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a49f7ac1
Community Member

Freelancer asking for more money to refactor their own bad code

I have been working with a freelancer since November 2020 – and already paid them $3,350 and the current contract is worth $918. The work is not going as planned - they coded a module incorrectly and asking for more money to refactor the code.  The instructions were clear and no changes in requirements from me. They basically implemented an API incorrectly - created a throttling issue.

 

Without refactoring the code – the project is as good as dead. What should I do – please advise.

 

Thank you

10 REPLIES 10
a_lipsey
Community Member


Victor T wrote:

I have been working with a freelancer since November 2020 – and already paid them $3,350 and the current contract is worth $918. The work is not going as planned - they coded a module incorrectly and asking for more money to refactor the code.  The instructions were clear and no changes in requirements from me. They basically implemented an API incorrectly - created a throttling issue.

 

Without refactoring the code – the project is as good as dead. What should I do – please advise.

 

Thank you


If this is fixed price then I would explain to the freelancer that they have not delivered an appropriate deliverable yet, and the agreed upon price for the module was $918.  If they disagree then I would request a refund of the funds in escrow, close the contract and find someone else to do the module. If they disagree then I would dispute it, go to arbitration if necessary. But first you need to negotiate with the freelancer and see why they are asking for more money when they have not delivered the agreed upon deliverable yet. 

Thanks for your reply. That’s what I have been thinking of doing, but I just want to go live with my site as soon possible. If that means paying a bit more to refactor the code. My view is that it should take one day to refactor the code – and an extra day to debug if any issues. This could have been done last week. Instead – they initially asked $2400 and said it would take 2.5 weeks.

 

However, I offered to pay $300 but they are asking $480 – and very vague about the timescale.

 

Can I ask what’s UpWork's role here? Can they not mitigate this problem?

I should also mention that the freelancer is a software company and apparently with many experienced programmers. I was promised that a senior programmer would supervise the work. Unfortunately, that probably didn’t happen.

Hi Victor,

 

I'm sorry to hear about the inconvenience this has caused you. Our team will reach out to you via ticket as soon as possible and will assist you further. Thank you.

~ Goran
Upwork

re: "Can I ask what’s UpWork's role here?"

 

None.

 

re: "Can they not mitigate this problem?"

 

No.

Thanks Preston. That's suprising - I thought UpWork would step in if anything goes wrong since they have all the communication recorded on this site.

Preston is right, you never hired UpWork for the job, you hired the freelancer. UpWork simply connects freelancers to clients. They don't have much of a role in the quality of work performed.  Normally if a project isn't going as planned, you can always end the contract, leave feedback to the freelancer, and find a better suit at any time for any reason. 

yitwail
Community Member


Victor T wrote:

they initially asked $2400 and said it would take 2.5 weeks.

 

However, I offered to pay $300 but they are asking $480 – and very vague about the timescale.

 

Victor, sounds to me like they're trying to milk the contract for all the money they can squeeze out of it. I assume this is a fixed price job, so here's what you could do. First, get a copy of their latest source code, warts and all, if you haven't already. Too many clients get strung along by freelancers who demo code while keeping it to themselves. Next, negotiate the milestone price, and assign it, but notify them that the refactoring must fix the throttling issue, or you will not approve the milestone, then see what happens. If they can't get it done in a reasonable timeframe, close the contract and hire someone else. Good luck

__________________________________________________
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce

Victor:
There are really TWO TYPES of advice that you are going to receive in this thread:

- tips for using Upwork generally

- tips for handling your curent specific situation

 

Many tips will cross over and and have application both now and later.

 

Here are some general ideas that I think it will help you to keep in mind:

- Upwork doesn't manage projects for clients

 

- For large and complex projects, you will need a project manager in order to be successful

 

- Upwork provides you with tools. Effective clients learn to use those tools and do not work through Upwork Customer Support in order to manage their projects

 

- Effective clients use their unlimited ability to END contracts with underperforming freelancers; that's one of the most useful skills a client can learn: how to END a contract instead of continuing to pay money to freelancers who don't provide you with great value.

re: "I have been working with a freelancer since November 2020 – and already paid them $3,350 and the current contract is worth $918. The work is not going as planned - they coded a module incorrectly and asking for more money to refactor the code. The instructions were clear and no changes in requirements from me. They basically implemented an API incorrectly - created a throttling issue. Without refactoring the code – the project is as good as dead. What should I do – please advise."

 

Victor:
I don't know enough about your current situation to tell you what to do.

 

I can tell that you are frustrated by your current situation. You feel like the freelancer made a mistake and is essentially asking you to pay him more money to fix this mistake.

 

Upwork doesn't manage these things. This is for you as a client and project owner to manage.

 

Your options include:

- simply pay the freelance what he is asking to do this next part, because you need that part

- stop working with the freelancer entirely

- negotiate an arrangement that helps both parties, but also "shares the pain"

 

If you feel like this freelancer is a valuable member of your team, then you should keep that in mind, even if you feel like the freelancer has made a mistake. Regardless of what you decide to do, you should put YOURSELF and YOUR PROJECT first.

 

If it HELPS you and your project to continue working with this freelancer, then you are not obligated to penalize him for making mistakes. If you don't highly value this freelancer's contributions to your project, you should feel free to fire the freelancer even if he hasn't made any mistakes at all.

 

If you have only one freelancer working on this project, then keep in mind that you can't compare them. This is a real problem if you have a large project.

 

If you have multiple freelancers working on this project, then you can compare them. Maybe Freelancer A is delivering work way over budget... Freelancer B is delivering work on budget. And Freelancer C is delivering work under budget. Freelancer C is providing you the most value, and saving your project money. You can fire Freelancer A and Freelancer B and continue working only with Freelancer C. You can also hire other freelancers (D, E, F) to make sure you have more help on the project. You can continue to evaluate all of the people on you team in order to save money and maximize the quality of the project.

 

Despite the frustration you expressed about your CURRENT freelancer and the costs... I suspect he might be a diligent, serious freelancer who is trying to help you accomplish your goals. But if he (or "they") are the ONLY freelancer working on this... You really don't know for sure how his work stacks up with the work done by others.

 

You said "please advise."

 

My advice is to you, to maximize your success in completing this project:

- Make sure you have more than one freelancer working on this project. If this particular "freelancer" is actually a team, that counts as only "one freelancer." You should have at least three different freelancers on your team, who are all completely independent of each other. That way you can compare their work.

 

- If the quality of the system and source code is important, then use hourly contracts wherever possible. If some freelancers are clearly more expensive than others but do not clearly provide more value, then you can close the contracts on them, and continue working only with the freelancers who provide you with the most value.

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