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 job sites 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.

Note: Time Doctor is an easy way for you to manage all of the freelancers you hire on Upwork.  You can get real time insight into what tasks they’re working on AND see how long it takes to complete each task.  Try it free for 14 days.

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

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  • Avatar Brett Fleiner says:

    This comment section creates so many doubts and concerns for me. I am an experienced professional in learning and development, curriculum design and have even dabbled for years in the content writing niche. I recently joining UpWork and its alternatives thanks to Covid putting an end to 15 years of being a successful training manager. Been struggling to get a response to any of my proposals despite bidding way less than I should. It worries me to see so many clients having been scammed by the same people who are probably lowball bidding on the jobs I am trying to get. Makes you lose all hope.

  • Avatar Rj says:

    Exercising ‘Due Diligence is not enough when using Upwork to outsource. Fraudulent claims regarding the level of expertise, experience, and education are frequently made by freelancers and supported by Upwork.
    I would highly recommend it.
    * Asking freelancer for proof of education.
    * Asking freelancer for proof of prior work claimed on the freelancer’s resume.
    * Ask freelancers to create an email address with the same root domain as the website referenced on their resume.

  • Avatar Nathemon says:

    I’ve been a freelancer on Upwork for almost three years. Even though they charge 20% from the freelancer, but I never experience any problem and good feedbacks from clients. It’s great until early 2021. Many invitations seem to ask you for free work. It’s like once you complete their test if they had sent the invitation to 20 persons. Their job was done entirely by those 20 candidates. And I searched on many Thai translator freelancer accounts, many of them seem like fake accounts. Their language translation looks like a none Thai native did it. And those talent specialists, some of them are very rude.

    They are also stealing your privacy from your google search. Try searching for something opt-out of your daily work. You will receive the invitations on the next following days (by the talent specialist team )

    I wish the Upwork management team should seriously take this into their account and get it to fix asap.

    Another strange issue is that once I was trying to edit the setting menu and received the pop-up notification that you have multiple accounts…blah blah. I was shocked!!!

    I only have one account as a freelancer. I get to the support, but their answer wasn’t clear. I also feel something strange. I think this is an internal fraud issue that conducts by a group of staff on Upwork. They might hide your account, and someone might create another fake account get all your uploading of works upon the fake one. They suppose to have a video call for identity verification every year, but I received any re-verification process since last year. My profile status hasn’t updated for months, my total earns and works hours, even though I have been working all along.

    I’m not giving up on Upwork yet, but I hope the management team’s Upwork security team should put this complaint on the table.

  • Avatar Isaac says:

    Stay away from upwork. Worse customer support I’ve ever dealt with. 3+ days of waiting to get a single reply. My account was suspended for no reason. I was told to reply and everything would be fine and we can discuss things. After sending that email, 3 days go by and my account gets permanently suspended. I had to reach out to twitter and wait 5 more days before being told, with no reason still, that I’m not getting my account back. I had been working fine for 4 months, was verified and was top rated. They don’t care.

  • Avatar Marcus says:

    Over a hundred comments. The ones I have read are more like nightmares. People must be really vexed.
    NB: I am an Upworker and I’d rather not share my experience on the platform lol.

  • Avatar Eren says:

    I was suspended for no apparent reason, I could not get the money in my account. Stay away from Upwork.

  • Avatar Fred says:

    Beware. I used a graphic designer on this site and thought that the work was amazing, until I discovered it infringed on copyright. He stole the design from someone else. A waste of time and money

  • Avatar Annie P says:

    They protect scamming freelancers I would never use again after my experience. A ‘Top rated’ freelancer charged me for $1100 for SEO work which he didn’t carry out and after raising a dispute Upwork sided with him because he’d been logging hours in his work diary. They didn’t even bother to check for proof that he hadn’t carried out the work (which I had lots) or checking our work conservation history which they could have easily seen he was seriously shady including deleting many parts of our conversation to cover his tracks. Apparently, some freelancers have found a way to fake good feedback and jobs and nothing has been done about it. Absolutely appalling company!

  • Avatar Eshan says:

    Stay away from Upwork as a freelancer. I have been working there for 2-3 years. Despite from high fees and poor support team and lots of checking and paying about 20 days later and ….
    Their new rating system is disaster. We have 5 start or 4.5 star from all of our client in 4 platform. Only because one low review by a unfair client who even didn’t know what he want and not paid our last invoice, they decrease our rate to be 85% completion rate. How come? without even asking what is the reason behind. Reach 5 time to their support, and get just a generic answer of T&C.
    Then we get 2 more 5 star review and it decrease to 83% and then 80%. I was expecting that would increase from mathematical perspective but obviously their system don’t know much how to use plus and minues correctly. Such a poor new rating system.

  • Avatar Mohit says:

    Have used Upwork multiple times but the last experience has been an absolute disaster and this has nothing to do with freelancer it’s review of Upwork service . Please be very careful when you post your jobs and want to keep private, I posted my job as private job and attached requirements document with it and in few hours got a message from a freelancer that he just interviewed with my partner and I was surprised because I have no partner when I asked him what is talking about he shared a job posting in germany which was copy of my post including my requirements document this was shocking as I wanted the project to be closed with only few invited one and here someone had all the information and had posted it as open post showing it is their post. Its been a day I have tried upwork help desk , facebook every source available trying to get that post deleted as my information is now in public domain but all I got is standard answer our team is working on issue give us time .
    Please be aware that your information could be compromised and end up on web if you use the platform.

    Horrible experience as a client

  • Avatar Cam says:

    I just signed up for Upwork a few days ago, looking for a freelancer to help with some mid-level tech project.
    This site seems overpriced and all over the place. You have guys in countries with much, much lower costs still posting rates of U$25 U$60 even U$120/hr. Doesn’t make any sense.
    I hope there is an alternative service out there.

  • Avatar Mm says:

    Stay away from Upwork …It’s full of low quality freelance scammers, mostly, are non native English speakers, and they claim, they will give you high quality job with low price. unfortunately, Upwork support those scammers.

  • Avatar Jasmine says:

    Upwork is NOT WORTH IT, TRUST ME! It discriminates you, is extremely unprofessional and such an unethical way to deal with anything, just a HUGE FAIL! DO NOT RECOMMEND NOT EVEN .5%, Thanks!

  • Avatar Jes says:

    Here’s one more upset user. I used to be a happy Upworker and have been putting up with their high service fee as I believed that they were a reliable platform – until couple days ago! I am really surprised by the way they treat loyalty users.

    Their customer service team is horrible – rude and no knowledge of what the progressive correction steps mean. If you did anything ‘they determine to be wrong” and you aren’t even aware, next second you’ll find account being suspended and you receive an accusation email requesting you to write a statement like you committed a horrible crime. If you don’t follow, they’ll do whatever they want to your account, and be prepared for your account getting permanently suspend.

    With such privacy violation, be careful if you have money on Upwork, as they may also “suspend” the transaction and take the cut for whatever they like.

    If you are thinking about getting an Upwork account, after knowing their poor attitude, why even bother?

  • Avatar Jino says:

    Upwork is a very bad platform – the hiring team has no idea how to hire and waste people time – you will be better off networking on yourself and getting good paying projects – do not waste your time.

  • Avatar Jagdish Arora says:

    Since Upwork now charges $1 dollar per job, Freelancers have started to quote the minimum rate of $3 dollar per hour to get the jobs.

    For big jobs, Freelancers are giving 90 % discount and some even doing them for free. This way either Upwork will go bust or lose 75 % of its turnover, or some competitor may come up and take entire Upwork business away.

    It is short term strategy since there is no competitor and slowly Upwork may close if they continue charging $1 dollar per job.

  • Avatar dolycouy says:

    i has so bad experience with Upwork, It’s the WORST platform ever on the internet to hire freelancers , 90% of freelancers there either scammers or cheaters, and the site itself helps those scammers to steal clients money! if you’re a client, most likely you will lose your money ! STAY AWAY FROM THIS SITE

  • Avatar thu7 says:

    The experience with upwork was a totally waste of time for me. I never got hired, even never get a reply for my applications. I am an IT professional and I could get a job relatively easily if I wanted to change. Which is hardly mentioned, you had only limited credits for applications and after 5-6 applications your credits are running low. You need to pay for them. Understand? Pay when you want to be paid.

  • Avatar Nick says:

    UpWork is the worst website you for finding a freelancers, not the people but the company itself. Horrible. never work with them

  • Avatar TR says:

    I was a client on Upwork. Hired a freelancer who turned out to be a fraud! He tricked me into paying him lying that the deadline had been approached BEFORE I had a chance to review his finished work. On completion, it turned out he had stuck me with a FREE SSL certificate for my website that was going to expire in 90 days. it did not even have my domain name on it!! It caused a security red flag on my website. I had to spend MORE MONEY to fix it. When I showed them proof of that, free-lancer admitted to giving me a FREE certificate to expire in 90 days. But Upwork DID NOTHING to get me back my money. ASKED ME TO PAY AN ADDITINAL $300 TO GET BACK $150!!! BEYOND RIDICULOUS!!

  • Avatar BBB says:

    Elance was way better. They had some ethics. Upwork has only one model i.e of selfish earning. Own enterprise model. Lesser wages to freelancers and commissions on both sides. So on average Upwork is taking 40-50% of total revenue.

  • Avatar Thomas says:

    Upwork really sucks. Horrible support, insane fees (20%), tragic search results, almost $1 to apply to jobs that are never awarded. Enter at your own risk.

  • Avatar Peggy says:

    We used Upwork for 56 jobs outsourced. In the past, we would refer them to others as the best freelancer resource. A few years ago, the candidates found were always higher quality than other sites.

    Now the GREED has set in:

    1. Upwork changed their pricing model, most candidates either decline jobs so they don’t have to pay for a connection, and the ones that apply to your post are lower quality because they are trying to scam or find a long paying client . They generally have done several jobs for low amounts of money to get a 5 star rating. The top talent recommended ones ,most of the time, have had several complaints against them, that Upwork has hidden because of many of the honest, good talent have left. Read other reviews about how many scammers still work there.

    2. SCAM- Upwork forces clients to upgrade and pay $30 to have their talent specialist help you find talent to complete your job. If you do not do this , they limit who you can invite unless you do the upgrade. So either You have to buy the upgrade, or you are limited to inviting 3 people which is useless. And all the specialist does is click “invite” to more people. In the past, you could’ve done that yourself for FREE.

    3. BEWARE- the rating system is rigged! You as the client have a very difficult time finding your own company rating and what the con artists review about you. The Upwork developers that scam people can manipulate the rating system to read – no review left. Therefore whatever dispute you had and you try to warn others- it goes unpublished and allows the developer to victimize more business owners.

    4. DO NOT trust what you read. Upwork stopped testing skill level of candidates, Changed the vetting process and basically could care less while they make money off you . Anyone can say they have experience. Read others reviews of nightmare broken websites.

    DO NOT GET ROBBED!! You pay Upwork to assist con artists to take your money.

  • Avatar W Peter Howell says:

    I’ve been with Upwork since they purchased Elance, as I was an Elance freelancer initially. I don’t know that there’s enough space to write everything here, but Upwork has been terrible to work with. They may be friendly on the phone, but never actually work to resolve issues. Their system is designed to exploit freelancers through fees to submit proposals, to not being able to review those who exploit freelancers by sending proposals rather than doing a “hire now”; so, there is no way to warn future freelancers. Continual bugs in the platform that never seem to get fixed and new software releases that obviously have not gone through any QA or beta testing process. Stay away!

  • Avatar Cherie Williams says:

    Upwork is a complete is sketchy…. Be careful….

    They claim that you are liable if you pay without the reviewing the work, yet they allow freelancers to ask for deposit before starting work.

    One freelancer took my deposit of $1,710 and did not provide any work. They basically stole my money. I complained to upload and disputed with my bank. In the end, my upwork account was suspended and the freelancer is still working on upwork waiting to scam someone else.

    I have never seen that Upwork user service rules or what ever they call it until I had my dispute, then they sent it to me.

    There is absolutely no protection. On top of that, the freelancer started threatening me for no reason. Yet Upwork is ok with this, unbelievable.

  • Avatar James says:

    1) They Charge you to Apply to Job
    2) Again they Charge Commission on the Job to both Freelancers & Clients ( & keep on increasing the percentage)
    3) They apply their own Currency rate (Obviously in their favour)
    4) They AGAIN Charge you to Withdraw your Own Money
    5) If this is not enough now they Hide your Profile and force you to Buy Freelancer Plus Plan

    What’s next Upwork?

    • Avatar Sammie says:

      Look at it this way…They are taking a Total of around 35% of the Cost of the Job Total when you add up the Cost to Client to Post the Job ($50 Except for crummy Free job posting); the Cost to the Client When the are Charged a PROCESSING FEE (on $1,000 this is $33); The cost to ALL those who Apply for the JOB…and there are often 50 applications at around $1 per application for a job (Upwork makes $50 if 50 people apply); And the 20% charged to the Freelancer on the $1000 job ($200).
      Sum total on a $1,000 job is around $330. OUTRAGEOUS!
      PLUS EVERYONE is COMPLAINING about ALL The fake Jobs. This needs to be reported to the proper authorities like the Attorney General. If you are PAYING FOR SOMETHING (to apply for a job) then it HAS TO BE A VERIFIED AND REAL JOB. Otherwise, UPWORK is gleaning money for being a SCAM site.
      Elance was a great site and very honest. Upwork is a SCAM site looking to boost their earnings in order to Sell it to some idiot who doesn’t realize the EARNINGS are a SCAM. Contact the Attorney general and the SEC! Make Upwork be an Honest Site.

  • Avatar Brent Martin says:

    Very bad service. I had a 100% job success score and then one day all of my reviews were deleted and now I have 75% job success score. About 80% of jobs posted don’t award contracts. Don’t waste your time with the service.

  • Avatar Jan says:

    Upwork is sham. Something stinks about this company claiming they are not making any money. Kasiel needs to be investigated by the IRS and by the government regarding Anti-Trust laws. Too much going on that doesn’t add up about Upwork. They are skewing their numbers and allowing inactive profiles to remain so they can claim they are the biggest freelancers website in the world. Only about 2% ever get hired.

    The recent huge drop in stock has forced them to gauge freelancers and clients alike while:

    1) Quality of companies/clients has dropped significantly;
    2) Most job postings are scams or ‘clients’ disappear and never hire anyone;
    3) They recently got cyber-attacked by Pakistan and did nothing to stop it;
    4) Clients do not have be checked or conform to many rules, freelancers however are required to upload government IDs, go through various checkpoints and will still be refused if they
    5) They take 20% off the top of all projects from freelancers pay, plus charge freelancers a monthly fee, and are now charging clients $50 to $500/month to post jobs;
    6) The community forum is dominated by only top rated freelancers, one of whom is a former employee of Upwork itself, and these people are allowed to harass and ridicule others and abuse the forum with no repercussions.

    Right down to the most basic of things, this company is suspicious.

  • Avatar T G says:

    Upwork was a total waste of time. It might not be Upwork itself, but the quality of vendors.
    I’m a US qualified attorney, fluent in a premium Asian language. I posted my profile and sent a few proposals.
    One offer came in at 12:15 am on a Sunday morning and was withdrawn at 3:30 am the same morning from an inexperienced vendor who did not understand time zones.
    Another job was posted with $1000 as the budget. A bit cheap, but I had some free time. I got a private message from the vendor asking if I could translate 10,000 words in a few hours for $5.
    Next issue. Many vendors do not understand that you need a native speaker for the target language when you are hiring for English to Chinese or English to Japanese. My native language is English, but I kept getting offers to translate English to a foreign language.
    Finally, as stated earlier, vendors do not understand time zones. I clearly marked my profile with my time zone but consistently got negative feedback for not replying at 3 am to vendors with completely unrealistic expectations.
    There are other services that have a much better grasp at language pairs, but worldwide sourcing has made a once well-paying profession into a commodity where jobs go to the lowest bidder, and only if you reply within a minute. I’m used to working on long-term projects that pay well, with well-planned timelines.
    Upwork is for people who watch their inbox 24/7, who can afford to work for $5/day.
    Unfortunately, Upwork is contributing to a race to the bottom.
    Not for me.

  • Avatar TS says:

    I have had an account for a long time, however I haven’t used their service in a while as I had a full portfolio. I recently decided to start paying for the service and paid about $10.95 for 4 months and placed around 8 proposals without winning any contracts.
    All my proposals were legitimate with proper research and not spammed text etc. Just after they took the last payment, they automatically closed my account without warning, removed over 150 connects which I can’t use the remainder anyway and they won’t even reply to my questions at all.

  • Avatar Christos K. says:

    I am the owner and lead developer of a Bulgarian company specializing in WordPress / WooCommerce solutions. Recently, I tried to create an agency/client account on Upwork…what an experience! I apologize in advance for the length of this comment, but if you are a freelancer or representing an agency ( or even a client ) you should definitely read this before joining Upwork.

    At first, I tried to create an agency account using my main company email. After I finished the initial setup, I realized that their system was forcing me to create a freelancer account and all account URLs were redirected to this screen. Due to my misunderstanding, I believed that I created a freelancer-profile account by mistake. I tried to contact their support to clarify this, but they don’t provide direct support for freelancers ( at least non-approved ones, not sure what happens with working accounts ). Unable to communicate their support, I probably made the mistake to cancel my account, in order to create a new account from scratch.

    After reading more carefully their help pages, I realized that creating a freelancer profile was a prerequisite for the agency profile. So, after knowing what I had to do, I tried to create a new account with the same email…this was not possible, my email was blocked. Again, access to their support was not available, so I used an alternative company email and I finally managed to create the second account and set up all the information.

    My profile featured a legal company based in Bulgaria, a WordPress-specific overview and skill set, 8 years of WordPress themes and plugins authoring experience ( 12 total in web development ), a portfolio containing lead web development work on 6 commercial WordPress themes, several high-profile client projects, all my work history and I also took my first WordPress test with a 4.8/5.0 score. Without intention to brag about my skills, I consider myself an expert on my field and this was far from obvious in my Upwork profile.

    The next day, I got a generic profile rejection which caught me by surprise. Again no support chance to ask what the problem is. After a while, I received another notice that they rejected my VAT number. Since this was not wrong in the first place, I tried just to resubmit it…it was rejected two times. I updated it again, only this time I added the BG prefix…their system warned me that this might not be a correct one, but allowed me to submit it. I also updated my company name, changing it from English to Bulgarian in order to help their “smart” script to verify the data with the EU VIES system…zero progress.

    The final outcome: after spending two days of my life preparing my profile and trying to guess how to solve issues with their system, I get, out of the blue, an account rejection message. Even if they didn’t provide a single valid reason for their decision ( they just said it was a term violation ), it was clearly an indication that my account was considered a fraud case! They didn’t even bother to ask me…that was the first shock!

    Since this was the first time they contacted me via a support message on the account panel, I got the chance to write a response, in order to let them know that all their anti-fraud alarms were a product of my struggle working with their dysfunctional system and unreachable support and that I will be more than happy to provide them any type of prove or official documentation.

    How naive I was, expecting a human answer! Unfortunately, I received an instant automatic reply that they were not willing to revise their decision ( so they had already predicted my response, but they simply don’t give a damn! ). Well, I have used and partnered with several web services, this is the first time I was treated like this. I wasted so much time and effort in this, and they didn’t even have the courtesy to allow me to access their support. I was totally shocked!

    I was so upset with their unacceptable behavior, that I had to take a day-off to calm down. Today, I tried to make a little research on their reputation, and my guess was confirmed. Agencies, freelancers and, most importantly, the clients are absolutely frustrated with their service. If they treat professionals like garbage, why would someone expect that clients will get better treatment?

    Finally, I’m quite happy with the outcome since providing client services via unreliable partners is a recipe for disaster. For sure I got my lesson…I should have done my homework before getting involved with them in the first place.

  • Avatar VIPIN KUMAR says:

    Apparently upwork let’s pyramid schemers hire people for their “sales positions”. I am a graphic designer and I got a request for an interview from an “insurance company”. Totally staying away.

  • Avatar Kunal says:

    1) They Charge you to Apply to Job – Greedy
    2) Again they Charge Commission on the Job – Covetous
    3) They apply their own Currency rate (Obviously in their favour) – Pleonectic
    4) Not over yet they again Charge you to Withdraw your Own Money – Crummy


  • Avatar Mike says:

    Apparently upwork let’s pyramid schemers hire people for their “sales positions”. I am a graphic designer and I got a request for an interview from an “insurance company”. Totally staying away.

  • Avatar Susan says:

    In my case I used to utilize Upwork around 4 years. I was pretty good and simple to navigate it. However, now days I’m curious about their unreasonable demands and rules. When I approached this platform, the commission was pretty reasonable with fast feedback which was served custom services via live chat. However, now you can see they require 20% commission fee with a client before reaching $500. Normally employer looks for part-time worker with short contract so that means it is really hard to reach 10% or 5% fees. In addition, few days ago I got an email from Upwork about terms of connects pricing, they gonna starting in May, connects will cost $0.15 each. Um, what I’m thinking about Upwork now they are crazy to make money in this moment! If you look for a short term job or doesn’t want to waste your time, just skip this useless money-crazy site.

  • Avatar mark says:

    Not only is their website terrible to work with, they appear to be stealing money from my freelancer. I just logged on to re-hire a freelancer I hired in February. That is when I saw a message from him that he left back in February after the job was done. I copied the message below

    Hi MarkI hope everything is fine with you. I have big favor to ask.Upwork suspended my account without giving any reason. Which is very strange to me. All my feedback is very good, clients were happy with the work i did for them, i am doing projects currently. I don’t see what that reason could be. But from what i read now online it’s not for the first time that this happened at upwork, which is alarming! They basically block freelancer accounts (including account balance) without any explanation and don’t respond to any form of communication. I am experiencing this now with them.They took money from my balance and i believe returned it to your account.I have big favor to ask, i hope you value the work i did for you and would like to pay me for the work i did i would be very grateful.

    So, I looked at my account and see Upwork billed my credit card twice for this job and credited back one of the charges. So Up[work took my money and did not pay the Freelancer. My credit card company has pulled back the money Upwork took and I just paid my freelancer on PayPal.

    This company cannot be trusted.

  • Avatar Nope says:

    Upwork is a waste of time and resources. Six months and I made sixty dollars, which I can’t get because they have a minimum threshold of $100 to cash out the balance of your account. I applied for more than 100 projects over that time and was rewarded with two (you do the math to figure out how much I made per project). And my account setting was changed from public to private several times because I was not working – not making Upwork money. When I pointed out that I was applying for projects and not being awarded projects the setting on my account was changed from private to public again.

    The claims that you can make six figures on Upwork are bogus, fake, fraud, and a lie. Someone I know, who paid for the premium service, did not break even on the money spent because, like me, they were not awarded projects. Based on this I have to wonder how Upwork makes money, and if they will merge with another so-called freelancer platform to hide their debt.

  • Avatar Nate Piscopo says:

    UPWORK SUCKS, plain and simple. (There are no two sides to this story.)

    They are switching to a paid service, rather than a free one, which is currently what I have. I’ve never spent a dime on Upwork, so I’ve only wasted my time, but the entire platform is garbage even at no charge to freelancers.

    In the beginning, like many freelancers, I was eager to work, so a content mill like this, offering bundles of jobs for the bidding, was naturally an enticing prospect. The only job I’ve EVER gotten from them was a stupid survey. Every job is posted by people looking for dirt-cheap writers in the first place, and then Upwork grabs a fat ass fee on top of that. Even being on Upwork for over a year, I’ve only corresponded with less than four people entertaining the idea of hiring my services. It’s definitely not a “writer’s market.”

    You won’t find work here, and when you do, it’s going to be underpaid, and likely lame. If you’re a beginning freelancer, I’d venture to say you’re above nothing until proven, but even so, I’d NEVER RECOMMEND UPWORK TO ANYONE – EVER! Go scour job forums, Craigslist, and everywhere else you can. if you are persistent enough, good things will come to you. Upwork is a long, frustrating dead-end, even at its best.

    The new Upwork plan proposes to CHARGE you for “connects,” which are tokens you use to apply for jobs. The fee is nominal, but nonetheless a gouge at starving freelancers desperate to secure some form of work. Don’t let this crappy ass platform con you into chasing your tail. I know some of you are starving and desperate. This is only the beginning. It’s a long, hard road, but worth it to those who stick with it. Have faith, work hard, write well…and stay away from Upwork no matter what you do!

  • Avatar Tom says:

    This is a terrible platform for the customer. I was scammed out of thousands of dollars by one of their “freelancers” and the company did nothing to help verify their identity for the lawsuit which I had to give up. Only use this if service if you want to be left high and dry.

  • Avatar BM says:

    Upwork is a terrible service. Don’t do business with them.

  • Avatar Monika says:

    I REGRET ever trying to make it work with UpWork. And I tried so hard. I thought the idea of the website was great. I imagines just staying at home or being on vacation somewhere being able to get jobs with a few clicks and making some decent money. But oh no my friends.
    With my first job I got SCAMMED. I was promised $300 for editing a bunch of photos($240 for me after fees). In the end I only got $50 as this was all that the client had put in escrow. As I was new to the site then I tried chasing customer support for help only to find out there is really no way to get my money. What they told me was basically
    But my optimistic crazy self didn’t give up. I thought ‘I’ll know better now and learn from my mistakes’. I tried getting a second job. But it took time. I applied to a bunch of jobs only to get my account suspended at the end. Their reasons were: I applied to too many jobs without getting hired. But how am I supposed to get a job without applying being new and all? Isn’t it the same in real life after all? You need to try and knock on a few doors until you get it started.
    After trying to argue my way back they just shut the door in my face and I never want to hear from them again. All in all, I only got bad experiences there.
    And to even think I recommended the website to my friends?!? I’m just sorry I didn’t look up people’s reviews before I ever started dealing with them.

  • Avatar Teddy says:

    Avoid UpWork at all costs. UpWork allows freelancers to remove one bad review every three months. Yes, that is correct. That is per official, UpWork written policies. How do we know? Well, it took us several years and several hundred thousand dollars to find out. We recently hired a freelancer and paid him $2,400 and the project was a total disaster so we left him a bad but honest review. The contractor sent us a nasty email and told us he had the review removed. I didn’t believe him so I checked his profile and it wasn’t removed. Hmm…. Then I checked Google Incognito and there it wasnt! UpWork silently ghosted the review without ever letting us know. I called customer support and the tech played dumb with me on the phone. He told me to log into my account and view the freelancer’s profile. Yes, of course it was there because I was logged into my company account and they wanted to hide the fact that they ghosted the review. I then told the customer support agent to check Google Incognito and he played dumb with me on the phone. There is no way this is the first time the rep has received a call like this. I have hired hundreds of people and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars not knowing the review system cannot be trusted. How much money has UpWork costed us in hiring mistakes? $1,000? $10,000? $25,000? No one knows for sure because the bad reviews are ghosted. The internet’s greatest advantage is transparency but when companies like UpWork run their business based on shady practices that cannot be trusted, then I suggest hiring elsewhere. If you want to get bent over backwards and lied to then go ahead and use UpWork.

    • Avatar Jan says:

      Believe me, they screw over the freelancers, too. The good ones.
      Not sure what their game is but it’s time to expose it for both clients and freelancers.

  • Avatar james says:

    There is absolutely no protection for clients using their escrow system. It’s also just as bad for the freelancers. DO NOT! use this service for your work. If you do make sure its by milestone. NEVER in full amounts. Upwork will not settle a dispute, each party will pay $300 for arbitration.

  • Avatar Isaac says:

    recently they become terrible with no support or protection from bad clients. You get your score reduced with no reason after many years of work !!!

  • Avatar Jamie says:

    Upwork is awful. They discriminated against me and I definitely advice any freelancer to stay away from this platform. There is no support for the freelancers only the customers and it’s very very unfair how there is no protection for freelancers. Also no customer service at all just a bot no phone number so your account is suspended if you make even a technical error not because you did anything wrong! I was updating my time zone and they suspended me and won’t allow me to use the platform and say you can’t contact them. Very capitalist. No rights.

  • Avatar Arthur Doyle says:

    UpWork is by far the the most mismanaged and dishonest company I’ve ever dealt with. They are arrogant, unbelievably ignorant and do not want to resolve complaints. They’ve reinvented themselves after failing miserably as elance.com, and somehow they’ve conned their way into becoming a public company. They’re trying to be acquired by Microsoft; however, this will never happen because their history of of fraud will surely come to light. In fact, this is a great stock to short. They deserve all the lawsuits, complaints, FTC inquiries, Attorney General complaints and racketeering claims targeted at them. This is the ULTIMATE online scam.

  • Avatar 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!!

  • Avatar 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!

  • Avatar 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.

  • Avatar 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.

  • Avatar 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.

  • Avatar 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

  • Avatar 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.

  • Avatar Sarah says:

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

  • Avatar 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.

  • Avatar 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

  • Avatar 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.

  • Avatar 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.

  • Avatar 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.

    • Avatar 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!

  • Avatar 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.

  • Avatar 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.

  • Avatar 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.

  • Avatar 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!

  • Avatar 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.

  • Avatar 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.

  • Avatar 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!

  • Avatar 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.

  • Avatar 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?

  • Avatar 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.

    • Avatar James says:

      I’m looking for an online writing service to assist with my MBA & have had similar disappointing experiences as yours with upwork. Could you recommend an alternative site?
      It’s so difficult trawling through these sites with their fake reviews in the attempt to find a legitimate site. Any direction you could provide would be appreciated.

    • Avatar Carlo says:

      Hi James,

      We have an article that talks about 17 Upwork alternatives: https://biz30.timedoctor.com/upwork-alternatives/

      Is this what you are looking for?

  • Avatar 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.

  • Avatar 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.

    • Avatar Kevin says:

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

  • Avatar 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.

  • Avatar 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.

    • Avatar 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 🙂

  • Avatar 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.

    • Avatar 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.

  • Avatar 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!!!

    • Avatar 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.

  • Avatar 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!

  • Avatar 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.

  • Avatar 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.

  • Avatar 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!

  • Avatar 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.

  • Avatar 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.

    • Avatar 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.

  • Avatar 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.

  • Avatar 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

  • Avatar 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 !

  • Avatar 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!

  • Avatar 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.

  • Avatar 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.

  • Avatar 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.

  • Avatar 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

  • Avatar Shyam Agarwal says:

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

  • Avatar 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.

  • Avatar 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.

  • Avatar 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

  • Avatar Moni says:

    How to make money with unwork.

  • Avatar 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!

  • Avatar 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

  • Avatar me says:

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

  • Avatar Brian says:

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

  • Avatar 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.

  • Avatar 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

  • Avatar 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.

  • Avatar 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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