Appeals Processes

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Gig Economy Appeal Processes

Upwork, Airbnb, and Uber are examples of how companies in the gig economy run their appeals processes regarding user suspension.

Overview

  • Gig economy introduces the concept of creating an income from short-term tasks.
  • Gig economy companies allow people to work without the bound of time and encompasses workers who are full-time self-employed such as consultants who work by driving for Uber or Lyft and usually the economy is driven by technology.
  • The workers or these companies found themselves fragile from having their account suspended if they violate some terms that set previously by the companies, below are some cases of account suspension appeal:

1. Upwork

  • Upwork is an online freelance market where freelancers can seek for jobs.
  • When Upwork notices a freelancer has applied for too many jobs but has won too few contracts and earns nothing or earns in small amounts, Upwork will consider the freelancer has no demanded skills and this can lead to account suspension.

Appeal Process

  • If a freelancer's account is suspended, the freelancer will receive an email telling that his/her account has been decided to be suspended and telling them that he/she may appeal to such decision by sending an email to Upwork at marketplace-appeals@upwork.com.
  • The response or reply should contain an explanation on why he/she wants to appeal to Upwork's decision and provide as many details as possible.

Questions that are asked during appeal process

The questions that will be asked during the process include:
  • If the freelancer has additional education, any skills, or work experience that are not included on the profile? Any copies of relevant documents that verify such education, skill or experience?

The appeal follow up & reply period

  • Each mail containing an appeal to Upwork's suspension decision will be reviewed manually by Upwork's Trust & Safety team to decide if the account can be reinstated.
  • If the appeal has already been declined, then the latest Upwork's decision is final and the account will remain closed.
  • Any questions can be raised in the question ticket section.
  • According to the community forum of Upwork freelancer, the reply to each appeal is different. A testimony from a former Upwork employee states that he appealed to Upwork but received no reply. He didn't update the case so that there is no surety that Upwork will eventually reply to a protest.
  • Few other testimonies claim that they received a reply quickly from an Upwork moderator explaining why his account suspended.

2. Airbnb

  • Airbnb accommodates people to become a host to rent their houses or apartments to guests.
  • People may sign up as a host and provide their best service to satisfy the guests and the guest, in the end, will provide reviews and satisfaction impression ranging from one to five stars.
  • The hosts' listings may be suspended if they fail to meet the basic requirements of overall rating, response rate, accepted reservations, essential amenities, or cancellations.

Appeal process

  • If someone's listing is suspended, an email will be sent from Airbnb that their account is permanently suspended and all bookings were canceled.
  • The listing won’t show up in search results and the host is no longer allowed to receive bookings during the suspension period.
  • After the suspension period, the listing will be reactivated. The suspension period is different for each case.
  • If a host receives a 30-day suspension period, the host may appeal by completing the Suspension Appeal Form.

Questions that are asked during appeal process

Questions might include:

The appeal follow up & reply period

  • After a host whose listing is suspended, he/she can file an appeal by completing the Suspension Appeal Form. The Airbnb team will review the appeal and decide whether the suspension is acceptable or not.
  • The reply email will be the final decision.
  • According to the Airbnb host community forum, if a host requires further clarification, the Airbnb team is not obligated to provide an explanation of their final decision.
  • All appeal will receive a reply and usually, there are no complaints about the waiting time of the reply, indicating that the reply is immediate.

3. Uber

Appeal process

  • If a driver is suspended, an e-mail from Uber will be sent, in order to notify the driver.
  • If a driver whose account is suspended and he/she doesn't agree with that, he/she can provide further information at Help Desk at help.uber.com and Uber team will review that.

Questions that are asked during appeal process

  • Uber explains that if a driver is not online for the last 90 days, the account will be automatically suspended. The question that may appear is "Were you online for the last 90 days in Uber app?"
  • Some people are suspended when their documents are out-of-date. The question that may appear is "Have you updated your driving documents?"
  • If drivers get bad reviews, the drivers will be asked to take the 7x7 course.
  • The question that may arise is "Do you think your driving skills are good enough to get better reviews? Why not take the 7x7 course?".

The appeal follow up & reply period

  • The information regarding the follow up is limited in the public domain.
  • The reply to the appeal takes time and it can vary from one person to another. One of the drivers whose account was suspended appealed and did not get a response even after 3 weeks.
Sources
Sources

Quotes
  • "If you haven’t submitted an appeal already, you can email us at marketplace-appeals@upwork.com. Please include why you are appealing our decision and as many details as possible. For example, do you have any additional education, skills or work experience that is not included on your profile? If so, please attach copies of relevant documents (diplomas, certificates, etc.) that verify that education, skill or experience. Please note each case will be manually reviewed by our Trust & Safety team to decide if your account can be reinstated."
Quotes
  • "Hello, We are contacting you to let you know we have suspended your access to Upwork indefinitely. Our decision is based on a careful review and the fact that you have submitted a high number of proposals for jobs on our site without many contracts or earnings. Unfortunately, this means the jobs posted by clients are not a good match for your skills."
  • "I know this news is likely disappointing to you. But our goal at Upwork is to enable freelancers to successfully connect and collaborate with clients who need their skills and expertise. Unfortunately, this means we must part ways with freelancers whose skills are not in demand in our marketplace."
  • "If you want to appeal this decision, you can email us at marketplace-appeals@upwork.com. Please note each case will be manually reviewed by our Trust & Safety team to decide if your account can be reinstated."
Quotes
  • "In general, we suspend an account when a freelancer repeatedly applies to many jobs but fails to collect earnings or only earns a small amount. Declining invites or offers is NOT a reason for an account to be suspended. Freelancers are able to appeal the suspension of their account and each appeal is thoroughly reviewed by our Trust & Safety team. Sanchayan, please refer to the notification the team sent you two weeks ago about the outcome of your appeal and refer to this Community post for more information."
Quotes
  • "The freelancer you are referring to has to check the notifications Upwork team sent to them. If they were informed that they can appeal the decision they can go ahead and do that. If their appeal has already been declined, unfortunately, their account will remain closed."
  • "I`m sorry to hear this, unfortunately we can`t discuss details for another user. You can advice your friend to contact us and we will assist him further, he can also check his ticket section on this Link."
Quotes
  • "Your listings may be suspended if you fail to meet the basic requirements overall rating, response rate, accepted reservations, essential amenities, or cancellations. If your listing is suspended, it won’t show up in search results and you won’t receive any new bookings. You’ll have the opportunity to reactivate your listing once the suspension period is over, subject to a review by Airbnb. Serious infractions could lead to permanent removal from Airbnb."
  • "If you have a 30-day suspension, you may be able to appeal it by completing our suspension appeal form You won't be able to access this form if your suspension is shorter than 30 days."
  • "Grounds for a successful appeal may include: Markedly improved guest feedback over the past 30 days Unclear negative feedback from guest reviews Rare extenuating circumstances"
Quotes
  • "I received an email from Airbnb 2 days ago that my account is permanently suspended and all bookings were cancelled. "
  • "I contacted them by phone and by email but the only reply I got is by email stating that they regret that this decision has negatively affected me and that they have the final say. I did not get any reason or whatsoever. I read the Terms and Conditions but couldn't find anything that I have possibly done to get a permanent suspension. "
  • " I asked for clarification but did not get one."
Quotes
  • "Your account can be deactivated from the Uber network for various reasons. These decisions are always taken after a careful consideration of all information available to us and taking into account the conditions outlined in the Service Agreement with Uber B.V. and if relevant any local Community Guidelines. If however you do not agree with this decision, you can provide further information below and we will review this and get back to you. "
Quotes
  • "I have been waiting for 3 weeks for Uber to review my background check again and reactivate my account. What can I do to get my account reactivated?"
Quotes
  • "However, if there you were online recently, your account may be suspended for other reasons. Check your e-mail for any message from Uber."
Quotes
  • "If you completed a 7x7 course and are requesting that your account status be reviewed, please submit a photo of your completion certificate below for review. Once the review is complete, we will let you know if your account can be reactivated. "
Quotes
  • "If you’ve been deactivated due to a documentation problem: Upload the updated document and you’ll be reactivated. To speed up the process you can visit an Uber Greenlight Hub, or call into Uber driver phone support if it’s available in your area. Typically a support agent can reactivate you on the spot once they verify your document."
  • "If you’ve been deactivated due to low ratings: Contact Uber or search help.uber.com to see if a quality improvement course is available in your area. Currently it’s called the “7×7 Experience,” and depending on your location it may be an online class or an in-person class. It’s a customer service course specifically designed to help struggling Uber drivers improve their service and driving skills. The classes typically cost less than $100. After you complete the class, you can upload the certificate at help.uber.com. Search for ‘reactivate.’"
  • "If you’ve been deactivated for another reason: Contact Uber via help.uber.com, or visit an in-person office and politely ask to be reactivated. Your odds of success are low, but from personal experience and the experiences of readers, this approach can work."