Burns from Odesk/Elance/Upwork

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Are you a freelancer? If Yes, then this could be the most important article that could help you to know the insights of a large number of freelancing portals out there.

Now-a-days, with growing needs and demands, people are looking for an alternate earning point and they end up doing freelancing. Industry experts say- freelancing in the future and also predicted that by 2020, 60% of the people will be employed as freelancer. The massive force driving this is the Internet. Upcoming freelancing portals are considered as a boon to a large number of freelancers as they provide the opportunity for SMEs to get their work done at a lesser cost. But we all know everything in the world has its pros and cons. In this blog, I will be focusing on some of the lesser known facts about Upwork, formerly odesk+elance, that will force you to rethink about the portal and will give you clear insight about the dark side of Upwork. It is important to know everything about the things you use to earn you living.

I could recall the time when Odesk and Elance were the best known freelancing portals till date and there were news of merging these portals and to convert it into a single entity named Upwork. That was the time when a large number of profiles of freelancers and companies are deleted due to their low quality and bad reviews without alarming to the concerned person. All the good clients are gone and along with them the quality jobs. People have to move on to another portals for reliability and credibility.

Although a large number of freelancers are registered on Upwork and you are also among those but you should know how Upwork plays with people’s money and making it hard for freelancers to survive.

Here are some points that makes Upwork a bad portal for work.

  • Underpaying the freelancers: Upwork has kept the lowest payment option as $3 per hour, means they expect people to work for lesser amount and some employers are so wicked that they want their work to be done in less than $3 per hour rate. This could be considered as positive change but this minimum wage let the employers to shift towards the fixed-price job which they calculate on the basis of minimum wage rate.
  • Free work: Upwork is considered as a minefield of freelancers, especially the new one and employers search of those and ask them for sample work and in turn help them to give positive feedback and good reviews and ratings as this is the main criteria for a freelancer’s profile to highlight on Upwork. These type of employers are termed as “cheapos.” Upwork did not recognise these cheapos and do not have any policy to stop this.
  • Keeping the payment on hold: As we all the for freelancers time is money but employers do not take that seriously. They tend to hire potential freelancers and subject themselves for the same riogorous hiring process for a simple and tiny jobs of an hour or two without giving any guarantee to longevity. This is unacceptable as Upwork should fix a policy for the employers to pay to the candidates if they require a trial for hiring. They normally invite candidates to apply for a particular job, invite them and then ask them for a trial of an hour or two which is totally unpaid. This problem is very serious as they are bound to single employer without getting paid. Employers also use this opportunity to get the real work done. This is humiliating for the freelancer.
  • Denial of Employers for the payment of the work already delivered: This affects badly to the freelancers who are working on fixed-price jobs. Employers exploit the freelancers under the new minimum hourly rates of paying wages. Employers do not release the payment if all the intermediate milestones are not completed by the freelancer. Employers get their work done by means of faith and foregoing other paid work and sometimes employers raises a dispute for the work done and delays the payment of the work done.
  • Expensive: Upwork charges pricing as per the project cost and this is ridiculous. Project of bigger amount has big commission percentage which is not acceptable in some cases. This is truly a huge ripoff on long-term contracts especially when its so easy to take clients off the site and over to PayPal or otherwise. Also the freelancers are facing a whopping 18% commission charge as part of a planned fee re-structuring.
  • Rude behaviour of Employers: Employers criticise the freelancers for their work badly and forget all the needs a freelancer seeks while working on Upwork. Employers do not give feedback even after doing 1000s of hours of work and use to cancel the contracts when 90% of the milestones are achieved. Employers give negative feedback or ask for extra work for giving a positive feedback. Sometimes job listings are so heartbreaking that employers set cheaper rates criteria as the biggest parameter for hiring process.
  • Support services of Upwork: Upwork support services is worst. Let me share a link of Upwork community online https://community.upwork.com/t5/Freelancers/Happy... where employer who was happy with the freelancer’s work have reversed the payment from the Upwork’s escrow. Escrow is considered to be the place where client keep his money protected and it will be released to the freelancer after the project completion. Chargeback occurred from the employer’s side and this affected the freelancer badly. This is the worst scenario of Upwork’s payment method.

Final Conclusion

With a huge number of freelancer now ready to gain a living on the web, this development will maybe end up being the single most prominent effect on work consideration of our time. We are moving towards a world where individuals are esteemed not on the premise of where they live, but rather basically on the nature of their commitment.

Where opportunity exists, so does abuse. In the long run, the system will enhance and uncover a portion of the most exceedingly awful practices we are as of now seeing. Its incumbent upon us to stay cautious and to focus on transparency that could ensure us to get better results of freelancing work.

Considering this as responsibility, I worked hard and came up with a platform named jiDESK.com, with a thought that it will give jobs not to the freelancers but to the development agencies. This platform will be run by the companies and for the companies. Sorry Individual freelancers, but this is not for you. If you are a company no matter how big or small, you can register on this portal.