The ugly truth about Upwork

After more than a year and a half on Upwork, maintaining a 100 % JSS for months and recently promoted to Top rated freelancer, Upwork threatening either to pay almost $300 for something I didn’t even ask for or they permanently will suspend my account under the name of “their policy” and just wipe away all of my extreme efforts and long time to build up my freelancing career and portfolio with them, not to mention any open contracts or and remaining earnings will be gone forever.

Last December, I signed a fixed price contract for building a website. After completion more than half of the work the customer released the funds of the first milestone, and then he refused to fund the second milestone and became unresponsive.

I contacted Upwork regarding this. And after a month of long emails and phone calls, they told me that they can’t do anything about it and I should find a way to fix this by my own as their “Policy” restrains them from taking any actions against the client.

I then shocked to find out that the client filed a dispute, and because he wasn’t responsive to the support as well, they released the funds to my account. This dispute and the customer rating dropped me out of the Top rated program and drop my JSS way down, And now I’m on the edge to lose it all as if it’s not enough what I already lost.

Now he files another dispute but this time calling for a third party arbitration, Upwork asked me to pay $291 for this arbitration. Why on earth do I have to pay for arbitration amount that is bigger than the amount that was in the escrow? I tried a lot with their support team to fix this, but all I came up with either to pay or my account will be permanently suspended because their “policy” says so. In my local currency the $291 would be 5000 which is a LOT, can you imagine like paying $5000 for something you didn’t ask for? 
If the customer wants so, he got to pay it himself, why should I?

So the whole thing about caring for their freelancers is a big LIE!!! Because if they do, they wouldn’t ask me to pay for such a thing or they will kick me out from Upwork! And they left me no choice. I’m sure there are lots of great talents over there that they shut the door in their face every day because of their policy that takes away our rights as freelancers, there are hundreds of cases on the Internet that suffered from what I’m going through now and they fell as victims of their policy, not to mention those who wasn’t able to speak about it.