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Client takes ages to respond

belhassenchelbi
Active Member
Belhassen C Member Since: Jul 23, 2021
1 of 7

 

I want your advice, please... 

 

This job was planned to be done by the end of May. However, it's still going. It's a fixed-price job.

The client had some family problems as she claimed so I was understanding and I waited. After all, we're all humans. However, apparently, it wasn't just that. I'd have to wait a week or more to get feedback. In the end, I get shallow feedback. 

 

When I told her that we need to accelerate our feedback and was checking with her on the day she told me she was going to see the work, things escalated. She became angry-ish with her feedback. 

Now again, in the last 10 days, I haven't got a message from her and I'm still waiting. 

I got paid the first milestone only because I submitted work for payment and it got released by Upwork after 14 days (God bless Upwork x) ).

 

Should I end the contract? My only concern is the impact I will have if I get a negative review even though I made more effort than I got paid for. Or should I wait more?

 

 

 

prestonhunter
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
2 of 7

I don't accept any fixed-price task that involves waiting for someone else.

 

If I accept the contract, then it means I have all of the input files and information necessary in order to complete the task. That way I can always complete it, submit it, and get paid - even if the client never responds.

 

If any communication with the client or approval from the client is necessary for a project, that takes place between fixed-price tasks.

 

If a client takes a long time to respond... that is fine. That doesn't bother me, because it is not holding me up. I get paid automatically if the client does nothing.

 

What if a client has a bigger project, one that requires many separate milestones,  it takes a long time between milestones?

That is fine. It is the client's project. And the client's timetable. Why should I care if the client goes months or years in between steps within the client's own project?

 

If your own personal preferences are such that you require clients to respond more quickly or manually release escrow payment more quickly, then that is fine. You may decide to stop working with any client who doesn't fit your preferences.

belhassenchelbi
Active Member
Belhassen C Member Since: Jul 23, 2021
3 of 7
While I was browsing other questions like mine, I saw your replies. I don't like the mentality. I disagree.

I don't do hourly because I get punished for being extremely fast which doesn't make sense. I always hate it when the app taking random screenshots. It puts me out of my flow state. It doesn't work for me. I always do pen and paper work and thinking too, and offline hours are not guaranteed by Upwork.

My type of work need collaboration between me and the client. If the client takes too long to respond, this disrupts the whole workflow. Imagine getting feedback for something after multiple weeks? That's not good. This means you need to go back and readjust your brain to that project. I don't enjoy working on a task/project that I've done before in weeks, that now lasts multiple months. Not cool. Should I force my brain and sense of fulfilment to be okay, just because it's the client's project.

Having the mentality of taking the side of the client no matter what doesn't serve anyone. They have a business and so do we. It's not a battle but there's always a fair line.
kinector
Community Guru
Mikko R Member Since: Dec 26, 2015
4 of 7

Belhassen C wrote:
While I was browsing other questions like mine, I saw your replies. I don't like the mentality. I disagree.

I don't do hourly because I get punished for being extremely fast which doesn't make sense. I always hate it when the app taking random screenshots. It puts me out of my flow state. It doesn't work for me. I always do pen and paper work and thinking too, and offline hours are not guaranteed by Upwork.


I know, Belhassen, I have the same problem!

 

Hourly billing is nuts, particularly in software development (ask Jonathan Stark).

 

I say value-based billing is coconuts. Way better!

 

This is one of the reasons I do hourly consultancy mostly, these days. People pay me for phone calls and possibly some small follow-up tasks. This is where hourly billing is OK.

 

I stopped doing hourly-billed software development about 4 years ago. It's just nuts, honestly. Particularly when many clients don't understand a good guy could charge 3X rates and be 4X times faster, i.e. thus being a more efficient option.

 

I too hate those screenshots... I tried to get used to it in 2017, but I still found it highly distracting.

 

So, whatever development tasks I do, I use the fixed-price model with a price tag that is NOT based on any hourly estimates alone, but value to the client. If my high price is accepted, I can give a lot of slack for changes as I still make a pretty profit. This approach only works in the high-end market, of course.

 

About waiting for clients... it depends on the person on both sides. I don't mind waiting as some of the work is not the short-term goal of my client and those who are still struggling with their own core work need to prioritize the short term. It makes sense. I pace all other work I do according to the type of clients I have and try to mitigate the risks of getting a huge workload on one week and having too much slack on the next week. It's a combination of project management and business skills, I suppose.

 

As a conclusion: Hourly billing is nuts, value-based billing is coconuts!!!

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
5 of 7

Belhassen, if you can't make things work with the client and want to get out of the contract you can close it and if the client leaves poor feedback,  

 

offline hours are not guaranteed by Upwork

nor is fixed rate payment...

 

Mikko R wrote:

As a conclusion: Hourly billing is nuts, value-based billing is coconuts!!!


As a conclusion: Maybe you could try not to make such sweeping generalisations. You don't like hourly contracts? Fine. Don't do them. That doesn't make them "nuts".

belhassenchelbi
Active Member
Belhassen C Member Since: Jul 23, 2021
6 of 7
Thank you Petra. That's helpful. I'm curious if that can affect my job success score knowing that I've already got paid for the first milestone
petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
7 of 7

Belhassen C wrote:
Thank you Petra. That's helpful. I'm curious if that can affect my job success score knowing that I've already got paid for the first milestone

The effect on your JSS depends on what (private) feedback the client leaves. What you were paid already is irrelevant as far as the JSS is concerned.

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