Why do people hate Upwork?

My name is Andy Chase. I’ve been working as a freelance software engineer for about 5 years. When I started working I used Upwork (then called oDesk) to find clients.

See my list of alternatives to upwork here!

Upwork is the Tinder of Freelance

Of course you could go out and in person to networking events, build up a network of random people and tell everyone you are looking for work.

The problem is, you’re not going to do that . You’re not a marketer or a networking expert. You just want work. So that’s why you end up on Upwork.

There’s a lot of competition of Upwork, competing both on price and on quality. More than likely, clients who don’t know a lot about software engineering are comparing you purely based on stereotypes and marketing hype.

There’s also a bit of a game to it, where putting a focused message out there to a wide range of people is more successful then only only applying to the few jobs that you’re actually qualified for.

In real life, when you cold-call your friend’s dad who needs someone to do data entry for his small business, he’s comparing you to absolutely no one. It’s presumed you can do the job (otherwise you wouldn’t have come to him), and social pressures and sheer convenience will likely sway him to your favor.

That person doesn’t have the feeling like they are choosing between 30 good options, they instead have the feeling like cosmic graces have smiled on them and the perfect choice has appeared in front them ready to go.

The biggest problem with Upwork in my opinion is their customer service

Upwork is a glorified job board.

Unlike Craigslist they don’t have a benevolent attitude towards their purpose.

They view customer service as a cost center and anything that can’t be solved by a $5/hr wage support rep isn’t going to be solved.

Michelle wrote Someone stole my identity on Upwork and all I got was this lousy blog post, while it sounds like an exception situation in general, for Upwork customer support that’s about the level of support (little to none).

Upwork has some advantages

Here’s reasons Upwork can actually be a decent deal: