You can find all the usual agonized, handbag-clutching drama over fake reviews here, along with a segue into TrustPilot, the internet’s favorite anybody’s opinion counts review site and claims that UW is fiddling the overall stats. Also, bonus points for a hatred of successful people unsurprisingly wishing to maintain the status quo!
It’s pretty clear that the author has a grudge against UpWork - he wrote a terrible ‘poem’ hating on the platform, too - but it does open kind of an interesting debate on the nature of freelance platforms. We’re all judged by our reviews, especially the unfair ones, and they can really kill momentum and send even the ballsiest freelancer into a panic that it’s all over, forever.
Fiverr has, of course, nipped this problem in the bud by making just about all reviews count unless they are full of blatant lies and psychosis (to be determined by an overworked CS hamster).
Obviously, the solution is to go out, make a sexy website, and market yourself to whoever your dream customer is - but I suspect most of us enjoy the convenience (laziness) of having everything in one place and the marketing kind of DFY. In the case of Fiverr, the extra benefit having a hopefully-friendly algorithm shine on us rather than sort through a hellscape of lowballing non-clients.
So, I guess the questions here are what method of feedback/review is fairest to both freelancer and client? Does one even exist? How can freelance platforms offer a better experience to both types of users while also managing the investor/profitability tightrope?
Curiously, while TP (note the acronym, people) reviews don’t seem to affect the platforms themselves, client reviews can and do massively effect freelancers’ ratings, rankings, and income. With both UW and Fiverr taking 20% (max for UW), on each job, is this really important to them at all beyond occasionally fixing things up to look busy about it?
Oh, and releasing self-serving stats about the freelance economy every so often as discussed elsewhere.
Discuss. Or not. I’m not your boss
P.S. I’ve been waiting for a week for UW CS to get back to me over a question their help center doesn’t answer. I’m super-impressed!