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Flat Fee Projects

I just posted my first job and I asked people to give me quotes for the job.  When we agree on the price and the terms, what happens if there is a dispute about the work?  My requirements and instructions are pretty crystal clear so there shouldn't be an issue, but I'm just curious about the process.





These are great questions.


What happens if there is a dispute about the work?

There is a lot of information you can read about how disputes work. Including here:


Dispute a Freelancer’s Hours

But do you want to save yourself some time?


Don't even read it.

I'm serious.


Just decide now to use "best practices" INSTEAD of thinking about disputes.


Truly successful clients don't even have the dispute process in the back of their minds. They simply don't waste time with disputes.


You COULD think of disputes as a sort of "fallback" technique if things don't work out:


"I hired a contractor to build a website. I paid him $3000 but he did not deliver anything. I filed a dispute. It has been 3 weeks and nothing has been resolved yet."


That does not sound fun, does it? It's not! Don't bother.


Do this instead:

Hire contractors to do small portions of an overall project. The contractors who really do well are the ones you continue to hire to do more work. The contractors who don't dazzle you with the quality of their work? You don't hire them to do anything more.


If you hire 6 different contractors and you like what 4 of them do for you, but 2 of them did a terrible job after you paid them $30 each... THAT'S GREAT NEWS! It doesn't mean that you wasted $60 on the two awful contractors. It means you saved a lot of time and money while finding 4 great contractors who really understand your project and can get the job done.


So to summarize my advice: My time (as a client) is too valuable to waste filing disputes. If a contractor doesn't do a good job for me, I quickly stop working with her and only work with the contractors whose work I really like. I don't dispute the unusuable work that is submitted to me. I pay for the unusable work because that contractor's right to be treated properly by not getting paid for shoddy work is not as valuable as my time.


Make sure everything is clear on both ends. If it goes into arbitration, the arbiter will indeed read the workroom.