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Upwork Sucks! #1 Freelance Site Is HORRIBLE

By   |  September 1, 2015

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:

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.

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535 Comments on “Upwork Sucks! #1 Freelance Site Is HORRIBLE”  (RSS)

  1. 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.

  2. 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!

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

  4. I can give you the first project on Upwork or Freelancer so you will have your first review, for details: telegram @diarfaton or

  5. 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.

  6. Correction, all terrorists are from the US.

  7. 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.

    • 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

    • 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

  12. 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.

    • 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 …

  13. 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.

    • 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…

  14. 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

  15. 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!

    • 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

  16. There are no doubt many Freelance Site Blogs, also I have been following this Blogs from & it is really very nice to learn more about Freelance Site here.
    Also check out:-

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

    • 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.

  20. Hi,

    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


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

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

  21. 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.


  22. 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.

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


    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.

    • 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.

  25. 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

  26. 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.

    • 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?

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

    • 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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!

  31. 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 !!!!

  32. 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.

  33. Hi,
    That’s true. It really SUCKS…..

    • 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: & 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.

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

  35. 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.

    • 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: & 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. 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.



  37. 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

    • 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: & 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. 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.

  39. 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.


    • 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.

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

  40. 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.

    • 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!!

  41. 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.

  42. 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.

    • 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: & 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.

  43. 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!

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

  44. 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 fuck-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!!!!

  45. 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.

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

  47. Hi there I am so grateful I found your blog, I really found you by error,
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  48. 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 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

    • 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.

    • WOW! Rude Upwork hat is why a I left.

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

      Damn autocorrect!

  49. 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!

    • 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!

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

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

  52. 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.

  53. 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.

    • 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.

  54. 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

  55. 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.

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

  56. 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

    • 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!

  57. 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).

  58. 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.

  59. 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.

    • 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

  60. 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 assholes and thieving bastards!!!!

  61. 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 **

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

    Buggy…features make no sense. #Lame

  63. 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.

    • 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 ?

    • 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.

  64. 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

    • 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.

  65. 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!

    • 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!

  66. 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.

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

  67. 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.

  68. 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 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

  69. 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.

    • 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.

  70. 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.

    • 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.

  71. 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 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 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.

    • @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?

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

  72. 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.

    • Hello, Donald Trump, is that you?

    • 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.

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

    • @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.

  74. 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 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..

    • 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?

  75. 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.

  76. 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​

  77. yea however we found another platform –

  78. 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.

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

  80. 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.

    • 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.

  81. 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.

  82. 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.

  83. 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 ?

  84. 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

  85. 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.

  86. 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.

  87. 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

  88. 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?

  89. 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 bitch. 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 bitch, I moved on to new things like Angular 2 and Node.js.

    • 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.

    • 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 bitch. 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 !!!

    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.

  91. 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…

  92. 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 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

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

  94. Hello:

    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 I’d appreciate if you’d briefly describe how you use these sites (client or freelancer, type of work done).

    Many thanks.

  95. 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 .

  96. 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.

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


    • 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”.

    • 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.

    • 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.

  97. 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 fuckers 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 fuck 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 shit (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 asshole is bad, try working with some of these clients and I would gladly sniff satans asshole day in and day out.


    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 shit.

    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.


  98. Upwork now charges 20%…


  99. 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.

  100. 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.

  101. 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:

  102. 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!!

  103. 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.

  104. 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.

  105. 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.

  106. 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.

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

  108. 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.

    • 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!

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

      this is my email :

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

  109. 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.

    • 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).

    • 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.

  110. 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

  111. 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.

    • 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:

    • 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.

  112. 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!

  113. 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…

  114. 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

    • 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

  115. 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.

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

  116. 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.

    • Totally agreed.

    • 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).

  117. 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.

  118. 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!

  119. sidd go ahead.

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

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

      Let me know if you people are intersted.

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

      Let me know if you people are interested.

  121. 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.

  122. 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.

  123. 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.

    • 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.

  124. 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.

    • 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

  125. 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.!!!

    • 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


  126. 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.

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

    • @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.

    • 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.

    • @chris
      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.

  127. @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.

  128. 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.

    • 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?



  129. Yes ! I work on UpWork for long time & I have profit, but I tell you UPWORK IS SHIT ! UPWORK SUCKS BIG TIME!

    Better go to other freelancer platforms!

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

  130. 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.

    • 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!!!

  131. 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?

    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

  133. SHITWORK. Period.

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

    • “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.

    • Daivid .. what you found wrong in content :D

  134. 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:

  135. 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 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.

  136. 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:

    • 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.

  137. 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 fuck 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.

    • > from 5$ to 7$,

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

  138. 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 fuck 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.

  139. 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?

    • Hi Steven,

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

      Thanks! :)

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

    • 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.

  140. 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

  141. 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.

  142. 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.

    • 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!

  143. 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

    • 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 fuck network place. My skype id is tapas.bera7

  144. 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.

  145. 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.

    • 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

  146. 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?

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

  147. Jesse,

    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.

  148. 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!!!!

  149. 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.

  150. 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.

  151. 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?

  152. 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 shit with the connects, hiding applications, algo changes, I should have left and closed down my account.

    You can tell the CEO knows fuck all about freelancing with the shit 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 assholes head to start spinning in the exorcist with the amount of shit 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 fuck 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 shit as Elance & then charge you for applying for jobs.


    Fuck 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 shit, their CEO – I have no words for this guy other than MORON!

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

  153. 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.

    • Hi,
      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?

    • Hi,
      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

  154. 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.

  155. fuck 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. FUCK YOU UPWORK


    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.


    • 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)

  157. 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

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

  159. 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.

  160. 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.

    • Sounds like additional weight to the sinking ship.

  161. 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?

  162. 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.

    • Amen brother, amen!

    • “…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!

  163. 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….

  164. 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!

  165. 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 FUCK IS WRONG WITH THE PEOPLE THAT WORK AT UPWORK??