects. On one of our project, where our contractor works hourly under TimeTracker, we missed deadline due customer’s fault (actually, because he uses his own server-side development team which did their part of work not in accordance with documentation, under which both sides signed before). Customer required to work after deadline for free and we declined this request. Customer has posted claim to Upwork and based on this single claim Upwork has suspended whole account of whole Agency. They have locked all our money so our Agency will not be able to pay salaries to our developers. We have started conversation with Upwork’s support team. Their position was that they will not unlock account until agreement between us and client will not be found. They have rights to do this as Upwork is private company and can suspend any accounts which they wish. And they don’t care that they have locked money from 10+ other clients which cover salaries of 30+ our employees. We had not other way than come to client and agree to work for free. After this client has wrote to Upwork’s support that agreement is found and that he has not claims anymore. Day after this (AFTER client already notified that has not claims) Upwork has filed a Dispute and shared a link to third-party software where further communication should continue: Action: A Dispute Has Been Filed (DO NOT REPLY) Dispute Case #: 50…9 Upwork Contract #: 157…90 Status: AWAITING YOUR RESPONSE…9 We have not access to this software Modria, never had there account before and their is not an ability to register. And they DIDN’T provide any instruction about how to do this. After another portion of swearing in support chat I were notified that the only way to communicate after case was transferred to another department is via email and that they will reply in 2 days. This means that if to get account unlocked we will need to exchange 10 emails (for now already 4 days passed), unlocking of account will take 1 (ONE) month. Make conclusions yourself. My personal conclusion is that we need to get out of Upwork to other platform as soon as possible.

    1. Sheamus says:

      Your ‘company’ has 30+ employees working for over 6 years and you have only paid out 70K? You are part of the problem.

    2. Andrew says:

      @Sheamus I just read Alex’s post, then afterwards noticed your comment.

      Alex stated: “During this period we have paid them over $70 000 of fees”

      I assume this is fees to Upwork, and not salaries to his staff.
      70k in Upwork fees does not appear to be outrageously small to me.

  224. David says:

    OMG it’s totally true upwork is a total scam. It’s overrunned by street rats and hustlers from the Philippines. Elance was ok, but this is a total disaster. I had 2 different filipinos steal my customers credit card information.

  225. Luisa Souza says:

    After Elance, I started to use 99 Designs ( and People per Coin (
    They are pretty good. The first one is full of jobs but full of freelancers also. The second one does not have so much jobs but also doesn’t have many freelancers and much lower fees.
    UpWork is really upsetting me and I’ve lost a month of work there. PleAse revive Elance, PLEASE!

  226. Chuck says:

    Bring back Elance. Upwork just seems so slow and ‘barebones’ in comparison. I used Elance for many, many years, and was quite satisfied with it. My experience with Upwork is that is very poorly designed and nothing is intuitive about it. It’s like they hired a hardcore programmer to design the UI, without any thought to the actual user experience. Then there is the regular downtime. To top it off, the person I hired did a rubbish job. Bye bye Upwork.

  227. My experience with to date has not been good. I am a business owner who used Elance quite a bit in the past, for several thousand $’s worth of work, and the UI was outstanding. I would search for a freelancer, read a few resume’s, then post my job and invite them and others to submit a proposal. I hired several over the past couple of years and it usually was a positive experience.

    The current system, however, doesn’t really allow those paying the bills to authorize payment. I never even received a listing of what work had been completed, and they dinged my CC for two payments of $125 each, without as much as a list of what had been accomplished toward meeting the projects original objective.

    So I put the job on pause. My original objective was to acquire help with MySQL, PHP, and HTML5 web pages to allow multi-user access to a database. I’m currently researching WpDataTables as a plug-in to WordPress. I may not even need a freelancer, but my issue is, I just don’t have a lot of time to do the “fun” stuff of programming.

  228. UPCS keen observer says:

    Yep, I agree about the community forum @ Upwork i.e. clique / comrades / moderators and co seem to mock members that post complaints there. Some can be even sarcastic and will even ridicule you in a subtle way. I have noticed 2 or 3 aplha character biyathces that are really patronizing if not condescending. So, if you are a member or even a co-moderator (who happen to see things as they are and prepared to call them out), go ahead and post your comments at your own risk of being made to look like a fool. What’s really bizarre over at the community forum is: there are more Upwork moderators and employees contributing to the community forum than there are actual members. You’ll easily spot them, the clique, as they tend to kudos or back up each other’s comments to shut down a criticism. They feed off each other’s post. The number of kudos from the clique in these cases are very telling – actually do speak for itself. I have a feeling that some members are not game to post at all about any criticism in Upwork’s community forum or even lend support or kudos other member’s gripe and complaint. I know because I’m hesitant to click kudos a lot of times. You get that uncomfortable feeling that you will be targeted if you do so. That’s all I have to say.

    1. tracy says:

      You are so right. They will reply there, but when you need them to help with your account or need to speak to risk management they will send them the information. They won’t help you and you have to wait a really long time for a response. I will just stay with and hope they can get more work there, upwork is very exhausting.

  229. Missing Elance right now! says:

    The people that run this site adamantly refuse to listen to its members; valid suggestions and questions that need to be asked are ignored if not dismissed. Constructive criticisms are not welcome at all and if you call them out on pestering issues, you will cop it passive-aggressively. The same issues keep regurgitating, nothing is fixed at all. But they’re really big on lip service. It’s like it is being run by apprentices or management trainees. Everything is hit or miss. They moderators at the community forum have big sticks and will treat you like a child if you misbehave or don’t follow to their rules. They like to put spin on things. All smokes and mirrors to mask the ineptitude across the organization. It is a very trying hard freelancing site, and mediocre at best. It is an exercise in futility. They operate like this in communist countries like North Korea or Arabic countries where it is a big NO-NO to criticize the powers that be. Censorship rules. It beggars belief!

  230. NoName says:

    A typical client from Upwork LOL )))

  231. Emms says:

    I agree. I disputed with Upwork over development work costing US$8.7K. Paypal wouldn’t help. Filed with Visa got back AUD$5,000. This is the company who ripped me off V T Nezwelt – do not use them. Also don’t bother with the dispute resolution section they don’t give a crap (they scheduled a meeting at 2:00 am less than 24 hours before the meeting and then when I didn’t turn up they closed my case. As soon as you know that they are going to rip you off dispute through Paypal and then your bank and don’t back down. Mine is a year later and I’m still going trying to recover the rest of my costs.

    I have filed a complaint with Better Business Bureau in the US and I have written to numerous bodies in India like the Advertising Council of India etc.

    Website was so bad that my insurer Lloyds would not insure it because I would get sued by end users and Google termed it so poor in quality they wouldn’t list it!!!!

    In my case the person I hired performed none of the work and instead my work was sent out to junior developers without my consent or knowledge.

    This is what their legal counsel wrote in response to my Letter of Demand:

    UPWORK STOP DELETING THIS MESSAGE FROM VISITOR POSTS IT’S CENSORSHIP – PEOPLE SHOULD BE AWARE OF YOUR PRACTICES INCLUDING THAT YOU DON’T GUARANTEE OR CHECK EVEN THE IDENTITY OF YOUR USERS WARNING to others – Upwork freelancers V T Nezwelt ripped me off $10K and didn’t have the qualifications to complete the work despite claiming on Upwork’s website that they did – this is the response from Upwork’s legal counsel when I asked for help in getting my money back for an end product I can’t use: Upwork makes no representations about, and does not guarantee the quality, safety, or legality of, the Freelancer Services; the truth or accuracy of Freelancer’s listings on the Site; the qualifications, background, or identities of Users; the ability of Freelancers to deliver the Freelancer Services

    Basically there is no point hiring anyone on Upwork because they don’t even know who is on their website.

  232. Dennis Thompsett says:

    The UpChuck Sucks phenomenon: explained

    i did well on eLance – even though they, at one point, kicked my fat ass off the site. But every business relationship has its spats and I’m an Advertising Copywriter so if I don’t get regular hate mail and endearingly misspelled death threats, I’m not doing my job.

    But eLance, like Pagemaker™ is gone and gone forever. There will be no United Artists of Freelance site to save you. So learn to work with UpChuck or just curl up and die. Essentially those are your options.

    I did the forced Trail of Tears migration to UpChuck a few months ago but so far haven’t bid on any jobs or had anything to do with them. Luckily for me old clients have sniffed me out and new ones have somehow found me. Not that I give much of a rats ass as I do this mostly for fun.

    However it seems from the tenor of the complaints against UpChuck, that most freelancers are stumbling over minor pebbles in the great freelance highway of life. Reviews? Disputes? Site crashings? Writing Proposals? Cheap assed clients?

    Here are a few startling things to consider.

    REVIEWS DO NOT MATTER. What matters is how many clients come back for repeat business. Work on and treasure that.

    DISPUTES ARE A WASTE OF TIME. You are selling your time and you only have so much of it. Don’t waste it arguing with some nitwit in a mud hut in a 3rd world country who is furiously pedaling a stationary bicycle to power up his Apple II. Just let it go. Be like royalty – Don’t complain- Don’t explain. Move on and do paying work.

    WRITE ONE PROPOSAL. A proposal is essentially selling yourself as the one to do this job. It’s like a resume.. Your USP does not change for every job you bid on. Just put together – or hire someone like me to put together for you – a killer proposal. Then just change the names and a few details to match the various jobs. Done. Then use your time on paying jobs.

    CHEAP ASSED CLIENTS. Just say no. You don’t have to do years of work for $30. If your proposal is good enough, you’ll winnow out the clients who just want cheap stuff and get those who want what you have to sell.

    Look, you could have been a brain surgeon but you chose, instead to be a freelancer. So deal with the environment you find. Not the one in your dreams. Dont be saber tooth and think here is only one way to feed yourself. Because, guess what, you’ll go extinct.

    If UpChuck has sent your life to hell in a hand basket, then here’s a tip – RULE IN HELL.

    That’s it;

    Dennis Thompsett
    Official Unpleasant Person
    [email protected]

    1. Legitimate Complainer says:

      It’s called “revolution”. I agree with most of your points but I don’t think all these people are here to just complain. I, for one, have tried everything to reason with the Upwork employees through various methods. Nothing works.

      Let them complain more. Upwork should be embarrassed and realize that it’s not such an incredible community for freelancers and clients but for themselves.

      Recently, they at least started to explain why their customer support is so sluggish. We will make improvements, or else someone smarter will build (or is already building) a better community for us.

      These complainers including myself have nothing to lose in this game. If there’s nothing for you to lose, it’s good business.

  233. NoName says:

    Today I’ve found a client, whose average hourly rate was 0.01$/hour!! WTH?
    And I have also noticed a very interesting tendency. Indian freelancers/agencies are looking for freelancers/agencies to outsurce their projects.
    Why Upwork customers don’t see this “double outsourcing”? Are they OK with it?
    It’s ridiculous!!!

    1. Anne says:

      Hahaha. This sums UPWORK’s business model! Darn!!!

  234. It's Me Again says:

    Tip #2. Check other freelancers’ profiles.

    My entire profile was copied for 4-5 times within a month or two (that is how many times I had to report to Upwork). There are no preventive measures to catch copied profiles and Upwork does not seem to care. You will have to perform this investigation by yourself. If you catch someone who copied yours, do not use the Report button. It does not work. Contact Customer Support. They will warn the freelancers who violated the policy. However, there does not seem to be a permanent measure for this either, so these people will continue to copy your profile. You just need to continue to investigate.

    My story: this freelancer who copied my entire profile did get hired and I think they received a 2 star rating. The client was very unhappy of course. Upwork did not care because they still made money.

    If I were a client and did not have enough time to deal with all these major and minor issues on Upwork, I would just use Upwork to find freelancers and contact them via LinkedIn.


  235. It's Me Again says:

    Well, we all know that Upwork truly sucks. However, until we have a more mature and sophisticated system that can support us, the quality freelancers, we should probably share more information on how to survive in this immature platform called “Upwork. So, here is my first tip.

    #1. Calculate your own feedback score.

    All my clients gave me 5 stars with 100% recommend rates on both Elance and Upwork until very recently I received one 4 star rating (I will soon follow up with another tip to avoid unreasonable clients). So, now I have sixty three 5 stars + one 4 star. Upwork calculated it as 4.94. I calculated it as 4.98. Upwork dropped my Job Success rate by 4%. I submitted a request for an explanation. It has been two weeks and still no response from Upwork.

    NEVER trust the Upwork calculation. Check your own feedback score frequently.

    Mathematically speaking, Upwork seems to have chosen to make a greater portion of the mediocre freelancers look better than they should rather than make the old 10% of the truly “successful” freelancers stand out. All the low-to-medium level freelancers won’t need to worry because the Upwork’s Job Success algorithm will continue to evolve to support you.

    Many quality clients will bleed and leave.
    Upwork will disappear as Elance did.

    1. Paul says:

      Their support is really horrible.

    2. TS says:

      According to recent answers I received from tech support re: my own feedback score – clients can leave ‘private’ feedback the freelancer never gets to see that nonetheless factors into the Job Success score. So despite having all 5’s and one 4.5, my current job success is 75%.

    3. Fact says:

      @TS: “private” feedback refers to your clients’ “recommendation” which you can see in your My Stats page. Other than that, there is no other private feedback.

  236. Me says:

    Problem with Upwork vs eLance now is that elance had better customer service, and if there were any issues with accounts or problems, they did take their time resolving it, but they reviewed situation carefully and erred on the side that freelancer made mistake and deserves chance to continue building up its profile and reputation. On Upwork, on the opposite, coouple of disgruntled clients and two-years worth of reputation are not gonna save you. No matter how hard you work – they can issue you warning without weighting situation carefully, and put down your profile. It would not matter that you had 20 good ratings. So it is really not worth investing energy and effort into building your reputation on site because noone cares about it. has easier policy regarding mistakes, but they suck at money – they are really scamming freelancers pout of money. Frankly, is total crap, and Upwork is much worse than eLance. They just destroyed good company after they bought it.

  237. Me says:

    Upwork is kicking out former elance freelancers. at least thats impression of one of my friends who was forced to tranafer from elance. Totally unresponsive customer service. Accusations without explanations or feedback. some kids deciding status of account of a 40-year old prefessional. thats what happens when you have monopoly an dno competition.

  238. Wentra says:

    I was able to pick up a lot of good work when they were elance. Once the site moved to upwork, I haven’t been able to get one decent-paying or normal client. I had one client accept my proposal, only to cancel the job the next day before I had a chance to start working on it. I had another who messaged me and wanted to know my Chinese Zodiac Day Manager sign so they could determine if i was a good fit for the job. WTH????

    1. Alex says:

      Hahaha! Hilarious! You know what? It’s probably because Upwork has reorganized everything to support low-level clients and low-level freelancers. Not all decent Elance clients have merged their accounts to Upwork yet and they probably never will.

      If you google “Upwork”, “Sick of All The Down Time –‎” comes on top of the search results and this “Upwork Sucks” article on the same first page.

      Upwork indeed sucks – big time!

    2. Le Hunt says:

      That was my experience, too. I just quit the site and am going it alone with a few of my old eLance clients and starting to write my own ebooks.

  239. Ryan says:

    Upwork is its own worst enemy. Their current CEO who used to be a hotshot at then Odesk must have absolutely detested Elance that when he became CEO of Upwork, the first item on his to-do list must have been to decimate/burn/bury Elance. This head honcho seriously needs intervention. Swallow your pride and re-instate Elance. Upwork is an epic failure and cracks are starting to show now. It is the beginning of the end for Upwork, all downhill from here on in. Watch Upwork self-destruct.

  240. Matteo says:

    I actually had only good experiences. The things you report seem to stem more from your own hangups than anything else.

    The site has been non-responsive or crashed (for a very limited amount of time) only twice for me in the span of one year.

    1. It's Me says:

      I think you are one of very few people who have had only good experiences on Upwork.

      Some of my clients told me things about Upwork. I am witnessing their points now. In fact, more Upwork clients than ones from any other freelance platforms wanted to hire me outside of the system, not that I have ever worked outside of the system… yet.

      Given how unreliable the system has been and all the poor reputation that Upwork managed to build over such a short period of time, I myself wouldn’t trust my funds with such a website if I were a client.

      The last time I tried to install the Upwork Time Tracker, my security program detected it as a “hazard” and I am still unable to use it, not that I really need it anyway.

      I have been discussing the Upwork issues with my associates. We kind of have a theory that Upwork has “pissed off” too many nerdy programmers and it is constantly being under cyber-attacks – probably why my system won’t allow me to install their Time Tracker. Otherwise, their frequent system down-time and errors do not make sense at all. It’s actually DownWork.

      The only thing that is accurately being processed on their platform is their taking the service fees every time my clients pay me for my services.

      I have communicated with an Upwork customer support manager regarding very ridiculous errors they are reluctant to admit and fix. At this point, I see no point of reaching out to their executives. I can see what’s going on inside their office right now. I am ready to give up on them and will no longer try to help them make it a better place for both clients and freelancers.

      In my entire life, I have never seen anything like Upwork. In the past I have had incidents with companies that are household names. After about a couple of emails, their managers or directors call me to apologize. I have never publicly revealed their errors, nor have I ever even publicly mentioned their names.

      On the other hand, Upwork interacted with me for over three months on such a very simple request. Every single time they come back to me with more errors and lies. I calculate and analyze everything, then confront them with more questions, and they redirect my inquiry to another person. It starts all over again like that and that is how I eventually was able to talk to one of their managers – after three months, during which period of time they created more grounds for a possible lawsuit.

      However, LinkedIn seems to be on the right course now. The only merit that Upwork has had was their huge user base – simply because it has been around for so long. I wonder what will happen to them in a year or two. Instead of suing them and dealing with more moronic responses for any longer, I decided to watch this interesting process.

      Maybe and hopefully, Upwork will learn something then; although, it will have been too late.

  241. pm says:

    Like literally call it the New Elance. Market it that way. All of us high-quality freelancers (and our clients) will come to it. No really, we will. We’re screaming for this.

  242. pm says:

    Hey – hey to anybody who wants to start a massively successful and profitable business. I’m looking at you SF…..

    Will someone just build us a new Elance?

  243. Sebastian says:

    Why don’t we all get together and start our own service, just for us and our clients??

  244. captain america says:

    Upwork is effin hopeless. I communicate directly with the client but use it for work diary/timesheet purposes. Every effin time, it’s down and have to reach out to help desk. Un effin believable. Total crap, bozos running the place…. Over at Elance, the old clients still using good ole Elance platform do not encounter this shite one bit. Really feeling sorry for the ones that moved their account over to up*effin*work. Upwork – up yours…

  245. Florence says:

    Upwork sucks big time. I’ve recently migrated and am deeply disappointed. There isn’t a single day when I don’t get these mockerish messages of technical difficulties, as if “Holy guacamole” is going to make the nuisance more likeable. I seriously believe we should call for a massive stampede out of it. Close all accounts. Schedule a time and date. We shouldn’t take this. pwork is a scam and has already sullied the concept of a freelancer. Missing Elance so much right now!

  246. Curtis says:

    Please look here to see why UpWork sucks.

    The downtime for a company of this size is staggering and absolutely unacceptable.

    Elance was amazing. oDesk was a pain, but useful. UpWork is horrendous and nearly useless.

    Please someone come up with a good alterntive.

    1. perez says:

      I just provide a rescue boat solution here.
      For free. Lets see how it will grow

  247. apolo says:

    Hey Jesse, you can just suck my dick… see…that’s your second skill, native english speaker and good at cocksucking, have a good time queer

    1. Jesse says:

      My apologies, Apolo, but I don’t suck Third World dick. Cheers ~

  248. J.R. Duren says:

    I’ve been a freelance copywriter on oDesk/Upwork for the past 2.5 years. I have a Top Rated badge. I also dealt with a suspension because I entertained (through UPW’s messaging…dumb choice) an offer to work outside of UPW.
    My experience has been positive. Upwork rewards the best workers with featured profiles and entry into their Pro program.
    I know that the bugs and outages started post UPW, but I think the benefits outweigh the negatives. Their Top Rated program Job Success rating set apart the best freelancers.
    Competing with people who charge $5 an hour sucks, but we have the ability to search for jobs that pay Expert wages. We also have the ability to filter for reputable clients.
    I will say that I haven’t gotten as many job offers, which is disappointing, but I don’t think that negates the benefits I mentioned.
    All in all, I agree UPW has bugsand quirks, but in the end it pays the bills. It’s either UPW or finding an office job where your boss, not you, calls the shots.

  249. Neil Seaton says:


    neil seaton
    the dispute has been done and he accepted that i should not have been billed
    you should be able to see that in my account
    I understand. Yes, I was able to see the refund. However, since the job is hourly and the charge is automatically done by the system, you will see on your Transaction History page that the refund is not yet processed because we have not yet received the payment from you. Once the amount is charge to your payment method, we will then process the refund.
    neil seaton
    I am not doing that!!!
    It was fraud
    you had all of the information
    this is pointless as you seem unprepared to resolve this
    I will just use the other site the freelancer is on
    as he is on both
    i thought it would be the right thing to do to give Upwork the oppourtunity
    but clearly not!
    I am sorry to know that, Neil. Let me escalate your concern to our Support Group to check what we can do about this, but please note that this would not guarantee a positive response since this is the current process we follow for hourly jobs. Also, if the charge fails, our Mediation team will review the freelancer’s work diary and will reverse any hours not covered by payment protection.
    neil seaton
    Do you realise what you have just asked me to do????? PAY FOR A FRAUD TRANSACTION and then wait for a refund?????? Would you do it?
    Anna, you are not understanding me, just close my account, there is NO WAY on this earth I am adding my card details to pay for a FRAUDULANT TRANSACTION that you are aware of and has been cancelled!!!
    Just send me the transcript of this conversation and close my account
    Yes, after this chat a ticket will be generated containing a copy of our chat transcript. Unfortunately, accounts cannot be closed when there is a pending balance on the account. I completely understand your concern, Neil. We hope you understand as well that we have policies and procedure to follow especially that your contract is hourly, which the charge is automatically done by our system and we have dispute process to follow should you have not agreed with the hours logged. However, I am escalating your concern to our Support Group so they can review your case. If you could wait for an update on the ticket that will be created after this chat.
    neil seaton
    Anna, If this is not resolved, I will make others aware that even though Upwork are aware of a FRAUD TRANSACTION you still want to charge me as ‘everything is automated’ what a load of rubbish!!!!!
    I understand and I respect your decision, Neil. I will update you once I have a progress of the issue. I will provide you an update within 24 to 48 hours. Anything else I can help?
    neil seaton
    close my account
    We cannot close accounts with negative balance, Neil. We hope you understand.

    1. Gary Cooper says:

      That is just astonishing!

    2. TS says:

      No – having read this -entire- post from below, this ‘Neil Seaton’ is in the wrong. These policies are in place to protect the freelancer. Upwork is required to follow the policy both the client and freelancer have already agreed to.

  250. NoName_ says:

    Yet again their contracted workers are messing with the website. I guarantee it’s not a random problem, and that it’s coming from in-house because it’s an obvious deliberate tactic.

    Many of the problems Upwork/Elance has are from them. Whatever they save, they lose much more because of that. They need to clean that up.

  251. Stephen says:

    I’ve submitted over 60 proposals over a year for work on this website, in which I was over qualified for in many instances and perfectly capable of doing the requested tasks.

    I’ve come to the conclusions (even after low balling) that US citizens need not apply.

    1. John Q Public says:

      I agree, the jobs are so low, it’s almost not worth the time to even bid. “Design my complete site with every whiz bang doodad it can have…..for $5.00. Thank you…no.

    2. Dima says:

      Not only US citizens should not apply. We are based in Europe and we can’t work for 10$/hour. And when I quote fair bid on a job the only thing I hear is “It’s too much. Our budget is low”. I am tired of writting custom proposal. It doesn’t make any sense. I only waste my time and connects. Currently I don’t know where to go in order to find a good customer.

  252. Neil Seaton says:



    neil seaton
    tag_working_with_freelancers,tag_cl_work_issues, tag_cl_other_work_issue_cf
    Upwork Customer Support
    Hello! Thank you for contacting Upwork. One moment please, and an agent will be right with you.
    neil seaton
    contract #15801321
    Customer Service
    We apologize for keeping you waiting. All agents are still busy at the moment. Please continue to hold, and one of our agents will be with you as soon as possible.
    neil seaton
    hello is anyone there?
    Grace G joined the chat
    Grace G
    Hi Neil, my name is Grace. How may I help you with the said contract?
    neil seaton
    hi Grace
    my freelancer has charged work to my account from another client, I need to be able to delete all of his hours and have your assurance that i will not be billed tomorrow
    Grace G
    I’m sorry for the inconvenience caused. Have you already informed your freelancer about those hours?
    neil seaton
    (i can pass to you the skype conversations confirming this)
    Grace G
    And did he mention about deleting the hours?
    neil seaton
    [13:30:41] Techsha: I am apologies for that
    [13:30:52] Techsha: Please delete the screen shot
    [13:31:04] Techsha: that is not related to your work
    [13:31:23] neil seaton: This is not good Anjan,
    [13:32:18] Techsha: I am extremely Sorry Neil
    [14:05:54] neil seaton: Hi Anjan, How do I remove those from yesterday?
    [14:06:43] Techsha: there MUST BE have option to select and delete option
    [14:33:26] neil seaton: Hi Anjan, I have just spoken to Upwork, they have said to pause the contract while you delete the hours / screenshots, I am unable to do it
    [14:33:56] Techsha: Okay
    [14:34:13] Techsha: Send me screen shot I will try to delete from my end
    [23:18:25] neil seaton: hi Anjan, nothing has altered on upwork?
    [23:29:19] neil seaton: Its Neil
    [23:29:20] Techsha: Hi Nail
    [23:29:38] Techsha: Sorry
    [23:29:48] Techsha: Neil
    [23:30:20] Techsha: Actually Odesk is not allowing to delete time due to pause time
    [23:30:49] neil seaton: That is not true, upwork said it was possible which is why they have told me to pause the contract
    [23:30:51] Techsha: Could I try to delete in my day time
    [23:32:02] Techsha: Now I can
    [23:35:04] Techsha: Odesk is not allowing me to delete the time
    [23:35:40] Techsha: Could you please allow me to work on in my day time
    [23:35:54] Techsha: I have to sleep now
    copy of the coversation
    Grace G
    Deleting hours are an option available from freelancer’s end and not on a client’s account.
    neil seaton
    that is rubbish, i am informing you of a problem now
    you can see via the coversation and i can send screen shots
    Grace G
    If he won’t delete the hours, you may file dispute for those unauthorized hours. Since this is an hourly contract, you will still be auto billed. However, we won’t release the funds to your freelancer until Dispute Team has provided resolution.
    neil seaton
    he must be lying then. it is upwork who will charge me
    YOU ARE NOT AUTHORISED to charge my card, if you cannot resolve this put me onto someone who can
    Grace G
    Neil, I know that this can be frustrating but this is per system design. All hourly contracts are auto billed per the hours logged by freelancers.
    neil seaton
    you have the confirmation from the freelancerv and i can provide further screenshots
    NO that is not acceptable,
    you are able to stop it
    please put me onto someone senior
    Grace G
    I am on a supervisory level Neil. There’s no option for us to delete those hours. Only your freelancer can. I can send him a message about this. And still, just in case, he won’t delete it before the Work Diary locks, you may file dispute.
    neil seaton
    no that is not acceptable
    [23:35:04] Techsha: Odesk is not allowing me to delete the time
    [23:35:40] Techsha: Could you please allow me to work on in my day time
    [23:35:54] Techsha: I have to sleep now
    [23:36:44] neil seaton: Anjan, if my account gets charged for this, I will treat it as theft and take the necessary action appriotiate. Neil
    [23:37:56] Techsha: hey no need to worry abut your payment Myself start to take care of your work
    he is lying by saying it cannot be deleted
    so either you delete it or put me onto someone who can
    Grace G
    I’m sorry again but there’s no option for us to delete it.
    neil seaton
    you have the copies of information there
    Grace G
    The only option is available from your freelancer’s account.
    neil seaton
    that is rubbish, yes you do, give me a contact number for someone who can deal with this please
    Grace G
    Our Phone Support is available to take calls from 9:00 PM Sunday to 11:59 PM Friday. All times in PST.
    neil seaton
    tag_working_with_freelancers,tag_cl_work_issues, tag_cl_other_work_issue_cf
    Grace G
    You may call them at 866-676-3375866-676-3375 (press 3 for General Support), so you can call the team directly. I can also send this to them and request to call you back.
    neil seaton
    this is rubbish, you are aware of a situation that is going to cause the theft of monies from my account but you are refusing to do anything about it
    Need help now? Call us at:

    +1 (855) 676-3375
    that is the number is see? which is it and what country am i calling?
    Grace G
    That’s the correct number and that’s a number in U.S. I can ask them to call you back. Which number should they call you back at?
    neil seaton
    this is a disgraceful way of doing business
    when will they call?
    Grace G
    I will ask them to call you back as soon as possible.
    neil seaton
    that is not an answer to a time
    Grace G
    Unfortunately, I can’t provide you with an exact time as I don’t want to add frustration but I will indeed ask them to call you the soonest possible time.
    neil seaton
    As I am now copying all of this conversation, if Upwork choose to charge my card, i will take that as theft and take the appriopriate action as you are aware there is a major issue
    Grace G
    I understand. A copy of our chat transcript will also be sent to you both via your email and Upwork account.
    You may also want to check this link for further details as to how hourly contracts work:
    neil seaton
    that is rude
    how dare you quote rules / your policy when you are aware of an inpending problem
    are you unwilling to stop the charge to my card?
    even though you have the transcripts and futher information available?
    Grace G
    This is per system design Neil which is out of my control too. All hourly contracts for all clients are auto billed. That’s why I have suggested about our dispute process.
    neil seaton
    rubbish. you have the ability to stop the charge
    are you going to stop it or not
    simple question#
    Grace G
    There’s no option for us to stop the auto billing.
    neil seaton
    you are not high enough in your companty then, put me onto someone who will stop upwork from stealing from me now please
    Grace G
    Please hold as I check if a manager is available. One moment please.
    neil seaton
    what is the dialing code for the USA from the uk?
    Grace G
    +1 866-676-3375 is the direct number to dial. It’s a toll free number.
    neil seaton
    i have asked for the full code, +1 866 does not work
    Grace G
    Please hold, let me check.
    Thanks for waiting. You may dial 00 + 1 866-676-3375.
    Sorry, that’s 00 1 866-676-3375.
    neil seaton
    put your manager on now please, somethimg you should have done ages ago
    Lanie joined the chat
    neil seaton
    I demand to speak to your manager now as I have just got throught to your telephone system that refers me back here
    Hi Neil, my name is Lanie and I am a Supervisor in Upwork.
    neil seaton
    A supervisor or manager?
    I am both a Supervisor and in charge of our High Value Support.
    neil seaton
    Grace G
    I am on a supervisory level Neil.
    grace has already quoted she is a supervisor
    My level i higher than Grace, Neil and I believe I can address the issue you have with your account in Upwork.
    neil seaton
    I have requested a manager to deal with a serious issue
    Yes I understand the importance of the auto charge in Upwork and I am here to clarify this issue.
    neil seaton
    not clarify, Lanie, it needs to be stopped. It is theft.
    Unfortunately per Upwork Policy found through this link: Section 6.8 Payment Methods states:

    Client hereby authorizes Upwork, EEC, and Elance Limited to run credit card authorizations on all credit cards provided by Client, to store credit card and banking or other financial details as Client’s method of payment for Services, and to charge Client’s credit card (or any other Payment Method). Credit cards and PayPal accounts and, if applicable, bank accounts in most countries will be charged by EEC. Notwithstanding the foregoing, credit cards and PayPal accounts in Australia, Canada, the Eurozone, and the United Kingdom will be charged by Elance Limited, an Ireland registered company which is an Affiliate of Upwork.
    It shows that the contract you have is an Hourly contract.
    Upwork Payment Protection is our promise that an hour worked is an hour paid, and an hour paid is an hour worked. It’s our way of showing respect for the work getting done on Upwork.
    neil seaton
    you charge my card, even though you are aware of the issue, it is theft and i will deal with it as such
    you have the ability at this point to stop it,
    it is your choice as to whether you choose to or not
    if you are unable to do this, then i am speakeing to the wrong person
    I understand and I do apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused you. We provide the clients 5 days review period, this is when you have the time to review the work being done by your freelancers. You can file disputes during this time and if the dispute is awarded to you then we refund any payment charged to your payment method.
    neil seaton
    I have provided all of the information to confirm this
    Apologies but this cannot be done.
    neil seaton
    no Lanie, it can you are choosing not to
    If you wont mind my suggestion? Have you tried hiring a freelancer under a fixed price job instead?
    neil seaton
    OMG! #
    have you really just took the decission to type that?
    Apologies Neil, I do understand you want us to stop auto charging for your hourly contract, but as much as I would like to, this is not possible.
    neil seaton
    i will stop it from my bank now
    and i will publicise every point of this
    this is disgusting
    not a way to run a business
    I understand and we have clearly clarified informations about our payment policies on our User agreement. My sincerest apologies for this inconvenience Neil.
    neil seaton
    you have chosen to ignore a problem and deliberate theft
    Im sorry if you feel that way.
    neil seaton
    your choice
    and i will persue this to the upmost
    I understand your situation, but as much as I would like to, for hourly contracts, you are automatically billed after the work week, based on the hours logged by your freelancers.
    neil seaton
    which i have told you and your staff, which has also been confirmed buy the freelancer it was fraud!
    and you are now refusing to reslove this
    are you thick?
    it is getting very annoying
    Apologies but may I know what you mean by confirmed by the freelancer that it was a fraud please?
    neil seaton
    the freelancer has confirmed it should not have been charged but he cannot or is refusing / is uable to delete the hours
    as explianed previously
    [23/01/2016 13:30:41] Techsha: I am apologies for that
    [23/01/2016 13:30:52] Techsha: Please delete the screen shot
    [23/01/2016 13:31:04] Techsha: that is not related to your work
    [23/01/2016 13:31:23] neil seaton: This is not good Anjan,
    [23/01/2016 13:32:18] Techsha: I am extremely Sorry Neil
    [23/01/2016 14:05:54] neil seaton: Hi Anjan, How do I remove those from yesterday?
    [23/01/2016 14:06:43] Techsha: there MUST BE have option to select and delete option
    [23/01/2016 14:33:26] neil seaton: Hi Anjan, I have just spoken to Upwork, they have said to pause the contract while you delete the hours / screenshots, I am unable to do it
    [23/01/2016 14:33:56] Techsha: Okay
    [23/01/2016 14:34:13] Techsha: Send me screen shot I will try to delete from my end
    [23/01/2016 23:18:25] neil seaton: hi Anjan, nothing has altered on upwork?
    [23/01/2016 23:29:19] neil seaton: Its Neil
    [23/01/2016 23:29:20] Techsha: Hi Nail
    [23/01/2016 23:29:38] Techsha: Sorry
    [23/01/2016 23:29:48] Techsha: Neil
    [23/01/2016 23:30:20] Techsha: Actually Odesk is not allowing to delete time due to pause time
    [23/01/2016 23:30:49] neil seaton: That is not true, upwork said it was possible which is why they have told me to pause the contract
    [23/01/2016 23:30:51] Techsha: Could I try to delete in my day time
    [23/01/2016 23:32:02] Techsha: Now I can
    [23/01/2016 23:35:04] Techsha: Odesk is not allowing me to delete the time
    Okay, this is what we can do. After this chat a ticket will be generated. Please attach a screen shot of that chat you had with the freelancer and we will reach out to the freelancer to have the log hours deleted. Just in case he wont delete it before the work week ends and you get billed, I suggest you file a dispute immediately. When in dispute this payment will not be released to your freelancer.
    Once a decision is reached and the dispute is in your favor, then we refund the payment to your payment method.
    neil seaton
    you are seriously not getting this are you? you are aware of the issue
    if you charge my card tomorrow it is theft
    so stop the charge now
    I do understand, but unfortunately we cannot stop charges on your payment method.
    This is why I am offering you an alternative way to resolve the issue.
    neil seaton
    yes you can it is your website
    that is not an alternative to fraud
    you are aware that Upwork will charge my card
    Sorry Neil, but we cannot over write the system from charging your payment method. The freelancer can delete the log hours on his account before the work week ends.
    neil seaton
    you do it
    Yes, as stted on our policy which you agreed to when you signed up with Upwork.
    neil seaton
    that is fraud
    and you are aware of it
    you are quoting laws that do not cover this
    this is blatant theft
    and you are refusing to acknowledge it
    Im sorry Neil, but you will only be charged based on the hours logged by your freelancer, unless he deletes it before the work week ends or before Monday 12am UTC (January 25)
    neil seaton
    you have the ability to over ride this,
    you are choosing not to
    Unfortunately no we do not have that ability Neil.
    I’m no longer seeing your responses, so there must be some sort of connection issue. Please re-initiate a chat, so we can continue to address your concerns. If you have difficulty re-connecting, please reply to the ticket (in ) that will be created in just a moment when I close this chat session.
    Grace G left the chat
    Lanie left the chat
    neil seaton
    Upwork Customer Support
    Hello! Thank you for contacting Upwork. One moment please, and an agent will be right with you.
    neil seaton
    im still here
    Grace G left the chat
    Lanie left the chat
    are you now not responding?

    1. TS says:

      I probably shouldn’t have bothered reading this entire thing through – but having done so, the poster is obviously in the wrong. Upwork has its issues, but in this case the client is trying to bully their way into a charge reversal before going through the agreed upon channels.

  253. steve says:

    it’s dire. a real step back from elance. slow, poorly designed and just plain hopeless. fingers crossed elance goes under!!

    1. J.R. says:

      I couldn’t find where to leave a comment so I’ll post here. I’ve been a freelance copywriter on oDesk/Upwork for the past 2.5 years. I have a Top Rated badge. I also dealt with a suspension because I entertained (through UPW’s messaging…dumb choice) an offer to work outside of UPW.

      My experience has been positive. Upwork rewards the best workers with featured profiles and entry into their Pro program.

      I know that the bugs and outages started post UPW, but I think the benefits outweigh the negatives. Their Top Rated program Job Success rating set apart the best freelancers.

      Competing with people who charge $5 an hour sucks, but we have the ability to search for jobs that pay Expert wages. We also have the ability to filter for reputable clients.

      I will say that I haven’t gotten as many job offers, which is disappointing, but I don’t think that negates the benefits I mentioned.

      All in all, I agree UPW has bugsand quirks, but in the end it pays the bills. It’s either UPW or finding an office job where your boss, not you, calls the shots.

  254. Pranav Iyer says:

    Odesk was where you would be asked to design and build a house for $10, and Elance was where saner clients came. We spent sveeral years getting and doing work on Elance, and have found excellent, long term clients. With the merge, all the Odesk clueless clients have migrated to and taken over Upwork. Now even people who would otherwise be sensible about what they expect for their money, assume a ridiculously low number is worth a shot. And I have no idea who, but htere are freelancers who are willing to charge almost nothing, and then give almost no value. Today, I have been trying to sublit a proposal for an hour, but Upwork has not obliged. Upwork has pretty much ruined freelancing for us.

  255. Xlc says:

    We were using Elance since last 8 years both as a freelancer company and as client. Everything was going very good. But now after moving to upwork ( migration was a nightmare and almost all our important data, clients, reputation etc got lost ) we are very disappointed. Upwork is very very bad. We tried but forced to stop using it. According to us Elance have shot itself in the foot by deciding to merge to upwork

  256. Xlc says:

    We were using Elance since last 8 years both as a freelancer company and as client. Everything was going very good. But now after moving to upwork ( migration was a nightmere and almost all our importand data, clients, reputation etc got lost ) we are very disappointed. Upwork is very very bad. We tried but forced to stop using it. According to us ELance have shot itself in the foot by deciding to merge to upwork

  257. Michael says:

    I am a client coming from Elance (that worked fine) to Upwork (that sucks big ones.) What I didn’t see in these comments is where to go now? What are clients that aren’t using ODesk, Elance, and Upwork going? It seems like everyone’s experiences with Upwork and Freelancer suck. Any good suggestions? Or is it hopeless?

    1. Dee says:

      I am a client trying to buy services from an eLancer and for the second day in a row I am keep getting messages such as the one below:

      “Something is not quite right here.”

      “Our apologies, but we can’t complete your request now. Try again soon, as we’re fixing this now”

      Everything about Up Your Work is not quite right. And we clients are trying to use Fiverr etc but there too we face challenges with separating the good from the bad. Everything from Fake FB Follower gigs to article spinners it is a mine field despite their feedback system.

  258. Rob says:

    First, I don’t find the upwork platform more intuitive that elance. I really was hoping for something more mature. Second, when I switched to upwork none of billing preference or methods moved to upwork. Third, I posted a job in what I believed to be Cdn dollars and it was actually US. Would it be so hard to indicate currency when you post a job? Now I have to explain to guy who has been helpful even though not officially hired as of yet, that I must reduce the amount!

  259. Jan says:

    I was on Elance and rolling with decent, high paying clients. As soon as I migrated to Upwork (in August 2015), my business dropped almost 100%. Why? Because my clients had already done their research on UpChuck and decided it was a poor business platform and refused to sign up. I deleted my account today. It is a waste of time to be there. The CEO partnered with an India company to give special privileges to Indian students if they signed up. Upwork is using these people as pawns in their game. It’s pathetic. That’s why you see so many $3/hour freelancers. Upwork is a disgrace to hard-working people.

    But you want to know the insult to injury? The Top-Rated freelancers who were either on Elance or oldoDeskers and their unbelievable arrogance in the forums. They actually seek out people that are new so that they can criticize their profiles One person in particular, Jean S., is the worst. She’s rude and claims that she has been responsible for getting the CEO to makes changes within the website. She verbally attacks everyone. Why is she allowed to continue violating TOS? Because she is a Top-Rated client who makes them money. These people in her little circle (and I could give you each and every one of their names) will go so far as to brag about how they are making thousands on Upwork and do not hesitate to belittle everyone else.

    The website is horrible. Stay away from it. It is being run like an employment agency, and if you run a search of articles, you will see employment agencies like Adecco are all over it. Why? Because the CEO is connected to all these European companies and that is why the American freelancers are getting the shaft.

    They millions more freelancers are signed up than legit jobs posted. That’s not a mistake. Pay attention to the numbers, freelancers.

  260. Jean Martin says:

    January 13, 2016.

    Many of the complaints here are legitimate and there are still some technical glitches in the system as well as in the user interface. I can list about 100 of them but is this really necessary? We have all been living these problems for some time.

    However, Upwork has improved significantly over time and customer service also has done its best to be up to standards. Things aren’t necessary OK yet but there is some hope.

    My only concern is that Upwork early woes has scared off a significant number of talented freelancers and important clients. As a result, so many good opportunities have evaporated. Many of the freelancers who used to rely on Elance for a steady stream of income are now left in limbo. There are hardly any good meaningful job posted these days and business has plummeted for us to a record low.

    On Elance, I used to have many excellent regular jobs in my niche. Business was booming, I was really happy and I enjoyed that sens of freedom and control based on my stellar reputation. Then, after the move to Upwork, I was lucky enough to keep working with a couple of old, long term clients on repeat projects. Now, all this has gone. It’s been an entire month since I last worked on a project and this situation left wondering what happened. The sky is literally falling down and things breaking apart. Something has gone wrong, very wrong with this move from Elance to Upwork. It’s the world upside down and inside out.

    Unless something drastic is done both on the technical and business levels, the whole Upwork project will certainly come crashing down.

    I sincerely wish that Upwork prevails and the good old Elance atmosphere and success returns and rains down on it.
    Long live Upwork!

    Thank you


  261. No Name says:

    Many, if not most, of the “technical issues” of the website are not from common problems.

    Their contracted workers are causing the errors.

    Ask yourself why most of the errors are concentrated in specific critical areas. These workers believe they’ll have opportunities if they cause these problems, and of course they are very wrong.

  262. MtnGirlInFla says:

    I am writing as a Client user of Upwork and I can emphatically confirm: IT SUCKS FOR CLIENTS TOO!!! In my extensive communication attempts to get them just to honor their basic policies and User Agreement it is painfully obvious they are just another tech launch with a new round of investment dollars who are just looking to build up the business and then cash out. Its all just smoke and mirrors and a pretty front end because they are not upholding any of their marketing or advertising statements. Hmmmm … the government just slammed Lumosity to the tune of $50mil for “deceptive advertising”. I propose they put Upwork in the que next.

    1. Jan says:

      Spot on!

      But I disagree with one thing you said – their front end is NOT pretty. It looks like Mickey Mouse threw up.

  263. Louise W says:

    Having been with Elance for 2 years and making a living without any other income, now I’ve moved to Upwork, my freelancing career has almost become extinct.

    Admittedly, I was foolish to rely on one source, but I’m astonished at the number of low quality jobs (both in terms of poor descriptions and absolutely ludicrous budgets) available on Upwork. Additionally, the site IS as buggy as hell.

    I’ve been lucky enough to secure one long-term client on the site, but they invited me to the job and had very specific requirements which I had experience in. In terms of almost everything I’ve put a proposal in for, I’ve either not heard back and the job’s left open, or it’s gone to someone else. I’ve also lost a major long-term client who refused to go over to the Upwork platform and has now hired someone in their physical locality.

    If it wasn’t for the fact that I have to be in the UK for relationship reasons, I’d emigrate abroad and work in a country with a much lower cost of living to make freelancing more feasible.

  264. Lachenzo says:

    Dude, are you seriously criticizing third world freelancers? the least competent of us speaks 2 languages, that’s just the minimum (i speak 4 fluently). I have been working on Upwork for 3 years and my clients really appreciate my work. they find me hardworking, honest and skilled. Things they wouldn’t clearly find in “the 1st world freelancers”.

  265. Magda says:

    I just spent another hour on Upwork profile and when I found a next portion of „lovely” proposals (work for $2.50/h, for example) I decided to check some opinions about this website… and that’s how I came here. I must say that I agree with this article, as well as with many comments here. I’ve used Elance for several years – mainly when I had less jobs from my regular clients, then this website was a kind of support. For me it seemed to be smaller and more „cozy” place than bigger Freelancer – anyway, I must say that on Freelancer I also found my long-term client so it wasn’t so bad at all, too (when I used it from time to time). I tried oDesk once but it definitely wasn’t for me.

    And here starts the brand new story: Upwork. More and more e-malis from Elance that I must remove my account because oDesk and Elance will be merged soon… well, I wasn’t too happy but that’s what I finally did. As I had a very good reputation on Elance, I quickly received some “Top Rated” status and since then I regularly find in my mailbox job proposals and invitations. Anyway – prices are often extremely low, invitations usually don’t fit my skills… I have a feeling that it’s a “river” full of cheap workers, unfair proposals or even people who are looking for projects made for free. Work description are very often unclear and unaccurate, and I have a feeling that Upwork has no restrictions or solutions to deal with those problems.

    Now this article also gave me food for thought – indeed, spending a lot of hours on consulting potential clients for free, polishing your Upwork profile, reading dozens of e-mails with useless job proposals – well, it can be funny on the start. The truth is that both „giants” – Freelancer, as well as Upwork – became quite sad and trashy options, where company owners submit the amount over quality. I don’t know if in their case any return to the old, better times (Elance?) is possible. The one that I know is that from now I’ll rather focus on some other, more effective, job options.
    Thanks and good luck!

  266. JA says:

    with you until you started whining about a feminist. you are an mra who can’t handle a feminist? now none of this article holds water; it’s a joke.

  267. Diga Patel says:

    Hey Guys,

    Can we do something to get Elance back?

    Lets do a votepost on collegetimes FB, or something that helps us get Elance back.

    Elance earned be bread and butter, and I am sure Upwork already has started to starve me!

    Please help, Thanks.

    1. Louise W says:

      Didn’t come guys in California set up a freelancing site in November 2015 after complaints about Elance going down? I did register with it last year, but the site wasn’t working. I can’t find my login details now and don’t remember the name of the site!

      There is TopTal but that’s more for developers than anything else. I think there is definitely a market for niche-specific sites e.g. writing, graphic design, etc. but with specific criteria before applications are accepted in order to differ from the existing sites in terms of quality of jobs and freelancers.

  268. Diga Patel says:

    Upwork has not paid me since Dec 15! This money was paid by my client in the first week of December.

    All Upwork has to offer is ticket renewals, delayed responses, that’s it!

    Upwork sucks!

    1. Gunjan says:

      I am facing the same issue. From 20 days my money is stuck. It was supposed to reach in my account 15 days back. But still waiting for money and playing Ticket-Ticket with Upwork.

  269. UPWORK HATER says:

    upwork is asking for username and password inorder to get paid, who knows they will withdraw money by logging in peoples payoneer accounts and still say we did nothng its our policy to withdraw money at will. UPWORK IS A USELESS PLATFORM ELANCE MADE A HISTORIC MISTAKE BY MERGING WITH SHITTY ODESK

  270. Darcy Cardinal says:

    Yes, they are not the best, but…

    I do have to agree that freelancing job board websites like Upwork and Freelancer are not the best places to look for work. In fact, almost all the downsides mentioned in the article and the comments are true.

    This is why for people who are looking to build a long-term, serious career out of freelancing will need to use these sites in a different way. I believe one of the hardest challenges a newbie freelancer faces is building a portfolio and experience for potential clients to view.

    I mean, sure, anyone can put up a website and advertise to the world that they can do writing and graphic design – however no one is going to buy into anything unless they see actual hard proof and experience.

    That is where websites like Upwork, Freelancer, Guru and alike could come into play. A freelancer might as well use them for a long-term advantage.

    I believe that the first 3-6 months should be used to build up a portfolio on these websites, along with gaining actual experience (to see what kind of work you like doing or not). At the same time, a freelancer must have their own website up, actively creating unique content on a consistent basis, and making genuine efforts to search for clients on their own.

    Eventually, the freelancer should be able to transition from finding work on job websites to working with clients they brought in themselves. It all boils down to how much effort and motivation is involved.

    Staying for an extended period on these job websites, in my humble opinion, is probably not going to offer long-term satisfaction and income potential to a freelancer. I know from my short time of being on Upwork that competing with other job seekers on a pure cost basis is a recipe for financial and emotional disaster.

    I would suggest making every possible effort to creating your own presence on and offline to get the most out of freelancing. Plus… your creating something that is truly yours.

    Darcy Cardinal

  271. Anonymous says:

    Amazing on this article. I was on for years. Ive hired tons of elancers for work and was very impressed. I loved elance. I was disappointed when I was forced to go on upwork. Sigh…

  272. Cody Cage says:

    Well, you are totally right. upwork sucks, but it seems to be the best freelance site I have seen. I wouldn’t blame all these third worlders that are charging low rate to do a job that is worth thousands of dollars. Upwork should increase the rate freelancers charge, for example, when you join Guru, you are not allowed to charge a fixed price that’s less than $25. Putting your blames on third worlders is all rubbish, if you think there are third worlders that can’t speak English perfectly, you are wasting your time, I have a friend here in California that can’t speak good English while he’s one of the so called first worlders (me and you). If you have any blame, that should be on upwork and not wasting your time with third worlders. Lastly, I saw a comment here, someone said that due to the fact that third worlders charge a very low price that it is hard to get job on upwork, that’s a big lie. I am a freelance copywriter and I make not less than $2000 in a month from it, I have about 36 client’s that invites me to apply for their job, and they do pay a high rate. Most of my clients don’t like making use of upwork, so we make use of Skype to discuss business. If you think third worlders will stop you from getting job, you are wasting your time, the way you present yourself determines if the client will choose to work with you. I applied for a job on upwork, and this job has about 67 freelancers competing for this job, I checked the rate other freelancers were charging, I was surprise, freelancers were charging $12 for a job of fixed price $55. I applied for this job, and I charged exactly $55 and due to the way I presented myself, this client messaged me that night that he would like to work with me, he told me to charge him $40, but I refused, later we landed at $52. It took me only 3 hours to complete this job, till now I am still working with the client. So, try to show the authority you have as a freelancer. I am a freelance writer, yes, and I am proud to be a freelance writer. I have my rights as a freelancer, and I won’t degrade myself because am a freelancer, though I have another job doing, freelance is just a side cash, but I am proud of it.

  273. CW says:

    Upwork is the worst! It stinks. I don’t know who is running it now but whoever it is has turned into a greedy mess. I have tried and tried to close my account but I keep getting a message saying I have an open proposal. I DO NOT HAVE AN OPEN PROPOSAL. ALL I WANT TO DO IS DISASSOCIATE MYSELF WITH SUCH A MISERABLE, AWFUL COMPANY.

    I enjoyed this article. It was right on target and couldn’t have been better written….Thank you for this article and I hope it gets through to anyone thinking of joining this sad organization by making people think twice…DON’T DO IT!!!!!!

  274. Max says:

    I hired several freelancers thru the elance
    and was very happy with the results.I have another small project and just found out that it is now Upwork. None of my previous project details are available which is very distressing. Anyone have an opinion about

    1. rami says: sucks more than upwork, the best was elance, how to get the people of elance back? is another issue

  275. Totally frustrated with Upwork says:

    This comment is made as my own personal opinion. Coming from a business point of view, I am totally frustrated with Upwork. We have many jobs to be done and whilst we don’t go with the cheapest, we want someone who can do a reasonable job at a reasonable price. Yet we can’t even login Upwork and we are totally frustrated as is our clients. In my personal opinion the help desk is very unhelpful and does not know its own program (I used to set up help desks around the world). This should be a simple process matching freelancers with employers.

    1. Brian Benko says:

      So True… Upwork needs some serious help and clearly lacks leadership… nothing was wrong with elance in my opinion.. Just drop and go back to elance…. I cannot believe a company this size cannot get their website functioning properly and they cannot get their support team trained properly… and the quality of work coming out of upwork freelancers is so bad in comparison to Elance… What happened?

  276. Gilbert Andrew says:

    I recently contracted a developer on upward who run off with my money and did not deliver the agreed project and upward have done nothing to help me resolve this issue , The developer Philipp Fisher run off with thousands of dollars and all upwork did is to suspend his account but this does not help to recover my money and my intellectual property from this con man. I would not advise any one to use the service .

  277. Vicky says:

    Upwork Sucks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  278. Illiterate Black Girl From Afr says:

    While the article above is very insightful, I would have to say that it is extremely offensive to all Third Worlders out there! The proliferation of Internet scammers ( from all over the world) out to make a quick buck (and not Third Worlders) has led to the degeneration of many innovative websites like Upwork. I am appalled by some the ignorant and hateful statements made in the article and not to mention in subsequent comments, for instance ” – I have no shame in being a “freelancer— that being said, I indeed felt like a bit of a loser “competing” with millions of Third World “freelancers” on Upwork with poor English skills, questionable ability, and hourly rates that make working at the LAX McDonald’s look like a dream job” and ” Catering to the Third World has made Upwork go downhill”.
    While we are all entitled to our opinions, when one is in a position to influence millions with their opinions, a certain level of responsibility is required – stereotypical statements such as the those highlighted above, are hardly the way to get a valid point across. Instead they fuel hate and closed-mindedness. Yes there are unskilled freelancers out there, yes there are freelancers whose ‘English’ skills suck, yes there are skilled freelancers in such dire financial straits they will work for nothing just to get a foot in (just as the author of the article says he did when he started out). Surely such freelancers are found in both First and Third World countries and their presence on Upwork is but a consequence of the appeal of virtual work. Globalisation, the nature of competition and a plethora of other internal and external factors are to blame for Upwork’s current struggles. Furthermore, Upwork’s Iack of stringent methods to weed out chancers from all over the world is quite problematic, I hardly think that all those other derogatory statements about freelancers from Third World countries were necessary.
    Illiterate Black Girl From Africa

    1. Jesse says:

      Stereotypes exist for a reason. A solid 90% of Third World freelancers on Upwork are indeed horrible in English, in skill, and in business acumen. Those are the facts, its not racist, its just the truth. I commend you for being angry and trying to prove me wrong, and I encourage all other “Third Worlders” to take as much pride in their work and reputation as you do. Unfortunately, most of them do not and for cultural and other reasons, deliver only the bare minimum required to achieve a quick payout. I have no ill will toward freelancers who offer “lower prices” — I have ill will toward the freelancer industry that not only “lowers prices” but also “lowers expectations”… and that should anger YOU more than me, because it makes your “people” look bad.

    2. Illiterate Black Girl From Afr says:

      Dear Jesse
      This is not a fight. Let me clarify that this is not even a racial issue. I was not trying to prove you wrong. On the contrary, I was inviting you to consider a more objective perspective that does not involve pinning blame on just a certain group of people. I am not refuting the fact that a solid 90% of Third Worlders on Upwork are indeed lazy and or unskilled. If Upwork actually cared about the industry, WAY, Way tougher measures would be in place to separate the wheat from the chaff. There are a lot of things wrong with Upwork at the moment and you stated these things quite succinctly in your article.
      HOWEVER, what about the Third Worlders who are skilled and actually take pride in their work? What about some of the First Worlders who have the very same characteristics you abhor in Third Worlders? These characteristics are hardly endemic to a certain group of people, people who happen to come from developing geographical areas. All I’m saying is that chaff is chaff no matter where its from and hardwork, regardless of where its from, needs to be appreciated. If we as freelancers continue to label each other and ” devalue” the standard of each others work based on ” World ” rankings and not actual output, the industry will continue to lower its standards and automatically DEMAND that people from certain places (Third Worlders) work for lower rates – resulting in the degradation of the value of freelancers work and the rates they can charge WORLDWIDE. Pride in ones work is fantastic however, pride does not pay the bills nor put food on ones table. So eventually the Third Worlder whose economic climate and financial state is worse than the First Worlders, is forced to accept what the buyer thinks they’re worth – Peanuts. So as I mentioned earlier, I was inviting you to consider a more objective perspective, especially since you are in a position to influence people with your words. What the freelancer industry needs is for freelancers to unite and set a bar, not sling mud at each others faces. On another note, yes, stereotypes exist for a reason and one reason alone – the unwillingness to venture out of ones comfort zone and give people a chance to prove who they really are!!
      Illiterate Black Girl From Africa

    3. VYTAUTAS says:


      You are right about Upwork and its current business process, no doubts, but I got offended as well. Don’t feel superior. Many native English speakers know just their own language. They already lose with the market share. Simply I beat you in free market environment. This is your problem to find niche to get paid and work in the way you want to and with whom you want to. If you weep about something like Upwork which is running its own business find better place or if you are real entrepreneur create new one because you are not alone on your opinion. That is a niche! Free market babe, adapt or disappear or change and create.
      There will always be people who will want to get cheap services and products and bad quality & expensive services and products and great quality.
      There are tons of shitty workers from “leading” economies and there are tons of great workers – same as in all countries.


    4. Richard says:

      Truth is Jesse appears to have the mind set of one who is a racist and monopolist.Its a free world economy, as a freelancer, you have a right to leave Upwork and not compete for jobs with third world freelancers as you so termed it, clients from first and second world countries also have an obligation to determine if they want a first, second or third world freelancer t work for them.

      Besides, you seem to think that those who don’t speak English like you do, are probably not as skillful, well you are wrong and naive and childish, pretty immature in your thought process. I work with folks from all over the world and they don’t speak what you may term good English, but they communicate enough to drive their point home. You may need to go for lessons in tolerance, patience and humility too, what counts more than English itself, is the ability to communicate and get your self understood. If you are interested in rather competing with English speaking freelancers alone, because you have a better chance to win a contract, then go off to some other racist site where non English speakers only are accommodated. We have passed the times of Slavery, we have moved into a generation of freedom for all, if that angers you then I’m afraid you will have to live with it because slavery (although not totally gone) will definitely go. You really have no right to pick on Freelancers who don’t speak as fluently as you, why do you even have to be threatened or bothered? The client makes a choice of the most suitable freelancer,in which case he may prefer medium English speaking with great skills to a fluent English speaking freelancer with poor skills, again, its the Clients choice, why are you concerned?

      To Illiterate Black Girl From Africa – you need not tolerate the ignorance of people who have never been to Africa or understand the politics of power and government. If Jesse has a good sense of History and Economics, he would respect Africa and all other so called third world countries, whose resources have been plundered from generation immemorial till present by the so called developed or first world countries.

      English speaking really does not make a good freelancer. Having character that allows you to recognize the freedom of others, respect for all, and love for all is more important than an English rattling freelancer without character.

      You need not converse with Jesse again. As a Client who hires, I’ll never settle for someone like Jesse who appears short sighted, besides I have continued to outsource more to Jesse’s so called “Third World” countries because I provide the opportunity for them when people like Jesse don’t and I remain amazed as they complete my job with dexterity and accuracy and at such a price that makes sense to me as a Business person and I believe to anyone who understands business.

      I rest my case for now. Just a word of advise to Jesse. Mind your own business and never say what you don’t know, leave the clients to decide who to hire.

    5. Jeff says:

      Dear “Illiterate Black Girl From Africa,”

      I want to thank you — thank-you’s are not what I usually write, but SOMEBODY needs to thank you and nobody has, at least not yet.

      After all the poorly thought-out comments I have read above, and sometimes they are even hateful comments, about Third World countries and their residents, I admire your discipline to reply with a carefully considered and very thoughtful entry.

      The world has too few people like you, and that same world could benefit from many more such people. So please accept my compliments on your commitment to be able to read hateful entries and then still to respond with a respectful and thoughtful reply. I don’t know your name or even your country, but I hope someday to have the privilege of meeting you in person. Of course, I won’t know that it’s you, but I know that if we had such an encounter, I will come away from it with better appreciation of the good human beings that sometimes arise from the worst of conditions. As you know (because of course you were using the word “illiterate” ironically), you are an intelligent and much-needed contribution to the mass of people we call “humanity.” I can only hope that God (or whatever we want to call the ultimate deity) will contribute more people like you to our population. If that happens, we wil all be better off as a result.


      Thank you again for your thoughtful contribution to this “discussion,” and please keep holding your head high and proudly. You make the world a better place.


  279. Emeka says:


    HIS EMAIL ADDRESS IS: [email protected]





    1. rami says:

      funny that kastriel email is @elance shoudln’t be @odesk or @upwork

  280. Anwar says:

    Terrible, terrible customer support, full of bugs and glitches, run by apes or monkeys who were just lucky to be there first.

  281. Gillian says:

    Thanks for writing about and sharing your experiences with Upwork. I was just about to sign up when I decided to do a Google search and found your review. I have done volunteer work in the past but never freelance work, so this has really opened my eyes.

    1. Nemo says:

      the quality of work is so bad you will repent rest of your life for using upwork

  282. John says:

    Nice review about the slow / “keeps loading” Upwork.
    I think the comment “An Inherently Flawed Business Model” says it all.

  283. Upwork Client says:

    I was really hoping these reviews were old or inaccurate. I am afraid to tell everyone they are not.

    I posted for A QUALITY dev on 12/9/2015 and I couldn’t even submit the job. The page gave errors, and forced me to revert to the classic page. I had to type ALL of the information over again.

    After finally getting it submitted, the View Job page won’t load. It just spins and spins.

    I am shocked. Seriously. How could they screw up such a good thing?

    The idiots in charge should be fired. They should just revert back to the Elance platform.

    This is what too much money and too little brains produces. They ruined an awesome product.

    Absolutely shocking. How could you fail so magnificently?

    1. Anwar says:

      I’m an Upwork freelancer and have missed no less than a dozen messages in the last month. My complaint is still open with Upwork support after more than 45 days.

    2. Totally frustrated with Upwork says:

      This is my experience to date as well. This website appears to have been outsourced and run in an unacceptable manner which would be damaging both the brand and business. I found myself wishing for the old O Desk to be back again.

  284. Coder610 says:

    Same here, I had an excellent start with oDesk and I was very excited about it. It took me about 2 years of hard work (most of it unpaid) to get in the first 10%, have a Top Rated badge and 100% job success rate. Since the merge with eLance everything went to hell. I remember having like 10 to 20 invitations per week, and now I get 5 a month. Anyway, I am closing the account and i will start looking for a job. By the way, great article. In fact, I’ve just realized that I was lucky: no disputes with clients in over 4 years spent on oDesk/upWork and no issues with clients except a couple of very small projects which I had to cancel. In rest, everything was OK.
    There’s a key phrase in your article that really speaks to me: ‘This nightmare was the result of me breaking one of my own rules’. You really nailed it there. When you start making compromises, then it’s time to move on. This is what i did and i think that’s a clear sign you need to do something ! And the only thing left to do is to move on. It was a good trip overall but I’m not sure i will do it again. And since most of my clients are from US, i’ll end with one of their sayings: don’t put all your eggs in one basket !

  285. Upwork Sucks says:

    I used Elance for many years to hire freelances. tried upwork and i hate it!!!

    Bring Elance back!!!

    any recommendations for an alternative Elance like website to switch to?

  286. Tahmina says:

    I hear someone upwork is cheater eat money but Now I am 100% assure upwork is a cheater platform its not only cheated me suspended my account without any sold reason or warring also eat my money , I will ask to my friends and family to leave this suck platform shame on upwork service.

  287. Grenda says:

    I’ve see this site a few time. This article open some view for me that I never thought.

  288. Kyle says:

    I invite everyone who is fed up with Upwork to check out Demly ( Stemming from frustration with low quality talent and off shore amateurs on Elance/ODesk, Demly’s team is creating a premium marketplace for true professionals. No competing with amateurs working for $5/hr, and no businesses looking for free spec work.

    At Demly we screen all of our freelancers to ensure a 100% professional community, and we handpick freelancers for our clients. Stop wasting your time and start getting paid what you’re worth. Join Demly.

  289. jackie umphrey says:

    I hate Upwork.
    I decided in June 2015 to give the VA world a try. I found Upwork.
    Many clients/scam artists want u to do work for the interview.
    After 2 jobs/scams & about 48hours later. That was enough. The people were horribles to communicate with, etc.
    I walked away from Upwork & ventured back in November. This Rebecca Walton character sought me out for this great job as a data entry clerk/VA with Visma, a Norwegian based company. I went through a Skype interview, received a 5 page acceptance letter to sign, was in touch with HR & then assigned a supervisor & even went thru orientation. So, my first day expecting to start the job, Im asked to do these pretasks. The first was to write an essay min 650 words listing and Training the characteristics of a data warehouse. I was given 2 hours. I finished, but just felt like í wrote some kids college paper.
    So í was to be graded….ok. Next day í had ANOTHER pretask & í began sending my “supervisor” a series of questions about the legitimacy of this Job with Visma. Which when u Google Visma í find they are very reputable & Glass door revie 4/5 stars.
    So í contacted Visma directly, which my supervisor said there was no need for me to do that, to check the validity of my new job & the REAL Visma HR responded immediately & said it’s a scam. She also wanted all the communication between me & fake Visma company.
    Does Upwork not do ANY kind of client verification???
    DO NOT USE UPWORK TO GET VA JOBS! I know people really do get work on there, but u end up killing yourself for $3.00/hr just to have logged hours to get better jobs or u end up getting scammed.
    So, that’s my experience & í imagine there are many more with the same or worse.

    1. Teri Wilfong says:

      I have found the same issues with the jobs I’m “invited” to interview with thru either Google Hangout or Yahoo Messenger. I did 1 1/2 interviews…got suspicious and terminated the last one before completed. I directly contacted both legitimate companies that I was supposed to be interviewing with and found that the information I received thru Upwork was bogus. What a waste of time. I keep getting “invites” with the same type of scenario…what a joke. Upward definitely sucks.

  290. SiteBetter says:

    I’ve been on Elance for over ten years. Now I am forced to use Upwork, and in a word: “It sucks.” After I hit the submit button on my latest project, the website hung for ten minutes before accepting. That should have taken a millisecond.

    In regards to the freelancers on Upwork: I’ve found the quality not as good as Elance once had. If Elance hadn’t shut its doors, I wouldn’t even consider Upwork. Currently, I’m considering working with my current vendors offline or just peer to peer. It’s a shame that Elance f’d this one up so badlly.

  291. andrew grant says:

    upwork is the worst freelance website i have ever used. As a client; the quality of some of the cheap freelancers is laughable.

  292. designercc says:

    I worked on Elance for 1+ years, had a good rep, and got some great clients. Tried working on 1 or 2 jobs on Upwork, and you are right, it sucks! My profile is intact (graphic design), but I won’t work there unless a lot of changes are made.

    I found this today, which might explain a lot…the keywords on the Upwork home page:

    “Offshore outsourcing, Freelancers, India, Russia, Ukraine, php Programmers, Coders, Developers, Writers, Web Designers, Website Design, Technical Writers”

  293. Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Thank you, However I am experiencing problems with your RSS.
    I don’t understand why I cannot join it.

    Is there anyone else getting identical RSS issues?

    Anybody who knows the answer can you kindly respond?

  294. JC Pascua says:

    I just spent that past hour working a proposal and I hit send. The website is OFFLINE as of Nov/24/15 12:13 AM. I have to agree I’ve never expect that of a reputable platform. Imagine filling out your cart, clicking the checkout, and the entire website goes OFFLINE. Or uploading 200 photos to your Facebook page and then you hit “upload” and then the whole site goes OFFLINE.

    Great post Jesse, just wanted to keep the social engagement up on this eye-opening piece and warn others to look elsewhere.

    Upwork is everything wrong with capitalism: hype.

  295. dev says:

    There was disappointment from all my clients with indian programmers. I took over some projects and the s**t indians did almost made me cry. Seems like they never use google to check out how to do stuff.
    So my guess is a lot of clients are leaving upwork, those who are staying know how to screen.
    From the other hand freelancers are not protected, I have now two clients who are freaks, they stopped replying me, even they were happy with the job and they should be because I did good job. But now I am afraid they will leave me “no feedback given” if I stop the contract.
    So the system is screwed.
    But I wonder where did all the clients go after they are disappointed in upwork? Do they use some agencies to find freelancers? Or network?
    I would like to work with someone who understands how to measure quality.

  296. paul says:

    Upwork is a steaming pile of s**t.

  297. Mwangi says:

    While all I’m seeing here is racist venom from frustrated bigots, I’m comfortable making my bucks sited under an acacia tree in third world Kenya (some of you will think it’s because I do not have a house). While trying to be objective in your analysis, you’ve place a considerable blame on your misfortune on the increased number of ‘unskilled’ freelancers from the third world. While I do not refute this could be the case I invite you to critically think why a client would glance at your 5 star profile move on and go ahead to hire these ‘unskilled’ lot. Maybe after all, and if you shed your conceited attitude you will realize they are not as unskilled as you have been brought up to imagine. Probably the clients sniff out your pathological narcissism and move on to place their money elsewhere. And do not say it’s because we are cheap, and if we are, it’s the first world clients who do not recognize quality over cheap that should be blamed as they are the ones who accept our proposals.
    Second deducing from your reasoning, it comes out clear that you assume that it is only those people in First world countries who offer jobs on upwork. That’s false. I have worked for clients in African, India Pakistan and Chile (and by the way they pay good money). So I guess you need to work on your ego and accept the fact that we also employ you first world people.
    Lastly this observation has been made almost entirely from a freelancer perspective. How then does a freelancer searching for a gig the same way that I am doing would suggest that I am unskilled yet I have never worked for him. I also highly doubt if any of you bashing the third world have ever posted any job on up work. I suggest you wake up from you slumber and realize that the tide is changing. While you are busy blaming your own woes on us, we are busy sharpening our skills and grabbing what you previously thought was yours.
    Now if you would excuse me I have a porcupine to hunt for lunch…..

    1. Jesse says:

      Hi Mwangi, maybe its true that some freelancers blame their misfortune on the third world. However, that is not my point in the article — rather that catering to the third world has made Upwork go downhill. Any talented freelancer can find other venues for finding clients if they try hard enough. I’m pretty sure most long-term freelancers on Upwork (etc) blame “cheap” clients just much (or more) than they blame third world freelancers.

      Lastly, the term “third world” does not refer to locations, but under-developed or developing countries. ACtually the term has been abandoned already in the Political Science world, but most people still use it to refer to poorer countries.

      For the record, I have no problem competing with highly skilled freelancers who charge less than me. But the burden of proof is on your (their) side to prove that $2/hour freelancers from India offer as quality (or better) work than their higher charging counterparts in richer countries. As far as my years of experience, its “poor” Indians (etc) nearly always to blame for poor coding or sites being hacked, etc — not the other way around.

    2. terry allen says:

      Love your comment.
      Bringing beer to share with your porkypine.

    3. Bruce says:

      I think you have over-reacted. I live in the Philippines and I’d venture to say they don’t write as well as you do! Therefore, the catch-all pronouncement that all 3rd-world is unjustly sweeping, but I do believe that for the most part that most who’s native tongue is not English will struggle with the finer nuances of the language. Hence that any website worthy of its salt will help match skills to client requirements for prices commensurate with said requirements. But if a site hasn’t bother to tailor clients to freelancers, then of course it gets rough to handle. elance and odesk were obviously decent sites but when they merged, it all tanked.
      Ah, do the suits really care? If they did, for the ultimate survival of the genre and of their reputation, it behooves them to do a great organizational job by now. But I suspect that the merged Upwork was overwhelmed or unprepared for what would follow. Visionaries anyone?

      Oh yes, I did a few online jobs a few years ago and on Freelancer got stiffed by an Indian client (non-payment) and another simply didn’t work out. So I quit the waste of time, and now I read that UW will also for a myriad of reasons suck too.

      Ah, but where are the good client companies for a creative and specialty tech writer like myself. Anyone got a tip on a high-integrity site with clients itching to get quality work by which to land lucrative contracts in their own line? Glad to hear back.

  298. Thomas in Boston, MA says:

    As a professional self-employed editor and an Elance provider since 2008, here’s my take. Compared to Elance, the Upwork site functionality is vastly inferior. It’s not intuitive and the internal links are spotty. Searching for jobs is more cumbersome and the client-provider message system, which on Elance was terrific, is mediocre. But the most alarming new policy is that Upwork holds released escrow funds for five full days after the client has released them to the provider! Elance held them for an average of 24 hours, not five days. Why is this? Perhaps it reflects Upwork’s pivot towards serving low-end clients and providers from developing nations who have a higher rate of fraud, or Upwork’s need to hold the “float” longer. Also, the usurious 10% cut that Upwork takes provides a powerful incentive to find a client on Upwork and then immediately take them off and onto PayPal. On a job worth $2,000, I’m supposed to pay Upwork $200? Are they kidding? Overall, for me – I’m a book editor and ghostwriter – the transition from Elance to Upwork has been negative. I hope the company – which I’m sure is reading this – gets its act together before a better competitor emerges.

  299. Prashant says:

    Upwork Sucks….

  300. Krystal Midega says:

    I agree with you that the system of constantly having to search and bid wastes a lot of time. Upwork is a joke compared to the relative efficiency of the 2 platforms that merged to form it. As well as their unreasonable payment policies.
    I will take offence however at the sweeping statements you’ve made about freelancers from 3rd world countries. Just because there are freelancers with unreasonably low rates doesn’t mean that all workers outside the UK or USA are unskilled workers.
    Thsee blanket statements just take away from the objectivity of your piece which tackles genuine concerns.

    1. Jesse says:

      Hi Krystal, I totally agree that anyone, anywhere, can be a very skilled worker in any industry. That being said, when so-called “third world” pricing is undercutting the entire market and arguably, the vast majority of “third world” workers are not as skilled and more likely to acquiesce to the cheap, condescending clients on sites like Upwork, it clearly creates a “third world” atmosphere and drives away the higher-priced but also more competent freelancers.

  301. Susan Ramirez says:

    Thank you all for your comments. I thought it was just me with suspicions about this outfit. Time to move on!!! At least their tall tales kept me entertained for a few months. I am now AWAKE and done with them!

  302. LowQualityWork says:

    Is there any site for European, American people? So you can sign in only with passport or something that’s how we can stop Indian and third party low quality work.

    1. vishal says:

      Hi, it’s not true, i’m indian and i’m also very frustrated with low paying job at upwork. Actually the upwork clients are not ready to pay higher rates and agree many works on just $1 or $2 per hour.

      so obviously they will not get quality work in this rate.
      i was working at elance since last 3 years and got good high paid clients but just starving at upwork. :(

    2. Uzuki says:

      Sure, it’s called, and while you’re at it please visit our “No Colours” coffee shop and enjoy our daily slave whipping.

      (And let’s forget about the fact that the India you a******s seem to hate so much right now is where you were looting all that money you currently have for two hundred years, I mean lets hate them for being poor and ignore the reason why, cool!)

  303. TotallyAgree says:

    I totally agree, Upwork sucks, 99design sucks even more because it’s a contest site – spec work.

    Clients should start appreciate designers, freelancer more and pay them more that’s their business. But rather they find some low guality from India and you think that you can get good look for 60$ or 5$ dream on.

    I don’t even hire anymore freelancers from India. I did and when I saw quality of their work I rather pay 1000$ for good quality logo.

  304. John McCoy says:

    Upwork was very useful to me. It gave me experience that made me a much better writer, and introduced me, through clients, to some very influential people.

    I don’t need Upwork any more, but would recommend it as a newbie starting point.

    1. Cathy Mac says:

      Thanks, John, for that. I am looking to getting in to this for some steady part-time work from home, as my onsite freelance gigs are not so steady.
      Can you give any suggestions how you did this, and what pricing strategies you used?
      Thanks again! [email protected]

  305. Andrew says:

    Good post.

    I’ve starter in 2012 on Elance and back then it was quite good place to get good clients (small businesses mostly). Then something happened (around 2013) and number of good clients went down seriously. I’m SEO and SMM consultant, so you can imagine that there is no lack of jobs on this market. So what actually happened? Why it was now much harder to get a good client?

    The answer is: cheap freelancers from India, Pakistan etc. Nothing new here right? Sure but in fact they are destroying this market, and even worse – mostly they just can’t deliver.

    There was a time when I was winning jobs just by saying that: I’m not cheap Indian “SEO specialist” who will kill your business and make Google ban you forever”.

    Unfortunately after some time even this didn’t work.

    And now is mighty Upwork that is 1000% worse than Elance was in its baddest times.


    Freelance website ONLY for US, Canadian, Australian and EU freelancers.

    Well, I don’t have skills to build something like that but I bet there are skilled people who could do this on a budget (and grow then it slowly).

    Upwork sucks balls!

    1. Zenon says:

      Completely agree. Some employments pundits claim that there are over 5,000,000 jobs in the US are not filled because employers can find qualified, educated people. At 50K per say one year contract that;s a 250 billion dollar market.

      Surely there must be a business as you suggest.

    2. Richard says:

      Here is my two cents for you, you can go start your all US,Canadian, Australian,EU ONLY freelancer site. I can assure you that at the end of the day, the law of economics and free economy will rule. If clients still get good deals from third world countries, they will continue to patronize third world countries. Come on now, you cant paint all third world freelancers with the same brush, that’s totally “nuts”. People with mind sets like you should be flying on planes flown by non third world pilots, eat food grown outside of third world countries, get treated in hospitals by non third world nurses and doctors, get driven by non third world taxi drivers and so on and so forth. You know what? I think some people are innately racist but they don’t easily recognize it until they spew out their thoughts in forums like this. You guys talking about third world countries ain’t kidding are you? Get serious and improve your skills mate. Why are you all so concerned about “Third World Countries”? Why do you so irresponsibly paint every third world country freelancer with same brush? If you were not racist, you should be zeroing in to simply “mediocre’s” and not “Third World Freelancers”. There are so many many many bad freelancers in developed countries too, this happens everywhere regardless. Wow, I dear to say, if people like you guys are ignorant enough to paint all third world freelancers with same brush, I can surely understand now, why you guys have lost touch with being hired anywhere.

      You all need to face reality and move away from the past. Here is a secret for you, Third world freelancers have been continuously updating their skills and getting better and ready for competition at a lower price.

      Yes, lower price. Do you know hwy they accept lower price? Because the so called “developed countries” have relegated them for a longtime, spat at them as inferior and laughed them off. Many have gone back to the drawing board, education takes first place in Third world nations agenda and it is no wonder that an average professional from a third world country as two masters degree. As a matter a first degree was sufficient to get a job in Africa, later as more students were graduating it moved up to Masters, today, you really have to have two masters degree or a Phd. Therefore if you are complaining about third world freelancers, perhaps its time for you to realize that they are really skillful contrary to your perception, not just academically, but by virtue of training too.

      I wish you good luck with your all first world site but for sure history and economics knows that “penetration price policy” is the only way for the down trodden and the innocent who has skills. He will enter the market with quality at a lower price. Finish

    3. Anna says:

      For Richard:
      people like you are the enemies of America, you represent greedy, ruthless business interest” who want to exploit America (and everyone else), while enjoying safety, quality of life, and numerous protections of the law here in the US.

      I truly wish you to end up in the Third World (where I’m originally from): there, you’ll have the corrupt and mafia come after your little “business” and take everything you have, including your life, in a blink. Well, the greedy ones deserve this: it’s karma.

    4. Anna says:

      One more thing, Richard. To operate in the US, to enjoy the protections of law here: there’s a price to it, like to everything else in life. And business people like you WILL have to pay it. Where you like it or not, soon we will make ones like you pay, instead of living off corporate welfare and exploiting everyone. You’re welcome to move to Pakistan, where it’s cheaper. If you’d like to continue to enjoy safe living in the US, where life costs a lot: you’ll have to hire American workers, and pay them accordingly.

  306. DisappointedVirtualAssistant says:

    Same here they just suspended my account. I’ve worked with oDesk since 2008 but when they changed to Upwork everything became a huge mistake. It’s really not that safe anymore working on this Upwork site.

  307. shriram says:

    Upwork is waste of time that’s true the job posts are not reliable at all.
    The job posted on this platform seems to be dummy moreover stats that they show are also unrealistic and unreliable.
    Only a fraction of genuine business both freelancers and clients might have started using this premature rubbish.
    they got this s**t on WordPress and other bits and pieces of some useless PHP chunks got together by some of the worst programmers and hacker, code peepers together thinking that they can rule the future of the Freelance market.
    The very basic fact is that almost all best of Elance maybe the odesk freelancer in terms of cheap price and least skill (though doubtful if odesk had any good freelance asset at all compared to Elance) were collected together to make the new upwork all of them including the stake holders, proved to be the mesh of ultimate disaster.
    That is what is called making a nail out of the ship’s hull.
    The planning and handling of the enterprise seems at worst.
    It seems that the genuine jobs if any, which come across on upwork are grabbed by over 600 freelancers team which made or is still making upwork itself.
    The remaining which they can not handle they relocate to others on this platform for even cheaper rates.
    That’s how it is working they have created dummy enterprise of service providing among themselves, therefore there is no chance of getting work on this platform until somehow it self spills out of the native bunch of gangs inside the platform.
    How it is working now the jobs are posted but doubtful whether 8-10 % of them are genuine.
    Second the most of them are grabbed by internal teams themselves.
    Third to keep the innocent freelancers bidding and providing drafts of proposal to them so that they can remix it up and grab the genuine jobs themselves at higher price, if they can not do it pass it to others at 10-100 usd.
    How this can be realised, the answer is, Who says that Genuine clients know who is genuine bidder.

    Thats how you dream to keep hold of raw manpower who is out of job working voluntarily for you for long time without realising the truth.
    The remedy is new platform by the public and for the public with no partiality to anyone but the most deserving in any terms at that time.

    We must stepup to make a new better Workplace where trust grows every time a job is posted, won and completed all whether freelancer or client know what has happened why they got what they got job or no job good work or bad work good employer or bad employer good freelancer or bad freelancer. exploited or cheated all in front, not in the back somewhere which can not be explained.

    Upwork will soon die as they want to make every one their slave. They have just forgot that they don’t own any one here. it is just matter of a new honest and transparent platform taking birth.

  308. anon says:

    It’s time for a class-action lawsuit. Upwork has damaged so many existing businesses (Elance merger).

    1. Zenon says:

      Great idea, you should post a job on Upwork

      Looking for lawyer to organize a class action suit. Budget $30.

      You will certainly get 40 bidders at a minimum.

  309. Alexander says:

    This sux! I just joined and was able to make 100 USD in 2 days but then it told me I have to pay $10 a month on top of the charge per project so I did. It game me another 5-10 proposal. and now it’s $10 per 10 proposal if I want to continue :) LOL Later, Upwork

  310. Mark says:

    I have created a new online platform where you get a smarter, personalized, developer discovery experience. We work personally on each request to find the right developer fit for you.

    Mising Elance Check

  311. Mark says:

    I have created a new online platform where you get a smarter, personalized, developer discovery experience. We work personally on each request to find the right developer fit for you.

    Mising Elance Check

  312. namehidden says:


    Upwork is very bad, very bad.

    Do not work with upwork.

    Do not try to build profile on upwork. They will end your career. They have zero value of your account and career. TRUST ME! I am over 6 years experience in upwork. I was very honest.

    I worked with upwork and they suspended my high reputed account without any notice.

    1. CG says:

      Elance wasn’t better either. I had an account (paid too) with 8 5 star projects and extremely good feedback.
      I also had a client who didn’t want to pay for the work because he didn’t want to continue his project but because the project was per hour and my work was tracked he was forced to pay by Elance, though, he was allowed to give me feedback and of course a bad one.

      My account was banned because of low quality, WTF ELANCE, after 8 projects with 5 start and one bad rating (which wasn’t even my fault) ban me ? WTF!

  313. Hello,

    I’ve been in the translation industry for the past few years. I used to work on oDesk with great satisfaction. Then… one bad day, they decided that a well-working system had to be altered in order for millions of workers to be heavily frustrated. They changed their feedback system to a ridiculous children game (not to mention their irritating “did you know” facts on loading pages). Their client support staff is also very inefficient… they are only able to say “we are sorry for your concern”, automatically closing the request and asking you to rate their support. You can re-open it if you want, but that will be more or less useless.

    It’s time for serious freelancers to move on…

  314. Ann T says:

    Upwork sucks, bring back Elance! Sign the petition here:

  315. David Collins says:

    Couldn’t agree more. I had good experience with elance, but Upwork just sucks. System is slow, and I’m only half convinced that my problems with the freelancer were his fault, not the systems.
    Fortunately, I was able to keep my best freelancer and move together to PeoplePerHour. Good experience there so far.

    1. David Collins says:

      PS: I’m a buyer, not a seller, so it sucks from both sides.

    2. zoha says:

      Upwork really sucks. My a/c has been suspended from last two months one of the client raised a dispute for old contract.
      I wanted to get back to work quickly and offered refund for already completed work.

      First Mediation would reply after 7 days to your message.For one reply seven days and that way it took months to complete though they say mediation would take only 30 days.

      After giving half refund to client because yet account is suspended and I can’t withdraw my earnings either. This site has gone from bad to worst lately. No support at all. Only good for Clients.

  316. SG says:

    I am looking for people who are interested in building a freelancing website that has respect to freelancers and to employers
    Upwork is awful and I ma really disappointed
    I am looking for serious partners.

    1. Hello,

      I am seriously interested in your project, can you contact me at [email protected]?


    2. Nelson Brás says:

      Count me in 100%! I was already thinking about doing the same thing. Best regards.

      Skype: nelson.brs

    3. Yuriy says:

      I’m ready to help you guys.

      [email protected] or skype: thisnicknamewasfree.

    4. shriram says:

      Go ahead if need to create one which can scale better with better enterprise ethics then present craps.
      I will help

    5. Prashant says:

      I am In

      Skype Me: prashant.angra

  317. Jean says:

    …and yesterday the CEO finally emails everyone and apologizes with the statement, “The situation was a major wakeup call to re-think how we operate this site”

    All I can say to that is just WOW!!! Talk about an out of touch CEO.

    1. Jesse says:

      Thanks for the update Jean, I dug out that “apology” email and mentioned this in an update at the beginning of the article with a screenshot of the email. The most ridiculous part is that he tried to claim that websites problems only occurred between September 7-10 and are now fixed… which is CLEARLY not the case…

  318. Nick says:

    I was, until recently, in the Top 5 in W&T on Elance. I’ve cleared the best part of $200,000 on that platform and enjoyed working via Elance immensely. I’m based in a developing nation (though I am British) and the escrow system is way cheaper for me than court proceedings in countries I don’t live in.

    Unfortunately, Upwork is awful. The classification system is broken. $$$ = 0.2 cents/100 words!?!? I dread to think what $ means.

    The jobs are all style rubbish. No detail, no useful information at all.

    Throw in all the other annoying crap associated with the technical difficulties and Upwork is a pure dud. They’ve taken the worst of Elance and the worst of Odesk and created a freelance lowest-common denominator platform.

    I can’t spend hours and hours going through jobs that pay $20 for a book or $10,000 for 1 million articles… so it’s time to quit and set up a different method of working.

  319. Andy says:


  320. Jake Swillard says:

    I took a quick look at your profile on Upwork and felt cheated reading your “opinion”. A paltry 55 jobs and 298 hours and you think you can offer a reliable opinion about Upwork or freelancing in general. You should be a comedian instead, this is laughable.

    1. Jesse says:

      Hey Jake, thanks for your compliment! Glad you found me funny. Can you share your Upwork profile and deep insight into freelancing with us now that you’ve stopped by?

    2. guesswho says:

      Believe it or not i have +3000 hours on ODesk, (< 10 contracts) 5 star rating and +15 years of Software dev.
      Although i made quite good monney , i reckon 95% of jobs descriptions are jokes. No decent spect if any spec at all , and prices about 1/100 of a realistic price.

      On the contractor side , i had to team with the cheap one , and as far as Java was concerned they where worse than when was a begginer. So i back the global trend.

      Nothing to compare with the freelancer that contracts though a well established agency. Internet contracting is still largely unprofessional.

  321. Jamie says:


    1. Jean says:

      I cannot figure out that interface. If I COULD figure out how to actually post a job, get a bid, hire the person, get the work and pay a healthy fee, I would consider myself lucky. Where do you click to hire people? How do you place $$ in escrow for writers? None of the “labels” lead to anything. There is a long list with ACTION buttons that lead nowhere. WTF??? It is just so frustrating!!! What idiot built the interface? They need HCII help! By the way, some snarky “live chat” person kept loading boilerplate statements into the Chat box without even reading my question. There’s so much more. UPWORK should be sued and fined.

  322. Jeff says:

    I completely agree with your evaluation of Upwork. I was using Elance as a client for the past 3 years and was very happy with this website: I spent over $12K for 100+ various projcts: from writing to SEO to software tools to server optimization. Yet, I am now forced to move to Upwork and after trying it for a month I genuinely hate it. Pure UI and workflow design, tons of bugs, virtually no support. I decided not to use Upwork, so I am contacting all my good freelancers from Elance now and will work with them directly if Elance goes offline.

    1. Jeff says:

      Oops… it should be “Poor UI” instead of “Pure UI” :-)

  323. Marcio Wesley Borges says:

    Agree! Elance sucks!!!

  324. I am floored by how terrible the website itself works. It is the least dependable website I’ve ever frequented! Hook them up Jesse! LOL

    1. Jean says:

      how it works? It doesn’t work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  325. Zuzana says:

    Not sure whether my comment belongs here since I am a “cheap” freelancer from Eastern Europe, but I agree with every single word in this article.
    I joined Upwork also in fall 2014 as virtual assistant/writer/translator doing underpaid jobs to get credentials and positive feedback and also develop my skills. Beginning of 2015 things were looking good. I was able to slowly raise my clients base as well as rates (do not get the impression that Eastern Europe is a cheap place where 50 bucks will get you through the week!).
    However, in May (roughly the same time when oDesk changed to Upwork and merged with Elance), as several of my projects ended, I started to notice big difficulties with securing new jobs. Naturally, I invested my time in updating profile, portfolio, CV etc. I even got the “Top Rated” badge.
    In July, I pushed myself really hard to get new contracts: browsed Upwork job feed every day, immediately applying work I felt competent about, used all my 30 proposals allowance. Result? Several time wasters asking me questions regarding my competence and 1 hire- the lady claimed she needed help for 4-10 hours a week, then after giving me one task (that took 1,5 hours to complete and that she was satisfied with) she went all silent, no further work and never replied back to my messages.
    I took August off because I could not deal with this frustration. Starting again in September, I noticed changes on Upwork that are putting me off for good: apart from their super slow loading speed, in order to apply for new jobs, I now need to join their $10/month membership. So they are going to milk me twice: once to apply for a job, second 10% for every worked hour!
    I am glad I came across this post because I began to be really frustrated with quality of projects (24/7 availability, $2/hour, kiss-my-ass attitude)
    A question, though: What is the plan? Where are you going to search for new clients?
    Thank you for your advice!

    1. Richard says:

      Hi Zuzana,
      I really feel your pain as a freelancer. Here is a tip from me. I am a Client and I hire many freelancers. Currently I have about 6 freelancers working actively for me and I have another 4 who I put their contract on hold till I find something for them.

      Here is what you need to consider, you are a freelancer, and I’m a client. Put yourself in the shoes of a Client and then you might realize why you are no longer getting jobs.

      I believe that I only advertised 1 of the numerous jobs i posted. The others were based on invites due to referrals from other Clients about a freelancer. As a freelancer, you want to make good money but as a Client, I also want good quality at a reasonable price not necessarily the $2 you referred too :). I don’t care what anybody says, the truth is this, all Clients want to spend less, no client wants to hire a freelancer with very high charges per hour especially on a virtual interface. I have encountered scenarios where I invited freelancers because of the price and quality advertised and then in the course of the interview, I’m being told of how much they will actually consider. When I ask about what was advertised,they simply let me know that the advertised rate is the lowest they will take for an easy job.

      What I’m saying invariably is this, no client will go for a $100 an hour freelancer when he can find another with equally better profile with about $30 an hour rate. There is no thinking about this my friend, its straightforward.

      You shouldn’t give up, but you need also to know that people who outsource online are not really big organizations. Big organizations have their own in-house crew and maintain a lot of privacy and wont even let a freelancer who they have never met to touch their applications.

      If you really want to compete online, let your rates be comparable overall and if you cant, then you might need to seek employment with a physical organization. For me, I only invite and I don’t think I’ll place my job for bidding anymore, that’s just crazy, getting swamped all over with proposals.

      As a client, my job is to seek for a freelancer. As a freelancer, your job is to make yourself attractive to me, how you do it, I don’t know, that’s up to you, but I can assure you that I’ll only go for the best rate and the best skill.

    2. Ann says:

      Here’s MY two cents for you, Richard:
      greedy worker exploitation-based business like you, wants to enjoy safety and comfort of operating in the US: well, there’s a price for this, honey. Let me break it for you: soon we’ll make ones like you pay it. If you want to continue to enjoy operating in the US, under the protection of the law here, where life happens to be very expensive, you’ll need to hire American workers, and pay American-level wages. If you don’t like it, you’re welcome to move to Pakistan, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

  326. john says:

    Sums up upwork – it sucks.

    Wish something would replace it real soon. I hate the F^$& site, s**t support, the excuses they make, the cheap clients (90% of all clients) the payment method.

    I wish the entire thing would f$%^ crash and burn.

    Cant someone or a group of people put a list of everything they doing wrong and simply create a new platform ?

    1. SG says:

      I am really looking people willing to create a new platform. It is only the solution

  327. amar sharma says:

    AGREED… sucks….

    1. Jean says:


  328. Lea says:

    Love love love this article – thanks so much for the quality, in depth posting and for being so transparent with your experience.

    Would love to talk to you and any other experienced UpWork / ODeskers as I am working on a project now to combat / because of / and in the face of many of these issues: freelancers being undervalued, huge, poorly vetted talent marketplaces, ignorance and the issues that arise from abusive clients (also, generally not vetting or banning bad actor clients).
    Please get in touch on Twitter – would absolutely love your feedback as I develop a solution: @leaartis or drop me a comment here:

    Looking forward to that ebook!


    1. Jesse says:

      Thanks for the kind words Lea, much appreciated. Happy to hear more about your project if you have a mailing list than sign me up. I will also be trying to write a follow up article recommending some other smaller exchange communities that have a decent reputation too. Cheers!

  329. Bill says:

    That was a great article. I kept trying to search for other criticisms of Upworks and couldn’t find anything (they must scour the internet night and day for anything scathing), and finally stumbled on this gold mine! Thanks, I don’t feel so cold and alone.

    My UpWorks/Odesk story: Probably too much time spent looking for clients, but it was a decent 3rd of my income stream last year. Then it changed to UpWorks. I got 3 great clients (one was kind of coocoo) and then nothing but tumbleweeds. I emailed them asking if I was doing something wrong… nope, my profile was fine. Whatever. It’s nearly useless.

    We need a cooperative business models for freelancers. An exchanged owned by all of us. Like a credit union, or a mutual.

    1. SM says:

      I posted a very calm and detailed complain on Upwork’s forums, they posted a response full of lies, stating that the freelancer delivered on my project, when I posted a calm rebuttal, they edited my response and banned me.

    2. Cammie Noel,, says:

      Finally! I see that I am not alone! This is a terrible site and I really hope something decent replaces it SOON!

  330. Mr. Slave says:

    UpWork is mostly misused.

    It is a mixture between modern slavery and a scam: Both the client and the employee feel like they have been cheated, because they both were sold a fairy tale from UpWork instead of the cold truth: Skill is expensive. A complex project can be defined on the back of a napkin; and the amount of hours required to complete it can’t be decided by a clueless employer on a whim; or an employee who does not have enough experience or information to determine it.

    I have accepted jobs which took way longer than they should have; and had to code many extra hours for free (like 5-10 for every hour charged). Now I am more skilled, I have a real job, and I am not willing to sell my services for the shitty 30 USD/hour I was selling them before.

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