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Freelancer Unable to Perform Coding Required - Dispute?

Active Member
Scott C Member Since: Jul 12, 2019
21 of 44

Coder, writer, artist, etc. Hiring cheap = substandard end results.


We've all fixed this junk before. Buyers need to understand "You get what you pay for". 


Unbelievable.  You are making assumptions that I am being cheap.  I guess it depends on how much work was required for the $420 of code, correct?


 In my original post I stated that this code was NOT complicated, and should have been a verily simple code to implement for a COMPETENT coder.  A very detailed description of the original job posting set out all the requirements.  I provided an example code and the modifications required.  There are numerous examples of very specific and similar code to what I needed that is posted for free posted on the web.  I actually had another Freelancer contact me and offer $200 for the job, however I decided to use the current one because they had a much better job completion success rate.  


So no...... I don't think that I was being cheap, nor do I think I got what I paid for!!!  

Community Guru
Mark F Member Since: Jul 10, 2018
22 of 44

You agreed that the work would take someone a week so objectively you were being cheap, it's not an assumption.  If you looked at all the software developers who replied back to your thread you wouldn't be able to hire them for an entire day to do what you wanted done at that price.  If you look at their profiles and their contributions here you will see they have justification for what they charge.  People who hire them value results, they need things  done, and they see value in hiring proven people who will deliver.  And, because they are professionals, they would have also would have told you if they couldn't do that work for you.


The difference from what you would have experienced would have been stark.  You want the same experience but sought to pay an 1/8 or a 1/10th of the rate these people charge.  You said McDonald's in one of your responses and as I already pointed out you are paying just above what an employee at McDonald's makes in the US.  I don't know where in the world you are so maybe that is what you think software developers make, but they don't.  Anyone who is any good almost anywhere makes more than that or they don't understand their own value.

Active Member
Scott C Member Since: Jul 12, 2019
23 of 44

"You agreed that the work would take someone a week so objectively you were being cheap, it's not an assumption."



Yes, this is an assumption.   I was in no hurry to have the code, and the freelancer I hired has other projects they are working on, also does their freelancing on the side (as they have a full time job).  You are assuming the freelancer was open and working on this prioject for a week.  Not the case.

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
24 of 44

Scott C wrote:


 In my original post I stated that this code was NOT complicated, and should have been a verily simple code to implement for a COMPETENT coder.


Yikes, sweaty. Freelancer shoulda run if you indeed said it wasn't complicated and simple to do for a competent coder. haha that's textbook "client to avoid."
Active Member
Scott C Member Since: Jul 12, 2019
25 of 44

Correction:  What I meant to say was that I addressed this on my second post in this thread.


"The job itself should not have been all that difficult for a capable programmer.  The Freelancer originally said he had a lot of experience creating similar projects, and that he would have no problems with this job."  






Community Guru
Mark F Member Since: Jul 10, 2018
26 of 44
I agree completely. This is what cheap gets you. It’s not a value unless you get what you want.
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
27 of 44

re: "Right so reversing the perspective this client, I think, would be better with fixed. Plus it sounds like it dragged out and, although I’m fuzzy in this, can you even dispute a timesheet past the last week?"


From the perspective of a client:

- A client may close an hourly contract AT ANY TIME, and immediately stop any further billing.

- A client may close a fixed-price contract AT ANY TIME, but ONLY if she releases ALL money in escrow.


There is no way for a client to close a fixed-price contract and NOT release all escrow money, unless the freelancer agrees to it. If there is no agreement, the matter goes to dispute.


There are advantages to the client in both the fixed-price and hourly contract models. But the flexibility and immediacy when it comes to ending payment of money varies between the two contract models. The hourly is essentially "more flexible" when it comes to ending payments.

Community Guru
Scott B Member Since: Nov 20, 2015
28 of 44

Mark F wrote:

I agree with what you are saying in general, except maybe that 20% is low, but I would also point out that it the freelancer agreed that it was only a week's worth of work.  Without knowing the task, none of us can say if it is a week's worth of work for us, but even hourly it would be hard to manage that, in my opinion, to any different result.  He had, apparently, a simple task and hired someone to blow it out.  If I were hiring someone to do it, I would do it fixed price, and let them figure the burden of getting it done by the deadline.


But I will say what struck me from the beginning on this and he also paid $420.00 for the job.  My math puts that at $10.50 an hour and it also struck me that the client mentioned McDonald's and as it just so happens McDee's employees make on average $9.30 an hour in the US.  I can't speak for you or Preston but I wouldn't even look at this job unless it was something I thought I could get done in a day (which likely means it is something I already have code for).  I also would not take the job unless I knew I could complete it.


He hired a crappy freelancer.  That's the bottom line.  I don't know how this person convinced him they could do the task but I am pretty sure they couldn't convince me.  It sucks for the client and in some ways that sucks for all of us because we get painted with that brush.  

Depends on the project if 20% is too low which is why I put a "+" there. I am not speaking of this kind of project at this low budget price but rather consulting companies. If the time has been taken to do the back and forth due diligence with appropriate legal language, then 20% is certainly reasonable. If, however, the feeling is that requirements are a bit "loose" then the padding will start to go up significantly. Really the point here was to get people who may not have the experience to understand that a fixed bid is not at the price point that an experienced freelancer thinks the job will get get done. It that's price point plus a comfortable margin for the unknown otherwise the freelancer is assuming too much of the risk. 


I also did not excuse the freelancer who is certainly not up to standards. I get that only from the apparent way in which he has handled this. This is why my suggestion wasn't about this contract but a suggestion for the future. As I indicated, unless everyone is sure of the requirements, a fixed bid is not going to be the better contract type under the conditions that the vast majority find themselves on Upwork (for development). At the end of the day, success typically comes when a client is saying "how can I get this done as I need at a reasonable price" and the freelancer is saying "how can I get this done with reasonable profit". If one side or both sides doesn't care about the other side of the equation, you find these kinds of outcomes. If a client thinks it's the freelancer's problem think again. Yes, it might be their problem to solve but whose problem is it also if the product isn't complete our is shoddy or is not maintainable, etc? If the freelancer thinks he can get away with bad communications and poor outcomes, they will also pay going forward due to bad reviews and lack of repeat clients. If both sides cannot "win" then both sides will lose even if the results of that loss are not immediately apparent. 


Incidentally, I am not criticising your response which made good points. I am more expounding on certain concepts I think inexperienced freelancers and clients don't fully understand. 

Community Guru
John K Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
29 of 44

I don't want to muddle the discussion but paying top $$$ does not guarantee quality, because regrettably the platform has farmers who charge high rates and outsource to low cost workers. I'm aware that a farmer is supposed to notify the client about oursourcing but I doubt they all do so. On hourly contracts, the TOS prohibits outsourcing, so perhaps that's another point in favor of hiring on an hourly basis.

"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce
Community Guru
Mark F Member Since: Jul 10, 2018
30 of 44

I was being pretty tongue in cheek on the 20%.


I don't think we disagree on that much and I always open to criticism.