I realise that by writing this blog post I’m drawing attention to a brand that I’d prefer not to advertise at the moment. But I just have to get my feelings off my chest because I’ve honestly been so bleak for the past 2 weeks about this issue. There are also lots of worthy, talented South Africans out there, who may benefit from the site, who shouldn’t be held back because of my mistakes. So I thought I would just share my story and how bleak I am that I no longer have access to UpWork. Who knows, maybe a miracle will happen 🙁
In the Beginning There was Upwork
As many of you know, my husband (pretty much) lost his job last year and I’ve been the sole breadwinner for our new family (him, me and Yoda our cat!). It’s been tough, but I have a great job and we’re newly weds so the hard times have been ok as we’re still madly in love. Because of this blog, I’m also given a lot of opportunity but we all know “cash is king”. Because we’ve been low, I wanted to start freelancing this year and developing my skills further. I know that the more you do the more you learn the faster you grown the better you are – well that’s my belief anyway.
Upwork to the Rescue
So I joined Upwork; internationally known freelancer platform and really loved the ease of use. I had 1 client who I helped on a small basis and got him some really nice results. I was pleased so I took on another client. This client was very nice, but took AGES to get anything done! She had hired me for a 2 hour job, loved it and asked me to do more. So I spent some time trying to setup the tech, created a proposal for her and I logged all the extra time – in Upwork – but she never paid it.
Not knowing what to do, I sent her a sheet with all the logged time on it, hoping that she would approve it and we could move on. I felt that trust was important and being from a third world country, I was skeptical of working and working and working and not being compensated for my time. So I asked AGAIN about the hours to which she replied, ”
So I did!
After sending the invoice I really didn’t feel good about the situation so I reached out to Upwork to ask if they had any freelancer support. I was worried about the client, but thought maybe she would present it to her boss to prove that there was overtime that needed to be paid. Eager to please, I just did what she said because I TRUSTED that she knew better.
But something didn’t sit right with me so I contacted Upwork to find some support and essentially get them to chase her as both the platform and myself was losing out on honest earnings.
I received this reply:
Under the Upwork T’s & C’s I had broken a rule called Circumvention, a word I had never heard of before and I was banned from the site. EVEN THOUGH I HAD OUTED MYSELF!
So I wrote back to them and said, “No! There’s been a big mistake!” And this was their reply:
Upwork’s T’s & C’s say:
THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT I DID! I IMMEDIATELY MAILED asking for support and notifying them of what had happened. I even wrote to the client to tell them what had happened and they wanted to help me and apologised for the miscommunication! THE CLIENT TOOK OWNERSHIP!
I know this is such a loser thing to say, but I’m honestly SO HEARTBROKEN over this! I know that’s pathetic! There are billions of websites across the world! Who cares if you get kicked out of one!?
I care. My honour cares. My integrity cares. I’ve honestly been so down about this because I just pride myself on my work. That’s why I work full time, wedding DJ’d for 5 years WHILE working, did voice overs, blog as a hobby, VLOG! Because I believe hard work gives you purpose in this world and knowing that it’s been taking from me is REALLY hurting me.
What About the Client?
This brings me to Upwork’s ethics. They’re obviously eliminating people who they don’t feel they can trust with money – yet the client doesn’t get kicked off the site! Yes, it means that they can continue to compromise the integrity of the site, but the hard workers can’t!
Where To From Here?
After suspension, you can keep using the website on existing clients, but can’t take up new work. So it’s ok for them to continue profiting off you even though you’re SUCH a bad person, a liability. And the fact that the CLIENT is so unjust. It really feels like the little guy is getting screwed.
A part of me feels like this blog post is totally and utterly pointless. But, as I said, this has really made me TRULY sad and so down! I dunno why! I just can’t seem to let it go. I think it’s because I know I’m a good person, a decent person, a hardworking person, a person of integrity and I’m struggling to accept this mixup. How can I be punished for being honest? Surely the world isn’t that far gone? I know this was a rookie error, but I just don’t believe that I deserve the response I’ve received.
I know that this post is probably pointless, but I guess somewhere deep in my heart I feel like if I share my story then it will help someone or by some miracle it will even help me. There’s still good left in the world somewhere right?
Anyway, thanks for reading and good luck if you decide to use Upwork. It’s a really great site and if you take pride in your work like I do, I believe you can really help others out there.
Have a happy day.