I’m not the richest person in the world but I have some money so I’ve been trying to help some Ukrainian refugees.
I found a person on Facebook who needed help for food and travel to get out of the country such so I offered to help.
I sent that person money through PayPal. I wanted to keep track of the situation to make sure they’re okay but then a few hours later the person blocked me on all social media and chat apps so I realized I just got scammed.
I wrote PayPal about the situation describing everything and then a few days later they gave me this started bullshit 1 click written response.
It’s a fucking disgrace how these giant companies treat us and something needs to be done about it! I couldn’t believe the response and I’m quite sure if Elon Musk actually read this interaction he would fire half of these dumb careless cunts!
We need to start holding these companies liable for these types of actions!!!
If you need to contact me find me on Instagram @artsoulbrother
I believe how a company treats their employees and people working with them says a lot about how they treat their clients.
I’ve been in the IT industry for 20 years so I will say, I should have known better! I met one of the members ( Amy ) of SandwYch a couple years ago on a freelancer website. I’ve done a few projects for her and have always had a great experience so when SandwYch came to me with a proposal and Amy was involved, I was quite excited! It all started off with doing some research for the company and for a few months it was just that. They came to me with nothing. A collection of words, and a cluster of thoughts and it was far from anything tangible. I helped them organize their idea and suggested building a comprehensive outline for a startup business proposal. I suggested using a standard template and filling in all the blanks to start with. All of this wasn’t in my job description by any means, in fact, I didn’t even work for SandwYch at the time. I did it simply because I liked the person I was working with.
A few months go by and I hear back about this project. They put together an outline! That’s cool! Something I suggested came to be and it was looking pretty good. I pointed a few more things out and after a couple more months of work on the outline that mostly consisted of building a proper proposal they finally got back to me with a project proposal.
After reviewing the proposal we over viewed a few different sets of approaches and technologies that would best fit this project and soon enough we agreed on something and started developing. We agreed on 3 revisions, the outline was very clear and I completed the project in under a month. This is where things started getting tricky. The company wasn’t ready. The people in the company weren’t organized and couldn’t agree on things. Those 3 revisions very quickly turned into 20 and because I liked Amy, she was involved, and I’ve worked with her before, I continued being patient and accommodating. This dragged on for 3+ months and some time along the way I started mentioning that the situation is becoming very unfair and they need to consider paying me an hourly wage because their lack of organization is not my fault. When I mentioned this the atmosphere got very nasty very quickly! I believe because of THEIR lack of organization they were shifting the blame on me as a scapegoat but by then, it’s been so many months and so many revisions that I wasn’t having it and honestly I should have actually done something about it earlier.
Once I felt the nasty vibes I realized that things could get bad for everyone really quickly so I suggested 1 more revision ( which turned into 3 ) and that I need to move on. After a lot of huffing and puffing – not on my end, I knew what needed to be done – we finally agreed on the final deliverables which I delivered and the project was complete. Or so I thought. I even, free of charge, transferred the project over to hosting of their choosing.
Long story short, a couple months go by and Amy, the person that I worked with before on DIFFERENT projects ( different companies ) that had nothing to do with SandwYch ended up leaving me a negative review on the freelancer website on projects that again had nothing to do with SandwYch – the projects that I’ve done on the freelancer site for her, she was always super happy with my work. This move was so unethical and conniving that it shook me to the core and I decided to write this article.
Ethics are so important in this business and generally speaking in any business. I mean they’re the corner stone between good and evil, in a sense… in a world of free thought, progression, and capitalism, how else do we define the fine lines of business interaction? Truly, this power is in our hands and it is our sense of responsibility that will make a difference.
I know in my previous articles I’ve posted screenshots and proof. I do have all the correspondence to back this article up but it’s ugly business and I at least for now I rather take the high road.
Food for thought
I’ve been a part of many projects that have under evaluated the scope of the project and often the developers get the blame for it, I’m guessing, because, often people don’t fully understand what it is we do. Keep in mind that we’re on your side! We want you to succeed! Projecting the costs of a project is not a developers job. We can have a good idea about timelines and deadlines but our scope doesn’t extend to a project owners/leads/managers inconsistencies. This is not a new topic but I feel like it doesn’t get enough attention. Jokingly I even thought about a developers union and how it would all look hahaha!
Anyways, I hope everyone involved has learned a little something from this and we can all move on in peace.
Update: About 12 hours after I made this post and emailed it around town, Upwork reached out. They were very helpful and attentive. My account got reinstated and refunds made. I never did get a response as to why this happened to me but big companies can be complicated so I will leave it at that. I will keep this blog post up since it took so much energy but I would like to say that I’ve known Upwork since the oDesk days (I’m sure it’s changed) and they’re legends in the industry so I personally actually don’t have much against them, this was just a rotten situation that has now been resolved.
I write this post with deep regret as there’s enough problems in the world for yet another one. Upwork has blatantly stolen from me, and if that alone is not enough, they have done so during the Coronavirus pandemic. I’ve been a developer for over 20 years and have seen this platform grow from the oDesk days to what it is today. It saddens me very much to see such behavior in the market so please! take the time to read this post and understand that responsibility starts with every single one of us.
I ended my previous contact in December 2019 and with nothing much going on I decided to travel around Southeast Asia. After a few months of roaming around this beautiful part of the world, and getting stuck in Indonesia due to the virus, it was time to get back to work. Going through some of my contacts and not finding something I want to do I figured, why not give Upwork a chance? So I signed up, created a desirable profile, deposited $12 for Upwork connects and began submitting proposals. Sure enough! After about 10 days and 15-20 proposals I received my first contract! Excited to work again and that everything’s working out during these hard times I spent extra hours and worked very diligently to impress my first client. Everything worked out great, the contract was for $75 and the client was actually so impressed that he paid me $90 without even telling me 🙂 – I got my first 5 star rating! I received a message from Upwork saying that I need to verify my account. This meant I had to submit a government issued ID and have a video call to confirm my identity. The call went well, my US passport was accepted and my account changed to verified status. Of course I was excited so I logged into Upwork and continued submitting contracts.
This is my first blog post and I’m not sure how to gauge the amount of text so I’ll make this next part short and get to the screen shots and transcripts.
Monday morning I log into Upwork excited to see if I have more work. I see a RED note across the top of the screen saying “Your account has been suspended.” Immediately I began looking into the situation and soon enough I was exchanging emails with them. There was a week of back and forth between me and Upwork where they asked me to provide information and I did. I was as transparent and helpful as possible. After a week of mental torture due to not knowing what’s going on I received an email: “We’ve reviewed all of the information you provided, but will not be reinstating your account.”
I am now not able to log into my account and my $12 for connects and $90 for the contract I’ve completed has been stolen by this big ugly giant. To make matters worse I’ve spent a month working for a company that is abusing people while I could have been focusing my energy on my loved ones.
Since I received no reasoning from Upwork as to why I was suspended I think it’s only fair to assume anything, so with this in mind I’m assuming that this is actually a case of racial profiling. My last name is Armenian, which sadly angers some people who do not know me personally. Since I cannot think of any other valid argument for being suspended it renders the thought, “Did I just experience a moment of racial profiling”. Since there’s prejudice against Armenians, and Upwork did not justify a response, I can’t think of anything else. I’ve always understood this but never really been involved enough to experience it, so you can imagine how shocking this situation is for me. It leaves me speechless thinking that in 2020, during a global pandemic, the IT industry is still suffering from such bigotry. When the whole world is coming together to the aid of their neighbors regardless of ethnicity, age, gender or orientation, corporations are still allowing hate filled agendas to be continued. Considering how much of my life I’ve spent working, it makes me wonder if I made the right choice. I hope you understand that this is just an assumption, I know I do, but please see it from my perspective. They’re driving a train and everything in the way gets trampled; even though I truly believe that it’s you and me that is the foundation of this amazing communication industry.
Below are all the images and transcripts I’ve collected of my communication with Upwork. I’ve removed my name for security reasons.
Note: If you have similar stories please email them to me and once reviewed I’ll add them to this post: firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me on twitter @ScamUpwork
Right click and view image for full size.
Here’s a screen shot of the email flow:
Proof that I spent money and made money:
I will add one screenshot of my transcripts with Upwork for authenticity sake but the rest I will add as text:
I will replace my name with ME for security reasons.
Rizza D (Upwork Help) Apr 5, 10:46 AM EDT Hello ME,
I’m contacting you today because I noticed some irregular activity on your account. In order to ensure your security on Upwork, I have placed some features of your account on hold until we can verify your identity.
We want you back up and running as quickly as possible. Once you click on the link you’ll see the documentation we need and learn how to upload it securely so we can review it.
This link will take you to our verification portal:
Please review the instructions located on the verification page carefully. It’s important that you send the specific documents we’re asking for. Following a successful verification, we’ll be able to restore full functionality on your account.
Thank you for your patience and understanding while we verify your account. Please feel free to reply to my email if you have any questions regarding the next steps.
ME Apr 6, 10:03 AM EDT Hi, I contacted you recently before seeing this email. I followed the link provided and it’s actually blank. I don’t see any instructions there. I’ll attach a screen shot of what that URL looks like. Thanks for your help! Art Attachment(s) Screenshot_2020-04-06 FIVS.png
Hi Art, We’re writing to let you know that your Upwork Support request (#28246913) has been received and is being reviewed by our Support staff. We’ll be back in touch soon. To review the status of the request and add additional comments, please follow this link: https://support.upwork.com/hc/requests/28246913. Thanks, The Upwork Team
ME Apr 7, 6:27 PM EDT Hi, I’m still waiting on a response for this ticket so I can fix any issues we might be having as I’d like to get back to work ASAP. The issue hasn’t changed for me. When I reach that URL the page is blank. Please help! Art
Cristina (Upwork Help) Apr 8, 7:37 AM EDT Hello ME,
Please let us know if you’re still facing the same issue.
Upwork Trust and Safety Team
ME Apr 8, 9:11 AM EDT Okay so I managed to submit the required documents. Your tech department might wanna know that, even after clearing cookies and the restart, on Firefox 75 this page doesn’t load. I finally manged to open the page in Chrome. I’m sure you can see that through my logs. Thanks for the help! Let me know if you need anything else. Art
ME Apr 8, 9:33 AM EDT Hi, Actually, can you please explain to me why this is happening. I’ve already submitted my passport before. I’ve also had a video call with one of your reps and I’ve already had one very nice successful project. It’s just a bit of a shame because I’ve had quite a few active proposals and had a good feeling about a couple and then this happens – especially right now when the whole world is struggling and as you I’m sure know people are struggling with work – so am I… I guess my IP comes up as Indonesian and that doesn’t look too good. If that’s the case you could have asked. I’m actually stuck in Indonesia right now but I am who I say I am and I do work nights here so I can be on the US schedule. Anyways, a little bit of a insight into what’s going on would be a great relief. Thanks for understanding! Art
Alejandra M (Upwork Help) Apr 8, 10:53 AM EDT Hello ME,
I’m writing to let you know that we attempted to verify your identity, but unfortunately one of your documents did not pass our review.
The ID you provided is acceptable; however, the statement you provided is not.The statement provided doesn’t match with your address .
Please note that the statement submitted must contain ALL information below:
– Date. Must be dated within the past 6 months – Your name. If you live with someone you can send the statement in their name as long as their last/surname name matches the last/surname shown on your ID. – Your address. The address on your statement must match your address on your Upwork profile. Your Upwork address is where you hold permanent residency. – Company name. Company name (letterhead) must be visible for the company that issued your billing/financial statement. – Company contact information. Address, phone number, or website for the company that issued statement must be visible.
Please also remember to not alter or crop your documents. Send original document images with all four corners visible.
Once you have done so, please reply to this email and let us know so we can expedite your review process.
We appreciate your cooperation and look forward to your response.
Thank you, The Upwork Team
ME Apr 8, 11:42 AM EDT Hi, Sorry, forgot to update my address. Still would be nice to get a response to my last msg. Thanks, Art
ME Apr 9, 2:04 PM EDT Hi, I’m just checking in. It’s been over 24 hours since my submission. Thanks, Art
Kaye T. (Upwork Help) Apr 10, 8:02 AM EDT Hello ME,
Thank you for contacting Upwork.
To maintain a safe and trusted marketplace for all, Upwork takes action when we suspect behavior that would violate our Terms of Service or otherwise negatively affects users.
Did you use any form of proxies (VPNs, colocation services, etc.) to access the Upwork platform? If yes, can you please provide an explanation as to why you used such services?
Please respond to this email with the information requested above so we may further assess your account’s current hold. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation in this matter.
Regards, Upwork Trust & Safety Team
ME Apr 10, 8:26 AM EDT Hi, No, I did not, and do not use VPN’s with Upwork, I have nothing to hide. As I mentioned before I’m stuck in Indonesia so my IP should be coming up as located in Indonesia. A number of Indonesian providers may show up as I work from my phone (Telkomsel is the provider), my friends house (not sure about his provider) and a number of coffee shops. If you don’t believe I’m stuck in Indonesia I’ll be happy to send you a copy of my current Indonesian visa and you can easily access Immigration websites and government flight policies to find out the current state of things in the world. If a VPN did show up then it was for much less sinister reason than trying to hide from my job provider – as mentioned before, you could have just asked, I’ve been nothing but transparent. I have free versions of HOXX and SetupVPN installed on my Firefox to use with Netflix and while I’m usually on top of having them on and off at the right time I could have made a mistake. Both versions are free and I have no idea which IPs or Proxies they use, I mostly connect to the American servers to watch movies. I appreciate your concern with quality and if my tone is moody it’s because I’m exhausted of the state of progress and annoyed that I spent hours researching and writing contracts just to be suspended by possibly a system flag. If there’s anything else I can do or provide especially to expedite this process I’d be happy to do so. Thanks, Art
Stefan S (Upwork Help)
Apr 12, 5:59 AM EDT Hello ME,
Thank you for your email.
We’ve reviewed all of the information you provided, but will not be reinstating your account. The decision is final and your account is permanently deactivated. I understand this is not the outcome you were hoping for.
Please know we are unlikely to respond to further correspondence regarding this matter.