Upwork Reviews: Is It Worth It?

Upwork Review

You want to hire a talented but affordable graphic designer and someone suggests Upwork.

Now all you have to do is register on this global freelancing platform, create a job posting and then sit back as a slew of candidates jump at the prospect of working on your project. You choose the best freelancer and your project is good to go.

Simple, isn’t it?

Well, not exactly.

While digital freelance marketplaces like Upwork have played a big role in helping companies and individuals find talented independent workers, the sheer size of freelancers bidding for a project make it very difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff.

In other words, if you aren’t too careful you may end up hiring an incompetent candidate for your project.

It works the other way round too!

As a freelancer, trying to find good paying projects on Upwork can be an uphill task. You need to not only outbid talented competition, but also contest with freelancers who are willing to charge very low rates.

Can you make the best of this platform?


To help you figure out how, we did a review of Upwork.

Read on to know what it does, how it operates, what are some of the pitfalls and how to avoid them so you can hire top talent for your business (at the best price!).


What is Upwork?

Few years ago, two popular online freelance platforms Elance and oDesk merged to form Upwork. According to the company, it is “the premier freelancing website for top companies to hire and work with the world’s most talented independent professionals”.

The platform says it has over 12 million registered freelancers and more than 5 million registered clients. It posts 3 million jobs annually and does $1 billion worth of work on an annual basis.

Freelance platforms are gaining popularity

With the advent of ‘gig economy’ where people are leaving the security of full time jobs to pursue different opportunities in the form of independent work, many talented professionals are signing up on digital marketplaces like Upwork to offer their services.

Even attorneys, CMOs, and consultants with world-class training are choosing to work independently.

By 2020, more than 40% of the American workforce will be freelancers and independent contractors.

Freelancing is great for individuals as they get to choose their assignments and work schedule.

For organisations, it is a good opportunity to hire talent that may not be available in-house or even in the same geography. By 2017, an average business will hire 25% of its workforce as freelance workers, up from 20% in 2015.


How much does Upwork charge?

The digital platform has changed its fee structure and now charges both the client posting the job and the freelancer getting the gig.

For clients hiring freelancers, the company charges 2.75% processing fee per payment transaction.

This fee is calculated as a percentage on top of the payment you make to freelancers. For example, if the client makes a $1,000 payment for a project, the platform will charge an additional $27.50 processing fee.

Earlier, clients were not charged any fee.

Clients that spend more than $910 a month and are in the U.S., Canada, Australia, the UK, and certain Eurozone countries, may be allowed to pay a monthly flat fee of $25 instead of 2.75% per payment. This fee structure is accepted only on a case-by-case basis, so you need to write to Upwork for approval.

Freelancers pay a sliding service fee of 20% to 5% based on the freelancer’s lifetime billings with a specific client.

You pay 20% for the first $500 billed with the client across all contracts, then 10% for total billings between $500.01 and $10,000. When total billings with the client exceed $10,000, a 5% fee is charged.

Essentially, the more business you do with one client, the less fee you pay in the long run.

Earlier, freelancers only paid a fixed 10% service fee for all contracts.

According to Upwork, the new pricing model is designed to incentivize higher-value, longer-term projects.

Some freelancers who were earlier working on Elance and oDesk have found the pricing change disconcerting. James Duren, a freelance writer who has been getting work from Upwork since 2014, said he would have trouble hitting the $10,000 lifetime total for his clients to qualify for the 5% fee.

Others like Danny Margulies, a copywriter who moved to Upwork from Elance disagree. Margulies said he quickly got a request from a client who saw his $135-per-hour rate.

Increase in fees may not be a big issue on its own.

But sometimes…

Clients may want to adjust the ‘price’ of a job with the processing fee, reducing the actual rate of a job. There are some highly tedious proofreading jobs going for as low as $10 per hour.

Freelancers, on the other hand, may jack up the cost of a job according to the margins they want to make after paying service fees.

This may lead to businesses paying higher fees indirectly, while simultaneously getting deprived of good talent that is not keen on lowball job offers.

Get your pricing right

As a client…

  • If you want to attract good talent, be realistic about the pricing. Good work can’t be hired at $2-$5 per hour rates.
  • If you price a job too low, it will attract poor quality of freelancers and ‘spambots’ – that bombard potential jobs with low bids.
  • Describe the project in detail, including skill requirement and how many hours required to compete it. Categorize it accurately. This will prevent you from wasting a lot of valuable time shifting through large numbers of irrelevant proposals.

As a freelancer…

  • Don’t price yourself low (or offer free work) to attract jobs, even if you are just starting out.
  • Calculate your hourly rate (or price-per-job) accurately using a rate calculator, so that it not only covers your cost but also reflects the talent you bring to the table.
  • Don’t just compete on price, show potential clients that time and resources that you spend on each aspect of a job and the value that you provide. This will help build trust and respect which goes a long way in getting great offers.
  • Don’t restrain yourself from applying for a job where the client budget is lower than your price. Sometimes, clients do not know what the budget should be for a job but are happy to pay for good talent.

How do I make payments on Upwork?

When you hire a freelancer on this platform there are two types of payment – for fixed price contracts and for hourly gigs.

For fixed price contracts, clients need to make deposits in an escrow account. The money is released to the freelancer once the job is done or on reaching specific milestones in the project, whatever has been decided between the two parties.

On hourly jobs, clients are billed every Monday for the previous week’s hours based on the freelancers’ work diary that records number of hours put in a job with work-in-progress snapshots.

Payments can be made through credit card, debit card, bank accounts (US clients only) and PayPal. These payment accounts need to be verified by Upwork.

As a freelancer on an hourly job, the billing period will start on a Monday and end on Sunday; and your funds are available 10 days later (following the close of the billing period).

For fixed price gigs, money is released to the freelancer (on completion of the milestone or project) after a security period of around 5 days. Upwork needs this time to process and clear the payments, and resolve any disputes, before funds are released.

This system also has an in-built payment protection for clients and freelancers.

As a client you get to define milestones in fixed price jobs. Payment is released to the freelancer only after you have received and approved the work. For hourly jobs you can check a freelancers’ work diary before approving payment.

Freelancers are assured payment for hours clearly worked on the project using the Upwork Desktop App. On fixed rate projects the client deposits a milestone payment into escrow before work begins.

For many freelancers this system works better than running after a client to clear an invoice after completing a project.

However, it sometimes gets tricky.

There have been cases where freelancers have finished a job but the client has refused payment on some pretext – like unsatisfactory quality. Similarly, clients sometimes make the final payment but aren’t given complete access to all deliverables of a project (code files, graphics, templates, etc.) by the freelancer.

This means as a client you don’t get access to the job you have paid for and as a freelancer you can’t get your money.

For hassle-free payments

As a client…

  • Release payment and close the contract only after you’ve received the final product from the freelancer and reviewed it to check for quality.
  • Have clearly defined milestones and specify the payment associated with each milestone for the project.
  • Don’t delay reviewing a completed job or releasing payment. This can create disputes and your account can get blocked.

As a freelancer…

  • Ensure that the clients’ payment methods are verified.
  • Work only using Upwork’s desktop app and work diary that tracks your time and takes snapshots of your screen to avoid any conflict at payment stage.
  • Adhere to deadlines as discussed with client. If there is going to be a delay, communicate it clearly to the client and get an extension.

How can I find good freelancers on Upwork?

Finding and hiring good talent on any freelance platform is a time consuming job. It is no different for Upwork.

Companies and entrepreneurs, looking for freelancers on Upwork, usually complain that good talent is hard to come by, there are too many mediocre applicants and you also need to keep a look out for scamsters.

However, it’s not impossible to hire good talent at reasonable rates. Try these tips:

  • One common mistake clients make is not write detailed and clear job descriptions. This is most essential to attract even moderately fit applicants for your job.

Chalk out objectives for the project, identify any special tools or skills needed, and describe the level of experience you’re looking for. Also include details like results expected in the form of deliverables and deadlines.

  • When writing a description of your project add a unique identifier like asking the applicant to use the word “blue” in their cover letter or ask an obscure question that the freelancer needs to answer. This will show you who has read your job description clearly and has sent a customised proposal. It can weed out people who make mass applications.
  • Study each applicants experience, work history, feedback from other clients, and references to understand if they would be a good fit for your project.
  • Avoid profiles which are sketchy or do not have a professional looking picture.
  • Use a paid test to qualify applicants. This not only dissuades the non-serious freelancers, it also gives you a fair idea about the capabilities of an applicant.
  • Make sure you hold a video interview on Skype or Google Hangouts. Non-verbal cues during a video chat are invaluable when trying to separate a good hire from a bad one.
  • In case a freelancer is not comfortable being interviewed (maybe it’s their first interaction with you), then exchange messages through the Upwork Messenger to clarify all details before hiring. Upwork Messenger allows real time communication. Since all conversation is achieved within the system, it creates a sort of paper trail for both parties, which could come in handy in case of dispute resolution.
  • Post a fixed pay project only if you know what the exact output will look like and also the number of hours it should take to complete that project. Clarify these with the freelancer. If you have any doubts or the project is complex then you should post it at hourly rates.
  • You can also consider hiring a few top applicants for a trial contract (like a paid test drive) to help make the final decision. Upwork lets you do this.

Seems like too much work?

You can also give Upwork Pro a chance. It is a new, paid service from Upwork. The company says it helps busy hiring managers find, engage and hire the right freelancers from a group of handpicked, pre-vetted professionals.

Under the Pro version, freelancers go through a series of tests and interviews to qualify on technical skill as well as behavioural aspects that evaluates communication skills, teamwork and professionalism to determine if they are fit for a role.

As a client, when you sign up for Pro, you get an account manager who works with you to understand the requirements of your job including specific technical expertise, budget, etc.

The manager then posts the job in your Upwork account, screens Pro freelancers and creates a shortlist for you. These shortlisted applicants submit proposals to you. You can then sort through this selective list of freelancers, interview them and finally hire the best candidate.

All these services come at a price of $149 per month and a client service fee of 10% on all freelancer or project payments.

The Pro sourcing service is also available to Upwork Enterprise clients.

Upwork Enterprise gives large businesses direct access to freelance talent on Upwork plus the ability to source and engage freelancers from their own private talent clouds.

The latest version of Enterprise also allows businesses to customize their on boarding processes with steps and checkpoints that could include skill tests and background checks.

Want to know how to hire a great developer on Upwork? Check out our detailed post here.

How to get a great job on Upwork?

While we all know that when applying for a job, you need to write a top-notch proposal that attracts a client, there are a few tricks that could seal the deal for you on this platform:

  • Around 34% of Upwork proposals will need you to answer one or more ‘additional questions’ after you write your Cover Letter. Don’t take these ‘questions’ lightly and don’t treat them as an afterthought. They are the first thing the client gets to see when he receives your proposal. The cover letter comes last.
  • Write a customised proposal and cover letter that addresses the points made by the client. Don’t be generic. You can be the least experienced for a job and an expensive bidder but if you take the time to understand the clients’ needs and communicate that clearly in your proposal, you’ll win the gig.
  • Don’t forget to look the part of a professional. There is more to a proposal than just the words you write. Upload a good, professional looking picture of yourself. Use sites like Photofeeler to know how competent and influential you look. Even though it’s not mandatory to upload a picture, it does make a difference.
  • Your hourly rates need to be competitive, but don’t sell yourself cheap. Research other freelancer profiles to find out hourly rates for your expertise. Also find out what you would be paid in a regular office for that same work.
  • Instead of searching for jobs through keywords and filters, skim through the headlines of all the jobs in your category. When you find few headlines that strike as promising, dive deeper. Keyword filters don’t work very well on Upwork and sometimes clients don’t categorise good projects accurately.
  • Upwork lets you take qualification tests to show how good you are at something. Take only relevant tests that will impress potential clients in your area of expertise. If you have done below average in some test, hide them from your profile till you can take them again and improve.
  • You need to research your client as well to find a good fit. Interview the client while they interview you to make sure you understand what they’re looking for. If you thinks it’s not going to be the right match, don’t take the project.

All set?

As the client you have found the best freelancer; and as an independent worker you have found a well-paying, interesting job.

Now we can all sit back and relax.

Not so fast, though.

How to complete a project successfully

There’s more to getting a job done right than hiring a great guy. Here’s what you need to remember:

  • Clear communication and effective collaboration is the answer to most problems that crop up in a project. Upwork allows collaboration between client and freelancer through its desktop app. Everyone can use it to send messages.
  • However, Upwork in the past has penalised clients for ‘too much’ messaging. So, if a freelancer has too many questions, just hop on a voice call or video chat to hold a detailed conversation. Make a note in the Upwork messenger that you are taking the conversation offline.
  • Any change in project deadline, details or payment when discussed and decided offline needs to be mentioned in Upwork messenger. Write a line or two putting the main points across.
  • Set a schedule for regular updates from the freelancer. You can then quality check and give feedback to the freelancer if improvements are needed while the project is midway rather than after it has been completed. This reduces delays in final delivery.
  • All details of project deliverables, deadlines, payment, files, etc must be communicated through Upwork. This is essential for dispute resolution.

Some common grounds for dispute

Despite all precautions sometimes disputes arise. Some common sources of dispute on Upwork include if a freelancer has billed you for more hours than necessary to complete the task or has submitted subpar quality of work.

In such cases, the client has time till the end of the review period (usually a week) to talk to the freelancer and resolve the issue or file the dispute. For hourly jobs, disputes must be based on hours billed, not the quality of the work.

For fixed price jobs, rules say that only freelancers can file disputes (for the release of the escrowed funds). However, that does not mean you cannot talk to your freelancer about a refund. Moreover, there have been cases where clients did dispute fixed price jobs and got a refund on the total payment.

As a freelancer, you must always work using Upwork’s time tracker that is part of its desktop app. This is proof of the time spent on a job. Also for fixed hour work, negotiate on milestone based payments to ensure that you get part payment for completing certain parts of the project.

Go into a dispute only if absolutely necessary. Dispute resolution is not one of Upwork’s major strengths and they tend to be subjective in this matter. Often, Upwork will turn over disputes to arbitration which entails a costly fee.


With the rise of freelancer economy, many companies are finding it profitable to hire through online platforms. The talent pool of freelancers and remote workers on these platforms is bigger and also gives you a wider geographic reach. Moreover, you save on the additional costs associated with hiring an on-site worker like office space, work stations, insurance, etc.

With new marketplaces like Upwork expanding and improving its services to allow easy and efficient connection between clients and freelancers, there hasn’t been a better time to source top performers for your projects online.

Will you be hiring your next graphic designer or copywriter from a digital freelance platform

What Customers Are Saying About Time Doctor:


  • Reggie says:

    I hired a Freelancer to do an app, he requested for the funds to be released that was in Escrow which it appeared I had the authorization to release the funds once the job has been completed. Not knowing, if I didn’t respond to his request for the funds to be released, the funds are AUTOMATICALLY released even if I don’t authorize it. Long story short, I paid $5,000 for an INCOMPLETE app. UpWork didn’t bother to address the issue but instead offered a $50 credit and assistance for them to help me find someone else who would rip off my money. No Thank You!!

  • Kelly says:

    I will never use Upwork again because after choosing a freelancer and spending about $150 over a 2 month period I learned that I was being scammed weekly as he was making promises and showing via email that he was working, but I only received two reports and after becoming suspicious and started analyzing it, I realized that it was a complete lie! The person was contracted to acquire backlinks for a website but the links he claims were submitted were 1)Domain names that were for sale 2)Malware detected by anti-virus 3) in a foreign language 4) cost money to submit to and I know he did not spend any money on my behalf or charge me to reimburse 5) Completely unrelated to my industry 6) None of them appeared in any site when searching for keyword he supposedly used.

    In addition, Upwork is siding with the freelancer in spite of the fact that there is now another client complaining of the same thing.

    I will never use Upwork again and I suggest that others look elsewhere too!

  • Abe says:

    UpWork is a Corporate Bully!

    As hundreds of the reviewers on the site have noted, UpWork treats both employers and employees with arrogance and disdain.

    It happened to me: They accuse me of something which was wrong on their part and without warning, discussion, or recourse they canceled a job offer. I asked UpWork for proof of their claim. Nothing was forthcoming even after four emails to customer support.

    UpWork has ‘taken my money’ to promote my ad and has not provided any explanation as to why they canceled my legitimate job offer. I call such behavior “theft!”

    I tried to cancel my account. I clicked the link that said “Cancel Account” which led to a response that I needed to contact customer support to “cancel.” Even to the bitter end UpWork is uncooperative and disingenuous.

    I suggest you avoid this company completely. There are competitors and it is in your best interests to give them a try. Certainly, they cannot be worse than UpWork.

  • AK says:

    I’ve been using upwork for many years. Recently they added feature to hide jobs from their clients. So now freelancers delivering poor results because working on multiple jobs at same time. Even my personal job wasn’t displayed on freelancer site. When chat with upwork support, instead getting honest answer they gave me excuse that my job was private.
    They have always excuses ready for their bad policies towards clients and getting more friendly platform for freelancers.
    On another occasion the freelancer removed my honest 1.5 star feedback from higher paid job, as he did lots of jobs for pennies and got higher rated from upwork.

  • Ben says:

    I have used the Upwork platform many years to employ software developers and graphic designers. I found the software to be below an acceptable standard. I have experienced significant outages, in particular in the early days that affected my business. Most recently I have had a terrible experience with their support team, in particular, Joseph S. They have frozen my account without consultation as a freelancer mentioned the word “Paypal.” If they completed a more thorough assessment, they would have realized i was not at fault. The main point, do not base your business on Upwork as the software is unreliable and the customer support is terrible.

  • Gabriel Duarte says:

    UpWork is the worst you will lose your money just like me 800$ and they don’t care about clients I can tell really horrible experience and the freelancer I worked with is based in the USA Brooklyn DO NOT USE THIS WEBSITE

  • Michelle Tatt says:

    Upwork also isn’t great for those looking to hire writers anymore, as they now state that ordering review articles are against their TOS. This makes up a large percentage of content orders from niche website owners, so not being able to do that severely limits the usefulness of the platform.

  • Sarah says:

    Upwork is the worst site I have ever come across for freelancers.

  • Unhappy Customer says:

    I am in the process of working with upwork after submitting proof that a former freelancer has accessed my site and the traffic immediately decreased between 20 and 30% the next day and since then. I am told they cannot tell me what actions may have been taken. I am also not being offered any assistance at this point but I am allowed to follow up on my ticket.
    This person had a 98% success rating. How can I possibly trust upwork ever again? I had submitted a job to have someone help me fix it, but with this level of customer service, I don’t think I can possibly use their service again. My apologies to all the true blue, white hat, good freelancers out there – because upwork has some. It is just that upwork seems to not care whether you are in touch with the good guys or the bad guys.

  • Andreas says:

    Upwork is the best whats happen to me as Freelancer. I just earned round about 20k USD this year alone on Upwork, got my 100% Score and Top Rated batch. I’m a premium member since 2013 and I receive almost 10-20 invitation every day. To see it works very well please check my profile page upwork.com/fl/andreasweiss

    Of course, you need to pay a fee of 20% until 500 USD and then 10% but without Upwork, I had never found those clients. Also, Upwork offers a membership (invitation only) where you have access to enterprise clients. This means projects with a higher value for e.g. 10k above.

    To get a good profile status, you should have a look once a day and reply to messages within 24h. Accept and decline invitation within 24 hours too.

    I can highly recommend using Upwork as Freelancer

  • Subir Banik says:

    They are doing bad. I have very much good review on other freelancer platforms. And also have more than four years of experience. But still, upwork not letting me create account and BID. They are crap.

    Every time say – “Because we have many other freelancers with your skillset” but I knew for a fact that some of my friends with the very same skillsets had managed to create their profile and get accepted,”

    How can they do this?

    Now I am happy with my other platform like FREELANCER.COM etc. And I think there are a few coming platforms which will give us more benefits than upwork.

  • Brian says:

    UpWork is absolutely the worst!
    I did not believe in their discriminatory behaviors until I signed up for it.
    I have fully completed my Freelancer’s profile and put information on it, even more than what I have on Linkedin!
    Every time they have just refused my application for really vague reasons. I couldn’t seem to get a real meaning out of their emails on why my application has been rejected. Most of the times it said “Because we have many other freelancers with your skillset” but I knew for a fact that some of my friends with the very same skillsets had managed to create their profile and get accepted, “After me”.
    Anyhow, only by looking at the expectations of the Employers and the payments offered, you can easily see that it doesn’t worth it!
    I was desperate for any project at that time to pay my bills but then I’d rather take my time finding real clients and new connections and eating less for few months than selling myself and my 15+ years of experience in this field, for 3 bucks an hour ( – 20% btw! )
    I don’t think they’d even check your profile, to begin with! The most important thing UpWork has is the lack of transparency.

  • Zhu Yi says:

    I agree with majority of the reviewers here. Upwork is such a waste of time. Either you wait FOREVER before getting a job which pays sooo low OR you get suspended INDEFINITELY for applying “too much jobs”. So stay away from Upwork.

    • richie says:

      This happend to me too. Can’t even close my account because I have been inactive (in Upwork) for a very long time. That is some stupid logic there!

  • Jenny says:

    Upwork is great! Great if you find an unusual pleasure in being bullied. Constantly. Check-ups just ‘because’, contracts suspended because the client is not legit. My account goes private because every-time-there’s-another-reason. I got tired of wasting my time with them. All i got is apologetic emails and the sugestion to upgrade my account. Yeah, you pay, you might not get harrased. So no, upwork is not the best platform for me as a freelancer.

  • Montana says:

    No. It is absolutely not worth it. It is a total waste of time.
    Coming in ‘second’ is the fact that the jobs are a rip-off.
    But first, unless you claim to be an ‘expert’, they will simply reject you repeatedly [but not truthfully / openly].
    They just refuse your profile, over and over, with a note saying it “didn’t meet guidelines; check your e-mail for details”. But there IS NO E-mail, and their ‘contact’ is a useless FAQ page. You can’t complain or get real guidance regarding what is wrong.
    I had done some real-world copy-writing, but I checked ‘beginner’ on the options since I was new to working online and did not want to leap in with no idea what differences might exist.
    I spent over a week remaking my profile … over and over and over and … there was absolutely nothing in it that did not meet their ‘guidelines’. But still, it was refused with: “didn’t meet guidelines; check your email for details”. (The non-existing e-mail they didn’t send.)
    I finally deleted my profile and went back in using another email on another computer, clicked “expert”, and (surprise) my exactly-the-same-in-all-other-details profile was accepted. So, apparently I was being rejected ONLY because I said I was a beginner – but they couldn’t be bothered to admit it honestly.
    Then came the second issue: I was offered $3 each to write articles that needed about an hour each to write correctly.
    SO: to improve the ‘rating’ they claim will bring you ‘better job offers’, I did 60 articles at about a buck fifty an hour. Nope, the offers didn’t get one dime better. It was a complete waste of time.
    Maybe it’s better for coders – I don’t know. But if you are a writer, don’t waste your time.

  • pieter p kruithof says:

    I recently ended a contract with a development group in Upwork because they had oversold their skills and were unable to complete the project.

    I had later discovered that the same group had continued to use my support license to develop a similar product (same feature set/different market). One of their support requests actually included a URL to the product the consulting group was developing.

    I raised the issue with Upwork and shared a screen grab of their support request, a URL to the product the group was developing, screengrabs of the wireframe, and the description of the original project.

    Here is Upwork’s response:

    “We really do apologize, but our hands are tied when it comes to taking action on reports like the one you sent because that is handled by our Trust & Safety team. Unfortunately, according to the team, most of the information you’ve given was circumstantial, not enough solid proof for them to be able to take action.”

    Apparently it appears that a development group using your support to create a product with the same feature set is not enough to take action.

    I responded that, at the very least, I should be able to update my review to reflect my experience with the group after discovering they had been using my support license.

    Here’s Upwork’s response:

    “We do apologize, but we are unable to change feedback you’ve given to a freelancer. When a user (client or freelancer) needs to change the feedback they’ve given on a contract, they need to contact the other party to enable this from their end.”

    In effect, I can always update my review with the freelancer’s permission.

    My advice would be to avoid Upwork for projects because you will not receive support.

  • Shanthisree says:

    Upwork is one more fraudulent company. They do not allow you to withdraw your money unless it reaches 100 which takes really long time for most of the freelancers. Your money is just stuck there. People post all high rates in the beginning and then they start to bargain to lower the prices. Not worth at all!

  • Andrew Carmichael says:

    If you think the abolition of slavery in 1845 was a bad idea or if you believe that its a great idea for Western democracies to exploit workers in third world countries then UpWork is the site for you. As far as I can tell most of the employers that use Upwork are simply trying to get the job done for nothing. In Europe we have laws on minimum wages. Upwork takes a 20%-10% cut on what amounts to a modern day slave trade. It should be closed down.

  • mary says:

    UpWork is trash in my opinion. They have multiple different creative writers but somehow can’t “accept” any more people. This is NOT a place for beginners. Point Blank.

  • Gianna Stuart says:

    I hardly use this account bdvaus for excessive fees and everyone on here wants your services for so much less because of competition from other countries . Not worth the fee or competition. I rather seek out for clients in other platforms or through networking and you will get paid for your time!

  • Roomy Razack says:

    If you put your money in the sea, please go to upwork. They are stealers who stole my money. I hired a freelancer who didnt complete the work but upwork has released my deposit which was in the upwork escrow without my consent.

  • Bill B says:

    As a Vietnam vet with 20 years of sales and marketing management experience and 10 years experience in real estate and residential lending. I have decided to pursue opportunities in copy writing and internet research. I have completed Upwork’s extensive profile and submitted it twice, only to be declined. The explanation given was that they already had “many freelancers with a similar skillset”. They went on to explain that they had a responsibility to their existing freelancers to limit the number of those competing for the same work.
    I was initially annoyed and wondered if the people using them were aware and then I read this. It seems that this channel is not one I should be focusing my energies on in the first place. Can you, by chance, recommend a suitable alternative for me as a freelancer?

  • Luke A says:

    UpWork is Awful.

    I had an individual client that stopped responding. After giving them a week, then three more days (each time warning them about getting back to me) I warned them that I would cancel the contract – which I did. Instead of penalizing the client, I was penalized.

    My Job success score went from 100% to 84% (which, makes it really difficult to secure new work). After MANY conversations with UpWork they said that they couldn’t do anything about it. Then after working to make my Job Success Score above 90% it then drops again for no known reason (no closed jobs or contracts)

    ALSO they seem to weight the bad reviews 9 good out of 10 reviews = 88% success. Essentially I am unable to maintain the score because I have no idea why or how I can improve my performance. (Those drops in score cost me a ton of money)

    I would recommend against this platform for anyone thinking of using it clients, AND freelancers.

  • Michael Naz says:

    Upwork is a good. Just don’t make it an option as your main source of business.
    As an employer. I have a team that I constantly hire through upwork. Which they constantly provide 5 star reviews. And my score has not gone up hire than 4.85 in over 2 year.s

    Also I paid upworks fee of 25.00 to find new candidates for a telemarketing job. I’ve only had 2 people apply. And neither were qualified.

    So as I suggest. Use upwork. But don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

  • Sham says:

    Upwork is the WORST. Full stop.
    Don’t believe me just go register as a freelancer and accept jobs while continue to shop for jobs with better pay. If you find a better one, just ignore the present job you got hired for. Stop responding and doing anything. The client will get pissed off and cancel. Upwork will cancel the job and the money will be refunded back to the customer after making him wait for 7 days. You don’t need to do anything, not even to bother replying to Upwork. And you will not get bad rating as a result.

    100% TRUE. Try it.

    • Kevin says:

      Not True – Clients can post a Review – I’ve seen plenty of good freelancers get lit up for nothing.

  • Micah says:

    Upwork is literally the worst service I’ve ever tried to use.
    The company I work for wanted to test them out on a small project, so we could see if we could farm out a bigger project (the latter would have required about 10 freelancers and about 60 hours each, by our estimations).
    After nearly a week, their awful (and belligerent) “customer service” department didn’t reply to my questions, and the job never did get posted correctly.
    Use Freelancer.com or another service. Upwork is just a waste of your time and resources.

  • Brad Meredith says:

    I wish I had seen the reviews before I hired a freelancer on Upwork. The freelancer was great, honest and very smart. In the middle of our contract Upwork notified me they have banned the freelancer without warning or explanation. I do not have the freelancer’s alternate contact (since that violates Upwork”s TOS) and the freelancer has $5000 worth of prototypes that I have to find a way to get. Upwork could have provided a notice prior to the ban and respected the fact I was in an active, legal contract, but they did nothing to mitigate my loss or inconvenience. This is negligence of high order and I do hope if you are reading this; take heed, the management/ owners of Upwork act capriciously and without regard to a clients rights or need. Go away…far away from Upwork.

    • Ivan says:

      Hi Brad, you are absolutely right, I had been on Upwork for over 5 years, only had problems, either with payment or clients not responding. Finally I was banned for no reason, which was very helpful, since I went out to the real world and got my dream job 🙂

  • Rick Ward says:

    I was just scammed $200 by freelancer on Upwork. Upwork refused to help me. My feedback was just recently removed by the freelancer. So, I am here to testify how disgusting this platform it. Scammers all over it, and he is a top rated user. He had my feed back removed somehow. I pray this business crashes and burns.

    • Yury says:

      Yes, top-rated freelancers can remove bad feedback every now and then. They need to contact support and — allegedly — their staff should check whether it’s ok to remove the feedback, but apparently they don’t care enough.
      The whole feedback mechanism is useless to me, because there are no clear guidelines for it, so people end up leaving 5 stars to each other when they’ve got some foothold on the site (both clients and freelancers), because it’s traditional… Freelancers will shun clients that leave something less than 5.0, because the impact on the reputation is big.

  • Sean Walsh says:

    Avoid them like the plauge! After years of using freelancers from Upwork I have learned a few things:

    1. The time tracker rounds up to ten minutes. So a freelancer can work on something for 2 minutes and gets paid for ten. If they do a bunch of two minute sessions throughout the day, you just overpaid a bunch.
    2. I had a TERRIBLE experience paying a freelancer 7k for a website that is junk. Five months later I am rebuilding it. I left him bad feedback, and now his profile just says: Feedback Removed. Nice! Upwork allows Top Rated freelancers to remove feedback once every quarter. So you are hiring top rated because they are the best right? Well let it be known they have the liberty to remove feedback if is bad, making them appear what they are not.
    3. Goobers just released 4k to a Freelancer when they were not supposed to, and now it is up to the freelancer to give it back. Upworks response: we can not guarantee (that the money they released without my consent based upon messages I never received) will ever be refunded.

    CROOKS! RUN!!!

    • Yury says:

      Yep, that rounding up to 10 minutes is absolutely strange. I don’t know why, probably for the diagrams to look neat, but I need to manually track how many minutes I work in fact and how many minutes upwork counts to stay honest.
      I would object about 2 minute spurts, the period when the time tracker adds 10 minutes is more or less randomised, but nevertheless it’s easy to see or hear when they make a screenshot, this means another 10 minutes (or 20 at times) are added, so should I want it, I can turn the tracker off at this moment and get some undeserved minutes. Definitely not “an hour paid is an hour worked” they boast.

  • Randolf says:

    Just got banned on my freelance AND client account on Upwork, because I didn’t get a call for a job on any of my applications on the freelance profile.

    I don’t think Upwork is any good in the industry that I have expertise in. Furthermore as a newcomer it seems close to impossible to get the call for a job. In that sense upwork is a reflection of the real job market not an addition.

    I had not applied for any jobs in the last 2 months so I haven’t been spamming anyone, the only inconvenience I might have caused is that I have an account with Upwork.

    It’s sad, because now I can’t even look for freelancers when I need one on Upwork. If this is Upwork’s company policy it’s certainly a testament to the business model. Essentially Upwork just wants people that earn money on the platform. Hence big agencies will get the call and not individuals that bring certain skills but fail to have the marketing budget and following of the big players. Isn’t that why we are on Upwork? If we already had a market impact we wouldn’t need the platform? Well done in that sense Upwork is just another playground for people that are already established.

    I will go back to my old process and find freelancers by building personal relationships rather than making use of a platform that has no interest in building a community but solely acts as a payment gateway. Certainly not worth the fee they charge. In the long run the way Upwork does business is gonna cannibalise the business from within. I heard so many bad stories from web developers as well that got banned for the weirdest reasons. In that sense Upwork isn’t really a freelance platform but a hegemonic intermediary!

  • Yury says:

    I’m using odesk/upwork as a freelancer for 5 years now. Good money, a horde of good clients. But petty tyranny from the upwork staff is a thing to consider. Each discussion (heated at times because of the useless canned answers mentioned by Cip) sooner or later results in a threat to block my account.
    That’s why I’ve stopped any interaction with them, even to hide occasional bad feedback I’ve a right as a Top-Rated freelancer. Alas, every big company does that at some stage, that’s life.

  • David says:

    Definitely avoid UpWork. I’ve been shafted by clients who cancel their account once the project is done and disappear. Verified status is meaningless, and UpWork basically shrugs and claims their Terms of Service let’s them off the hook.

  • Zhivka says:

    My experience with UpWork is bad!

    They have suspended my account without any notice because nobody has accepted my offer 14 times. It came to me as out of the blue when they stated that my skills don’t match any client requirements. The problem in my opinion was that the clients in UpWork are requiring cheap service and some budgets there are for 10$ for a logo or 50$ for full brand stack. On the other side for almost every job the employer requires that you have 90% or 100 % successful completed jobs…but how do you get even one job in this case.
    And from the side of platform support people …instead of giving you an advice how to overcome this obstacles they just suspend you. At first sight the system looks organised and you get hopeful however DO NOT waste your time there!

  • Jarrett says:

    Wish I could say UpWork was a benefit to the people, however, it truly ends up being a cheap solution to a market that needs an increased value of itself. UpWork is basically an auction to the lowest bidder. Freelancers will not get work unless they arrange several clients outside of UpWork to use Upwork and give the freelancer the credit and payment through UpWork’s system. UpWork wants control of all facets of the job. How the client and freelancer talk, what is being said, when it’s being said. The message service doesn’t work until the potential client reaches out first. UpWork doesn’t allow for posting personal websites, links, contact information, etc’. The freelancer must wade through 10’s of client ad’s to find the jobs in the freelancers area and meet the minimum requirements the client sets. Vast majority of the time the clients work specifications have minimal information for a quote. UpWork has a paid service where your competitors can find out how you’ve bid for the job. All the hallmarks of cheapening the value of the freelancer.

  • Sandeep Tiwary says:

    Never work on Upwork because after working too many years they can suspend your account and you have no place to work.

    Some of their worst explanation about suspend account:
    1.You have voilate policy-They never indicate which Policy we have voilated
    2.You have applied more Job in 90 days and so we have suspended your account because marketplace have no demand such skills-They never tell that they have no more Project or client in that skills while in same skills i have hired before 1 year in 20 Jobs then how kasriel mother Posted those Job.

    • ivic says:

      My account was been suspended too. Ive been working there for years and I have still 2 ongoing jobs but I can’t use my account cause its already been suspended and I don’t have any idea what’s the reason of my suspension.

  • Thomas Murphy says:

    Incredibly frustrating to deal with. So frustrating in fact that it seems intentional.
    Don’t make the mistake of giving them access to a corporate card… this was and continues to be my experience:
    – Discovered poor work but had already been charged.
    – Closed the work order.
    – Received additional invoice (after work order was closed).
    – Disputed charges.
    – Charges applied against my account (after dispute was registered).
    – Went in to close account and was unable because of the open dispute.
    – Withdrew dispute deciding better to cut my losses rather than risking further erroneous charges.
    – Was unable to close account because there are ‘other team members’ on the account.
    – Removed other team members and was told simply that the account can’t be closed.
    – Ridiculous and maddening.

  • Neeraj Arora says:

    Stay away from Upwork, it is complete and utter rubbish. Rejected me about 10 minutes after I submitted a profile. WORSE FREELANCE SITE EVER

  • Michael Man says:

    I was about to subscribe to Upwork then searched for review. I found this article very interesting for clients and freelancers. But what is surprising is that ALL THE COMMENTS ARE NEGATIVE ABOUT UPWORK !!!
    I should have read the comments first in order to save time and stay away from Upwork…
    Can the article proposes other alternatives then ? Thank you !

  • Jyoti Prashad Kalita says:

    One of the worst platform for freelancers. You are Good for them until you keep paying them. They have no regards for your commitment. There is a high risk that they close your account without a damn piece of information. They will ask you to contact customer support, which in most of the cases comprises of freelancers just like you. The customer support is another of their lame excuse. You will feel like you are chatting with an automated machine. All the time that you put into your account, the tests that you took part in, all up in a puff of smoke! GONE!
    Don’t waste your time in Upwork. Stay Away!

  • marge says:

    Upwork is not a trustworthy site as far as really knowing how well of a job a freelancer does. I had a HORRIBLE experience with freelancer and ended the job. Of course I left honest, but negative feedback (like billing for 3 hours work that took 3 minutes). The feedback was never published, so this freelancer still has a 100% feedback rating and near my job post is say ‘feedback was removed’. So far no reply from the upwork management.

  • John says:

    I have over 20+ years in my area of expertise. I signed up as a freelancer and did not get a response to any of the 25 or proposals I sent. I have worked for some of the biggest startup’s in the U.S. Must be a site where companies want to hire the cheapest person possible.

  • Joe says:

    Loath working with Upwork as a freelancer, worst move I made in my freelance career. Aside from giving clients complete freedom to devalue design work, it’s an unreliable and often buggy platform. Not to mention that fat chuck of profit they take while offering what are often times nightmare clients. Don’t waste your time with it, put your energy towards making meaningful client relationships.

  • BP says:

    Stay away from Upwork, it is complete and utter rubbish. Rejected me about 30 minutes after I submitted a profile. WORSE FREELANCE SITE EVER

  • Shyam Agarwal says:

    Best alternative to upwork is Toogit. Upwork used to be great when it was Elance. Now it is not the case.

  • Taylor says:

    I’m a freelance artist for a living and if I could give upwork -5 stars I would.

    Before I even get to my main issue they take an unreasonable cut of your earnings and will not let you withdraw your earned money without jumping through many hoops.

    The first and only project I’ve taken on that I site I was never paid, despite the fact I submitted the project on time and beyond the requirements. Upwork told me they could offer no support in helping me get paid for my hours of work.

    Since then the employer has said that he never got my work and therefore wants his money back (which I never received). So now I am being asked to pay for the huge displeasure of having to work for that man.

    Upwork has had “technical errors” and didn’t process my first two disputes on that claim. And I am not allowed to contact them to ask for support (as explicitly stated in their email).

    A horrible site that offers artists below minimum wage with no support when things go pear shape. The point of using a third party is to be protected from matters like this.

  • Katerina Robard says:

    Hi guys! If you really mind hiring a skillful specialist, there are some platforms that conduct pre-vetting procedures to make sure the expertise of these people is up to par.
    For example, youteam.co.uk platform’s talent pool consists only of high-profile specialists who are full-time employed in software companies. No doubt such cooperation should be successful.

  • taranjit singh says:

    So manu negitive reviews…the whole my team of 25 friends made a find to stay away from UPWORK n will try another

  • Moni says:

    How to make money with unwork.

  • luzel says:

    I have been on Upwork for a month now and am highly qualified. I hate seeing 1000 words for $5. This is an absolute joke! Then when there is a decent paying job and the person contacts me they never reply after the initial ‘hello’. I have had a 3 successful jobs on Upwork but it frustrates the hell out of me. More people need to read this blog!

  • Tim says:

    I agree Cip, it’s hard to find good talent on Upwork and the reviews are questionable. I hired a few people with 5 star rating only to get mediocre work.
    The worst part is that you get ripped off just enough where you can’t complain. It’s like they do a half ass work that’s bearly good enough that you can’t really complain. You end up with wasted time and money.

    I used Toptal.com recently as a contractor and as a designer. I’ve been having much more success with them than Upwork. To get in is a bit hard but once you are in you get good clients.

    • Hello Tim, It looks like upwork is not doing very good on either side and most likely doing very well themselves. I am a freelance motion graphics designer and tried with oDesk for awhile which seems like the same type of platform. My thought is if they are going to act as a mediator there needs to be more of an account management type (especially to support the hefty price on both ends) having vetting and levels of expertise to allow contractors to know exactly what they are getting and to justify the project cost. I.e. compensation DOE. I am going to check out the other platforms others have mentions including Toptal.com.

      Thanks for you comments.

      Mike M.
      Mile High Motion

  • me says:

    the most frustrating people i ever had anything to do with is UPWORKS. I will advice everyone to stay away from them.

  • Brian says:

    Upwork = automated, in personal, off-handed, unhelpful & rude. Period. Sign up at your own risk.

  • Jk says:

    Don’t use upwork. They suspended my account because I send many proposals. I mean in real life situation that’s just me sending many CV to potential clients. That’s so stupid!!! I’m so angry. They said I’ve no earning but that’s the thing nobody succeed after first tries. I’ve to keep proposing. It’s such a stupid reason to suspend me and I will continue to spread this bad reviews about them.

  • Rob de Koter says:

    quick calculation: 1 billion turn over and 12 million registered freelancers results in USD 83.88 pro freelancer annually….. that is not a whole lot of money

  • Duke Vukadinovic says:

    I really like the whole idea around UpWork because it is a great place that allowed me to solidify my skills while working on actual projects in the past without too much of an experience. And that’s not all! It is also a great marketplace for clients to save their cost and time in finding people to solve their temporary projects.

  • Cip says:

    Just stay away from UpWork. The worst platform for freelancers.
    They use a score system that makes your feedback stars completely useless. I have 5 jobs completed successfully with 5 stars each and my success score is 60%. Many clients refuse to work with me because they ask : Why is your score that low?
    I talked to UpWork support team about my score and is like talking to a automated script. They keep sending me pre-made answers and links.
    Just stay away from it. you will regret investing time in making good reviews. Is just a waste of time

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