When it comes to freelancing and finding freelance jobs online, Upwork is arguably the first website that comes to mind.
It’s the most recommended marketplace by other freelancers and it’s the first website that comes up top on Google search results.
But, what most people don’t know is that it’s also the most evil freelancing platform on the Internet.
I’ve been asking freelancers to avoid platforms like Upwork and Fiverr for many years. And now you’ll see why.
A journalist has exposed the evil practices Upwork use to manipulate freelancers and make more profit from you.
I highly recommend you to read the full story over at HackerNoon. Or you can keep reading for my take on this matter with a summary of what happened.
Once You Join, You Can’t Leave!
This story happened after a recent update Upwork has made to their Terms of Service (ToS) document.
When a company makes a change to its ToS, they have a moral obligation to notify its customers and users about it.
The weird thing is, Upwork has kept this very important update very quiet.
So what’s this change they’ve made to the ToS? Well, have a look.
According to this change, Upwork requires you to pay a fee of up to $50,000 US Dollars to leave the platform.
So for example, let’s say that you have found a client that you want to work with on a long-term project. And you want to work with them outside Upwork.
If you want to do that, now you have to notify Upwork, go through an entire opting-out process, and pay thousands of dollars.
They go on to explain how they calculate this “fee” and say if you’ve been working with this same client for over 2 years on Upwork, you can get away with just a $1 dollar fee.
Upwork Caught Posting Fake Jobs
This is not the first time Upwork has been caught red-handed doing shady practices.
The same HackerNoon writer has previously written about how Upwork posts fake jobs as a way to keep freelancers engaged on the platform.
And, more importantly, to get freelancers to spend their tokens (also known as Connects).
If you’re not familiar with Upwork, the platform gives you a limited amount of tokens every month. You need to spend these tokens to apply for jobs. And when you run out of tokens, you have to buy them with your own money to apply for new jobs.
Why You Should Quit Right Now!
Bidding wars, scammers, cheap clients, platform fees, and premium tokens aren’t the only worst things about Upwork. Now you can add a few more reasons to the list to quit the platform.
At some point in your career, you will find a good client that you would want to work with for long periods of time. In fact, I found one of my best clients on a freelance platform and we then started working outside the said marketplace.
Using marketplaces like Upwork for those long-term projects is not beneficial, especially with the platform fees and other restrictions.
So the obvious step is to work with the client outside of the platform.
But now, if you attempt to do this on Upwork, you will either have to pay thousands of dollars or risk getting sued by Upwork.
The best thing you can do right now is to get the hell out of this evil platform.
I left Upwork many years ago and it’s the main reason I’m here today.
That decision led me to be able to find better clients and earn more as a freelancer.
I encourage you to do the same.
If you’re used to finding jobs from marketplaces, there are other platforms you can use. Or, the best way is to use job boards and contact clients directly.
It will take some time to adjust to the change but it’s the best thing you’ll ever do for the growth of your freelance career.